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Mario Balotelli Sets His House On Fire


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Mario Balotelli's remarkable capacity for self-inflicted problems resurfaced on the eve of the Manchester derby when he had to escape from his burning house after a fire caused by letting off fireworks in the bathroom in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Balotelli escaped unhurt but will be summoned to see Roberto Mancini to explain the latest moment of madness in his chequered career. City have been contacted by the fire service and Mancini will want to know what Balotelli was doing putting himself in such a position before their biggest match of the season.

Two fire crews using breathing apparatus put out the flames after being called to Balotelli's house just before 1am on Saturday to deal with what has been described as "a substantial fire" on the first floor. The property, in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire, sustained serious fire and smoke damage and the police were also called – in part to ensure Balotelli did not go back into the house. The striker is said to have been reluctant to leave his belongings and, at one point, to have run back inside to recover a quantity of money and a suitcase.

A police spokesman said: "At just before 1am on Saturday we were called to a report of a house fire at a residential home in Mottram St Andrew. Police provided assistance to Cheshire fire and rescue service as well as ensuring residents were accounted for and there was no danger to surrounding properties. At this time, the cause of the fire is being examined by fire investigators and the police. However, it is not thought to be suspicious."

Balotelli checked into a Manchester hotel and took part in training as normal at 10am. He has told club officials he and four friends were setting off fireworks through an open window. The bathroom towels set on fire and the blaze quickly spread. Balotelli has claimed that one of his friends had set off the firework. That, however, is unlikely to spare the player a reprimand from Mancini and a reminder that City's management staff would have expected him to be asleep at that time rather than exposing himself to the possibility of serious injury.

A statement from the fire service said: "Four breathing apparatus and two hose reel water jets were used to deal with the fire and a large fan was used to clear the smoke from the property. Crews managed to put out the fire within half an hour of arriving but remained at the scene until 2.45am to prevent any possible flare-ups. Smoke alarms were fitted at the property and the occupiers were able to get out unharmed. The fire was caused by a firework."

The incident comes at a bad time for Balotelli after Mancini's recent statements about noticing a "big improvement" in the player's behaviour. Balotelli has scored in his last four games and a major part of City's pre-derby training has been set up around him getting behind United's defence.

Mancini said on Friday that he hoped Balotelli was "changing his mentality" and putting behind him the controversies that have accompanied him since he signed from Internazionale for £25m last year. Balotelli has established himself as one of the more controversial figures in English football, his list of misdemeanours including an internal investigation after he was seen throwing darts at youth-team players.

Balotelli was substituted in the first half of a pre-season match in Los Angeles after he was given a simple chance to score and tried to back-heel the ball into the net, missing the target entirely. Yet he insisted in an interview in the past few days that he was growing up and would steer clear of controversy before, during and after the derby. He has recently moved from Manchester city centre and said he was living in the countryside for a quieter life.


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He has already provided more entertainment in a year than most footballers manage over an entire career. If there is a spot where genius meets insanity, Mario is sitting right on top of it.

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I still think the school bully story is the best. Saw a kid at training, asked him why he wasnt at school. Kid said he was being bullied so he didnt want to go. Balotelli drives the kid to school after training and makes the bully shake hands with the kid. He might be bonkers, but he has a heart of gold.

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Super Mario. No brains and money are a dangerous but sometimes brilliant combination.


In that respect Man City found the perfect replacement for Stephen Ireland

Yeah but Stephen Ireland is shit at football and rubs people up the wrong way. Mario is a nutbuster but people love him for it.

You can almost excuse it too, because he's a really good player.

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