Pato discusses Milan derby, Leao, Ibrahimovic and eagerness to return: “Maldini knows it”

By Oliver Fisher -

Alexandre Pato is a man who knows what it means to be the derby hero, and he spoke on the day of the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg about the huge clash between Milan and Inter.

The Brazilian former Milan striker spoke during an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport about a number of different topics including his past with the club and how the thinks they are getting on presently.

“Leao and I talk to each other every now and then, he’s talented and this Milan knows how to have patience with young players. Maldini is a guarantee and knows what the players need. This team has a future because the managers are building well, it is a young team and for those with little experience it is difficult to join a great team,” he said (via

Pato is a man who has scored decisive goals in the derby before including the first in a 3-0 win back in the 2010-11 season that essentially fended off the Nerazzurri’s charge and settled the Scudetto race.

“The derby gives inexplicable sensations and a lot of pride. It is the heart of the city, which has culture, fashion, everything. Yet with the derby the city comes to a halt. Tonight is a difficult match. Milan cannot slip, for the Scudetto there is little in it and Milan can win it.

“Beating opponents in the Italian Cup would give more energy. Who will score? Giroud is strong, Leao has to find the bet. Let’s leave the prediction open, because it’s always like this with Inter.”

Although he still had a few years at a very high level, the general feeling is that injuries curtailed what could have been a magnificent career for Pato given his immense talent.

“Over time, I realised how hard it was to stay at Milan. A club that gave me my best, but injuries complicated my entire path. When you are very young and you get off to a good start, they give you compliments, but being able to keep your feet on the ground is essential,” he added.

“Milan gave me everything they could, I have a great love for the club, but in the difficult period I was alone. I arrived very young, my parents stayed with me for a while and then returned to Brazil. Had they always been with me, I would have had more support.”

On the future, he added: “Orlando is fine and I still have a contract, but Maldini knows it. I’d be ready. Now I have matured, I have a different attitude towards football and maybe I would be useful in the relationship with the younger ones. I miss Italy and the Italians, the warmth of the fans.

“To my wife I always say: ‘One day I’ll take you to Milan and you’ll understand what I’m talking about’. For me it was a fundamental city. I learned so many things and I miss everything about Milan. And I’d like to go back to Milan, after all in Italy there are many players with a good age.”

Milan have important games on their agenda but speculation about a potential takeover by Investcorp also continues to swirl. Pato was asked if this can cause complications for a player.

“It depends on age and how much he understands the situation, but you always have to ask yourself questions. If whoever buys the club has the mentality of investing, as did Berlusconi, everything will be fine. Let’s see how these new owners will behave when they arrive. They find a management that has worked well, Maldini is a guarantee. I hope they take this into account.”

Finally, on Ibrahimovic’s future: “It is essential because he has fire inside. He motivates his team-mates and everyone is afraid of him, only Onyewu in that Milan had challenged him… But now his body has to give him the answers.”

Tags AC Milan Alexandre Pato Rafael Leao Zlatan Ibrahimovic


  1. Are you sure you ain’t coming for Barbara, anyways There’s room for you In Milan, you scored some fantastic goals, that helped the team.

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