Mattia De Sciglio has said his future could depend on the future of the club and also answered questions from children at a Fondazione Milan event.
There are growing reports that De Sciglio could leave Milan at the end of the season as his contract expires in June 2018 and Juventus are apparently showing interest.
The 24-year-old was today (Thursday) present at a Fondazione Milan event in Nerviano called ‘Youth, Sport and Mattia De Sciglio’ and among other things, he discussed his future with the Rossoneri, which he currently captains due to the absences of Riccardo Montolivo and Ignazio Abate.
“I am very relaxed about my future, I’m focusing on my football and honoring the Milan captain’s armband,” he told reporters at the end of the event, as written on Milannews.it. “I still have a year on my contract, as do other teammates, and those who work for me said there’s not much we can do right now. We haven’t yet sat down with their representatives and when the time comes, based also on what happens at the club, we’ll evaluate what is to be done. There’s not much to say right now.
“We haven’t even spoken about it yet. Being the captain now? Of course, the captain’s armband has a great weight, especially with the Milan shirt and it’s very important considering the players who’ve already worn it. It’s an honor and a privilege, and it’s certainly a pleasure to be able to wear it at this time when we’re missing Montolivo and Abate, who are the captain and vice. I am trying to honor it as well as I can in the final phase of the season which for us is very important.
“We have 8 games in the running for Europe, which is fundamental. It’s our goal, we have to reach it. The draw against Pescara? We too expected a different Milan performance. We’ve analyzed the game and I think it was a psychological issue more than anything else. It was definitely a game we needed to win in order to avoid losing ground; it started on the wrong foot and we did improve as time wore on. Against these teams it’s hard to overturn the results when the game starts in a certain way.
“The derby and the ‘closing’ are close? We don’t think about it too much and we’re first and foremost thinking about the game on Sunday against Palermo because it’ll be difficult, especially after our draw with Pescara, we need three points to continue the hunt for Europe. After the game with Palermo we’ll play the derby, then we’ll see what happens with the club, those are corporate matters.
“Matches against Inter [April 15], Roma [May 7] or Atalanta [May 14] are head-to-head clashes, so they are easy to prepare for. Those against Empoli, Crotone or Palermo are the more difficult ones, because you have to be prepared mentally and not let the concentration levels drop.
“Milan’s mentality? I believe we’ve made progress with our mentality compared to last season. Also in the first round we managed to make good performances and win three points against small sides. There aren’t many games left for us to get into Europe and there are many sides fighting for the same objective, so we must be hungrier than them and pounce on any slip-ups.”
In addition to talking to journalists, De Sciglio also took time to answer questions from the children present at the event, which was headed by Barbara Berlusconi. “The start of my career? I started at Milan at the age of 9, I’ve already been here 15 years,” he said. “The first time I was called up into the senior squad, it was one of the strongest sensations I’ve ever felt. It was one of those moments you feel in the pit of your stomach, when something comes true that you had only dreamed of.
“How to keep your feet on the ground? A lot is due to the education of the parents which in my case did more than well. They taught me the values of life, to be loyal, have respect for others and to know how to give the right value to the finer things in life. The sacrifices I’ve made? There have been many, but I made all of them willingly. My idols? When I was your age [talking to the kids who asked him questions], Milan won many trophies and the symbol was Maldini who I admired very much.
“The Supercoppa win in Doha [Milan beat Juventus in December]? It was the first trophy after some difficult years, it was certainly a great satisfaction. The final in Manchester in 2003? I watched the final with my family at the home of a friend of theirs who was a Juventino (laughs).
“What is a coach for me? It’s neither a father not a friend… I’ve always seen my coaches as leaders and I’ve been lucky enough to have had coaches who have taught me a lot. What I would do if I wasn’t a footballer? I always wanted to be a football player. If I hadn’t, then my father still teaches martial arts, so I’d have maybe gone into that realm of sport instead.
“Who have been the most important people for my personal growth? Surely my parents, they’ve always been close to me at times when I was down. Moments of despair? There were moments but the people that are important to me supported me and never made me lose self-esteem and it’s the most important thing because you have to believe in yourself. What I think of parents who are fans-coaches? I think that for them the most important thing should be the enjoyment of the children. Also when I was little I remember things not so beautiful on the sidelines done by parents.
“The most beautiful place I’ve seen? We travel a lot but we see very little of the places where we go. I think New York is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen and I have to go back this summer.”