Inter Milan veteran Francesco Acerbi insists he isn’t a racist person, revealing that he grew up idolizing AC Milan legend George Weah.

The 36-year-old found himself in the middle of the storm when Napoli defender Juan Jesus accused him of racist abuse during the two clubs’ meeting a couple of weeks ago.

Nevertheless, the Italian insisted that he never used a racial slur.

Eventually, sporting justice acquitted Acerbi due to the lack of evidence. Therefore, the Inter defender avoided a lengthy ban.

But despite the not-guilty verdict, the veteran remains troubled by the serious accusations that harmed his reputation.

Therefore, the former Sassuolo and Lazio man decided to express himself in a new interview.

“I am sad and sorry. We all lost in this ugly row,” he told Il Corriere della Sera via FcInterNews.

“When I was acquitted, I saw the people around me react as if I had been released after ten years in prison, very happy to have come out of this situation. Those were very difficult days.

“I’m only speaking now because I had faith in justice and I didn’t want to risk fueling a fuss that was already enormous.”

Inter Milan Defender Francesco Acerbi Proclaims George Weah As His Idol

Acerbi admits that the verdict was liberating even though the whole situation was saddening. He reiterated that he has never been racist, while his idol was George Weah.

“The sentence was a liberation even if the whole situation saddened me for how it ended up on the pitch and how everyone attacked me without knowing anything.

“I felt a great fury, as if I had killed someone. I have never been racist.

“My idol was George Weah, he was one of the first to call me when they discovered the tumor.

“Now that the verdict is out. I would like to give my opinion.

“I have absolutely nothing against Juan Jesus and I’m sorry for him too. But you can’t call a person a racist for a misunderstood word in the heat of the game.

“And you can’t continue to do so even after I’ve been acquitted.”

Acerbi also discussed the effect the ugly row had on himself and his family.

“People were humiliating me and even insulting my family, but for what? For something that ended up on the pitch and in which racism had nothing to do with?

“Unfortunately, racism is a serious thing, not an alleged insult. This is not a fight against racism.

“The illness I faced was a walk in the park compared to this affair, I wasn’t afraid at the time. Instead, the atrocious fury I’ve seen towards myself in recent days hurt me.

“I did so much to remove the label I had when I was younger and become an example of perseverance and professionalism and I risked losing everything in an instant.

“Everyone had already issued their verdict before it came out. And for many, I am still a racist.

“Media pillorying is not good and above all, it doesn’t solve a problem like racism which certainly exists. I don’t intend to belittle it even a little, I want it to make myself clear.”

Acerbi Eager To Make His Return To The Pitch

Finally, the Inter defender expressed his joy to be able to play in his team’s next fixture against Empoli.

“I’m happy to play at San Siro on Monday. But above all, I’m happy to play football. If and when the second star arrives, I’ll be there to celebrate with my teammates, with my head held high.

“Did I discuss the issue with Thuram and others? No, because if they know me well. they should know what kind of man I am.

“The European Championship? I don’t expect anything, but I prefer not to say anything about the national team.

“It’s only right that we discuss it with Spalletti. I’m tired, and I don’t want to discuss this affair again.”