New Liverpool recruit Fabio Borini has revealed how Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli helped convince him to return to England with the Reds.
The 21-year-old Italian swapped Rome for Merseyside earlier this summer after spending last season on loan at Stadio Olimpico.
Borini, who was won one cap for Italy, links up with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers for a third time, having previously worked under the Northern Irishman at Chelsea and Swansea City, where he helped the Swans win promotion to the Premier League.
And as well as hailing Rodgers' "unique" approach, the diminutive forward admitted how a ringing endorsement of the Reds' passionate support from a fellow countryman also helped persuade him put pen to paper on a long-term contract with the Anfield outfit.
Speaking exclusively in the September issue of FourFourTwo, out now, he says: "The way he [Rodgers] operates is unique. He has a great loyalty to his players. I really enjoy his philosophy and the brand of football he wants his team to play. It is what I call 'real football'.
"The fans played a big part. When I was with Italy at Euro 2012 I was talking to Mario Balotelli about England, and he told me that Liverpool had the most exciting fans to play in front of. He described it as a beautiful experience."
Borini was quick to get off the mark for his new employers, scoring in Liverpool's Europa League qualifier against FC Gomel at Anfield.
The Azzurri starlet is excited about the prospect of playing alongside the Reds' Uruguayan hot-shot Luis Suarez, and Borini believes the headline-hogging striker is just as valuable for his approach play as well as his goals.
"It will be a pleasure to play with him because he is one of the best in the world," he says. "We are fortunate to have him. He isn't just a scorer of goals but a creator too. That shows he is an unselfish player."comments