Piers Morgan and Gary Lineker have reacted after Mario Balotelli scored an incredible Rabona goal following seven stepovers.
Balotelli currently turns out for Turkish Super Lig side Adana Demirspor, having left Italian lower league side Monza at the end of last season. It has been an incredibly successful campaign for the striker, who has scored 19 goals and notched six assists.
His goals have helped Demispor to claim a midtable finish in the Turkish top-flight. The highlight of his time in Turkey came on the final day of the campaign though when the Blue Lightnings hosted already relegated Goztepe.
Balotelli has become Vincenzo Montella’s starting striker and was once again selected to lead the line. The 31-year-old turned in a stunning performance at the Yeni Adana Stadyumu, scoring five of his side’s seven goals in their hammering of Goztepe.
But it was his fifth and final strike of the campaign that left many fans around the world hailing the Italian. Balotelli picked up the ball on the edge of the box, making his way into the area with defenders lining up to stop him.
As soon as he entered the box, Balotelli began making stepovers, making seven in total to break away from the Goztepe defence. It appeared as if he had created an angle to fire off a shot with his left foot, with a defender diving in to make a block.
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But Balotelli had other ideas, swinging his right leg behind his standing left leg to produce a Rabona finish. The ingenious shot took Goztepe keeper Arda Ozcimen totally by surprise, with the ball squeezing into the far corner.
Balotelli’s performance earned him many plaudits, with all of his goals coming within a 40-minute spell either side of half-time. And the Italian’s outrageous effort also saw him unite two men who are renowned for their bitter arguments on social.
Both television personality Morgan and former England striker Lineker hailed Balotelli after seeing footage of his goal. Lineker tweeted “Filth!” along with the blushing emoji, while Morgan wrote “Got to love him,” along with two laughing emojis.
Despite his five-goal haul, Balotelli admitted after the match that he had wanted to push on to try to score a sixth. Sadly, the fiery Italian had to make do with just the five strikes but revealed he was happy with life in Turkey.
“Yes, for the first time, I scored five goals in a match. If they had told me beforehand, I would have scored the sixth. I tried top scorer, but today it’s easy to score that much. It wasn’t,” he told beIN Sports.
“I can’t say much about the next year. I played football in an environment where I was very happy. We had an environment where we were very happy, especially with our president. I look at the event year after year. I don’t like to calculate about the future. Both Vargas and Yunus are incredible towards the future. They’ve taken a step forward. When I leave here, I can say that they are one step closer to their future.”