Kalinić: “It was a great victory, I don’t focus on who scores and I only care if Milan win, we must continue like this”

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Nikola Kalinić celebrating during Milan-Udinese at Stadio San Siro on the September 17, 2017. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Nikola Kalinić celebrating during Milan-Udinese at Stadio San Siro on the September 17, 2017. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Nikola Kalinić is happy with the brace he scored but says the important thing is the team, as he believes Milan can get to next season’s Champions League.

Milan were chasing the likes of Alvaro Morata, Andrea Belotti and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but in the end, they signed Nikola Kalinić from Fiorentina.

Kalinić was a specific request from coach Vincenzo Montella, who wanted the Croatian over Carlos Bacca who was sent to Villarreal. Yesterday against Udinese, it was seen how different the two strikers are as Kalinić was involved in the build-up and tracked back.

On top of all of that, he scored two gritty goals to give Milan the 2-1 win over the Zebrette. Kalinić got a rating of 8/10 from La Gazzetta dello Sport, which makes him the best-rated player.

“I am very happy for scoring a brace, it was a great victory,” Kalinić told MilanTV. “My hat-trick goal was cancelled [due to VAR, which called an offside]? That’s fine, but I don’t focus on who scores, I only care if Milan win. Number of goals at the end of the season? I don’t say a number, let’s see…

“We have to continue like this and prepare for Wednesday because it will be tough. The desire to sacrifice myself for my teammates? We have a fantastic team and everyone wants to win. However, this is just one game, we have to continue the hard work because there is still a long way to go in order to have a great season. The Europa League? It could be our objective, we are so many new players and it could help us to improve. If we want hard enough we can win it.”

Nikola Kalinić celebrating during Milan-Udinese at Stadio San Siro on the September 17, 2017. (@acmilan.com)
Nikola Kalinić celebrating during Milan-Udinese at Stadio San Siro on the September 17, 2017. (@acmilan.com)

Speaking to Sky after the final whistle at Stadio San Siro, the 29-year-old said: “I have to continue this way. On Wednesday, there’s another game and we have to win them all. Being on the bench? The coach decides who plays and I’m always ready, whether it’s for 10 minutes or 90 minutes.

“I always want to play, but it’s difficult since there are many players. What’s important is to win. The formation? On Sunday, we played with two strikers and I like that. What’s important is playing, I don’t look at where. My shirt number? My number is 9 but André Silva had it. The 7 was free and I chose it.”

Nikola Kalinić and Vincenzo Montella during Milan-Udinese at Stadio San Siro on the September 17, 2017. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Nikola Kalinić and Vincenzo Montella during Milan-Udinese at Stadio San Siro on the September 17, 2017. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Kalinić also had an interview with Premium Sport: “I’m happy for the brace, but especially for the team. We have to continue like this. I’m glad, we must continue like this to have a great season. The role? For me the important thing is to play, the coach decides how. One or two strikers doesn’t change much, what’s important is to have balls arriving in the opponent’s area.

“Objectives for the rest of the season? We can get to the Champions League [Milan need a top 4 finish]. We have to look ahead and try to win all the matches. Now we think of Wednesday that will be another difficult game. We’re thinking about one match at a time and then see what happens.”

The squad rotation of Montella will most likely continue on Wednesday when Milan face SPAL home (20:45 CET) as Kalinić could be benched after two straight starts to make room for other forwards.

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rosso138
rosso138
2 years ago

Good buy for nowdays market, as I stated many times before. Weakening opponent, getting 15-20 goals/year striker with serie a experience. Keep it going Nikola!

Milan10
Milan10
2 years ago

Congrats for ur doppietta kalinic, u really deserved it. I hope u can keep performing like this or be even better. His style really complements andriy and cutrone’s; a tall guy who not only can be post player like lukaku or poacher like inzaghi/cutrone but can also be someone who can hold the ball and pass it to another st or mf, kinda like van nistelrooy, suker or andriy silva. He’s not st/playmaker, a #9,5, like cantona or san marco but at least his serie a experience, presence and his hold up ability (not link up) are good enough to… Read more »

Niels8
Niels8
2 years ago

Considering the playing style, it would be more suitable if he and Andre Silva exchange their shirt numbers..

alaric
alaric
2 years ago
Reply to  Niels8

indeed

Alexmilan
Alexmilan
2 years ago

Good job, Kalinic !!!

Inn
2 years ago

Fantastic effort by Kalinic. Keep it up

Milanellofm
Milanellofm
2 years ago

I was a big critic of him and I said I hope I eat my words and he made me in his first game. But he’s got to keep going like this. One thing we’ve been lacking from strikers over the past years is consistency. He definitely has different characteristics than bacca and he suits this team more. Strong good with both feet real poacher and has some skills. He just needs that step up to put him on that extra level! It’s a great start

Baresis Dream
Baresis Dream
2 years ago

Really solid performance from him. I also liked how kept harassing Udi’s CBs. He showed grit, determination, and a killer instinct. More of the same Kalanic. Please.

O'Gabbs
O'Gabbs
2 years ago

You see life? Everyone is now speaking from the other side of their mouth. We should learn to look before leaping. To all the coaches and technical directors here.