Italy manager Giampiero Ventura has ridiculed English Premier League side, Liverpool, for “abandoning” Mario Balotelli and leaving his career hanging. The new Italy boss condemned the club’s act after Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp declared that the potential world class striker has no future at Anfield.
Mario Balotelli was loaned out to Italian giants AC Milan but managed to score just thrice in 23 appearances for the Serie A club. After returning from his injury-prone loan spell, however, he hasn’t been received positively at Liverpool, whose manager Klopp feels he needs to be polished back into shape.
Balotelli is at the bottom of the pecking order behind the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Christian Benteke, Divock Origi and Danny Ings.
“When you consider the fact he didn’t play at Milan, that Liverpool have abandoned him, it’s clear that he’s at a crossroads." Ventura, who was named as Antonio Conte’s replacement last month, told Italian media.
Ventura has analysed and outlined a couple of fixative measures that could revive Balotelli’s career and do justice to the potential that he carries. He believes that with more game time, Balotelli can still make amends to his failing career and it seems, he could be willing to offer him a chance to be back with the international team if proven.
“He’s exactly the same as everyone else,” he said, “He has to A) play and B) be professional.
“Whenever Balotelli has shown that he wants to be a footballer, he has shown absolute quality. But from the point of view of his character, he could do much better. There’s no prejudice, but it comes down to what happens on the pitch.”
Presently, Mario Balotelli is struggling to decide on a permanent move to his liking, although he is linked by the British media with a move to Turkey or China. Earlier, Sampdoria President Massimo Ferrero has also urged the striker to join the Serie A side, insisting that the club would be the perfect place for the player to re-launch his career.
"Balotelli is Balotelli's own worst enemy," Ferrero told Il Corriere Dello Sport, "He could re-launch (his career) at a passionate club like ours but I think he's still got mixed feelings. I've tried to tell him to come to Samp because he's a great talent."
Italian manager Ventura might have drawn a parallel from Ferrero’s plan which could be in the best interests of all, and it remains to be seen if Balotelli returns home to Italy. Opportunity knocks once, and Giampiero Ventura’s contract with Italy is only until the 2018 World Cup.Published 21 Jul 2016, 11:41 IST