Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has hailed Mario Balotelli after his club’s late 2-1 win against Ludogorets in the Champions League, and believes the Italian international striker can help his club reach new heights, as reported by the Daily Mirror.
Gerrard was the hero in the clash with the Bulgarian champions, as he converted from the spot in the dying moments of the game to kick Liverpool’s return to the Champions League off on the right note.
It was the first game that the English giants have played in the competition since 2009.
Having struggled to break down their opponents, Balotelli ultimately broke the deadlock for his new side. It was, however, his work rate that Gerrard took time out to praise.
Gerrard said: “A lot of people were wondering what we were going to see from Mario in terms of off-the-ball and work-rate, what he gives us off the ball.
“But we saw tonight how hard he worked. You have got to give Mario immense credit. When you try to find a breakthrough, you keep going – which is what he did. Great strikers only need one chance and he took it.”
Balotelli joined the Merseyside club towards the end of the transfer window, signing for them from the club he supports, AC Milan, for only £16 million.
Elsewhere in their group, Real Madrid secured a huge win against Basel.