Gianluca Lapadula says ‘I have never considered myself a reserve player’ and claims ‘a one ago no one was speaking well of me’ but it gave him ‘more desire’.
Milan struggled in the first half but it was a lot easier in the second and eventually they won the three points against Empoli at the Castellani last night (Saturday).
Summer signing Lapadula, who was given the start following Carlos Bacca’s injury, showed that his place is not on the bench with a great performance and two goals (both assisted by Suso, who also scored himself in the 4-1 win, the other goal is an own goal).
“I would like to congratulate my teammate Suso and thank him for the two assists,” Lapadula, 26-year-old, told Sky after the game. “A month ago, I was almost considered a transfer market flop throughout Italy but at that moment, I gained even more desire. Thanks to the teammates and the coach who give me a way to express myself, I’m getting satisfaction. I never contested it but a month ago, even though I didn’t do the pre-season training, no one was speaking well of me.
“Coach Vincenzo Montella? He gives me lots of advice on how to move and I can learn a lot from him. But for me, I can still do much, much more. Silvio Berlusconi [who pushed to sign Lapadula]? The President was the first to find me. I talked to him on Saturday night and he congratulated me.”
Speaking to Mediaset after the final whistle of ref Calvarese, ‘Lapagol’ said: “I am very happy for the victory and my goals. I have always been someone who worked hard for the team and this evening I was able to unite that with goals and a bit of quality. I know I need to improve in many areas.
“The hierarchies in attack? It’s not for me to talk about. I just work to improve, but I have never considered myself a reserve player. I just want to prove that I can do well and the choices are up to the coach. The call-up to the national team? It provided extra motivation. Just 18 months ago, I was in Lega Pro, now I wear the jersey of the Nazionale. But now I must always do well on the pitch.
“The number of goals I want to score? I don’t have a fixed figure, I always think about taking the field with determination and through this score goals. My preferred role? Last season was my first as a center-forward. In Teramo I played as a support striker. I can fit into both roles.”
“I am really happy for the three points we took home,” he told MilanTV. “This win gives us more continuity in the league. We didn’t manage to play at our best in the first half, then during the interval the boss urged us to play a great second half and the result speaks for itself. I think that also today we have shown we are a great group and this can make the difference, in the long run.
“The match? The group made the difference and the coach’s ideas are coming out. My performance? As I always say, I still have to work a lot, we are only at the beginning. The fans? I want to thank all the fans for being so supportive, if I think about their welcome in the derby I still have goosebumps.
“Montella? He asked us to play with confidence, calmness and a will to win. President Berlusconi? I always give everything I’ve got to repay the President’s trust and also the manager and my teammates who believe in me. You make these calculations at the end of the season.
“Crotone? Continuity is the objective, in results and in our performances, starting from the match against Crotone which is very important. This is the key to staying up there in the league.”