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World Cup 2014
 

Football: Balotelli courts more controversy with gun photo

Published on Jul 11, 2014 7:37 PM
 
Italy's national soccer player Mario Balotelli attends a training session at the Maria Lamas Farache-Frasqueirao stadium in Natal on June 21, 2014. Balotelli has stoked more controversy by publishing a picture of himself on Instagram pointing a gun at the camera with the message "a big kiss to all the haters". -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ROME (REUTERS) – Italy striker Mario Balotelli has stoked more controversy by publishing a picture of himself on Instagram pointing a gun at the camera with the message "a big kiss to all the haters".

The AC Milan player quickly removed the photo but his latest gaffe will do him no favours in Italy where he has been a frequent target of racial abuse and has come under huge criticism for his displays in the disappointing World Cup campaign in Brazil.

Balotelli scored the winning goal in the 2-1 victory over England in the opening match but otherwise failed to impress as the Azzurri crashed out in the group stages last month.

The 23-year-old’s poor performance in the 1-0 defeat by Uruguay that sent Italy home, during which he was booked after kneeing Alvaro Pereira in the back of the head and substituted at halftime, particularly angered the fans.

 
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