Allegri: Balotelli must give more but is on the right track

The coach is bemused by the striker’s complaints about not being able to lead a “normal life” but feels that the Italy international is starting to come to terms with fame

Massimiliano Allegri says that while Mario Balotelli has to “give much more” to the AC Milan cause, he feels the engimatic forward is “on the right track”.

The Rossoneri striker continues to make headlines in Italy for his activities off the field and this week the Italy international once again complained that he is not being allowed to lead a normal life.

Allegri is baffled by Balotelli’s expectation that a player in his high-profile position could avoid such public scrutiny but he does believe that the 23-year-old is starting to come to terms with his fame.

“I don’t know what he means by a normal life,” the Milan boss told reporters on Friday. “He’s world famous!

“He just has to find the right balance and I think he’s on the right track. That’s good for him, for the national side and for Milan.

“But I think that with respect to the potential that he has, he can and has to give much more. And, lately, he’s been very calm on the pitch.

“I only took him off on Sunday [at Catania] as he was tired. He could have easily taken a few knocks in that period of the game and I avoided that.”

Turning his attention to Saturday’s Serie A trip to Livorno, Allegri admitted that he is enthused by the fact that his 100th game as Milan boss will be against his hometown club.

“It’s a important achievement,” the 46-year-old mused. “I’ve been here four years now and I hope to be able to celebrate with a win.

“Some of the fans will boo me – that’s obvious, as I’m coaching Milan – but I’m happy that Livorno is in Serie A and they have all the right ingredients to stay here.”

Milan have struggled domestically so far this season but Allegri has been buoyed by their 3-1 success at Catania last weekend and is hoping that they can pick up a second away win now that nearly all of their injured players are available again.

“Injuries play a big part,” he argued. “Look at Barcelona without [Lionel] Messi, [Dani] Alves and [Victor] Valdes.

“It’s always better to have all your players to have more options and to stimulate competition in the changing room.”

Milan’s meeting with Livorno is scheduled to get under way at 18:00CET.

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