Mario Balotelli went to extreme lengths to deal with racism as a child after the Liverpool striker is claimed to have allegedly painted his skin pink in an attempt ‘to cover up being black.’
The Sun made the shocking claim on Sunday after reporting that Balotelli struggled to understand racism while growing up in a middle-class area of Italy when he was younger.
The publication says the issue of racism resulted in the Italian washing ‘his hands in boiling water’ to make them turn white and using felt pens to colour his skin pink.
Balotelli’s former primary teacher, Tiziana Gatti, is quoted in The Sun as saying: ‘He had an identity problem.
‘I asked him, “How do you see yourself?” He asked me more than once if his heart was also black.
‘He did it to be equal to the others, because he was afraid of not being accepted.’
The claim comes days after Balotelli was charged by the FA for posting a picture of computer character Super Mario on Instagram alongside the words ‘jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew.’