Mario Balotelli publicly kisses up to Steven Gerrard before he leaves Liverpool

According to social media, something is happening with Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard today. Maybe’s he retired, or he’s being shot off into space in a Virgin Galactic cannon, or a pre-game seafood lunch hit his stomach wrong and he’s fallen ill. Whatever it is, the world is full of well-wishes and memories of the captain and his time at Anfield. Despite the maudlin vibes of the day, we at Soccer Gods can confirm that Steven Gerrard is, in fact, still alive.

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Joining the weepy 😢Don’t Go, Stevie😢 parade of celebrities is his (for now) teammate Mario Balotelli. The on again / off again gameday roster participant posted a lovely hand-written letter to Gerrard to his Facebook account.

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They say artistic geniuses tend to have poor handwriting, so just in case you found that to be illegible:

“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.”

This is a nice change-of-pace for the Gerrard-Balotelli interpersonal dynamic. The last time I remember either of these two speaking about one another was when Gerrard criticized Mario for not allowing Jordan Henderson to take a penalty. Even going as far as to utter the abhorrent phrase “rules are rules”, as if Jordan Henderson should be on a pedestal and “rules” have ever been the way to accomplish anything. But, I digress.

Form the time that Balotelli arrived at Liverpool, I had hoped that he and Gerrard would form some sort of Odd Couple-meets-Perfect Strangers sitcom friendship, where they would film a series of videos for Liverpool TV that featured Gerrard introducing Balotelli to some quaint Liverpool local customs, only for Balotelli to have a comical misunderstanding. Every episode would end with Gerrard sighing “Thaaaaat’s Mario!” and a freeze-frame close to a cheesy 80s style theme song. Sadly, that never happened, but it’s good to see that their relationship is ending on a positive note. Literally.

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