Following the win against Crotone, in which Brahim Diaz and Sandro Tonali made their first starts, Milan are gearing up to face Rio Ave. It’s the last step before the Europa League group stage, meaning it’s do or die.
As mentioned, Tonali played his first game from start for the Rossoneri, joining from Brescia earlier this summer. The 20-year-old is one of the most promising youngsters in Italy and Milan are hoping that their investment will pay off.
In an interview with DAZN, as cited by MilanNews.it, the midfielder spoke about the situation, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Franck Kessie. The latter recently claimed (read here) that he’s called ‘The President’ in the Milan locker room, which Tonali responded to.
“We are living this situation with the utmost precautions, we are respecting all the rules. We are focused on the next game, this group is reborn. We are playing really well, the opponents are very good, it takes enthusiasm and you have to go really fast.
“Ibra? We met, he was very close to me, he is one of those players who can energize you more even when you are off. He is very close to you before matches, now he can’t but we feel it.
“Kessie? He is very nice, I don’t know why he said he is the head of the locker room but he is very good, he really deserves a lot. He is also a very good player, he has everything to become very strong. He recognised as the president from now on,” he stated.
Tonali also spoke about his relationship with Gennaro Gattuso, who is his idol. When he joined Milan, in fact, he called the former Rossoneri midfielder to ask for permission to wear the No.8 shirt.
“Rino and I often speak with each other, it’s something that gives me great pleasure. It was just a call to let him know that I would become a new Milan player and that I would take the number 8 shirt. He told me to always give 100% on the pitch, like he did,”