Calabria analyses his recovery from ‘bad year’, the effect of Pioli and the club’s January additions

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan defender Davide Calabria has described himself as a ‘wild card’ amid his recent position shifts as he reflected on his excellent form this season.

Having seemingly been one of the players that was destined for an exit over the summer, but in the current campaign he has been nothing short of exceptional and has shown that he continues to develop into a well-rounded full-back.

As a result of Sandro Tonali’s suspension, and Rade Krunic’s positive COVID test, the right-back was forced to play alongside Franck Kessie in the midfield tandem against Juventus.

His performance was very impressive, not only because he helped out in defence and setting up several attacks, but also because he scored a great goal in the first half. Certainly, you could argue that he’s a better option than Krunic.

Speaking to Milan TV, Calabria spoke about the current moment that the team his experiencing, his resurgence and targets for the season, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.

On his style of play: “Where there is a need, I play. I have always been a wild card in the youth sector too. I was born a midfielder and then I moved to full-back luckily at this point. I know how to move in multiple roles and this is a positive fact. You have to know how to move with intelligence.

“It’s the Milan style. From an early age you grow up with discipline, with respect for your team-mates and opponents. You have to grow with respect but without fear of anyone.”

On his resurgence: “Sure I had a bad year, both me and the team have suffered a lot. We let ourselves be discouraged but I realised that we had to work and roll up our sleeves. We are happy but we are only at the beginning because we have not won anything.”

About his season and his attacking play: “At the beginning the coach asked me for a lot of attention in defense to balance the department considering Theo’s advances.

“This made me grow a lot and helped me a lot from a defensive point of view. Then I started to advance also considering the style of play of the team. I really like playing forward and having this freedom from the coach.”

On the support of the fans: “I’m very happy because it’s nice that they appreciate what I do. You always have to be focused always because there are few breaks. There was a lot of work behind it but the merits also go to the team”

On the mental freedom of young players: “We are fine at home but the few distractions help. We always stay on track on matches and training. Even before the lockdown my life was like this but surely this has greatly influenced the life of our group.”

On seasonal targets and his personal aims: “Seeing the numbers is something that stimulates me to try to limit the star of the opposing team. Trying to be decisive defensively makes me proud. This year there are not many opponents who have put me in difficulty but perhaps the most difficult moment was the first minutes as a midfielder.”

On the Scudetto dream: “The crest we have on our chest shouldn’t make us afraid to say that word. We don’t talk about it much but it is obvious that we think about it a bit.”

On basketball: “I follow him very willingly and watch the NBA highlights the next day. I am a huge fan of the Warriors and how the team was built. It was a similar path to that of Milan, of a gradual construction. Unfortunately not. I was there when Bryant came to Milanello but he was one of my idols for his work ethic. His death touched me a lot.”

On the young group: “We are living this moment very positively. It was born a little by chance, thanks to our daily work and we have seen that the potential we have combined with hard work leads to great results. There are teams better equipped than us but the spirit we have. can take us to the end ”

On the signings so far: “We really appreciate these interventions because this squad, if it can be strengthened, it is right that it has improved. Enduring these absences with new signings can help us.”

Tags AC Milan Davide Calabria