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Apr 4, 2014

Galliani hopeful of Milan Euro success

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti explains why Mario Balotelli was benched during Milan's draw at Lazio.

AC Milan general manager Adriano Galliani remains hopeful that his club will continue their admirable record in Europe next season.

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The Rossoneri have been involved in 13 of the last 15 Champions League campaigns, while they have featured in at least one European competition each year since 2000 -- but Milan currently sit 11th in the table after a difficult domestic season.

Clarence Seedorf's side need to make up seven points on Serie A’s top five, and with six other clubs sharing their ambitions, the rush for places in the Europa League looks set to go down to the wire -- but Gallaini believes they can qualify.

"Even if we don't make it [into Europe], we will still remain better than many other Italian clubs in this respect," La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Galliani as saying at the Milanello training ground. "Having said that, I do hope we will keep this record going.

"Funny things happen in football. Parma were on a 17-game unbeaten run, and now they've lost three in a row.

"We've picked up six points in our last two games, but I don't like making predictions.

"The team are in good shape and they are getting fitter and fitter. I can see great improvements which I hope can be transformed into results.

"You can never say you've got easy fixtures, but at the same time, it's never difficult either before we played Lazio and Fiorentina, it looked impossible for us but we got four points from those games.

"It's all down to us, not the fixture list or our opponents. If we're in good shape, that makes everything easier while it all gets more complicated if we're not."

Milan have been in fine form over the past seven days with a 2-0 win at Fiorentina followed by a 3-0 win over Chievo, and Galliani praised the form of Mario Balotelli, who responded well to being dropped earlier in March with three goals in his last four games.

"To tell the truth, I never saw him looking that bad anyway," Galliani continued.

"People forget that with his goal a game last year, he got us into the Champions League.

"His goals-per-game ratio is fantastic. The club's happy with what he's giving us so there's no kind of problem with him."

Milan have picked up 42 points from 31 games this season, and lie 39 points behind league leaders Juventus.

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