The Italian Extrovert – Mario Balotelli
After a long weekend of celebration and with Euro 2012 around the corner, we return with a style profile of one of sports most controversial characters. Mario Balotelli.
As a Ghanaian boy adopted by an Italian family, he has not had a traditional upbringing. And what remains consistent with Mario Balotelli is his colourful crazy non tradition lifestyle is reflected in a colourful non traditional footballer. Since his move to Manchester City, he has lived up to that description. Off the pitch, his style choices mirror his personality.
Mario Balotelli is not a man lacking in confidence as the above photograph shows. He believes in his style and wants everyone to believe it too. He doesn’t do subtle at all unless using a hoodie to cover his face from photographers.
Unorthodox silhouettes are a familiar sight on Balotelli. He is Italian but he doesn’t wear classic Italian cuts of clothing. Jeans, trousers and jog pants will often be worn in an almost an ‘Aladdin’ style cut. But he does personify the ‘European playboy’ look that perhaps younger Italian men will wear as casual attire.
Generally speaking, he doesn’t wear bright colours but his outfits are often sprinkled with sparking jewellery and chains and whilst he isn’t a traditional dresser, he has a style which appeals to outgoing people and those with a sense of adventure. He has almost created a new re-invention of the ‘mod’ and ‘punk’ styles.
Definitely not shy when it comes to discussing his own fashion sense, Balotelli feels entirely confident that his Italian roots sets him apart from other men’s style on these shores.
“I don’t wanna offend nobody but an English person cannot speak about style with an Italian person,”
“I didn’t say English people wear bad clothes, I said Italian people are on another level,”
Whilst Italy is renowned for fashion and style, his remarks brought (a relatively normal level of) controversy along the way, although in truth, no one took them too seriously.
As a footballer he is never going to be a simplistic dresser – they have far too much time and money for that! But he has a style that is appreciated as shown when GQ magazine named him runner up in their 2012 Best-Dressed Men in Britain list. Whether or not you agree with that, he certainly has a style that gets you talking and has created something quite inimitable. But we can understand that with Balotelli, you love him or hate him on the pitch and that is the same off it. So what side of the fence do you sit on?
Second, fifth and sixth photographs by © Eamonn & James Clarke