Berlusconi: Milan can rival Juve for title

AC Milan chariman Silvio Berlusconi's son Pier believes that retaining Stephan El Shaarawy has enabled the club to challenge Juventus for the Scudetto next season.

Football News: Mario Balotelli & Stephan El Shaarawy

By FOX Sports Staff

Milan announced that they will not entertain any offers for El Shaarawy despite rumours that the 22-year-old may be up for a move following the arrival of Mario Balotelli last season - a move that Pier Berlusconi believes will help the Rossoneri in their campaign next season.

"As a Milan fan I am happy that El Shaarawy is removed from the market and is staying," Berlusconi was quoted as saying on Football Italia.

"Despite his young age he is a champion, but he still has much to prove. It is a choice that depended upon my father. I expect maximum commitment for next year because he has talent and with his age he can improve a lot.

"His ups and downs last season? Maybe he has suffered from the media explosion around him. For a very young lad it can happen."

El Shaarawy's strike-partner Mario Balotelli has shone for Milan with 12 goals in 13 appearances and Berlusconi believes that the former Manchester City striker will again play a crucial part for them next season.

"I love Balotelli, because he is a great champion. Technically and physically he is outstanding, one of the best in the world.

"He is still young, he can only get better, and there is a very wide scope for his potential, if he continues on this path.

"I'm a fan of Mario and so justify everything that he does. He always makes the news, in the field with his goals, but also out of the field, with everything that he does.

"In Milan he is critical and we hope that he always played because he decides games."

Rivals Juventus boosted their own strike force with the capture of Carlos Tevez, but Berlusconi insists that Milan's own strikers are of a similiar calibre.

"Juve have taken him, but we are strong too. We have Balotelli and El Shaarawy, and with them fit and at their level, I do not see a big difference with the Bianconeri - I remain hopeful.

"Of course they are strong and have strengthened their squad with passing years. Milan must continue its growth and aim to improve results obtained from this year.

"It will not be easy to do better at either Italian or international level, where we will face the giants."


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