A 30-year-old man is facing possibly 13 years in prison for repeatedly attacking his girlfriend, fuelled by jealousy over her friendship with Mario Balotelli.
According to La Repubblica newspaper, the unnamed man was convinced that his 31-year-old partner was more than just friends with the Monza striker.
It is claimed that Balotelli even intervened several times to rescue her from these attacks.
Using Balotelli as a target for his jealousy is a justification put forward by his defence lawyer.
However, the man had already been given a two-year prison sentence for attacking a previous partner, so it represented a repeat pattern of abusive behaviour.