Junior Messias spoke to MilanTV yesterday after signing the contract, saying ‘I would never have thought I would reach this level someday’.
Messias joined Milan on transfer deadline day, arriving on loan with option to buy from Crotone to reinforce the attack.
The 30-year-old Brazilian, who was still playing in Serie D a few years ago, will wear the #30 shirt at Milan. Messias sat down for an interview with MilanTV shortly after putting pen to paper: “The moment I saw the writing ‘AC Milan’ was really emotional, because this is my favorite Club. I’ve always been a Milan fan and I’m really excited to be here.”
On Maldini and Ibrahimović: “Paolo was an exceptional player and now he’s doing a great job as a director. He’s an exemplary person. As for Zlatan, he’s an extraordinary footballer.”
On his path: “I learned to play football on the streets, with my friends. Sometimes I even played alone, wherever I could find space to kick a ball, I would sometimes play all alone kicking the ball about. It was a beautiful feeling and what I loved doing the most. Having fun was all that mattered.”
On arriving in Italy in 2011: “My parents always encouraged me. I also matured thanks to my family, my wife and my kids. Everything looked different when I first arrived in Italy because I had never left my small city before. It was a totally different world for me. I adapted immediately and got a job. After about 30-40 days, my brother who brought me here returned to Brazil while I remained here.”
On dreaming: “At some point I had lost hope, because I was already 25 years old and was still playing in the amateur league just for the fun of it. I would never have thought I’d reach this level someday. The amateur league normally lasts for 10 months, the contract lasts for 10 months whereas the remaining 2 months I worked instead of going on holiday. I would normally do my deliveries and that phase taught me the true values of life. It gave me great motivation.”
On working hard: “I am where I am now because of hard work, I made a lot of sacrifices. When you reach this level, you have to prove to yourself, to work hard, the team and the group, all together.”
On his idols: “Milan has had so many great players, lots of quality players who are my idols, not just Brazilians but also Italian players.”
On Ibra and Giroud: “This team has a good foundation, plays well and is coached well. So, I believe we’ll be able to reach our objectives. We’ll do our best to reach our objectives. It’s easier to play with these players because of their movements on the pitch. It’s evident that when needed, they can score at any time.”
On joining Milan: “I’m a humble person, a team player and this is one of my strengths. One needs to put in lots of work, sacrifice. I would never have thought I’d reach this level someday, but, year in year out, season after season, I worked hard in my division. When I was playing in the Eccellenza division, I worked hard to play in that division, when I was in Serie B I also did my best to perform and this is how I made it here, step by step. Dreams come true if you believe in them.”