Once—and not even that long ago, if you'd believe—it was widely thought that Mario Balotelli was a good or great soccer player who, if nothing else, could be relied on to score some goals, sometimes. Then he was sold to Liverpool in August, and since, he's spent the last six months proving everyone wrong. UNTIL TODAY.
Today, Mario and co. hosted Tottenham in a vital match for each team's respective top-four hopes. You can read about what happened elsewhere; what's important is that in the 74th minute with the game tied at two goals apiece, genius Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers intelligently subbed on Balotelli for Daniel Sturridge. Nine minutes later, smart midfielder Adam Lallana made a very good play, and passed it to Balotelli. Balotelli then roofed a vicious shot into Tottenham's net for his first league goal of the season. Tears were shed. His name was screamed. The Holy Ghost was caught. Then Liverpool's hero looked to his rapturous fans and, if you believe the tales, he smiled a faint, mustached smile.
God bless Mario Balotelli. God bless the land from which he hails. God bless the Arsenal.