Four days after missing Liverpool’s disastrous trip to London (where they lost 4-1 to Arsenal) with minor training ground injury, Mario Balotelli also skipped their trip to Blackburn for the FA Cup quarterfinal replay. Though a Philippe Coutinho goal was enough to send Liverpool to Wembley and a semifinal date with Aston Villa, Balo’s absence was enough for yet another pundit to criticize him.
“Pathetic isn’t it? You’re going to miss an FA Cup quarter-final?” BT Sport’s Robbie Savage said of Balotelli. “I don’t know how unwell he is, but to miss an FA Cup quarter-final when you’re feeling a bit ill? Nonsense. I would have to be really, really ill to miss that game.”
After the match, Mario used his Instagram account to show Savage how unwell he was — posting a picture of himself holding a thermometer that read 38.7 degrees Celsius (101.7 Fahrenheit). The picture was accompanied by a caption that read: “@phil.coutinho magic boy! Grande! Nothing stop me to watch my team winning. ( at least this time you know the real reason why I am out) . MISS THE PICTH SO MUCH … #unluckyseason #YNWA #illbeback”
Of course, his critics will probably assume that Mario just did the old trick of holding the thermometer against a light bulb, but it seems unlikely that he actually wanted to miss the game.
Anyway, the Instagram thermometer selfie just might be the sick note of the future.