Clarence Seedorf seemed to dismiss rumours Mario Balotelli’s tears were down to racist abuse. “It was actually beautiful.”
The striker broke down on the bench after his substitution during Milan’s 3-1 defeat to Napoli. He had just missed a great scoring opportunity at the Stadio San Paolo.
There have been some reports outside Italy that he was crying because of racist abuse from the Napoli fans, but there appears to be no evidence of this.
“What can I say about Balotelli’s tears? They were the tears of a sportsman,” said Coach Seedorf in a Press conference.
In an interview with Mediaset Premium Seedorf also noted “Mario is human. These are things that happen many times in football and sport in general. I’d say it was actually beautiful, but I’d prefer to talk about the game.”
The tactician had also told Sky Sport Italia “we are players and there are times when we express ourselves that way. I see nothing wrong or abnormal in that. I experienced it at times too.”
Teammate Ignazio Abate suggested the tears were not of anger, but of disappointment. “Mario really cares about doing well with Milan and making his mark. He is sentimental. It’s a shame that he got so downhearted about it, as he needs to keep his head up.”
It has been an emotional few days for Balotelli, as DNA tests proved he is a father to Pia, the daughter of his ex-girlfriend Raffaella Fico.
It’s worth noting his former partner is from Naples and lives in the city, so it’s possible he saw his daughter for the first time this weekend.
Balotelli also wrote an open letter to explain his emotions at this discovery, which terminates a lengthy and often bitter legal battle.
Mario’s brother Enock Baruwah also implied the paternity issue was behind his tears in a tweet.
“Let’s not start posting pictures of him crying, dammit. Let’s leave him alone for once and pretend it didn’t happen... It has been a tough week.”