Silvio Berlusconi appears to have committed his latest faux pas in his role as AC Milan president, claiming Mario Balotelli was an “Italian who had spent too long in the sun”.
The media mogul and former Italian prime minister celebrated his 30th anniversary as head of the Rossoneri on Saturday, and was interviewed to mark the occasion.
But he could not help once more making the headlines with controversial comments, as he referred to the Milan forward and his skin colour.
“We have a rich bed of talent, such as [Jeremy] Menez and Mario Balotelli, who is Italian even if he has spent too long in the sun,” the president asserted to Sky Sports.
“Mario has exceptional athletic attributes. I see him in training almost breaking the net with his shots, he has brilliant ball control.
“On the field I see him out of position, and I say to him, ‘Mario, do you want to win?’ We need to score to win and to score you need to be in front of goal.”
It is not the first time Berlusconi has made racially insensitive comments: in 2008, he called US President Barack Obama a “beautiful, talented, tanned young man”.
The ever-outspoken Milan chief also referred to the future of under-fire Sinisa Mihajlovic, and insisted that it was extremely easy to please him from the bench.
“What does Mihajlovic have to do to convince me? He has to win every single game,” he affirmed.
“That will leave me pretty convinced!”
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