Jamie Carragher reveals all about troubled Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli and players he has faced

The Liverpool legend speaks his mind on the signing of the Italian striker and the best players he faced throughout his playing career.

Jamie Carragher reveals all about troubled Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli and players he has faced
Jamie Carragher described Ballotelli as the worst signing for Liverpool. (Picture: Getty Images)

Retired Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher clearly still maintains a deep passion for his former club and is not afraid to voice his opinion on their current issues.

Carragher, who has made the second-highest appearances in a Liverpool shirt, did just that at a recent Question and Answer session with the Daily Mail, as the 38-year-old shared his views on on-loan striker Mario Balotelli as well as other players from his illustrious career.

On troublesome striker Balotelli

It is fair to say that the former Champions League winner is no fan of the Italian striker. Carragher however, still remains baffled as to why his former side opted to bring in the then 24-year-old as he described the often wacky striker as the worst player the Reds have ever signed.

He said: "I can't believe we signed Mario Balotelli!" Often people cite the actions of the current AC Milan loanee as one of the negatives about signing the forward, but the Sky Sports football analyst said of the off-field antics that he "wouldn't care" if he was, in return, "doing it [playing well] on the pitch."

The veteran said he "can't remember" a time when "he [Balotelli] had a good game." After the Reds missed out on Brazilian Alex Teixeira, Carra is hoping that the Liverpool misfit takes a similar route out of Anfield as he said that he is "praying" that "with all the money" invested into the "Chinese Super League" that someone is going to "buy him" as he believes that "no one in the Premier League would take him."

The list of awful signings continued and the retired defender also said that just behind the 25-year-old striker was "[Alberto] Aquilani" and "[El Hadj] Diouf." Both players were former teammates during his playing career, which lasted from 1996 to the summer of 2013. 

The 38-year-old accumulated an impressive 11 trophies for the first team including a Champions League medal in 2005 as well as three League Cups, with the competition being the last medal he would pick up during his career in 2012.

On the best players he played with

Carragher listed Xabi Alonso as one the best players he has played with. (image: daily star)
Carragher listed Xabi Alonso as one the best players he has played with. (image: daily star)

Over 15 years at Liverpool, Carragher was bound to link up with a few players of quality, but who would the former England international deem as the best player (not including Luis Suarez or Steven Gerrard) that he was had the pleasure of playing alongside? 

He said: "The first one that springs to mind is Xabi Alonso" as he added that he was "devastated [when he left]", but he still believes that even now as a veteran of the Bayern Munich squad he is still a "key member" for Pep Guardiola's team.

A former striker than often recieves a mixed reception at Anfield was one of the players he also cited for his ability as he said people often "forget" just "how good Michael Owen was" but he believes that because he started his Anfield career so young "what came after that" such as "the injuries" and "signing for Manchester United" may cause people to forget his overall quality.

The man who earned the nickname 'God' during his tenure with the Merseyside club was also singled out for his contributions. Carragher said that as Owen did "so much so young" it was "similar to Robbie Fowler" and it terms of best players it was possible to "include Fowler" in "that bracket" also.

On his toughest opponents

Carragher versus Henry during one of their many battles (image: express.co.uk)
Carragher versus Henry during one of their many battles (image: express.co.uk)

The Premier League can be a daunting place for any defender with top class players often strolling through year-after-year only increasing in quality. Carra had his fair share of battles throughout the years but who would he class as the best player he has faced?

He declared: "the best centre forward I played against was Thierry Henry" - the Arsenal legend often gave the defender the run around during their encounters as he described the fellow pundit as "the best player to ever play in the Premier League." He said the all-time leading goalscorer for the Gunners was in the same standard of player as the likes of "Ronaldinho, Kaka and Rivaldo."

Carragher opted to look past the strikers that have graced the teams of Manchester United and Chelsea and surprisingly included Bobby Zamora as one of his toughest adversaries. He said "playing against" the likes of Zamora and Kevin Davies meant you knew the opposition would be "playing it long" and the attackers would be "throwing elbows in your face" which would ultimately be a "constant fight."