Mario Balotelli has given up trying to stay out of the headlines … literally.
The Italian soccer star broke new fashion ground Monday when he wore a pair of unique cleats during a Serie A (Italian first division) game between AC Milan and AS Roma. They didn’t help him score, but he did set up Sulley Muntari‘s 77th minute goal, which tied the score at 2-2.
Balotelli’s size-13 cleats were covered in newspaper clippings. The 23-year-old Milan and Italy striker was, of course, the subject of those clippings, and they included many of his most memorable on-field and off-field feats.
One headline shouted out his nickname, “Super Mario.” Another read “Bye Bye Germania,” referring to his two-goal explosion for Italy, which helped his country defeat Germany in the Euro 2012 semifinal. It goes without saying that his most famous question, “Why Always Me?,” which refers to the T-shirt he unveiled after scoring in Manchester City’s 6-1 rout of Manchester United in 2011, appeared as well.
We’re not sure who made Balotelli’s newspaper-headline cleats or if he plans to wear them again. Earlier this year, Portuguese street artist “Mr. Dheo” made Balotelli a pair of customized, camouflage-colored soccer cleats to celebrate his return to Italy from England. Maybe it was him. Business Insider reports Nike, Puma and Adidas are trying to sign him to an endorsement deal, as his current deal with Nike nears its end. It could be a shrewd marketing ploy to show athletic apparel companies his worth or, perhaps, it’s just a one-off move by the talented maverick.
Whatever the case may be, Balotelli seems more comfortable in the headlines than out of them.
See Balotelli’s newspaper cleats below (photo via Twitter/@SoccerBible).
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Thumbnail Photo via Twitter/@FutboolFichajes