Mario Balotelli infuriated Adana Demirspor manager Vincenzo Montella after the two nearly collided on the field after Saturday’s Turkish Super Lig game.
Following the final whistle of a 1-0 Turkish Super Lig victory over Umraniye, the striker appeared to make a comment to Montella after the game that appeared to provoke the coach to the point where he had to be restrained from the striker.
Balotelli, who isn’t afraid to speak his mind and cause controversy, remarked Montella, who then turned around and attempted to lunge at the 32-year-old, and they were only separated by a last-ditch intervention by pitch staff.
It is not the first time Balotelli has clashed with his manager, with an infamous incident with his former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini during a training session resulting in the two squabbling before the striker was removed from the field.
Balotelli has frequently made headlines for his outlandish behavior off the field, such as handing out money in the middle of Manchester and accidentally setting fire to his bathroom.
Following his switch from Italian side Monza, the striker had enjoyed a true return to Turkey, scoring 19 goals last season. It was Balotelli’s second-highest goal total in a single season, trailing only his 26 goals for Nice in 2017-18.
The 32-year-old had been linked with a return to the Italian national team; Balotelli’s winner against England in the 2014 group stage remains Italy’s last goal during the World Cup finals, and the 2006 champions haven’t played a knockout game in the competition since that year’s final.
Mario Balotelli hasn’t played for Italy’s senior team since 2018. However, because of his performance in the Super Lig, Mancini called him up for a training camp earlier this year.
Following the nation’s failure to qualify for this year’s World Cup due to a shock playoff defeat by North Macedonia, Mancini’s own mother questioned the decision to leave out Balotelli.
Balotelli revealed in his Sky Sports interview that he had not discussed the situation with Mancini. “I’m glad he’ll stay in charge because he’s already won the Euros,” he added. “People are disappointed, but we can’t forget what the coach has achieved.”
Kevin Rodrigues’ sixth-minute goal gave Adana Demirspor a 1-0 victory.
Montella’s post-match interview had calmed him down, but that didn’t stop him from slamming his striker.
“I can only say that we expect more from him,” Montella said at a post-match press conference.
“These things can happen at the end of a game. Sometimes adrenaline makes you say other things, but to me, it ends here.”
This season, Balotelli has yet to make a start for his team. He’s come off the bench twice and failed to score both times.
Adana Demirspor are second in the Super Lig with nine points from their first four games. They currently trail the leaders, Gaziantep, by one point.