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The Brazilian playmaker, who was thrilled to net against Lazio, has hailed the Italian attacker and says he remain a key figure for the Rossoneri despite a slump in form

Kaka insists that Mario Balotelli remains a key player for AC Milan in the wake of the Rossoneri's 1-1 Serie A draw against Lazio on Wednesday evening.

The Italy international has not scored in Serie A since netting in a 2-1 defeat against Napoli in September and his agent, Mino Raiola, recently hinted that the attacker could leave Milan for a return to the Premier League.

But Kaka has urged Balotelli, who has scored 15 goals in 19 league games since returning to San Siro, to remain calm and stressed that the 23-year-old remains central to Milan.

"The only thing that I have told Mario Balotelli is that he is very important to the team," Kaka told the club's official website.

"He should remain calm because he has a lot of responsibility and is very important."

The Brazilian also reflected on his excellent curling effort in Wednesday's draw, and was understandably delighted with his first goal since his return to Milan during the summer.

He added: "It was a wonderful goal. I am pleased with the goal, but disappointed with the result. Scoring on my return to San Siro is special, though."

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