Thursday March 27 2014
Balotelli: Ref provoked me

Mario Balotelli commented that the one to provoke him most during Milan’s win at Fiorentina was the referee.

The striker netted the Rossoneri’s second of the night from a second-half free-kick, but focused post-match on his early booking for dissent handed out by Daniele Orsato.

“The person who provoked me most in the field was honestly the referee,” complained Balotelli afterwards.

“I do not understand why some referees, in Italy, do not talk.

“The referee today gave no dialogue. I have been booked for telling him that an opponent had touched the ball with their hand.

“He warned me that I talked too much - I will talk too much, but you can also have a dialogue, it seems a stupid situation.

“Provocation in the field? If I am not provoked in the field, that would mean that I am not strong.”

Balotelli was asked if the win has helped ease pressure on Coach Clarence Seedorf.

“We have not saved anyone’s position. I have not read the newspapers, but it is not that because you lose one or two games it becomes a matter of discussing someone.

“We are not nervous and no-one fights in the dressing room. The group is fantastic and has always been united.

“Certainly there was regret at the exit from the Champions League and it is bad to not make it into Europe for next year, but rumours of quarrels are rubbish.

 “The national team? We are a good group, strong, that hopes to go far in the World Cup. It will take a bit of luck…”