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.