Wednesday February 12 2014
Balotelli on racism, Ibra & the Pope

Mario Balotelli has admitted that he would leave the pitch were he to be the subject of racist chanting.

The Milan striker was seen crying on the bench after being taken off in Milan’s 3-1 loss to Napoli at the weekend.

Initial reports suggested that it was because the striker had been abused racially by fans at Stadio San Paolo, but that was subsequently denied by all parties.

The Italy international though, has conceded that he would have no qualms about leaving the pitch prematurely were he being abused.

“Would I leave the pitch? Yes, I would,” he told 4-4-2. “I accept the professional criticism, but the only thing that bothers me is the racism.

“If a crowd isn’t racist then there would be no problems. I grew up with certain things, but when I do something important on the pitch, and I see people are proud of me, that’s when I love being a footballer.”

Balotelli then commented on meeting the Pope and his idols growing up.

“I believe in God and at certain times that helps me calm down. It meant a lot for me to meet the Pope.

“I learned a lot from him. He’s a man who is deeply inspiring. It is an experience I will never forget.

“When I was a kid my idol was Ronaldo. He was a fantastic player who made me fall in love with the game. But Ibrahimovic is also an incredible player.”