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Balotelli car crash adds to his legend

  • AP, Friday, April 6, 2012 4:29 PM

In the eyes of the law, at least, you can't blame this one on City striker Mario Balotelli. Police said officers responded to reports of a collision between two cars shortly after 3:15 p.m. in Manchester city center on Thursday. The club said no one was injured in the incident and that Balotelli, who was driving a Bentley, was not at fault.

The 21-year-old Italy international has rarely been out of the headlines since arriving in England in 2010. The saga of his life added another chapter this week when he admitted to an affair with a woman who Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney repeatedly slept with while his wife was pregnant. Jennifer Thompson was working as an escort when she and another call girl were linked with Rooney in 2010.

"Mario is a young and impulsive football player and as such he is an easy target for tabloids looking for stories and people seeking to benefit from being associated with him,'' Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola said in a statement. "Lately I feel that the chase has become more purposeful and women, in particular, are targeting Mario looking to make money from him directly or by selling stories to newspapers that relate to situations which they have intentionally pursued.

"It now seems that one of these women has succeeded and the newspapers have their story. In this regard, we therefore wish to confirm that Mario has had a brief involvement with Miss Jennifer Thompson, a well-known figure amongst tabloid readers in England."

City manager Roberto Mancini has complained that Balotelli's headline-grabbing lifestyle has been overblown. "There are some people who think bad things against other people, like Mario,'' Mancini said. "Every time Mario does something, [it] is like a war. There are other people on and off the pitch that do worse than Mario and no one says anything because maybe they play for an important team or are not like Mario."

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