Liverpool striker has no regret over Ghana snub

“Ghana wanted me to play for them, but that was never going to happen."

Balotelli was born to Ghanaian parents in Italy but was adopted by an Italian couple as his then poverty-stricken Ghanaian family could not take proper care of him.

The striker grew up rather allying himself to the culture and beliefs of the European country, ditching his roots to commit his international future to the Azzuris (Italy's senior men's football team).

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He told Corriere della Sera: “Two years ago I reached the point of calling my agent and telling him I didn’t want to play for Italy anymore. It’s not right. I was born in Italy, grew up in Italy, I’ve never even been to Ghana – even if I will go – so for the law it’s only right that I am Italian.

“In order to get that certificate, which I hung up in my front hall, I spent hours queuing up at the authorities every year. Sometimes I’d like those who insult me by saying there are no black Italians to remember that.

“Ghana wanted me to play for them, but that was never going to happen. At the same time, none of this chaos would’ve happened either. I know it seems rough to say this, but if that moment of crisis had arrived when I had to make my decision, I don’t know if I would’ve chosen to play for Italy.

“It would’ve been the fault of a few stupid idiots, but I am not a robot and certain things do really hurt.

“I certainly didn’t have an easy life at the start. It was tough in Brescia to begin with, being one of the only black kids here, but I slowly settled in. The other kids wanted me to play football in their team, so I bonded with them, but it was hard at the beginning.”

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