AC Milan captain Montolivo backs Allegriís decision to bench Balotelli
Mario Balotelli cannot change. AC Milan knew that very well when they bought the striker from Manchester City in January 2013. Massimiliano Allegri understood that bringing Balotelli to San Siro meant bringing quality and entertainment, but with it a great deal of drama was part of the package as well.
AC Milan manager Allegri has decided to keep Balotelli on the bench for his poor performances. The decision has met the approval of the Rossoneri captain Ricardo Montolivo. The Italy international insists Allegri is making the right calls.
Ruffling the feathers of Balotelli can cause a great deal of unwanted drama, but if done properly desired affects can be achieved. Allegri claims that Balotelli has insisted not be given any preferential treatment at AC Milan, a club the young Italy international has wanted to join since beginning his career at Inter Milan.
Montolivo believes Balotelli will take advantage of his exile to clear his mind and refocus his potential on becoming a world class player.
“The coach has never made any exceptions -- if he thinks something, he says it, and so he does the same when it comes to Mario,” Montolivo said at a news conference on Thursday.
“Criticism is made to make you improve and it's right to criticize if it's necessary. Mario looks serene to me and I can't see any big difference to how he is at Milan. He's not particularly on edge, but I don't fear losing him.
“People are always trying to exaggerate things when it comes to him. Either we have to sell him, or he should be winning the Ballon d'Or. We all know what Mario's true value is. He's thick-skinned and knows there are both positive and negative times, that you get lots of praise and lots of criticism and I don't think he's particularly stressed.
“All of us at Milan know what situation we're in and we're doing all we can to get out of it.”
Despite growing out of favor at AC Milan, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has listed Balotelli as his first-choice striker in the squad. Balotelli’s newly found partnership with Giuseppe Rossi will be unavailable, since Rossi has picked up a virus. Southampton’s in-form forward Pablo Osvaldo is expected to replace him.