Nice new-boy Mario Balotelli accused of throwing pasta at teammate
Strange tales of mischief and mayhem from Mario Balotelli's youth are never far from resurfacing.
Indeed, Salvatore Bocchetti has become the latest of Balotelli's former teammates to regale us with an anecdote about their time playing together as part of the Italy Under-21 team.
"One day were were eating in the dining room with the rest of the squad," the Spartak Moscow defender told Russian television show Kul't Tura.
"Balotelli arrived and he just throw a plate of pasta into the face of Marco Motta!
"He's a good player but he's got no head! He's crazy! He's got no brain."
That said, Bocchetti suffered a pang of guilt after his appearance on television and decided to retract his "brainless" assessment of Balotelli.
The 29-year-old left-back duly explained that his strong choice of wording was down to his grasp of the Russian language and that he has nothing but love for the Nice forward.
I didn't want say that Mario has no brain,i wanted say that sometimes he didn't use it when he was young,i was speaking in russian and it's-- Salvatore Bocchetti (@salvatorebocch) September 22, 2016
-not my language!!! i respect him as man/friend and as player,i wish him all The best!- Salvatore Bocchetti (@salvatorebocch) September 22, 2016
Fair enough, Salvatore.
Meanwhile, with four goals in his first two league matches for Nice, it looks for the time being like Balotelli has finally managed to get his career back on track in Ligue 1.
Chris covers the funny side of the game for ESPN FC in the Toe Poke blog.