Inter's Mario Balotelli Tries To Be Hated - Bari Coach Giampiero Ventura

The Galletti coach has stuck his oar into the alleged racism debate...
Once again, Inter's Mario Balotelli has found himself at the centre of controversy. After Juventus were punished for their fans insulting the 19-year-old last season, there have been allegations that Cagliari fans chanted racist abuse at the Inter forward last weekend.

Both Rossoblu president Massimo Cellino and coach Massimiliano Allegri have denied the claims, and Bari tactician Giampiero Ventura has waded into the debate by blasting Balotelli.

"I have a theory - Balotelli does everything in order not to be loved by the people," Ventura announced to Il Corriere dello Sport.

"[Sampdoria striker Antonio] Cassano also threw away part of his career by misbehaviour, above all with the national team.

"Balotelli is the same - he is a great expression of Italian football and he should take into account that the road to greatness is not one of style and forced attitudes."

Ventura has had two spells in charge of Cagliari (1997-1999, 2002-2004), and having had first-hand experience of the Rossoblu fans, he does not believe that the allegations of abuse are true.

"I spent four years at Cagliari and I knew a set of fans who did not abuse, but wanted to represent their region," he said. "I don't believe there were racist feelings - a horrible thing - in the whistles against Balotelli."

Anthony Wright, Goal.com