Allegri praises ´champion´ Balotelli
Massimiliano Allegri has hailed the impact Mario Balotelli has made to his Milan side following the striker's move from Manchester City.
Balotelli has been prolific since trading the Etihad Stadium for San Siro in January, netting 11 goals in 11 Serie A outings for the Italian giants.
Milan head into Sunday's clash with Roma knowing a win will see them qualify for the UEFA Champions League, and Allegri was keen to recognise Balotelli's contribution in their quest to pip nearest challengers Fiorentina to the final top-three spot.
He said: "Milan has brought a champion to Italian football in January. Balotelli has meant a lot to us. At Pescara on Wednesday he was of great help for the rest of the team, aside from the goal he scored.
"Balotelli is still 22 years old, even though he's already had years playing at top level, and we sometimes forget it.
"He's an enthusiastic guy and at the moment he feels like a protagonist in an important team like Milan, and he has never felt this way in the other teams he played for."
Milan are heavy favourites to seal their place in Europe's top club competition, but Allegri is refusing to let complacency slip in ahead of a meeting with a Roma outfit still chasing a place in the UEFA Europa League.
"Roma have great qualities, when they get the ball they can always be dangerous, that's why we will have to play a technically and tactically good game," Allegri said.
"We cannot rush, we need to be patient. I think we will have the precious help of our supporters tomorrow, as we have had for the rest of the season.
"We need to play with great care, we need to play technically well and victory is the only result we can aim to achieve, like them, if they want to hope for a place in Europa League."