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Mario Balotelli Backheel Flub Ends in Substitution for City: Video

In Sunday’s preseason friendly between Manchester City and LA Galaxy, with City in the lead 1-0, star striker Mario Balotelli was one-on-one with the goalkeeper. All that was needed was a simple tap-in and it would have been 2-0 to the Premier League side. But Balotelli never does things easy, so he created a lovely backheel and knocked the ball toward goal. Except he missed the mark and it ended as a goal kick for the MLS side.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was so enraged by Balotelli’s indiscretion that he immediately substituted the Italian striker and gave him a mouthful when he came off to the side of the pitch.

But what do you think? Did Mancini overreact? Obviously Balotelli was just trying to have some fun and was doing some showboating skills. City went on to draw the meaningless match 1-1 (and won on penalty kicks). Or did Balotelli overstep his boundaries and should have given LA Galaxy more respect by trying to score instead of entertaining himself (and the crowd)?

Share your opinion in the comments section below.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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81 Responses to Mario Balotelli Backheel Flub Ends in Substitution for City: Video

  1. Ramiro says:

    Que hijodeputa! you have to sub that SOB out. It’s a matter of respect or lack there of, shameful.

  2. BBC says:

    He didn’t do it on purpose. . . he heard a whistle. It’s completely obvious.

  3. eChelseaFC says:

    Football is about entertainment, he tried something and failed in a nothing match.

    If players dont try new things in friendlies then when else will they?

  4. Evan says:

    haha Balotelli is a legend in my opinion.
    He tried something different… so what?

    He better NEVER try this in an important game though.

  5. Mad_Andy says:

    He showed absolutely no respect for the fans that paid a lot of money to see a team play that they possibly ever get to see live again. Cheap trick and he deserved to get pulled off and get a bollocking at the same time.

    • Evan says:

      and by not scoring a simple tap in and doing something far more interesting, you’re saying he wasted everyone’s money???

      football is about entertainment.
      He definitely entertained me.

      • trickybrkn says:

        No. it wasn’t entertainment. It was a man, who is emotionally a child, but a rather good footballer making yet another bone headed choice.

        The guy is a bad tackle, a punch, a whatever away from bringing a whole lot of shame on City.

        total loose cannon. Rodman x1000

  6. Why? says:

    You could say he was being disrespectful to do this in a proper game Cup or League game that is, Mancini has taken him off because he has asked him especially to behave. The boy acts like a 6 year old, but then again if he had scored it would have been a different story great goal etc. etc. Show boating in a friendly is the place to do it, it’s entertainment that the fans want surely?
    Apparently if you Put Balotelli’s name out there it’s a disgrace, he’s the sports media’s favourite whipping boy and even if Mancini did over react a touch watch what a manic media do tomorrow it‘s gonna be nuts! If that was Rooney they would be creaming themselves over his skill and that he had the confidence t try that and everyone knows this would be the case.
    He does need to stop being a plank full stop though it’s starting to get a bit boring!

    • Jake Islas says:

      You’re wrong. Even had he scored it, it still would have been disrespectful and I believe Mancini still would have pulled him. It’s disrespectful to the Galaxy and the MLS. It means that it’s a joke to him, that the upcoming season that City are preparing for is a joke to him, it’s just a joke. Balotelli is a joke.

      And yes if Rooney or anyone else for that matter acted like a clown it would still be publicized the same way, plain and simple. I really don’t understand how you can defend this man, especially in this instance. He’s a clown. You’re obviously a blind fan.

    • trickybrkn says:

      If Rooney tried that, it would have been because it was he’s only option…

      And I think my comments here on the state of Wayne are pretty clear.

      Its not like this is media generated. its Mario generated.

      • Why? says:

        Balotelli’s problems are highlighted constantly by the press even a t-shirt that is sold in the high street and worn buy other footballers is hyped up to be him supporting gun crime! Rooney lives a sordid existence and look at the way you speak of him you PLANK. Not only cheated on his wife, paid for old grannies and other prostitutes, said his club had no ambition and slams in a transfer request after doing nothing for over a year, screams obscenities at fans, is vain as hell with his pathetic hair plugs, and elbows a player in the face and you hold him up to a model in comparison to Balotelli? The man is barely Human. I suppose Balotelli is much worse though eh as he’s in the papers more! You are a pillock of the highest order!

        P.S I haven’t got a clue about your Americanisms who the hell is Nancy Kerrigan? or Rodman x1000 strange second name.

    • trickybrkn says:

      and I think for now on we’ll call you nancy kerrigan….

    • MUFC77 says:

      The guys a tw*t and he is becoming an embarrassment to the club and its fans but since I have him in my fantasy team this season im glad he choose to do this in a pre season game.

      Any thoughts on his disrespect towards Mancini after he was taken off, You know if someone had of disrespected Fergie like that in public his utd career would be over. Surely Mancini has to discipline the lad or he may lose respect of other players.

      • Why? says:

        You are getting mixed up with yourself I think as you are constantly on City stories having a go for some reason. Why is that?.He plays the fool he is only just 20 and needs to grow up. Everything he has done has been minor unlike your player Rooney you tard!

        ‘You know if someone had of disrespected Fergie like that in public his utd career would be over.’

        Why is the fat scouser with the wig still there then? Didn’t he go to the national media saying that Fergie’s team was not good enough, has no ambition and that he wanted to leave? If that isn’t disrespectful or public enough for you I don’t know what is!!! What else does he have to do slap him right on his big red nose??? Numpty LOL

        • MUFC77 says:

          You really need to get over your insecurity mate of “Macnchester city” stories and who can and cant comment on them, last time i checked this site wasn’t directed at one set of fans.

          What im trying to say about Ballotelli is if Mancini just brushes it off and baby’s him doesn’t that send out the wrong message to the rest of the squad that he somehow getting preferential treatment, cant be good for moral.

          • Why? says:

            What insecurity is this? Any one can comment but you sprout constant bitter bile against them? Why do you feel the need to do this and then laughingly call City fans bitter? Go and look on Utd’s posts see how many City fans are there spewing drivel like you about City, again why do you feel the need to do this? (Try to answer)

            For a start there isn’t much to brush off is there? But then again you could mean like Fergie brushed of Rooney’s comments on leaving your club eh? God you talk some right shxte!

  7. Matt says:

    Man United beat the Sounders 6-0 … you didn’t see any of their players pulling antics like that. Save it for the training ground, there’s no reason to do that in any match…even if it’s a friendly.

  8. wil bishop says:

    I thought it was nothing to get worked up about. I thought he heard a whistle and tried something normally he wouldnt, he looked like he felt embarrassed and immediately almost set up Silva for a goal. Also, Im an Arsenal fan so I wouldnt cut im much slack.

    Wil

    • Why? says:

      I have just seen the vid above I had already seen it in the game but didn’t see him go up to Mancini. It does looks like he is gesturing that he had heard a whistle, not that that will change any bodies thinking or dislike for him, but if it does turn out to be the case the boy has done nothing wrong at all not that I think he did that much anyway.

      • trickybrkn says:

        so he’s a liar as well.

        • Why? says:

          I am not Balotelli and at a guess neither is Wil bishop so how can you call Balotelli a liar? He hasn’t said anything! he make a gesture that was interpreted a certain way by wil bishop. Maybe you should be writing for the press with dumb statements like that ‘Balotelli lies about disgusting behaviour while beheading three homeless children in L.A‘.
          At the start of the vid there is a whistle after which his whole body language changes. I couldn’t care less if he heard a whistle or not for me he has done nothing wrong anyway. Mancini over reacts but I can understand him taking him off as he has probably had many a word with him about his behaviour and he just thought word are not enough, if it was Dzeko or Tevez nothing would be said except that didn’t work out well but because it’s Mario well everyone just loves to put the boot in to the 20yr old every story about him is sensationalise by a blood thirsty media, it’s pretty pathetic if you ask me.
          Oh and where the hell do the American TV stations get these presenters from they were piss poor they didn‘t even know who was on the pitch.

          • trickybrkn says:

            Just so you get it right…

            Mario said he thought he was off side, NOT a whistle.

            His own manager said he very well he wasn’t and has said “If you [Balotelli] are serious, you can play 90 minutes. If not, you can come and sit by me on the bench.”

            As for this being some pumped up story by the media… You can’t do so much stupid crap as Mario has, and then blame the media.

            I get you may be a City fan, that you love the club, that you want his to be a success, BUT COME ON.

            Just read what his manager said…
            http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/14270989.stm

          • Why? says:

            Just to put you right actually…… Mario hasn’t said anything! I have seen the interview with Mancini and I don’t recall him mentioning anything about off side, he is not even quoted in your link saying anything either. How is this putting anyone right? Just because the journalist wrote
            ‘”I hope this is a lesson,” said boss Roberto Mancini, who denied Balotelli may have thought that he was offside.’ doesn’t mean it happened, the second part is NOT a quote don‘t you know that? I prefer to wait to hear what they say themselves!

            ‘As for this being some pumped up story by the media… You can’t do so much stupid crap as Mario has, and then blame the media. ‘

            Yeah you’re right it’s headline news that he missed a back heal, he drove into a prison lost major news, or wore a T-shirt stop the press what about a fall out with a player in training it’s unheard of isn’t it? he visits Sicily so he’s in with the Mafia! He messes about at training and he’s trying to kill his mates! None of this has been pumped up by the media at all has it you right how clever you are to notice these terrible injustices, well done you!

            ‘Mario said he thought he was off side, NOT a whistle.’
            Mario nor Mancini have said no such thing to my knowledge but I’ll state again that whistle or not players try these things if they didn’t some of football’s greatest moments would never have happened!

            Mario is fast becoming a City fans favourite not only is he a highly skilled player but his antics are very entertaining, and with the media on his back for absolutely everything he does he gets my backing as this cannot be easy at 20.Yes he is immature but then so are many 20 years olds and many even older!

  9. Dino says:

    A complete ass clown.

  10. Eric says:

    The fact that a few people support his “entertainment” action…well, that just sums up your knowledge of being a professional footballer, the class you always hope your club displays on the pitch and the respect you hope your club displays to the opposition, no matter how much hate there is between clubs/supporters.

    Happy to see Mancini do what he did and I respect that.

    Rooney would never try anything like that unless he thought it was in the best interest in scoring, actually, Wazza might have tried to chip the keeper.

  11. trickybrkn says:

    I saw this live, and maybe I’m just old school. But, If I was on LA and he remained on the pitch. Well…

    Philly Union played Everton last week. Christian Hernandez, scored a late goal and celebrated like he’d never done it before or it was the WC final. John Heitinga already on a yellow took it to him at the death and was red carded. Was it stupid of Heitinga,probably, Did Hernandez deserve it? hmmm. maybe.

    This entertainment meme in sport, forgets that there should be a honor among teams/ players.

    like I said… maybe I’m old school. or maybe I like football and not PS3 fifa.

    • Billy says:

      Another old school-er(?) here. It looked ridiculous. It was a friendly. I don’t need to be reminded that his skill level is far above everyone else in the MLS. Classless move.

      I’m a MLS guy (an American with an English mother, cursed?:). Most of these friendlies have been fun and good for the league save for this one. Poisoned by Balotelli. Had he tried that in Columbus or, dare I say (with respect) West Ham, he wouldn’t have made it out off the grounds without the aid of crutches.

  12. brn442 says:

    Meaningless friendly?? With the season about to start in less than 3 weeks?
    In a close match with only 30 minutes gone – - he does that? 3+ up in the 86th minute, maybe…..

    With any other player, you would give the benefit of doubt but with Barlotelli, it showed again, a sheer lack of professionalism – would he even dare do that in training? Would Rooney do such a thing?

  13. Taimur says:

    didn’t look like Mancini REALLY gave Balotelli the frolicking he deserved. He should have gone up to Balotelli and yelled into his face and his coaching assistants should have also scolded him and given a lesson. Balotelli has to grow up AND DO IT QUICK.

  14. Keith says:

    Who cares?

  15. Graham says:

    Balotelli has trouble putting a bib on/youtube sensation.
    Crashes two Lambos in one week.
    Throws darts out a window directed at Man City’s youth academy members.
    Basically trys to take on the whole Manchester United side after the FA Cup Semi Final.
    And now this.. He’s one of the most talented young players in the world… Somebody needs to take this young man aside and tell HIM TO GROW UP. Or I really do fear all of this talent will go to waste.

    • Why? says:

      Could be a lot worse:

      He could of have cheated on his long term partner, had sex with grannies and paid for it with many other ladies of the night. Screamed Fxck off to a well other million TV viewers on prime time TV, brutally elbowed an opposition player in the face cos things were not going his way and then held his club to ransom for a mercenary pay check while disrespecting them in the media saying that they had no ambition halfway through the season.

      Maybe if he behaves like this he would become a National hero! No it could never happen, or could it????

      • Trickybrkn says:

        And now you try and justify Mario with Rooney…

        Come on. As vile as Rooney is as a human being, last thing you could say about him is a lack of desire and effort.

        I personally don’t like him, but apples and oranges here.

        Ps if you don’t understand something, try google.

  16. Danilo says:

    Get Rid Of Him How long can a team keep putting up with his load of crap He is nothing but a parasite and or a distraction to the team Someone needs to put him in his place but he doesnt care thats why he does it right. Hes a professional footballer and thats a privilage unfortunatley he doesnt understand

    • Football Knight says:

      Speculate no more . . . if it were me; I believe the lad would do benefit from being sent on loan to an MLS Team for six months . . . .

  17. Support Your Local Team Guyz says:

    A person who, instead of supporting their own cities A-League team, chooses to support a team which plays 3000km’s away.
    Real football fan: “hey man do you wanna come watch melbourne play sydney next weekend?”

    eurosnob: ” nah the a-league is sh*t, I watch teams who play over 4000km’s away and I have no real connection to”.

  18. Leo says:

    MB was just trying to copy the UAE vs Lebanon game. At least that guy made his shot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnKW-yVTSrM

    • Why? says:

      What you don’t know is this guy was lead of to the centre circle after the goal and beheaded in front of the crowd for being so disrespectful and then they used his head as a football for the rest of the game, rightly an all! So you see Balotelli got off lightly, But seriously how bad was that keeper.

  19. US Fan says:

    To those who say this is “just a friendly”, “it doesn’t matter”, “it’s ok to have fun”… well I guess even ManCity’s own players don’t agree with you: Look at the video right after Balo fails to execute and notice his own team-mate throws his hands up in disgust.

    • Why? says:

      ‘his own team-mate throws his hands up in disgust.’

      No he didn’t, he’s rightfully pissed of because he could have passed to him. Why are people throwing in words like ‘disgust’. Do ya’ll think Dzeko won’t speak to him now?

  20. Support Your Local Team Guyz says:

    eurosnob 24 up, 6 down
    A person who, instead of supporting their own cities A-League team, chooses to support a team which plays 3000km’s away.
    Real football fan: “hey man do you wanna come watch melbourne play sydney next weekend?”

    eurosnob: ” nah the a-league is sh*t, I watch teams who play over 4000km’s away and I have no real connection to”.

  21. Football is about entertainment, he tried something and failed in a nothing match.City went on to draw the meaningless match 1-1

    • Why? says:

      Meaningless, match! how very dare you! This match was very important I can’t think why but is was! Balotelli should be executed for what he has done. Imagine trying a bit of trickery in a game of this stature this kind of thing should be left to game that are meaningless it is just not football. No other player has ever tried anything like this ever or they would never be allowed to play again with a life time ban it’s just outrageous!
      No it doesn’t happen in 1 out of 2 games skills like these should never be used they are dangeous and could take a small childs eye out!and when it’s that evil child killing basxard Balotelli it’s just compounds the whole issue. Disgusting!!! LOL

      The bitter ones on here have an excuse they’re pathetic and yes that includes you Mr Hammer ‘I don’t hate City’ fan.
      The others really need to put this into perspective if that ball had hit the back of the net it would be being replayed every 5 minutes on SKY sports and lorded as an amazing skill. Only the fact that it didn’t come off would have been forgotten with any other player.

  22. Balotelli… Class-less. It’s like he thinks he’s from a superior planet. Remember when the cop pulled him over and he had close to 40,000 English pounds in cash on his passenger seat, and the cop asked him why, and he said, “Because I can”? What a whack job.

    I bet he’s total poison in the locker room. It’s a good thing I’m not a City fan.

    • Why? says:

      Yes I remember it well I was stood next to the reporter from the Daily Scum while he was taking notes. Funny I don’t remember seeing you there though. Maybe you got hold of the confidential police records though but then again there wouldn’t have been any as there was no crime, Hmmm I wonder where this story came from and how many whispers it took to get to you?.

      If you think he is poison you should go to City’s site to watch some of the training I think you will find he is very popular member of the squad one of the players that keeps the team entertained with his antics but you could write a story saying the complete opposite then the green eyed amongst those on this site could agree with you!

  23. Mac says:

    I can’t believe people are defending this just because it was a pointless match. He needs to act like a professional and play every game like it’s a cup final. Mancini said it best when he took Balotelli off immediately and told him that if didn’t want to act professional then he could just watch the match like a spectator. Balotelli is a gifted player, but his talent isn’t worth all the baggage that comes with him. He needs to realise how lucky he is to be in his position. There are numerous players out there who match his class as a footballer and exceed his class as a person; he should learn from them.

  24. Mike Perez says:

    Even tho Balotelli is very good talent hes not very smart on and off pitch is man acts like a child btw LA Galaxy play pretty good even tho its a friendly

  25. Mike says:

    Mario did nothing wrong. Look, it’s so obvious. Someone in the crowd blew a whistle, and he totally slows up and just cheekily plays the ball thinking he’s offside. When he gets subbed off, he even makes a motion to his mouth like a whistle, and then points to the crowd. Sheesh, nothing wrong here. Calm down people. I’m sure the coach will end up doing the apologizing, for jumping to conclusions. How long has everyone been watching football for? So obvious.

    • MCHobbit says:

      My initial opinion of this was very negative – and I’m a City supporter – but it has slowly shifted after I watched the video a few times again (and I was watching this live).

      It does seem like he did hear the fan-whistle, as he was pushing hard on goal and then quickly pulled up, and proceeded to do the infamous back-heel, which it doesn’t even look like he was overly concerned with it going in or not.

      So I think that he likely DID thing he heard a whistle, and in his own showboat way was just trying to dump the ball off.

      That said, his reaction to Mancini’s decision was typical spoiled-child-Mario.

  26. Former Devil Doc says:

    This clown reminds me of the black football players here in the United States; they feel the need to showboat instead of playing the game. Too bad that most of these overpaid punks do not have the class Jerry White had.

  27. eplnfl says:

    I got the feeling there are other things going on between the player and the coach that made it necessary to take him out. It may otherwise have been overlooked except for the locker room where it properly should have been commented on by the coach.

  28. CNN Today says:

    The young Italian’s crazy/amusing side strikes again, Roberto Mancini not happy! The Etihad Stadium boss will have to be careful about placing any punishment upon the striker given that two of his other forwards, Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor are seemingly unavailable to the City boss. …………. http://tinyurl.com/6arsf74

  29. Evan says:

    Ultimately, we should make consider whether his spin really was “disgraceful” or “insulting”. He didn’t flick a V-sign at the crowd, or spit in an opponent’s face. He just did something a little bit different. And that is what Mario Balotelli is all about.

  30. Dave says:

    Show boating in a pre-season friendly eh?

    He should be shot.

  31. MNUfan1991 says:

    I praise the Lord every time I realize Balotelli’s not wearing a United shirt…
    … and I’m an atheist!

  32. Matt says:

    This is getting way more attention that it merits.

    I’m surely not a fan of Mario, but if this isn’t the time to try to pull something ridiculous, then when is? This game is in fact meaningless. It’s a way to make money for both clubs. City gets some compensation plus they are given an adequate stage to showcase their brand and try to gain supporters in the states, as well as continue to elevate the fitness of their players. LA got a massive crowd.

    I flicked on sportscenter this morning just as they were running through the greatest showboating blunders of all time. I was shocked that they mentioned this in with debacles that were made in games that actually mattered.

    We’ve all got to move on from this. Or at least put the video of Balotelli wrestling with his bib. That one never gets old.

  33. tonyspeed says:

    At this point Mario is a scape goat for chumps to let out their frustrations on. Unfortunately society needs punching bags. It just seems to be more vehement punching when that individual is black….pause for thought.

  34. Robert says:

    I like the flare and quite frankly this is a friendly in a meaningless match.

  35. Hatescum says:

    shocking disrespectful… FOLLOW THE AND ONLY YNWA PASSION!! Aggorant dirty player… no excuses for his persanol problems cleary not gonna help, he is an great talent but he spoils it.

  36. King Eric says:

    honestly, the whole incident is pretty funny and has given us something to talk about, i mean look at how many comments. transfer activity has been boring and dead for over a week now pretty much, so this livens things up a bit wouldn’t you say? not necessarily for the right reasons, but it even made sports center ha!

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