Balotelli posts goal celebration video on social media mid-match
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Balotelli posts goal celebration video on social media mid-match

The flamboyant Italian soccer star, who was raised by a Jewish foster mother, immortalizes the moment after a spectacular goal

Marseille's Italian forward Mario Balotelli (L) takes a selfie with teammates after scoring during the French L1 football match between Olympique de Marseille and AS Saint-Etienne at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, southern France on March 3, 2019. (Photo by GERARD JULIEN / AFP)
Marseille's Italian forward Mario Balotelli (L) takes a selfie with teammates after scoring during the French L1 football match between Olympique de Marseille and AS Saint-Etienne at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, southern France on March 3, 2019. (Photo by GERARD JULIEN / AFP)

Soccer star Mario Balotelli showed off a new goal celebration on Sunday as he took a selfie video with his Marseille teammates and posted it on social media during their 2-0 win over Saint-Etienne.

The Italian scored his fourth goal in six Ligue 1 games since joining Marseille from Nice in January by hooking home Florian Thauvin’s 12th-minute corner with an excellent acrobatic volley.

“Balotelli takes the pressure, he takes the limelight. He reminds me of (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic and he scored an Ibrahimovic goal,” said Saint-Etienne coach Jean-Louis Gasset.

“He has brought back the public, the confidence, and many of his teammates will raise their level of play.”

As he celebrated his goal, Balotelli took a phone from the cameraman behind the goal and filmed a video with his laughing teammates, then posted it on Instagram.

“I had given my telephone to an OM [Marseille] journalist,” Balotelli said later. “I told him to go behind the goal, that I was going to do a video if I scored. Each time I do something, it goes right around the world.”

The 28-year-old then carried on playing.

Balotelli, who has previously celebrated goals by lifting up his shirt to show off a “Why Always Me?” T-shirt underneath, was raised by a Jewish Italian foster mother from the age of three. Born Mario Barwuah to immigrants from Ghana in Palermo, he publicly and memorably embraced his foster mother, Silvia Balotelli, after scoring the goals in a win over Germany which secured Italy a place in the Euro 2012 finals (where Italy lost 4-0 to Spain).

Italy's goal-scorer Mario Balotelli hugs his Jewish foster mother Silvia after Thursday's victory over Germany at Euro 2012. (via Twitter)
Italy’s goal-scorer Mario Balotelli hugs his Jewish foster mother Silvia after Thursday’s victory over Germany at Euro 2012. (via Twitter)

The Balotellis also reportedly have relatives in Israel, and their daughter studied at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya.

He is not the first player to produce a selfie-based celebration, after Roma great Francesco Totti took a picture of himself after scoring against Lazio in the capital-city derby in 2015.

Marseille doubled their advantage nine minutes later through a Thauvin penalty and closed out the win with ease.

Rudi Garcia’s men have now taken 13 points from their last five league matches to leapfrog Saint-Etienne into fourth, just five points adrift of Lyon in the race for the third and final Champions League spot.

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