Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher was running through his most memorable tweets in a Sky Sports program this week and bumped into a contentious one.
Back when Mario Balotelli opened his Liverpool goal account on February 10, 2014, he posted a tweet that read: “Mario!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Worth every penny.”
The 39-year-old explains:
“This is a joke by the way. Mario, with lots of explanation marks. There’s lots. Worth every penny.”
It prompts Sky Sports star Tubes to dig in at Carragher – confirming: “So that’s definitely a joke, yeah?”
He then laughed and replied:
“Yeah, so we know that. I can assure you of that!”
“I couldn’t believe Liverpool signed him to be honest.
“Every signing you’re never quite sure, you hope it goes well. You hope they go wrong for certain other clubs when they sign someone.
“But Mario Balotelli, I couldn’t believe we signed him.
In the heat of the moment, he finally mentioned: “I think he’s one of the most overrated players I’ve seen in my life.”
The maverick forward was signed from AC Milan for a fee of £16 million in August 2014 to fill the void left by Luis Suarez, who joined Barcelona. Being well-known for his bad temperament and potential to grow into a striker who could dominate the next decade, there was an air of scepticism when Balotelli arrived at Anfield.
Before knotting a deal with the Merseyside club, he was under the tutelage of many top managers in the world such as Jose Mourinho and Roberto Mancini, yet their efforts to tame him down went next to nothing. Therefore, Brendan Rodgers appeared to be a rookie despite the former Swansea boss voicing out his belief in the striker.
He failed to hit the ground running and soon became the dictionary definition of a flop, having only found the back of the net once out of 16 appearances. The 26-year-old was then farmed out on loan to AC Milan but could not turn the fortunes around. He returned to Merseyside this summer and Jurgen Klopp sprang no surprise by sanctioning him a permanent move to Nice for zilch.
Balotelli seems to have rediscovered his swagger in front of goal, racking up 9 goals out of 13 appearances for the French outfit. Conversely, he is still shackled with outbursts and needless fouls – earning 2 red and 3 yellow cards so far.
Hardly any Liverpool faithful will disagree with Carragher’s two cents.