Obafemi Martins says Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has often times been misrepresented as a bad societal figure.
The Seattle Sounders FC striker believes Balotelli “is a good person” and should be spared of excessive criticism.
The former Manchester City and Inter Milan striker has accepted FA misconduct charge for his Super Mario post on Instagram and Liverpool are keeping fingers crossed on possible FA sanctions.
The ex-Nigeria international, married with kids to Balotelli’s elder sister Abigail Barwuash, told Gazzetta dello Sport: “He (Balotelli) is great and should be left alone.
Asked why he thinks the Italy striker gets into recurrent troubles, Martins replied: “Because even if he did nothing wrong, when you are famous like him, (you) end up always being criticized.”
The recent controversy involving the 24-year-old concerns an alleged anti-Semitic and racist post he sent on social media Instagram.
Balotelli reposted an image of Nintendo game character Super Mario on his Instagram page including the text: “jump like a black man and grabs coins like a Jews.”
He has written in mitigation to the FA and has not requested a personal hearing.
“When he does something just everything is magnified,” Martins, 30, opined. “He is a good boy, certainly not a bad person.”
Martins scored a club record 17 goals for Sounders in the 2014 season and notched up a joint-club record 13 assists.