Balotelli goes on a walkabout in protest-hit Brazil - "I'm not afraid, I'm one of them"
With the Italy team lying low in the hotel at the Confederations Cup in Brazil because of the protests, Mario Balotelli ventured out into the streets and even held up the traffic.
He tweeted: “I look like a person from Bahia.”
The striker met up with his grifriend Fanny then a friend and walked along the seafront getting stopped regularly by fans.
A person who ignores the protests kicking off around Brazil – which have resulted in two fatalities and dozens of casualties and forced his team-mates to remain locked away in the hotel – and goes outside onto the streets of Salvador, attracting applause and autograph requests.
Mario, as Prandelli puts it, is “busy with social work” such as a humanitarian project for the Mata Escura favela.
OFF DUTY — Three kilometres around the streets of the city that he visited when he was 17. He saw Fanny and then, after he’d taken her back, met a friend before heading to Jardim de Alah beach. That was Balotelli’s itinerary.
He didn’t get attacked but he did get stopped by lots of fans asking for photos and autographs. At one point Supermario literally brought the traffic to a standstill when he crossed the road.
A man carrying gas cylinders on his shoulders knelt, despite the weight on his back, in honour of the Azzurri frontman, who is extremely popular in a city with the highest percentage of black people in the world outside of Africa.
NO FEAR — When asked on the subject, Balotelli stressed that Italy had no intention whatsoever of pulling out of the Confederations Cup.
“It’s all calm, we’re not afraid. What am I afraid of? Just reporters.” Who, after struggling to keep up with him, had to take Mario’s quips about their fitness levels. “Salvador!! i [sic] look like a person from Bahia!!!” he tweeted.
Followed by another tweet saying “Racist group can f*** their self”.