AC Milan midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura has given a feature length interview with a return to former club Atalanta on the horizon.
Bonaventura recently recovered from a long-term injury which required surgery, and was in the starting XI for Marco Giampaolo’s last game in charge (a 2-1 win over Genoa) for the first time since Milan played Real Betis in the Europa League on October 25 2018.
Now, he has established himself as a constant fixture in the line-up under Stefano Pioli, starting the last two games from a central midfield position, however there are doubts about his future.
The 30-year-old currently has a contract which expires next June, though La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanNews.it) recently reported that Milan have made it clear to Mino Raiola that they would like to keep Bonaventura as they consider him a ‘precious element’.
Now, Bonaventura has lifted the lid on his return to action and his life away from the football field.
“It is difficult when things are not going well, I am sure I will do everything possible to make the situation not as heavy,” he said, as per MilanNews.it.
“The suffering has been playing with pain. I played a lot with pain, I took a lot of anti-inflammatories. I couldn’t express myself as much as I could before, I couldn’t take it anymore and the operation was inevitable. Health, in that case, came first.”
“In the first periods, after the knee operation, I often thought ‘I wonder if I’ll make it back to play, to be able to shoot as before’. The doctors had said yes. I had great faith in everyone and inside I knew I would be back.
” It is obvious that it is always an operation and you always have some doubts. You lose a little confidence, but inside of me I knew I could make it back. Help yourself and God helps you. Even from these things we can bring out the positive aspects.”
What was that post-operative period like?
“The thing that bothered me the most was seeing the others play, maybe the team that was not going well with some defeats. Being at home watching the game without being able to help, was a tough time.
“Then for the rest I wanted to do things right, going to Milanello to train. Training is always a pleasure. I thought about living it positively, since there are things that, within a career, can exist.”
Bonaventura announced his return with a goal against Napoli at San Siro; a sweet strike from 20 yards out to make it 1-1.
“It was a long time that I was out and celebrating that goal at San Siro was a liberation. I had accumulated a little anger because I wasn’t playing so much, but I felt good. So there was so much emotion, because it was a release in such an important game.”
Jack was also asked about playing the guitar, something which he does off the field as a hobby.
“[I play] Occasionally. It is my hobby and I tend to play for half an hour at a time. It relaxes me. When one plays, you must be concentrated and detached from everything else.
“If I listen to some songs that I like, I look for the notes and try to play them. At the moment? I’m a fan of Coldplay and now the new album is out. One of those new ones I’d say.”
Leaders in the world of sports, who comes to mind?
“Michael Jordan. Most of all he represents this figure because he was a driving force. When the decisive point had to be made, he was given the ball and in difficult situations he put the team on his shoulders.”
Do you feel like the leader of this group?
“I think the leader is elected by the group. He is not one who proclaims himself a leader. I try to do the best and give my best, which is the thing that matters most of all. The quality that has helped me over the years has been perseverance. If you work with passion and love for the sport you practice, something good always comes out.”
Milan travel to Bergamo to face Atalanta on Sunday, the club that Bonaventura was at from 2006 until his move to Milan in 2014.
“Bergamo is certainly a city that excites me. I was there been many years, I was very young. I spent wonderful years and met people who work for Atalanta with great love for La Dea. Returning to Bergamo is special. I’m also happy that Atalanta has become important in Italian football.
“When we have a free month, I travel a lot. I also return to San Severino Marche, my village. I always try to visit new places because they inspire me. Seeing new places introduces you to different cultures and different ways of thinking. The most beautiful journey, so far, has been in Cambodia. Because it is a place that has suffered in recent years, but now it is rising again. There is also my friend Honda who is the manager of their national team and it was a nice trip. The next trip? I have not thought about that yet.”
Any thoughts on the 2020 European Championships?
“I’m free in June. I have not made any commitments and I will try to do my best with the Milan shirt. The national team is a dream and I hope they have a great Euros.
“I would like to participate, but I have to think about working with my team and then we’ll see what happens.”