Inter defender Francesco Acerbi has identified Rafael Leao as AC Milan’s main threat, and also reflected on his time at the club.
Milan will have to pull off a minor miracle in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Inter after losing the first act 2-0 at San Siro, with Stefano Pioli’s side stunned by a lightning fast start from Inter in which Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored.
Acerbi spoke to Sky and during his pre-match press conference on the eve of the second leg, with his comments relayed by FcInterNews.
What changes on a tactical level with Leao? And will the confrontation with the fans shock Milan?
“We’ll see. They come from a not as wonderful period as we experienced. Tomorrow will be a test of pride, we must expect the best from Milan. Leao is their best player, the most decisive. We will stop him with the whole team.”
“It’s a game in itself and they are those matches in which you have everything to lose and therefore we will have to stay even more concentrated than in the first leg.”
It is now ten years since Acerbi played at Milan, as it was back in June 2012 that he joined the Rossoneri. However, he failed to gain a consistent place in the starting line-up and left the club during the winter transfer window.
In 2019, Acerbi revealed that he suffered from depression while grieving the death of his father, which turned him to alcohol.
You had an experience at Milan that didn’t go as planned…
“It was a passage in my life that I had to make, I was a bit silly. I had this disease that made me come to my senses otherwise I wouldn’t have played anymore. But there’s no revenge, I’m interested in tomorrow.”
Are you ready for this kind of challenge?
“Yes, because it’s a beautiful game to play and it gives you the right adrenaline and fear to face Milan in a return to the Champions League. It will be more difficult but we want to do something unthinkable at the start of the season.”
How can you not be too sure of the 2-0 advantage?
“We’re not at all sure, we were very calm but without too much cheering at the end because there’s a return leg. We didn’t do anything, it would be a mistake to think we have higher passing percentages.
“Everything is still at stake, we know we can do something important. We have to have balance, have the right approach. It’s not easy to ease the tension on the eve.”