Former AC Milan midfielder Demetrio Albertini has revealed some interesting information about what Stefano Pioli told him regarding two young stars.
Albertini spoke during an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport and was asked for his opinions on Sandro Tonali, a player who has taken his role by storm this season after a difficult debut campaign with Milan that saw him suffer some growing pains.
“I see myself in him for his role on the pitch, posture, movements and for the similar path he is taking, at the age of twenty he wore the Milan shirt like me,” he said (via SempreMilan.it).
“Having said that, I must say that I never got there inside the area except to shoot penalties. Who does this Tonali remind me of? He reminds me a lot of Antonio Conte. A penetrating midfielder, who knows how to play for the team but who has important individual characteristics, a driving force.”
Tonali was the star of the show during Sunday night’s 3-1 win over Hellas Verona at the Bentegodi as the Rossoneri shrugged aside the ‘Fatal Verona’ curse to take a huge step towards the Scudetto.
He linked up twice with Rafael Leao, another player who showed very promising signs but has taken his game to a whole new level this season in terms of explosiveness and consistency. Albertini spoke about the duo.
“A few months ago, over a coffee in a bar downstairs, my ‘neighbour’ Pioli [they live in the same area] told me how much the training attitude of Leao and Tonali was changed from the previous season.
“I was impressed, because the facts confirm it: now Leao, Tonali and the other young players have understood that in a club like Milan you must always play your best cards, and Pioli has great merit because he has opened their eyes in this sense.”
Finally, Albertini also spoke about the Scudetto race which sees Milan needing four points from their final two games to triumph over city rivals Inter.
“Before the match against Verona I thought that Milan had just over 50 per cent of the final victory. We are now at a good 60 percent. It will be tough against Atalanta, but I see a team ready, aware.
“And with great quality: those who say that Milan are the best of the worst makes me smile because it is not like that at all. Milan is the demonstration that with work you can reach the top and overcome your limits.”