I was watching jazz propaganda Treme last night and missed most of the Inter-Barcelona match. I did, however, tune-in in time to catch the latest instalment in the psychodrama that is Mario Balotelli’s professional sports career.
After being whistled and jeered by his own supporters for a couple of errant passes and shots, a raging Balotelli made a pretty clear showing of his pride for the Inter jersey after the final whistle.
My Italian is poor, but I understood the commentators 'Incred-e-blay' and 'no no no'.
The real drama, though, happened in the player’s tunnel when head-butt victim Marco Matterazi attacked Balotelli. Inter cast-off Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw it all and told Sky Sports:
"I saw that Materazzi was attacking him in the players' tunnel and I've never seen anything like it," Ibrahimovic told RAI.
"If I were him, I'd have left Mario alone, but Materazzi was attacking him and I was stunned. If Materazzi had attacked me like that, I would've decked him in a second!
"Materazzi was causing all sorts of trouble and in the Barcelona locker room we were amazed, all talking about it. A player should be proud after a win, not chase down a 19-year-old to berate him."
Not that Baloteli’s Inter team-mates offered much sympathy:
"What do I think of Balotelli, how much time have you got? You need to see what is in his head, he's like a child," Dejan Stankovic told Sky Sports.
There was even a strange fracas outside of Balotelli’s car in the San Siro car park (something seemed to have just happened after the camera jump at.07 as MB appoaches his car).
Jose Mourinho say Balotelli will play this weekend for Inter this weekend. For a bit of perspective on the complexities of Balotelli-hating, here's a recent Gabriele Maroitti piece