Christian Abbiati spent his last night as an active player at San Siro last night and thanked the fans in an emotional moment after the Rossoneri’s 3-1 defeat to Roma.
At the end of a bad night for Milan in which they were humiliated 3-1 by Roma at their own stadium, there was a very emotional moment as veteran goalkeeper Christian Abbiati thanked the fans at San Siro for the very last time.
Abbiati took the decision to retire from football and next week’s Coppa Italia final will be his last career match. The 38-year-old, who did not take part in last night’s match and watched the 90 minutes from the bench, explained why he decided that it was time to end his playing days.
“I certainly didn’t expect my farewell to be like this,” Abbiati told Mediaset Premium after the match. “The fans stayed behind and were really good about it. At one point I was afraid they’d leave without giving me a chance to say goodbye, but they stayed. I thank them very much.
“I took this decision because we’ve been far off the top for too long. Maybe I’m wrong to compare things with the past, but I think the right moment has come to stop. If we look at it, we’ve lost so many points against the smaller clubs who are below us in the table and when we had to make the step up in quality, we didn’t manage it. Now I will dive into my other great passion, motorbikes.”
Christian has made over 550 appearances in since making his debut with Monza in 1994. With the red and black of Milan he’s played nearly 400 matches in the 15 seasons spent, winning in the process 3 Scudetti (1998–99, 2003–04, 2010–11), one Coppa Italia (2002–03), two Suppercoppa Italiana (2004, 2011), one Champions League (2002–03) and one UEFA Super Cup (2003).
“I thought I would get more emotional, but I kept it all in,” Abbia told the Milan Channel. “I will keep thanking the fans, the club, President Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani for the rest of my life for all the wonderful moments I have enjoyed, with a host of great stars, we won everything.
“It’s a shame to say goodbye after a defeat like this. I wanted to thank the fans who waited to say goodbye to me. The save that will mean the most? To me it was the one in the derby in the Champions League in 2003 which we went on to win (beat Juventus in the final in penalties).
“Gianluigi Donnarumma? He doesn’t need me, he is a great lad, he has a sensible head on his shoulders. He has great abilities and he will keep performing well for many years. My role models were Maldini, Costacurta and Albertini and I still remember what they taught me.
“The Coppa Italia final? The mental approach is what will matter most for the final. It’s a one-off game and we can have our say, providing we don’t play with the attitude we showed against Roma.”