Balotelli, who has played with both ageing midfielders, told Sport: “Gerrard is an amazing player. I had really not seen much of him before this season, apart from for England, but wow. I think of him as being at the same level as Pirlo.
“Vision, technique, but he is powerful as well. Stevie can do anything. It’s going to be very difficult for the team to find another player like him in the future.”
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Meanwhile, Balotelli accepted he needs to adjust his game on Merseyside, having only netted once in eight outings since his €20 million signing from AC Milan in late August.
"I need to get in the box more," said the striker. "I don’t do it enough, but it is something I am working to try to do more. I have never been a real, out-and-out striker – I have always been someone who goes around the pitch, you know?
"If it was my choice, I would always go with two strikers. It’s the way I like to play, but Brendan [Liverpool manager Rodgers] asked me to play as the first striker.
"I understand that when the ball comes from wide on the left or right, I need to be in the box otherwise there might be no-one there at all."