Calabria on wanting to face Messi in the Champions League, the effect of Ibra, his passion for the environment and oenology, his next objectives and more…

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Davide Calabria before Inter-Milan at Stadio San Siro on January 26, 2021. (Marco Canoniero)

Davide Calabria spoke to Sportweek at length about different topics, saying he wants to return to the Italian national team, and saying he would now like to win something with Milan.

Two days before Atalanta-Milan, the most important match in the recent history of the Rossoneri, the one that sealed the club’s return to the Champions League after 7 seasons, Calabria posted social media a black and white photo – a team hug after a goal, with no caption: “I wanted to remember that it was all in our hands,” he told Sportweek. “They were giving us up for dead, but we simply had to win a match against a great team, which we had already done in this campaign. In every difficult moment we reacted great: I was sure that we could do it.”

Calabria’s contribution against Atalanta and in general during the season allow him now to close his eyes and hear the music of the Champions League, and think of a very specific opponent: “Messi, because I think he is the strongest ever. It would be nice to play against him in a Milan-Barcelona match, like in the old days.”

Davide came this week for an interview and a photoshoot with Sportweek’s Giacomo Detomaso. The La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist writes that Calabria, “with his beautiful curly hair, had shown up well in advance: exactly the behavior you would expect from him. Even if you don’t know him, you know: without seriousness, without professionalism, he couldn’t have become the starting fullbacks of one of the most glorious teams in the world, statistically the best in the just-completed Serie A in terms of numbers of tackles won (over 3 per game).”

Calabria explains: “You definitely need talent to play at this level. But then there are other components, including the historical period of the club. I think I have the qualities to play here: above all mental strength, resilience and the desire to stay with this team.”

Davide Calabria celebrating at the end of Atalanta-Milan at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia on May 23, 2021. (Spada LaPresse)

Another memory ties you to Bergamo: there you made your Serie A debut with Inzaghi on the bench, on the last Matchday of the 2014/15 campaign. In your heart, what were you thinking? “I am one of the many youngsters making their debut in the first team” or did you imagine that you would stay there for so long?
“Honestly, I imagined it. Right from the first training sessions I thought I could fit in that group. Then, of course it wasn’t only up to me, but completing the path started in the Youth Sector has been wonderful.”

How did your love for football blossom, did you want to emulate a Champion?
“No, I just wanted to play with my friends. On the street, at the youth club… we played everywhere.”

What game did you watch for the first time at the stadium?
“Milan-Lille, in the Champions League. I was young, we were in the Settore Verde, my friends and I with our parents: a wonderful experience.”

Davide Calabria during Milan Primavera-Inter Primavera in 2014/15. (@imago-images)

What role did you family play in making your dream come true?
“A fundamental one. Unfortunately, my dad was almost never at my training sessions because he had to work from morning to night: he was a bricklayer and then he opened a bar. My mom was a clerk and she was always there for me: it wasn’t easy to take me from home to school, prepare my lunch, take me to practice and come home at 20:00. Without them I wouldn’t be here now.”

What did your parents teach you?
“The importance of sacrifices. Nothing is owed to you, you have to earn everything with work.”

What was it like growing up in Adro, in Franciacorta? What kind of place is it?
“Very quiet, I’ve always been happy there and I come back whenever I can. I have my family and childhood friends there, to whom I am very much attached. I think it’s an ideal setting for me: it allows me to disconnect from my everyday life.”

And in Milano, what is your favorite place?
“Milano is beautiful: parts, restaurants, clubs… you can’t feel bad in Milano. However, I don’t go out very often since we play every three days and in the last year and a half it has been even more difficult, because of the limitations imposed by COVID.”

Davide Calabria, Theo Hernández and Stefao Pioli celebrating at the end of Juventus-Milan at Allianz Stadium on May 9, 2021. (LaPresse Tano Pecoraro)

Pioli said that you are “very intelligent”: what does it mean for you to be an intelligent footballer?
“Understanding the moments, the details, and the particulars of the game. Making the right choice. This is what leads you to get the results.”

For many, you are the most improved player in the league; yet according to Pioli you still have ample room for growth. At what do you think you can become stronger?
“In everything, I’m still relatively young. Playing in the Champions League will be a big jump: facing great players, in great matches, in great competitions, is the only way to improve.”

You grew up in Berlusconi’s Milan, then you experienced Li’s parenthesis, now Elliott with the new management. As players, did you perceive any differences?
“You understand it when there is a stable club behind. And you inevitably feel it when it’s missing: it’s more difficult to isolate yourself to try to give your best. But in these years Milan have not made us lack anything. Even in the negative moments, it has been a strong club, from all points of view.”

Davide Calabria and Zlatan Ibrahimović celebrating during Milan-Bologna at Stadio San Siro on September 21, 2020. (Spada LaPresse)

And then there is Ibrahimović. In an interview you acknowledged that it’s not easy to play with him, because he puts so much pressure on you. What effect has that had on you?
“He has pushed me and the others to give their best, since he’s been here we have improved so much. I’m really happy that Ibra is one of us.”

The thing that surprised you the most about him?
“The desire to never lose: for him there is only the victory. And that’s it.”

On the other flank, Theo Hernández is a player and also a guy (apparently at least) very different from you. Is there anything you envy him?
“Mother Nature has given him a physical overpower and speed that make it difficult to stop when he accelerates. But I wouldn’t say I envy him, everyone has their own characteristics. I’m happy to play with him, he’s a good guy who works seriously.”

And is it more satisfying for you to score goal, make an assist or make a decisive defensive play?
“It depends on the game. In a dirty, masculine game, like on the last Matchday against Atalanta, in which they attacked us a lot, it was nice to contribute with important closings. In the end, I’m still a defender. Of course, scoring a goal or making an assist is always satisfying, but our defensive phase is fundamental.”

Davide Calabria during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

Your generation is more attentive to social issues than the previous ones. For example, you care a lot about the environment and sustainability…
“I was born in the countryside, in a small town, in nature. Certain issues are still not talked about enough. Above all, not enough is done for our planet.”

You also suggesting adopting a dog or a cat…
“There is too much meanness in people abandoning animals. And I don’t think it makes sense to spend money on a dog when there are so many of them in kennels. My dog is a crossbreed, similar to a Labrador, named Gohan. I’m a big Dragon Ball fan.”

Another passion of yours is oenology
“My grandfather, like many in my neck of the woods, had fields and made wine for family and friends, but he wasn’t really an enthusiast. Since I grew up in Franciacorta, it’s normal to walk in the vineyards. A few years ago I started agricultural school with the idea of becoming an oenologist. After football I would like to know more about this world.”

You said you feel very much tied to Italy and to its traditions. What makes you proud to be Italian?
“I think we live in the most beautiful country in the world, we were lucky enough to grow up surrounded by beauties that are envied by everyone. But I’m sure we could do a lot more to enhance them even more.”

Davide Calabria during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

You were excluded from the EURO 2020 squad. Is returning to the national team an objective?
“Absolutely yes, I think I deserve it and I believe that sooner or later the call will come again.”

We know you don’t like video games, what is your relationship instead with social networks?
“I like them and I spend time on them. When I’m away from home they allow me to see what my friends are doing and to talk to them. In addition, they give us the opportunity to send positive messages to those who follow us. We have an incredible following and it is right to exploit it like this.”

Do you read the comments on your posts?
“There are too many! I can’t read them all…”

But how do you react to criticism?
“With positivity. By now I have entered the mentality that I’m here because I deserve it, because otherwise there would be those who criticize me.”

Davide Calabria during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

The nicest compliment you’ve received?
“I’m not interested in receiving compliments for what I do on the pitch, football is just a game. I give more importance to the human side. But it’s obvious that compliments from someone like Maldini or other representatives of the club have pleased me.”

The best piece of advice they ever gave you?
“To think a little more ‘selfishly’, to believe in my means and exploit them. In the beginning I was far too humble. In football you have to be aggressive and mentally strong. The sooner you understand it, the sooner you get results.”

Davide Calabria celebrating at the end of Milan-Crotone at Stadio San Siro on February 7, 2021. (Spada LaPresse)

A dream to be realized as a football and one to realize as a person…
“Playing for Milan was my dream, now the objective is to win with this jersey. For the first, I want to live my life to the fullest, give it all I can and enjoy every moment of this journey so that I don’t have any regrets when I’m old.”

What bottle will you uncork for your first important trophy with Milan?
“I have many to choose from in my cellar… but I think I’d go for a Burgundy.”

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MilanEstonia
MilanEstonia
22 days ago

A true Milanista! A potential future captain. Forza Calabria!

Oluwashevy
22 days ago

Be careful for what you wish forget Messi you are a good milanista a good RB at that,just leave Messi and play football and let bring home the cup you will be our captain soon

Ted
Ted
22 days ago

Calabria il capitano futuro!

MNAS
21 days ago

I dont see anything wrong if Calabria is the CAPITANO….HE DESERVE IT MORE…FORZA MILAN

Elliotazzuri
Elliotazzuri
21 days ago

Fuck you management, last season transfer was dry now even with cl football transfer is still dry, fuck giroud if tuchel had use him he would not have won cl, fuck giroud over belotti am expecting more nonsense transfer in attack

Mickey
Mickey
20 days ago
Reply to  Elliotazzuri

Calm down mate, management knows what they are doing giroud is a proven veteran, he is far better than belotti, he can score goals and link up play and at 34 he is at is peak, we are even getting him for free, so if he flop we lose nothing, and am sure he can bench zlatan, we need more experience in our team, belotti is too inexperience and only good for penalty

Last edited 20 days ago by Mickey
Serpent of mondinna
Serpent of mondinna
20 days ago
Reply to  Mickey

Well said mate I would pick giroud over belotti or vlahovic any day giroud records speak for himself

Simonsays
Simonsays
20 days ago

You are absolutely crazy. WhT are you two saying? Absolute fools… giroud over belotti.. have you lost your minds.

First of all NO. Giroud is not even close to the quality of somone like belloti. Second he is a replacement for mandzukic who has left ac milan and is our 3rd striker. We are still going to sign a big striker this transfer window.

Last edited 20 days ago by Simonsays
Serpent of mondinna
Serpent of mondinna
20 days ago
Reply to  Simonsays

It’s a good thing you are not the management, because you don’t know anything about football, in 446games giroud has 179 goals and 71 assists. how many goals does your so called belotti and vlahovic has combined thank goodness the management don’t listen to dumb fans who in their right mind would reject a veteran for an inexperienced relegation starter player

Simonsays
Simonsays
20 days ago

You fool. Those stats that you plucked for giroud is his whole playing career… he is not 24,25 or 26 years old anymore he is 34… he is not going to score those numbers for us, Chelsea or any other team in Europe for the rest of his career. Infact he is declining like any other 34 year old… grow up. Belotti is 27 and in his prime years. He will improve and get better and is right now much better then giroud. I’m not talking about 10 years ago im talking about right now… Those states you pulled out… Read more »

Serpent of mondinna
Serpent of mondinna
20 days ago
Reply to  Simonsays

No matter how you cry, management acknowledge the fact that giroud is what Milan needs to succeed and their going to sign him at all costs so better start learning how to like him because he is going to be in a Milan jersey next season do you hear me simonsay

Simonsays
Simonsays
20 days ago

And what do you mean relegation team… where do you think we got bennacer from… his team was relegated.

Since when does a single player defined by entire clubs consisting of 22 players. So if torino concede a goal, is that belottis fault. If torino don’t play good football in midfield is that belotti fault. He is one player. It is not his fault they got relegated. He is probably the only reason they haven’t got relegated in the previous years. Your football knowledge is weak.

Ted
Ted
20 days ago

Well before you go and call people names and insult fellow milanistas, I suggest you check your stats. Belotti has 150 goals and 33 assists in 367 games in his entire career so far and he’s still only 27. Not a bad tally at all. Belotti is my top pick as well.

Simonsays
Simonsays
20 days ago
Reply to  Ted

.

Last edited 20 days ago by Simonsays
Serpent of mondinna
Serpent of mondinna
20 days ago
Reply to  Ted

But he is not the management pick, so whether he was your pick before giroud should be your pick now, and about your stats how many cl goal does belotti has, how many title has belotti won, how many golden boot has belotti collected, let me guess none

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
20 days ago

Belotti played in a far worse team than giroud and still holds better stats than the frenchman so theres not much to discuss here. I’ll welcome the frenchman but dont kid yourself belotti is more deadly and his stats proves that as he has been playing in a mid to bottom team whereas giroud has been playing in english top teams for nearly the last decade and has been getting far better service than the italian and still is worse in that regard.

Serpent of mondinna
Serpent of mondinna
20 days ago

Fuck you mate,how dare you compare giroud with belotti. giroud won top scorer for Montpellier in ligue 1 are they a small team or big team, giroud has been playing at the highest level for years, won world cup and cl, he has broke so many record and score fantastic goals, with his record I can say that he is better than zlatan so how dare you compare lord giroud with a mere local belotti (boy) if he was not good do you think France will still call him up, he has been benching benzema for 6 years now for… Read more »

Serpent of mondinna
Serpent of mondinna
20 days ago

some people need to grow up, how can you say belotti can outperform a whole giroud world conquer, he carried France to the world cup, he carried Chelsea from the cl group stage with the best goal to minutes ratio, giroud is better than ibra, mandzuki, Kane, benzema

Last edited 20 days ago by Serpent of mondinna
Giroud "balloon d or 2022"
Giroud "balloon d or 2022"
20 days ago

Well said mate, your point are accurate Milan fans really need to grow up

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
20 days ago

Im not your mate and if you spoke to me like that infront of me you would already be pickjing up your teeth you dumbass so how about you fuck off yourself. Never said he wasnt any good i said belottis stats proves him better for the last 6 years while playing in a shit team compared to giroud. Anyways piss off and pray we doesnt cross paths and im sure you already pissed enough off on this blog to say you are not welcome,

Last edited 20 days ago by Martin Bernhard
Forza
Forza
20 days ago

Fuck you and fuck belotti,

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
20 days ago
Reply to  Forza

fuck off trolls

Forza
Forza
20 days ago

You are the fucking troll

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
20 days ago
Reply to  Forza

Im a troll ? i came with my opinion on belotti and giroud and even said id welcome the frenchman and gets a rude reply what the hell am i suposed to just accept people being rude to me just for disagreeing, well im not gonna take such rudeness. You jumped in and are rude as well and im the troll great logic, pretty flawed though.

Forza
Forza
19 days ago

You are a troll for threatening a fellow milanister mate, that not how we do things, you have to apologise to serpent of modinna, nobody cares how old you are. And am probably older than you with the way you talk, but you need to keep your emotions in check, I would like to know what country you are from Bernhard

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
19 days ago
Reply to  Forza

not gonna happen, his first comment ever to me is “fuck you mate” so there aint gonna be any apologies from me especially as i didnt offend him in my initial commment so dont give a damn as he got as he deserved. dont care about your age either and dont care about you either but the 2 who became rude with me first was him and then you so dont even bother,

Serpent of modinna
Serpent of modinna
20 days ago

Calm down mate you are too hot headed, listen to stats not abusive word, we all want what best for Milan

Martin Bernhard
Martin Bernhard
20 days ago

i stand by what i said and i certainly dont wish u well if you cant keep it civil to begin with

Mickey
Mickey
20 days ago

Well said mate you have enlighten us well on giroud.

Simonsays
Simonsays
20 days ago

Guys based on current reports I’m worried it seems giroud might be the only striker signing we make… if this is the case I will be extremely disappointed. What a wasted opportunity

Serpent of modinna
Serpent of modinna
19 days ago
Reply to  Simonsays

So you finally understand reality, giroud is going to be our only CF signing

Suracho
Suracho
19 days ago

I HAVE DETECTED SOME FIGHTS ON THIS SUB WHICH I WILL NOT TOLERATE AT ALL. I CANNOT SEE TWO MILANISTAS FIGHTING WITH EACH OTHER. IF SOMEONE WANTS TO ACT TOUGH, MY REPLIES ARE OPEN, BULLYING WONT BE TOLERATED ON THIS BLOG ON MY WATCH. RESPECT OTHER MILANISTAS AND THEIR OPINIONS OR ELSE YOU WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH ME.
YOU ARE WARNED.