Mario Balotelli insists that despite a difficult career so far, he will prove his doubters wrong to one day become the best player in the world.
The Liverpool striker, who spent last season on loan at AC Milan, says the need to knuckle down and work hard has dawned on him following years of wasting his undoubtable talent.
The 25-year-old Italian burst onto the footballing scene with Inter Milan and was accepted as one of the best young talents in the game.
In his latest difficult season, Balotelli featured just 23 times and netted on just three occasions as the forward failed to rectify his career.
A painful time at the San Siro has not dampened the self-belief of Balotelli however, as he demonstrated when speaking to Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera.
“On the scale of 0 to 10, I stopped at five, but i’ll eventually get to ten” insisted the forward before claiming that “I will win the Balon d’Or”.
The rut that Balotelli has found himself has developed following a promising start to life in England with Manchester City.
Joining the club in 2010 for a fee of £18m, Balotelli settled reasonably well in the Premier League as he was reunited with former boss Roberto Mancini.
Under Mancini Balotelli went on to lift the Premier League title, providing the assist for Sergio Aguero’s dramatic title-winning goal.
The Italian recognised that his performances over the previous two-years, which have seen him transferred between Milan and England twice, have not been to a high enough standard conceding that “I know people will laugh when I say I want the Ballon d’Or. I have not done everything needed to become the best.”
“The most important thing is that I have realised my mistakes and it is not too late yet” as he remained optimistic that his best is yet to come despite not playing on the international stage since 2014.
Balotelli’s admissions also saw him confirm that he wanted to return to Anfield next season under Jurgen Klopp, despite featuring just 16 times during his debut season for Liverpool.