Mario Balotelli says he is looking forward to getting to work under new AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf following the Dutchman's appointment this week.
The Rossoneri's poor form has seen them slide into the bottom half of Serie A, with Sunday's 4-3 defeat at lowly Sassuolo resulting in the firing of Massimiliano Allegri. However, the announcement of Seedorf as the new boss at Milanello has been welcomed by the club's star striker.
"It was disappointing to see Allegri leave, but Seedorf has come in and it is very exciting to work with somebody like him," Balotelli told reporters at a Puma boot launch in Barcelona. "Seedorf's record with Milan can be transmitted to the players. It is a good thing that he brings that experience with him."
While Seedorf and Milan face their own tough prospect in the Champions League next month against Atletico Madrid, Balotelli was also asked to give his verdict on his former club Manchester City, which will take on Barcelona in the last 16.
"City can definitely beat Barcelona, and I really hope they do," he said. "I have a lot of good friends there, so I will be cheering for Manchester City. But it will be a very difficult game."
His former City manager Roberto Mancini is another feature of the knockout stages after a dramatic late win over Juventus saw his Galatasaray side progress at the Old Lady's expense, and Balotelli said his loyalties were split when watching the win-or-bust clash in Turkey.
"I was just hoping for a spectacular game really. I wanted Juventus to do well because I am Italian, but I had a very good experience with Mancini at City, so I want him to do well also."
Balotelli was joined at the launch by Marco Reus and Cesc Fabregas, but when asked who he'd rather face in this summer's World Cup final with Italy, the 23-year-oild was unequivocal.
"The only important thing is that I am there."
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- Massimiliano Allegri