Çalhanoğlu: “I would like to assist Piątek’s winning goal against Inter, I hope to stay at Milan for long, Gattuso transmits so much positive energy”

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Hakan Çalhanoğlu during Milan-Sassuolo at Stadio San Siro on March 2, 2019. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Hakan Çalhanoğlu during Milan-Sassuolo at Stadio San Siro on March 2, 2019. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Hakan Çalhanoğlu believes Milan will soon get to experience Champions League nights but for now focuses on the upcoming Derby della Madonnina.

The draw for the Champions League quarter finals took place today and the Rossoneri will be hoping that next year it will also be relevant for them, as Milan are fighting for a place in the competition.

Milan are currently in third place and have a crucial match against Inter (4th place) on Sunday. The boys of Gennaro Gattuso will all have to play at their best, and this includes Hakan Çalhanoğlu, who’s had a very complicated season with more lows than highs.

“How are we approaching the game? Very well… we’re all waiting for it,” the 25-year-old Turkish international told Friday’s editions of La Gazzetta dello Sport and il Giornale. “There are strong feelings, a great expectation. The importance is particular, we cannot hide it.

“How am I coming to the derby? Football is a question of timing… there are highs and there are lows. I am, by character, always focused on the group and not on myself. However, I’m happy with the way the last two weeks have gone, the situation has improved.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)
Hakan Çalhanoğlu during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

“What I say to those who called me Gattuso’s ‘darling’? [Laughs] It’s very simple: in my career I’ve always had excellent relationships with all of my coaches. I respect the coach and I get respect myself. And then, I’d like to point out that Gattuso is like this with all the players, not just with me. The relationship is good with the whole team, he was a player and he knows what his players need.

“Gattuso said he often talks to me? In a dressing room, the communication between the coach and the players is fundamental and it works at Milanello. He transmits so much positive energy and lets us play at a high level. He helped me in my private life too. I’ve been a dad for a few days now? It’s a great emotion. Liya [his daughter] is my last thought before I sleep and my first when I wake up.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Franck Kessié during Lazio-Milan at Stadio Olimpico on February 26, 2019. (@acmilan.com)
Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Franck Kessié during Lazio-Milan at Stadio Olimpico on February 26, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

“If I’m better as a midfielder or winger? It always depends on the choices of the coach: I adapt and adapt again, covering the required role. If needed, I can also play on the right [of the attack] and if by chance there’s someone in better shape than me then I’ll go sit on the bench, as it already happened.

“This positive energy will maybe help me score a few goals? I don’t feel this pressure or the need to have to score goals at all costs. In my football concept there is no place for selfishness. Furthermore, considering the difference in my numbers between the Bundesliga and Serie A, we must consider a fact that is often overlooked: [in Italy] I run 12-13 kilometers per match on average and I work for the group. I believe my performances are positive and I feel good.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Samu Castillejo before Lazio-Milan at Stadio Olimpico on February 26, 2019. (@acmilan.com)
Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Samu Castillejo before Lazio-Milan at Stadio Olimpico on February 26, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

“Difference between German and Italian leagues? In Germany I played mainly for the attack. This is why I scored more, I also took all the free kicks. In Italy the tactical aspect is very important and I must adapt to the new gaming system. The fans are waiting for the free-kicks that me famous? I still think that I’m among the best in this aspect. I repeat, it doesn’t make me feel under pressure.

“If the rumours about a possible sale in January were anything concrete? You should ask my agent… I know of the interest of some clubs but I’m happy here and with my work here. I hope to stay at Milan for long but it’s a decision that belongs to the club.

Krzysztof Piątek and Hakan Çalhanoğlu celebrating during Chievo-Milan at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi on March 10, 2019. (@acmilan.com)
Krzysztof Piątek and Hakan Çalhanoğlu celebrating during Chievo-Milan at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi on March 10, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

“My feelings ahead of the derby? It will be a different game and a different story [compared to the first round derby]. We have great respect for Inter, we know that it will be very tough. We’ll play at home and we’ll have the support of our fans, yet we’ll have to give 150%. If I agree with the predictions that Milan are favorites? We’re not favorites, but we’re in great shape.

“We feel strong, we feel good and we are having a great run thanks to Piątek’s great numbers. The ideal postcard for Sunday night? I would like to assist Krzysztof’s winning goal. He and Paquetá quickly entered the group. They put forward their great qualities and they were helped by all of us.

Tiémoué Bakayoko and Hakan Çalhanoğlu. (@acmilan.com)
Tiémoué Bakayoko and Hakan Çalhanoğlu. (@acmilan.com)

“Who is close to me at Milanello? To tell the truth, the climate between us is very similar to that of a family, as can also be seen through social media. The nicest [teammate] for me is Kessié. With Bakayoko, who I consider the surprise of the season, I’m more tied. First there were waterfalls of whistles, now he is a king… he deserves it because he trains very hard. What kind of captain is Romagnoli? He’s more than a captain, he’s a very good player and I like him a lot.

“Leonardo and Maldini? Training in front of them puts some pressure, but it makes you feel good and makes you accountable of the club you are in. What didn’t work between Higuain and Milan? I can’t say… you can’t put the responsibility on him or on Milan. Some seasons are like that.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu during Milan-Empoli at Stadio San Siro on February 22, 2019. (@acmilan.com)
Hakan Çalhanoğlu during Milan-Empoli at Stadio San Siro on February 22, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

“Who would I take away from Inter? I’d say Politano. The absence of Icardi is good news for us? He’s important to them, I can’t express myself on that and I don’t want to enter into matters concerning other clubs. If I imagined arriving to the derby when ahead of the Nerazzurri in the standings? In our minds we always had the idea of getting closer… We’re approaching Napoli? The road is still long for us to take a place in the CL. The closer we are to Napoli, the better it will be for all of us.

“A magical night like that of Juventus [vs Atletico]? We will get to experience a Champions League evening, we are close to taking a place in the competition and it has been missing for so long.”

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ZeR0W1Pray_For_MilanJOHN THE BAPTISTMartin BernhardMathijs Savicevic Recent comment authors
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Cocor
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I hope you do so

dj8
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dj8

and we are also hoping to see u score against inter from free kick or open play.hope we could destroy inter and chase napoli

Ink
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Ink

Would much prefer Lo Celso

nick
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nick

One of the biggest issues I have with Milan coaches over the years is playing key players out of their natural position. It makes it difficult for them to adapt especially when they are new to Serie A. We need more goals from the midfield and guys like Kessie, Calhanolglu, Paqueta, and Suso needs to contribute more in the final third. Their distribution needs to improve as well because Piatek is scoring goals out of absolutely nothing. Just imagine if this team provides him with more quality service he would be leading the race for top goal scoring and Milan… Read more »

Milanista121
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Milanista121

Yes because he’s a goal scorer and scores the goals we need.
But you’re seriously discrediting Gattuso here…:)

nick
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nick

Good to see you back on the blog bro. Not really discrediting Gattuso but if you look at the statistics, it’s Piatek’s goals that are making the difference. Just like CR7 goals making the difference for Juve. If Higuain was still in the team we would not be in 3rd place. Milan game plan and tactics has not changed. Only thing changed is piatek scoring goals out of nothing really. We improved defensively thanks to Bakayoko and Kessie covering the back 4. Also, Musacchio has improved a lot and he is finding the right balance with romagnoli. But Tactically though,… Read more »

Milanista121
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Milanista121

This is almost equivalent to say that Juve only went through due to CR/’s goals Vs Atletico Madrid. While that is correct in a sense – and I do get your point – it doesn’t negate the fact that Allegri had his tactics on POINT for that game and had his team clicking into gear, same can be said for Gattuso from december to date, and hopefully for the remainder of our UCL push.

Mathijs Savicevic
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Mathijs Savicevic

I agree Milanista 121

nick
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nick

Can you please tell me what Gattuso has changed “tactically” to create more goals? Honestly I don’t see anything that has changed with the team tactics that has made us win more games.

The only difference I see is Piatek and he’s not getting any better service than Higuain. He’s making the difference out of scraps really. Not bashing Gattuso but the team still looks out of ideas in the final third.

Pray_For_Milan
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Pray_For_Milan

Well Paqueta does offer some different dimension to our midfield. You are right Piatek needs better service and Suso is just off at the moment. Kessie needs to pass more, HC10 is trying out wide especially now that we have Paqueta but he shows that he’s not a winger and frequent crossing is missing. Paqueta needs to fix his final product but that’s something we will get right with time. We need to sign a winger.

Tsep
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Tsep

Hate this guy.Had no real capacity to improve anymore and does the same thing every game.Long distance shots.prefer castillejo

Naz
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Naz

Why would you hate him? Have you any idea how much work he puts into every game? This isn’t some football game on a PlayStation it’s real life, stop talking nonsense about things you obviously know nothing about
He played a huge part in us winning the last game when he came on or did you just choose not to notice that or maybe are unable to read a game as it unfolds?

Amos K. Dennis
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Amos K. Dennis

Teach him some little lessons, Liberia is following

Jibola
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Jibola

You “hate” our player? Go get some cold water and relax.

dj8
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dj8

could he play as trquartista in 4231?with biglia& baka as dmc paqueta as lw and suso as inverted winger .

Ted
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Ted

Offtopic but sure interesting

Set of points Milan gathered in this season, on this day, is last comparable to their season 2011/12

Back then we still had certain champions in our squad including Gattuso himself with Ibra up front and were playing CL

Just for thoughts, the next time you go and slay Gattuso

Milanista121
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Milanista121

You’re the real MVP mate.

Nana
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Nana

The guy needs to play I’m midfield and given a free role there. I can’t just understand why Milan for sometime had continued to play key players out of position. Totally agree with you nick. Hakan probably covers more ground than any Milan player. Castillejo in two matches has earned his spot in the first team. No need for hakan on the wings again. At this crucial moment in the season our number 10 should not be underperforming in an unsuitable wide front three. I like the guy so much because he has great energy to be a world class… Read more »

Jibola
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Jibola

Hasn’t had a great season like last year but you can’t fault his work rate.

derya
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derya

what do everyone think on the situation of cutrone. how to deal with a situation like this. feels same as locatelli. locatelli before left milan played a huge role in helping his team winning points,in a verry young age he showed to be mature enough to play first team. but he was left allone,lost confident and decidet to leave after seeing a old biglia would be ‘first’ choise. now in a couple of years he will be worth more then 40 mil. and cutrone is now in the same situation. i feel split in my heart. never played or coached.but… Read more »

nick
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nick

Cutrone needs to be humble and patient. He would not be a first choice striker in any top team. Unless he wants to go to a smaller team to get more playing time I don’t see any reason for him to be unsettled.

If he wants to leave Milan then I am ok with Milan selling him. There’s no reason to keep any unhappy players who want to leave. That’s bad for the team synergy.

derya
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derya

i agree on that nick. what about introducing some kind of psycological person. i have the feeling that in todays world of football,young potencial good footballers,dont have anymore the patience or belonging feeling for one team. they tent verry fast tent to loose their mind and enter in ego games. the looser seems the club in the end.as like cristante-el pharaoh-abumeyang-patenga all examples of player who have been at milan ,but never got the ‘trust’ or had the right mind set to stay and keep on fighting for their team they prefered to move on in the end we tent… Read more »

Pray_For_Milan
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Pray_For_Milan

True talk. The kid needs to improve a lot. His technique is just not up to scratch. Gattuso told him that last season and he’s still doing the same thing even this season. Piatek came and sent him straight to the bench

dj8
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dj8

i still wondering why strinic havent play even in reserve?maybe because we already have great depth?with every backup in every post. g donnaruma-reina,rr-laxalt,romagnoli-zapata,mussachio-caldara,calabria-conti,bakayoko-biglia,paqueta-calhanoglu,kessie-mauri,borini-bonaventura,suso-castillejo,piatek-cutrone. Only need backup for kessie and solid lw.hope next season we could get nicholas pepe or everton for lw and dani ceballos or sensi for bbm

milan2012
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milan2012

Tottenham was linked with Suso and Kessie I believe. What would you make of a player swap plus cash for Son? The player swapped cld be one of kessie>Suso>Hakan. The cash wld probably be north of 20 mill. If I’m correct Son was linked w us before¿ and the player has been prolific with 13 goals and 8 assist in 3 competitions. At 26 the player has 8 years of top flight experience and international experience with two good wc performances under his belt and 3 Asian cup participations. Can’t say I’ve watched him play much but his game vsGermany… Read more »

Scarf'ce
Member
Scarf'ce

Tottenham wouldn’t part with him…no deal

Ato
Guest
Ato

Tf is Son?

milan2012
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milan2012

L ,Sons price is way higher than I imagined.

Scarf'ce
Member
Scarf'ce

I see a MILAN win…Forza Milan

Ato
Guest
Ato

Calm down Hakan, you gonna upset the #GattusoOut community

JOHN THE BAPTIST
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JOHN THE BAPTIST

Why such comments when the room is full good fans chat… common grow up already

nick
Guest
nick

Pato cancelled his contract Chinese club tianjin. He has also offered himself to Leonardo.

What do you guys think? Pato is 29yrs and has injury free since leaving Milan.

Martin Bernhard
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Martin Bernhard

Hey there Nick i would personally love to see him return to ac milan but im propably also pretty biased as he was allways one of my favourite milan players in the last 10 years. I would for that matter also like to see el sharawy return but thats a differtent story. I can see a few different scenarios that could be beneficial for both parts. 1 – a very short term deal only for the remaining games of the season with an option to renew. That way Pato could reinforce our chances to qualify for cl and return as… Read more »

nick
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nick

Totally agree sir. I would definitely welcome him back with open arms but under the conditions that you mentioned. Pato would give us the option to use different tactics and formation. He’s also still a prolific striker as well.

Martin Bernhard
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Martin Bernhard

Haha no need to call me sir, but yeah it would certainly also give us the optons to play with different tactics. 442 comes to mind even though gattuso has argued against that formation earlier Pato could be beneficial having next to Piatek as he could create some extra space up front and as you mentioned is still a prolific goal scorer. Besides of that he could offer competition on the wings and specifically on the right right wing.

ZeR0W1
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ZeR0W1

Guess who’s back!