By Emma Sanders
Former Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli received a staggering £1million bonus for not getting sent off three times or more during his Anfield career, according to a report.
The Italian benefitted from an amazing clause in his contract that was intended to encourage him to improve his disciplinary record and he achieved it, receiving a staggering seven-figure bonus in return.
The Football Leaks website, as cited by the Liverpool Echo, revealed documents from Balotelli’s contract which showed he earned the bonus after avoiding getting sent off three times during his first season.
Balotelli joined the Reds in 2014 for £16 million from AC Milan and it was deemed a risk at the time given his well-documented poor behaviour.
However, his agent Mino Raiola agreed to include incentives in his contract which would encourage him to adhere to Liverpool’s disciplinary standards.
Balotelli didn’t get sent off once while at Liverpool but he was a flop on the pitch and was soon outcasted by Brendan Rodgers after failing to make an impression in Merseyside.
The ex-Manchester City striker scored just four goals in 28 appearances for the Reds and was shown seven yellow cards, which was an unimpressive disciplinary record for a striker despite the absence of red cards.
The documents also revealed Balotelli’s salary was £85,000-a-week and he would have received a £50,000 bonus for each goal he scored after reaching a tally of five in Premier League or Champions League competition in a single season.
As evidence of Balotteli’s lack of impact at Anfield, the clause was never activated.
Balotteli remained frozen out following the arrival of Jurgen Klopp at Anfield and he was given a free transfer to Nice in the summer.
In other Liverpool news, these are the five worst keepers to play for the Reds in the Premier League era.