- (Photo: Twitter.com)
Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has gotten a new tattoo on his chest calling himself "the punishment of God," in celebration of a goal he scored in a league game.
"If you had not committed great sins/ God would not have sent/ A punishment like me upon you," the Italian soccer player's new inking reads. The quote belongs to Asian warlord Ghengis Khan, whose empire stretched from eastern China to parts of western Russia, before he died in 1227.
Balotelli scored in City's 2-0 victory over Wigan during the weekend, which was his first goal of the Premiership campaign, which started in August.
"No it's not true. It's his first goal this season and I hope he can improve after this game," Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said, regarding rumors that the club were looking to sell the Italian in the January transfer window.
"We have four top strikers but we've had some difficulty scoring goals like we did last season. I hope we can move on from this."
Balotelli, who is the first black Italian soccer player to make it in the national team, stirred up some controversy over the summer after he threatened to leave games during Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine if he encountered any racism during the top championship event.
"If [racism] does happen I would leave the pitch and go home," Balotelli, 21, shared with BBC News at the time. "Racism is unacceptable to me, I cannot bear it. We are in 2012, it can't happen."
"If someone throws a banana at me in the street, I will go to prison because I will kill him," he added.
The soccer player was born in Italy to immigrants from Ghana, before he was adopted by a Jewish family.
"That's how Mario Barwuah came into contact with the Balotellis" – Francesco and Silvia – "a white family who lived in a villa in a small nearby village. At first, he stayed at the Balotellis during the week and returned to his family on weekends. But after a while things changed. Mario started to treat his (biological) parents with indifference. Ultimately, he took his weekday family's surname," Radio Netherlands explained of his history.