He was hailed as one of the world’s brightest football prospects.
But over the years, Italian gifted playmaker Mario Balotelli has staked his claim as the world’s craziest athlete with a series of dumbfounding off-field gaffes.
He once got pulled over by Traffic Police with $25 000 (about K25.6 million) scattered on the front passenger seat of his posh vehicle.
And when an officer asked him why he had so much loose cash on the seat, Balotelli’s response left him a little out of his breath: “Because I can.”
Mario is not the only one. www.bleacherreport.com reports that when American boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather is out and about, he will have thousands of dollars on him.
“He keeps about $60 000 [about K61.4 million] on him for light evenings, and claims he can fit $1 million in a hockey bag when he decides to roll deep,” reads part of the report.
Probably that is why Be Forward Wanderers’ recent decision to take a hard line on their right back Stanley ‘Nyima’ Sanudi after a video selfie—in which he brags about the cash he acquired after the Nomads’ disastrous CAF Champions League outing to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where they suffered a 4-0 humiliation to AS Vita—caused a debate on social media.
Sanudi is seen flashing bank notes he describes as ‘change’ from the nightmare trip.
“Kuvaya DRC kubwera ndi timachenji iti basi…sikuti nditambiri, tochepa iti. Ukudziwa kale, khenge ku ma last,” boasts Sanudi in the 30-second clip.
The Nomads reacted swiftly by issuing a public apology stating that they would take disciplinary action against the player.
Part of the apology read: “We are busy looking for assistance and [yet] somebody is using his personal money to send a wrong message to potential donors and Malawians in general.
“We do not know where the cash is from because to make the DRC trip we had to negotiate with the players and technical panel to get part of their allowances. So, this deliberate distortion of facts only serves to harm the club and is unacceptable.”
But moments after the apology was issued, a sympathiser Angela Mataka reacted by posting: “Like seriously? Do we really have the right to tell our players how to behave with their hard-earned money? If the team is so poor that it has to borrow [money] to go play [in a] CAF tournament, is it the players’ problem?…He is just bragging about his money, nothing serious.”
She couldn’t have put her argument any better because on the surface it would appear Sanudi did nothing wrong. He was just bragging about his money—whether it was earned from his sweat in DRC or through other means.
However, others argued that it was the timing of Sanudi’s act that was faulty. Posting the clip just two days after the humiliation in Kinshasa portrayed a picture that the 4-0 demolition did not matter as long as he got some ‘change’ from the DRC foray, an act that was deplorable to say the least.
Sanudi should have exercised caution.
And soccer analyst George Kaudza Masina said: “To him [Sanudi], it was perhaps just some light-hearted stuff without realising the consequences and that it was bound to be interpreted in different ways. Of course, there will be a group of people sympathising with him that here is a young man who was boasting about his cash earned from his sweat while others, especially Wanderers fans, will look at him as a player who cared less after such a humiliation.” n