Balotelli not in good condition and must improve – Mihajlovic

September 4th, 2015

The AC Milan coach insists the striker must improve despite scoring and setting up one in a friendly against Mantova

Mario Balotelli may have notched a goal and assist on his return to action with AC Milan, but coach Sinisa Mihajlovic insisted the striker is not ready to play in Serie A.

In his first match for Milan since returning to the San Siro on loan from Liverpool, Balotelli struck a stunning early goal in Thursday’s 3-2 friendly win over Mantova and set up his team’s second before Luiz Adriano scored a penalty.

But despite a decisive role from the striker, Mihajlovic was far from impressed.

“We played a team from Serie C,” he told Premium Sport. “We can see that Balotelli is not in good condition and must improve.

“If we think we win because we’re called Milan, we’re not going anywhere.

“It was a game we needed to put minutes into our legs; when one does not play, you should not complain because many have shown they do not deserve to play.”

In perhaps a boost for Balotelli’s confidence, however, Mihajlovic did concede that “perhaps the attack is the one area of the pitch with fewer problems.”

Asked about his performance at half-time, Balotelli said: “I’m pleased with the goal and assist. Physically I feel good!”

The striker then posted on Instagram: “It’s just the start, I’m happy but not satisfied… Let’s keep working hard, we need it and hopefully we will fly.” 

Balotelli scores & claims two assists in dream AC Milan debut

September 3rd, 2015

The Italian made his return to action in a 3-2 friendly win against Lega Pro side Mantova, playing a role in all three of his side’s goals on Thursday night

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli made a great start to his loan move from Liverpool as he scored the opener and played a key role in his side’s other two goals in a 3-2 win over Italian side Mantova.

The 25-year-old wasted no time, after being handed his first start on his return to the Serie A side, opening the scoring with a fine curling effort into the top corner just three minutes into the match.

Mantova gained a 2-1 lead until Balotelli set up team-mate Andrea Poli to equalise from a corner, before later being hauled down for a penalty after half-time, which was tucked away by Luiz Adriano.

Milan have recruited heavily this summer after finishing 10th in Serie A last year, with both the club and Balotelli himself stating that he must show a more mature side to his game this year.

Kaka tells Balotelli: It's time to use your talents to help Milan

September 2nd, 2015

The former AC Milan star insists the striker has to show that he can fulfil his potential after his move to San Siro this summer


Mario Balotelli has been warned by former AC Milan star Kaka to finally make use of his skills and be decisive for the club.

The 25-year-old returned to the Rossoneri after a failed stint at Liverpool, in which he scored just one Premier League goal following a €20 million move last summer.

The move is said to be Balotelli’s final chance to show that he can be a top striker and Kaka, who won the Champions League and the Ballon d’Or during his time at San Siro, feels the striker must start to fulfil his promise at last.

“Mario is a very talented player, there is no doubt about it,” he told Goal. 

“But he must understand that this isn’t an easy time for him and he really needs to find some motivation in order to use his talent to help the team.

“He’s the type of player who can easily change a match at any time – and I hope he can lend a hand to Milan’s season.”

Milan finished 10th in Serie A last term but have invested heavily in their squad over the summer as they look to return to European football next term.

'Balotelli has changed radically'

September 2nd, 2015

The striker’s professionalism has been questioned throughout his career, but he appears to be turning over a new leaf at AC Milan

AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani says Mario Balotelli has “changed radically” following his return to the club.

The Italy striker left San Siro for Liverpool a year ago, but is back on a 12-month loan deal following a disastrous spell at Anfield.

Balotelli is fast running out of chances to get his career back on track, but the 25-year-old has hit the ground running under the guidance of Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic.

“He has an extraordinary attitude, he’s changed radically,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“He’s the first to arrive at Milanello and the last to leave. Mihajlovic often wants the players to have breakfast at 8.30, and he’s always there before 8.

“He’s probably realised that this is his last chance and I’m sure he won’t waste it. His technical ability has never been in question. If he continues with the approach he’s had in this first week then he’ll be fine.”

Balotelli was an unused substitute in Milan’s 2-1 win at home to Empoli last week.

Galliani: Balotelli first to training and last to leave

August 30th, 2015

The Milan CEO believes the 25-year-old has matured after praising his attitude in his first week since returning the club

Milan CEO Adriano Galliani says Mario Balotelli has been the first person to arrive for training and the last to leave since rejoining the club.

Balotelli completed a loan move to San Siro last week, a year since leaving for a disastrous 12-month spell with Liverpool.

This week the 25-year-old said the time has come for him to grow up, and Galliani revealed Balotelli has shown encouraging signs of maturity in his first few days back in Milan.

“Balotelli turns up on time and is even early. He opens the gates of the Milanello [training ground],” Galliani told Gazzetta Dello Sport. 

“He is the first to arrive and the last to leave. I’m thinking about giving him the keys.”

Balotelli hit 26 goals in 43 league appearances in his first spell with Milan following a 2013 switch from Manchester City.

Galliani went on to reveal that a deal to bring the Italy international had not initially been part of the club’s summer plans and also warned the Italy international this could be his last chance.

“The Balotelli issue was dreamed up and finalised all in one day. We didn’t plan for this,” Galliani continued.

“It depends on him now. He is a great player, but it depends on where his mind is. He seems to be matured, aware this is his last chance.”

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