Mario Balotelli has revealed some of the details behind his nightmare two-year spell at Liverpool.
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Balotelli, 26, scored just one Premier League goal for the Anfield club following his arrival in 2014 and after a loan spell at AC Milan during the 2015-16 season, he was sold to Nice in the summer.
The enigmatic Italian striker, who has won league titles with Manchester City and Inter Milan plus the UEFA Champions League with Inter, is now flourishing with Nice in Ligue 1, scoring six goals in his first five games for the French club.
“Klopp doesn’t know me, I spoke to him once, he told me to go somewhere else, work hard and then return,” Balotelli said. “So I said goodbye to them, and that we wouldn’t be seeing each other again.”
Who was to blame for the last few years of Balotelli’s career as he trod water, at best, at Liverpool and AC Milan?
“It wasn’t anyone’s fault. They weren’t ideal environments for me. I didn’t make mistakes in terms of my game or my behavior, but I did get injured and that’s not something I can control,” Balotelli added.
For Balotelli the past is the past and with this fine start to life in Nice, there is hope in Italy that he will finally be focused on soccer and not the other distractions which saw him get in to plenty of disciplinary problems at Manchester City and elsewhere.
Turns out the Italian international striker, who is aiming for a return to the Azzurri in the near future, is loving life in the French Riviera. After all, why wouldn’t you?
“At the start, I chose Nice for the climate, I wanted to be in a relaxing but beautiful place, where it’s difficult to get out the wrong side of the bed,” Balotelli said. “The other reason I chose Nice is because there’s a decent group of young players. We’re all about the same age.”
Balotelli is laughing at the world as he sips
champagne a sports drink on France’s sun-drenched Mediterranean coast.