Christian Pulisic has explained why he wanted to join AC Milan so badly, discussing his ideal role and the opportunity to reunite with some former team-mates.
A statement on the official website tonight confirmed that Milan have sealed the signing of the USA international on a deal running until June 2027, making him the fourth new addition of the summer window so far.
Pulisic joins from Chelsea having spent four season with the London club, and he moved there after spending four seasons at Borussia Dortmund.
He has a Champions League medal to his name as well winning the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, while he is the captain of the USA national team which shows he has experience at the highest level.
Pulisic spoke in front of reporters at Milanello for his first press conference as a Milan player, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.
Did you feel a ‘wow’ effect yesterday from your first meeting with Milan?
“I’m excited and you can feel the history of Milan. I’m honoured”
Should Milan try to win something next year? In 2021 you won the Champions League with Chelsea and Milan had a resurgence…
“There’s another reason to come here, which is to play in the Champions League. Last year, Milan reached the semi-finals and I’m here to help the team to win titles. The experience with Chelsea will help me and I will try again.”
Why Milan compared to other clubs?
“Obviously, when interest from a club like Milan arrives, you have to think about it. I spoke to Pioli and I had the feeling of being wanted. They really wanted me and I felt good about it. It’s one of the reasons why I’m here.”
Why the number 11 shirt? Is there a player from the past that you would like to emulate?
“The number 11, with Ibrahimovic, has taken on a legendary meaning. I don’t want to fill that void or replace him. It’s a number that I like.
“As for the legends of the club, there are so many names. Like Kakà and Ibrahimovic, I remember them, just as there are important names in the squad.”
Are you thinking about what Milan could be with you and Leao in attack?
“Leao is incredible. He does sensational things and always knows what to do in front of goal. I can’t wait to learn what my best position will be. I want to help the team in the offensive zone. And I can’t wait to do it with him.”
Giroud, Tomori, Loftus-Cheek and now you are among the ex-Chelsea players to end up at Milan. What does it mean for you? Can you play centre-forward?
“The last few seasons at Chelsea have been difficult for several reasons. It’s nice to meet Ruben, Fikayo and Olivier again. I want to restart and play in a great team like this.
“I spoke to Fik, who has grown a lot here, and Giroud and now I’m I am happy to be here at Milan. We will certainly have an excellent relationship with Giroud on the pitch.
“As far as my position on the pitch is concerned, there are already top players in the centre-forward role.”
In the past you have been referred to as a top talent in world football. What desire do you have to return to that level?
“The main reason that prompted me to come here is to be able to restart and reach the top level. I haven’t been able to express myself at my best in recent seasons at Chelsea, but now I’ve moved on and I want to get back to my level.”
How are Milan viewed in the USA?
“Just like in the rest of the world. I’ve always seen many Milan fans in the USA and around the world. They are considered a great club. Since I was a child, I have seen many Milan shirts in stadiums. Milan enjoys a lot of support.”
What kind of impact will you have in Italy?
“I’m very happy to return to play with some former Chelsea team-mates, such as Olivier Giroud. We’ve already talked. Today was my first day, I have to understand tactics well and also Serie A.”
What position are you best in?
“I think both the right winger and the attacking midfielder are the positions I feel comfortable in. I’m also used to playing on the left. I think my role will be decided by time and how I integrate with my team-mates.”
The derby will take place on the weekend before your birthday, have you already thought about what gift you want to give yourself?
“Well… The best gift would be to win it and score a goal. It would be a wonderful birthday.”
When were you first contacts with Milan and when did you say yes?
“The first contacts were when I was in the national team. When you hear that Milan are looking for you, you want to say yes right away. I spoke to the coach and some former team-mates about being here. After a few days I was sure. I’m very happy to be here and that I’ve made that choice.”
You had several offers this summer, why did you choose Milan over the other offers?
“A word is always difficult. I can say that this club is historic and legendary, but the real reason is that I felt, wanted, wanted and was immediately in tune with this club and I took the opportunity to reach my top level.”
Is dribbling your best feature? Have you had contact with the American owners?
“Dribbling is one of my strengths and I hope to use it to make assists and goals. I spoke to some members of the ownership. It’s nice to have ties to your home country.”
Is your dream the Scudetto or the Champions League?
“I would like to win both. Serie A is a new league for me. We will aim for the Scudetto, also because it would be a new title for me. The Champions League? We will also do our best to improve last season. We want to push even harder to do it.”
Do you have a childhood idol that inspires you? Have you heard about Musah and Balogun being linked to Milan?
“I have several football idols. I didn’t get to talk to Musah and Balogun, but my admiration for them doesn’t change.”