Steven Gerrard: Mario Balotelli leads tributes to departing Liverpool captain after Anfield farewell with sweet open letter

Balotelli even jokes that he will be able to take penalties now

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The Independent Football

Mario Balotelli led the tributes to Steven Gerrard after his Anfield finale yesterday, penning a sweet open letter to the departing Reds captain.

Gerrard will leave the club after 17 glorious years at the end of the season to join MLS side La Galaxy.

Balotelli has struggled at Liverpool this season since his £16m move from AC Milan in August but says with Gerrard now leaving, he has joked that there is more of a chance of taking free-kicks and penalties. The pair, of course, were involved in an incident earlier in the season when Balotelli snatched the ball away from the Reds captain for the night Jordan Henderson to score a late penalty against Besiktas in February.

Gerrard had called Balotelli's actions "disrespectful", but there now seems to be water under the bridge.

Balotelli also posted a video of he took of Gerrard receiving the praise of the Anfield masses.


"Stevie... I had the honour to play with you, not for long but still an amazing and unforgettable experience for me.


“You are a great man and a cool captain! It is a pleasure to leave free-kicks and penalties to you.

“I wish you all the best for your next venture and your family. You deserve the best. Good luck my friend, Mario Balotelli.”