Mario Balotelli failed at Liverpool because of “jealous” Steven Gerrard, according to El Hadji Diouf.
Balotelli spent two years at Anfield after joining for £16million in summer 2014, but was sold on a free transfer to Nice in August.
The Italy international scored just one Premier League goal in 16 games, and was loaned out in his second year to AC Milan.
He did not play a single game under current Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, and was offloaded on a free to rid the club of his wages.
Speaking to L’Equipe, former Liverpool striker Diouf, who has previously claimed that Gerrard “killed” the club (and that he hates Jamie Carragher), said that Balotelli struggled because of the erstwhile captain.
“I told him not to go to Liverpool,” Diouf said. “It wasn’t made for him, that things couldn’t go well with Gerrard, who has never had his talent and then said negative things about him,” he told L’Equipe.
“Gerrard is a jealous man who doesn’t like men of character. Mario is a good person that you should listen to. He’s not a guy who’s going to cause problems in the dressing room.
“There are a lot of things that have been made up about him. People tell tales about him, but they’re often a load of rubbish.”