The German national team made it to the semi-finals at the Euro 2012 in Poland and the Ukraine – but then came the Italians and “Super Mario” Balotelli. No German fan will forget the picture after his second goal!
At some point the man who almost single-handedly shot Germany out of the tournament at EURO 2012 in the semi-finals with two goals said once that it was not necessary to celebrate your goals big, because a postman wasn’t every time freaked out when he delivered his letters – but he seemed to have forgotten that in those memorable moments in Warsaw.
After his second goal, Mario Balotelli tore his jersey off and stood in a bodybuilder pose. This moment, this photo has become a legend. The next morning the Swiss newspaper “Blick” wrote: “Germans humiliated! Mister Bummbastic. Super Mario Balotelli killed the Germans with two goals. Germans lose game and decency.”
“I’m smarter than the norm”
In fact, the horses had run away with the two ARD commentators Reinhold Beckmann and Mehmet Scholl in the course of the evening. Balotelli and Antonio Cassano had called them “foster cases” and “street dogs”. Certainly not very nice – but especially in connection with the notorious Mario Balotelli, it cannot be completely dismissed. Because even with the Italian national team and the Italian public, the extroverted striker has remained controversial to this day. And there are good reasons for that. Mario Balotelli’s list of scandals and failures would easily cover a distance from Milan to Manchester.
“I’m more intelligent than the norm, but I can’t prove it,” said the Italian, who was only 22 years old at the 2012 European Championship – and added to be on the safe side: “I’m not crazy, I just do it sometimes strange things.” That is true, however. And not too few of them. His former coach José Mourinho said in retrospect: “I could write a 200-page book about my two years at Inter with Mario. And not a single page would be boring.” One believes that without looking.
Ben Redelings is a passionate “chronicler of football madness” and a supporter of the glorious VfL Bochum. The bestselling author and comedian lives in the Ruhr area and maintains his legendary treasure trove of anecdotes. For ntv.de he writes down the most exciting and funniest stories on Tuesdays and Saturdays. More information about Ben Redelings, his current dates and his book with the best columns (“Between Puff and Barcelona”) can be found on his website www.scudetto.de.
To understand what makes Balotelli tick, let us tell you one of his classic stories from the past. One day the Italian was very bored. And since his brother Enoch felt the same way, the two sat in a car and drove to the women’s prison in Brescia. There they parked their Mercedes in a restricted area and tried to force their way into the jail together. When the police questioned them after a very short time, the two brothers said completely seriously and without a hint of irony when asked what they had just done: “We were just curious to see what it looks like in there!”
Huge outrage in advance
After the victorious semi-final against the German national team, the “La Repubblica” wrote: “A perfect game, the magical night of Super Mario. This boy’s name is Italy. Because Italy now also stands for a black man with the accent of Brescia.” This new love of the Italian press must have seemed to Balotelli like an unfamiliar force of nature, because just a few days earlier, the media had cracked their mouths over him. However, Balotelli hadn’t been entirely innocent of that either.
You have to know: Balotelli has never been a training world champion. Perhaps this is also due to a rather unusual and extremely annoying illness for footballers: Mario Balotelli suffers from a lawn allergy. And when he had to go straight to the grass for a special exercise at EURO 2012, something obviously went wrong in his head.
Because instead of lying on his back like the other Italian national players, he relaxed and watched the sweaty training of his teammates in a prone position. The pictures of this unit went around the world. The journalists cracked their mouths at so much audacity and laziness. But Balotelli left it cold on the outside. At a press conference shortly afterwards, he did not want to hear anything about idleness. But on the contrary. He works just as hard as everyone else, he said, because after all it would be like this: “I don’t have my ass in Nutella.”
“Super Balotelli” was the favorite for a short time
He just wanted to express that he was not demanding any special treatment for himself, but that backfired. But since there is hardly anything in this world that is as fast-paced as football, the same papers that had just demonized it headlined true hymns of praise for their new darling after the semi-final victory: “Super Balotelli. A star has risen. All of Italy is celebrating. We did it !!! Germany beat again. Now it’s Spain’s turn. “
But that didn’t work out as the Italian press had hoped. Spain was just too strong – for Mario Balotelli and his Italians. Clearly 4-0, “La Furia Roja” beat the men in their blue jerseys. And Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said after defending the title for the first time in European Championship history: “We won the final because we played our game to perfection.” Afterwards he promised with regard to the 2014 World Cup: “We’re still greedy!”
But two years later in Brazil, another team, which had just been put into the EM “coffin” by “two nails from mad Mario”, was supposed to be a little greedy than the Spaniards. And Balotelli? He went down together with his Italians in the preliminary round of the World Cup. So no new history was written. But the photo of “Mister Bummbastic” after scoring his second goal in the semi-finals at EURO 2012 will last forever.