Manchester City news

Balotelli joins firework safety campaign

October 25, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has come full circle since his bathroom fire escapade by fronting a campaign to promote firework safety.

Mario Balotelli
GettyImagesMario Balotelli is mobbed by his team-mates after silencing Old Trafford

Balotelli was at the heart of the action in the Manchester derby, scoring the first two goals in an incredible 6-1 defeat of arch rivals United. The Italian, though, hogged the headlines before the game when fireworks were let off in his house the day before the clash.

The colourful front-man responded by revealing a t-shirt which read 'Why always me?' after his opening goal. Balotelli added that fans could "work out'" what his t-shirt message meant and, after a year that has seen him involved in a number of controversial, sometimes comical, incidents, he insists that the latest one was not his doing.

"The thing at the weekend didn't come from me, it came from one of my friends and one of my brother's friends," he said. "Maybe I should be more careful about who I let in my house. But it wasn't about me, I didn't do anything."

Balotelli, meanwhile, hailed City's on-field triumph on Sunday as "one of the best" team performances he has been involved with since joining the club from Inter Milan.

"The feeling was great. To win a derby away at Old Trafford is one thing, but to win it 6-1, none of us knew what to say. We were really happy," he told the club's official website.

"It was brilliant. It was a great atmosphere; it was a derby, so that's what you expect. My first goal was a good goal. I'm a striker and sometimes you don't think about what you will do.

"Those types of goal, sometimes they go inside and sometimes they don't. It was on target and it was a good goal, so I was happy.

"I think this win and this performance showed everyone that we can be the best. I think [Sunday] was one of the best we have ever played together for sure.''