Sunday April 5 2020
Saponara: 'Balotelli worth Ballon d'Or'

Riccardo Saponara played alongside Kaka at Milan, but maintains Mario Balotelli was his most talented teammate. “He had what it takes to win the Ballon d’Or.”

Saponara spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport about his career, which has seen him move regularly from club to club, never quite delivering on his early promise.

“Considering the career he had, Kaka is the best teammate I ever played with. However, in that Milan squad, I also discovered Balotelli. I continue to insist he had what it takes to win the Ballon d’Or.”

Since moving to Lecce in January, Saponara has found a new lease of life working with coach Fabio Liverani.

“I didn’t play for months, as I was frozen out by Genoa, so I was the first to be surprised by how quickly I settled in at Lecce. This club allows you to focus, the fans are wonderful and the city is beautiful too. We hope to soon get back to playing so we can fight to stay in Serie A.

“I immediately got on with Liverani and I was won over by his idea of football. Watching the games on TV, I appreciated the attacking approach and vertical passing channels.”

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