Noel Gallagher Says Mario Balotelli Fooled Him With A Fake Merchandise

Noel Gallagher recently chatted with former footballer Ian Wright in the latest episode of his podcast, ‘Wrighty’s House,’ and recalled the time Mario Balotelli sent him fake merch.

I don’t think it’s exactly a secret that the Gallagher brothers are huge Manchester City fans, and Noel used to often go to the team’s training sessions and watch his favorite players practice. Among the former Oasis guitarist’s favorites, however, one name stood out as the rocker specifically picked Mario Balotelli and called him the ‘first gangster footballer.’

He had quite the adventure with the Italian sportsman as well, as Gallagher discussed the time an opportunity came into play for him to have an interview with Balotelli, though things didn’t work out the way he imagined. Since Noel thought Mario would interview him, he was surprised to see it was the opposite, as people demanded the rocker to ask the questions.

After the initial shock, though, it was no problem for Gallagher to interview Balotelli, and as the two were talking, the guitarist asked Mario about the whereabouts of his iconic ‘Why always me?’ shirt, a piece of clothing that the footballer wore on a match with Manchester United in 2011, criticizing the press for seemingly always targeting him.

The footballer answered that it was somewhere in his Milan apartment, so Noel had the great idea of asking Balotelli if he could give him the shirt. As Mario didn’t hesitate to say yes, he promised the singer he would send the shirt to him. However, things didn’t work out the way Gallagher imagined once again.

Right before a gig in South Korea, the rocker’s assistant called him about a package he received, saying it had a shirt written ‘Why always me?’ on it. So, Noel wanted his assistant to send him a picture, and after he finished with the show and returned to his hotel, Gallagher was disappointed to see that the shirt Balotelli sent him wasn’t the real deal, merely a cheap imitation made by a Manchester City kitman.

The guitarist on interviewing Mario and how the fake merch made its way to him:

“So, my office are legendary for getting the wrong end of the stick of things. My manager called me and said, ‘You know, when you’re up in Manchester, do you want to do an interview with Mario Balotelli?’ So I said, ‘Yeah, alright.’

It’s for ‘Football Focus,’ and I’m there waiting for training to finish, and the guy says, ‘Do you want to see the questions?’ and I said, ‘I don’t like to see the questions before the interview’ and he said, ‘But you’re asking him the f*cking questions,’ and I’m like, ‘What?’ And then he walks in and I’ve got to interview him. I’m like, ‘What the f*ck?’

So I was saying to him about the, ‘Why always me shirt?’ and I asked where it was, and he said, ‘Oh, I don’t know, it’s in a holdall somewhere in my flat in Milan.’ And I said jokingly, ‘Can I have it,’ and he said, ‘Yeah, yeah, you can have it, no problem.’ And I’ve seen him a couple of times after and said, ‘Can I have that shirt?’ and he’s saying, ‘Yeah, no problem.'”

He continued:

“Then I’m away on tour in South Korea, and my PA Kat rings me and says I have parcel from Man City […] I said, ‘Open it,’ and she says it’s a shirt that says ‘Why always me?’ on it. And I was like, ‘F*ck off. F*cking no way.’

So I ask her to take a photo of it, got it on my iPad, and I go and do the gig and looking at the picture in the hotel room after thinking, ‘I cannot believe he’s given me that massive piece of… Hang on a minute that doesn’t look right – the question mark is just a fucking letter ‘g’ turned upside down.

So I’ve Googled the actual shirt, and it’s not the actual shirt! So I’ve called the kitman who I know and said, ‘Is this the real shirt?’ and he said, ‘No, he was so embarrassed that he offered it to you that I’ve just made one up for you.’ And I said, ‘But it’s not even a real f*cking question mark!’ I still got it framed at home, though.”

So, it seems that Balotelli didn’t really want to share his iconic shirt with Gallagher, but since he had promised him a few times on different occasions, he decided to keep his promise in a way and sent him a replica, probably hoping Noel wouldn’t notice. Well, he did notice, but the fake merch still didn’t matter to him, as the guitarist hung the shirt in his house.