Brendan Rodgers’ pride doesn’t seem to have been dented too severely by Mario Balotelli’s recent criticism.
The pair worked together during their time at Liverpool, and while it’s fair to say neither was an overwhelming success on Merseyside, Rodgers seems to have taken it more lightly.
Now in charge of Celtic, the Northern Irishman has responded to Balo’s claim that he was the worst coach he has played under and that his time at Anfield was a “disaster”.
The striker scored just once in a red jersey, and Rodgers jokingly responded to his comments via talkSport:
“He was probably absolutely spot on to be fair!
“I just couldn’t really connect with Mario. He was one that came in very late in the window for us. We had lost Luis [Suarez] and it was a gamble taken from a club perspective.
“It was one where, he’s a big talent, and we thought, well, can he come in and develop – he’s got all the tools.
“In all fairness, I just found it very difficult to connect with Mario. On the field, he tried his best. It certainly wasn’t something that worked out as everyone have would liked.”
Balotelli has turned things around since joining Nice in the summer, though admittedly Ligue 1 is far from the standards of the Premier League.
It’s remarkably honest of Rodgers to admit that he gambled on signing the maverick Italian, though. Had things gone differently, the Reds could perhaps have progressed from the season they finished second to Manchester City and came agonisingly close to winning the league.
As it stands, both men will probably want to forget their time at the club and focus on winning trophies with their respective new sides this season.