Italian striker Mario Balotelli is certainly no stranger to controversy whether it is on or off the pitch.
His latest debacle has seen him land in hot water with the Football Association (FA) over an Instagram post, which appeared to contain anti-Semitic and racist references.
The post was of Nintendo computer game character Super Mario with text that read: “Be like Mario. He's an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican, jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew."
The Instagram post
The image he posted to an audience of 2.1million followers has since been deleted from his page following the launch of an investigation by the FA.
Balotelli, 24, has been formally contacted by the FA over the post and has been given up 18:00 GMT to respond. The consequences Balotelli will face are unknown at this point.
Balotelli on Twitter
The 24-year-old was quick to deny any wrongdoing on Twitter and clearly stated it was not in his intentions to cause any offence.
“I apologize if I’ve offended anyone. The post was meant to be anti-racist with humour.” He wrote on the social media site.
“I now understand that out of context (it) may have the opposite effect. Not all Mexicans have moustache, not all black people jump high and not all Jewish people love money.
“I used a cartoon done by someone else because it had Super Mario and I thought it was funny and not offensive. Again, I’m sorry.”
A spokesman for anti-discrimination group Kick It Out told BBC Sport: "Kick It Out has been made aware of Mario Balotelli's Instagram post by a Twitter user and has now forwarded it on to the FA to look into the matter."
Nightmare for Liverpool
The last thing that Liverpool need at this moment in time is for their £16million summer signing to be given a lengthy ban.
The Reds are currently struggling to gain any sort of form and currently lie in the bottom half of the table with a shortage of options up front. Rickie Lambert would be the only fully fit striker for the Reds should Balotelli receive a ban.
England international Daniel Sturridge has struggled with injuries since the start of the campaign.
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