The Italy striker has had a slow start to his career at Liverpool and his former boss believes that this could be his last chance to shine for a top European club.
Roberto Mancini worked with Balotelli at both Inter Milan and Manchester City and knows Balotelli’s actions off the pitch often overshadow his performances on it. The controversial Italian striker has a reputation for his hot temper and previously had trouble at both Milan clubs and Manchester City while he was dropped from the starting XI of Liverpool’s last game against West Bromwich Albion. Balotelli completed a move from AC Milan to Liverpool during the summer transfer window but is yet to recapture his prolific form in front of goal which saw him score 26 league goals in 43 games at San Siro.
Mancini believes that Balotelli should make full use of this opportunity to display his qualities and prove his doubters wrong.
“Mario is a good guy, but he is aware that Liverpool is probably his final opportunity to prove what he can do on the pitch. It’s his last chance. “, he told reporters in Paris.
The pair did not exactly enjoy the best of relationships and were involved in a number of training ground bust-ups. They first clashed in March,2012 when Balotelli received a severe dressing down from his manager following his visit to Milan to gatecrash an Inter Milan press conference. The Sampdoria legend was so furious that he ordered him to train separately from the group.
One year later the pair clashed once again when Mancini and Balotelli were involved in a furious shoving match at the training ground. Following a tackle on teammate Scott Sinclair, Balotelli was shoved towards the touchline by his manager. These series of spats ultimately led to Balotelli’s exit from Manchester City.
During his indifferent and controversial spell at Manchester, Balotelli claimed “Mancini is like a dad to me”. The Italy international has won a Serie A title, one FA Cup, one Coppa Italia and one Premier League title with Roberto Mancini as his manager and his former manager believes he is hungry to do well at Anfield.
“I often talk to him via text message, but only he can help himself now. He told me that he wants to and must score more goals for Liverpool.”
Balotelli has scored just one goal for Liverpool so far this season, and is yet to find the net in the Barclays Premier League.