Three time Ballon d’Or winner Johan Cruyff has slammed the way Mario Balotelli's been treated by a host of top clubs prior to joining Liverpool in the summer.
Cruyff believes that the temperamental forward has failed to be educated properly at his previous clubs. The Italian striker has been in the mainstream media spotlight both on and off the pitch ever since his first big move to Internazionale as a teenager.
Balotelli, who has a history of falling out with managers, has had a torrid time for Liverpool following his £16million summer transfer from AC Milan and has still yet to score for the Reds in the Premier League.
Cryuff blames the clubs
But Cruyff outlines how he doesn’t feel it is the player’s fault but more his employers. The Dutchman told Gazzetta dello Sport: “We always talk about the person, I prefer to talk about education of the person. 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 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.”
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The Palermo born player is widely known in England at least for his off-field antics during an eventful period at Manchester City, which included setting fireworks off in his own bathroom less than 36 hours before the Manchester derby.
There was also light hearted incident of when the 24-year-old couldn’t work out how to put a bib on correctly, a feat he's managed to repeat since.
The £16m man is currently on international duty after being called up by new Azzurri boss Antonio Conte, preparing for the upcoming Euro 2016 Qualifier against Croatia.
He was something of a surprise addition to Conte's latest squad, thanks largely to a very disappointing start to life on Merseyside.
Incidentally, this is the first time that Balotelli will feature for his country since the World Cup, a forgettable passage in Italian football history that should provide extra motivation for the imposing forward to find his shooting boots quickly.