What if travel was more like Fantasy football, where you could pick your team (travel companions)? Who would you pick?
Everyone has a dream travel buddy, real or fictional, who we would love to take on a trip around the world. As Eurocup 2012 rounded up, we analyzed what it would be like to travel with Italian superstar Mario Balotelli.
Mario has won the Champions League, the Premiership and Serie A all by the age of 21. Mario’s agility and power in the field make him the ideal striker and a promising talent. Nevertheless, he’s constantly criticized for his misconduct on and off the field and has been harassed and ridiculed by fans, teammates and the media alike. But really, how bad can this guy be?
So here’s a look at some of Mario’s attributes that could make him an ideal candidate as your next fantasy travel buddy.
AKA Super Mario
A good travel buddy should be in tip-top shape. And Balotelli is just that, he’s an impeccable athlete who began his football career at age 15. Since then, he has been given the nickname ‘Super Mario’ for kicking ass on the field. So when you’re in the middle of San José and a street game breaks out (and it will), you know you have the right guy on your team. Plus, you know Mario won’t complain at the sight of every hill.
Mario’s a survivor
When you are on the road, you need a companion who can handle any situation – good or bad. And Balotelli has gone through a lot of hardship. Mario Barwuah Balotelli, the son of Ghanaian immigrants, was born with fatal intestine complications, entered the foster care system by age 3 and has been racially abused since the beginning of his football career. He was first booed by football fans at his debut game in April 2006. His response to the racist chants has been: “they’ve always prompted me to try to score. I say to myself: ‘You should not get angry when they shout at you; if you let it affect you, next time they’ll get even worse.’ But pretending that nothing has happened can be dangerous too.” ..So did we mention, the kid’s got heart?
He doesn’t take sh*t, but he’s more humble than you think
When you’re traveling, you never know when you might have a situation that calls for you to open up a can of whoop ass. A good travel buddy will always have your back. Although Mario is constantly in hot water with the European media for confrontations with other players (even his coach) and his alleged “showboating”, at least you know Mario ain’t no bitch! But even under all the media scrutiny, Mario has been known to give to charity and the less fortunate. So while he may get in trouble for gloating, he cares more than people think.
He knows how to laugh
A good sense of humor is imperative while traveling, especially during the rough times when you need a laugh the most. Mario Balotelli would surely be the joker on the trip, he’s known for being a funny guy and a prankster. During Italy’s training of Euro 2012, Mario and Di Natale were caught pulling a prank on teammate Antonio Cassano.
Balotelli doesn’t drink but he’ll buy a round of beer
Traveling is all about sharing with others. Even when you’re on a shoe-string budget, you should squeeze in money to buy a round of beers. Not that Balotelli is tight on cash, but it’s nice to know that the next round’s on him even if he’s not having a cold one with you. He’s not a drinker, but we’re sure he can have more fun and energy sober than most do drunk. On a wild week in Bangkok, wouldn’t it be nice to at least have one sober person on your trip who isn’t bent over into a trashcan?
He can pick up chicks
Let’s be blunt, if you’re on your Euro trip to get laid, you’re going to need a good wing man. Mario’s handsome, tall, charismatic and a famous athlete, what more could you want? There’s even a rumor that he has his friends approach girls in clubs and say “Balotelli will see you now.” However, we recommend you don’t use that line unless you’re a famous athlete, unless you would a like champagne face wash.
So who’s your fantasy travel buddy? Tell us in the comments below or share on our facebook page.