Italy wins but Mario Balotelli’s actions results in him being “gagged” at Euro 2012
Mario Balotelli needed to be “gagged” after he scored a goal against the Republic of Ireland at Euro 2012. Italy’s defender Leonardo Bonucci stepped up to accept the responsibility of gagging his teammate. Later, Leonardo Bonucci explained why he had to do it.
Talking to media after the game Leonardo Bonucci, who has replaced Italy’s first team defender Giorgio Chiellini at Euro 2012, explained that he “gagged” Mario Balotelli because of the things he was saying.
The Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli scored the second goal for Italy to acquire a Group C victory and entry into the quarterfinals of Euro 2012.
“What he said [when he scored], he said in English and I didn't understand,” Leonardo Bonucci said. “So I put my hand in front of his mouth just in case, because Mario is instinctive but that is also his strength.”
This is not the first time Mario Balotelli has required a person to watch over his extreme actions. The Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is the person who usually plays keeps Mario Balotelli in check.
Mario Balotelli admits Roberto Mancini is a fatherly figure to him and that he has great respect for him. Roberto Mancini, who brought Mario Balotelli to Manchester City after he transferred as manager from Inter Milan, has kept Mario Balotelli out of trouble where no one can.
Anyway Italy’s coach Cesare Prandelli has took notice of Mario Balotelli’s outburst after scoring the goal against Republic of Ireland. According to Cesare Prandelli, Mario Balotelli’s outburst could be directed at him.
The 21-year-old striker, Mario Balotelli didn’t start in the 2-0 victory over Republic of Ireland. Later when Mario Balotelli was fielded the striker proved he was worth playing by scoring a goal. After scoring the goal, Mario Balotelli look towards the Italy bench and screamed a few words before Leonardo Bonucci clasped his hand over Mario Balotelli’s mouth.
“I don’t know if Balotelli was upset with me, I will ask him,” Cesare Prandelli said. “But from Bonucci’s gesture you can see the team spirit in the group.
“Why didn’t he celebrate the goal? Perhaps he is not able to express the joy he feels inside. He is like that but that doesn’t mean he is detached from the group.”
In spite of Mario Balotelli’s actions, Cesare Prandelli confessed he was pleased with Mario Balotelli’s performance and hoped he continued to grow as a world class player.
“When he entered the pitch he did what we asked him to do,” Cesare Prandelli said. “In order to take that leap and become a champion, Balotelli has to go through this moments. He has to accept criticism, being on the bench and for the team to demand more from him.”