Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy has revealed some of the ways to survive in the Rossoneri dressing room alongside some of his more illustrious teammates.
In an upcoming interview to be published on Thursday, the 19-year-old tells of his fear of former Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, his hair and girls' new found attention in him.
“It’s difficult to be appreciated by him, but I felt worse. The secret is to pass him the ball, or he starts to growl. You need to know how to relate to him. Otherwise he plays tricks on you.
“When Rino Gattuso noticed I used to shave my eyebrow he started to kick my ass and said 'you only must think to play, you understand?'
“I was asked to cut my hair as soon as I arrived at Milanello. Someone also asked me in the dressing room, but one of my teammates defended me and said, 'if Hamsik, Neymar and Cisse can have it, why can’t he' in front of everyone. Then the debate was closed.”
The former Genoa player also spoke of the pressures of professional football. “I thought it was easy to not fall for the things surrounding fame, instead it is hard. When you see football players everybody thinks - how can they be so arrogant? I thought about it a thousand times.
“Then fans find us and ask for photos and autographs and you feel pumped up, even if you don’t want to. You arrive in Serie A and instantly the attention is multiplied around you. Luckily my father helps keep my feet on the ground.”