Calabria discusses relationship with Pioli, Ibrahimovic and Milan’s struggles in revealing interview

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan defender Davide Calabria has spoken highly of head coach Stefano Pioli, and has shed light on a difficult season so far.

The Primavera product has not had the easiest of times so far this season with Milan not having much consistency down the right side, as both Calabria and Andrea Conti have both struggled to nail down their spot due to a combination of suspensions, injuries and general poor form.

For Calabria it follows up a season where he was largely very impressive under Gennaro Gattuso, but at 23 years of age there is hope that the boyhood Rossoneri fan can recover from a disappointing campaign next season, if of course he remains.

Speaking live on Instagram with Giulia Salemi, Davide Calabria spoke about many issues including his team-mates, his time at Milan and his relationship with Pioli.

The questions and answers were transcribed by MilanNews, and we have translated them below.

The player he would like to bring to Milan: “I like Messi a lot, I know it’s practically impossible but we always hope to play with a champion like him.”

On his relationship with Suso: “I got along very well with him and being on my wing we often talked about tactical provisions. I spoke to him a few days ago, now he is also in quarantine but he is fine.”

On the relationship with the Curva Sud: “I don’t know exponents of the Curva personally, I have some friends who go there but they are not responsible.

“The Curva is free to always support us and therefore if sometimes there is a negative period that lasts it is right that you protest.”

On who deserves to win the league: “It is difficult to answer this question. Lazio are having a fantastic season. Juventus have many champions, they have won for many years and as a football fan it would be nice to see a little change, but the Bianconeri have won in recent years because they are working well.

On his relationship with Pioli: “I feel good, he has helped us to overcome the negative moment from which we came. We have stabilised and we hope to finish the season in a great way if it should restart.”

On the chances of resuming the season: “There is a lot of uncertainty, even we don’t know much. It is difficult to understand what the solutions may be, playing every day seems physically very difficult to me. They are also evaluating drastic solutions.

“We train every day, even if it is clearly not the same thing as working in the field. I try to work every day so as not to lose fitness. I spend my quarantine going shopping, reading a few books and watching some TV series.”

On his choice to go to Milan: “I was choosing between Brescia, Atalanta and Milan. We chose Milan because my whole family are Milanisti. Although physically it was more uncomfortable to move, since I am from Brescia, you can’t control your heart.”

On the difficult season: “It was not an easy year, in general the last years of Milan have not been easy with so many changes of ownership and management that have also had implications inside. Now we have to look ahead.”

On his inspirations at Milan: “Maldini has always been one of my Rossoneri idols, as well as Kaka who was a Rossoneri legend.”

On the excitement of scoring his first goal (in the 2-0 win at Roma in 2017-18): “The first goal in Rome was a beautiful emotion also because we won and it was also a good goal. The goal is always a great emotion also because we [defenders] don’t always do it.”

Favourite team-mate?: “I have been in a team with Gigio for many years, since we were in the youth sector together, but also with Antonio and all the other teammates. We are very united as a group, we also see each other off the pitch. Even with Cutrone and Locatelli we went on vacation together.”

On Zlatan’s Ibrahimovic’s impact and personality: “He is very hard in training, he is really nice outside. He is a true champion who can play on his character as well.

“His arrival brought a lot of energy because he is a phenomenon and a true professional that also leads those who are in the team to do more.

“He is a leader obviously. He is a unique talent that has brought a lot and that has helped us a lot. His arrival was beautiful.”

The game which, as a Milan fan, has remained in his heart: “Certainly as a fan, the 2007 Liverpool final, because it doesn’t often happen where you face the same opponent two years later and then win the Champions League. As a player there are many, certainly that of the debut and that of the first goal.”

On Theo Hernandez: “He is a great player, even off the field he is very nice and very good. Now he has settled in very well, at the beginning because of the linga he struggled a bit but the other Spaniards helped him.”

On whether one day he could ever go to Juventus: “Juventus are a great club but now I’m at Milan and I’m very happy.”

On the strongest player he’s ever played with: “I was lucky enough to train with Kaka and Robinho and they were phenomenal with the ball between their feet. So I say them two.”

On his evolution as a player: “I started as a midfielder, then in the first year in Spring Inzaghi moved me as a full back and from there I arrived in the first team. Fortunately I am flexible and therefore I can also play in that role.”

Tags AC Milan Davide Calabria
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