Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Rodgers glad to have Balotelli on board

23 September 2014, 08:15

London - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said Monday that controversial striker Mario Balotelli had caused him no problems during his time at Anfield.

The Reds signed the Italy forward from AC Milan last month and the former Manchester City player, whose first spell in England was marked by a bizarre series of off-field incidents, scored his first goal for his new club in last week's 2-1 Champions League victory over Ludogorets.

Then on Sunday, not for the first time in his career, Balotelli was the victim of racial abuse after reacting to Manchester United' shock defeat by Leicester with a tweet saying: "Man Utd...LOL".

Police have since confirmed they are investigating the matter and, as a result, Rodgers steered clear of the topic when speaking to reporters ahead of Tuesday's League Cup tie at home to Middlesbrough.

But, speaking about Balotelli, Rodgers said: "Every player is different and individual, and I have really enjoyed working with him so far.

"He is a good guy, he wants to do well for the club and he has shown me that he cares enough about the club (for me) to devote that time to him.

"For me, he is not complicated -- he is a football player who wants to do well in his life and his career, and if he continues to give everything and work tirelessly for the cause, then there will always be an opportunity here for him."

Liverpool, last season's runners-up, have made an indifferent start to the season having seen 2013/14 top-scorer Luis Suarez leave for Barcelona.

Sunday's 3-1 defeat by West Ham was Liverpool's third loss in five Premier League games so far this season.

However, Rodgers said: "There is a natural transition in the group, and where there is that transition, there are little bumps along the way.

"Mario is one of a number of players we brought in and for them all, no matter how good their quality, it is going to take a wee bit of time to gel with the players that were already here."

This term five-times European champions Liverpool are back in the Champions League but Rodgers insisted the Merseysiders could cope with the extra fixtures.

"We can be much better. We're still looking to find our performance level. But it's something I have no doubt (about).

"It's a combination of continual hard work on the training field -- working even harder -- and looking to really ensure we retain that confidence.

Also read: Mata says sorry for United meltdown

"We haven't defended well enough as a team. We've conceded eight goals, the majority of which could have been avoided.

"The weight of the jersey here is heavy for most players. That takes time. Once you adapt to playing for Liverpool, then of course you become that little bit more clear in your thinking.

"It hasn't been a great start by any means, but I have worked with the team enough and I know the players and how they do respond. That honesty in the group and how hard they want to work, it gives me great hope."



Arsenal can last pace, says Wenger

22 October 2016, 09:37

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...