Mario Balotelli left behind not luxury watches when he left Man City, but 30 traffic tickets and a payslip.
Outrageously expensive watches, special iPhones or other luxury goods – footballers like to leave their teammates and the staff with some great farewell gifts when they change clubs. So did Mario Balotelli when he left Manchester City for AC Milan in January 2013.
But Balotelli wouldn’t be Balotelli if his legacies hadn’t been of a very special kind. This was revealed by former City kit man Les Chapman recently in the Ninety Three Twenty Podcast.
“I used to give tours of the training ground and I remember going into the dressing room on the first tour after Mario was gone,” Chapman said. “And I said to them: ‘This is Mario’s locker’. I opened the door and about 30 parking tickets fell out! And a pay stub. The club had fined him £100,000 that month.”
A sum that should be peanuts for a professional player worth millions, but is rather rare at this level. As Chapman suspects, the now 32-year-old Italian has little concern. “His car was impounded 27 times and he owed Manchester City Council tens of thousands of pounds when he left the club and I think the club paid it for him,” he added.
Balotelli wanted to set fire to teammates
It’s just a small part of the long list of Balotelli’s misdemeanors and curiosities: he is said to have given a bar owner 2000 euros when he drove his Vespa into the sea, kicked a teammate in the head while celebrating a goal and other teammates tried to set fire to them or intentionally scored own goals when things weren’t going their way.
With a gift for Chapman it almost worked out: “He always trained with diamond bracelets and necklaces. Once he came in after training and lost his diamond earring. It cost him £10,000 but he didn’t care. Me I looked for it on my hands and knees but never found it.”