Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli throwing away talent, says Marco Materazzi

Inter Milan legend Marco Materazzi is frustrated former team-mate Mario Balotelli can't express his talent

Marco Materazzi has warned Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli that he is throwing away his chance to become a star.

The Reds striker was a second-half substitute in a 2-1 defeat by Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.

Balotelli has scored one goal in 14 Premier League appearances this season, whilst the Italy international has netted three times in cup competitions.

While the former Inter Milan defender believes Balotelli has the quality to become a world-class player, the World Cup winner expressed his frustration that the striker hasn’t realised his potential.

“I love him like a brother and my great disappointment is that he cannot express his quality. He is throwing away the chance to be a protagonist,” Materazzi is quoted as saying by Football Italia.

Balotelli, who has spent spells at Inter, Manchester City and Milan, completed a £16m move to Liverpool from seven-time European champions in the summer transfer window.

More: Stats show Falcao outperforming Liverpool flop

The Italy striker has scored against Middlesbrough in the League Cup, netted the winner in a 1-0 victory over Ludogorets and dispatched a vital penalty against Besiktas in the Europa League this term.

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