Sunday September 20 2015
Berlusconi: 'Rather Balo than Ibra'

President Silvio Berlusconi admires the new Milan and feels it’s better to have Mario Balotelli than Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The patron spoke to reporters when leaving a dinner with CEO Adriano Galliani, having been in the stands for a 3-2 victory over Palermo.

“I liked Milan and saw a performance with incredible sporting aggression. I rarely recall seeing such a strong pressing game. I continue to hope we can keep the ball when leading with 15 minutes to go, but I see it’s very difficult to do, even for big teams.

“Carlos Bacca has a great eye for goal, I like him a lot. Balotelli didn’t get a pass wrong tonight and God willing he really is a different Balo. He seemed more serious and considerate.

“He had a series of runs and combined with the other players. I hope he can continue like this in future. I talk to him on the phone every now and then. I think he has reached maturity.

“I’d like to see Balo has a trequartista, although let’s not forget Jeremy Menez is still out injured. Balo can play any of the three roles in attack.”

There was practically a Serie A debut for 18-year-old right-back Davide Calabria, who had previously played six minutes last season.

“He won over everyone in the stands. All the fans were cheering him on and applauding constantly. He has already become the idol of the Curva.

“I saw a capable midfield with Riccardo Montolivo passing the ball around in the Andrea Pirlo style, so I am truly happy.

“I see Mihajlovic’s imprint in the team’s behaviour, their determination and the locker room atmosphere.”

Berlusconi was also asked about the transfers that didn’t go through, above all Inter’s Geoffrey Kondogbia and Paris Saint-Germain star Ibrahimovic.

“It was a wise move not to buy Kondogbia at those figures. The starting point for negotiations was half what Inter eventually paid.

“Ibra wanted to come to us, but PSG wouldn’t let him go. He really hoped that he would come to Milan. Oh well, we’ve got Balotelli now and he’s younger. Ibra, like me, is getting old.”