FC Astana
2:00 PM UTC
Leg 1
Game Details
AS Monaco
6:30 PM UTC
Leg 1
Game Details
Real Madrid
Paris Saint-Germain
11:30 PM UTC
Game Details
Bayern Munich
AC Milan
1:00 AM UTC Jul 28, 2016
Game Details
3:00 AM UTC Jul 28, 2016
Game Details
Swindon Town
Swansea City
6:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Ottawa Fury FC
Carolina RailHawks
11:00 PM UTC
Game Details
FC Edmonton
New York Cosmos
1:00 AM UTC Jul 28, 2016
Game Details
Rayo OKC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
1:00 AM UTC Jul 28, 2016
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
Independiente del Valle
12:45 AM UTC Jul 28, 2016
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details

Mascherano agrees new Barcelona deal


Aguero and Nasri on the Great Wall

The Toe Poke

"Passionate welcome" awaits Balotelli

Former Inter Milan defender Marco Materazzi believes Inter striker Mario Balotelli can expect a "passionate welcome" when he returns in the colours of cross-town rival AC Milan for Sunday's Milan derby.

Balotelli returned to his homeland in the January transfer window after giving up on his Premier League career with Manchester City.

But the 22-year-old Italian international did not return to Inter, where he rose through the youth ranks beforehelping the club to Serie A and Champions League success, but to the red-and-black of the Rossoneri.

And Materazzi hinted that decision will not be forgotten by the Inter faithful, despite Balotelli's former contributions.

"I will always thank him because he took us to trophies, and I expect a passionate welcome for him," Materazzi told La Repubblica. "As long as it doesn't get dragged into racism, everything is fair.

"Milan was his dream, so that he's there now is really no surprise."

Inter trail their neighbours by the solitary point this season, but with Balotelli, who has already scored four early goals since his return to Italy, Materazzi believes Milan should be considered favourites heading into the derby.

But despite the Italian World Cup admitting the Inter squad was at its weakest, Materazzi denied his former club would easily give up the fight against its fiercest rivals.

"Milan are the favourites with Balotelli, but that is fine for us Inter fans," he said. "He is ruthless in front of goal. I have never seen such a talented played at 17.

"When you go without Walter Samuel and Diego Milito, the decline is inevitable. Don't give Inter up for dead though, as they have nine lives."


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.