Abate: AC Milan can cope without Balotelli in Champions League

The right-back believes that the San Siro outfit have plenty of alternatives for the former Manchester City man, an opinion shared by team-mate Riccardo Montolivo

Ignazio Abate is confident that AC Milan have what it takes to cope with the absence of Mario Balotelli in the upcoming Champions League round of 16 tie against Barcelona.

The controversial striker left Manchester City for Milan in the January transfer window, but is ineligible for European club football’s elite competition as he has already featured in the tournament for City in the first half of the season.

“We may not have Balotelli in the Champions League but we have Robinho, [Giampaolo] Pazzini and Bojan [Krkic] who can all play their part,” Abate was quoted as saying on the club’s official website.

Riccardo Montolivo, meanwhile, is equally confident that the Rossoneri have enough quality to deal with the striker’s absence in Europe.

He added: “It is a shame Mario isn’t playing but Pazzini is having a good season and we also have cover in Bojan.”

Milan host Barca on February 20, with the return scheduled to take place at Camp Nou two weeks later.

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