AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli lambasted Clarence Seedorf's decision to substitute him in Friday's Serie A loss to Roma during an explosive post-match interview.
The Italy international was replaced by fellow forward Giampaolo Pazzini after 69 ineffective minutes at the Stadio Olimpico but was visibily upset by decision.
Balotelli appeared to ask Seedorf why he was being taken off and the 23-year-old admitted in an interview with Sky Sport Italia after the game that he was not happy with the coach's decision before then making a sarcastic reference to the fact that the panel of Giancarlo Marocchi, Zvonimir Boban and Christian Panucci had been discussing his merits as a truly world class player.
"I didn't understand my substitution," he admitted. "But given that in the studio they say that I'm not a top player, it will have been for that."
Host Marocchi suggested his substitution was perhaps because Balotelli had not moved very much while on the field, prompting a furious response from the attacker.
"Who's speaking? Marocchi? He doesn't understand football," the former Manchester City man fumed.
“I never said I’m a top player. I am a perfectly normal player. It will take time to become world class, but the reasons why I am not a top player are not the same reasons you think.
“Every game is different. If I didn’t get near the goal once tonight, then there has to be a reason.
“You always talk about me. When Milan win Mario’s great, when Milan lose it’s all Mario’s fault. I don’t need your criticism, I make my own criticism.
“You always talk and talk, say I’m precious to Italian football, but there’s no point to saying these things. No point.”
Former Milan midfielder Zvonimir Boban then weighed in, accusing Balotelli of disrespecting his Sky colleague.
"You think you're world class? But where are you going? You never do a self-critique."
Balotelli then interrupted. "I don't need your criticism," before bring an abupt end to the interview.