Mario Balotelli has no football brain, claims ex-Liverpool star

Mario Balotelli's struggles at Anfield suggest he lacks football awareness, according to ex-Liverpool legend Graeme Souness

Harry Reardon
By Harry Reardon

Mario Balotelli has “no football brain”, according to former Liverpool star Graeme Souness.

Italian striker Balotelli has come in for criticism, having scored just once in 10 games for the Anfield side this season.

And Souness, who won 15 trophies in six playing years at Anfield before returning for an unsuccessful stint as manager, told the Liverpool Echo that the issue was not one of fitness.

“Mario Balotelli is 24, he is an athlete and he looks like a magnificent specimen,” said Souness.

“He must train hard at Melwood, he must do the hard running once or twice a week. There’s no question about his general fitness levels.

“But on matchdays he looks like he can’t sustain it or looks like he has no enthusiasm.

“Maybe it’s not a physical thing. Maybe he doesn’t see the bigger football picture.

“Maybe he doesn’t know when he should be running, where he should be running, or how often he should be making those runs?”

Speaking ahead of the Reds’ home fixture against Hull this weekend, the Scot added: “The easiest way to endear yourself to the Kop is to chase down a goalkeeper when he’s in possession, to close down a full-back when he’s trying to clear the ball.

“He has the physical attributes to do that all day long. But he isn’t doing it so maybe he doesn’t have a football brain.

“If that’s the case we really do have problems because that’s the kind of thing you should be learning when you’re 12 or 13 years old.”

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