The AC Millan CEO says the pair hit it off the moment they first met in a car park in Florence on the eve of the club’s Serie A opener against Fiorentina
AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has revealed the signing of Mario Balotelli was only finalised after a secret meeting in a car between the striker and Sinisa Mihajlovic.
The 25-year-old joined the Rossoneri on a season-long loan deal from Liverpool just before the close of the summer transfer window and the Italy international has enjoyed an encouraging start to his second stint with the San Siro side.
Indeed, Balotelli scored a superb free-kick in Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Udinese after being handed a first start of the new campaign by Mihajlovic, who heaped praise on the much-maligned forward after the match.
Galliani is unsurprised that the pair have formed a fine working relationship, claiming that they hit it off the moment they first met one another.
“Mario is a new man, but with the same feet – still a champion,” the long-serving Milan official told Premium Sport.
“He scored a stunning free-kick, but above all behaved impeccably despite suffering many fouls and being admonished by opposing players without protesting ever. I congratulate that and he has to continue like this.
“I admit it, Mihajlovic and Balotelli met in a car with tainted windows in a parking lot in Florence the night before the game against Fiorentina [on the opening weekend of the season] It was like a scene from spy story!
“A love blossomed between the two. Sinisa offered guarantees for Mario, so he returned [to Milan].
“I am glad I had the insight to bring Mario to Milan, but he would not have been able to come without the immediate endorsement of president [Silvio] Berlusconi and Sinisa.”
Balotelli’s first stint at Milan, immediately prior to his unsuccessful transfer to Anfield last summer, saw him score 30 goals in 54 games.