Materazzi: Mihajlovic can succeed with Balotelli where Rodgers failed

The retired defender thinks his former Inter team-mate will be a good fit at San Siro under the Serbian coach, labeling the striker’s move a “golden opportunity”


Marco Materazzi believes Mario Balotelli will thrive at AC Milan under the leadership of Sinisa Mihajlovic, insisting he will have a better relationship with the Serbian than he had with Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool.

The enigmatic forward has completed his medical ahead of his expected return to the Rossoneri after a single season at Anfield, in which he only managed to net four times in 28 matches in all competitions.

But former team-mate Materazzi has backed Mihajlovic – who previously worked with Balotelli as Inter’s assistant coach in the 2007-08 season – to revive the 25-year-old’s career as he gears up for his second spell at the Rossoneri.

“I’m happy for him, because he’s like a younger brother to me,” the former treble winner with the Nerazzurri told Corriere Spione.

“I know how he is as a person, and I wouldn’t say this is his last chance, but it’s a golden opportunity which must be exploited.

“I’m sure Sinisa will strike the understanding he couldn’t find with Liverpool’s manager Brendan Rodgers.

“I hope with all my heart that Balotelli will have a great season before going on to represent Italy at the European Championships.”

Milan have spent the summer rebuilding after their 10th place finish in Serie A last term, and targeted Balotelli after failing to secure another ex-player in Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Paris Saint-Germain.

Balotelli first joined Milan in January 2013 and went on to make an immediate impact, netting 12 goals in 13 league appearances in his first campaign there, before following up with another 14 strikes the subsequent term.