While most of Mario Balotelli‘s off-field exploits are the stuff of legend, one thing he does on the field has almost reached a mythical status: convert penalty kicks into goals.
Balotelli earned a reputation as a penalty-kick master by scoring in each of his 26 trips to the penalty spot. The Italian star credits his mental powers for his 100 percent conversion rate, according to the Mirror.
“It’s just like a game of the mind, between me and the goalkeeper,” Balotelli said in November 2012. “Me, I know how to control my mind. When the keeper moves before me, it means that in this game of the mind he has lost.”
Balotelli lost his perfect record on Sunday.
Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina saved Balotelli’s penalty kick an hour into team’s 2-1 win over AC Milan. Reina waited until Balotelli kicked the ball before diving to his right and palming the shot away.
Since making his debut in 2006, Balotelli had never been denied (for club or country) from 12 yards out. He didn’t exactly keep his composure after suffering his first setback from the spot. He scored a late goal (from open play) and got sent off for dissent after the final whistle had blown. It seems like Balotelli does nothing without fireworks.
See Balotelli’s first career penalty miss in the video below.
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