Andrea Pirlo says Brendan Rodgers needs to manage Mario Balotelli in the best way.

Andrea Pirlo says Mario Balotelli needs to be loved if Liverpool want the best out of the Italian striker.

The Italian midfield maestro has played alongside Balotelli during international games and Pirlo says it's Brendan Rodgers' job to manage Balotelli in the most profitable way.

The Daily Mail quotes Pirlo saying “The difference between other players and Mario is that every action he takes is going to be scrutinised.”

“The media is interested in him, and things he does are going to be highlighted – where perhaps with other players they would not get such a reaction – or maybe even no reaction at all.

“There is no question over his talent – I have played with him and I know how good he is and how good he can be. It is the job of the Liverpool coach to manage him in the right way.”

“He needs to be loved, he needs direction, but most importantly he needs to know that the coach believes in him,” Pirlo added.

“If he spends time with Mario – I know he can still go on and be a great player for Liverpool.”