Mario Balotelli returns to Liverpool and makes extremely ambitious promise

SoccerBy Sunday World
Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli was back at Liverpool today as they began pre-season training and the Italian player has told the press that he still has incredible belief in his abilities.

The 25-year-old striker has become a byword for wasted talent on the pitch and feckless behaviour off it in recent years but he has told Italian paper Corriere della Sera that he still believes he can reach the very top of the game.

In quotes reported by the Liverpoool Echo, the striker said: 

“In my view there weren’t enough, as I can do so much more than what I said. But it takes time.

“On the scale of 0 to 10, I stopped at five, but I’ll get to 10 eventually. I want to get there. I will win the Ballon d’Or.

“I do realise that I’ve spent two years of my career when I could’ve been getting closer to 10 and instead stayed at five. I know, the Ballon d’Or might seem laughable and I might not have done everything to be the best, but the important thing is I realised it’s not too late.

“I don’t want to reach the end of my career with the regret of not doing everything I can to be the best. Up until two years ago I made do with what I had. I did well, knew I could play, so I was happy. It wasn’t in my mind to improve, as I thought that was enough.

“Over the last two years I started working seriously, yet the results did not arrive. Maybe I am paying the price for the previous 23 years. I am relaxed, though, as I am aware that in the last two years things have changed completely.”

Over those last two seasons, Balotelli has scored just seven goals for Liverpool and AC Milan, and just two of those were league goals, one each season for each club.

Alongside him at training today were Mamadou Sakho, Lazar Markovic and Luis Alberto plus other players not away on international duty.

Sergi Canos also reported to Melwood.

Coach Andreas Kornmayer led Saturday's session, which focused primarily on testing.