Brendan Rodgers famously signed Mario Balotelli for Liverpool in 2014, despite promising earlier that summer that the Italian would not become a Red…
But with Luis Suarez departing and the club running out of options, we gambled on the AC Milan forward, which backfired horribly for all parties.
Balotelli had one season with Liverpool but his attitude to training and work was appalling – and it wasn’t long before he was frozen out – eventually released for nothing by Jurgen Klopp after Rodgers had been sacked.
“In my view he should be one of the top three strikers in the world. He has everything,” Rodgers told the Beautiful Game Podcast.
“But that’s the difference between a talent and a working talent. He doesn’t want to work.”
And that just about sums it up, doesn’t it?
Balotelli’s physical and technical traits were almost unmatched, but it means nothing without the right mentality.
There are thousands of footballers without even half Balotelli’s natural skill, but who have achieved tenfold more in the game – because they recognised talent wasn’t enough on its own.
Look at Cristiano Ronaldo. At 35, he’s still tirelessly fighting and adapting to be the best version of himself he can be. Balotelli is closing on his 30th birthday, and is in the bench at Brescia.
What could have been?