De Zerbi explains the influence Milan have had on him and recalls interesting Tonali anecdote

By Oliver Fisher -

Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi has revealed that he took his idea regarding the style of football he wants to play from his early days at AC Milan.

The Italian has done a fantastic job since taking over from Graham Potter as the Brighton boss, playing an attractive style that has guided the south coast club to its first ever European berth.

De Zerbi was a guest on Bobo TV and spoke about his sporting and professional background which has fed into the way he wants to coach, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

“When I say that I don’t play for results, it’s not that I’m saying that I don’t live for the result. I too want to win every match, but through football I manage to be myself,” he said.

“Since football is my life, I have to do it by representing myself as well, making my teams play, wanting the ball, is the way I represent myself and my story.

“I grew up at Milan, I am a son of Milan’s youth sector which in my day was a team different from the others. They won but had a different game from other top Italian teams.

“I got my football education from the Maldinis, the Baresis, the Tassottis, the Costacurtas, the Bobans and the Savicevics – that of training and seriousness.”

De Zerbi also revealed an interesting anecdote from the time when he was still Sassuolo coach concerning Sandro Tonali, who had just had a difficult debut season with Milan after his initial loan move from Brescia.

“Tonali I wanted to sign for Sassuolo, if I had stayed, after his first year at Milan. I said: maybe they’ll fall for it and I’ll bring him here. I saw him at Brescia and I thought he was a player, as he later demonstrated.”

De Zerbi has been linked with potentially taking over from Stefano Pioli as Milan head coach if he were to struggle, and he recently commented on the idea of returning to Italy.

Tags AC Milan Roberto De Zerbi


  1. The next great Italian coach. I would love to have him at Milan. Unfortunately he’s already on track for a top 6 EPL job. One more season of overperformance by Brighton and he will get any open seat in the top 6 in 2024. I would even be willing to be he could end up replacing Guardiola when he leaves Man City at the end of his contract in 2025 as it’s been rumored he will, and I also have a feeling Klopp isn’t long for Liverpool either. Newcastle has an English manager who struggled at times this past season. Unlikely De Zerbi comes back to Italy any time soon…

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