New Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has conceded he made a “mistake” by ever leaving the Premier League, and is thankful he has been able to complete a transfer back to the English game after an 18 month absence.
Return to England
Liverpool confirmed the acquisition of Balotelli on Monday with the Italian arriving from AC Milan for a reported fee of £16 million. Balotelli also accepted a 50 percent salary decrease and signed a four-year contract.
It was only in the January transfer window of last year that Balotelli returned to the San Siro, this time with the Rossoneri, but he is now back in England once more after his often controversial three year stint with Manchester City.
Balotelli now feels at home once more, and is eager to make an impact of note at Anfield after the faith shown in him by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, with success in the Champions League a particular ambition.
Champions League ambition
“I’m happy to be back because I left England and it was a mistake. I wanted to go to Italy but I realised it was a mistake,” Balotelli told the official Liverpool website.
“English football is generally better. English football is beautiful.”
He added: “I want to win another Champions League for sure, because the Champions League wasn't all mine, I was in a team. I want to take this team to the Champions League.”
Manchester City defeat
Balotelli was in attendance at the home of his former club on Monday evening as Manchester City - last season’s champions - hosted Liverpool in a game he was ineligible to play in due to a late registration.
The evening, however, hardly went according to plan as Manchester City ran out convincing winners as Liverpool were left to lament a poor defensive display despite significant investment in this area.
Stevan Jovetic opened the scoring in the first-half after a relative mix-up between Dejan Lovren and Alberto Moreno, both summer arrivals, before adding another 10 minutes into the second period.
Sergio Aguero came off the bench and proceeded to score with his first touch of the encounter, while the deficit was reduced after Pablo Zabaleta turned into his own net following a tangle with Rickie Lambert.