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Man City striker Balotelli happy to escape Italian racist element

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli admits he's happy to have escaped the racist element in Italian football.

The 20-year-old is not needed for what is essentially a dead rubber and has been spared the possibility of a repeat of the recent racist insults he received when playing for his national team.

Balotelli is relieved not to have that problem in England.

He said: "The day I arrived at City it was three black boys who asked first for my autograph, and I presented them with my white cap.

"I am proud to be black and Italian. I've learned from my family that no-one is "upside down" simply because he speaks, prays or thinks differently.

"I do not know what more I can say about these things.

"Maybe these people came to the game because they do not even have a television set at home."

Balotelli added: "I have learned through experience that it is better to ignore them and pretend nothing has happened but thank God I do not have to know the people who are insulting me."

 It's all kicking off again! Click here for the No1 coverage of Manchester City's winter market transfer news.

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