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The AC Milan striker wants the Rossoneri and his former club to be drawn against one another in the group stage of the Champions League

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli is hoping that his side are drawn against former club Manchester City in next season's Champions League.

The Italy international spent three years at the Etihad Stadium before returning to his homeland in January and would like to face some of his old colleauges in Europe.

"With AC Milan we are trying to qualify for Champions League directly, without needing the preliminary phase and I am sure that City also will qualify for the Champions League and I hope to come back to play at the Etihad," he told City's official website.

"If that will happen I will come back with love and respect for everyone: club, players and supporters. I would love a Champions League group with AC Milan and City, it would be great."

Roberto Mancini's side face Manchester United on Monday and Balotelli is certain and he and fellow ex-Citizen Nigel de Jong will be following proceedings.

"I am sure Nigel and I will watch the game - perhaps not together - but we will both supporting our ex-team-mates, the boss and the supporters big time: we want a win," he continued.

"The goal I scored at Old Trafford was a great moment in my career, like the goal I scored for Italy against Germany in the last Euros.

"As soon as I arrived at City, everyone talked to me about the derby as the game to win and the Old Trafford as the stadium to conquer...I understood that - and did it!

"To score against United with the City shirt is a wonderful feeling."

City remain in the hunt for the FA Cup with this season and Balotelli is hoping they can win the trophy for the second time in three years.

"The FA Cup is a prestigious and important competition and winning it means to have glory for everyone, players, the whole team and the supporters," he continued.

"I have been lucky enough to experience another great moment against United [in that competition] that I have been very happy to share with my team-mates and the great City supporters. 

"Of course I hope that City can win the FA Cup, the team has the potential to do it and the boys deserve at least a trophy in this season."

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