Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli has admitted that leaving AC Milan was the hardest moment of his career so far and recalled his winner against his current side.
Locatelli joined Milan from Atalanta’s academy system in 2009 as an 11-year-old and spent almost a decade with the club before leaving in summer 2018 after having fallen out of favour despite impressing upon his emergence in the senior side.
He scored a couple of memorable goals including a winner against Juventus at San Siro and another screamer into the top corner in a 4-3 comeback win against Sassuolo before losing his spot to Lucas Biglia and eventually joining the Neroverdi and then Juventus.
Locatelli spoke during an interview with the official Juventus Twitch channel about a number of topics from the win against Inter to his journey up until this point, with his comments relayed by Calciomercato.com.
What has been the hardest moment of your career? “When I left Milan it was a big blow for me, I was very young and had already played a few games. Then I went to Sassuolo and there I met a fantastic family with De Zerbi as a coach who exalted me especially as a man. But sometimes when you step back then you step forward like my dad says.”
How do you remember that goal against Juve? “I was only thinking about Milan clearly, it was a special match for what Juve represented. The match ended 1-0 with my goal, the only one who wasn’t happy was my grandmother who told me that match should have finished 1-1 as Pjanic’s goal should have stood.”
Thank you Gattuso for letting this guy rot on the bench and then leave. One of the worst Milan coaches of all time.
Such a shame he and Cutrone left.
In another era they and Donnarumma would’ve provided a base to the squad and we would’ve added world class players.
They all had differing levels of ability.
Cutrone would’ve probably been no more than a super fan on the sideline but that could’ve really helped with the team’s identity and he’d be no worse than Origi.
Locatelli could’ve saved us a fortune on Tonali and been a key part of our first team for over a decade.
Ironically Calabria was probably the least talented and he’s club captain (for now). He got lucky that other players (e.g. Conti) got injured and Milan tend to focus on signing strikers and midfielders.
At least Cutrone gave his 100% every time on the pitch and wasn’t a bad scorer either (at least compared to let’s say Torres, Matri, A.Silva, Origi, CDK etc.). He had that kind of energy that could “infect” the others too.
He was devastated because of the (forced) transfer and hasn’t been himself ever since. So sad. Everybody loved him and his energy & passion for the shirt. Just like Bonaventura. Those two should have never been let go.
Glad you see it too.
I’m sure he’ll be back one day. He has a 30 goal season in him à la Igor Protti!
Some of their comments when Cutrone left shows the cohesion we lost when they were pushed out.
“Brother, I still can’t believe it, but this is the harsh reality,” wrote Locatelli on Instagram.
“From kids making their debuts to the senior squad, a story we can tell to children who are chasing the same dreams we had. That dream that after eight years we could look each other in the eye and say, we did it.
“You were the perfect incarnation of what it means to be Milan. I wish you the best, because you deserve it. Life forces us to make choices and we have to take them. I hope for you that this is the right path. I am convinced that with your determination and hunger, you’ll give your all and prove yourself in England too.
“Distance can never be a problem for us, and we’ve already proved that. I can only say that I’ll always be here for you. All the best, my brother.”
Calabria also sent a message to Cutrone via Instagram.
“It’ll be strange, so very strange, after all these years not to be in the same dressing room, wearing the same shirt, not having you constantly under my feet at Milanello. But that is football. That is life.
“You already know everything I think and what you need to do. It won’t be easy, but with your grit, you’ll manage it. I wish you the best, my friend, I will miss you.”
Cutrone himself also posted his farewell to Milan and its fans.
“I wanted to tell you so many things, but I don’t know where to start… Dear Milan, that’s what it’s like.
“You welcomed me at the age of eight, I was a child who dreamed of scoring a goal at San Siro. Now I have grown up, as a player and a man. Rossonero, on the field and in life. An immense honour.
“Thank you so much to everyone: the staff, my teammates. And a huge embrace for my fans. You will always be in my heart: you made me feel loved in every moment.
“For me, leaving a positive memory in your hearts is the greatest victory. I wish the best to the club that I love, my teammates and you fans! With all of my heart, which is red and black, Patrick. Forza MILAN.”
You cannot BUY this. This is the soul of a club. And we lose it every time we chop and change.
I hate modern football.
So Replace Pioli with DeZerbi and then re-sign Locatelli!
Lol people in here always mention every popular name to replace Pioli from Conte, Tuschel, Klopp, De Zerbi as if they can see the future that those names can do better than Pioli with the same squad 🤣🤣🤣
The thing about most of the coaches people want in Milan is that they are only good with great players. Milan has only 2-3 of those and rest are Salernitana-level players. For example Conte would be catastrophically bad with such a squad. They’ve used to coach teams with ready players and would be sooooo out of their comfort zone that Milan would return to being a midtable team.
Ancelotti is a fine example of coaches who would simply turn down the offer from Milan even if they paid him 100M€/year since he knows he couldn’t turn this team into a UCL-winning team. Not without replacing 2/3 of the squad first.
Imagine if we could replace Pioli with DeZerbi and then re-sign Locatelli – our midfield would be sweet.
And then we only need to sign a few promising yet solid younger players and maybe 1 or two experienced players.
Kovacevic, Aouar, Beto, Andrea Cambiaso, Matteo Lovato, Nahuel Molina
Leao, Giroud and Zlatan
Especially if we can go to a 3-5-2
Fantasy football 🤣🤣🤣
Should have signed Kim at Napoli who is the best defender in Seria A, when we had the chance to sign him last summer from Fenerbache.