Sunday September 22 2013
Zapata: 'No Higuain grudge'

Cristian Zapata admits he’s got previous with Gonzalo Higuain, calls Mario Balotelli ‘El Loco’ and hasn’t forgiven UEFA.

The Milan defender is due to start this evening when Napoli come to San Siro at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.

“I have had words with Higuain before, when we were on international duty,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

They were both sent off for kicking out during an Argentina-Colombia World Cup qualifier in July.

“In any case, I am not someone who holds a grudge. I just want to do my work. We have an excellent opportunity to get back into the title race and we must win at all costs.

“Napoli are stronger than last season, but the side I saw in the 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund didn’t frighten me.”

Milan also won their Champions League tie on Wednesday, though Zapata was upset to see his first ever goal for the club credited as a Celtic own goal.

“I’ve seen much worse deflections than that and they were still credited to the player who went for goal. It does irritate me, as I feel that the goal was mine. It left a bitter taste in the mouth, though it contributed to the victory and that’s all that counts.”

Zapata was on loan last season, but Milan made his move permanent over the summer and he thanks Massimiliano Allegri.

“He helped me a great deal, as I had lost my confidence in Spain and he brought it back. He knew which buttons to press.

“Would I rather have Balotelli or Higuain at Milan? I’ve had the good fortune to play with people like Radamel Falcao and Antonio Di Natale, but must admit the one who caused me the most problems in training was ‘El Loco,’ as I call Mario.”