AC Milan defender Pierre Kalulu has revealed the sense of pride he felt when joining the club, but shrugged off comparisons with Rossoneri icon Marcel Desailly.
Kalulu joined for €500k in the summer from Lyon, and although not much was known about the 20-year-old upon his arrival, the young Frenchman has since gone on to prove just why the Ligue 1 side were so disappointed to lose him.
He has impressed both as a right-back – which is his most natural position – but also when called upon as a central defender, showing excellent athleticism, physicality, pace and positions.
Pierre Kalulu, interviewed by Milan TV, talked about his decision to join Milan and retracted the key moments of the season so far including his debut.
“I immediately felt very proud, for me it was my first contract as a professional. It’s a great emotion. And Milan is a historic club, so it’s normal to be proud,” he said (via MilanNews).
“My debut? It was the eve of Sparta-Milan and the coach asked me if I had already played as a centre-back, I said yes. He put me on the pitch and it went well. It was quite simple.
“With Parma it was a bit of a surprise, everything happened quickly in the first minutes of play. But after the surprise you had to get into the game immediately and I think I succeeded. Honestly there was no the time to feel too much emotion, it was all very fast.”
On forming a pairing with Romagnoli: “With Romagnoli we understand each other well on the pitch, he advises me which position to keep. We co-ordinate well. I feel good with the other defenders too, we talk to each other and we follow the same principles of play and we play football, simple.”
On the comparison with Desailly: “A comparison like this flatters me a lot. I’m young and I haven’t had the chance to see him play to his full potential. However I think there are similar aspects but I don’t think we are the same. He is him and I am me.”
On Pioli: “The coach gives me confidence and puts me at ease. I’m young and I learn a lot from the coach and his staff. They give me advice according to the match. I like it a lot because they also give me freedom, they let me play as I know and trust me. ”
On Ibrahimovic: “Of course we listen to him, when a player with his trophies and a career like his talks, it is normal to listen to him. I try to follow what he says, while playing my football, but his advice is important.”
On Monday’s match: “It is an important match against Cagliari, but all of them are and this means that this match is relevant, but the last one was also and so will be the one we will play in a month. So let’s try to prepare well and to win it.”