Former Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli believes he has the potential to become the best player in Europe.

Balotelli, who has been in terrific form since sealing a move to AC Milan, has openly admitted that he feels only La Liga duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are better than the Italian forward.

The controversial striker, speaking to the Daily Mirror, said: "I want to be the best player in Europe and I want to prove that this season.

"I only rate Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo above me, but that can change this season.

"I am playing good football with Milan and I want to be number one in Europe. To do that, I must perform well in the Champions League.

"We have a tough group. Barcelona are Barcelona and Ajax have some good young players. The atmosphere that Celtic make in Europe is famous, so we also know to expect a tough game."

Balotelli also revealed he would like to face former side Manchester City at some stage during this season's Champions League campaign.

The 23-year-old, who spent three seasons at the Etihad Stadium, added he would like to go back to Manchester to greet his former fans.

"It is a dream to play against Manchester City in Europe," concluded Balotelli.

"I had a good time there – and had a lot of success there. I still have friends in Manchester and I would like to go back and say hello to the fans that were so good to me.

"It would be mixed emotions, going back – because I would be going there to win, but I hope Milan meet them in the knockout stages."

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