RAGING Mario Balotelli fumed at a gangster's claims last night that he had sold drugs "as a joke".
The madcap soccer star went into an online rage after learning a Mafia informant had linked him to mobsters. The ex-Man City forward was drawn into controversy after the supergrass gave evidence at a Mob money laundering trial.
Armando De Rosa claimed the 22-year-old striker had sold drugs as ï¿½a jokeï¿½ while in the company of senior gangsters. But in a furious denial on Twitter, Balotelli, who now plays for AC Milan said: ï¿½Ah..so now Iï¿½m a drug dealer.
ï¿½You should be ashamed. You are using my name just to publicise yourselves,ï¿½ he wrote in a tweet aimed at prosecutors. Balotelli wrote on the social-networking site minutes after TV news reports emerged of De Rosaï¿½s claims during a trial in Naples.
He said the Italian forward was with the local Mafia known as the Camorra. De Rosa told the court: ï¿½A friend called and said ï¿½Would you like to see Balotelliï¿½ who was in Scampia (area of Naples). I thought it was a joke but he asked me to come and see him at a syringe exchange he had. ï¿½Balotelli was there with members of the Russo and Amato-Pagano clams. ï¿½Among them was a lad who was a dealer, he had a bag with doses of cocaine and heroin. I remember that Balotelli watched as a few deals took place. Then for a joke he asked if he could do a sale. ï¿½So he handed a dose to the next client. I remember asking him if he had recognised Balotelli but he didnï¿½t know what was happening or believe me.ï¿½
Balotelliï¿½s tweet was later removed from his account with Italian media saying club bosses forced him to take it down.
However Balotelli fumed at one Naples TV station: "Your newsroom should be closed down. Unless you apologise you will sweat the tears of my mother.ï¿½
Balotelliï¿½s visit to Naples where he was shown round by mobsters is said to have taken place in 2011 and he has admitted being there but insisted he left when he realised he was in a ï¿½dangerous area.ï¿½
He has been questioned by prosecutors in connection with his visit but has never been charged with any offence or suspected of any wrongdoing.
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