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Mario Balotelli Calls Reports of Planned Marcus Rashford Celebration 'Bulls--t'

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2019

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 17:  Mario Balotelli of Olympique de Marseille reacts during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Olympique de Marseille (OM) at Parc des Princes on March 17, 2019 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)
Xavier Laine/Getty Images

Mario Balotelli has denied a report that he was wearing a Marcus Rashford shirt under his Marseille kit to troll Paris Saint-Germain in Sunday's 3-1 defeat at the Parc des Princes.

Manchester United striker Rashford scored a dramatic injury-time penalty to knock PSG out of the UEFA Champions League earlier in March, but Balotelli has dismissed planning to unveil a shirt bearing Rashford had he scored in Le Classique, per ESPN FC's Jonathan Johnson:

Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip

Balotelli also pointed towards the star (denoting Champions League success) on his Marseille shirt as he was substituted in the 2nd half to wind the PSG fans up. #PSGOM https://t.co/OJUHfcVe05

In his Instagram post, Balotelli said the Canal+ report was a "lie," and he added, "Stop creating fake stories over me."

Johnson also relayed the response of Canal+ report Olivier Tallaron to Balotelli's post:

Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip

Despite Mario Balotelli’s denial, Canal+ journalist Olivier Tallaron is sticking to his stance on the Marcus Rashford shirt underneath the Marseille jersey. #PSGOM https://t.co/dikeJYg8bX

The striker did not manage to find the back of the net on Sunday. He was taken off in the 65th minute for Marseille to bring on back-up goalkeeper Yohann Pele after Steve Mandanda was sent off for a handball outside the area.

Angel Di Maria dispatched the consequent free-kick to seal a 3-1 win, having earlier put PSG ahead after Valere Germain cancelled out Kylian Mbappe's opener.

Balotelli joined Marseille from Nice in January, signing a six-month contract with his new side. He has enjoyed an electric start, scoring five goals in eight matches.

The 28-year-old has not only caught the eye with his goals at Marseille but also his celebrations.

Straight after scoring an overhead kick against Saint-Etienne on March 3, Balotelli celebrated with a live Instagram video from the pitch:

Olympique Marseille @OM_English

The internet was broken with this one... ...And we've got it from every angle. There's only ☝️ @FinallyMario, and he's an Olympien 👇 https://t.co/AmX19lLs5d

In Marseille's following match, he scored the winner in their 1-0 victory against former club Nice and subsequently enjoyed a game of rock, paper, scissors with team-mate Florian Thauvin:

Mario Balotelli @FinallyMario

😘😘😘 https://t.co/yqAzjotfuQ

Balotelli is no stranger when it comes to memorable goal celebrations. In October 2011, while playing for Manchester City, he infamously unveiled a shirt asking "Why always me?" after scoring against local rivals United.

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