Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has served Reds fans a timely reminder of his technical qualities ahead of tonight's Champions League showdown with Real Madrid, but unfortunately his moment of magic was only produced on the training pitch at Melwood.
Balotelli was taking part in a small-sided game earlier this week and met a lofted ball over the top with a quite outrageous backheel on the turn, which completely outfoxed Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones to find the back of the net.
Jones was made to look rather ridiculous as the audacious effort trickled under his grasp into the back of the net, but it's Balotelli's brilliance that should be applauded than any error from the peripheral Reds stopper.
Bernabeu trip looks a daunting prospect
There's almost no chance of Balotelli being afforded the same ocean of space granted on Merseyside when he takes to the field at the Bernabeu tonight, but his confidence is still clearly intact and it's now a question of Liverpool working with the Italian maverick to bring his talent to the fore when it matters most.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has staked his reputation on the £16 million forward, but so far his summer transfer gamble has produced very little in the way of reward.
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Goal return hard to make allowances for
Balotelli's training-ground exploits, which you can check out by clicking HERE, are something Liverpool fans and indeed Rodgers can point to as evidence that the Azzurri hitman has what it takes to get over a poor start to his second Premier League spell.
The 24-year-old's only managed two goals in 13 appearances for Liverpool and is still waiting to break his Premier League duck, firing a blank in eight successive matches in the top flight.
Liverpool desperately need to find a way to get the very best from Balotelli, particularly with Daniel Sturridge still sidelined, but just don't expect any outrageous backheels in the Bernabeu this evening.
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