Smoking Mario’s Balotelling off

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PUFFING player Mario Balotelli has been enjoying a spell of favourable headlines recently – donating money to his local church, putting £1,000 behind the bar of his local for a Christmas drink, and even being rumoured to be driving around Manchester dressed as Santa Claus handing out cold hard cash.
But the Manchester City striker is in the bad books of his manager, Roberto Mancini – who says Mario needs a kick up the backside for his smoking habit.
He said: “I told him, for me it’s better that you don’t smoke.
“It’s not a problem for me because I’m not his father or his mother. But if he was my son, I’d give him a kick up the ass.
“I am against cigarettes, always. For this reason, my son doesn’t smoke, but there are players who smoke in Italy and also here.
“He doesn’t smoke a lot of cigarettes, five or six a day, but I have told him to stop.
“Maybe he uses the cigarettes to light his fireworks.”
Zing, as they say.

Goaltastic’s posts of the year 2011

WITH the New Year approaching faster than a Gareth Bale counter-attack, I believe the time is right to recap Goaltastic’s best blogs of 2011.
And when I say best, I mean most read.
In reverse order, they are…
10 – Manchester City signing Clichy once cheated death.
9 – My hilarious Fernando Torres April Fools post
8 – “Rooney, Rooney, Rooney”
7 – Roman Abramovich gets his chopper out
6 – Suarez signing excitement
5 – Manchester United to sign favourite son’s son
4 – Massive boobs story nets huge internet traffic spike shocker
3 – Boring Nasri to sign for Manchester City announcement
2 – Macheda accidentally confirmed the Sneijder deal which never actually happened
1 – The greatest football rumour of the year bar none. Seriously, this never gets old.
Happy New Year!

Goaltastic Fantasy Football League – Gameweek 18

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A RELATIVELY quiet Christmas gameweek sees the top seven teams – led by Bangkok Foxes – maintaining their positions.
Beneath them places eight-13 – Ninja Avengers, Ruff Tuff Bluff Stuf, VZ Vampires, The Boss XI and Team Punishment – all climb, thanks to a horrorshow from 13th-placed Taurages Tauras, who only scored 30.
At least they are the latest oamong the teams in the league to break the 1,000 point barrier.
The week’s top-scoring team was My 11 (17), which notched an impressive 72.

Goaltastic Fantasy Football League – Gameweek 17

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‘TIS the season to be jolly if you happen to be Bangkok Foxes – the latecomer is again top of the Goaltastic League.
And another new entry, Canons Ablaze, slots into second place, pushing my own Ashletico side down to third.
Humbug.
If it wasn’t for the two new entries in the past two weeks, I would be the only manager in the league with a four-figure tally.
Nevermind – it’s a new challenge for a new year.
Below, fourth-placed StooshermadnessFC posted the highest gameweek total, a massive 90.
Merry Christmas to all Goaltastic’s teams – let battle recommence on Boxing Day!

Goaltastic Fantasy Football League – Gameweek 16

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EIGHT of the teams in the Goaltastic league’s top 10 drop this week, with only sixth-places StooshermadnessFC maintaining their position.
This is because a new entry has joined, and muscled straight into top spot. Bangkok Foxes, shunt everyone down a spot – including my very own former leaders Ashletico.
Welcome to the league, Colin, we’re all gunning for you now…
Top scorer this week was the Loughborough Echo’s very own Richard Rush, whose team Insert manager pun (32) scored 72 points.
To enter the league for free, visit fantasy.premierleague.com and then join the competition by using the code 1006-813 – although new league leaders need not neccessarily apply…

Lookalike – Mathematics Mata

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SPANISH sensation Juan Mata has been irking me since his arrival in the Premier League.
A lot of people have said he looks a bit like his manager, Andre Villas-Boas, but that comparison was missing something – and then it hit me.
He looks like a hairy Rooney as well.
Hopefully the above equation sheds a little light on my lookalike thought process – fooballer lookalike suggestions in the comments below, via Twitter @goaltastic, or e-mailed to me at Isaac_Ashe@MRN.co.uk, are very welcome.

QPR player’s sick ritual revealed

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SORRY to bring this up…
As superstitions go, this one is truly ‘chunderful’.
Because QPR defender ‘One Size’ Fitz Hall – the man with the best nickname in football – has revealed a stomach-churning pre-match ritual: before every match, the player makes himself vomit.
He said: “I like to be sick before a game.
“I do not feel right unless I am sick.
“It is nothing major I just have a drink and sick it back up that is all.”