Mario Balotelli discussed racism, fatherhood, “disastrous Brendan Rodgers” and why “I will win the Ballon d’Or. It’s not too late.”
He turns 26 next month, bouncing from club to club, so were there too many expectations piled upon Balotelli?
“In my view there weren’t enough, as I can do so much more than what I said. But it takes time,” the Liverpool striker told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“On the scale of 0 to 10, I stopped at five, but I’ll get to 10 eventually. I want to get there. I will win the Ballon d’Or.
“I do realise that I’ve spent two years of my career when I could’ve been getting closer to 10 and instead stayed at five. I know, the Ballon d’Or might seem laughable and I might not have done everything to be the best, but the important thing is I realised it’s not too late.
“I don’t want to reach the end of my career with the regret of not doing everything I can to be the best. Up until two years ago I made do with what I had. I did well, knew I could play, so I was happy. It wasn’t in my mind to improve, as I thought that was enough.
“Over the last two years I started working seriously, yet the results did not arrive. Maybe I am paying the price for the previous 23 years. I am relaxed, though, as I am aware that in the last two years things have changed completely.”
His loan spell at Milan proved unimpressive and he now returns to Liverpool, where there is no guarantee of first team football.