Mario Balotelli claims Brendan Rodgers’ formation was the reason for his Liverpool failure, as he seals a loan return to AC Milan.
Eyebrows were raised when the Reds paid the Rossoneri £16million for the controversial Italian last summer, as they looked to replace the goals lost by Luis Suarez’s move to Barcelona. But the former Manchester City striker was a huge disappointment on Merseyside, scoring just one goal in 16 Premier League matches.
Whilst the Anfield crowd were willing to give the 25-year-old time to settle with his new team-mates, what they couldn’t forgive was several lacklustre displays which suggested he would rather be elsewhere. But after sealing a temporary return to his former club, Balotelli has hit back at his critics and claimed he wasn’t suited to Rodgers’ formation.
“I must accept my faults, but the formation by Rodgers was not suited to my characteristics,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “At the start I messed up a lot of easy chances, then I had fewer opportunities to score, a bit of bad luck, injuries. It was a mess. I never protested, I accepted the choices of the manager and always behaved like a professional.
“My attitude and style of life were very normal. In the last year there weren’t ever any problems with my private life. I could’ve put up a picture on Instagram in a restaurant, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t training, even though I wasn’t playing. I’ve trained a lot, often double sessions and also by myself or with Fabio Borini and Jose Enrique.”
Milan have inserted a number of good behaviour stipulations in Balotelli’s contract, including restrictions over his haircut and general appearance. During his previous spell with the Serie A giants he had a successful return in front of goal, registering 30 times from 54 appearances in all competitions for the seven-time European champions.