AC Milan youngster Bryan Cristante has revealed that Mario Balotelli told him not to let nerves get the better of him prior to his maiden San Siro bow in the 3-0 win over Atalanta.
The 18-year-old made his official first-team debut in the Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen in December 2011, but had yet to feature at home for the Rossoneri.
Cristante made a fine impression on his home debut, though, as he netted once to help Milan to all three points and he says he is keen to prove his worth in the months to come.
"It was an emotional game, my first match at the San Siro, but Balotelli told me to stay calm ahead of the match," the Italy Under-19 star told the club's official website.
"I’m very happy with my home debut and we’re a good group. I joined Milan when I was 14 and I made my way through all the youth teams and now I’m in the first team.
"I was available for selection for the derby, but the coach made other choices. I try to work as best I can and show what I can do. That’s what I have to do.
"I always train well and I hope that I’ll get more chances to play. I just want to keep on pushing ahead and grow as best I can."
Cristante signed a contract with Milan until June 2018 last year.