Balotelli’s emotional Instagram message to Milan fans

Liverpool new boy Mario Balotelli has sent a heartfelt thank you to AC Milan supporters via Instagram.

Mario Balotelli is preparing to begin a new chapter of his career at Liverpool but he has stressed his affection for former club AC Milan.

The Italian international striker had a mixed time after leaving Manchester City for his homeland and signing for Milan in January 2013.

While Balotelli delivered a creditable 26 goals in 43 games, his performances often drew criticism for an apparent lack of effort and Super Mario attracted unwelcome headlines off the pitch.

Milan's disappointing 2013-14 campaign that saw them finish outside the European qualification zone meant it was always likely that Balotelli would leave and he agreed to sign for Liverpool after links with Arsenal earlier in the summer faded out.

While Balotelli didn't always enjoy the easiest of relationships with the Milan supporters, he has made an attempt to leave on good terms, stressing his gratitude at the support he received at San Siro.

Balotelli left a warm message on Instagram directed at the Milan fans in which he thanked fans, teammates and staff for their patience and claimed he was leaving the Rossoneri with 'regret'.

"As I am about to enter a new chapter, I would like to thank @acmilan fans who have shown incredible loyalty and faith in me. I also want to thank the great staff who have shown exceptional patience and guidence over the years. Most importantly, I want to express endless gratitude to my teammates who supported me on and off the pitch, just like my family does. Your camaraderie will be forever appreciated, as I've learned so much from you all. I leave Milan with sadness, but know that I will still make you all proud going forward. #FORZAMILAN!!!! #ThankYouMilan❤️❤️❤️⚫️"

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