Micah Richards played with Mario Balotelli for two-and-half years at Manchester City and came to blows on the training ground once, but he still wishes the Italian striker the best of luck at Liverpool.
Speaking to reporters on his unveiling as a Fiorentina player on Thursday, defender Richards commented on the 24-year-old’s move from AC Milan to the Merseyside outfit for a reported transfer fee of £16 million last month.
‘We all know Balotelli’s character’, Football Italia quotes the right-back as saying. ‘Now we are good friends but that day we argued over something in training. At Liverpool he will find a very good team and he can play well with other very talented strikers’.
The incident between Richard and Balotelli occurred back in mid-December in 2011 when Roberto Mancini was the City manager.
Richards, who joined Fiorentina from the Citizens on a season-long loan deal on transfer deadline day, reportedly accused the Italy international of not running enough during a practice match, leading to the former Inter Milan star retaliating.
Words were exchanged between the pair, who eventually had to be separated by the City players and Mancini.
England international Richards and Balotelli eventually shook hands and made up, and it seems that they have since become ‘good friends’.
As for Richards’s verdict on Balotelli, indeed the former Milan star will find himself in a young and hungry Liverpool team keen on challenging for the Premier League title.
Balotelli made his debut for the Reds before the two-week international break against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in the league.
Although the 2010 Champions League winner failed to score and was substituted in the second half, his overall performance and ability to link up with his fellow attackers were encouraging.