Mario Balotelli is not one to shirk an interview request.
His latest produced some hard-hitting comments about his time at Liverpool after he left Anfield for good this summer.
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Balotelli, still just 26 years old, scored twice on his debut for Ligue 1 side Nice on Sunday as they beat Marseille 3-2.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Balotelli was asked what had been going wrong in his career recently. This what his honest answer…
“I joined Liverpool. It was the worst mistake of my life,” Balotelli said. “Apart from the fans, who were fantastic with me, I must be honest, and the players, who I had a good rapport with, I didn’t like the club. I had two coaches, Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp. As people they didn’t make a good impression on me. I didn’t get along with them.”
Balotelli is notoriously not an easy man to get along with as various bust ups with coaches in the past will testify too.
There’s no doubt his time at Liverpool was a disaster.
After a positive Confederations Cup campaign in 2013 in Brazil and then scoring a winner for Italy against England in a 2014 World Cup group stage clas, Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool decided to snap him up for $23 million from AC Milan. It was a risk to buy the former Manchester City striker and it backfired badly. He scored just four goals in 28 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool in the 2014-15 season and just once in 16 PL outings.
Balotelli spent last season on loan at AC Milan and was then frozen out by Klopp on his return to Liverpool this summer.
However, behind all of his crazy antics, outspoken interviews and showmanship on the pitch, there is a really good player in there. Balotelli knows that and according to the BBC he believes he can still win the Ballon d’Or, the award handed out by FIFA to the best player on the planet.
“Of course. It’s not too late,” Balotelli said. “I think I could have already won it by now, but by working hard in training I could still win it in the next two or three years.”
We love your self confidence and antics, Mario, but maybe just take one step at a time?
Still, it’s good to see Balotelli back smiling and scoring goals as the enigmatic forward who has won league titles with Inter Milan, Man City, plus a UEFA Champions League with Inter. He knows what he is capable of.
Now he needs to use this fresh start in the South of France to prove just how good he is by playing regularly and catapulting himself back on to the global stage for all the right reasons.