Mario Balotelli has begun life in France on a high note. He stepped onto the pitch with a point to prove, scoring two goals for Nice on his Ligue 1 debut. After the game, the Italian striker answered questions about what had gone wrong in his career, and his answer was definitive: joining Liverpool.
"It was the worst mistake of my life,” he lamented. “Apart from the fans, who were fantastic with me, I must be honest, and the players, who I had a good rapport with, I didn’t like the club.
“I had two coaches, Brendan Rodgers and Jürgen Klopp. As people they didn’t make a good impression on me. I didn’t get along with them.”
From a career perspective, it’s hard to disagree with his assessment. His time in Liverpool was a disappointment for both him and the club and hamstrung his career for the two long seasons it lasted.
Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raiola, has been outspoken for the last few weeks about perceived poor management of the player by Jürgen Klopp, accusing Klopp of being disrespectful of his client. Klopp dismissed this criticism, and indeed he had nothing but positive things to say about Balotelli and his professionalism when he arrived back at Anfield from Italy this past summer.
Additionally, last week, Balotelli and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher became embroiled in a war of words. Carragher began to feud with an unnecessary shot, referring to Balotelli as the most “overrated player” he’d ever seen. Balotelli replied to defend himself by calling Carragher a “bad player” and a “hater”.
Mario Balotelli was always going to be out the door at the end of the summer, that much was clear, but the acrimonious manner of his departure is unfortunate cap to the whole, protracted affair. Now that the player is settling into life in France, hopefully with this parting shot the whole thing can finally be put to bed.