Milan midfielder Sandro Tonali revealed that he is fighting for his teammates as if they were his best friend and referred to an inspiration in the locker room.
Tonali was interviewed by Milan TV, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews and translated below, starting with a reflection on the recent 1-1 draw against Udinese.
“The match against Udinese had to be played like this, in my opinion we didn’t do what we could because I think we could do more, that’s the first thing we said to each other once the match was over,” he said.
“As for the second half in Manchester, you can’t enter the pitch without nastiness, determination in a game like this, when you lose one to zero but you control the game. It is the minimum, of course, your teammates bring it to you who have been playing for seventy minutes.
“We know how we are and what we are made of, working together is more important than any single one, so much is always played in 11. For 90 minutes one of your teammates must be your best friend, a person you defend and sacrifice yourself for. We are a great group and we are showing it even in these difficult times.
“I often look at the photo of when we were all united in midfield in the rain and with the cold during the penalties with Rio Ave. From that photo, we also printed it in the locker room, you get a spark, it makes you understand where we started from. and makes you understand what you went through to get to where we are now.
“It makes you understand that you have merit because all this did not come by itself but we have earned it by sweating, working, running, playing, winning. These are important things, that photo there triggers a spark in us, if we are here there is a reason and therefore we will certainly not give up “.
Last night Milan were exceptional against Manchester United, but two men – Franck Kessie and Simon Kjaer – stood out in particular.
In the absence of many big names – including team leader Zlatan Ibrahimovic – it was the Ivorian and the Dane who took the young Pioli team under their wing and lead by example with excellent performances.
“They are examples, not only for us young players but for the whole team, even for Ibrahimovic and the coach. Kjaer is the most professional of the team, the other is our backbone, the column that never gives up that is always on the pitch, in any game and in every minute. These are our two great examples. They give a big boost to all the fans, to all of us teammates, to the coach, to any person in Milan, ”said Tonali.
Su Pioli the midfielder added: “The coach is giving me a lot, he is helping me a lot in training and even in moments away from football, he is giving me a lot for my growth on and off the pitch. He is a real person, we are always with him.
“Can we say if Sunday is Pioli’s match? Yes, it’s Pioli’s match, Milan’s match because Milan is made for these matches, we can’t wait to play them and have great performances like Manchester’s ”.