Kessié: “The word ‘Scudetto’ should not be a taboo, the skepticism? It does nothing but motivate us more and more, the Atalanta game was a turning point”

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Franck Kessié during Milan-Torino at Stadio San Siro on January 12 2021. (Fabrizio Carabelli I LiveMedia)

Franck Kessié spoke to il Giornale and stated the critics ‘are our vitamins’.

Kessié has been the most consistent performer of Milan this season, bossing from the role of the holding midfielder – alongside Ismaël Bennacer, Sandro Tonali, Rade Krunić or Davide Calabria.

The President, as he’s called at Milan, sat down with Franco Ordine of il Giornale for an interview which you can read below:

So Kessié, can you explain the sensational change in Milan’s march from 12th in the standings to league leader?
“There is no real secret to reveal, but a work plan to talk about. Pioli took us aside and began talking, explaining what he wanted from us. The group went to work with his ideas and now we continue to do so day after day. Since then we’ve always changed our face.”

Did the adoption of the new playing system also have some importance?
“Of course, and we started from that because deploying two midfielders in front of the defense made the whole team safer and improved the performance of individual defenders.”

And if you had to point to the turning point match, which game would you refer to?
“To the match in Bergamo, December 2019, 5-0 for Atalanta. We are Milan and cannot make such an impression. From that day on, a certain spring was set off.”

Franck Kessié and Stefano Pioli celebrating at the end of Milan-Torino at Stadio San Siro on January 12 2021. (@acmilan.com)

Speaking of Atalanta, in the Coppa Italia, among the big sides, they were the only one that overflowed by winning in a wide and comfortable margin against Cagliari: aren’t they ready to get back to the front like last year?
“Definitely. Atalanta have been playing very lucrative football for 3-4 years now. Also in Europe they’ve become a model, a dangerous rival for the competition. So they will return to being protagonists in the fight for the Top 4 places in the standings.”

You have read and heard about the Papu Gómez case: what idea did you get when you met Papu and Gasperini?
“None. It’s a subject that I absolutely don’t want to talk about.”

Franck Kessié and Samu Castillejo during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

Reading critics and insiders, there are many who don’t believe in Milan holding on until the end: do you have an explanation for this skepticism?
“More than an explanation – we have a thank you to give. Because these reasonings and predictions do nothing but motivate us more and more every day. They are our vitamins.”

And what does Kessié think of the theory that Milan are only in the lead because they play without a crowd?
“I think that is how everyone plays and therefore the conditions are identical. I also think that if we had the fans with us, especially at San Siro, it would be much better for us. Because it would give us a tremendous boost, as it happened in some pre-matches. And maybe we would have some better results.”

So for you at Milanello, the word ‘Scudetto’ is not a taboo…
“And why should it be? We have a mantra that coach Pioli repeats every day: let’s think about one match at a time. Right now we have Cagliari and the rest doesn’t matter. Then I would add: we are Milan, history speaks for us. And a club like Milan cannot feel uncomfortable talking about the Scudetto. We are not alone, of course, in competing.”

Franck Kessié during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

Meïté has just arrived from the January mercato: if you had to explain Milan to him in a few words – what would say?
“I would tell him: come to Milanello, watch how we train, watch and learn quickly because we need help. We’ll have a game every three days and we’ll need everyone to make it to the end of the season and the three commitments that await us.”

What kind of midfielder is Meïté?
“He is a strong one, physically, who has already shown at Torino that he has the makings of a midfielder who’s also capable of scoring a few goals. He’ll give us a good hand.”

Franck Kessié during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

Ibrahimović has recently given a PlayStation as a gift to thank those who run for him: as someone who runs more than anyone else what would you like to receive?
“I’ll decide at the end of the season. And it’s not true that I run alone. There are many of us running. Otherwise we wouldn’t have had that streak of results.”

Kessié is one of the most reliable penalty takers in the league: even Ibrahimović, who has missed a few too many, has surrendered in front of such precision. What is this all about? Skill or luck?
“Since the time of my country’s Youth National Team, I’ve started taking penalties. I’m used to it. And above all, I’m not afraid of making mistakes. Every time I go to the penalty spot I know very well that I have two possibilities: to score or to miss. So I don’t feel any particular pressure.”

Franck Kessié scoring a penalty during Milan-Torino at Stadio San Siro on January 9. 2021. (@acmilan.com)

You have been in Italy for a few years now, in Milano for quite a while: take a snapshot of Milano and Italy…
“I’m fortunate: my family is with me so I go out very little and frequent the city very little. Milanello-home: this is my life also because we play every three days and there is no time to do anything else. Compared to my country there is only one difference.”

Excuse me, which one?
“We never have winter here. And I suffer a lot from the cold in these weeks.”

Franck Kessié during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

You never use gloves otherwise Ibra would scold you…
“I don’t use them on my own because they bother me.”

At this point Kessié begins to move in his chair almost as if to show that our time is running out. Sorry Kessié, this is really the last question: everyone at Milan calls you President with a capital letter. Do they also do it in front of Scaroni?
“For me it’s a source of pride. Because I have a great responsibility that pushes me to do well. More than anyone else.”

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Nino
Nino
8 months ago

Q: You have read and heard about the Papu Gómez case: what idea did you get when you met Papu and Gasperini?
Kessie: “None. It’s a subject that I absolutely don’t want to talk about.”

That’s how a President responds to a trick question! Kessie is the man! Forza Milan!

MilanEstonia
MilanEstonia
8 months ago

Almost more than a year ago, The club was willing to cash in on Kessie for a better player at that time. Fans were constantly bashing him – including me – for his inconsistent performances. He was just another average player at that time. Today, my lord, Kessie is the Predator of defensive midfielders. He has become irreplaceable for us. A player who is like 100 million+ worth for me. He never stops anymore. Destroys other powerful players like Lukaku. Great turnaround Kessie! Proud to have you. Thank God we didn’t let you go earlier. If only Gattuso kept faith… Read more »

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago
Reply to  MilanEstonia

WE NOW RETURN TO LIKE MILAN10 SAID “Milan10 1 year ago im not even kessie’s fan like kourosh the morontella’s patriot but its nice to see kessie pledging his loyalty to milan because like it or not he’s essential to the team because he’s the only one who can be destroyer who protect the defensive line a la rino. biglia is old and will soon leave, bennacer is good distributor but he defends sloppily (thus that many yellow cards already) and is small, krunic is not that good defensively, baka the awesome dm is gone which means only kessie is… Read more »

MilanEstonia
MilanEstonia
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

Great! I think remember you were one of those who actually believed in Kessie back then. There was one more person I think it was Martin? Not sure.

You still didn’t needed to copy paste all that info though

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago
Reply to  MilanEstonia

who’s martin? ricky martin? haha
i copy pasted all that so the uninitiated’ll learn *wink

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

he is propably referring to me as ive allways been quite supportive of kessie as it seemed to be a matter of tiime before he made the next leap- Anyways atleast i write in my own actual name and not hiding behind anonymity while making up new names for other people or even our own players or coach.

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

haha of course i knew it’s u. i was just teasing u to see ur reaction my fellow ac miloan fan mr ricky martin, dammit, i mean mr martin banghard, i mean..DAMMIT
btw, hakan is injured. i knew that coppa extra time was trouble

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

I still dont appreciate it and you really dont get it, do you ? sitting on the web in anonymity and calling other people names just shows a lack of class as it would be equally fun if you gave other people the same option but guess you dont have the balls to do that. Could be your name, your country or even your religion that potentially could be a target for other people. Well our discusion was more in regard of romagnoli and i never said fatigue couldnt be a potential issue but as i said earlier you was… Read more »

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

oh i get it, i just dont care about 30-40 something guy crying because i call him names. what a fruitcake. get it straight ricky martin, football world is competitive, manly world, and people, supporters and players alike, sure as hell call people names here. and if u think using ur real name as username give u some kind accountability then guess what? no one cares. regular here knows i have mentioned in during sheva the troll days that i am muslim medical doctor from indonesia. and just so u can finally sleep well again at night, my name is… Read more »

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

I have a free tone with my friends and people i meet face to face with but you cant deny that its rather pathetic to sit and try and irritate people from a far with no consenquences for the comments. Just because im in my 40ies doesnt mean that you are allowed to behave like a clown either and if you are an adult act like one because otherwise its just bad excuses for you to behave as you please. Fact is you call me ricky martin who is a puerto rican homosexual pop singer well i dont appreciate that… Read more »

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

so u 1) hate being called homosexual. 2) hate religions. 3) anti-fun-milan10ian-banters.
u must be fun at parties

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

Well i do find it rather hillarious you find pride in your own bigotry and my contempt for religion would make me any less fun at a party 😀 guess we have different views of whats fun but atleast we can agree upon supporting milan,

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

well, if someone at a party says to u “hey ricky martin, lets dance like we’re livin’ la vida loca” and u lose ur mind then it wouldnt be a nice party would it? *wink
i dont even care if ricky martin is gay or not. all i remember is that awesome world cup ‘98 soundtrack “the cup of life”. its u who dont want to be called gay. calm ur pretty tits mr milanista

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

well then they would do it to my face atleast and what you are insuating is a completely different matter even if you doesnt care about people being gay which i think is good because why shouldnt people live as they prefer. Frankly i couldnt care less either and i do know several people who are gay but that doesnt change the fact if you want to discuss football with me you better keep a reasonable non offensive tone with me.

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

if they said it to ur face, YOU would lose ur mind right? like i said, u must be fun at parties.
and to be honest, i wasnt even talking to u. i just came up with random ricky name as a joke to respond to him. i could’ve said ricky gervais, ricky kaka or whoever else. its not my fault u got offended that i mentioned ricky martin, who u consider to be gay

Ranajaya
Ranajaya
8 months ago

As he revealed below, he’s a doctor. That one is one of his kind in my beautiful country Indonesia, always hv that sense of intelegency superiority towards other, some of them really are, some are meh.

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago
Reply to  Ranajaya

the doctor title have nothing to do with anything but i did mention it back then when i and other regulars like mathijs pasalic, milanista121, mojdanis etc were talking about our identities years ago. i just mentioned it to prove that i DID reveal my identity, and the bright regulars will remember it.
having said that, its crystal clear that i DO know football more. anyone who said milan should sell “lionel kessie” and hakan “turkish kebab” has no right to deny it. take it easy, its just football not crycry. *wink

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

Not sure if you are referring to me here about hakan because IVE NEVER called him that kebab shit because frankly i find it racist and moronic.

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

did i say it was you? stop trying to make everything is about u

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

i was asking wasnt sure, stop making it about me ? well you pretty much paved the road yourself.

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

i remember who said what, and u didnt say turkish kebab (u supported rangnick appointment though) etc so u shouldnt’ve replied to that particular comment

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
8 months ago
Reply to  Ranajaya

No need for anyone to feel superiority about anything but i can guarantee you that only a very small ammount of those doctors would get a job in the west.

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

yeah ur so right. us southeast asians workers are so incompetent, especially compared to u all citizens of developed countries. from now on u can call us les incompetence *wink

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

Nah that wasnt even meant as an insult but a fact is that a large group of doctors from none western countries wouldnt get a foot inside. Didnt even say i meant it was ok but fact is many of those people wouldnt get a job due to the higher demandfs hence why i mentioned in regard of his comment about superiority.

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

lol u cant say u didnt condescend when u said “only small amount..” right after u said “superiority”. its obvious. and to be perfectly honest, i didnt mind. i studied in melbourne for a year and many of my friends continue their studies in uk and germany so i know how it is. i dont mind bantering but stop lying to urself

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

offcourse i can its a fact that a large ammount of doctors from non western countries and without previously studying in western countries are having a hard time getting an equal role in the western healthcare systems as they would in their home countries, Its not even said in malice as i previously mentioned but the fact that demands are higher and that means a lot of doctors from non western countries now work in completely different and non related work areas against their will because their previous education is next to worthless around here. Then there is offcourse also… Read more »

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

in short, us incompetent southeast asians will find it hard to find jobs in developed countries, due to language barrier and different education standard, according to u. thats like saying players from asia cant play in serie a. its condescending and im perfectly ok with that, because its fact. but stop denying that u didnt say that in condescending tone

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

no i didnt, i said it in regard of ranajayas comment in regard of indonesian doctors often being snooty according to him and my reply just made it clear that lots of those doctors would have a hard time getting an job around here. Anyways im done with this discusion.

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

“lots of those doctors (including me, ur implying) would have a hard time getting an job around here” and im quoting here, “because their previous education is next to worthless around here. Then there is offcourse also a matter of being able to speak a language fluently and english is a universal language so in that regard that helps in that country atleast.” how is that not condescending? just say yes and we’ll call it a day

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

well i already explained myself and doesnt intend to go further but those comments are still taken out of context but i stand by what i said. in those contexts.
Anyways ill give you credit for keeping it civil except for your initial comments and that is actually all i wanted to point out as it did iritate me and frankly i think its a shame if we couldnt disguss football in the future because you wont accept what i said.
When that is said have a good day milan10.

Last edited 8 months ago by Martin Bernhard
Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

lol u talk too much without substance. its obvious ur condescending doctors from southeast asian with ur comment. just admit it. its like people in europe saying southeast asian football players dont have what it takes to play in big european leagues. its logical thing to say and i have no problems with that. i do have problems with people who said one thing but then lie and deny he ever said it though. just man up and admit what ur implying with what u said

Last edited 8 months ago by Milan10
Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

if i were milan coach i’d give kessie the capt armband, with donna as deputy. kessie is calm and collected and is a natural leader. the way he told hakan to console krunic (who was responsible for milan trailing 2-0) after hakan scored vs celtic, let hakan took penalty vs roma to boost his confidence and then hugged and consoled him, supported kalulu when he was subbed on to play his serie a debut, and how he said he’ll let ibra takes pen again if he wants to show that he’s a great team player and leader. he and his… Read more »

MilanEstonia
MilanEstonia
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

I agree with this. Kessie can be a good captain. But I feel like Donna is going to be captain very soon. The way he shouts and commands his players in front of him is pretty inspiring. Just needs to work on his childish unnecessary shouts at referees though.

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago
Reply to  MilanEstonia

correctamundo mate. donneuer and kessailly have more presence and leadership than romaldini.

Milan10
Milan10
8 months ago

BREAKING NEWS
kalinic, goddammit, just missed an absolute sitter vs miha’s bologna and as a result juric subbed him off. the fact that a) milan spent > 200m and still ended up with kalinic, not auba/morata/belotti and b) milan had cutrone AND andriy ‘the giant’ silva and still played kalinic as main st really proved that morontella and fassobelli were/are as useless as a bucket of horseshit. thank god for maldini and guardioli

Willsmilan
Willsmilan
8 months ago
Reply to  Milan10

Lmao