Mario Balotelli's transfer from AC Milan to Liverpool finally became official on Monday, and as expected, social media had a field day with the new Reds signing.
The club shared the news on their official website, where Balotelli explained why he chose Anfield as his latest destination:
I'm very happy. We've been talking about coming here and now I'm happy to be here. Liverpool are one of the best teams here in England and the football is very good here. It's a great team with young players, and that's why I came here.
MailOnline Sport previously shared the first images of Super Mario training with his new club:
Michael Owen gave his two cents on the move, likely voicing the sentiments of thousands of fans worldwide:
It's official. Balotelli signs for Liverpool. General feeling is it's a risky buy but could be great value for money if Rodgers controls him— michael owen (@themichaelowen) August 25, 2014
Balotelli is one of the most polarising figures in all of football. The Italian is insanely talented but has a history of under-performing on the pitch, childish behavior off it and tearing apart dressing rooms before he moves to a new club.
The former Manchester City striker is 24, however, and the consensus around Italy was that he had turned the corner with AC Milan. While he was still often seen sulking on the bench, the crazy antics that got him his reputation seem to have stopped.
As shared by WhoScored.com, he has become one of the most efficient set-piece specialists in all of football during his time in Serie A:
The Anfield Index is hoping he'll be doing plenty more of this for his new club:
Bleacher Report's Anthony Lopopolo is excited for the club, although he is reluctant to forget the player's track record:
Always exciting to welcome a player like Balotelli, but it's the middle, not the beginning or end, that's the hardest part with him. #LFC— Anthony Lopopolo (@sportscaddy) August 25, 2014
BBC Merseyside Sport shared some of the contract details, and if Balotelli can live up to his potential, there's no question the Reds will be getting a lot of bang for their buck:
The contract for Mario Balotelli is believed to be three years. The fee £16 million. Great value in terms of his footballing ability. #LFC— BBC Merseyside Sport (@bbcmerseysport) August 25, 2014
Liverpool confirmed he'll be wearing No. 45 for the Reds:
Plenty of fans seem to believe whether or not this transfer turns into a success will depend on how Brendan Rodgers will be able to handle Balotelli. The Times' Rory Smith disagrees:
This idea that Balotelli's success hinges on how/if Rodgers controls him is rubbish. It hinges only on whether Balotelli controls himself.— Rory Smith (@RorySmithTimes) August 25, 2014
The Liverpool Echo's James Pearce knows the Italian will return to the Etihad on Monday, a place he called home for a long time:
LFC confirm signing of Mario Balotelli. Striker will head for the Etihad Stadium to attend tonight's game.— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) August 25, 2014
Balotelli's return to the Premier League is one of the most exciting transfer stories of the summer of 2014, and much like the player himself, people will either love or hate this move.
And that's exactly what makes Super Mario one of the most interesting men in football. There's no middle ground. Even more than Luis Suarez, Balotelli will incite strong reactions from fans of the opposing team no matter where he goes.
Welcome back to the Premier League, Mario. We can't wait to see what comes next.