AC Milan’s owner Silvio Berlusconi has branded former striker Mario Balotelli to be a ‘rotten apple’ following his £16 million transfer to Liverpool this summer.
Mario Balotelli has failed to make an impact following his arrival at Anfield and Berlusconi now claims that he is relieved to have let go of the Italian striker.
“I remember [Balotelli] was bought against my advice.”
Silvio Berlusconi went on to elaborate that AC Milan have a good base and without the ‘rotten apple’, they are on their way to re-establishing themselves in Italy and Europe.
“We have many champions: (Jeremy) Menez, (Keisuke) Honda, (Stephane) El Shaarawy, (Fernando) Torres, (Nigel) De Jong. The base is there. And we no longer have a rotten apple in the dressing room.”
Silvio Berlusconi spoke about AC Milan’s poor run of form and believes that the club will be back in Europe and that they are building a ‘winning’ side. He asked the fans to be patient and support the club through its ‘bad cycle’.
“Our goal is to return to Europe. We want to build a winning side.”
“I think there are cycles in football, with years of success, then breaks, then back to winning. But the fans should rest assured – the team is already competitive and we’ll soon be leaders in Europe again.”
“The 2016 Champions League final is in Milan. Why shouldn’t we dream of being there?”
Meanwhile Balotelli will be hoping to turn his fortunes at Anfield after having scored a single goal in 6 outings. Though there was much anticipation surrounding his arrival, the striker has been criticised for being wasteful in the box and also earned the wrath of the manager.
Brendan Rodgers made it clear earlier that Balotelli was not the first choice for Liverpool hinting that he was a panic last-minute buy to replace Luis Suarez.
He described Mario Balotelli as a ‘calculated risk’ making it clear that he did not have complete faith in the Italian striker.
“Mario was the one right at the very end who was available for that. I said when he came in that it was a calculated risk and it’s something I have to work on to try to make it work for the team.”
However the Red faithful have rallied behind Balotelli and put up a banner at Anfield saying “”I have nothing to declare but my genius.”
Balotelli publicly thanked the fans for the gesture and has assured Anfield that they are due for a lot of goals and ‘genius’ from the Italian striker. Whether Balotelli delivers his promise, however, is a question that will be answered in the near future.