ALEXANDRE PATO has placed blame on Milan for his many injuries but has only kind words for President Berlusconi.
Pato left Milan in 2012 after 5 years with the red and black shirt in which he made a name for himself. The player had a great scoring ratio in Italy but he also suffered many injuries, especially in his last two years at the Aldo Rossi club.
Pato is now in Brazil, on loan at Sao Paulo from Corinthians who purchased him from Milan for a reported €15 million. The 25-year-old, who is playing with Ricardo Kaka and is in great form as yesterday he scored his 8th goal for the Tricolor.
“The fact that up until the game against Bragantino I wasn’t one of the top options at Sao Paulo? It was more of a tactical option of (coach) Muricy Ramalho. If anything changed? He saw me fit in training and I’m doing what he’s been asking of me,” Pato told Estadao. “I haven’t changed. I always go into games with the same motivation and my target in every club has always been to look for the goal and here it’s not different. I really believe that what has changed is the way that we play.
“If the expectations around me were exaggerated? The billing I had until the period in which I played in Europe was not exaggerated and I think I came through. Unfortunately I had a break because it was a period in which I got injured and it was not good, it was almost two years without a sequence of games. It was also why I returned to Brazil. I wanted to return to playing regularly without hurting myself, whilst I believe that when I’ve had a sequence, I’ve corresponded [with expectation].
“When I started to get injured, I travelled everywhere and did what I had to do, but the period of transition to the field was not done well, the work I did here in Brazil could have been done there. Some injuries were more the result of the effort in trying to come back; I didn’t have the same injury twice nor that were serious, even as the Italian media often said I was injured.
“When I returned to Brazil within a week I was fine. Many people believed that the problem was me, but thankfully the tests have shown that the transition work was poorly done, it should have been done in a way that I could have continued playing. If returning to Brazil was the first choice? I had other offers but when I was offered the option of Corinthians, I thought it’d be better for the recovery. I talked with physiotherapists and with the coach and saw that they wanted me to return to Brazil. My first goal was to play, without injuring myself. The 1st year was as I had hoped and it was a year in which I didn’t get injured.
“The fact that I didn’t get results at Corinthians? The coach had his options. When the opportunity came from Sao Paulo, I did not think twice before accepting. Why it worked out at Sao Paulo? I had an opportunity and this was the year that I wanted to play without thinking of anything else. I was very well received by the coach and the group make me feel that I could show my best and they helped me a lot. When we went to the USA, I had a very good conversation with Muricy who said that he’d been with me since the start of the year. It’s difficult to play two or three games and then be out. The sequence of games helped and I’m playing and helping my teammates; I find myself well in this tactical set-up. It’s made me happy.
“If I see myself playing at Corinthians again? I love the fans at Sao Paulo and they received me very well when I arrived but my loan contract expires at the end of 2015. I only think about Sao Paulo now, I don’t think about the next thing and just want to play and fulfill my contract,” continued Pato, who grew up at Sport Club Internacional before moving to Milan in ’07.
“Kaka? I know him from Milan, he is a friend. He helps everyone, it’s a very good group. With the experience he has, he’s of great help. We talk a lot on and off the field. Criticism? It’s made by the press and by the fans who have the right to criticize. I try to absorb what I think is constructive to improve, even when it’s not something that I like to hear. The fact that I use social networks? It’s not often that I have contact with the fans so I try to show a part of my life. I have my way of thinking and doing but the fans can be sure that my head is in football. I think about it a lot & I always try to rest up when I’m not playing.
“Contact with the fans? Fans from other teams who stop me on the street and say: ‘I support that team but I like you very much and I wish you success.’ I try to play my game for everyone to like me but I don’t know if I’ll please everyone. The relationship with Silvio Berlusconi? It’s always been equal inside and outside of football. He was always the same, he treated me well and he treats people equally. I’ve nothing bad to say. He took me to Milan and I have great affection for him.
“If I was disappointed that (new Brazil coach) Carlos Dunga didn’t call me up for the friendlies? If he didn’t call me up then it means that I have to keep working to get a chance in the next round. If it was frustrating to not have gone to the World Cup? I didn’t have a sequence of games that would allow me to reach the World Cup and other players did. Of course I wanted to be there, who wouldn’t want to play a World Cup in your own country? But it’s fine, now I’ll try for the 2018 World Cup.
“Plans for the future? I want to stay in Brazil. After the end of my contract I don’t know how it’ll go but I want to stay at Sao Paulo but it depends on me and my performance. In the future I see myself here but for now I need to think about this loan. If we can win the Brazilian title? Cruzeiro seem underway to be champions because they’re well ahead but we have to think about ourselves and doing our work, gaining as many points as we can,” added Pato, who scored 63 goals for Milan.
It’s stated in the press today that the Rossoneri did not like Pato’s declarations regarding the Milan medical team and how they handled his injuries but it’s unlikely that they will respond in any way to what the Brazilian striker said yesterday.