Thursday, February 2, 2023

Why Raiola’s Comments On Liverpool Boss Jurgen Klopp Can Be Categorised As ‘Deluded’

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Mario Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola has recently made some scathing remarks about Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp for his treatment of his client Mario Balotelli, who left the club on the deadline day of the transfer window to join French outfit OSG Nice on a free transfer. Balotelli joined Liverpool in the summer of 2014 from AC Milan for £16m. The signing was described by then manager Brendan Rodgers as a gamble as Liverpool had no other option than signing the player after missing out on their primary targets.

Balotelli arrived at Anfield with a reputation and did nothing to change that. He featured just 16 times in the league for the Merseyside club scoring a solitary goal in the league and finished the season with 28 appearances and just 4 goals with many adjudging him to be the worst signing of the season.

Balotelli, always had talent but never looked serious about utilizing it on a consistent basis. His time at Liverpool was a testament of how careless and reckless a player can be. When others would have spilled their guts on the field to prove their worth after having a very good season with AC Milan but a disappointing World Cup, Balotelli seemed to cut an uninterested figure on the pitch, playing on his own terms not doing enough in attacking and not participating in the team’s defending.

Loitering around aimlessly disrupting the team’s shape and proving to be a liability rather than an effective option. The following season, the Italian striker was loaned out to AC Milan where he scored 14 goals and provided 6 assists in the Serie A in 2013/14 season. His second coming at the San Siro turned out to be another disaster with the 26 year old making 20 appearances in total, 12 of them from the bench and scoring only 1 goal the whole season.

Nice's football club new signing Italian forward Mario Balotelli poses on September 2, 2016 at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, southeastern France. / AFP / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Nice’s football club new signing Italian forward Mario Balotelli poses on September 2, 2016 at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, southeastern France. / AFP / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

The career of Balotelli has been on its way below since the World Cup in Brazil. The player himself made little effort to improve things. Rather, he has been keeping up his nonsensical and inappropriate social media actions with his usual occasional dosages of stupidity in his personal life. Steven Gerrard exclaimed in 2015 that Mario Balotelli is a spectacular waste of talent. The Anfield legend’s words were repeated recently by Italy and AC Milan legend Andre Pirlo as well, when the midfielder remarked that Balotelli has wasted his career away.

Finally, as Balotelli makes his way to the French Riviera on a free transfer, the comments made by his agent another one, who resembles his client over the fact that both of them should never be the role models for the others in their respective careers has the potential to warrant some serious discussions over the mere fact that his comments should be considered to be the most deluded and disconnected from reality.

Contrary to his opinion, Jürgen Klopp actually tried to give Mario Balotelli the best advice and tell him that he needs a fresh start, for a player who hardly breaks into a sprint is never in anybody’s wildest dreams be a part of a high intensity pressing outfit managed by the former Dortmund manager. Klopp showed great patience and tolerance when he helped the player train at the club and get back to his best shape so that somebody else would consider to take the player to their club and acquire a ticking time bomb which at some point would disintegrate the environment of discipline, calm and composure.

The accusations made by Carmine Raiola are thus not only wrong but also without any logic if viewed from the footballing perspective or cognitive abilities of a sane person. If, we are able to think a bit differently, then it would come as less of a surprise. A 48-year old Italian born Dutch football agent who lives a life of luxury at Monaco and buys properties of American Gangsters from the fees he extracts from the clubs on the basis of the transfer of his clients (players) and has already been the part of two disciplinary hearings for transfer irregularities instigated by the Federazione Italiana Guioco Calcio (FIGC) is always likely to view football as a money making business with the players as his pawns and the clubs as institutions which are to be influenced.

In the modern world of football where the transfer dealings are made on the basis of who has the bigger pile of cash rather than the need or practicality of buying a player, agents like Raiola rule the roost. For them, managers who don’t give chances to players who score 1 goal a season and not comply with the team’s strategy and tactics are bound to be bad.

Jürgen Klopp is thus a bad manager for Raiola. Nevertheless, I personally feel that while totally unacceptable Klopp should be felling happy deep down that he has managed to be somebody who is disliked by the super-agent who has recently overseen the world record transfer of Paul Pogba to Manchester United, for when people like him begins to like someone, he or she is either bound to be in trouble or is in trouble already! It would thus come as a relief to most people that Raiola dislikes the current Liverpool manager, including Klopp himself.

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