Mario Balotelli has not played in England for four years but you can’t forget him easily.
For one of his former team-mates has lifted the lid on what it is really like to play alongside someone who ‘always turned up late for training’ and has an ‘attitude that stinks’.
Warring team-mates has been a hot topic this week following Sadio Mane’s seething outburst at fellow Liverpool star Mohamed Salah for failing to pass to him in a game.
And it appears this is nothing new as Wayne Bridge attempted to finally answer the question Balotelli asked when the pair were at Manchester City together back in 2010: ‘Why always me?’
“I just didn’t like him,” he told the Liquid Football Podcast, which is produced by JOE in partnership with Paddy Power.
I thought his attitude stunk, but Man City let him get away with it every time and that gave me the hump.
“Some players thought it was funny but I just didn’t like it. He’d turn up late for training, he wouldn’t rush in, he’d just bowl over on his phone like ‘sorry I’m late’.
“I had an argument with him once. Well, not an argument, he basically smashed me, I ended up smashing him back and then he elbowed me in the face
“I was running around the pitch running after him. I couldn’t catch him, he was quite quick and had a five-yard head start!”
Bridge insists it never affected the pair’s performance on the pitch and does not think Mane and Salah’s spat is anything to worry about.
“I kind of washed my hands with him because of what had happened and how his attitude was,” he added on Balotelli.
“I never caused a problem for anyone else, after that day I just never really gave him much attention.
“If I was in a game I would still pass to him, so I don’t think it ever affected the team.”