Throwback: Fuming Mancini subs Balotelli after failed trick shot

Mario Balotelli during the match between Internazionale and Manchester City at Aviva Stadium, Dublin, July 2011.

On 24 July, 2011, Manchester City‘s Mario Balotelli was substituted off by a fuming Roberto Mancini after he tried and failed to execute a ridiculous trick shot in a pre-season friendly.

Just one of several memorable moments from Balotelli’s two and a half years as a City player, Mancini might be able to look back at such antics from his Italian compatriot and smile a decade later. But he didn’t see the funny side at the time.

Having been played through on goal, the striker evidently thought he’d add some panache into the mix in a routine pre-season friendly in Los Angeles, but rather than humiliate the hosts – La Galaxy – he himself was left looking a bit daft after his pirouette shot tamely tumbled wide of the post.

“I hope this is a lesson for him,” said Mancini after the match, having taken Balotelli off midway through the first half. “In football you always need to be professional, always serious and in this moment he wasn’t professional. He needs to understand his behaviour has to be good in every game – not just in a final or a semi-final but every game.”

Four days later, City signed Sergio Aguero and the rest is history.

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