Paolo Berlusconi draws line under Mario Balotelli race row

Berlusconi draws line under Balotelli race row
© AP Photos
Paolo Berlusconi says that Mario Balotelli understood his seemingly racist remark during a political rally in Monza was a term of endearment.

AC Milan vice-president Paolo Berlusconi has claimed that the media whipped up a frenzy after he used a racist word to describe Mario Balotelli.

The 64-year-old caused controversy when he referred to Balotelli as his family's "little n****r" at the end of a political rally in Monza, just hours before the Italian international made his debut for the club.

Berlusconi - the younger brother of Milan owner and former Italian prime minister Silvio - was pictured shaking hands with the striker at the Rossoneri's training ground yesterday morning.

He then spoke to theclub's official TV station to announce that there is no ill feeling between the pair.

"I spoke to Balotelli, though in reality there was no need, seeing as he is an intelligent lad," Berlusconi told Milan Channel.

"He had already understood my phrase was an affectionate one that was turned into a stupid media circus.

"Let us close this story, as Mario told me there was no need to say anything else."

Balotelli went on to score both goals in a 2-1 win over Udinese at the San Siro.

New AC Milan signing Mario Balotelli warms up prior to his side's match with Udinese on February 3, 2013
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