GdS: ‘He plays and says goodbye’ – Kjaer gears up for Milan farewell at San Siro

By Oliver Fisher -

On Saturday night when AC Milan take on Salernitana at San Siro, Simon Kjaer will take to the field for the final time before he bids farewell to the fans.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) confirm that the Curva Sud will end their protest because it is impossible to say goodbye to Kjaer – as well as Olivier Giroud and Stefano Pioli – in silence.

Simon deserves the right tribute and the fans will pay homage to him. He will start against Salernitana and for the Dane it will be his 121st appearance for the Rossoneri. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, he gave a farewell interview to Milan TV yesterday.

“It was a dream, it’s the right time to say goodbye. I came to Italy when I was 19 years old to Palermo and I immediately told my agent: ‘I want to go to Milan’. It took some time, but in the end I did it… This is my club, my place and it will always be like this,” he said.

“When I arrived, Milan were going through a difficult period that had lasted for many years. Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara brought me here to make an impact especially on young players and help the group grow: I think I’ve done my job.”

Kjaer and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – both having arrived in the 2020 winter mercato – became the two pillars on which Pioli built Milan and that culminated in the 2021-22 Scudetto. The Dane celebrated that title with a Viking beard, grown during four very long months spent watching due to the knee injury that had kept him out since December 2021.

“If I could change one thing in my career I would definitely say the injury, but it made me grow a lot. The journey with Milan was the dream I had for my career. Having the chance, at 32 years old, to go to the Ballon d’Or with the Milan shirt…”

What was interesting about Kjaer’s interview was that he seemed to entrust the task of leading the department to Fikayo Tomori, who is now the senior member of the centre-back department.

“I have divided my future into three parts. First, to be available for my last match at San Siro and still wear the Milan shirt. Then there’s an adventure with Denmark at the European Championship, it’s always very special. Then I will have to find the team to continue playing. But the most important thing is this week,” he said.

Stopped by a thigh problem since mid-April, Kjaer has recently worked with Salernitana in his sights: objective achieved. On Saturday, at least for a while, he will team up with one of Tomori, Matteo Gabbia, Pierre Kalulu or Malick Thiaw.

Each of them owes something to Simon, who added: “They all have a lot of quality. Tomori is perhaps the one with the most experience, now he has to make the leap.”

Tags AC Milan Simon Kjaer
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