Italian footballing legend Andrea Pirlo has revealed that Mario Balotelli could still turn out to be one of the best strikers in the world.
Pirlo waxed lyrical about Balotelli as both a personality and a talent. The former Italian international stated that he still has faith in the Liverpool striker and that he is still a special player.
The former Juventus man actually described Balotelli as being among the most talented strikers he has ever worked with.
“He frustrates me, but I do have so much affection for Mario,” Pirlo was quoted as saying by FourFourTwo.
“He is infectious to be around. When I used to see him walk into training for Italy, he would have this big smile on his face – and I would just burst out laughing – and start wondering what is he thinking, what is he up to?
“Mario should not just be a character the media write about for good stories. We shouldn’t forget what a special player he is.
“I have played with some of the best strikers, and I can tell you Mario has all the attributes to be one of the best strikers in the world.”
The former Juventus star did however, underline that Batlotelli cannot afford to waste anymore time and must start showing what he is capable of before it really is too late.
“By now I thought that is where he would be, that is where he should be. He has no more time to waste,” he added.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has however, made it clear that Balotelli has no future at Liverpool and that the club will listen to offers for the striker.
“With a lot of players it is not the moment to talk of transfers as it could kill all talks by saying someone was 70 per cent to sign him or whatever,” Klopp explained, per the Mirror.
“But I can talk of Mario because that one is obvious and I have spoken to him about this.
“But this is not a situation where he should be battling with other players like this for one position, so it’s clear we need a solution.”
The powerful striker joined for Liverpool in the 2014-15 season, but could manage only one Premier League goal in 16 Premier League appearances.
Balotelli struggled at AC Milan last season scoring just once in the Serie A over the last league campaign.
The 25-year-old striker was also dropped from the Italy national team going into Euro 2016 and has failed to earn a single call-up since the end of 2014.