Mario Balotelli, the 20-year-old Italian striker who plays for Manchester City, attempted a backheel goal in a friendly against the L.A. Galaxy on Saturday, and it did not go well. He missed the goal by a few feet and was immediately pulled from the game. Youth soccer coaches across the world are now reveling in the opportunity to demonstrate that showboating never pays off (unless it does, in which case, kids, showboat away).
"We need to be always professional, always serious," Man City manager Roberto Mancini said after the game. "In this case, Mario wasn't professional and for this, I made the change."
Balotelli was visibly frustrated with Mancini's very serious decision. He threw a water bottle on the sideline and, like any irritable young man, stalked away from his coach in disgust. He missed out on scoring his second goal of the day — which he almost certainly would have done had he not gone for the backheel — but Balotelli shouldn't consider the friendly a total loss: He inspired a Los Angeles crowd to express an audible emotion about a sporting event. That's a feat in itself.