Balotelli admits surprise at Ibrahimovic’s return; hints he will support Milan in the derby

By Oliver Fisher -

Former AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has admitted that he did not expect Zlatan Ibrahimovic to complete a return to the Rossoneri.

The difference between the Rossoneri with and without Ibrahimovic has been highlighted, and the 38-year-old has made his presence felt since his return to Milan was announced early in January.

Milan are yet to lose a game since Ibrahimovic was announced as a new Rossoneri player, but were lacking his threat during Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona on Sunday, which he missed through a combination of flu and muscle fatigue.

Nonetheless, the Swede will be back for Sunday’s Derby della Madonnina, and Balotelli – who played with him at Inter – has admitted that he is shocked to see Ibra back in Italy.

“I didn’t expect it. We met before the game with Milan when I went to the hotel to greet the team,” he told il Corriere dello Sport (as cited by MilanLive.it).

The Brescia forward is a boyhood Milan fan despite his Inter past, but has insisted he has no problems with the Nerazzzurri.

“AC Milan are AC Milan. But at the same time I have no problem with Inter, at least not me. Inter has given me a lot, everything started from there, the youth sector, Mancini, the people. Mancini is the main figure in my career.”

Tags AC Milan Mario Balotelli Zlatan Ibrahimovic