Bonucci: “I always had confidence in this team, the Champions League is an objective, I believe we can achieve it”

34
Leonardo Bonucci celebrating during Milan-Crotone at Stadio San Siro on January 6, 2018. (MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)
Leonardo Bonucci celebrating during Milan-Crotone at Stadio San Siro on January 6, 2018. (MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

Leonardo Bonucci has admitted ‘my performances on the pitch didn’t coincide with the real me’ at the start of the season, but now he targets a place in the Champions League and looks forward to Sunday’s Derby.

Milan is in a very good moment currently and the unbeaten run is still ongoing.

Defensively the team is one of the best teams in Italy right now, only conceding four goals in the last 13 games, and yesterday against Lazio (match ended 0-0 and the Rossoneri won after penalties) Milan got their sixth consecutive clean sheet and victory.

The defense has finally clicked and Leonardo Bonucci seems to be back to his old self. These performances are what the club was expecting from the Italian center back and now the results are here. The appointment of Gennaro Gattuso as head coach seems to have been the turning point.

“Winning helps to win,” center back Bonucci told Sky Italia in an interview on Thursday evening. “But Gattuso is right, we have to stay grounded. What happened in the past is in the past. Now I’m looking ahead, with the conviction of being a team that can take on anyone.

Leonardo Bonucci and Patrick Cutrone celebrating at the end of Lazio-Milan at Stadio Olimpico on February 28, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Leonardo Bonucci and Patrick Cutrone celebrating at the end of Lazio-Milan at Stadio Olimpico on February 28, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

“If the Champions League is an objective? Yes, it is and I believe that this team has what it takes to achieve what was a goal of ours from the beginning of the season.”

Even when it seemed impossible, Bonucci didn’t lose hope: “I always believed in the impossible, I worked hard and fought to reach big objectives. On a personal level and with the team I played before, I got important results by putting in work and sacrifice. Since October people were saying we were doomed, but I will keep believing in it until mathematics tell me otherwise.

Leonardo Bonucci and Gennaro Gattuso celebrating at the end of Lazio-Milan at Stadio Olimpico on February 28, 2018. (Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images)
Leonardo Bonucci and Gennaro Gattuso celebrating at the end of Lazio-Milan at Stadio Olimpico on February 28, 2018. (Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images)

“I always had confidence in this team, in the project and in Gattuso. He has shown, despite being young and not having a lot of experience [he is the active coach with the least matches coached in Serie A at the moment], that he knows how to make the team play football. What impressed me the most was how he is able to transmit the hunger that he himself had as a player.

“He has made us feel important, from the first to the last. If Gattuso is comparable to Conte [who was mentioned as one of the coach Milan were considering for next year]? It’s obvious that for the charisma, the determination and the ferocity he transmits to team team, he reminds me of Conte.”

Leonardo Bonucci celebrating at the end of Milan-Lazio at Stadio San Siro on January 28, 2018. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Leonardo Bonucci celebrating at the end of Milan-Lazio at Stadio San Siro on January 28, 2018. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

In the end he was asked, if he ever asked himself in the beginning of the season ‘why have I done this?’ (changing clubs from Juventus to Milan): “Honestly yes, my performances on the pitch didn’t coincide with the real Bonucci, because the head steers a lot, if not everything.

“Then I re-centered myself, worked, thought more about me than about the rest, I increased the confidence in myself. I put myself there and with inner strength I believed in the choice I have made. Now I am super concentrated and motivated to grow and to be an important player for the team.”

Leonardo Bonucci celebrating at the end of Milan-Inter at Stadio San Siro on December 27, 2017. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Leonardo Bonucci celebrating at the end of Milan-Inter at Stadio San Siro on December 27, 2017. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

On MilanTV the defender talked about the upcoming derby (Sunday, 20:45 CET): “The derby is a special match, but we are concentrated on our goal, which is to win and get closer to the Champions League spots. It will be a difficult game, Inter will be more confident after beating Benevento compared to previous weeks. We will need to stay focused, I’m sure we will score at least a goal.

“I think that playing a derby in San Siro is different than in other stadiums, because you have 60-70k people who push and cheer. They transmit the passion and the love for this shirt. We have to catalyze these emotions in order to respond on the pitch by playing a great match and getting the win.”

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
34 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Milanista121

The picture of him and Cutrone, and with him and Gattuso really does speak a lot of the confidence and harmony that is there within the team. Very important elements of a successful team, hopefully this is just the start of things, it’s a beautiful period. Bonucci is showing that he is a great winner with great mental strength. The game against Inter will be huge, one of the biggest in a while and one of many finals to come during the season. We have to give our all and we can do great things. Avanti ragazzi!!

Desanto21

Comment:Kudos to him at last. But, never lose your concentration again, most especially against Inter, Juve and Napoli.

Misund

If someone would say last year that we would go unbeaten in 2018 with Bonucci as Captain and Gattuso as coach, people would probably think that person was crazy. Like Milanista121 says, it realy is a beautiful period for us. One thing is to win matches, and another to win it like we do, its brings lots of hope and the future seems very bright. Keep on working! I belive in this team forza Milan!

Milan Wins

I totally agree with you, millianista121. To be honest at first I was not happy we got him instead of Channelling our funds in getting Abumayang. But I understand great teams have great defences and with that, you have something solid to build upon. I am glad I was wrong.

I can’t wait for our EL match with Arsenal, we couldn’t have gotten them at a more perfect time. As for Inter… well, need I say more. 2-0.

Mathijs Savicevic

Just a question, did we now qualify for the (Eastern) Europa League? Because Juve will qualify for the CL?

And do we play the supercoppa final in December?

Milanista121

Since they’re probably and most certainly qualifying for CL next season, and since theyre in the final, it means that the seventh placed team in Serie A will go to Europa League. If we win the coppa then we’ll play in the supercoppa, but currently Napoli are the leaders of serie A, so its not written in stone yet. If juve would win the league, then we would probably play the supercoppa, no matter the outcome of the final.

Alexmilan

If juventus win the title and we finish under the 6 th place, we are in the Europa league and we play the supercup. If we lose the cup and we finish in the first 6, the 7 th place plays in EL. If we finish above the 6 th place and we win the cup the 7 th place goes in Europe. If we lose the cup and Napoli wins the title and we finish under the 6th place we are out of Europe. We play the supercup only if juve wins the title with us losing the trophy.… Read more »

Martin Bernhard

Hey Mathijs to my understanding and if we asume that juve wins the serie a and we lose the coppa final then no we wont get direct qualification as the place will be given to nr 7 in the League. On the other hand if the before mentioned scenario happens we will indeed play the super coppa.

Mathijs Savicevic

Ok thnx

JD Tomasson

Forza Milan till the end

Ink

I could not comment after the match.
So I will just say this now —

“Donnarumma is overrated and not even in top 20 gk now. Just sell him.” – they said.
“Calabria cannot do anything in the right flank and we should sell him. He cannot compete with Conti.” – they said.

Sheva

Who said that about Calabria? I read this blog as much as you do and never have I ever read something that even resembles that.
Again, Calabria is one of the most loved players by our fans, and overstatement like this annoys me.
Donnarumma on the other hand has staged his drama along with his agent, and wrath on him has nothing to do with his qualties.
P.s. fuck Kalinic, all the way to Florence

Milanista121

I thought so as well mate, that Calabria was one of the most loved ones, but some of the comments he had against him, ESPECIALLY in the beginning of the season against Lazio was that he cant defend, he sucks 1 v 1 – which is weird because 1 v 1 is where he excels – etc and they cant wait for Conti to be back etc. So even if they haven’t said stuff word by word like Ink said, there were sentences that were close to it. A fair share of it. He has shut the mouths of his… Read more »

Sheva

Well mate that must be something that I missed. When I was in Milano I spoke to some curva sud fans and they absolutely worship Calabria. On this blog however you have some trolls and even so I haven’t managed to see anyone talking smack about him 🙂

Jomokau

@Sheva
Our regular blogger Nick was very dismissive of Calabria after the 4-1 loss to Lazio and there are many more who are now hiding in their shells.
However I admire the foresight of Klum who wholeheartedly backed our youth brigade, Cala, Loca and Cutro early in the season at a time when it was an unpopular thing to do.

Jomokau

@Sheva
There’s a difference between talent and a person’s character. Most fans here get emotional and can’t distinguish between the two.

Ted

When things go smooth there’s always a sucker around the corner who’ll try to break down the atmosphere and this pigglet’s name is Raiola

Talking about Jack and Donna having interesting offers on table from other clubs, he’s again trying to ruin atmosphere, that fat fcuk

Jomokau

@Ted
He’s trying to get a big pay day for Bonaventura I guess.
As for Donna enough has been said about this sickening soap opera.
Does anyone know how Plizzari is doing in Serie B?
We need to make a serious statement to Donna that we will not allow his agent to keep on insulting us.

Ruskin

we don’t need this now,let the papers do their talk while we cheer the team up so as to get more result ,what ever management wants to do is their business after all they r more on the receiving ends we r just fans and will always be

larryoil

Dona will soon be number one keeper in the world if he continue like this in Milan and with his age,sky will be his limit,but if he goes to other teams and dere are having defender issues and error,den flops will come,about Calabria,Calabria has really improved a lot and Conti benching him now,his gonna be a matter of fitness and his injury outcome!!!but what will need to concentrate on is Sunday derby and not selling a player!!!on Sunday,it’s not gonna be an easy task but we are winning!!!!mark my words and we are beating Arsenal home and away!!though a game… Read more »

agustinar

Sign Balotelli next season for free

Alexmilan

It’s hard with piggy raiola

Milanellofm

Don’t want balotelli. We’ve had him twice alrdy and the way we play now balotelli wouldn’t sacrifice himself for the team.

agustinar

He is a better person now. The problem is Raiola

bidonesia

no no no… no more raiola’s please… better to give another chance to Bacca or get Jackson Martinez (free) than Balo/Ibra,
Silva need chance too, i think loan him out next season is better than sell & is there any chance to unactivate kalinic buy clause???
25m for 30yo striker with <10 goals/assists is too much

agustinar

I still believe in Silva. The problem is Kalinic. Silva has speed, Cutrone good in heading and finishing touch. Kalinic ? That’s why we need different type of striker. Balo/Ibra is different and cheap.

Ruskin

Beating inter Milan may be a bit difficult cause I noticed in our last game how tired the whole team was ,gattuso needs to make changes ,like bringing on Silva – cutrone montolivo-kessie ,borini -suso,there shud be changes so as to save energy for asernal match,if not for what I saw arsenal play against city we need to be sharp and fresh

Milanellofm

Even though italy eneeds to start over and they’re no longer a great, it makes me so proud to know that the rebuild begins with milan stars. The future of Italy consists of donnarumma Conti calabria bonucci romagnoli locatelli cutrone bona. Plus we’re the only side in the top 6 that has that many home grown players. Our youth academy in the past 5 years has done wonders and I hope it continues this way! This weekend is so exciting but yet I’m so nervous, it’s a huge game not only for us but the other fixtures as well

Ruskin

This weekend match will end in a 1-1 draw

Ted

If I have to give credit to B&G in last seasons is for youth academy, they created the project that is now already bearing fruits – Donnarumma, Calabria, Locatelli, Cutrone are already important figures in this team. Then there are young prospects such as Bellanova, Gabbia, Bellodi, Dias, Guarnone, Tsdajout (or something), who also have high potentials. If anyone has good insight into youth is Gattuso since he trained them already and I hope to see two or three stepping up in first team. This project needs to continue even with the new ownership

Forza Milan!

Milanista121

Yes, I wrote something about this a while ago, that just when the youth project were bearing fruit, they left. Im more than happy to be patient as long as there are young and promising players instead of washed up/mediocre players. Point being that high profile signings werent super necessary. Obviously they are, for both short term and long term results, but anyways, they did finish with and left something great for the future – the youth project, as you said. Credit has to be given when it’s due!

Ted

I believe the most balanced combination, a philosophy and solid structure to build something meaningful is a combination of high profile signings and own youth graduates. One bring experience and guidance, others are hungry and possess the DNA

Milan Boy

Let us believe like Gattuso that fatigue exists only in the mind, so we are gonna come out in full throttle against Inter and also Arsenal and claim the viatl six points.Forza milan

Seyi

Nice to see my team coming back home…..the top!