Former Juventus and AC Milan star Andrea Pirlo believes Liverpool FC striker Mario Balotelli can still become a one of the top forwards in Europea . The champions league finalist praised New York City FC team mate Frank Lampard and revealed glamorous lifestyles of Milan stars Ronaldinho and David Beckham.

Following his a 20 million (A?16m) move from AC Milan last summer, Mario Balotelli has struggled at Liverpool FC. The player has been linked with a possible exit to Sampdoria and Bologna.

Much was expected of Balotelli at Anfield, but, the player was perhaps a square peg in a round hole in the system at Liverpool FC.

He struggled to get in the team and made only 10 starts in the league scoring just once a a winner against Tottenham Hotspur.

Pirlo backs Balotelli to shine again

However, in an interview to Shortlist, Pirlo said that despite his struggles with Liverpool FC, Super Mario can still become one of the best strikers in Europe, again.

a Ia ll tell you that Mario is one of the nicest guys you will meet,a the former Juventus midfielder told Shortlist.

a I used to walk into training with Italy and even before he said something I could just look at his face and I would start laughing.

a There are never boring moments when Mario is around. He made mistakes when he was younger, he knows this, but I hope next season goes well for him, because I still believe he has all the attributes to be one of the top forwards in Europe.a

Pirlo hails Lampard as one of the best midfielders of his generation

Pirlo moved to MLS following a super successful season at Juventus where he won the league and made it to the Champions League final.

He will be playing for New York City FC, and Pirlo told Shortlist about living in New York and hailed his new teammate, Chelsea FC legend Frank Lampard.


a I am excited about New York living, it is one of the most iconic cities in the world.

a I am excited to start playing in MLS, and for success with the team, but I want to immerse myself into New York, to live like a New Yorker.

a Lampard? Throughout his career, Frank has positioned himself as one of the greatest goal-scoring midfield players of the generation.

a Often his tally for the season would be what you would expect from a forward. I am sure we can come to some agreement on set piecesa a

Freekick masters, fashion king, and party animals

Pirlo also went onto speak about the free-kick expertise at Milan, with Beckham, Ronaldinho, and the Italian in the same side, while also revealing the lifestyles of Beckham and Ronaldinho.

a David is one of the most stylish men that the world has, and when he was at the club it must have been the only time an Englishman was the best dressed person in the city of Milan.

a When the three of us were in the same team there were so many options over free-kicks, but it was a good option to have.

a The best of us on a night out? Oh definitely Ronaldinho, David and myself would be in bed by 12.a