Mario Balotelli has hit out at what he describes as his "racist" detractors after being blamed for Italy's World Cup exit.
Balotelli, 23, cut a lost and frustrated figure as Italy went down 1-0 to Uruguay on Tuesday to end their interest in the World Cup.
An anoymous Italian supporter posted on Instagram telling Balotelli: "You're not Italian, get out."
But the striker replied: "I am Mario Balotelli, I'm 23 and I haven't chosen to be Italian.
"I've really wanted to be because I was born in Italy and I've always lived in Italy.
"I was really looking forward to this World Cup and I'm saddened, angry and disappointed with myself.
"Perhaps I could have scored against Costa Rica, yes you (the fans) were right but then? What's the problem then?"
Balotelli scored the winning goal for Italy in their tournament-opening 2-1 triumph over England but the Azzurri suffered 1-0 defeats to Costa Rica and Uruguay.
"The fault," the striker continued, "I'm not going to bring it down on me just this time because Mario Balotelli has given everything to the national team and has not made a mistake (from a character standpoint).
"So find another excuse somewhere else because Mario Balotelli has a clear conscience and is ready to move on stronger than ever.
"I am proud to have given everything for my country."
Balotelli has on numerous occasions in his career been the target of racist taunts.
The 23-year-old referred to his African heritage in his message.
"Perhaps, as some of you say, I'm not really Italian," he said. "The Africans wouldn't have blamed one of their brothers. Never. In this, we black, as you call us, we are light years ahead of you.
"Disgrace is not one that misses a goal or runs less or more. Disgraceful are these things (unfair criticism)."