ROME (AP) — Mario Balotelli has expressed astonishment at the reaction to an argument he had with some Italian football pundits after a game on Friday.
Following AC Milan's 2-0 loss to Roma, Balotelli had a tense exchange with the Sky Italia TV studio hosts.
Balotelli said: "When Milan wins Mario is great, when it loses Mario is bad."
Told by one studio host that he doesn't move enough on the pitch, Balotelli responded: "You don't know anything about football. Trust me."
His comments provoked plenty of reaction both supportive and critical, and Balotelli responded on Twitter around 4 a.m. local time on Saturday morning, saying in Italian: "Mamma mia I divide Italy in 2! Wow! While nearly everyone abroad is united with me!"
Then he added in English: "What a strange game."
Balotelli, whose career had been littered with controversies and clashes with both coaches and teammates, was largely ineffective against Roma and he was substituted in the 69th minute.
As Balotelli walked off, he appeared to question coach Clarence Seedorf's decision to remove him.
"I didn't understand my substitution," Balotelli said in the interview.
Told that he doesn't criticize himself enough, Balotelli said "I'm a very normal player. It's you who says I'm a standout."