Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Flavio Finds 'The New Schumacher' at QPR; Talented Spotters? Flavio Briatore (Right) Could Teach Ex- Newcastle Boss Sam Allardyce, Who He Sat with at Hull Recently, a Thing or to When It Comes to Judging Sporting Potential

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Flavio Finds 'The New Schumacher' at QPR; Talented Spotters? Flavio Briatore (Right) Could Teach Ex- Newcastle Boss Sam Allardyce, Who He Sat with at Hull Recently, a Thing or to When It Comes to Judging Sporting Potential

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley

FLAVIO BRIATORE today hailed Queens Park Rangers teenager Angelo Balantaas 'the new Michael Schumacher'. The Rangers chairman identified the17-year-old striker as the jewel in the crown of a young squad primed with thetask of restoring the glory days to Loftus Road.

Briatore masterminded Formula One team Benetton's transformation from down-gridalso-rans into a motor-racing powerhouse with Schumacher the catalyst on thetrack.

Now he has earmarked Colombian-born Balanta for stardom. The teenager, whohopes to make only the fifth start of his brief career against Norwich onSaturday, recently claimed he will have more of an impact on English footballthan former Newcastle icon and fellow countryman Faustino Asprilla.

"Balanta is the new Schumacher," said Briatore. "He is very young, strong,talented and confident. Look at Alexandre Pato in Italy [with AC Milan]. He isa teenager and very confident but if you are talented like Balanta (right) youcan be.

"In Formula One now, all the drivers are young but when Schumacher came in hewas 19 and drivers like Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell and Ricardo Patresi were intheir thirties.

In the briefings, Schumacher looked like a baby but on the track, he foughtwith his heroes.

"When you are talented you feel confident and I see that in Balanta." Briatoresees many parallels between Benetton and Rangers, not least in terms ofrecruitment and the nurturing of young talent. The Italian added: "When Ihelped create Benetton I knew I didn't have the possibility to take Senna orAlain Prost because I didn't have the credibility in Formula One. We neededsomebody to go with us, so we took Schumacher.

"QPR are the same. We will be very prudent. We have a young squad and they cangrow together.

"Its easy to come into football with a big fortune and leave with a smallfortune. …

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