Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno insists that Mario Balotelli is a great teammate, adding that the outside perception of him couldn’t be further from the truth.
Balotelli, 24, has scored just one goal in nine games since a £16 million summer move from AC Milan, failing to impress when leading the line in Daniel Sturridge’s absence.
After another poor performance on the weekend at Queens Park Rangers, some are now asking whether Brendan Rodgers has made a mistake in taking a chance on the polarising front man, but Moreno maintains that his fellow new arrival has the right attitude to make his Anfield stint a success.
‘Balotelli has surprised me for good. He is very quiet,’ he told IBTimes UK.
‘Believe it or not and even though people may think the opposite I would like you to see him in the dressing room. I am sure you will change your mind about him.
‘Maybe on the pitch is different. But the truth is that he is a very calm guy.’
Moreno also reserved special praise for Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard, hailing both as world class talents.
‘Sterling is only 19 and you are already seeing how good he is. He made his debut at 17 and he is already a world-class player,’ he said.
‘And Gerrard is awesome. I just started to play in the top flight two years ago and now playing with Gerrard is the maximum. I will remember this forever.’
Arriving from Sevilla in August for £12 million, Moreno has since made himself Rodgers’ first-choice left-back over compatriot Jose Enrique, but the Spain international stresses that their relationship remains a good-natured one.
‘I have a very good relationship with him,’ he said.
‘After the training session, I go with him and Javier Manquillo to have dinner with our families. We play Fifa together and we are good friends.’