Football

The story of Mario Balotelli

Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT) April 17, 2015
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Liverpool's Italian striker Mario Balotelli is the most abused player according to Kick It Out's April 2015 report. OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
He's also been targeted by racists on many occasions during his time in Italian football. In May 2013, Balotelli told CNN he would leave the field of play if he suffered more racial abuse. Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Balotelli joined Liverpool during the summer transfer window, but the Merseyside club made an uncertain start to the domestic season. The Italian forward is pictured here with Steven Gerrard after a 3-1 defeat by West Ham. IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images
During that game he was booked after clashing with Hammers goalkeeper Adrian. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
More positively Balotelli played a key role in Liverpool's only goal in defeat, which was scored by Raheem Sterling. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
He registered his first goal for Liverpool in their 2-1 Champions League win against Ludogorets. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Balotelli, who left Manchester City for Italy in January 2013, replaced Luis Suarez at Anfield. ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images/file
The 24-year-old scored 30 goals in 54 games for Milan and was an integral part of the Italy side which reached the final of the European Championships in 2012. Michael Regan/Getty Images
The striker was part of the Italy side which failed to get out of the group stage at the 2014 World Cup, endured a mixed time in the English Premier League with City. While he scored 30 goals in 80 appearances, a number of disciplinary issues affected his game. Claudio Villa/Getty Images
He's something of an online phenomenon and has over three million followers on Twitter, while he also takes to Facebook to share various pictures with his fans. Mario Balotelli
Balotelli scored the winning goal when Italy defeated England 2-1 at the World Cup in Brazil. GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images