Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli has accused AS Roma captain Franceso Totti of racially insulting him during the Coppa Italia final Wednesday night which saw Inter lift their first piece of silverware of 2010.
The Roma captain was shown a straight red card in the closing stages of the game after lashing out at Balotelli by wildly kicking him which resulted in his dismissal. The Inter striker has revealed what Totti supposedly said in yet another unfortunate racial incident in European football. Balotelli is quoted of saying in Friday’s Gazzetta dello Sport the racial slur he suffered.
Both players are not shy from controversy but Totti also claims that he was subject to verbal abuse from the Inter front man. The Giallorossi veteran has been roundly criticised for his dismissal in the Italian press with many questioning his involvement in this summer’s World Cup. Totti spoke to Corriere dello Sport to explain his actions, but insists the Inter teenager was overstepping the mark with his insults.
“Hearing a footballer repeatedly insulting my fans, my city, my sense of belonging to Rome, as well as me personally, telling me that I’m finished and unbearable.
One can’t tolerate that he (Mario Balotelli) is always allowed to provoke everyone, including his own fans and those of other teams and no one does anything to prevent his behaviour.
He does this in practically all the stadiums in Italy and Europe. That’s probably why in his own team he’s never been fully accepted and is always seen by other clubs and his own national team as an unsettling element.”
The 33 year old who has made an astonishing 568 appearances for his boyhood club also revealed how he feels abandoned by those who normally support him following his dismissal in the Stadio Olimpico.
Balotteli’s agent has defended his client who insists he’s been assured by the nineteen year old that he did not offend the World Cup winner in any such way.
“Mario has assured me that he didn’t insult anyone. He admits only to having said: “stop kicking me, don’t be a child and play football”. Nothing more, then Totti did the rest.”
It is not the first time the Italy Under-21 international has suffered racial abuse this season as he endured such taunts from Juventus fans earlier on in the campaign.