After six years at the club, Giacomo Bonaventura said goodbye to Milan as his contract expired at the end of this past season. Now, the midfielder is ready for a new adventure elsewhere but the Rossoneri will always be with him.
Bonaventura was brought in from Atalanta on deadline day in 2014, with Milan paying as little as €5m. It turned out to be a successful signing as ‘Jack’ went on to play 184 games for the club, scoring 35 goals and 30 assists.
The 31-year-old was part of some of the Rossoneri’s darkest days in recent history, but still managed to perform at a high level and was probably their best player over several years. However, then came the injury struggles.
In an interview with Gazzetta Dello Sport, as cited by MilanLive.it, Bonaventura spoke about his departure from Milan. He revealed that his knee injury changed everything, while also praising Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“I could still give so much. I’m sorry not to have had the same manager for three or four years, because it’s something that gives you continuity in your work. Instead, every new manager seems to put you under scrutiny. Every time you start over and that wastes a lot of time.
“I realized that the assessments of me had changed when I injured my knee. I had to have surgery, stay still until the end of the season and start over with only one year left of my contract.
“A club that trusts you will renew you as soon as it sees that you have resumed playing. In my case, it didn’t happen. There were half words, nothing more. Maybe Milan’s style has changed, but I had the feeling that I didn’t have the consideration I enjoyed before the injury.
“The farewell at San Siro? There was nothing prepared. I waited for everyone to come out before staying a few moments on my own to look around and remember. I took a walk, I saw the stadium as never before: empty. And empty it seems even bigger.
“Then I knelt down. It was a moment of intimacy between me and San Siro. I felt gratitude for everything I experienced inside that stadium. Playing there was my childhood dream. Having done it for six years with Milan was fantastic.
“Best memory? Doha, for sure. A trophy is a prize for all those who work in the club, not just for coaches and players, and it’s nice to see happiness in their eyes.
“Ibrahimovic? When he arrived he gave me enthusiasm and a desire that I had been missing for a while. When I saw Zlatan arrive in January, the desire to break the world returned.
“He entered the group on tiptoe, with humility, without pretensions , earning everyone’s respect and with work and performance in the game. Everyone sees what he does on the pitch, but his intelligence makes the difference,” he stated.