SILVIO BERLUSCONI has revealed that Balo’s goals left him sleepless but doubts there was a penalty.
Milan are now fourth in the Serie A table and the nightmare start seems like a long memory. Milan took over Inter for the first time this season thanks to a 2-1 Udinese win; a win that featured two Balotelli goals.
Giampaolo Pazzini’s warm up injury meant a start for the new signing and he turned out to be the hero as he scored a wonderful goal in the 25′ minute and a hugely controversial penalty in the very last minute.
“Balotelli? I could not sleep after his goals,” Silvio Berlusconi told the media of the man who celebrated his brace at a Fat Joe concert with El Shaarawy, Niang and Traoré. “The [penalty] decision was very doubtful. But it was a pleasure for all Milan fans to get the decision. We’ve been due a decision this season though.”
Balotelli obviously made all the headlines today and was selected Gazzetta dello Sport’s Man of the Match with a rating of 8/10 for his debut. “I am pleased he scored and it is great to play alongside him. Hopefully we will do for the national team to,” said El Shaarawy, who was rated 6.5/10 said. “Balo is like a brother to me. There is a great team spirit and it was an important win,” added Niang who was rated 6.5/10 as well.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri admitted that there was not a penalty on El Shaarawy in the final minute but said that “Balotelli has extraordinary technical and physical qualities. He can reach his full potential at Milan” and that “Niang and El Shaarawy did a lot of running but we need to make more of our chances.”
“Mario scored a brace yesterday,” CEO Adriano Galliani said. “I don’t know how many points Balotelli will bring us but he has certainly strengthened the squad. Balotelli is a player we have always wanted, he gives us a lot but we have also picked up a lot of points with Pazzini up front. In our last 14 matches we have done better than anyone else with Pazzini playing, so Balotelli did well but let’s not turn it into Balo’s Milan.
“I have not spoken to the doctor about Pazzini but I do hope that Pazzini will available for the Champions League. I think maybe a previous penalty had not been given, but I like to see penalties from the side of the pitch and not on my TV and I was in the changing room just before the end so I didn’t see it. Instead the hold on Mario Balotelli by [Udinese central defender Maurizio] Domizzi did look like a four from the stands.
“If Balotelli had scored after 35 second that would have been unbelievable, maybe too much. Balotelli has a similar physique and charisma to Ibra and I think he is [Paris Saint-Germains’s] Ibrahimovic’s ideal substitute.
“Standings? Let’s leave Inter out of this, we are simply going back to picking up the same points that we had over the last two years. We have 12 new players. If two big stars like Ibra and Thiago Silva go away along with all the other players who had been here for so long then it is only normal that things are harder.” Milan started the season very poorly and 3rd place looked like a dream at some point. However, Milan are just three points away from that very position now.
“Next year we will no longer start the season with such a handicap over the first eight games. We will be more competitive from the start. We were also penalised by the transfer market and we are now running towards the third place and hopefully we will get there. The negotiations for Ibra were far easier than the ones with City for Balo, they were extremely difficult. This is the team for next season too, Abate included.
“I think the atmosphere has changed with the fans and with our sponsors. We have done the mini-season ticket but we need a few more days because of the banks. It is incredible that we are coming up against Barcelona for the sixth time in two Champions League years. It’s good in terms of income but it’s better to face other clubs. I am happy also for Pato, he is a world class player. Pity Alexandre had all those injuries.”
Like Balotelli, Pato found the back of the net on his debut game for Corinthians. In other news, Christian Abbiati and Mattia De Sciglio returned to training normally with the squad today and should be available.