Friday April 25 2014
Seedorf stands up for Balotelli

Clarence Seedorf defended Mario Balotelli after defeat to Roma and again refused to confirm his Milan future.

“We certainly have to compliment a great side like Roma for their season and we saw their strength again tonight. In any case, my team was more courageous in the second half and it’s a shame we were unable to equalise,” he told Sky Sport Italia following the 2-0 result.

Miralem Pjanic broke the deadlock with a contender for goal of the season, slaloming past three players and Christian Abbiati.

“When you see a goal like that, especially the nutmeg on Rami, you can only stand and applaud.”

Balotelli’s performance was very poor without a single shot and he seemed irritable, insulting teammate Adel Taarabt and then saying something to Seedorf as he was substituted.

“I made those choices. Ricky Kaka was doing fairly well and could break away down the left. Keisuke Honda was out for two weeks and gave everything he had, so we knew he’d have to be substituted.

“We just said everything was ok. No problem. Mario was one of three substitutions I made, so I don’t see why we should analyse every single one. I wanted to give room to Giampaolo Pazzini and he did very well, almost scoring a goal.

“Balotelli was unable to express himself to the full tonight, but that can happen after several weeks of impressive performances.

“I have been in locker rooms for many years and these things happen. Balotelli and Taarabt talked, there are no problems between them. It’s best to avoid these things, though in the heat of the game they can happen and all players know what it’s like out there.”

The Coach was asked about the tactical battle between his 4-2-3-1 system and Rudi Garcia’s 4-3-3.

“We had Kaka on Daniele De Rossi and our two central midfielders against them, so the midfield evened out.

“The way Roma play, with few reference points and Francesco Totti and Adem Ljajic coming back, creates problems for everyone. I thought we did pretty well to contain them in the second half, as we pushed up more and took the ball off them earlier. We were too deep before the break.”

Sky Sport Italia pundit Zvonimir Boban asked his former teammate Seedorf if he felt abandoned by Milan’s refusal to publicly back him.

“I can’t speak for the club, so these are questions for Mr Galliani to explain. I know my contractual position.

“We are accustomed to Milan making the difference as a club in these matters, but we all know at this time Milan are going through a tough time and it’s a transitional period.

“I was called to help Milan and I will continue as long as I am needed.”

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