A former teammate of controversial Italian striker Mario Balotelli has revealed one of his craziest habits from when he was playing at Internazionale.
Brazilian midfielder Kerlon, who was once hailed as the next Ronaldinho, joined Inter in 2008 but couldn’t make much of an impact, spending most of his time there out on loan. The 27-year-old, however, still remembers a young Mario Balotelli’s crazy antics at the club.
“Balotelli is a very nice guy and an extraordinary person, but he did some unbelievable things off the pitch,” Kerlon was quoted as saying by ESPN Brazil.
“He had a habit of arriving at training before anyone else and peeing on all the players’ boots… it was very funny. I’ve never seen a kid at 18-years-old do something like it and not feel sorry for any of it, even to Julio Cesar and Maicon.”
He added that none of the players seemed to take Balotelli’s pranks to heart and would mostly pat him on his head and thought of him as a kid. Even Italian World Cup winner Marco Materazzi would only jokingly fight with the young striker, and treated him like a younger brother.
Why always Balotelli?
Balotelli eventually left Inter Milan in 2010 for Manchester City, after manager Jose Mourinho had had enough of his off-pitch antics and trouble-making ways. But his stint at the Etihad Stadium brought even more controversy, leading to his eventual return to Serie A and Inter’s bitter rivals AC Milan.
The Italian striker was then sold to Liverpool for the 2013-14 season but failed there as well, and is now back at AC Milan on a loan deal. The 25-year-old has not been in the news for the right reasons throughout his career, but his talent is still well acknowledged in the footballing world. It remains to be seen if he can clean up his act and finally succeed as a player.