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Florenzi: ‘We have to work harder to continue this dream’

Milan defender Alessandro Florenzi was thrilled with his teammates performance in their 1-0 win over Spurs, but warns that they ‘have to work even harder’ to keep their Champions League dream alive. The 31-year-old missed a large portion of the season due to hamstring injury and is gradually returning to match fitness ahead of an important few weeks for the Rossoneri. Speaking with StarCasinò Sport (as quoted by Calcio e Finanza), the veteran defender touched on the brilliant first leg at the San Siro against Tottenham, what’s needed for the rest of the season and the players that fascinate him most in European football:

“The lads put in an important performance (against Spurs, ed), a performance that the whole group needed. We went through some difficult times. The team played a sumptuous game, the return leg is coming up and we have to work even harder to continue this dream.

“My injury? It’s an injury that you hardly ever see in this sport. The first few weeks were not easy, I was very discouraged. There were some moments when I wanted to give up everything: I closed myself off, surrounded by the affection of my family – the most important thing for me – who helped me to get out of the mental loop. Then when I saw the pitch and the ball again, the desire to start again came back.

“We started with the goal of winning the Scudetto, the one that would secure us the second star. Obviously there’s tough opposition: should Napoli continue at this pace, we would be the first to congratulate them. Then we set ourselves the second goal: qualification for the next Champions League. We will do everything to relive evenings like the one with Tottenham.

“Spalletti? I have a positive memory of him. I have great esteem for the man and the coach. Napoli’s secret lies in having a coach capable of getting the players to express themselves fully.

“Pioli? With him I grew up, he taught me to bring out the best in me in every training session. He spurs you on with words and with looks.

“The player who fascinates me most in Europe? Marco Verratti, when he’s doing well everything turns differently. The volley I scored? I consider myself good at volleying, but there is someone better than me: Fabio Quagliarella, a fantastic player in so many ways and in this aspect he is the best of all. “

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