Cruyff says the striker is ill-educated.
FC Barcelona and Netherlands legend Johan Cruyff says that the problems with Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli come from his lack of education.
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The Italy international has struggled to find form at Anfield this season after a £16m switch from AC Milan over the summer and Cruyff thinks he knows why Balotelli behaves and plays badly.
“What I think about Balotelli as a player and as a man? We always talk about the person, I prefer to talk about the education of the person,” the Dutchman told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Balotelli doesn’t behave well and we have to ask why.
“To me, if someone is not educated, he doesn’t play. To me, it is not the fault of the player, but of the team that makes him play. The problem is not Mario, but the education that was given to him.
“If he had been educated in a certain way, he wouldn’t behave this way.”
The Reds are Balotelli’s fourth club despite the fact he is still only 24-years-old and at all three of his previous sides – Inter Milan, Manchester City and Milan – there have been issues with the forward’s conduct.
It has perhaps been made worse for the Italian that Brendan Rodgers’ team as a whole are failing on the pitch, with disappointing results coming in both the Premier League and Champions League.
Balotelli has scored just twice in all competitions and with Luis Suarez having been sold and Daniel Sturridge out injured, this failure to perform has been highlighted further.