MARIO Balotelli – or Rocket Man as he will be forever known after his Friday night fireworks antics – tells us he had “many reasons” for displaying his ‘Why Always Me?’ t-shirt after scoring against Manchester United in Sunday’s derby rout.

“But I’ll leave it for other people to figure out what it means. I’m sure people can work it out,” he said.

The enigmatic Italian clearly wanted to get a message across to his critics in a moment of triumph after his name and image had been splashed all over the papers on the morning of the match, breaking the story of how fireworks had been set off in the bathroom of his £3million Cheshire mansion in a night-time prank.

He reckons he doesn’t care what people think of him – and I’m sure City fans won’t give a hoot what he does in the wee small hours if he continues inspiring such results as the one they revelled in at Old Trafford.

But while he might say he is not bothered, Balotelli, pictured, was at pains to deny the firework fiasco was any of his doing.

“People are interested in my private life, but the thing at the weekend didn’t come from me, it came from one of my friends and one of my brother’s friends,” he said.

“Maybe I should be more careful about who I let in my house but it wasn’t about me, I didn’t do anything.”

Maybe not, but I’d suggest that if he doesn’t want any more intrusion into his private life and off-field antics, he does everyone at Manchester City – and in particular Roberto Mancini – a favour and takes that little bit of extra care about the company he keeps.

Otherwise the next t-shirt kit man Les Chapman will be printing will be one for the manager himself: “Why Always You?”.