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Serie A
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Seedorf: Media are not helping Balotelli

AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf has jumped to the defence of Mario Balotelli, who he feels is subject to unwarranted mistreatment from the media.

Mario Balotelli talks to manager Clarence Seedorf during AC Milan's loss to Roma.
Mario Balotelli was unimpressed at being substituted during Milan's defeat to Roma.

• Paul: Milan struggles continue

The Italy international was removed during the Rossoneri’s 2-0 defeat to Roma on Friday and he subsequently argued with studio guests, including former Roma defender Christian Panucci and Juventus midfielder Giancarlo Marocchi, who were critical of his performance.

Balotelli told Panucci he "doesn't know anything about football," while saying it is the media and not he who claim he is an outstanding talent.

"I'm just a perfectly normal player," Balotelli told Sky Sport.

Other Italian media organisations have criticised the 23-year-old, claiming he could be a liability if taken to the World Cup by Italy coach Cesare Prandelli.

This prompted Balotelli to turn to Twitter once again to express his displeasure, saying he "divides Italy in 2" while "practically everybody abroad is united with me."

However, Milan boss Seedorf backed Balotelli in an interview with Sky on Sunday, stating: "He is growing and you can see that clearly, only those who don't want to see it don't.

"The statistics are clear. I don't think there was anything untoward about the way he left the field against Roma. He made a bit of a gesture on the field, and that was it.

"The media are not helping this lad grow. When I make criticism, it's constructive. It's not right only to focus on the negatives. Balotelli is doing a good job."

Milan have endured a frustrating campaign as they sit in tenth place in Serie A with 51 points from 35 games, while Balotelli has scored 14 times in 27 league appearances.

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