Berlusconi: Pato must believe in himself

AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has voiced his confidence in Alexandre Pato, in the wake of the forward's penalty miss during their 3-1 loss to Fiorentina.

Football News: Alexandre Pato & Massimiliano Allegri

By ESPNSTAR.com staff

The Rossoneri were a goal behind after Alberto Aquilani's opener for Fiorentina and they failed to equalize from the spot when Pato struck his penalty attempt against the crossbar just before the break. His disappointing attempt prompted jeers from the San Siro faithful when the two sides went in for the interval.

Although the Brazilian has since apologized for his crucial miss and received the backing of strike partner Bojan Krkic to continue taking penalties for the team, media outlets in Italy have reported that AC Milan fans remain angry at Pato for his actions. 

Speaking to La Gazetta dello Sport, Berlusconi urged Milan fans to support Pato as the forward tries to find his way back to form.

"Pato is a champion and he can't be sold. He has been unlucky with the run of injuries he has had," he stated.

"All of the medical reports say he can get back to being the player he was, but he has to believe it himself. Alongside Bojan and [Stephan] El Shaarawy he can be part of an effective attack. He's still young."

Vincenzo Montella's Fiorentina consigned the team to the sixth loss of their Serie A campaign, leaving the Rossoneri to languish in 12th place in the league table. Nonetheless, the Milan president insisted he would not be showing manager Massimiliano Allegri the door anytime soon.

"If I didn't have confidence in Allegri, as president I would have sacked him. In 26 years we have only changed coach during the season on two occasions; that's not our style, we take things seriously," Berlusconi explained.

"I get on well with the coach; he's a great person as well as being a good coach. And we won the championship with him before we fell victim to this incredible series of injuries."

Many critics deemed the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva as the cause of the Rossneri's on-field woes, but Berlusconi maintained that their decision to sell the star duo was the right one.

"It was impossible for us not to sell Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva: in three years considering transfer fees and wages we have saved 160 million euro," he revealed.

"No one in his right mind, with the economic situation we are all in, could have refused. We have to rebuild."

AC Milan's next fixture sees them travel to the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium to play Anderlecht in their Champions League Group C encounter on Wednesday.



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