10 Years Ago Today Mario Balotelli Tried A Flick In Pre-Season And Roberto Mancini Lost It


10 years ago today, one of the most infamous moments in Mario Balotelli’s career happened when he tried THAT flick in a pre-season fixture and felt the wrath of Roberto Mancini.

Manchester City were playing LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center as part of their tour of the United States and Balotelli put the sky blues 1-0 up with a penalty.

Then, on the half hour mark, the Italian striker had a glorious opportunity to double his and City’s tally when David Silva played him in behind with a archetypal exquisite pass.

Balotelli’s first touch was sublime and he was in one-on-one with the goalkeeper. In fact, it was actually a two vs one situation because Edin Dzeko had also advanced into the box and was free.

10 YEARS AGO TODAY: Mario Balotelli tried THAT flick against LA Galaxy in a pre-season friendly.

Safe to say Mancini was not impressed! 😅

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— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) July 24, 2021

But City’s No.45 tried to showboat and attempted a bizarre flicked finish that saw the ball roll wide. Dzeko was furious and let his teammate know.

Yet no-one was more angry than Mancini. He was quite clearly seething on the touchline and hooked Balotelli immediately, substituting him for James Milner.

He wanted Balotelli to head back to the changing room because he wanted it out of sight but the former Inter Milan man went and sat on the bench after a spat with his manager.

City went on to draw 1-1 against the MLS outfit and won on penalties, with goalkeeper Joe Hart scoring the decisive spot-kick.

But the moment with Balotelli was of course the main talking point post-match, with Mancini not happy with his player’s conduct.

Image: PA

“We need to be always professional, always serious, and in that moment I did not think Mario did this,” Mancini said post-match.

“That is why I took him off. He knows he made a mistake. In football you should always be serious and if you have a chance to score, you should score. I hope he has learned his lesson.”

Balotelli has always claimed he thought he was offside, but Mancini was not having it.

He added: “Mario is streetwise, he knows he was not offside.”