Milan and Italy striker Mario Balotelli wrote an open letter after DNA tests proved he is the father of Pia.
The little girl was born to his ex-girlfriend Raffaella Fico on December 5 2012, but only now has the DNA test been performed to confirm his paternity after years of bitter accusations and recriminations from both sides.
“As I had said, if the tribunal confirmed I was Pia’s father, I am ready to take my responsibility,” wrote Balotelli in an open letter to TV programme Verissimo.
“I want to do it in silence, far away from everything that is media-related, when dealing with such an important rapport as the one that ties a parent to their child.
“I will not take part in any TV shows, because my work is performed on a pitch. I don’t want any speculation on this matter.
“I wrote about the DNA results on Twitter because I grew up with manners, values and know the value of the words ‘love’ and ‘affection.’
“Writing ‘Dad’ gave me an explosion of emotion, but now I want to keep this joy for myself. I hope my silence can help to avoid any further controversy on TV or in the papers.
“I hope my silence can help people understand there is a child here who doesn’t know how the media or television worlds work. I hope my few words can help to definitively put an end to this affair.
“With affection, Mario, who today waits for his daughter far away from the media spotlight and hopefully one day on the touchline to cheer on Milan and her daddy.”