Massimiliano Allegri wants Mario Balotelli to become a top-five player

AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli celebrates after scoring against Palermo on Match 17, 2013
© AP Photos
AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri challenges Mario Balotelli to become one of the top five players in world football.

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has challenged Mario Balotelli to break into the bracket of the world's elite players.

The Italian striker has made an impressive start to his Milan career since moving from Manchester City in January, and Allegri has laid down the gauntlet for the forward to become one of the planet's outstanding players.

"Mario Balotelli is a 22-year-old and he has potential that even he doesn't know about yet," Allegri told reporters.

"His objective should be to become one of the top five players in the world."

However, Allegri does not believe that Balotelli can achieve feats similar to Barcelona's Lionel Messi, with the Italian boss admitting that the Argentina forward's goalscoring talents put him in a class of his own.

"There's only one player who scores 40 to 50 goals a season and he plays for Barcelona, [but] the forwards are all scoring well and we hope the defenders can add to that tally as well," he said.

Milan face Fiorentina on Sunday afternoon in Serie A.

Massimiliano Allegri
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1AC Milan11003033
2Inter Milan11003033
3Juventus11003033
4Napoli11003123
5AC Chievo VeronaChievo11002113
6Sampdoria11002113
7Roma11001013
8Bologna10101101
9Torino10101101
10Genoa10100001
11Lazio10100001
12SPALSPAL10100001
13SassuoloSassuolo10100001
14BeneventoBenevento100112-10
15Udinese100112-10
16Atalanta BCAtalanta100101-10
17Hellas VeronaHellas Verona100113-20
18CagliariCagliari100103-30
19Crotone100103-30
20Fiorentina100103-30