Wayward Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has revealed details of a turbulent relationship with newly-appointed Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
According to the Italian striker, Mourinho used to deliberately make him angry, in an attempt to raise the level of his performances.
Balotelli spent two years at Inter Milan with Jose Mourinho at the helm between 2008 and 2010, winning the Serie A title and Champions League in the 2009/10 season.
Aside from their shared success in the 09/10 season, the pair had a less than friendly relationship for the most part, with Mourinho famously banning Balotelli from the first team in January 2009.
Matters got worse in the following months, with Mourinho being openly critical of Balotelli’s work-rate and lack of effort in training sessions.
However, the 25-year old striker claims that it wasn’t all as bad as it seemed, and that Mourinho simply ‘liked the drama.’
”He liked making drama, but wished me well,” Balotelli explained to Corriere Della Sera.
“He liked to make me angry because he thought that I played better when I was annoyed.”
The Liverpool forward admitted one thing that still frustrates him to this day, Mourinho’s decision to leave him out of the Champions League final squad, which Inter went on to win 2-0 over Bayern Munich.
“The one thing I did not like was I did not play the Champions League final, I felt that.” Balotelli concluded.
After spending a disappointing season on loan at Italian giants AC Milan, the Italian striker has returned to Liverpool to take part in Jurgen Klopp’s pre-season schedule.
Whether he stays a Liverpool player or not however still remains to be seen, but maybe Klopp should take a leaf out of Mourinho’s book and rile the player up in order to finally get the best out of the £16m signing.