Gianluigi Donnarumma has pledged to try and make Saturday a day to remember for AC Milan fans ahead of the derby against Inter.
Milan have been fantastic since lockdown and are currently on a 15-game unbeaten run in Serie A stretching back to the back end of last season, and 19 games in all competitions, but they face a side against whom they do not have the best recent history and who are a genuine Scudetto contender.
Donnarumma was interviewed by Milan TV ahead of the game and previewed the occasion, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews.
“I try to do well for myself but also to help the team, that’s the goal. We set ourselves the target of not conceding a goal, the first three games were all with a clean sheet, now we hope to continue and play a great match. We want to play, we want to do well, to give joy to our fans. We hope to bring a great result at home,” he said.
On the match against Rio Ave, which featured a 24-penalty shootout, he added: “It was a tiring match, we knew it wasn’t easy, the weather didn’t help us, we were a great team.
“We picked it up at the end and we deserved to win, however it was very painful. They are matches that help us to grow, they give us awareness of our means, now we have to work, prepare for the match well and listen to the coach.”
On helping the team: “It’s all experience that you gradually accumulate and then show. I’ve always been like this, I always want to help the team, from behind I see everything, I try to give directions to my team-mates and help the defense, like they do with me.
“Not too nagging, but when there is a need to give directions you have to give them and be heard, also because they hear your voice, they feel calmer and more motivated.”
On Calabria: “He was always a great player, unfortunately those moments happen, they happen to everyone, he was very good at getting out of it, taking note of it and becoming even stronger.
“I’m not surprised. We also have Conti, we mustn’t forget that he is a great player, they help each other, this is the most important thing. Seeing two in the same role helping each other is not something for everyone.
“They are also great friends, they are two great players who are always ready. It makes it clear that we are a great group, there is competition but also a friendship, we help each other and this is important.”
On Ibrahimovic’s condition: “When these things happen [him being COVID-positive] there is always a bit of worry, but the important thing is that Ibra is now with us. He is great, he is very excited, he wants to do well. A bit of fear was there in those days, but the important thing is that everything is fine now. We are all very excited.”
On the team: “We are very happy with the work we are doing, the coach is helping us a lot, we are growing a lot, we are a young team, he is helping us a lot.
“We hope to have a great season. Now we are a real group, a great team team and we are showing it, we are very ready and we want to give the coach, ourselves and the Milan fans a great evening.”