Liverpool FC News: Lovren, Klopp, Balotelli, Preseason Schedule

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It continues to be a very exciting summer at Liverpool, with a whole lot going on at Anfield. The preseason exhibition games have already begun for the Reds, and there is certainly no shortage of topics to discuss today.

So let’s take a spin through the latest news and notes items making the rounds on the internet this Thursday.

-Former Liverpool and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is certainly not averse to calling attention to himself, and using trolling as a means to do so. Balotelli conformed to the common stereotype of Italian football figures/fans reveling in England defeats. Balotelli could not stop himself from engaging in schadenfreude after England lost 2-1 to Croatia in the World Cup semifinals yesterday.

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Balotelli published a story on his Instagram account which featured a picture of a sign saying “It’s coming home.”

The phrase obviously refers to the Baddiel, Skinner & Lightning Seeds song from 1996 “Three Lions,” and it served as the rallying cry for England supporters everywhere.

“I’m sorry.. because I love England but for those who sent me stupid messages and insults till now .. you deserve this answer now,” Balotelli wrote underneath the sign, having also added the word “impossible” in red. ESPN FC have the screen captures at this link.

While this is far from the classiest thing that Balotelli has ever done, kicking a fan base when they’re down in order to settle a petty score, he certainly does have a point. Employing a “victory is ours, it’s destiny” mentality (with the “It’s coming home” chant) long before the tournament is over, doesn’t often work out in the end.

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-In sticking with the Croatia win over England in the World Cup yesterday, much maligned Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren used the glorious victory as a chance to hit back at his critics. Lovren fancies himself to be one of the best defenders in the world right now.

More from The Guardian

“This feels incredible, especially after everything that was said about us before the game,” Lovren said after he helped shut down England’s Harry Kane . “We showed our character. We showed that we deserved to be in the final and people should respect us. Sometimes, the criticism is unfair and people should respect me also. Without being arrogant I think I have [been proved to be one of the best defenders in the world]. Definitely.”

“But this criticism is what gets me more motivated to work harder and prove everyone wrong. Everyone. From today, everyone in Croatia and around the world saw we managed to make history. In 20 years’ time, people will remember us, and not just the team from 1998. That is why I am proud, and now we have one game to make people remember us forever.”

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It was extremely refreshing to see a well known, high profile athlete such at Lovren be so candid and honest in a post game interview, as he also added this PHENOMENAL quote:

“We went through a lot of shit: war, all these things, and even now the situation is not the best. But it is unbelievable how many talents we have in sport. At basketball, at handball, at water polo, at tennis especially. We have good mothers and fathers, making good love.”

-Lovren also revealed the contents of a congratulatory text that received from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

-Liverpool are two games into their nine match preseason slate, and here below you will find the full schedule.

7 July Chester 0-7 Liverpool

10 July Tranmere Rovers 2-3 Liverpool (Prenton Park)

14 July v Bury (Energy Check Stadium)

19 July v Blackburn Rovers (Ewood Park)

22 July v Borussia Dortmund (Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)

25 July v Manchester City (MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA)

28 July v Manchester United (Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA)

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4 Aug v Napoli (Aviva Stadium, Dublin)

7 Aug v Torino (Anfield)

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud and YouTube. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to any and all of his.

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