Friday February 14 2014
Seedorf: 'I believe in Balotelli'

Clarence Seedorf was not surprised by Mario Balotelli’s incredible winner for Milan against Bologna. “I believe in him.”

The striker unleashed an extraordinary strike from 39 metres (43 yards) that dipped into the far top corner in the final minutes to secure a 1-0 Serie A victory. It was clocked at 91 km/h (56 mph).

“It’s the kind of goal Mario knows how to score, as he has these weapons in his armoury,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“The great thing is that the team continues to believe in the result, as you don’t score goals like that unless you believe.”

This week Seedorf hit the headlines when suggesting Balotelli cannot be considered a champion quite yet.

“People like to take my words out of context. I didn’t say Mario isn’t a champion, but that he will become a champion. I believe in him a great deal and I believe in the man he is becoming.

“I only think positive things towards him. What position do I like him best in? I like Balotelli, full stop. He can play on the right or the left.”

The overall Milan performance was poor and they go into Wednesday’s Champions League Round of 16 first leg tie with Atletico Madrid.

“The team fought hard. It wasn’t a great game, but it’s not easy when your opponents sit and wait for 90 minutes. Atletico do not play the same way as Bologna, who defend very deep.

“Michael Essien has to play against Atletico, so I decided not to risk him tonight. We are working for the future and Milan’s results this season will influence the choices for next term.”

Ricky Kaka limped off in this game after turning his ankle, so are there fears he could miss Atletico Madrid?

“He said he felt ok, but we substituted him straight away as a precaution.”