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
1Juventus15120332131936
2Roma15102335161932
3AC Milan1510232719832
4Lazio1694329171231
5Atalanta BCAtalanta159152417728
6Napoli1584327151228
7Torino1574431191225
8Fiorentina146532216623
9Sampdoria166462022-222
10Inter Milan156362221121
11Genoa145541715220
12CagliariCagliari156272332-920
13AC Chievo VeronaChievo155461416-219
14Udinese155371923-418
15SassuoloSassuolo155282026-617
16Bologna154471422-816
17Empoli15249724-1710
18Crotone1623111430-169
19Pescara1615101329-168
20Palermo1513111129-186