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Mario Balotelli's 10 Greatest Moments

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Super Mario is currently plying his trade in Italy, following what can be charitably described as an 'unsuccessful' spell at Liverpool.

But we still miss the big guy, as there have been few more charismatic individuals to have graced an English football pitch.

We look back at ten of Balotelli's greatest moments so far.



1. Nearly Taking The Net Off With A Goal Against Germany

Amongst all the nonsense, it's easy to forget that when Mario is in the mood, he is one of the most gifted footballers on the planet. He scored two goals to win the Euro 2012 semi-final for Italy against Germany, including this absolute netbuster. What a strike.

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2. Ordering a statue of himself celebrating that goal

But, of course, it wasn't enough for Mario to just score - he then whipped off his shirt and did an iron-man celebration, sparking an internet meme which spread far and wide. He then commissioned Bresica artist Livio Scarpella to make a statue of himself, made of platinum and bronze, with "eyes made of precious stones". We wonder if he'll just leave it outside his house to ward off potential burglars.

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3. Turning The Beatles Into The Balotells

We'll admit, we were worried that Mario might lose his fun edge upon moving to Liverpool, with rumours of behaviour clauses in his contract. We needn't have been concerned, as he released this hilarious mockup on his Instagram account shortly after his move to Merseyside. We're pretty sure he took his own Yellow Submarine back to Milan.

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4. Completing Italy's Team Sticker Page With Himself

World Cups can seemingly be quite dull for some players, with endless time spent in hotel rooms between games. But Balotelli didn't waste his free time, investing in hundreds of packets of Panini stickers in order to fill up the entire Italy squad page with himself (sticker 335) and posting an image with (of course) the caption, "why always me?" on Facebook. With any luck, cloning will become a reality fairly soon and we can see this for real; one can only imagine the fireworks that would result.

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5. Becoming a Firework Safety Ambassador

Speaking of fireworks, the great man was reported to have nearly burned his house down after setting off fireworks in his bathroom on the day before the Manchester derby in 2011. Police and fire crews were called, but Balotelli claimed that it was an exaggeration. He told Sports Illustrated, "It wasn't like my house was on fire. It was just the bathroom, because one firework went the wrong way. It took the curtain, and the curtain got on fire and the smoke went around the house. But we weren't inside. We were outside with the fireworks." We believe you Mario, we believe you. Brilliantly, though, he agreed to front a firework safety campaign, saying, "It is important message that children should not mess with fireworks. They can be very dangerous if they are not used in the right way. People should follow the firework code."

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6. Unsuccessfully Putting On a Bib

An early indication of the fun and games that Balotelli was to provide came with this hilarious video of him trying - and failing...several times...even with the help of an amiable assistant....to put on a humble training bib. The best bit is, having finally got it on - he decides he wants a different colour.

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7. Dispelling The Myths With Noel Gallagher

Once it became clear that Mario was tabloid gold, the rumours and stories started spreading like wildfire. Did he really go into a school and confront nasty bullies? Sadly not. Did he really go into a school and use a toilet? Brilliantly, yes. And the best person to sort the wheat from the chaff was, of course, lifelong City fan Noel Gallagher. Cue a hugely entertaining meeting of minds from two of the world's best comedians.

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8. Passing The Ball To Aguero

An incredible stat from Balotelli's time at Manchester City was that he was responsible for just one assist. In true Mario style, though, it wasn't for a consolation goal at Norwich. No, it was the tapped pass to Sergio Aguero, who then scored the winner in the last minute of the season to win City's first title in 44 years. He definitely knows how to pick his moment.

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10. Going On The World's Greatest Shopping Trip

We have to finish with another piece of ridiculousness. When his mother sent him out shopping with instructions to buy an ironing board, an iron and cleaning products for the cleaner in his new home to use, he did what any self-respecting young multimillionaire would do. Five hours later, a John Lewis van arrived with the following 'practical items' inside: a giant trampoline, a Scalextric, two Vespas and a table tennis set. Absolutely brilliant.

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(Images: Getty/Shutterstock/Instagram/Facebook)

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