Mario Balotelli’s Liverpool career is as good as being over. The Italian striker did not go on Liverpool’s pre-season tour and he has been told to train away from the first team as the Reds look to offload the striker signed last summer from AC Milan for £16 million.
From the moment Balotelli arrived at Liverpool, many people were not convinced it was a good signing by Brendan Rodgers based on the strikers history. But with Liverpool having sold Luis Suarez to Barcelona, a striking replacement was needed and Balotelli was potentially the answer.
But it has all gone wrong for the Italian and Liverpool, and it has been revealed in the Independent how shocking some of Balotelli’s behaviour has been at the club, particularly at training. Here is what Balotelli has done:
1) During training Colin Pascoe, then Liverpool’s assistant manager, gathered the squad in a huddle close to Melwood’s perimeter wall. Thirty or 40 yards away, Jon Flanagan was hobbling by, an injured player facing almost a year on the sidelines. Balotelli started shouting towards him for no apparent reason, “Hey, hey…” interrupting Pascoe’s flow. For that, the Italian was threatened with banishment to the changing rooms.
2) Later in the afternoon, Balotelli scored a jaw-dropping goal from near the halfway line. Witnesses stood open-mouthed: first-team players shook their heads in disbelief, youngsters smirked nervously at the brilliance in front of them. One problem: the goal was at the wrong end. Balotelli thought it hilarious, laughing away by himself in the centre circle.
3) By Christmas, indeed, Balotelli did not know the names of some of his team-mates – regulars who feature in the starting XI. It is reasoned he lost out on moments where relationships are developed because he missed home cooking so much that rather than eating at Melwood before and after training, he organised for lunch and dinner to be delivered to his Formby mansion from an Italian restaurant.
It is clear that Balotelli has not changed at all from all his antics from his time at Inter Milan and Manchester City. When managers like Mourinho and Mancini fail to manage a player then you wonder if anyone in the world can. Clearly Brendan Rodgers has also given up and the quicker Balotelli leaves Liverpool, the better for everyone.