Former AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato has spoken at length about his time at the club, admitting that he would love a return to Serie A in the future.
Pato was interviewed by Tuttomercatoweb about his current status as a free agent as well as the memories he has from his time at Milan and a possible future in Italy, with his comments relayed by SempreMilan.it.
“I’m fine. Unfortunately, injuries happen in football and it happened to me lately, to my knee, after a collision. I have two months left to get back on the pitch but I’m not in a hurry. I’m fine, I’m free, a free agent. We’ll see what happens in these two months,” he began.
“Right now I just want to heal well, I’m in no hurry to go back. Let’s see what happens, I don’t close the doors to any club. I am happy that Sao Paulo has opened their doors for me to have treatments here but we have never spoken on a future decision to return to play with them. But we’ll see, they know I’m free.”
Pato joined Mlan back in August 2007 and it was in 2008-09 that he scored 18 goals in 42 matches in all competitions, considered a breakout season and establishing him as one of the biggest talents in European football.
He got the Golden Boy and Serie A Young Footballer of the Year awards off the back of that season, and then in the 2010–11 campaign he helped Milan win the Serie A as joint-top scorer with 14 goals in 25 games. However, repeated injuries struck and he never fulfilled his full potential at Milan.
“If Ibrahimovic is over 40 and he’s fine there, there’s a reason. I love Milan who have given me so much. I really like Serie A and I miss Italy. I have told my wife that I would go back and she is willing to do anything for me. I remain a fan of your country which has beautiful people who are passionate about football,” the Brazilian added.
“As I said, I don’t know what the future holds for me but the doors to my return are certainly open. In these many years of football I have understood that there are ups and downs for every club in the world. They are processes, changes that come.
“Thank God I happened to play with the legends, with the history of football but I also took the new era. It’s true, Milan had dark moments but they returned to winning the Scudetto and the objectives are clear, that of returning to the Champions League and I hope they can continue on this path.
“A piece of advice I give to all players: you must not only understand what is happening on the pitch, but also around you. Unfortunately at that time I was a boy focused only on the field, unaware of what was happening outside. I learned it the hard way.
“I would have liked to have had the mind I have today, to understand how it worked off the pitch. But I have no regrets, because football has taught me so much. I love Milan, they have given me so much and I am grateful to Milan for what they have taught me and because they have given me great exposure in the world.
“Of course, if I could go back I would behave differently. Do I blame Milan Lab and the relationship with Barbara Berlusconi? No, none of that. Indeed, at Milan they were all by my side but unfortunately that’s how things went.”
Pato still keeps up with how Milan are getting on and they face a crucial Champions League last 16 second leg in London against Spurs next Wednesday, with a place among Europe’s best eight clubs up for grabs.
“Certainly and I’m very happy that the Rossoneri won the first leg. I think playing against an English team is very difficult. In the Champions League matches with Milan I happened to play against them, going out against them and also losing against Arsenal.
“They have to be careful because Tottenham are very strong and will have the fact of playing at home on their side. There will be a big atmosphere. But I think Milan have one foot in the next phase.
“Optimistic? Yes, I believe that at the moment Milan are the favourites, thanks to their victory in the first leg. They have one foot in the next round, not two though. Tottenham will take root but if Milan do what they know how to do, they will go through.
“The protagonist of the match? Ever since I’ve watched Milan, I’ve seen that Leao is a great player. In the first leg he did very well, he was elected player of the match.”
First, though, a game against Fiorentina beckons tomorrow night at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
“Every game I played in Florence I scored. I loved playing at Franchi, a beautiful field and the city is also very beautiful. I felt good, I always faced good teams but unfortunately for them I always scored (laughs).”
Finally, Pato gave his thoughts on Carlo Ancelotti and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“I really like Ancelotti, I’d like to meet him since it’s been a long time since I’ve seen him. I love him, he treated me like a son. And I think he can give a lot to the Seleçao, he can make it grow but I see that there are great coach candidates in Brazil too,” he said.
“Ibra? Unfortunately when players suffer an injury it becomes tough. No one wants to stay away from the pitch and when you come back you experience it as a revenge. He’s been through a lot lately but he’s always fought back. He is the beauty of football.
“Ibrahimovic doesn’t surprise me, he’s always been like this. I like people like this, who have the strength to overcome difficult moments.”
Pato is a love hate relationship. Hated that he was injured alot and missed that sitter vs Arsenal from Kaka’s pass. On the other hand, he was banging the owner’s daughter 😂😂😂