Monday August 19 2019
Cellino: 'Italian media must help Balotelli'

Brescia President Massimo Cellino urged the media to “help” Mario Balotelli, but claimed English football fans were “racist” against Italians.

The patron spoke at a Press conference presenting new star signing Balotelli.

“This was not a publicity stunt, in fact it was also a way of thanking the fans for buying so many season tickets and showing such enthusiasm,” said Cellino.

“I want to be clear that Mario allowed Brescia to have him in our team and did not put us at any financial risk. I realise there can be this fear of over-hyping, much like going to see a film that everyone told you is brilliant, but we don’t want to put too much pressure on Mario.

“It’s a team with over 20 players and he is here to help the team, while I would like you in the media also to help him express himself to the best of his potential. We’d like you to highlight the positive stories about this lad, too.

“If he came to Brescia, it’s because he made a choice out of love and not for financial gain.”

Former Leeds United President Cellino commented when Balotelli was asked about the fear of racist abuse in Serie A stadiums and came out with an interesting analogy.

“I’ve never felt so alien and outside as when I was in England. I thought that I’d be respected and even admired for what I gave to English football, but I’ve never seen so much racism as in England. It wasn’t towards black people per se, but anyone who wasn’t English, and they are very open about expressing that.”

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