Galliani: We don't have Messi, but we have Balotelli

AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has hailed the impact of new signing Mario Balotelli, and believes the team’s attack is comparable to that of Barcelona.

The 22-year-old wasted no time in announcing himself at San Siro following his move from Manchester City last month, scoring both goals on his debut in the 2-1 win over Udinese on Sunday.

And Galliani believes the future is bright for the Rossoneri, thanks in part to their young forward line of Balotelli, Mbaye Niang and Stephan El Shaarawy.

“He is a big-time player and he started after [Giampaolo] Pazzini got injured; football is strange,” he told the club’s official website.

“Balotelli’s two goals were a sign of fate and he could have scored after 35 seconds. I didn’t see the second goal because I was in the dressing room.

“President [Silvio] Berlusconi spoke to the players and was very pleased. Our attack has a combined age of 60 and for the next ten years I can rest easy. We have picked up 33 points in the last 15 games.

“We don’t have [Lionel] Messi but we have Balotelli. This attack reminds me of Barcelona and we will see the benefit in terms of sponsors because he is only 22 and he has great potential.”

Coach Massimiliano Allegri warned against putting too much pressure on Balotelli, but echoed Galliani’s hopes for the future of the club, claiming that the former Inter man can reach his full potential now he is back in Italy.

“Balotelli played the full match and has settled in immediately,” he said. “I think there is too much pressure on him from the media and at 22 he is developing.

“He has extraordinary technical and physical qualities. He can reach his full potential at Milan.

“I am lucky to coach this side, after the revolution this summer, Galliani has proven to be one of the best [general] managers in the world, and with the availability of the president, he has created a team that will do well in the future not only in Italy but also in Europe.”

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