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Allegri: Balotelli can become a world-class player

The AC Milan coach discussed the difference the striker has made to the Rossoneri and went as far as suggesting he could become one of the world's best players if he keeps focused

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has hailed his January signing, Mario Balotelli, saying that he could become one of the world's most lethal forwards if he continues to focus on his game.

The 22-year-old, never far from controversy, has been in clinical form following his 22 million euro transfer from Manchester City, scoring three goals in his first two games in Serie A, and his coach was quick to praise him.

“I am satisfied with what Mario is giving us on the pitch. But, he has the possibility of becoming a world-class player – if he devotes himself to football," Allegri told reporters.

Allegri added that the former Man City forward's potential brilliance is not a foregone conclusion, but he expressed his hope that Balotelli will make the most of the raw talent he has. The former Cagliari boss also insisted he would be at the club to manage his star man next season, despite there being some minor doubts the boss' future.

"I have never had any doubts that I'll be here next season,” Allegri added. “I have an agreement with the president and Galliani – this team has been rebuilt in a short space of time so we have to carry on with this project as it is.”

Milan is currently fifth in Serie A and is chasing a UEFA Champions League place for next season. The Rossoneri face Barcelona in the knockout stage of this season's Champions League, with the first leg of their Round of 16 tie set for next Wednesday at the San Siro.

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