Fabio Borini turns 32 today, and while his time at Liverpool was forgettable, his time in Turkey has been quite the opposite
Brendan Rodgers’ first signing as Liverpool manager did not pan out at Anfield, but ten and a half years later, he is making waves in Turkey.
Fabio Borini joined Liverpool from Roma in a £10.5 million deal in July 2012. The Italian later revealed that fellow countryman Mario Balotelli was partly to blame for him agreeing to the move after telling him that the Reds had the most “exciting fans.”
However, due to injury and a lack of form, the former Chelsea forward only made 25 appearances for the Reds, scoring three times in two seasons, with a season-long loan at Sunderland in between. He eventually signed a permanent deal with the Black Cats, bringing his relatively insignificant Anfield career to an end.
Off the field, however, his time in Merseyside was not wasted, as it was in Liverpool that he met his now-wife Erin.
Borini’s goal return since leaving Liverpool suggests that the Reds were correct to cut their losses when they did, but as the Bologna-born attacker celebrates his 32nd birthday today, he is in top form.
Borini joined Turkish Super Lig side Fatih Karagümrük in 2017 after spells at AC Milan and Verona following his departure from the North East. Now in his third season, the appointment of former gli Azzurri hero Andrea Pirlo as manager appears to have elevated his game.
Borini has scored 16 goals in 24 appearances for the Istanbul club this season, helping them to ninth place in the table. However, when he relocated to Turkey in 2021, he was joining a team that did not have a permanent stadium or training facility.
Borini, who has previously played for Liverpool, Chelsea, and Milan, explained how he adapted to his new environment in a recent interview with the Mail. “It has taught me how to adapt to what you have,” he said. Don’t whine about what you could and should have, as I did for the first few months.
“You don’t have a practice field?” Okay, in my spare time, I go to the park twice a week to do my extra training… If you need to rest, you go to a hotel or a swimming pool. I probably needed more time than I expected to adjust because the cultures are so different. Everything is a little sloppy here.”
Borini, despite being Italian, thinks and speaks in English as a result of his time in England and his Merseyside wife and children. The 32-year-old credits Pirlo with changing the way the club operates, but admits that even a footballing legend of his stature can only do so much in Turkey.
Borini stated: “He added structure to the way we train and work… in terms of discipline. However, a manager can only do so much. Priorities differ across cultures. How you eat and rest is very important to us Italians, but not so much here.”
When asked about Turkey’s priorities, he added, “It’s how little you do sometimes!”
Borini is the Super Lig’s second-leading goal scorer this season, and he leads the league in assists with eight. He is out of contract at the end of the season and would like to return to England, but for the time being, his focus is on Karagümrük.