They have all in their own way brought a little colour and fun to the world. Furthermore for what it's worth, I think they would all be great company on a night out!!!
GK: Jose Luis Chilavert (it is said all keepers are a little bit crazy, but the famous Paraguayan tops the list. His impressive record of 74 caps and 8 goals, and for the record the mighty Emile Heskey is proudly sat on just 7 international goals, is just the start. He had a knack of wearing outrageous jerseys, refused to take part in the Copa America as he insisted the money spent on the tournament should be spent on education, announced a game vs. Brasil was like a ‘war’ due to longstanding territorial dispute between the countries and to cap it all he retired from international football after falling out with the Paraguayan FA who dared to question whether an ageing keeper should be allowed to take free kicks)
DF: John Paintsil (found it necessary at the end of every Fulham victory to set of on a victory lap, clapping the fans as he went. Would have been fine, but he very rarely contributed anything meaningful to the results... we still love you though John)
DF: Moritz Volz (did his bit for the environment by snubbing the sports car lifestyle, and adopted a collapsible bicycle as his preferred means of transport. On match days he could be seen eagerly cycling along to the ground in his official club suit. When not saving the rainforests he set up his own website which is well worth a browse, fancies himself as a restaurant critic, downs cups of hot milk and honey on nights out and is a huge self-confessed fan of David Hasselhoff) http://www.volzy.com/
DF: William Gallas (a very moody Frenchman. Whilst at Arsenal he staged his own one man sit-in protest on the pitch against Birmingham. Once his time at Arsenal had come to an end his unique negotiating ploy to escape from Arsenal was to threaten to score own-goals until they let him go. Later in S.Africa with the French team he decided that he would simply not be talking to the press for the tournament)
DF: Taribo West (just Google image him, any man with those hair styles is frankly definitely a few burgers short of a happy meal)
MF: Jimmy Bullard (long, curly hair and several screws loose. Reputation as a joker. During a Wigan match there was a pile up/accidental bundle on the goalline. Bullard sprinted from outside of the box and launched himself gracefully on top causing chaos. Get onto you tube to appreciate everything he’s been involved in!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukn0D5DLYxg&feature=related
MF: Maradona (Bizarre behaviour on and off the field, he was one of the most entertaining characters of the 2010 World Cup as a manager he led a brave but shambolic Argentinean effort. A man whose colourful character and playing skill has inspireda parody religion in his name must be worthy of maverick status. Italian officials complained in 2009 that he owed a small fortune of 37million Euros in fines for tax evasion. At the time they moaned he had only offered 42,000 Euros to the cause. Diego then quickly offered them two watches and a set of earrings...)
MF: George Best (A one man funny quote machine. Outrageously gifted. A little bit mad)
MF: Guti (The Real Madrid midfielder was bringing outrageous hairstyles to the Bernabau long before Beckham. However unlike Beckham, Guti also managed to get himself stalked by a deaf boxer and apparently accidentally dated a transvestite. Not to mention kissing a man, whom he later claimed was his sister)
FW: Eric Cantona (where to even begin. Kung-fu kicks, legendary quotes about seagulls and trawlers, an acting career...)
In Mario Balotelli Manchester City seem to have got themselves a man who would quite easily make a certified lunatic look like a sane and rational individual. Balotelli has only been bringing his own unique sense of fun to the Premiership since August 2010, yet he has already managed to generate more off the field related headlines than most of the rest of the City squad will manage in their entire careers, and the scary thing is Balotelli is still just 21....
His famous incident in a warm up where he struggled manfully with putting on a fiendishly difficult training bib, for most players would be the story that would be what they were remembered for; with Balotelli it is not even likely to be in the top five stories that will become his legacy. When one thinks of Balotelli the memories that jump to mind first are things like fireworks in the bathroom. Apparently though he also plays a spot of football in his spare time, when he has nothing else on.
However rather than criticise Balotelli we should celebrate him for what he is; truly unique. In today’s world of 100% politically correct actions and scripted interviews you need men like Balotelli to bring a bit of colour and fun back into the world. The vast majority of Balotelli’s ‘adventures’ have been naive, unwise or just plain bonkers but not fuelled by malice or a fundamentally unpleasant character. While incidents such as throwing darts at a youth player are unacceptable, if he can learn to stamp these out, he could be on course to become a Premiership legend.
We need men like Balotelli, his interview after FA Cup triumph is evidence of this. The vast majority of players would have churned out some pre-prepared, toeing the line statements about hard work, desire etc. Balotelli, however, it appears was absent on the day Manchester City covered media relations, (perhaps he was busily engaging himself in another fireworks related interior design project). After winning the FA Cup he concluded on national TV that prior to this moment his whole season has been ‘s**t’, it was only after this brutally honest assessment that it occurred to him to wonder aloud that he might not be allowed to say that.
Quite apart from the obvious amusement Balotelli must bring to football fans and newspaper editors alike, I would imagine he’s quite a good laugh to have as a team mate as well. Balotelli is after all the man whose own unique take on brotherly bonding was to drive with his brother into a women’s prison ‘for a quick look’ or who was allegedly to be found on Christmas Eve driving around Manchester dressed as Father Christmas giving out money. Don’t get me wrong, Balotelli is outrageously gifted as a footballer but he brings more to City than just that. He brings fun. Happy players do well for you. If you think back to the French team at recent tournaments, where without fail, the entire squad seems to reliably manage to fall out with each other, you see what happens when team spirit collapses. Unhappy players fail.