Mario Balotelli called for “all Italians to be united” and set aside “hate, jealousy and contempt” at the World Cup.
The Milan striker took to Twitter just hours before tonight’s debut Italy match against England in Manaus.
“ITALIANS!” he wrote in a public appeal to supporters back home.
“Whatever team you support, today there is only one Azzurri side!
“Hate, jealousy and contempt, let’s put them all aside so ALL Italians can be united!”
England: Hart; Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Gerrard, Henderson; Lallana, Rooney, Welbeck; Sturridge
Italy: Sirigu; Darmian, Barzagli, Paletta, Chiellini; De Rossi; Candreva, Pirlo, Verratti, Marchisio; Balotelli