BALOTELLIItalian bad boy Mario Balotelli took time out during Manchester City’s clash with LA Galaxy to show the world a new brand of comedy attacking play. The 20-year-old was clear on goal but, instead of shooting, donned clown shoes and opted to drag the ball back before backheeling it wide instead.

Roberto Mancini knew that when he signed Balotelli – it was always going to be a gamble, but after seeing the action, he promptly subbed him off. “We exchanged words in Italian” said Mancini, “but it is hard to translate what we said into English”. A solid source has informed BBM that it was something about “timing” and “knowing his audience”.

“I just wanted to try something different, people need a laugh, but I think American fans just didn’t get it. The guys loved the one I did with the dart and the youth player.” Balotelli said. “Football is not all about scoring goals – people need to understand this”.

City earned a third victory on their pre-season tour of the United States, winning the game 7-6 on penalties after it had finished 1-1, but the match was overshadowed by Balotelli’s actions, which prompted jeers from the crowd at the Home Depot Center.

Ross Fisher