Striker Gianluca Lapadula has revealed that his move to AC Milan in 2016 was ‘the crowning achievement of a dream’.
Lapadula arrived at Milan on June 2016, with the Rossoneri paying Pescara a fee widely reported to be €9million plus bonuses, while the player signed a five-year deal.
He scored his first goal for Milan and in Serie A on 6 November 2016 in a 2-1 victory away at Palermo, three minutes after coming on as a substitute for Carlos Bacca.
He finished the 2016–17 season with 8 goals in 27 games, two of which were scored from a penalty spot, but many believe he should have been given a further opportunity to prove himself before he was loaned to Genoa as subsequently bought for €13m.
Lapadula spoke to journalist Nicolò Schira on Instagram live and began by discussing the alleged curse of the No.9 shirt at Milan.
“I am not superstitious and I don’t believe in curses. Wearing that shirt is a big burden for everyone,” he said (via MilanNews).
“I don’t believe in rumors and personally – net of some injuries – I had a good average goal in relation to the minutes played.
“After 30 goals at Pescara Napoli, Lazio and Genoa were looking at me, but one day Milan came and closed the operation in 24 hours. There was no need to convince me. The day before I was to sign with Genoa, Berlusconi called and I chose Milan. I was the happiest man in the world. I couldn’t say no to the Rossoneri.
“Milan for me was the crowning achievement of a dream and a very long climb from below. It was great to play at San Siro, the fans have always supported me. I had a special relationship with the Rossoneri fans. We won the Super Cup against Juve in Doha with the penalty of Pasalic and we qualified for the Europa League.”
Finally, Lapadula spoke about one of his former team-mates in Gianluigi Donnarumma.
“Gigio is a golden boy, humble and with his head on his shoulders. He will become the number one in the world, but already he is a great keeper. At Milan we had an excellent relationship and I wish him the best. We also swapped shirts.”