Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli still believes that he can win the Ballon D’Or, despite enduring a tough two seasons.
Balotelli has returned to Liverpool training for the first time under Jurgen Klopp, but faces a tough battle to establish himself at Anfield.
The Italian striker was loaned out by Brendan Rodgers at the start of last season, but scored only one league goals in his 20 Serie A matches for Milan.
It’s fair to say that that hasn’t dampened his ambitions for individual success.
“In my view there weren’t enough [expectations placed upon him], as I can do so much more than what I said. But it takes time,” Balotelli told the Corriere della Sera newspaer.
“On the scale of 0 to 10, I stopped at five, but I’ll get to 10 eventually. I want to get there. I will win the Ballon d’Or.
“I do realise that I’ve spent two years of my career when I could’ve been getting closer to 10 and instead stayed at five. I know, the Ballon d’Or might seem laughable and I might not have done everything to be the best, but the important thing is I realised it’s not too late.
“I don’t want to reach the end of my career with the regret of not doing everything I can to be the best. Up until two years ago I made do with what I had. I did well, knew I could play, so I was happy. It wasn’t in my mind to improve, as I thought that was enough.
“Over the last two years I started working seriously, yet the results did not arrive. Maybe I am paying the price for the previous 23 years. I am relaxed, though, as I am aware that in the last two years things have changed completely.”