Balotelli snubbed as Ladbrokes search for favourite Italian

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Mario Balotelli has been voted as one of the least popular Italians in the history of English football, in a poll for Ladbrokes.

Ladbrokes commissioned the research into English football’s favourite Italian imports to mark the launch of its Game On campaign, fronted by legendary Italian commentator Tiziano Crudeli.

From a list, respondents were asked to choose their favourite Italian footballer and/ or manager in English football.

The Manchester City striker landed just 2% of the vote, with Chelsea hero Gianfranco Zola coming out on top with 42% and controversial forward Paolo Di Canio in second place 11%.

Ladbrokes also commissioned research to find out the UK’s favourite piece of football commentary, with Kenneth Wolstenholme’s iconic “They think it’s all over…” line coming top of a given list with 49% of the vote.

Norwegian commentator Bjorge Lillelien’s famous “Your boys took one hell of a beating” rant in 1981 came second (16%), with Andy Gray’s “Take a bow” in third (11%).

Ladbrokes also asked football fans to name their favourite goal celebrations, with Paul Gascoigne’s ‘Dentist’s Chair’ celebration at Euro 96 coming joint top of a given list with Roger Milla’s corner flag dance at Italia 90 (17%).

Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said, “Zola is a worthy holder of the title of the Premier League’s favourite ever Italian. His infectious enthusiasm for football is renowned.

“Tiziano’s excitement for the game knows no bounds. We’re thrilled to have him fronting up our campaign.”

The new ‘Game On’ campaign aims to convey the excitement of betting with Ladbrokes and Crudeli’s high octane commentaries do that to a level of hysteria not seen anywhere else in sports broadcasting.

Tiziano will also appear in Ladbrokes’ retail marketing, press, online and social media campaigns and will also feature in Ladbrokes mobile applications.

The first TV advert is available to view online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4QvWD4haQ0

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1079 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th – 11th August 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.