–Liverpool striker vows to focus on football
Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli insists there will be no more fireworks off the pitch – and says that anyone who thinks he has sex just before a match is having a laugh.
The Italy striker is more famous for his off-field antics than his exploits on the pitch, and the most notorious incident was when fireworks were let off in his bathroom.
Balotelli said: ‘I have done mistakes in the past, like everybody did when they were young.
‘And the firework thing did happen, but it wasn’t me who let it off. I know England is like this, though, so it’s OK. It’s a shame, sure, but I get used to it – the newspapers are always trying to give an image of Mario that is bad, printing things that aren’t true.
‘Off the pitch, really I don’t have any problems because I am always home. When people speak bad about me, it’s only because they listen to the media and read what the newspapers say.
They maybe lose a little bit of focus on my football, so everybody thinks I am famous for what happens outside the pitch.’
The 24-year-old also said rumours of him having sex just before a match were unfounded – and that he is only interested in scoring on the pitch.
He told Sport magazine: ‘Someone told me recently that I had apparently said that if I have sex three or four hours before a game, it is working for me on the pitch. Trust me, if I am having sex four hours before a game I am not able to play. I don’t think anyone could. It makes me laugh, but this is not me.
‘I am only focused on football. I live out in the countryside, I am relaxed and I just hope the time that I’m going to score is coming soon. Then maybe they will concentrate more on football and not all the other bull****.’
To that end, Balotelli believes Brendan Rodgers’s strength of character can help him make a success of his Liverpool career.
The Italy international said he was surprised by the quality in Liverpool’s squad when he signed and has admitted that he is desperate to score his first Premier League goal for the club.
The striker has had the international break to focus solely on his club form after being dropped by the new Italy head coach, Antonio Conte, and says he is determined to repay the faith shown to him by the Liverpool supporters.