Marcello Lippi: 'Mario Balotelli's AC Milan success depends on him'

AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli celebrates with a teammate after scoring on his debut on February 3, 2013
© AP Photos
Marcello Lippi says that only Mario Balotelli can make a difference for himself and fulfil his "great potential".

Former Italy coach Marcello Lippi has urged Mario Balotelli to concentrate more on his football than on off-pitch issues.

The 22-year-old Italian striker joined AC Milan from Manchester City on transfer deadline day after two-and-a-half years with the reigning Premier League champions.

"He is a player with great potential, talent and quality," Lippi told BBC Sport. "He needs to think more about football and less about things outside football because he can really do very well.

"If I had remained as Italy coach, I would definitely have included him in my plans to rebuild the squad.

"Milan is an important team, a young team and he has always wanted to play for Milan. It all depends on him and only him."

Balotelli scored twice on his debut for Milan on Sunday, helping them win 2-1 against Udinese at the San Siro.


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