Mario Balotelli: The Bizarre Reason the Italian Striker Wears No.45

Mario Balotelli: The Bizarre Reason the Italian Striker Wears No.45

  • Most football stars are superstitious, with some extending their superstition to shirt numbers
  • Mario Balotelli is no exception, with the Italian striker widely associated with the No.45 shirt
  • The former Manchester City star has worn the jersey for the most part of his football career
  • However, there are also instances when he has failed to secure his favourite shirt number

The No.45 shirt has always been synonymous with Mario Balotelli for the better part of his football career.

Balotelli has worn the shirt from his early football days with Inter Milan, Manchester City, Liverpool, and even at his current club Sion.

The Italian striker started his career with Lumezzane before he moved to Inter Milan in 2007.

Mario Balotelli, FC Sion, Man City, Liverpool, Nice, Inter Milan.
Mario Balotelli poses with his new jersey after he signed with Swiss side FC Sion. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini.
Source: Getty Images

According to The Sun, it was during his time with the Serie A giants that he settled on the No.45 jersey.

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While explaining the choice of his shirt number, Balotelli said:

“When I first played three or four games with Inter Milan, when I was young, I had No45 because the numbers for young players were from No36 to No50."
"I took No45 because I was joking that four plus five is nine – and I scored in all four games. It brings me luck and that’s why I’ve always kept No45," he added.

Balotelli fails to get No45 at Nice

However, there are some isolated instances when Balotelli has failed to get his signature shirt and was forced to settle on a different number.

In the summer of 2016, the Italian was left with no choice but to wear a different shirt number after his move to Nice from Liverpool on transfer deadline day.

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According to Sportskeeda, Balotelli was told he could not take his favourite no.45 shirt because of Ligue 1 rules which explicitly prohibit players from choosing their own numbers.

Additionally, the publication claims, players are not allowed to pick a number higher than 30.

With no many options, Balotelli had to settle for a No.9 shirt which he wore across his three-year spell at the French club.

The 32-year-old has also been seen with the No.9 shirt when playing for Italy.

Mario Balotelli's controversies

Beyond the intrigues surrounding Balotelli's bizarre shirt number, the striker has always been known for his controversies both on and off the pitch.

The Sion star once clashed with Roberto Mancini during a training session during their time together at Manchester City.

So ugly the incident was that Mancini reacted by grabbing Balotelli by the collar.

The Italian manager is understood to have laid into his striker after he put in a crunching tackle on Gael Clichy, who was healing from another injury.

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FC Sion releases Balotelli statement

Earlier, Sports Brief reported Swiss side FC Sion has come out to rescue Balotelli from a string of criticism after the Italian was allegedly spotted leaving a nightclub drunk barely weeks after signing for the club.

Balotelli made the switch to Sion on deadline day after falling out with the manager of Adana Demirspor manager Vincenzo Montella.

Over the weekend, a video surfaced appearing to show Balotelli staggering out of a club in Laussane in the company of a lady.

Source: Sports Brief News