Berlusconi warns ‘phenomenal’ Balotelli to behave

The AC Milan president praised his striker for his sensational return to Serie A, while Adriano Galliani believes Stephan El Shaarawy can step up his game

AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has warned his latest star Mario Balotelli that he must try to behave off the pitch, though he has branded the striker “a phenomenon”.

The Italy international was infamous at Manchester City for being tabloid fodder with his antics away from football.

Balotelli has made a storming return to Serie A – scoring four times in three matches – and the San Siro chief stressed he wants his forward to remain in the spotlight for the right reasons.

Berlusconi told Radio Lombardia on Sunday night: “Let’s hope it continues like this and he keeps performing well, because while in training and on the field he is above reproach, but when he is out, perhaps as a result of provocation, his behaviour can be exaggerated.

“We will keep our affection close and try not to exaggerate too much. However, he has become a phenomenon, a star. He stops the traffic around Milan.”

Balotelli is cup-tied in the Champions League and so will not feature for the Rossoneri against Barcelona this week in their last 16 first leg, and Adriano Galliani hopes Stephan El Shaarawy can shake off his poor form and step up in his compatriot’s absence.

The Milan CEO told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “He [Balotelli] and El Shaarawy play different roles, Balotelli will not press anyone.

“There is hope El Shaarawy will recover his form, absolutely. There is no concern there.”

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