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Mario Balotelli posts gun message to 'haters'

Mario Balotelli image posted online Image copyright other
Image caption The image, posted on Instagram, has now been taken down

AC Milan and Italy footballer Mario Balotelli has courted more controversy after posting a picture of himself pointing a gun at the camera.

The image, on the social media website Instagram, had the message "a big kiss to all the haters".

The player, who joined AC Milan from Manchester City in 2013, has been involved in a series of controversies and also been a target of racist abuse.

He has recently faced criticism over his performance in the World Cup.

In the latest incident, the image was taken down but AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani was less than pleased.

"I have my own ideas about social networks and I've tried many times but our lawyer has always stopped me, saying that it would violate individual rights," he said.

"In contracts it's written what players can and cannot do, but we can't do anything regarding their private lives. We do it vocally but that's not enough.''

Balotelli has been the centre of several controversies over the years.

In 2010, he fired air pistols in Milan's Piazza della Repubblica and in 2011 Manchester City officials launched an investigation after he threw a dart towards a youth team player at the club's training ground.

He also reportedly picked up thousands of pounds in parking fines in Manchester, and his attitude was called into question by the then manager, Roberto Mancini.

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