After a summer full of speculation regarding just where he’d end up before the transfer window closed, Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli’s season long loan to Serie A side AC Milan has been confirmed almost one year to the day that he signed for Liverpool for £16mil from the Rossoneri.
“I feel like a player who’s just finished the first half of his career. I played and lived like a kid. It hasn’t always gone well, I’ve wasted a lot of opportunities,” he told Italian media outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport after re-joining the Milanese club for a second spell. “But the game’s not over, I still have a second half to play. Now I’ll play it like a man,” he continued. “I know a lot of people don’t believe in my comeback. It’s up to me to prove them wrong. Milan have taken a gamble, but I’ve made a promise to myself and all the people who support me. I’m starting from zero and know I can’t mess this one up.”
The 25-year old had a torrid time on his return to England, scoring only one Premier League goal and regularly finding himself outside of not only the starting eleven, but the match day squad as well — something that Balotelli has accepted only part of the blame for.
“I must accept my faults but the formation chosen by Rodgers was not suited to my characteristics. At the beginning I missed several easy chances, then I had fewer chances to score, a bit of bad luck, injuries. A mess of things,” explained Balotelli before going on to defend his professionalism during his time on Merseyside despite multiple stories in the press cropping up to the contrary. “I never complained, I accepted the decisions of the manager and I always behaved like a professional. The professional Mario didn’t just land here in Milan, even at Liverpool my behaviour and lifestyle were normal.”