Tonali discusses being a Milan fan, salary cut, the Scudetto and not caring about predictions

By Oliver Fisher -

Sandro Tonali has insisted that he and his AC Milan team-mates do not care about the Scudetto predictions that snub them, and revealed how much the title win meant to him last season.

Tonali gave a long interview to Sette – a weekly magazine of the Corriere della Sera newspaper – during which he spoke about a number of topics from being a Milan fan to reducing his salary to secure a permament move.

“In my family, apart from my Inter uncles, they are all AC Milan fans. My father influenced me, he went abroad to follow away matches in the Champions League. He passed on this ‘AC Milan’ style to me. I feel strong even now. There was no chance of arriving at Milan at the age of ten: I arrived at the right time. And I want to stay there,” he said (via MilanNews).

On dialogue with team-mates: “It is fundamental. Between team-mates, within the staff, between the coach and the team. From the first day it works like this: when there is the slightest problem even off the pitch, it is said and it resolves immediately. It’s a beautiful thing.”

On Ibrahimovic: “He knows us all, he cares a lot about us and we to him this is the time to be close to him because he is experiencing a bad moment. Zlatan talks to everyone, from the 1st to the 23rd called up, he always finds the right motivation. end of the first half in a difficult game he comes to spur us on, then he knows how to use those other ways too.”

Tonali was brought in from Brescia on an initial loan deal in the summer of 2020. After re-negotiating the terms with the Serie B side in the summer of 2021 when his loan expired, Milan also sat down with Tonali and the latter agreed to lower his salary to stay at the club.

“It was the right thing to do. I think the leap in quality was a natural thing: for a player being owned is always different from being on loan. It is not what you think about while going to sleep, but it is that detail that alone counts for little, but added to others it makes the difference. If you play badly and you are on loan maybe you worry that they will not redeem you.”

One of the turning points of the season was when Tonali popped up inside the area to score a last-minute winner against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico to complete a comeback victory in front of over 10,000 travelling fans.

“Already after Giroud’s brace in the derby we knew we were there, it was enough to have an Inter misstep or a strong head on our part. It is difficult to win the last five knowing that you can draw one, but we went out on the pitch thinking there was only one result.

“We understood that we have something big, we will realise better later on. Why did we win? It was a combination of things: Pioli was decisive, as he was in a difficult situation when our climb began.”

Milan are not the bookmakers’ favourites heading into the new season as many have Inter and even Juventus above the Rossoneri in terms of team most likely to win the Scudetto.

“We are alone with our fans. We are not interested in the things they say, as it was all last year. We cannot change people’s thoughts, of course it makes us reflect, but, with all the affection, we don’t care,” Tonali said.

Finally, a message to the fans: “A message to the fans before the start of the championship? I show them the new tattoo on my hand: ‘Impossible’ in black and a red dash to erase the letters ‘im’. Nothing is impossible, this is my message.”

Tags AC Milan Sandro Tonali

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