Former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has strongly denied claims that he had a key role to play in a drug deal involving the Mafia, reports The Daily Mail.
Former gangster Armando De RosaBalotelli was drawn into controversy after he gave evidence at a Mob money laundering trial.
De Rosa claimed the player had sold drugs as 'a joke' while in the company of senior gangsters.
Balotelli took to Twitter to vent his anger saying: "Ah..so now I'm a drug dealer. First I was a sha**** Then maybe I took it up the a***. You should be ashamed. You are using my name just to publicise yourselves."
This was in a dig to prosecutors involved at the case and the tweet has since been removed from Balotelli's account.
The AC Milan striker posted his angry response minutes after television news reports emerged of the claims during a Naples trial.
Gangster De Rosa told the court: "A friend called and said 'Would you like to see Balotelli' 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.
"Balotelli was there with members of the Russo and Amato-Pagano clams. I remember that Balotelli watched as a few deals took place. Then for a joke he asked if he could do a sale."
Balotelli is no stranger to controversy though.
During his time in England, the 22-year-old escaped unhurt after setting his bathroom on fire by letting off fireworks with friends while he also gave £1000 to a homeless person after winning £25k earlier on in the night at a casino.
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