Mario Balotelli in tears during AC Milan's defeat to Napoli

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Mario Balotelli could not hide his emotions while on the AC Milan bench on Saturday, though it is unclear what got the better of him.

Balotelli was substituted during Milan's 3-1 defeat at Napoli and while on the sidelines, the striker broke into tears.

Rumours initially circulated on Twitter that the controversial Italian had been subject to racial abuse, though this was denied in a statement released by Napoli after the game.

"We [Napoli] would like to underline that, as everyone present could tell, there were no racist chants against him, just as there were no racist chants at the Stadio San Paolo against anyone," reports the Guardian.

Television pictures also suggested there was no truth in the 'racial abuse' story, with no chants or actions being heard or seen.

Milan boss, Clarence Seedorf, hinted there could be more simple reasons behind Balotelli's tears, admitting he's been in that position as well.

"There are moments when emotions like this can express themselves, it's not the first time that I've seen a player cry. It happened to me plenty of times, too," the new Milan boss said.

Though we are used to his hard-faced exterior, it is not the first time Balotelli has cried in the surroundings of football stadia. After the ecstasy of beating Germany in the semis, followed by the devastation of losing to Spain in the final of the European Championships, both prompted tears from the man with the mohawk.

This game did not have the same magnitude as the aforementioned matches, but something obviously got to Balotelli.

Things looked good for Milan when debutant, Adel Taarabt, gave them the lead. But a Gokan Inler equaliser followed by two goals from Gonzalo Higuain gave third-placed Napoli three points.

Though it is unlikely we'll ever find out for certain a reason for his tears, perhaps it serves as a pleasant reminder that Super Mario is human after all.

Watch Balotelli's tears above...

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Mario Balotelli
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