Adriano Galliani: 'Mario Balotelli is like Lionel Messi'

AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli celebrates with a teammate after scoring on his debut on February 3, 2013
© AP Photos
Adriano Galliani says that Mario Balotelli is AC Milan's version of Lionel Messi after netting a brace on his debut.

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani believes that Mario Balotelli is the club's answer to Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi.

The Italian international netted a brace on his debut for the Rossoneri to give them a 2-1 win over Udinese at the San Siro on Sunday.

Balotelli joined the Serie A outfit on transfer deadline day from Manchester City, and Galliani has compared the 22-year-old to Barcelona star Messi.

"His signing gives the perception that we have returned as a great Milan," Galliani told ESPN.

"This Milan, in attack, is similar to Barcelona. We don't have Messi but we have Super Mario Balotelli."

Balotelli has 16 caps for Italy.

New AC Milan signing Mario Balotelli warms up prior to his side's match with Udinese on February 3, 2013
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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