Luckily, the folks at Nike are there to help. Balotelli stars in a new commercial, which is set in a barbershop.
It starts when a barber calls his next customer, “Mario.” He asks the Manchester City star what kind of hairstyle he wants, and Balotelli responds with a simple command: “to be remembered.”
The barber goes to work on the Italian striker, giving him a number of styles that are familiar to soccer fans around the world. He started with the (jehri) curl that Ronaldinho resurrected from the 1980s and sported in his glory years at FC Barcelona. Balotelli was unimpressed, so the barber tried out the mullett, which Chris Waddle took to the 1990 FIFA World Cup. That didn’t do the trick, so it was onto the V-cut that Ronaldo made famous at the 2002 World Cup. That didn’t suit Balotelli either. Even Carlos Valderrama‘s iconic afro didn’t impress Balotelli enough for him to keep it.
In the end, Balotelli settled on his trademark mohawk, paid the man and headed for the exit. On the way, he bumped into Mamadou Sahko — a defender for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and France — who warned him that they’d meet again … on the field.
Balotelli and Italy begin their European Championship campaign on June 10 against defending champion Spain. Prandelli doesn’t expect Italy to win the tournament, but he told FIFA.com Balotelli should make the most of his first major international tournament.
“In my opinion, he [Balotelli] has to see it as an extraordinary occasion for him as it is for the national side,” Prandelli said. “It is a time for him to be written about for what he does on the pitch and not what he has done off it.”
It’s odd that Balotelli has made more headlines for his off-field antics than his on-field success. Maybe the barbershop will be the start of a more focused and driven chapter of his career.