Mario Balotelli used to be one of football’s biggest sensations: a talented striker who caused just as much drama off the pitch as he did on it thanks to his propensity for doing weird shit, saying outrageous things and getting himself into trouble. But as his star has fallen, so has his salary – and it seems he’s now selling off some of his most expensive luxury cars to make up the difference.
The 32-year-old Italian, who now plays for Swiss Super League side Sion (a far cry from where he was at AC Milan a decade ago), has revealed during a recent podcast interview that he’s “lost his passion” for fast cars, and is now trimming down his pretty impressive car collection.
Some of the cars he’s let go of include his Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and 458 Italia; his Audi R8 (which he famously crashed in Italy); his Lamborghini Aventador and his Maserati GranTurismo.
‘Super Mario’ is still holding on to a few cars, however. “In my garage, I still have an Audi RSQ8, Fiat 500 Abarth and a Nissan GT-R Nismo with 1400 hp. But I’m also selling the Abarth now,” he admits.
We wouldn’t have picked Balotelli for an Abarth driver, but there you go…
As for his famous camouflaged-wrapped Bentley Continental GT, which he was famous for parking really badly around the UK whilst he was playing for Manchester City, he apparently gave the car to a friend a long time ago.
Balotelli might love cars but he’s not necessarily the best at driving them. The Italian has had a few high-profile car accidents over the years, virtually all of which he’s walked away from injury-free.
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Famously, two weeks into his Manchester City contract, Balotelli crashed his aforementioned Audi R8 near City’s Carrington training ground. When police got to the scene, they questioned why Balotelli had had £5,000 in cash in his back pocket, to which Balotelli replied, “because I am rich.” Iconic scenes.
Once hailed as one of football’s biggest stars and regularly compared to Lionel Messi, Balotelli’s career has slumped in recent years after leaving Ligue 1 side Nice in 2019.
Since joining Sion last year, Balotelli has managed only six goals in 16 matches this season with his side one place from the bottom of the Swiss League.