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27th Aug 2015

The antics that pushed Mario Balotelli towards the Anfield exit

Why always him?

Simon Lloyd

Mario Balotelli’s brief stay on Merseyside is over (for now at least), and by the sound of things, there’s a few people who will be glad to see him go.

His move back to Milan is *only* a loan, but judging by the reports in the Liverpool Echo, there’s little hope of him ever pulling on a Liverpool jersey again.

His attitude to training was regularly ‘half-hearted’, with the Italian regularly the first out of the door when a session had finished at Melwood.

On one particularly bizarre occasion, Balotelli noticed prior to training that a teammate had taken delivery of a new iPhone 6. Not yet in possession of the latest Apple product, Mario was ‘visibly irked’ by this and later left the training session prematurely complaining of a tweaked hamstring.

Liverpool v Crystal Palace - Premier League

When the rest of the squad returned to the changing room, they found Mario – seemingly recovered from his hamstring strain – sitting in the corner with a brand spanking new iPhone 6. Luckily, one of his helpers had been able to get hold of one and deliver it to Mario, coincidentally at the exact same time he picked up a slight injury.

There are countless other anecdotes of his time at the club. On one occasion, he was caught smoking with the grounds of the training centre; months after joining the club, he claimed not to know who Joe Allen was on a team bonding session; he also refused to cooperate with the club’s fitness coach.

The night before Liverpool’s Champions League game with Basel, Brendan Rodgers wasn’t impressed at the size of the entourage that Balotelli invited into the team hotel many of them only leaving in the small hours of the morning.

When Liverpool lost the game in Switzerland, he angered the Liverpool boss further by ignoring requests to applaud the club’s fans for their support.

So, ciao for now Mario.