Kevin Zeroli, the captain of AC Milan’s Primavera side, has opened up about his time at the club and the recent success under Ignazio Abate. He was also asked about a potential first-team debut.
The Rossoneri’s Primavera side have indeed started the season in the best way possible, with 16/18 points in the league and 6/6 points in the UEFA Youth League. Zeroli has been a key player for the team, bagging four goals and two assists from his midfield position.
Speaking in a long interview with Calciomercato.com, the 18-year-old shared his thoughts on various topics including his Italy U19 call-up, the start to the season with Milan, his style of play and making his debut for the first team.
For you, this (game against Serbia) was practically your debut even though it’s technically a friendly. What did it feel like?
“Wearing the national team shirt is an honour. I’m honest, I’ve been waiting for the call for a long time. Up until now, I’ve always tried to work and improve myself day by day, obviously with the club, to get to this moment.”
Can you tell us a little about your origins?
“I’m an Italian-Nigerian boy. I started playing when I was little thanks to my uncle, who is Italian and represents his country, which is also mine, and this makes it special.”
What is your favourite role? Have you always played in the middle of the field?
“Actually, no. When I arrived at Milan, for a period of time, I played a bit as a central defender. As I grew up, I started playing in midfield, playing a bit as a midfielder and sometimes even as the playmaker in front of the defence. With Abate in the last two years, I’m transforming myself again and playing as an attacking midfielder but in an atypical role. A bit like Kessie did when he was at Milan.”
Do you have a player that you look up to? Some call you “the new Gullit” because of your hair…
“Gullit was certainly a great champion and as a child, I was always associated with him. But if I have to be honest, I’m inspired by Jude Bellingham who today plays at Real Madrid. He’s a great player who basically plays the same role as me. He’s not much bigger than me, but he has a style of play that I really like.”
You have already been added to Pioli’s first team and you even scored during the pre-season. What is your relationship with the coach? And how exciting was it?
“There is a wonderful relationship with Pioli, he was kind and helpful. He let me play when I scored against Lumezzane, but above all he let me make my debut against Juventus in a big match and it was a unique emotion. I got on very well with the first team group and I bonded a lot with both Alessandro Florenzi and Rafael Leao, but with Florenzi more than anyone.”
What is the goal or dream you have in front of you?
“The dream, but I believe it is that of all children who play football, is to make my debut in Serie A. In addition to that, the dream is to get to play with the senior Italian national team, but there is time.”
Zeroli is a boyhood Milan fan and knows exactly what it means to play for the club, which makes him the perfect captain of the Primavera side. Hopefully, he will continue to lead the team to success this season.