The Italian soccer star has reportedly commissioned a life-size statue of himself that will be on display in his own home in Brescia, Italy. Balotelli hired local sculptor Livio Scarpella to do the job, the Guardian reports.
“I have received the commission, but I’ve never met Balotelli so I am working from photos,” Scarpella reportedly told Il Giornale di Brescia. “I presented several drawings but Mario wanted to be immortalized in a pose that shows him having scored a goal, highlighting his muscles and with an expression of defiance.
“I have imagined him as an athlete from ancient times and the statue will be a mix of classical and pop style in platinum and colored bronze with the eyes made of stones.”
Italian media outlets believe the pose Scarpella will recreate is from Balotelli’s most famous on-field moment. The 22-year-old striker scored both goals in Italy’s 2-1 win over Germany in the semifinal of the 2012 UEFA European Championship. After nearly ripping down the goal with his second strike, Balotelli ripped off his shirt, threw it to the ground and stood stone-faced while flexing his muscles.
That moment symbolized his ascension to the ranks of world-class players and was one of the defining moments of last summer’s tournament. Although players both young and old have copied Balotelli’s pose, they always release at some point. Scarpella’s bronze statue won’t have that problem.
“Super Mario” became a cult hero in England because of his string of on-field and off-field antics. He returned to Italy at the close of the January transfer window, joining AC Milan from Manchester City. The Italian international has set fire to Serie A, scoring four goals in his first four games in the Italian top flight, but most of the headlines have focused on the racial abuse that opposing fans have directed his way.
The bronze statue would remind many of Balotelli’s on-field feats of strength. That is, if he invites fans and art lovers to come into his house and see it.