Mario Balotelli has spilled the beans on his Liverpool failure and has given an insight into what appears an icy relationship with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.
Balotelli’s Anfield nightmare was finally brought to an end when the £16million signing from AC Milan was allowed to join Ligue 1 side Nice on a free transfer.
The Italy striker has since gone on to score six goals in five games for his new club, and explaining his struggles at Liverpool, Balotelli told Sky Sports Italia: “Klopp doesn’t know me, I spoke to him once, he told me to go somewhere else, work hard and then return.
“So I said goodbye to them, and that we wouldn’t be seeing each other again.”
Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola has often criticised Klopp’s treatment of Balotelli, saying he treated his client “like s***” and hitting out at the German’s lack of respect.
“At the end of the day, [Balotelli] was a player of Liverpool and you need to treat him with respect and [Klopp] didn’t do that,” Raiola told talkSPORT.
“Mario asked several times to have a friendly match. You can train all you want but, at the end of the day, you need 90 minutes, you need a friendly. He never considered him for 60 days.
“I’m not judging him as a trainer – I don’t like him as a trainer at all – but you have to let him play.”
However, Balotelli refused to twist the knife into Klopp and instead focused on why he wasn’t suited to the environments at both Anfield and the San Siro.
He also claimed both Milan and Liverpool “weren’t adapted to me”, adding: “It wasn’t anyone’s fault. They weren’t ideal environments for me.
“I didn’t make mistakes in terms of my game or my behaviour, but I did get injured and that’s not something I can control.”
Balotelli described the climate at Milan as confusing but, despite picking up a red card after scoring the winner for Nice against Lorient on Sunday, he says he is feeling settled in France.
“The problem there [Milan] is the administration,” Balotelli said. “There’s only one person who is phenomenal, and that’s [club CEO, Adriano] Galliani. All the rest is just… confusion.
“At the start, I chose Nice for the climate, I wanted to be in a relaxing but beautiful place, where it’s difficult to get out the wrong side of the bed. The other reason I chose Nice is because there’s a decent group of young players. We’re all about the same age.”
Balotelli eyes Italy recall
Balotelli was not selected for Italy’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers at home to Spain and away in Macedonia and has not played for the national side since the defeat to Uruguay in the final group match of the 2014 World Cup.
However, he says he wants to get back to his best form before a return to Giampiero Ventura’s squad.
“It was right not to select me because I didn’t deserve it,” Balotelli said. “It’s better for Ventura to not select me this time around because when I return, I want to be at my best.”