If there’s one striker who has delivered this tournament, matching his reputation with brilliant goals it has to be the one and only Balotelli.
Unlike Rooney and Ronaldo (who to me seem like spoilt little boys cursing others for their failure), Balotelli keeps things interesting while also doing what he’s paid to do – and not just that but doing it extremely well. When Portugal went out to Spain, Ronaldo looked up at God and actually told him off! And there’s no trace of humour or irony there. Probably because he doesn’t know what that is. Rooney seems overrated and seems to fail to deliver when it really counts. He can never do it for his country, but can nearly always do it for Sir Fergie.
This Euro 2012 has been a tumultuous contest with a lot going on behind the scenes (racism has been rife in the Ukraine and many other countries’ supporters have shown their nasty sides whilst watching the so-called ‘beautiful game’.
But Balotelli carries on regardless; he makes the beautiful game beautiful whilst simultaneously making our morning red-tops readable. He effortlessly heads in goals in the first sixteen minutes and somehow retains his dignity even when caught up in front-page shame.
His humour makes him likable. Last Christmas he bought all of his team-mates petrol just because he could afford to, making him the Father Christmas mascot of Man City and putting joy into the lives of an already-very-privileged- group of wealthy, spoilt young men. And he did it just because he could.
But the two goals like he scored against Germany remind you of just how talented he is. He silences the critics by smashing the ball into the back of the net. And when he’s done that, he’s pretty much entitled to do what he hell he wants off.