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Leonardo Bonucci explains the Mario Balotelli gagging

Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci (R) pu

Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci (R) puts his hand on Mario Balotelli’s mouth after Balotelli scored during the Euro 2012 football championships match Italy vs Republic of Ireland on June 18, 2012 at the Municipal Stadium in Poznan. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages)

AFP/Getty Images

As if we needed one, here’s the explanation on why a teammate gagged Mario Balotelli when the Italian bad boy smacked a beauty of a goal Monday:

Manchester City’s man-child turned a half-opportunity into a stunning, athletic volley for Italy’s second goal in a 2-0 Euro 2012 win over the hapless Irish. Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci covered Balotelli’s mouth in the celebratory aftermath.

Later, Bonucci explained that he just thought it was the prudent thing to do. And you know, he was probably right:

What he said [when he scored], he said in English and I didn’t understand. So I put my hand in front of his mouth just in case, because Mario is impulsive, but that is also his strength.”

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