Spanish papers damning in their rating of Balotelli's Real performance

Balotelli In Italy Kit

It hasn't just been in the UK where the Liverpool striker has suffered criticism.

It is fair to say that the last few days haven't been Mario Balotelli's most accomplished on a football pitch.

As Liverpool slumped to a 3-0 loss against Real Madrid, the striker put in a toothless performance fraught with poor choices and limited attacking threat, failing to link up with his teammates and then swapping shirts with Pepe at half time - something that would end up being his last action on the pitch that night.

With his half time substitution, a disappointing performance was brought to a close earlier than expected, but it didn't stop the Spanish press mauling the forward in their player ratings the following day.

Marca gave Balotelli just 3 out of 10 for his 45 minutes, while AS failed to give him a rating out of 3, both seeing him comfortably the Reds worst player.

In contrast to the Italian, both Marca and AS gave Raheem Sterling the strongest scores for Liverpool, six out of 10 from Marca and 2 out of 3 from AS, with Adam Lallana also being recognised by the latter.

The winger has been linked with a move to Real this summer, and any Spanish fans that may have seen little of the 19-year-old may have been impressed despite Sterling operating at nowhere near his destructive best.

Balotelli on the other hand, a player whose quality is often called into question by Spain's top sports newspapers, is once more licking his wounds after coming off at half time.

There has been lots of talk about whether the former Manchester City man has already wasted his chance at Liverpool, and the shirt swap incident has done little to endear him to Reds fans or boss Brendan Rodgers, however much or little relevance it has.

Put simply, after as poor performance as he put in against the Champions League holders, Balotelli should have been focused on just one thing as he walked from the Anfield turf midway through the game, playing better and working harder for the home side.

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