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Behind the scenes gold: Why we love Mario

Many Faces of Mario4

Many Faces of Mario4

Oh, Balotelli! He's a striker... as the song goes. But there is much more to the entertaining Italian than just catchy terrace chants.

There is the joker - the player who is always up to mischief  and completely unpredictable - as head physio Lee Nobes discovered during pre-season training. Don't worry folks, Mario and Lee get on just fine. In fact, you might say...

Many Faces of Mario6

...they are joined at the hip!

Many Faces of Mario7

Then there's Mario the fashion icon - NHS specs and all! Not all the players agree, of course, and there were one or two items of clothing he wore last season which raised the odd eyebrow including bright red trainers that wouldn't have looked out of place on Ronald McDonald.

Many Faces of Mario3

And what about Mario the big brother as illustrated here with younger sibling Enoch? City's talented forward loves to have his family around him whenever possible and Enoch's been a regular visitor to Carrington this season. No sign of the much-loved dog Lucky as yet, though...

Many Faces of Mario5

Don't forget Mario the team player and team-mate. After teasing Edin Dzeko about his shoe size, Mario enjoys a laugh with the Bosnian striker who denies the accusation he sells his old boots as lifeboats.

Many Faces of Mario8

And there is also Mario the tireless charity worker. He loves kids and helped an Italian orphanage buy a new horse last year as well as numerous other visits around the world and is always happy to go and help good causes, but particularly if children are involved.

Many faces of Mario9

In fact, as he prepared to stain the wooden fence at his city centre pad (OK, we made that bit up to fit!), Mario suggested he's exactly like the Cuprinol advert in that he does exactly as it says on the tin - entertain, score goals and leave a lasting impression. That's why we love him!

Many Faces of Mario1

We asked for a typical picture to finish the gallery with and he suggested his impression of Homer Simpson's reaction to doughnuts...

Many Faces of Mario2

What more can you say?


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