Saturday February 16 2013
Galliani: 'Milan Scudetto next season'

Adriano Galliani insists “Milan will be ready for the Scudetto next season” and looks ahead to Barcelona after last night’s 2-1 win over Parma took them into third place.

The Rossoneri have revamped their squad and brought in Mario Balotelli in January, who has now scored four goals in his three Serie A games for the club.

“You can tell the difference. We cannot go back and fix the past, but we are managing an extraordinary run and can now be in third place for at least two or three days,” said general manager Galliani.

They had a disastrous start to the campaign, but notched up a sixth consecutive victory to temporarily catch Lazio in third place.

“I don’t remember Mario having such a delicate boot with his free kicks over the wall. I mainly recall him thumping frightening strikes.”

Balotelli almost didn’t take the decisive free kick, as M’Baye Niang had to be pushed away by teammates.

“It was good teamwork and it was right that Balotelli take the free kick. At last we found someone who can take good free kicks!

“We’re managing an amazing run-up, as in 2013 we have played seven games, winning five and drawing two. Very good.

“We have been using many young players and above all many Italians in the line-up recently. Next season the team will substantially be this one and we will be ready straight away to win the Scudetto.”

Milan now go forward to face Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 tie on Wednesday evening, but Balotelli is cup-tied.

“We will have Giampaolo Pazzini and Stephan El Shaarawy, so a good strike force. The confidence in taking on Barcelona comes from the games we played against them last year,” said Galliani.

They have met four times in the last two seasons of the Champions League, but the Rossoneri haven’t beaten Barça since October 2004.

“We were practically qualified at one point in the second leg, then there were some individual errors. It’s not the best luck to draw Barcelona again, but we saw last year that everyone was waiting for the Real Madrid-Barça Final and instead we ended up with Chelsea-Bayern Munich.

“San Siro will be sold out and it’s going to be wonderful to be there.”

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