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The forward has often made the headlines for dishing out his own retribution, but his coach believes it's time referees brought a halt to the physical treatment towards him

AC Milan boss Clarence Seedorf has called on referees to start protecting Mario Balotelli against malicious opponents.

The Italy forward's career has been blighted by numerous run-ins with officials and breaches of discipline on and off the field.

But Seedorf is convinced that the former Inter and Manchester City star is a changed man and wants those in charge to put an end to players deliberately targeting his player.

He said: "Balotelli? He has passed every test for me. I also say that he has changed his attitude and referees need to stop all the fouls that he receives."

The 38-year-old was speaking after his side's 1-0 win over Catania on Sunday, which saw the Rossoneri move into the top half of the table.

Balotelli has been a key man under Seedorf since he took over from Massimiliano Allegri in January and has 18 goals to his name so far this season.

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