Mario Balotelli Fights With Teammate Over Penalty Kick, Wins Game For Liverpool (Video)
Some late-game drama unfolded during Thursday’s UEFA Europa League match between Liverpool and Besiktas at Anfield. And of course, Mario Balotelli was in the middle of it.
With the game tied 0-0 in the 84th minute, Liverpool was awarded a penalty kick when Besiktas defender Ramon took down Jordon Ibe in the box. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson seemed to think he was the team’s designated penalty taker, but that’s when Super Mario swooped in, stole the ball from his captain, told him to take a hike, and scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 Liverpool victory.
It was quite the scene. Check it out:
After the game, there were varying opinions on this matter. We’ll begin with Henderson, who downplayed the whole incident quite nicely:
“I wanted the penalty, Mario felt confident and he has taken big penalties before. Everyone wants to take them. I felt confident in Mario, he has taken big penalties before and he got the nod.”
Spoken like a true captain.
And then there was Liverpool’s actual captain, Steven Gerrard, who didn’t dress due to an injury. He was working as an analyst for ITV during the match, and he seemed to do a good job at playing the role of the critical pundit, rather than the impartial teammate:
“Jordan should have taken the penalty. Rules are rules. It should have been Henderson. Mario has been a bit mischievous,’ the former England captain said on ITV. “Credit to Mario, he’s scored, but it’s not nice to see when footballers are arguing. I think Jordan has handled the situation very well. He can see that Mario really wanted to score. Jordan walked away at the right moment and handled his post-match interview very well. “Jordan is the captain and Mario showed Jordan a bit of disrespect there, but he’s scored a very important goal. I think six or seven players would have wanted to take that penalty so if they all say they are taking it, what happens then? Rules are in place for a reason.”
Finally, there was Balotelli himself, who issued the following statement via his Instagram account:
A photo posted by Mario Balotelli (@mb459) on
As for my own personal thoughts on the situation, I’ll be honest, I’m just happy to see Super Mario back in the news again. We all should be.
Hat Tip – [Daily Mail]