Hakan Çalhanoğlu has told MilanTV: ‘This is my fourth year here, I would like to thank everybody at the club because they give me confidence.’
Hakan has been a different player post-lockdown with 9 goals and 9 assists to his name since Milan returned to action.
This season, the Turkish already has three goals and two assists this season, in three official matches. In the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimović, Çalhanoğlu is perhaps Milan’s most important player and he showed it against Bodø/Glimt on Thursday.
“The secret to my success is my family, my daughter, my wife,” the 26-year-old told MilanTV. “They always support me, I’m truly glad that I have them, we’re showing our strength out on the pitch. Also, I like playing in that playmaker role, as I’ve always said, I’m displaying my quality… we played well on Thursday but it was slightly arduous, we knew that we were playing a side with a lot of quality up front but at the end of the day the important thing is to have won. We’ve made it through to the next round and that’s important.
“If things are going well in your private life this can be seen in other areas too including when you’re on the pitch because we footballers aren’t robots… like you, we are normal people. However, we need to remain professional, we’re professionals, we always need to try to give the absolute maximum, and we need to have the right mentality, which means having a team mentality. We haven’t lost in the post-lockdown period, we want to carry on in this way. I’m really happy about how we played but we still need to do better and we can do better. However, the important thing is we won.
“This is my fourth year here, I’d like to thank everybody at the club because they give me confidence. This doesn’t just apply to the team: there are people outside of the team that give me confidence, I feel at home here. I’ve always said that I like being here in Milano, I like playing here at San Siro, the only thing that’s now missing is our fans [smiles]… if they were in the stands, we’d certainly be happier. However, that’s the way it is, we need to look ahead. We now need to recover well, because we’re really tired. We’ll be back in action on Sunday, we’ll do everything to recuperate. And then, when we go into the match, we’ll be 100% mentally ready to face Crotone.
“I’m very confident, I wanted to do more and more, giving up has never crossed my mind because there’s always room for improvement. I’d also like to thank the coach for playing me in a role that I like. Then, there’s the team, who have always supported me. We’re a family, it’s important that we win as a team.
“The assist for Colombo? I’m very happy for Colombo, because he trains well on a daily basis. He also played well on Thursday. He managed to score, congratulations to him, he needs to carry on like this and never give up. He’s still young and needs to do more. For his goal, I saw both him and Samu in the vicinity, I moved quickly and flicked the ball on well. It went well, there was also that chance in the first half where Samu was involved but he didn’t see me in that position.
“My second goal? In the changing room, I said: ‘Look, if we get a corner, take note of my position. I will be near the penalty area’. Then, a wonderful ball was played to me and I scored a great goal. I saw that there was plenty of space. We had a quick chat, and then managed to implement our plan on the pitch.”