Mario Balotelli has said he told Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp he will not be seeing him again at the end of their one and only conversation on Merseyside.
Balotelli has picked up his form since moving to Nice from Liverpool this summer, after failing to make an impact at Anfield following a £16 million transfer from AC Milan in 2014.
“Klopp doesn’t know me,” Balotelli, who returned to Liverpool in the summer after a loan spell at Milan, told Sky Sport Italia. “I was with him at Liverpool for one month and a half and I spoke with him just once. He told me that I could stay, but that I wasn’t first choice.
“He said he felt it was better if I went to play somewhere else to play well and then go back because he wanted me as a player. I said arrivederci and told him he would never see me again.
“Liverpool and AC Milan just weren’t right for me. I never made any mistakes in terms of my behaviour, there were just injuries and God decides them, I have no control. I was in two places where I wasn’t happy and this was the problem.”
Regarding his move to the current Ligue 1 leaders, the 26-year-old said: “At the start, when I was thinking of joining Nice, it was all about the climate and the position.
“It’s a fantastic city, on the sea. I wanted a quiet but beautiful place where it’s hard to wake up on the wrong side of the bed because you just look out the window and it changes your day.
“It may sound ridiculous, but it’s very important for me. That was one of the reasons for picking Nice. Then they have a team of young lads and we’re almost all the same age. The football we play is the kind I like. I’m playing as a centre forward and we’re creating chances for the forwards to finish, and there’s nothing better than this for a forward.”
Balotelli has scored six goals in five appearances for Nice, although that has not been enough to convince Italy coach Giampiero Ventura to call him into his latest squad.
Ventura says Balotelli needs to prove himself over a longer period before being considered again, and the forward is sure his name will figure on Ventura’s next squad list in November.
“I’ve not been in the national team for a while but it’s right not to call me up now because I don’t deserve it,” Balotelli said. “It’s better that he calls me up next time and not this time because I want to be really at my very best when I return [to play for Italy].
“Of course I want to and dream of winning a World Cup — that’s one of my objectives — but first I’ve got to get back into the national team.”
He would not rule out a return to Italy, saying — when prompted by his agent Mino Raiola — that you can “never say never,” although he did not mention either Milan or Inter Milan in a list of clubs where he has felt best.
Nice topped that list “for the way things are going now,” followed by Manchester City. “I love Milan, I’ve always loved Milan, but after this last year … I’m disappointed, that’s all,” he added.
“Milan’s problem is the organisation. There’s one person who’s phenomenal and that’s [general manager Adriano] Galliani. They say he’s leaving, so I dread to think how they will be organised.”