Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has capped off another memorable week with revelations of prostitutes followed by a roadside prang in the space of just 24 hours.
The Italian hit headlines on Wednesday, when his agent, Mino Raiola, confirmed that he had enjoyed a ‘brief involvement’ with Jennifer Thompson, who shot to notoriety in 2010 when she alleged that she had been paid £1,200-a-night to have sex with Wayne Rooney, who plays United, while his wife, Colleen, was pregnant with their son, Kai.
The affair is said to have taken place at Balotelli’s Cheshire mansion in February, just two days before he publicly declared his love for his girlfriend, Raffaella Fico, after opening the scoring for City during their 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers.
Revelations of Balotelli’s liaison with the call girl were made all the more remarkable by the fact that he had taunted Miss Thompson about her fling with England hit man Rooney when he saw her in a Manchester restaurant last year by chanting ‘Rooney! Rooney!’
Little over 24 hours after his agent’s revelation, Balotelli was involved in further drama as his white Bentley collided with a Vauxhall Corsa in the Deansgate Locks area of Manchester. The 21-year-old was unharmed but his female passenger taken to hospital as a precaution while the driver of the other car also emerged from the incident, which City insists was not the player’s fault, unscathed.
The incidents are merely the latest in a growing list of controversies since Balotelli’s ‚¬22million move from Internazionale in summer 2010.
He was involved in an on-field squabble with team mate Aleksandar Kolarov over who would take a free kick during City’s draw with Sunderland in the English Premier League last weekend, which saw the Abu Dhabi-owned club’s bid to wrestle the title from local rivals Manchester United falter further.Manager Roberto Mancini later revealed that he had considered substituting his compatriot as early as the fifth minute of the 3-3 thriller.
He was fined £250,000 by City at the beginning of March after being photographed leaving a Liverpool strip club in the early hours, less than 48 hours before his side were due to take on Bolton Wanderers, while in January he was given a retrospective four-match suspension by the Football Association for stamping on the head of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Scott Parker during their clash at the Etihad Stadium, which City won 3-2 thanks to a stoppage time penalty from Balotelli.
Last October, on the eve of the Manchester derby, he was forced to flee his Cheshire home after a fire caused by setting off fireworks in the bathroom saw police and fire crews tend to the blaze. Balotelli proceeded to score twice against United at Old Trafford in the 6-1 rout, during which he revealed a t-shirt bearing the words ‘Why always me?’