Of all the images produced by Manchester City's 6-1 drubbing of Manchester United on Sunday, few will linger in the memory as long as Mario Balotelli's magnificently deadpan celebration after he opened the floodgates in the 22nd minute. In recognition of the Italian's innate flair for attracting controversy, Pitchside Europe looks at some of the other trouble-makers hogging headlines across the continent.
Marko Arnautović (Werder Bremen)
Austria's answer to Zlatan Ibrahimović, Arnautović is currently trying to make up for lost time at Werder Bremen after an underwhelming year-long loan at Internazionale that prompted José Mourinho to complain that the striker had "the mind of a child". Despite making just three substitute appearances during Inter's treble-winning campaign, Arnautović reportedly owns a pair of boots embossed with the words 'Champions League winner 2010'. Dropped for Bremen's vital home game with Borussia Dortmund in May after an unauthorised nightclub visit, he was banned for three matches earlier this month over his angry action to a red card that he received in a game at Hannover.
Dimitri Payet (Lille)
A poster boy for dressing room disharmony, Payet's penchant for aggravation first came to light in May 2010 when he almost came to blows with his own captain, Blaise Matuidi, during a 1-0 defeat for Saint-Etienne against Toulouse. When a proposed transfer to Paris Saint-Germain hit the rocks in January, Payet took matters into his own hands, travelling to Paris on the final day of the transfer window in a desperate bid to complete a move. Humiliatingly, he failed, and had to return to Saint-Etienne with his tail between his legs, claiming he had gone to Paris "to visit the Eiffel Tower". His love of Parisian landmarks sated, he joined Lille this summer.
Gary Medel (Sevilla)
A snarling pitbull of a player, Medel makes Gennaro Gattuso look like an adorable, helpless bunny rabbit. The Chilean defensive midfielder gained widespread attention during a one-year spell at Boca Juniors, where his signature performance came in a 2-0 Superclásico win over River Plate in March 2010 in which he scored both goals and was then sent off. It earned him the approval of then-Argentina coach Diego Maradona, the patron saint of football strife, who proclaimed: "If he was Argentinean, he'll be called up for the Selección." Medel joined Sevilla in January this year and remains refreshingly candid about his gratitude to the sport. "If it hadn't been for football, I would be stealing or trafficking drugs," he once admitted.
Adrian Mutu (Cesena)
Mutu is a bad boy of a very different order, having famously been banned for seven months after testing positive for cocaine while at Chelsea in 2004. The Romania captain worked hard to get his career back on track but fell foul of the drug testers again in January 2010 when he tested positive for an anti-obesity drug twice in the space of 10 days, earning him a six-month ban. Mutu ended a five-year association with Fiorentina this summer when he joined Cesena. He lined up against his former employers earlier this month but was sent off for wildly swinging an arm at Mattia Cassani.
José Paolo Guerrero (Hamburg)
Guerrero was the top scorer for Peru at this year's Copa America but has a long rap sheet that includes a six-game ban for a foul-mouthed outburst at match officials in a match against Uruguay in 2008. He hit the headlines again in April 2010 for throwing a water bottle in the face of a Hamburg fan who was taunting him as he left the pitch following a 0-0 draw with Hannover. Guerrero apologised but was fined €20,000 by the German Football Federation, on top of a record club fine from Hamburg, and was also banned for five games. Time-keeping is not a strong point either. He was suspended by former Hamburg coach Michael Oenning in April after returning late from international duty and then turning up late for a training session.
And in our regular feature, here is the European Team of the Week as selected by the boffins at stats company OPTA based on performances in the continent's top five Leagues.
This week's XI: