London: Manchester United star Robin van Persie has nothing but positive words for Mario Balotelli and believes the AC Milan striker has all the qualities necessary to succeed at the highest level.
The Italy international, who left Manchester City for Milan in the winter transfer window, has been criticised for his attitude on more than one occasion, but Van Persie has insisted that the 22-year-old is "a great guy".
"I have always been a fan of Balotelli. He is quick, strong and is courageous. He has all the qualities a striker needs to succeed at the highest level," Van Persie was quoted as saying by NUsport.
"And he really is a nice guy as well. We spoke to each other every now and then when he still played at Manchester City.
"You have people who initially look like nice guys, but turn out to be different in the end. Balotelli is the exact opposite. He might not look like a nice lad, but he definitely is."
Balotelli and Van Persie will square off on Wednesday when Netherlands host Italy at the Amsterdam ArenA, with kick-off in the Dutch capital scheduled at 20:30CET.