Balotelli regrets choosing Italy, says father

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli is beginning to regret his choice to play for the Italian national team, according to his biological father Thomas Barwuah.

The 25-year-old striker was born in Palermo, Italy, to Ghanaian immigrants, who moved to Brescia while he was two. He ended up in a foster home of Silvia and Francesco Balotelli and became an Italian citizen after turning 18.

Former Ghana coach Claude Le Roy gave Balotelli, then 17, a call-up to the Black Stars ahead of a London friendly against Senegal in 2007 but the former Manchester City player declined the invitation, opting for Italy U23.

On August 10, 2010, he was handed his debut game with Italy under coach Cesare Prandelli in a friendly match against Cote d’Ivoire.

“Balotelli has started realising he made a big mistake playing for the Italian national team and has told friends about it”, Barwuah told GazzettaGhana.

“He is not being treated well [and] truly, they don’t show him the love he deserves for his great talent and skills. I think that all he gets is abuse, especially from the media here [in Italy] and that is because he is black.”

Balotelli has scored 13 goals in 33 appearances for Italy, but is yet to make a return to the outfit since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they were eliminated in the first round.

“They don’t like him and it started from the beginning. They didn’t want to see a black boy like himself taking glory of the Italy national team,” he added.

In May 2014, Italy’s World Cup preparations suffered a major embarrassment when police were forced to disperse about 20 supporters after racial abuses were aimed at Balotelli.

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