Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli has rated his form in past years, five over ten. But he still wants to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or.
The Italy international was tipped for great things after impressing as a youngster with Inter. Unfortunately, his progress has stagnated.
The Italian scored just one goal ahead of the 2014/15 campaign at Anfield. And only scored just one goal when on a season long loan at AC Milan.
Now 25, Balotelli recognises that he must start living up to his potential but the former Manchester City star is confident of doing so.
“I have not done enough in recent years. I can do much better. But it takes time. On a scale of one to 10, I have only reached five. But I will get to 10 eventually, because that is my goal,” Balotelli told Corriere della Sera.
“I want to win the Ballon d’Or. Although I realise I got stuck at five out of 10 in the last two years when my goal was to get closer to 10. I know people will laugh when I say I want the Ballon d’Or. I have not done everything needed to become the best.
“But the most important thing is that I have realised my mistakes and it is not too late yet. I don’t want to reach the end of my career thinking that I have not done everything to become the best.
“Until two years ago I was happy with what I had. I was doing well and I was happy with the way things were, even if I was aware of my flaws. I was not thinking about improving.
“I started working harder two years ago, even if the results are not there yet. Maybe I am paying for the previous 23 years. But I am calm. I know that things have changed for me over the past two years.”
Balotelli missed out on a place in Italy’s squad for Euro 2016 following his underwhelming performances in 2015-16, but he does not blame Antonio Conte for his decision.
“Of course, I regret not being at Euro 2016. I would have loved to be there,” he added.
“Conte would have called up the real Balotelli. But the current Balotelli did not deserve to be there. I have not been at my own level for the past two years. I have had physical problems and other issues. I have not been the real me.
“Conte was right to pick other players. I would have done the same thing if I were him.”