Mario Balotelli forced to defend his name.
Ex-Manchester City and current AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has been forced to rubbish claims that he was involved with a drug deal associated with the Mafia.
The Italian was said in court by a witness to have been present at a deal in Naples that saw Balotelli help sell drugs ‘as a joke.’
Former gangster Armando De Rosa claimed that the 22-year-old was present, along with a number of senior Mafia members, whilst drugs were sold to an addict.
“A friend called and said ‘Would you like to see Balotelli’ who was in Scampia [area of Naples],” De Rosa said in court, as quoted in the Daily Mail.
“I remember that Balotelli watched as a few deals took place. Then for a joke he asked if he could do a sale.”
The Milan forward has hit out at the claims though, taking to social networking Twitter to voice his anger at the claims.
Balotelli has since admitted that he was present with mobsters in Naples in 2011, but left the situation as soon when he realised it was getting dangerous.
The Italy international was constantly in the British press during his time at City for outlandish and outrageous actions the striker had apparently undertaken.
In October 2011 Balotelli was forced to call the fire brigade to his Manchester house after he and a group of friends had been setting fireworks off inside the bathroom.
This was followed by several other incidents before a training ground bust-up with manager Roberto Mancini – caught on camera by paparazzi – spelled the beginning of the end for the forward at Eastlands and he was sold to Milan in January.