Stephan El Shaarawy hails Mario Balotelli friendship | inside World Soccer

AC Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy has rejected reports that he and striking partner Mario Balotelli are tactically incompatible.

Stephan El Shaarawy has formed a firm friendship with Mario Balotelli at AC Milan
Stephan El Shaarawy has formed a firm friendship with Mario Balotelli at AC Milan

Photo: Getty Images

Although he was in blistering form for the first six months of last season, El Shaarawy struggled when Balotelli arrived at the San Siro in January.

"Mario and I are more than just teammates, we are true friends," El Shaarawy told Tuttosport. "We are always together and also talked about this.

"I've never listened to anyone who said my problem was him. In fact, he was one of the people who stayed closest during my difficulties and encouraged me.

"There's no jealousy between us. I am convinced that I can do well with or without him on the field."

SIGN UP WITH BET365 FOR FREE BETS UP TO £200!