Reason behind Mario Balotelli's bizarre shirt number revealed as former Man City and Liverpool hothead turns to maths | The Sun

MARIO BALOTELLI'S career has been a colourful mix of pluses and minuses.

But at least the explanation for 15 years of wearing the No45 shirt adds up.

The former Liverpool and Manchester City striker, 32, has insisted on the same number since joining his first big club Inter Milan in 2007.

The Sion star has now been short-listed for the Fifa Puskas Award for the best goal of last year, with the winner to be announced on February 27.

That's thanks to his dazzling dribble and Rabona finish for his previous club, Turkey's Adana Demirspor, last May.

It's another high in one of football's most fluctuating stories.


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And although there are a number of reasons why Balotelli's fortunes have varied, there's just one reason why his number has persisted.

The 36-cap Italian once explained: “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.”

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But if Balotelli's antics hadn't divided opinion so much, his achievements would surely have multiplied.

Man City once disciplined him for throwing darts from a window, he had a sports car impounded numerous times and he accidentally set his home ablaze with fireworks.

It's also said he toured Manchester dressed as Father Christmas to hand out gifts and money to strangers, as well as putting £1,000 behind a pub bar to help locals celebrate.

And his bust-ups include a furious training-ground row with then-City boss Roberto Mancini in 2016.

So despite his love of maths, he's one player who managers and team-mates alike have failed to work out.

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