Mario Balotelli Scores Screamer In Front Of Fans Who Racially Abused Him
Brescia striker Mario Balotelli scored a 25 yard screamer against Hellas Verona on Sunday afternoon, shortly after he was racially abused by fans inside the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi.
The Italian striker reacted angrily in the 50th minute after being targeted throughout the game.
Balotelli booted the ball into a section of the crowd, and almost stormed off the pitch before his teammates eventually persuaded the 29-year-old to return.
The referee halted play and a statement was read out via the public tannoy system to try and stop the situation developing.
Balotelli remained on the field of play and it didn't take him long to respond on the pitch.
In the 87th minute, he let his feet do the talking by smashing in a screamer from distance.
Hellas Verona goalkeeper Marco Silvestri couldn't stop the powerful, curling effort from Balotelli as he netted in front of the section of the stadium he kicked the ball towards.
54': Mario Balotelli punts ball into the stands and tries to leave the field after facing racial abuse from Hellas Verona fans.
85': Balotelli scores this beauty of a goal right in front of the fans that were taunting him.#VeronaBrescia
(:movie_camera:: @beINSPORTS) pic.twitter.com/rL9Rm6MfOc
- London's Finest (@LondonsFinestQU) November 3, 2019
Brescia eventually fell to a 2-1 defeat against Verona, who picked up all three points thanks to goals from Eddie Salcedo and Matteo Pessina.
Following the full-time whistle, Hellas Verona manager Ivan Juric claimed there was no racist abuse aimed towards Balotelli during the game.
"I am not afraid to say there were no racist chants today." he told Sky Sport Italia. "They might've jeered and mocked the great player, but there was nothing there. Nothing,
"I've been called 'sh***y gypsy' many times and Italy is moving towards this general idea of blaming foreigners for everything, but this was not the case today.
Wow, Verona boss Ivan Jurić has said there was no racist abuse aimed at Balotelli "not even one fan"
How can we expect to beat the problem?! https://t.co/xudn9SKvKF
- Andrew Cesare (@AndrewCesare) November 3, 2019
"You can ask him, there was nothing there. I am disgusted by racist abuse and I will be the first to condemn it when it happens, but this was not it.
"They provoked him with jeers and sarcastic chants, but they were not racist. Anything else is a lie."
Juric was adamant there was no racist abuse towards Balotelli and while he said that racism is "absolutely unacceptable", he once again played down abuse from fans.
"It is absolutely unacceptable to see racist insults in 2019 and I will condemn any of my fans who do such a thing, but that was not the case today. They were shouting 'Mario' in a sarcastic way.
"He kicked the ball into the stands, but that's his problem."