AC Milan defender Simon Kjaer batted down suggestions that he and his team-mates have the potential to go on and win the Scudetto.
The Danish international has made a huge impact at the club since his arrival on loan from Sevilla initially and permanently in the summer, and Milan sit atop the Serie A table and also top of their Europa League group too while on a 24-game unbeaten run across all competitions.
Kjaer spoke to the media on the eve of the game against his former club, with his responses and the questions transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.
In Lille, did you feel you were in one of the most rewarding moments of your career?
“There are many moments. The time I was in Lille was important, after a period in Germany. I started all over again, it was a wonderful time, in which my first child was also born. It was a good time,” he said.
“I had a good moment there, we grew a lot in two years. We had a very strong team. Now the team has changed completely, but the Lille players are always strong and as a club they have always been well organised. It’s always a pleasure to play against them.”
Is continuous playing time the secret to your recent success?
“Yes, I prefer to play. I’m better when I’m always on the pitch. Habit during the game is important to me. I’m better on the pitch than off and I’m glad we’re all physically well. We haven’t done anything yet, though.”
Is this the strongest team you’ve played for in your career? Are you talking about the Scudetto in the locker room?
“We have grown since I arrived in both phases. It was a fantastic journey, because we have grown a lot. We have a lot of quality on all sides. This team is a young team with enormous potential. We are happy where we are, but we are not talking about what will be in 6 months.”
Do you feel the protection of Ibrahimovic?
“Everyone at Milan feels his presence. Zlatan is a very serious and professional person who brings a lot to everyone. He has only one goal, which is to win. We are all going in that direction, we have grown a lot in mentality. We all feel him at Milan.”
Did you expect to offer these performances before coming to Milan?
“In football you never know, but obviously I was very happy for the possibility of coming to Milan. I’m not here on vacation, I’m doing my best every day to help the team.
“I’ve never had any doubts about my qualities, but I know that there’s a lot of work behind it. I do my best to give my best for the team. Obviously I’m happy on a personal level about the period I have been here. But I always think about the team.”