AC Milan summer signing Ante Rebic has admitted he is honoured to be at the club, but feels a sense of responsibility to meet expectations.
The Croatia international joined the Rossoneri on deadline day from Eintracht Frankfurt on the basis of a two-year loan.
It is believed that there is the possibility for him to join on a permanent basis in 2021, as Calcio e Finanza revealed in their analysis of Milan’s accounts that a €25m option to buy was inserted into the deal.
He is yet to make a start under Marco Giampaolo but came off the bench against both Hellas Verona and Inter in the last two games.
Now, Rebic has conducted an interview with the club’s official social media channels, offering a bit more background about his beginnings as a player.
“I started playing soccer at 7 years old, in Vinjani, my first club,” he said, as per MilanNews.it.
“Like every other kid, I always wanted to play football. When I was in first grade, my best friend, Ivan, he invited me to go and play with him in Vinjani.
“I accepted and I went to my first training session and it was a wonderful experience. I remember that first training session, we did a bit of warm-up and then we played several practice matches 11 against 11, or even 15 against 15 because there were a lot of us.
“As a kid I was a midfielder, number 6 or 8. Then at 17, when I played in RNK Split, my coach at the time Ivan Matic put me on the left wing and that’s why I now play in that position.
“At the age of 7 I knew I wanted to become a professional footballer. If I hadn’t played football I would have been a policeman.”
Rebic’s career was somewhat turbulent before he moved to Germany, having struggled for consistent opportunities with Fiorentina.
“I changed a lot with my arrival at Eintracht Frankfurt, thanks to one of the most important people in my football life, Niko Kovac, my former coach,” he continued.
“He and I have always talked a lot, he also helped me in my private life, on the field, for my career…
“After the World Cup many things have changed, because now everyone knows what Croatia is capable of and people stop me on the street and recognise me.”
The subject then turned to his move to Milan on the final day of the window.
“As soon as I learned of Milan’s interest, I immediately called my father and he told me to accept, obviously.
“He told me that Milan is one of the best clubs in Italy and that I should go.
“I am very happy and proud to be here. I talked to Boban, who explained to me what the club expects from me. It is an honour, but I also feel a lot of responsibility, and this applies to all Milan players.”
On the choice of the number 18: “At Eintracht I had the 4 and I would have chosen it also for Milan, but it had already been taken, so I chose the 18 that brought me luck in the last World Cup with the Croatian national team. Now it’s 18 for Milan and Croatia.
“I want to show everyone that I have improved a lot since the last Serie A experience and that I deserve to be here and to be able to represent Milan.”