Former AC Milan defender Franco Baresi has urged the country to get behind Mario Balotelli. The former Manchester City striker has been heavily criticised in recent weeks.

Baresi commented: "In football there are cycles, now the waters have calmed down (at Milan), this Milan can do better. I have not talked to anyone about former comrades, we need serenity.

"Balotelli? He has Italian heritage, the best striker we have now, we must protect him. And he's a good guy who wants to do well.

"(Adriano) Galliani? I'm not talking about corporate matters."

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