Tonali recalls ‘strange’ arrival at Milan and the ‘great emotion’ of Champions League nights

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali has recalled his arrival at the club and the journey back to playing Champions League knockout stage games.

Tonali was interviewed by the UEFA Champions League Magazine ahead of the game against Spurs and he began by remembering the great Milan sides that he grew up watching, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

“When Milan played in the Champions League they were an incredible team. Milan was a great team and they showed it in Italy and in Europe. It was really something special. I especially remember the emotions of the Champions League won in 2007,” he said.

“Playing in the Champions League is a great emotion. Milan haven’t played the Champions League for too many years, it’s really nice to go back to playing matches as well as knockout matches.”

Tonali arrived at Milan in the summer of 2020 on an initial loan deal from Brescia, the team that he came through the academy of, and it represented quite a twist at the time because it had seemed as though he was heading to join Inter.

That loan became a permanent deal despite a first season with some difficulties adapting to a new environment, and now he is a fan favourite at the club he grew up supporting.

“It was strange, for a moment I went from being a fan to playing for Milan. The first year wasn’t easy, but there was a need to divide the two things, i.e. being a fan and being a player.”

Finally, Tonali also spoke about what his family means to him and how they have helped him in his journey to being a starter for his boyhood club.

“I am very close to my family because they have given so much for me. I have a unique relationship with my grandmother, you never miss a game. I am very pleased. Knowing that I always have my family by my side is important.”

Tags AC Milan Sandro Tonali
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