Pepe Reina has said he wants to bring Milan back to the top as he was officially presented to the press today.
Reina already played in two pre-season matches for the Rossoneri this summer, but today his official presentation took place at training center Milanello.
The Spaniard sat alongside Leonardo and Paolo Maldini, who replaced the management that signed Pepe, and answered the questions of the journalists.
“My first impressions of Milan considering I played for big clubs before? Milan will always be a very special club,” Reina told the journalists. “As a kid, you always dream of playing for top clubs and Milan is one of them. I’m honored and very happy to be here. I want to help this club, and I want the club to go forward. This is a great challenge for me to take Milan back at the top. Milan should be back at the top of the table and fighting for trophies and I want to be back at those days.
“What it feels sitting next to two great legends like Maldini and Leonardo? I’m almost 36, my legs are trembling, and my hands are trembling because it’s so special to be next these two legends of the game. I had the misfortune of losing in the 2007 CL final against this gentleman [pointing at Maldini], the history of this club speaks for itself. A club that won the CL 7 times, it’s very prestigious.
“My role off the pitch as a team leader? I understand that the club has a lot of faith in me, they invested a lot in me and have confidence in me. With my hard work and professionalism, I will repay that faith and confidence. I’ve always given my all for each club I played for and it will be exactly the same here. I’m always very positive, professional and show complete dedication. I’ll be ready.
“Impressions from Gennaro Gattuso? I’ve been very impressed, he’s a direct coach who requires that you give your all for the cause and that’s how it should be. He’s very clear, direct and I like it. He says it how it is, it’s better to get things out in the open and say things up front than hide in the locker room for 2-3 months. That’s how the coach is, he’s very direct. Of course, I’m not saying that I want any fights or arguments [laughs], but it’s important to tell the truth and be honest at all times.
“If there are the foundations at Milan to do something important? I hope that we can go far, that’s why I’m here. We have to improve on last season’s 6th place finish, we can get into the Champions League and that would be fantastic. We do have a lot of passion for this game, these are exciting times for the club, it’s a great challenge to take Milan back to where it deserves and that is at the top.
“If I can give Gattuso some secrets from Sarri’s 4-3-3? I think he’s studied it well. Sarri is highly-respected by everyone, and if he needs some advice from me, I’m here to share what I learned under Sarri to try to improve. I hope Milan can play the way Napoli have played in recent years under Sarri.
“How has Higuain settled so far? He’s very motivated, he’s determined to give his all. Fitness-wise, he’s in great shape, we can’t wait to play at Napoli in round 2. I’m hoping we start off in the right foot next week against Genoa. If I spoke to Higuain during the negotiations? I didn’t hear from him before the transfer. Once he joined he called me and asked for information. But that’s it really, before that I didn’t speak too much to him, it wasn’t me who convinced him to join the club.
“Both Higuain and I were linked with Sarri’s Chelsea? Sarri called me, to wish me good luck. There was absolutely no chance of me going to join Chelsea. I never allowed myself to even think about it because I made the decision to face this challenge which for me is beautiful. I repeat, I want to take Milan back to the top. As for Chelsea and Sarri, I wish him all the best but it ends there. I’m focused on Milan and all I can do is pay tribute to my former coach.
“My competition with Donnarumma? I’ve always had a lot of competition across my career. I always give my best and hope to play, but I always respect the decisions of the coach. We all want to make it hard for him, but the main thing is to put the team first as always, I’m sure the coach will do so.”
Reina could get some more minutes and prove again his worth tomorrow as Milan face Real Madrid for the Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu at 21:00 CEST.