It turned out to be a 55-year-old dancer.
Conservative MP Guy Opperman was left red-faced after claiming he’d spotted Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli at the House of Commons ahead of a debate on drug policy.
The Tory took to Twitter to tell his followers of Balotelli’s presence and the Italy international’s attire.
Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has popped in to Commons Gallery to watch the Drug Policy debate -wearing sharp suit, pink shirt &a poppy
— Guy Opperman MP (@GuyOppermanMP) October 30, 2014
However, Political Editor at the Sun – Tom Newton Dunn – was quick to correct Opperman and reveal the true identity of the man thought to be the Reds star.
Can confirm the bloke with the yellow mohican in the Commons gallery is not Mario Balotelli. He’s a 55-yr-old dancer. Sorry, @GuyOppermanMP
— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) October 30, 2014
The embarrassment was completed for the MP when Mark Hughes – News Editor at the Telegraph and not the Stoke City manager – tweeted a picture of the Balotelli lookalike.
First Picture of Not Mario Balotelli here pic.twitter.com/w0ew0AiAx2
— Mark Hughes (@Hughes_Mark) October 30, 2014