Birth parents of Inter Milan's Balotelli break silence
The youngster of Ghanaian descent has lived with his foster family in Brescia since he was two years old and considers them to be his only relatives.
He fought tooth and nail to play for the Azzurri, but had to wait until he came of age in August, because his adoption was never made official.
"We arrived in Italy in 1988," revealed his birth mother, Rose Barwuah, in the Corriere della Sera.
"We lived with another African family in a one-bedroom apartment full of damp. I went to the social services and pointed out I had a sick child.
"There were no houses for us, so they told me it would be better to hand Mario to a local family for a while."
The striker was born on August 12, 1990 in Palermo and has always said he feels himself to be 100 per cent Italian, dropping the Barwuah from his surname.
"The social services put us in contact with the Balotelli family. I spoke to Mario often and took him home at the weekends so he could stay with his brothers," added father Thomas Barwuah.
"However, things changed as the years wore on. We do not care that he is now famous and we're not after money. Thankfully, we have enough.
"All we want is that he remembers we are his parents, too. Tell the Inter Coach, Jose Mourinho, to look after Mario like a son. It's what he needs.
"We would like to tell Mario that we have always loved him and are enormously grateful to the Balotelli family for raising him.
"But we'd also want an emotional connection with our son. Above all, we wish to state that we didn't 'give away' our child. Things happened in a way that probably even Mario doesn't know about."