Kevin-Prince Boateng claims Mario Balotelli is more of a natural talent than Milan star Rafael Leao and insists Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi is ‘better than Pep Guardiola.’

The former Milan and Barcelona midfielder sat down with TV Play to discuss his career and some of the best teammates and coaches he has ever worked with.

“I love Balotelli, I think he could’ve won three Ballon d’Or editions. However, he needed someone like me around to point him in the right direction every day,” explained Boateng.

He was asked to compare SuperMario to current Rossoneri striker Leao and insisted there was only one player he could compare to.

“Leao is very good, but Mario was on another level, he was phenomenal. I played with him and saw what he could do when he knuckled down and took it seriously. We all know what he was capable of, not everyone can keep it going at a high level, but when he was in shape, he was one of the five best strikers in the world. The only one who came close to the quality of Zlatan Ibrahimovic was Balotelli.”

Boateng also reveals he had some regrets, including that his time at Sassuolo working under De Zerbi was so brief in the 2018-19 campaign.

“If I had De Zerbi 10-12 years ago, football would’ve been different. I think he will be the best coach of the next 20-30 years. He has been able to improve every single player he worked with, from the understudy goalkeeper to the striker.

“I worked with him when I was 32 years old and I felt stronger than I’ve ever been. De Zerbi makes you feel really involved, he knew how to coddle me when I needed it, to motivate me when I needed that. He really looks after the human rapport aspect of management and that is fundamental.”

Many consider Manchester City manager Guardiola to the best coach in the world, but Boateng has other ideas.

“Is De Zerbi better than Guardiola? I say yes.”

Boateng won the Scudetto at Milan working under Max Allegri, who is now a mainstay at Juventus and sitting in second place behind Serie A leaders Inter.

“Allegri made us laugh at Milan because during his tactical lectures, he wouldn’t finish his sentences. Juventus don’t have the same champions they used to, but in my view he’s doing well and will challenge for the Scudetto. Even if the football isn’t that interesting, he is still bringing results.”

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