Mark Van Bommel reveals he joined Milan despite the advice of fellow Dutchman Wesley Sneijder. “I felt the warmth of a family atmosphere.”
The veteran midfielder made the move from Bayern Munich after lightning negotiations this week and has already made his debut in the Coppa Italia win at Sampdoria.
“I didn't have a chance to train before the game, as the day before I was still in Munich discussing the contract,” he said in his presentation Press conference this evening.
“I have to really admire Vice-President Adriano Galliani, the Coach and all my teammates, as it was not easy to let me settle in so quickly, but their warm welcome really helped. I felt the warmth of a family atmosphere.
“My situation at Bayern had changed recently, but I just want to look forward. When agent Mino Raiola said Milan wanted me, I did not hesitate, as this is a great club with an important Dutch tradition. I'm very happy to be here.”
The Rossoneri had the likes of Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullitt and Frank Rijkaard in the 1980s, but another Dutchman didn't want Van Bommel to join.
“Sneijder is a great friend, so I called him and he advised me not to join Milan, as he didn't want to face a player as strong as me! I can't wait to play the derby, as I often watched that fixture on television and it truly is a great event.
“I didn't call Clarence Seedorf before making the move, as I knew what he was going to say. Milan are a fantastic club and you cannot let such an opportunity slip past you.”
There were concerns over past problems between Van Bommel and Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“We have often faced off in our careers in some pretty fiery encounters. He is similar to me, as he also wants to win all the time and is not afraid of a battle. We had some clashes, but we are friends now.”