Mario Balotelli scored an own goal from the halfway line in a training match for Liverpool last season, it has been revealed.
Balotelli found himself on the weaker team comprised of players likely to be on the substitutes’ bench for the following match against Arsenal, including teenagers from the academy, when he decided to make his own entertainment with the scores level at 1-1.
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The Italy international reportedly turned round and unleashed a shot past his own goalkeeper, Brad Jones, before laughing about his moment of madness.
But while Balotelli may have found it amusing, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers certainly did not. It would be another month before fans would see the former AC Milan and Manchester City star wearing the famous red shirt again.
Balotelli's Liverpool career is over
It may also have been the moment that signalled the beginning of the end for Balotelli at Anfield.
Rodgers has instructed Liverpool to find a buyer for the striker, who the Reds signed for £16 million last summer, but there’s a chance the Northern Irish manager could be stuck with football’s bad boy whose reputation as a player has been tarnished over the past 12 months.
The Independent also describe how Balotelli shouted at young defender Jon Flanagan while the then assistant manager Colin Pascoe attempted to hold a discussion midway through training.
It happened on the same day as his bizarre own goal.
Balotelli has been a disaster of a signing for Liverpool - but this insight into his behaviour on the training ground explains why Rodgers is keen to sell him just one year after securing his services.
Liverpool fans: will you be happy to see Mario Balotelli leave Anfield this month? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!