MARIO Balotelli is facing a court appearance in Italy after being accused of committing sexual violence against an under-age girl.
The former Manchester City and Liverpool striker now plays for Serie A club Brescia.
But 29-year-old Balotelli could see his career ended as Italian police investigate alleged events from two years ago.
The Italy international was on the books of French club Nice at the time.
Balotelli reportedly foiled an attempt by a young woman to blackmail him following their brief relationship in January 2018.
She is said to have first told the player she was 18, the local age of consent, before revealing she was in fact 17 – and demanding €100,000 not to go to police.
Her former legal advisor is said to have tried to sell her story to a weekly newspaper.
Following a lengthy police probe the teenager appears to have been found in the wrong – and Balotelli in the clear.
But the young woman’s new lawyer Elisa Romeo has now revealed there are serious sexual assault allegations pending against the footballer.
Ms Romeo said: “In January 2018 the young woman, before being denounced in her turn, filed a lawsuit against Mario Balotelli following a relationship.
“It began consensually. However it evolved into sexual acts that were not wanted by the girl, and subsequently into sexual violence.”
Balotelli’s alleged victim hails from Bassano del Grappa, near Vicenza in north-eastern Italy.
His legal advisors insisted: “We will make the required checks at the appropriate places.”
The player’s representative has been approached for comment.’
Balotelli played for two and a half years with Manchester City in England, helping them to win the Premier League in 2012.