'The Balotelli show is no problem for me' – Rodgers fed up with striker scrutiny

The forward has been the focus of much negative critique since his €20 million move to Anfield but his manager insists he “likes players who are different”

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has expressed his irritation over constant questioning relating to Mario Balotelli.

The striker has failed to impress since his €20 million move to Anfield, scoring just one goal in 10 outings and struggled again against Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Balotelli risked the wrath of Liverpool supporters by exchanging shirts with Pepe at half-time with his side already three goals down, with Rodgers losing patience when asked a flurry of questions about the player.

“Is this the Mario Balotelli press conference?” he told reporters, before adding: “It’s no problem for me. I select the players on how well they work in training and the best teams to win games.

“‘The Mario Balotelli Show’ is no different to me. He’s like any other player. For me as a manager, it is no problem. I like players who are different.

“But as long as they don’t see themselves as individual. They have to be part of the team. He’s working hard and doing his best right now.”

Regarding Balotelli’s decision to swap shirts during Real Madrid’s 3-0 win at Anfield, Rodgers insists any action taken against the former Milan striker would be kept inside the club.

“Any action would be kept within ourselves,” he added. “We’ve had a conversation. Case closed. It’s a part of the game and you have to accept it.

“I think the boy is trying very, very hard and long-term we will see how that works out for him. He is working hard to improve to score goals and boost his chances.

“As long as he is doing his best, I can’t ask for anymore. Whether that best is good enough long-term who knows. But that’s the same for any player.”

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