Balotelli acknowledges paternity of daughter
AC Milan's forward Mario Balotelli looks on as he attends the Serie A football match between AC Milan and Torino at San Siro stadium in Milan on February 1, 2014 - by Giuseppe Cacace
In a message on Twitter, Balotelli wrote: "Finally the TRUTH :-)??...PIA ... Sweet child of mine !!! your Dad."
Italy striker Balotelli is no longer the partner of former on-and-off girlfriend and showgirl Raffaella Fico, who in July 2012 announced she was pregnant with his child.
Pia was born in December 2012 and Fico later accused Balotelli of distancing himself from his newborn baby daughter.
The 23-year-old player retorted several weeks later by threatening Fico with legal action if she continued making "further irresponsible comments".
The couple had waged a bitter war of words in the Italian media since then, but Balotelli's announcement is believed to have followed the completion of a DNA test.
Balotelli, however, posted a follow-up message which appeared to be aimed at Fico and said: "What was the point of all that wasted time telling lies about me on television and in the newspaper? And what did it achieve?"