Having ended his nightmare spell at Liverpool with a loan move to Milan, Mario Balotelli believes he is beginning to prove his doubters wrong.
Brendan Rodgers paid £16million for the Italian international in the wake of Luis Suarez’s £75million move to Barcelona in the summer of 2014, but the former Manchester City ace endured a miserable time on Merseyside. As well as the usual off-field antics which made the headlines, his form on the pitch was troublesome as he scored just once in the Premier League.
Balotelli had largely been frozen out by Rodgers in recent times, and when Milan offered to take him back on loan just 12 months after cashing in on him, a deal was quickly concluded. The 25-year-old is now hoping to find his best form in the colours of the Rossoneri, who have made an encouraging start to the new season with three wins from their opening five fixtures.
The latest of these victories came on Tuesday night, when they stormed into a 3-0 lead at Udinese and managed to survive a scare when the hosts retaliated twice. The first of the Milan goals came from Balotelli, who was making his first start since rejoining the club, and speaking after his superb free-kick, the striker revealed his determination to prove his critics wrong.
“Slowly I’m starting to remove all the stones from my shoes, because in recent years, in Italy and also in England, they’ve concocted a lot of things about me,” the Italy international told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’ve stayed silent. Are defenders trying to provoke me? Let them come and get their yellow cards, or try and take my legs out, but they won’t be seeing the ball.”