El Shaarawy reveals Seedorf debt

The Italy international says he will be forever grateful to the Dutch legend for helping him to find his feet at the club
AC Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy has revealed he "owes a lot" to former teammate Clarence Seedorf.

The Italy international carried the Rossoneri during the first half of the season as the club made a disastrous start to the campaign and his new found maturity has yielded 16 goals in 35 Serie A appearances.

Former Netherlands international Seedorf left San Siro last summer and joined Brazilian outfit Botafago, with El Shaarawy citing him as the perfect role model prior to his departure.

"I owe a lot to Seedorf, I'm living a dream," the 20-year-old told reporters. "A point of reference for me is meeting Seedorf. We spent a lot of time together and in a large sense he has taught me a lot of things, about the profession, friendship and life."

There were reports of a rift between the forward and fellow teammate Mario Balotelli, but the youngster has poured cold water on those rumors by revealing the pair enjoy a very natural relationship.

"The friendship with me and Mario was born instinctively," he added. "Immediately, as soon as we met. People who say that Mario and I are poles apart are wrong, it's an invention of journalists. Mario is not what he looks like in the press: he is a simple type, like me.

"We are two very nice guys."

AC Milan plays Roma in its second to last game of the season on May 12 as it bids to secure a third place finish and Champions League qualification.