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Soccer: Balotelli says he will stay with Milan

Striker focused on preparing for World Cup, remaining calm

07 January, 16:41
Soccer: Balotelli says he will stay with Milan (ANSA) - Rome, January 7 - Controversial forward Mario Balotelli said Tuesday that he has no intention of leaving AC Milan and wants only to prepare to compete at the World Cup.

"I'm staying with Milan," said Balotelli, known as much for his outbursts and bad behavior as for his soccer skills.

"I must arrive at the World Cup ready and above all, calm," said Balotelli, who has been fending off persistent rumours of a transfer.

Last week, the AC Milan club owned by ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi denied that it was planning to transfer the troubled player.

The Serie A club issued a statement to try to dampen speculation that Balotelli, 23, could be gone this month. "AC Milan firmly and absolutely deny statements that have been attributed to the chairman about Mario Balotelli being put on the transfer list," its statement said. Balotelli has six goals from 13 leagues games this season, compared with 12 goals in 13 Serie A appearances last term.

In an interview with weekly "Chi" magazine, on sale Wednesday, Balotelli commented on his girlfriend Fanny Neguesha, saying that she made him "feel good".

Balotelli, born to Ghanaian parents, has been a frequent target of racist booing and slurs from some fans during matches.

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