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Balotelli outburst remains mystery

  • AFP, Tuesday, June 19, 2012 4:42 PM

Mario Balotelli lived up to his reputation for being unpredictable as he came off the bench to score a sensational second goal in Italy's 2-0 win over Ireland -- then instead of celebrating, seemed angry and started to shout something in the general direction of his own bench.

He was stopped from continuing his rant by teammate Leonardo Bonucci, who immediately came over, grabbed Balotelli in a celebratory hug and put his hand over Balotelli's mouth to shut him up.

What was Balotelli shouting? Bonucci sidestepped the question. "What he said he said in English and I didn't understand it," said Juventus defender. "I put my hand in front because Mario is instinctive and that's also his strength. We'd spoken with him before the game and he knew how he should behave."

Balotelli was benched after starting but playing poorly in Italy's first two group matches. Italy coach Claudio Prandelli criticized him for failing to follow his instructions.

Read the whole story at AFP »

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