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Champions League: Milan vs Barcelona will miss the ‘Super Mario Balotelli’ factor

February 18, 2013 By Angela Asante
Mario Balotelli must wait before going head-to-head with the world's best player officially, Lionel Messi. Blame this on the rules of the UEFA Champions League, if you like.
Ex-Manchester City virus Mario Balotelli has been sensational since his transfer to Milan. However, he will not play any part in his side’s Champions League campaign this year which include Wednesday’s titanic battle against Lionel Messi’s Barcelona.

This is an opportunity that a confident player like Mario Balotelli would have relished. The Italian has claimed several times in the past that only Messi has proven to be a better footballer than him. Clashing face to face with the four-time Ballon d’Or winner in the UEFA Champions League would have offered pundits and fans a lot to discuss and watch.

However, due to his involvement in the group stages of this season’s competition as a Manchester City player, Mario Balotelli cannot represent Milan. The striker is cup-tied – much to the disappointment of the Rossoneri whose chances of defeating Barcelona are already not very big on paper.

Last week, Balotelli told Sky Sports: “I am playing at a consistent level and nearing my best form.”

Indeed, with four goals in his three appearances for the Rossoneri so far, it is hard to deny that Balotelli has been really good. The 22-year-old forward made a stellar debut at the San Siro with a double which downed Udinese 2-1 on February 3. The following week, ‘Super Mario’ salvaged a point for his side with a late penalty away to Cagliari. Last weekend, he inspired Milan’s 2-1 victory against Parma with a fine strike 12 minutes from normal time.

Underlining the controversial star’s remarkable progress on the pitch lately, Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani told the press last Sunday:

“Balotelli inspires the other players, sort of like the Zlatan Ibrahimovic effect. He gives strength, and his performances have a collateral effect on the others.

“His goals are proof we didn’t just buy him for his media impact.”

In fact, Mario Balotelli will be missed by the club and the public for the remainder of Milan’s 2012/13 UEFA Champions League campaign. The pressure is on El Shaarawy to find back his scoring boots and help Milan overcome the mighty Blaugrana of Barcelona in the Round of 16.

 

 


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Group A
Jun 14 11:00amMoscow
Russia 5 - 0 Saudi Arabia
Jun 15 8:00amYekaterinburg
Egypt 0 - 1 Uruguay
Jun 19 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
Russia 3 - 1 Egypt
Jun 20 11:00amRostov-on-Don
Uruguay 1 - 0 Saudi Arabia
Jun 25 10:00amVolgograd
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt
Jun 25 10:00amSamara
Uruguay vs Russia
Group B
Jun 15 11:00amSaint Petersburg
Morocco 0 - 1 Iran
Jun 15 2:00pmSochi
Portugal 3 - 3 Spain
Jun 20 8:00amMoscow
Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco
Jun 20 2:00pmKazan
Iran 0 - 1 Spain
Jun 25 2:00pmSaransk
Iran vs Portugal
Jun 25 2:00pmKaliningrad
Spain vs Morocco
Group C
Jun 16 6:00amKazan
France 2 - 1 Australia
Jun 16 12:00pmSaransk
Peru 0 - 1 Denmark
Jun 21 8:00amSamara
Denmark 1 - 1 Australia
Jun 21 11:00amYekaterinburg
France 1 - 0 Peru
Jun 26 10:00amSochi
Australia vs Peru
Jun 26 10:00amMoscow
Denmark vs France
Group D
Jun 16 9:00amMoscow
Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland
Jun 16 3:00pmKaliningrad
Croatia 2 - 0 Nigeria
Jun 21 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Argentina 0 - 3 Croatia
Jun 22 11:00amVolgograd
Nigeria 2 - 0 Iceland
Jun 26 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Iceland vs Croatia
Jun 26 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
Nigeria vs Argentina
Group E
Jun 17 8:00amSamara
Costa Rica 0 - 1 Serbia
Jun 17 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland
Jun 22 8:00amSaint Petersburg
Brazil 2 - 0 Costa Rica
Jun 22 2:00pmKaliningrad
Serbia 1 - 2 Switzerland
Jun 27 2:00pmMoscow
Serbia vs Brazil
Jun 27 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Switzerland vs Costa Rica
Group F
Jun 17 11:00amMoscow
Germany 0 - 1 Mexico
Jun 18 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
Sweden 1 - 0 Korea Republic
Jun 23 11:00amRostov-on-Don
Korea Republic vs Mexico
Jun 23 2:00pmSochi
Germany vs Sweden
Jun 27 10:00amKazan
Korea Republic vs Germany
Jun 27 10:00amYekaterinburg
Mexico vs Sweden
Group G
Jun 18 11:00amSochi
Belgium 3 - 0 Panama
Jun 18 2:00pmVolgograd
Tunisia 1 - 2 England
Jun 23 8:00amMoscow
Belgium 5 - 2 Tunisia
Jun 24 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
England vs Panama
Jun 28 2:00pmKaliningrad
England vs Belgium
Jun 28 2:00pmSaransk
Panama vs Tunisia
Group H
Jun 19 8:00amSaransk
Colombia 1 - 2 Japan
Jun 19 11:00amMoscow
Poland 1 - 2 Senegal
Jun 24 11:00amYekaterinburg
Japan vs Senegal
Jun 24 2:00pmKazan
Poland vs Colombia
Jun 28 10:00amVolgograd
Japan vs Poland
Jun 28 10:00amSamara
Senegal vs Colombia
Knockout Stage

Round of 16
Jun 30 10:00amKazan
[1C] vs [2D]
Jun 30 2:00pmSochi
[1A] vs [2B]
Jul 1 10:00amMoscow
[1B] vs [2A]
Jul 1 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
[1D] vs [2C]
Round of 16
Jul 2 10:00amSamara
[1E] vs [2F]
Jul 2 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
[1G] vs [2H]
Jul 3 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[1F] vs [2E]
Jul 3 2:00pmMoscow
[1H] vs [2G]
Quarter Final
Jul 6 10:00amNizhny Novgorod
[W49] vs [W50]
Jul 6 2:00pmKazan
[W53] vs [W54]
Jul 7 10:00amSamara
[W55] vs [W56]
Jul 7 2:00pmSochi
[W51] vs [W52]
Semi-final
Jul 10 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
[W57] vs [W58]
Jul 11 2:00pmMoscow
[W59] vs [W60]
Third place match
Jul 14 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[L61] vs [L62]
Final
Jul 15 11:00amMoscow
Final: FIFA World Cup 2018