Italian legend Andre Pirlo (the real one, not the Welsh version!) has told the media that Mario Balotelli should have become one of the best players in the world by this stage of his career.
“He frustrates me”, said the star.
“I have played with some of the best strikers, and I can tell you Mario has all the attributes to be one of the best strikers in the world.
“By now I thought that is where he would be, that is where he should be. He has no more time to waste.” (via Mirror)
Despite his criticisms, he does praise the striker’s personality, saying he has “so much affection” for his former teammate.
“He is infectious to be around. When I used to see him walk into training for Italy, he would have this big smile on his face – and I would just burst out laughing – and start wondering what is he thinking, what is he up to?
“Mario should not just be a character the media write about for good stories. We shouldn’t forget what a special player he is.”
The future looks bleak for Balotelli at the moment. He failed to seal a permanent move to Milan after his loan spell last season, a mooted move to China will not happen after the Chinese transfer window closed, and Klopp has told him he is not in his plans for Liverpool.
The only firm statement of interest has come from newly promoted Serie A side Crotone, whose president suggested he might make a move a few weeks ago (via SkySports).