A cartoon image of Mario Balotelli depicted as King Kong appeared in Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport before Italy's European Championship quarterfinal against England.

The Manchester City forward was shown hanging on to iconic clock Big Ben and swatting away soccer balls.

uite how anyone could decide to compare a black footballer to an oversized gorilla is beyond comprehension.

Balotelli actually said before the tournament that he would walk off the pitch if he was subjected to racist abuse but let's hope he didn't see a copy of the latest publication from Italy's premier sports newspaper.

Although the message seemed to be that Balotelli would destroy England, the former Inter Milan forward actually struggled in front of goal.

The match finished 0-0 after extra time, but Italy went on to win 4-2 on penalty kicks to advance to the semifinals where they will face Germany.