Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has branded former Italy teammate Mario Balotelli as a "negative person" with no respect.
In an interview with Italian publication La Repubblica Chiellini as part of the publicity for his upcoming autobiography, five-time Serie A champion spoke about the former Manchester City striker.
"Balotelli is a negative person, with no respect for teammates," Chiellini said. "In the 2013 Confederations Cup against Brazil, he didn't give us a hand in anything, he makes you want to slap him."
"For someone [supposed to be] among the top five in the world, I never even thought he could be in the top 10 or 20," Chiellini added.
The Juventus captain also had strong words for former Inter Milan and Juventus midfielder Felipe Melo.
"Felipe Melo was even worse. The worst of the worst. I can't stand disrespectful people, those who always want to be the opposite of others. It was always a fight with him. I also told the chiefs he was a rotten apple."
Both players responded to Chiellini, with Balotelli saying that there were many opportunities to bring up issues in person.
"If this means being a champion, then I'd rather not be one. And yet, I have never disrespected the Azzurri shirt," Balotelli said on Instagram.
"At least, I have the sincerity and the courage to say things to the face. Since 2013, you have had many opportunities to do so, acting like a real man, but you never did."
Melo, who now plays with Palmeiras, said that Chiellini's harsh words came from his jealousy of the success he had enjoyed in his career.
"He's still mad at me because when I went to Galatasaray, we slapped them off the Champions League. Or because then Inter won everything. And I'm an Inter fan," Melo told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Also, we beat Italy 3-0 in the 2009 Confederations Cup, which was won by Brazil. He feels envy for this. On an international level, he never won anything."
Chiellini reiterated his hatred for Inter in the interview with La Repubblica comparing his hatred with former basketball star Michael Jordan's hatred for rivals Pistons.
"I hate Inter Milan as Michael Jordan hates the Pistons," he said. "Sports hatred is what drives us to overcome the others: if we give it the right meaning, it is an essential component of sport."