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Liverpool striker Balotelli frustrates me, he can be one of the best in the world - Pirlo

Mario Balotelli has the ability to be one of the best strikers in world football according to Andrea Pirlo.

The Italian forward has failed to fulfil his enormous potential since joining Liverpool from AC Milan in the summer of 2014, following promising spells with Inter Milan, Manchester City and his initial stay with the Rossoneri.

Former Italy teammate Pirlo admits so much more could have come from the 25-year-old's career while indicating that Balotelli annoys him as he possesses all the qualities required to be a world-class player.

"He frustrates me, but I do have so much affection for Mario," the current New York City FC and ex-Juventus midfielder told the Daily Mirror.

"He is infectious to be around. When I used to see him walk into training for Italy, he would have this big smile on his face - and I would just burst out laughing - and start wondering what is he thinking, what is he up to?

"Mario should not just be a character the media write about for good stories. We shouldn't forget what a special player he is.

"I have played with some of the best strikers, and I can tell you Mario has all the attributes to be one of the best strikers in the world.

"By now I thought that is where he would be, that is where he should be. He has no more time to waste."

Pirlo added: "He has played for so many big clubs, it's easy to forget he's only 25.

"He still has time to make it at the very top."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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