AC Milan's Balotelli acknowledges paternity of daughter

MILAN (AFP) - AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli on Wednesday finally acknowledged he was the father of his daughter Pia, two months after failing to attend a hearing in Italy aimed at establishing paternity.

In a message on Twitter, Balotelli wrote: "Finally the TRUTH :-)??...PIA ... Sweet child of mine !!! your Dad." Italy striker Balotelli is no longer the partner of former on-and-off girlfriend and showgirl Raffaella Fico, who in July 2012 announced she was pregnant with his child.

Pia was born in December 2012 and Fico later accused Balotelli of distancing himself from his newborn baby daughter.

The 23-year-old player retorted several weeks later by threatening Fico with legal action if she continued making "further irresponsible comments".

The couple had waged a bitter war of words in the Italian media since then, but Balotelli's announcement is believed to have followed the completion of a DNA test.

Balotelli, however, posted a follow-up message which appeared to be aimed at Fico and said: "What was the point of all that wasted time telling lies about me on television and in the newspaper? And what did it achieve?"

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