Mario Balotelli's career going backwards, says Marco Materazzi | inside World Soccer

Marco Materazzi is disheartened by the attitude of former Inter Milan teammate Mario Balotelli and believes the Liverpool striker's career "is going backwards."

Balotelli joined Liverpool from AC Milan for £16 million last summer, but he has struggled for form, consistently producing lacklustre performances and attracting the ire of supporters and his manager.

Despite having the second most shots per game of any striker in any of the top five divisions in Europe, the 24-year-old has failed to score in the Premier League so far this season.

His behaviour has also come under scrutiny after he was caught swapping shirts with Real Madrid player Pepe at half-time during Wednesday's 3-0 Champions League defeat.

"He has everything it takes to be a champion, but he has not progressed. If anything, he is going backwards," Materazzi, who is now the player-coach of Indian Super League club Chennaiyin, told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Mario is a polite, sensitive person and he has suffered in his life. However, he should travel, even in India, to understand certain things.

"He should've learned from (Zlatan) Ibrahimović in training. Ibra is incredible, as he always gives 100 per cent and demands the same from everyone. That's the only way to become truly great."


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