Mario Balotelli taunts coach who said he had “no brain” with cheeky goal celebration
Mario Balotelli got one over on a coach who said he had “no brain” by scoring against his side then taunting him with a cheeky goal celebration.
Balotelli joined Turkish side Adana Demirspor in the summer in the latest chapter of his colourful career.
The Italian striker showed early promise at Inter Milan and Manchester City but flopped at Liverpool, before having spells at AC Milan, Nice, Marseille, Brescia and Monza.
But he often made the headlines for his eccentric behaviour off the pitch – including handing out money in the centre of Manchester and accidentally setting fire to his bathroom.
He could be equally bizarre on the field of play – with one incident sticking in the memory during a pre-season match in the USA in 2013.
Playing for Man City against LA Galaxy, Balotelli was one-on-one with the keeper when he decided to back-heel the ball, but missed the shot and was immediately hauled off.
That earned him a rebuke from former Turkey player Sergen Yalcin, who was working as a pundit at the time and said Balotelli had “no brain”.
And eight years later, the 31-year-old forward finally got his revenge as he scored against Super Lig leaders Besiktas, who are now managed by Yalcin.
Besiktas took a 3-0 lead on Tuesday night before Matias Vargas pulled one back for Demirspor, and Balotelli continued the fightback when he fired home a deflected shot with just 11 minutes remaining.
With Yalcin’s words having clearly made an impact, Balotelli ran to the opposition bench and simply pointed to his brain.
He then had the last laugh when he set up team-mate Britt Assombalonga for a tap-in, completing the fightback and securing what could prove a vital point for his mid-table team.
Balotelli could have ended up playing for Besiktas, having been linked with the Turkish giants last year when he left his hometown club Brescia before signing for Monza.
But Yalcin wasn’t having any of that, having told his club president Balotelli had “problems both on and outside the pitch”.
“When the club president asked me, I said we needed a less problematic forward, but I never said no,” the Besiktas boss said.
“I said he was an expensive player with problems both on and outside the pitch. And I told them I wouldn’t take his responsibility and he should be transferred only if the club’s management was willing to take the blame if it created problems.”
Balotelli’s goal against Besiktas meant he had scored for a second successive game, having also netted in a 3-1 win over Rizespor last time out.