Brendan Rodgers has insisted that there will be no major repercussions from Mario Balotelli’s ‘shirt swapping’ misdemeanour last night, but hinted that the player himself may not be a great “long-term” option for Liverpool.
The controversial Italian has been in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons today, after exchanging jerseys with Real Madrid’s Pepe as the players walked off at half-time with the Reds trailing 3-0.
‘Balo’ then did not emerge for the second 45 minutes as Adam Lallana came on in his place, and when questioned after the game Rodgers confirmed that he was not happy with the player’s actions.
However, despite growing frustrated with questions surrounding the madcap Italian, the Kop chief was adamant that there are no major problems:
“Is this the Mario Balotelli press conference?” he told reporters. “It’s no problem for me. I select the players on how well they work in training and the best teams to win games.
“‘The Mario Balotelli Show’ is no different to me. He’s like any other player. For me as a manger, it is no problem. I like players who are different.
“But as long as they don’t see themselves as individual. They have to be part of the team. He’s working hard and doing his best right now.”
But Rodgers went on to hint that Balotelli may not be a good long-term option for the club:
“We’ve had a conversation. Case closed. It’s a part of the game and you have to accept it.
“I think the boy is trying very, very hard and long-term we will see how that works out for him. He is working hard to improve to score goals and boost his chances.
“As long as he is doing his best, I can’t ask for anymore. Whether that best is good enough long-term who knows. But that’s the same for any player.”