Mastour: “The great expectations that existed ended up limiting my time on the field, at 14-years-old I could perhaps have chosen Ajax instead of Milan”

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Hachim Mastour during Milan Primavera-Torino Primavera on April 6, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

Hachim Mastour has spoken about his fall from grace, saying the only thing he cares about now is playing and training.

Mastour was one of the biggest wonder-kids in the year five years ago, when Milan got him following his spell at Inter.

However, the Moroccan never actually showed anything outside the world of YouTube videos that was worthy of the hype he received. Now, at 21, he’s without a club, and he spoke to Tuttomercatoweb this week about his experiences.

“Last year at PAS Lamia I played six games, the last of which at the beginning of December? After the first convincing matches, unfortunately I got injured and I decided to recover myself in Italy, where they had found a more serious problem compared to the one found in Greece,” the forward said. “For this season, Italian doctors suggested a longer therapy, also for the purpose of avoiding relapses. Unfortunately, my choice upset the Greek club and with my previous agent [Raiola], we preferred to stay in Italy, where some clubs were interested in me.

“If I think the fact that my name was on everyone’s lips five years ago when I got the first-team call-up has affected the rest of my career? Let’s say that the media hype with which I arrived at Milan consequently pushed companies and intermediaries to see in me more of an opportunity for profit than as a sporting profile to grow and wait for. This has penalized my sporting growth, also because I only wanted to play. I didn’t care much about the rest. This is demonstrated by the fact that I have always trained and behaved seriously, both at Malaga and at PEC Zwolle, experiences that I still consider important, also because I did them when I was very young.

“If I think that I made a mistake that affected my career path? Look, I had a great time at Milan, it was family for me. But maybe, in hindsight, at 14 I could have chosen a European club like Ajax, who were interested in me and which perhaps could have kept me further away from the Italian spotlight. Or, I could have opted for a less historic club, in a more human-friendly environment, in order to grow calmly. For example, in my last year at Milan, I would have liked to play with the Primavera instead of being aggregated with the first team. Unfortunately, the great expectations that existed ended up limiting my time on the field, which was the one thing that interested me most.

“Regrets? Nothing, my path has helped me create what I am and all the experiences have taught me something. Fortunately, I’m still young and I can prove my worth. What will my future be like? I want to start playing again, to do what I can. I have a group of people who follow me and believe a lot in me [B.F.P. Sport] and I am convinced that I will soon become a real player again. I am determined to achieve this target.

Hachim Mastour during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

“If anyone has knocked my door yet? In the next few days I will choose the best project for me. I have tried to give preference to environments that know how to wait for me and make me grow far away from the old glories because, I repeat, my desire is only to train seriously, and help on the field to the team that will have trusted me. How do I feel on a physical level? I’m fine. I’m training every day and the data I have is encouraging. You’ll see me soon on the pitch.

“What do I think about today’s Milan? I know a lot of guys playing at Milan and I think it’s a good team and a good group. Now the coach is changing, so we’ll have to understand how they will play, because the squad is certainly good. I really hope that Milan will again be a team that the whole world knows.”

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er, what makes u think ajax would’ve gladly accepted u back then? as a dutch football fan i can vouch for the fact that dutch voetbal, in particular ajax academy, values footballing intelligence more than anything, even more than pure skills hence total voetbal. players like seedorf, rijkaard, san marco, bergkamp, litmanen etc were some of the most tactically savvy players ever. hell, even frank de boer, kanu, daley blind look better than they really are because of their tactical intelligence. u on the other hand is just freestyler who doesnt have a clue what to do with the ball… Read more »