Thiago Silva is unequivocal that Milan are a better side when Alessandro Nesta is playing alongside him in defence.
The Brazil international centre-back has been treated as something of a revolutionary in his country after being quoted as saying: "I like Max Allegri because he cares a lot for the defensive phase of the game."
When asked to reveal who he believes is the key man at Milan, Silva said: "Nesta. We feel a lot stronger with him beside us. He is our leader.
"It's not easy to score goals against us and this balance has carried us to the top. I like Allegri also because he creates the right atmosphere in training."
Taken to task on the title race, Silva denied claims Milan are in flight, saying: "Inter have problems but they are always dangerous.
"Lazio have many good players, starting with Hernanes. And then there is the loose cannon - the Napoli of Lavezzi, Cavani and Hamsik, three great attacking players. I have been following them since the beginning. They can be in the mix for the Scudetto."