Roma captain Francesco Totti has leapt to the defence of AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi.

The Italian prime minister is recovering at San Raffaele hospital after being hit in the face by a statuette thrown at him during a political rally in Milan.

Berlusconi suffered a fractured nose, two broken teeth and a lip injury.

Totti said: "I find it essential, in my position as a sportsman, to say loud and clear: no to all violence. What happened was something sad and disturbing.

"Express your opinions, or even dissent. But with brutal acts? It is never, never, never justifiable. Right now I feel really close to the Berlusconi family, especially my friend Pier Silvio, and addressing our prime minister I offer very warm wishes for a speedy recovery."