Reina: “Going to Milan is an absolute gratification for me, I will establish a special relationship with Donnarumma”

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Pepe Reina during Sampdoria-Napoli at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on May 13, 2018. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Pepe Reina during Sampdoria-Napoli at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on May 13, 2018. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Pepe Reina reflected on his four years at Napoli, confirmed the move to Milan and claimed the situation of the club with UEFA ‘does not worry me at all’.

The Rossoneri mercato is believed to be on hold until UEFA decide what sanctions to give Milan for a breach of the Financial Fair Play rule (a transfer ban is not one of the options as only FIFA can give it).

However, Milan already secured their first summer signing a few months ago, as Reina will arrive on a free transfer from Napoli, where he played for 4 seasons.

“My four years at Napoli? They were wonderful from a sporting and a human perspective,” Reina told Saturday’s edition of il Corriere dello Sport. “I met lovely people and we were able, as a team, to go near a dream. We would’ve liked to experience [winning the Scudetto] together, because a feeling was created between us and the fans which deserved the most unforgettable of conclusions.

“We lost the Scudetto in Florence? It would be fairer to say that Juventus won it the night before in Milano [beating Inter in the last second of the match]. They were better than us, not just on the field. They represent a powerful club, perhaps in Italy on Milan and Inter have this kind of strength.

Pepe Reina celebrating after Napoli-Crotone at Stadio San Paolo on May 20, 2018. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Pepe Reina celebrating after Napoli-Crotone at Stadio San Paolo on May 20, 2018. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

“If we missed something? It was destiny, that weekend decided it for us. Sometimes I think about it and I say to myself that maybe we were not used to winning, so therefore we failed in the habit of winning dirty games. Then I reflect and realize that 9-10 times when we were behind, we overturned the result. But I’m proud. What do I leave behind? The memory of a four-year period in which my family and I fell in love with Naples, its beauty, the generosity of its people. They touched my heart, immediately. And Naples will not get rid of me so easily… I often returned to Naples also when I was at Bayern Munich? And now I’ll be closer, so it’ll be easier for me. You will see me around.

“The most beautiful day with Napoli? Every morning that I woke up with the smell of coffee. And then: the pitch of the San Paolo, the first match in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund, the Coppa Italia semi-final against Roma, when Diego [Maradona] was also in the stands, and the match at the Olimpico against Fiorentina [the 2014 Coppa final, which is Reina’s only title at Napoli].

Napoli fans showing a Pepe Reina banner during Napoli-Torino at Stadio San Paolo on May 6, 2018. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Napoli fans showing a Pepe Reina banner during Napoli-Torino at Stadio San Paolo on May 6, 2018. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

“The break was inevitable? I can understand that a club, when there’s a 36-year-old goalkeeper with an expiring contract, faces the choice to renew the team. It is a business philosophy that must be respected. Then it’s also true that my relations with the management were no longer idyllic.

“Benitez? My mentor, the one who managed to take me to Liverpool, but also the coach who gave me the chance to get to know Naples. Otherwise, it would probably have never happened. Sarri? With him we went beyond football: he put his face out for me and I’ll have to thank him. He was parental in his attitude, I love him, and I wish him all the fortunes that a man like that deserves.

Gianluigi Donnarumma before Milan-Fiorentina at Stadio San Siro on May 20, 2018. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Gianluigi Donnarumma before Milan-Fiorentina at Stadio San Siro on May 20, 2018. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

“Milan to close the career? I felt esteem and I think that preparing to retire in one of the most tiled clubs in the world is an absolute gratification for me. The past is there and speaks for itself, and I can only contribute so Milan will come back to experience some European nights. The situation of the club, in light of the UEFA events, is likely to be alarming [Milan could potentially be excluded from the Europa]? It doesn’t worry me at all, I’m very calm. They will know how to deal with this situation.

“If I’ll be like a ‘father’ to Donnarumma or force him watch from the bench to learn? We are talking about the future goalkeeper of La Nazionale for the next 15 years; an extraordinary career is expected of him. He’s a serious and exemplary boy with whom I will establish a special relationship. I esteem him, if anything I’ll steal something from him… he will make me feel younger, is that little?

Pepe Reina after Napoli-Fiorentina at Stadio San Paolo on December 10, 2017. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Pepe Reina after Napoli-Fiorentina at Stadio San Paolo on December 10, 2017. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

“When the Serie A calendar comes out I’ll think above all of a single match-up? The game in Naples will be the date that I will be looking for with all my family members. I don’t know how I will experience it, I think that I’ll be thrilled, like last Sunday, like every time I set foot in that stadium.

“I will never stop saying ‘Thank You’.” Reina will spend the first part of his summer in Russia with the Spanish national team, and then join the Rossoneri at Milanello for the preparations for next season.

23 COMMENTS

  1. I think he’s a fantastic person and very humble
    Its a smart move signing him and finally someone for Donnarumma to look up to
    There’s been a lot of pressure on the young keepers shoulders and there’s no doubt it got to much for him, now there’s someone there to take it off him or help him learn to deal with it better
    There’s a very much respected journalist in Italy (I can’t think of his name) who’s adamant Donnarumma wants to stay and win back the fans

     
  2. I am beginning to like him too and only feels that Donarunma is feeling the same too. I expect Donarunma to stay and gain back a princely reputation that Mino destroyed for him. This may be a humble beginning for Milan but seems like one to will take a lot of people by storm.

     
  3. I don’t know if the report from a couple days back true and Donnarumma really said he wants to stay and win the respect back from the fans. But if he really did, you have to admire his thinking – even if you hate him now.
    We go crazy with one season wonders. He has already proved he is not a one season wonder. He has had two very very good, and one decent season. So, if he stays, I really hope the fans will stop being morons and won’t jeer and boo him on the pitch on the first match.
    Whistling your own player on the pitch when a match is going on… what can be stupider?
    And if he is sold, 50-60mil at least is a must.

     
  4. Donnaruma should apologize with fans and stay at Milan so that he can become a legend and the team Capt when Bonucci leaves

     
  5. Lol market fall press him and his agent cos buffon is going to psg Madrid want to stick with navas Liverpool is not willing to to pay much and we all ready have reina so the guy and his agent are just hopeless

     
  6. Liverpool goalkeeper karius making donnarumma more desirable of a target for them. Now they might go all out for Gigio. Wow what an error.

     
  7. It hurts to see UCL final without Milan even participating in that tournament. We belong here and God knows when we are going to come back to this tournament.

     
  8. Donnarumma to Liverpool confirmed. Karius handed Real Madrid the champions league title for three years in a row. Liverpool will pay 200 mil just to get rid of this bloke

     
  9. Donnarumma wants to stay, because nobody wants him anymore. The fuck, to the bench with him now Reina s coming.

    Suso to Napoli, goodbye then.

     
  10. Liverpool will aim for Alison of AS Roma,Donnarumma is the same as Karius they make terrible mistakes.The Coppa Italia and CL blunders are similar.Currently Milan will not get 30M for Gigio his form has dropped badly

     
  11. Well, after yesterday’s CL final, I think Liverpool will be extra motivated to pay high for a GK. I think they will get pretty aggressive on Donna this summer.

     
  12. WAIT????????

    SIMONE ZAZA???? MILAN BADELJ????? MANDZUKIC??????????????? KALINIC WANT TO STAY???????

    WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH FASSONE AND MIRABELLI???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

     
  13. Im confused about something. Repoets going on that fassone is trying to find new owners to try and isolate li. Doesnt fassone work for li? Like if yonghong li wanted to sack fassone couldnt he do it.

    -In todays interesting news it is said that yonghong li has turned down an offer to buy the club.

    -Strinic has signed for milan on a 3 year contract.

    – Juventus look closely on milans situation and will look to buy romagnoli but we consider him unsellable.

    – donnarumma might stay because no club is willing to spend that much on him

    – zaza for bacca

    – milan pushing for morata or milan want immobile but asking price of 60m too much so will add silva.

    This is going to be a roller coaster of a year. I just hope we dont sell our biggest assets. Specifically romagnoli

     

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