Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli has said becoming a father made him a more mature person, as he closes in on a loan switch to AC Milan.
The Italian forward had fallen out of contention and was surplus to requirements on Merseyside, even being forced to train on his own, and is on the verge of returning to the club where he scored 30 goals in 54 games over an 18-month spell.
Balotelli is known as much for his off the field antics as his performances on the pitch, his infamous firework gaffe while playing for Manchester City is just one example of the "character" of the 25-year-old.
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However the Liverpool forward has told Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic that he is a changed man since his son came into his life.
Mihajlovic worked with Balotelli at Inter Milan and had reservations over bringing 'Super Mario' back to the San Siro, however as relayed by the Mirror, via Gazetta dello Sport, the Serbian coach has released the details of the pairs chat over the weekend.
According to the Italian publication, the Milan coach told Balotelli he would expect 100 per cent commitment from him, and would expect the forward to be the first one to training and the last to leave.
To which the former Man City man responded: “I have changed. The experience of being a father has been good for me. I have also been marked by the loss of my own father. I won't disappoint you.”
Balotelli enjoyed his most prolific spell in front of goal while at the Rosenari and will be hoping a move back to Italy can rekindle his fortune with the European Championships on the horizon.
DOOMED FROM THE START
His spell at Liverpool was terribly disappointing as he managed just four goals in 28 games, but it was doomed from the start.
Liverpool are a team that presses high all over the pitch and are constantly on their toes giving the opposition defence a tough time, none of those attributes are possessed by the 25-year-old who prefers to be given the ball in and around the box and applying the finishing touch.
Look at Christian Benteke, the forward has enjoyed relative success in his first two games at Liverpool, his ability to hassle the defence, his love of the physical battle and his willingness to put in the hard yards for his team-mates will soon endear him to the Anfield faithful and the memory of Balotelli's failed season will soon fade away.