10 Things Liverpool Should Put in Mario Balotelli's 'Code of Conduct'
The notoriously troublesome striker, however, might have his enthusiasm curbed by a special "Code of Conduct" agreement. According to The Guardian, the Italian striker will need to adhere to several stringent behavioural clauses during his time at Anfield.
It's not known exactly what will be contained within the code of conduct, but here are some points that definitely should feature...
1. No Fighting the Manager
Brendan Rodgers has some recent experience with a troublesome striker, but he might not be prepared for the kind of bother Super Mario will want to stir up.
So no fighting please, Mario. And if you simply must clash with Brendan, then no touching of the hair or face.
2. No Touching Sharp Objects
If Liverpool know best, they'll take down any dart boards at their training facility before Balotelli arrives.
In March 2011, he was caught throwing darts out of a first-floor window at youth team players because he was "bored."
Managing Balotelli at work is similar to managing a small toddler at nursery—they need to keep a constant eye on him and make sure he doesn't touch anything sharp.
3. No Bibs Without an Another Adult Present
Mario Balotelli may have developed a few enemies in his short career, but his biggest foe remains to be the humble training bib.
To save further embarrassment, the 24-year-old must be contractually forbidden to put a bib on unless he is accompanied by an adult—perhaps a full-time Bib Technician—to help him with it.
To entirely avoid this issue, Liverpool should probably just stick to shirts vs. skins in training.
4. No Explosive Pyrotechnic Devices
In October 2011, Balotelli showed an unsurprising lack of fireworks safety awareness when he set his house on fire while setting off some pyrotechnics in his bathroom.
Mario must agree to not even look at fireworks or even listen to the Katy Perry song "Firework" in case it gives him ideas.
On Guy Fawkes Night, Liverpool should keep him on a 24-hour lockdown.
5. No Confronting School Bullies
While at Manchester City, reports surfaced that Balotelli asked a young boy why he wasn't at school when he approached for an autograph.
Rather than the little lad asking why Balotelli wasn't at training, the striker reportedly marched the truant to school and insisted that the headmaster settle the dispute.
There can be none of this random public spiritedness on Merseyside, Mario. After all, snitches get stitches. And a Premier League player doesn't need stitches.
6. No Driving Through Liverpool with Exorbitant Amounts of Cash
Mario Balotelli is not good with cars. He is good with buying very beautiful ones, but it was once calculated that he averaged three parking tickets a day, racking up £10,000 in fines.
The Italian was also reportedly pulled over by police with £25,000 in cash on the passenger seat. When asked why, he responded: "Because I can."
Liverpool need to include a contractual clause that says he must keep his wages in a bank account, rather than sitting in the front of a luxury car. If he heads through Wayne Rooney's childhood hunting ground of Croxteth with that kind of opulence on display, a fool and his money will soon be parted.
7. No Horseplay During Training
There isn't an awful lot in life that Balotelli seems to take seriously, and that's absolutely fine. However, his tendency to mess around in training tends to annoy his superiors and his teammates.
Remember the speech that Brendan Rodgers gave to Raheem Sterling during Being Liverpool? The manager doesn't have the energy or the inclination to give Mario one of those every day.
8. No Contact with Grass
This one could be a bit of a problem for a professional footballer.
During a 2011 Europa League match, it emerged that Balotelli was allergic to certain types of grass. So, at Liverpool he will have to agree not to touch any grass at any point. He can run on it, but no falling to the ground or diving.
After watching Luis Suarez for several seasons, this might take some getting used to for Liverpool fans, but they will adjust in time.
9. No Smoking
Despite the fame and fortune that his natural gift for football has brought him, Balotelli seems intent of finding as many ways possible to shorten his career.
One such way is his penchant for cigarettes. He's been caught puffing away numerous times and was even busted in a train toilet on the way to a Milan away game.
A no-smoking clause should be in absolutely everyone's contract, but it seems that special attention should be made in the case of Super Mario.
As an additional precaution, Balotelli should be banned from all contact with Jack Wilshere.
10. No Mocking England
Balotelli didn't win too many friends in the Land of Hope and Glory when he gave a very cheeky gesture to the cameras after Italy's 2-1 victory over England in the World Cup.
Furthermore, when he left England to head back to Milan, he admitted that he didn't like the English press, the weather, the food or the standard of driving (which is a little rich considering his history of automotive violations).
Liverpool fans will like his disdain for The Sun newspaper, but he should probably be instructed not to disparage the country and city that is hosting him and giving him millions of pounds to play football.