Mario Balotelli has completed his £16 million move from AC Milan to Liverpool, becoming the ninth signing of the summer for The Reds.
- Balotelli: Too Much Baggage or just Bags of Fun? (Neil Poole)
- Why Always Us? (Matt Sproston)
- Why Balotelli Will be a Great Signing for Liverpool (Jack Lusby)
- Mario Balotelli – The Footballer (Joseph Copeland)
The 24-year-old isn’t able to play against his former club Manchester City tonight, but will be in line to make his debut at Tottenham on Sunday. He trained alongside the LFC fitness coach on Monday at Melwood.
Balotelli’s signing that has somewhat divided opinion – some worried about his attitude and character, especially off the pitch, while others preferring to focus on the potential of a player who is still young and could mature into a world class player.
Clearly Balotelli’s signing is blockbuster viewing, making headlines even across the Atlantic:
Italian soccer star headed to England http://t.co/UeoRLjEP0F
— CNN.com (@CNNedition) August 25, 2014
Brendan Rodgers has acquired the forward he wanted; one capable of playing alongside Daniel Sturridge, but also being able to replace the Englishman as required during a busy season due to the added Champions League return.
The media and supporters had much to say on Balotelli’s move to Anfield when news broke last week and now that it’s been confirmed there’s plenty to discuss. Here are some reactions from fans, media and ex-players.
Mario Balotelli's league record at Man City & AC Milan combined. 46 Goals in 70 starts, (plus 27 sub appearances). Super.
— Joseph Musker (@Musker_LFC) August 25, 2014
Balotelli to be in the away end tonight with pyro. You just wouldn’t put it past him.
— PeteKopite (@PeteKopite) August 25, 2014
And make no mistake, Balotelli is what you call a "marquee" signing. Just look at the excitement he's already brought to our club & fanbase.
— Viktor Fagerström (@ViktorFagerLFC) August 25, 2014
Off the pitch Balotelli is a very marketable player, will sell loads of shirts etc. Very little risk, unless he kills someone or something.
— MrBoywunder (@MrBoywunder) August 25, 2014
Man United Fan:
Balotelli signing reminds me of when we got Cantona. It's a big gamble but he could potentially be the signing of season #maverick
— Andrew Ashford (@_Ashy77) August 25, 2014
This idea that Balotelli's success hinges on how/if Rodgers controls him is rubbish. It hinges only on whether Balotelli controls himself.
— Rory Smith (@RorySmithTimes) August 25, 2014
For £16m it's an absolute bargain….no-brainer. Hope he does well and brings some more entertainment with him. #LFC #YNWA
— James Masters (@Masters_JamesD) August 25, 2014
Love that Balotelli wears the number 45 shirt because 4+5 = 9. And you lot thought footballers were thick. #maths
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 25, 2014
Liverpool have got a bargain. To pay £16m for a player of Balotelli's talent is fantastic business. High maintenance, sure, but worth risk
— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) August 25, 2014
Cesare Prandelli—"Balotelli is fundamentally a good guy. He is not a bad person, but he lives in a world that is far away from reality"
— Nik Postinger (@nikpostinger) August 25, 2014
Interesting stat on Balotelli conversion rate excluding pens in recent seasons. A touch under 8.5%. @SportsYapper
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) August 25, 2014
Liverpool is the perfect club for balotelli#YNWA
— Djimi Traore (@Djimi_Traore19) August 25, 2014
Welcome to Liverpool @FinallyMario, wear the shirt with pride and you will be a hero at @lfc
— Terry McDermott (@TerryMac777) August 25, 2014