Alexis Saelemaekers is one of the biggest surprises in recent years at AC Milan, having arrived for a few million from Anderlecht and quickly winning a starting spot at the club. But the Belgian has even higher ambitions with regards to the upcoming season and is targeting a surprise success in the Champions League
The 22-year-old spoke in a long interview with Tuttosport (via Milannews.it) and started with a comment on the Milan squad’s inexperience with regards to Champions League football and how it could benefit the team this season.
“Only five or six of us have already played in the Champions League, so there is a bit of inexperience, but it can also be an advantage to play with unconsciousness and it can lead us to do great things, as we saw with Ajax,” he told the Turin-based paper.
“It also helps that we have already acquired a certain kind of mentality given by the tactical certainties that Pioli has given us. Personally, I am convinced that we will have a great Champions League campaign,” he added.
The former Anderlecht man continued with a few words about his growth since arriving at the club a year and a half ago.
“I have more confidence on the pitch because I know my teammates and all those who work for Milan well, starting with the coach,” he explained.
“We need to repeat what we did last year trying to improve ourselves. Lat season we gave everything that Pioli asked of us and we got second place, which is a great thing and it opened the way to the Champions League.”
Finally, Saelemaekers also spoke about the impact that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has at the club and also commented on Olivier Giroud and his similarities with the Swede.
“I have never had a teammate like Ibra and it is not easy to train with him every day because he has a crazy mentality. he always wants everyone to bring out the best in themselves. He screams and pushes you beyond the limits. But that’s also why we did well last year,” Saelemaekers noted.
“Giroud has a similar profile. Not in mentality, but because they have won so many trophies. Giroud has won the World Cup and the Champions League and for a group that has not won anything yet, it is important to have this type of players who can teach you how to win,” he concluded.