Former Milan striker Alexandre Pato admits he misses Italy and that Paolo Maldini knows that he is ready to return. The Brazilian had an explosive start to his Rossoneri career but injuries and poor form saw him return to his homeland to join Corinthians.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the 32-year-old began by looking back at his Milan career and the difference between the current team and the one he played in:
This Milan is different from the one you played in
“But it’s always Milan. In a high-level club they ask you for results right away and if you don’t get them they question you. And isolating yourself is difficult: you can say what you want, but at 99 percent you can’t ignore what they say and write about you. Over time, I understood how heavy it weighed on a player to be at Milan. A club that gave me the best, but injuries complicated my entire path. ”
Ancelotti had predicted a golden ball for you in a short time…
“When you are very young and start well, they fill you with compliments, but being able to stay grounded is essential”.
What would you change of your career path?
“I would ask my parents to stay with me in Milan. I repeat, Milan gave me everything it could, I have a great love for the club, but in the difficult period I was alone. I arrived very young, my parents stayed with me for a while and then returned to Brazil. Had they always been with me I would have had more support.”
What memories do you have of that 2011 derby, fundamental for the championship?
“Back then I didn’t understand the importance, I just wanted to go home and relax. Now it would be different. The derby gives unexplained sensations and a lot of pride.”
According to you, what does the Milan derby represent?
“It is the heart of the city, which has culture, fashion, everything. Yet when the derby is played, the city stops.”
Would you return to Milan?
“In Orlando, I feel good and I still have a contract, but Maldini knows: I would be ready (to return to Milan). Now I have maturity, I have a different attitude towards football and maybe I would be useful in the relationship with the younger players.”
The club is possibly changing owners: complicated days for a player too?
“It depends on the age and how much you understand the situation, but you always have to ask questions. If whoever buys the club has the mentality of investing, as Berlusconi did, everything will be fine. Let’s see how these new owners will do when they arrive. They will find a management that has worked well, Maldini is a guarantee of success. I hope they take this into account.”
What do you miss from Milan?
“I miss Italy and the Italians, the warmth of the fans. I always say to my wife: ‘One day I will take you to Milan and you will understand what I am talking about’. For me it was a fundamental city: I learned many things and I miss everything about Milan. And I would like to return to Milan, basically in Italy there are many players at a beautiful age.”
Speaking of age, Ibrahimovic should continue?
“He is essential because he has fire inside. He can motivate his teammates and everyone is afraid of him, only Onyewu in that Milan side had challenged him (Laughs). But the body must give her answers now.”
Who wins the derby?
“Difficult match. Milan cannot slip, for the championship there is little left and Milan can win it. Beating opponents in the Italian Cup would give more energy.”
“Giroud is strong, Leao has to come into the game. We leave the prediction open, because with Inter it is always like this.”