When Liverpool brought in Mario Balotelli last summer, in England, to replace Luis Suarez many would have acknowledged the risk in bringing in such a controversial character to replace another one. Though it was a gamble the millions of Liverpool fans would have been hoping Brandon Rodgers, despite Balotelli’s reported shenanigans, would have been able to get the best out of him during the course of the season as he had done with El Pistolero.
Coming from a controversial World Cup here in South Africa in 2010 Liverpool signed Suarez for a then record fee of £28m from Ajax Amsterdam. In his first season, 2010-2011 he scored 4 goals in 13 appearances helping Liverpool finish sixth. He proceeded to the Copa America where he won player of the tournament. In his first season he was for most of the period out of the media spot light. It was only in the following season when he was suspended for racially abusing Patrice Evra of Manchester United.
In comparison Balotelli was signed from AC Milan for £16m last summer, and went from scoring 26 goals in 43 appearances for Milan to 1 goal in 16 appearance for Liverpool. He has not represented Italy since the 2010 World Cup as such he doesn’t have the national platform to prove his worth unlike Suarez. His first season was clouded with gimmicks and was in the paper for every other season except for his activities on the football field.
The one time Mario Balotelli made headlines for footballing reasons, was when Liverpool were playing Besiktas in the Europa League. When a penalty kick was awarded to Liverpool, Henderson being the captain and the man handed the responsibility of taking spot kicks by the manager, found himself in a dispute with Mario over who should take the spot kick.
There rest of the time Mario’s time at Merseyside has been plagued with reports of the usual rock star stunts, like recently when Sterling scored his first goal for Manchester City, Mario tweeted the below tweet which infuriated Liverpool fans even further.
It was also reported that during a 10 on 10 friendly match between Liverpool first team and the reserves, at being told to play with the youngster left Mario angered and his reaction saw him score a stunner of goal during that game. However the goal scored was against his own team which left Bradley Jones and the other players astounded, this all while he laughed it off. Mario apparently didn’t even know some of the names of the senior players at the club because he refused to have his meals with the rest of the team and preferred to have them at his Mansion.
Overall Mario’s career seems has taken a nose dive and who knows where it will end up. Off the field there is very little which indicates that his pre-Madonna attitude will change. The biggest difference however between the Luis and Mario is that whilst they both had the worst reputations in football in their first season, one delivered on the field of play and the other has not.