The Italian and former Manchester City forward has always divided opinion based on his larger than life persona and this latest stunt is sure to set tongues wagging again.

The artist Mario has sought out to chisel his likeness out of stone is, Livio Scarpella, who has never met the footballer in person, but says he is up to the challenge presented to him.

“I presented several drawings but Mario wanted to be immortalised in a pose that shows him having scored a goal, highlighting his muscles and with an expression of defiance,” Scarpella said.

In a move that is bound to excite and offend classical art buffs in equal measure, Scarpella will be looking for inspiration from the great sculptures of the Ancient Greek and Roman sculptors as well as the masters of the Renaissance.

“I have imagined him as an athlete from ancient times and the statue will be a mix of classical and pop style in platinum and coloured bronze with the eyes made of stones.” 

The Italian media have run riot with this story, with most magazines calling for Mario to go with the pose he struck after scoring against Germany in the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

Balotelli has hit the ground running in Milan after signing for the Rossoneri after his January move from Manchester City, scoring four goals in his first three games and starting something of a riot at his unveilling, which saw riot police called to control a crowd of AC fans who had gathered outside a cafe.

Indeed his move to AC Milan was just another controversial chapter in the colourful and often hilarious story of Balotelli’s career, having started his career with the Rossoneri’s heated cross-town rivals Inter Milan.

Indeed during last weeks heated Milan derby, Balotelli was racially abused by Inter fans and he was fined for making an “offensive gesture” towards them.