ISPORTCONNECT / MILAN: German sportswear Puma has signed up Milan and Italy striker Mario Balotelli. He joins a ‘stable’ which already includes Usain Bolt, Sergio Agüero, Cesc Fàbregas, Marco Reus, Radamel Falcao and Rickie Fowler.

Balotelli wore Puma boots for the first time last month against Roma and in the Milan derby.

Puma already has a long-standing partnership with the Italian football federation.

Balotelli said: “This is a great move for me. From the early conversations I had with Puma it was clear that they understand me, my personality and my ambition.

“The product and marketing plans they have developed are very exciting and I will be proud to be associated with everything I have seen.

“Puma’s support for the Italian national team was another instrumental reason for me signing this contract and I am sure that the coming years will bring many good things for us all.”

Björn Gulden, ceo of Puma, said: “Mario Balotelli is a world class football player who will become a key ambassador for us as his passion, speed, agility and power make him a perfect fit for our brand.

“With the FIFA World Cup in Brazil ahead of us, 2014 will be an important year for Puma. Having Mario to complement an already strong sports-marketing portfolio, he will support our new brand mission ‘Forever Faster’ which will have a significant impact for the PUMA brand.”