As a player with a not so squeaky clean reputation, you would think that Mario Balotelli would want to step up to the mark and prove his worth in a Champions League clash against the current reigning champions Real Madrid.
However, much to his dismay it seems as if Balotelli has not only let his team down after a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Anfield last night, but has also infuriated both Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers and an array of previous Liverpool players that were outraged when the Italian striker thought it would be a good idea to swap shirts with Real Madrid player Pepe.
Although we wouldn’t expect anything less than crazy from Balotelli after his several media stints including setting fireworks off in his own apartment and burning down his bathroom, having mock sword fights at Indian restaurants and practising martial arts on Kiev players during Europa League clashes, it seems as if he has taken it too far, as a lot of passionate Liverpool players and supporters saw the shirt swapping gesture as very disrespectful to the club.
He also doesn’t help himself by his recent shocking performances as he is yet to score a goal in the Premier League as well as being the most inaccurate with 20 shots taken and only nine on target, which doesn’t exactly make him worth his £16 million (€20,235,935.28) transfer fee. The lack of pace in the striker is also apparent, we see players such as Raheem Stirling bolting forward for the ball as if it’s a case of life or death, whereas Balotelli looks like he is going for a leisurely morning jog.
Regardless of the fact that he isn’t playing superbly this season, the argument is that the cause for loss yesterday shouldn’t rest solely on Balotelli’s shoulders, as they were playing a challenging Real Madrid side.
With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, who is considered to be the best player in the world at present as well as several other world class players like Karim Benzema and Tony Kroos, a game against Real Madrid isn’t a walk in the park, especially considering that the six attacking players that started yesterday totalled up to a whopping £271 million (€342,791,870.32).
So maybe people should stop blaming Balotelli for yesterday’s game, after all he wasn’t the only player on the pitch and conceding goals should lie in the hands of others. He should look to improve quickly, but with constant scrutinisation of his performance and his life off the pitch, no wonder he’s asking why always me?