By Chris Wright
Yep, after Mario Balotelli stuck away Italy’s second goal against Ireland with a pretty nifty volley, he got all lathered up and just was about to give us his finest warrior schtick until Leonardo Bonucci high-tailed over and forcibly saved him from himself – clasping a hand across Balotelli’s mouth and telling him repeatedly to calm down and shut up.
“Whatever he said, he said it in English and I didn’t understand it. I put my hand in front of him because Mario is instinctive, and that’s also his strength. We spoke with him and he knew how he should have behaved.”
The reason (as if he needs a reason) behind Balotelli’s little tantrum? One line of thinking is that some of the Ireland fans gave him a ribbing as he was warming up on the touchline earlier in the game, the other that Mario was sounding off on Cesare Prandelli for having the outright temerity not to start him.
Either way, Bonucci probably just saved him about £80,000.