Alberto Aquilani is fired up as Fiorentina face his former club Milan. “I will stay here for a long time, but I don’t want this reputation as a ‘broken’ player.”
The midfielder spent last season loan at San Siro, but they decided against taking up their option to buy from Liverpool after he suffered a series of injuries.
He returns to face his old teammates on Sunday afternoon and is glad to be wearing the Viola jersey.
“We can create something important here at Fiorentina,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“With our style of play and the right level of humility, we don’t have to set ourselves limits. We’re by no means the favourites tomorrow, as Milan are always Milan, but if we impose our style on the game then we can do anything.
“I thought last season we had the best squad and it still annoys me that we didn’t win the Scudetto after enjoying a seven-point lead. Now Milan had to start from scratch.
“I have no desire for revenge against Milan. They treated me well and were clear on what was happening. Without the ankle injury I would’ve stayed, as I had 18 appearances by Christmas. Another seven and the buy-out option would be activated.
“However, I am now in Florence and it was a wonderful choice. This team is perfect for my characteristics. After so much travelling around Europe, I hope to stay here for a long time.
“The Viola were in my destiny. From my debut for Triestina to my return from injury with the Liverpool shirt, they were always around in my important career moments.”
Aquilani has also been reunited with Coach Vincenzo Montella, who was his teammate at Roma.
“I didn’t think he’d become so good so very quickly. We were teammates and I could see he had something different in the way he considered the game. He is a very attentive Coach who focuses on details.”
From his days at Roma to the ill-fated Liverpool spell, then Juventus and Milan, Aquilani has been plagued by injuries. He was also ruled out for a month soon after joining Fiorentina.
“When I was at Juve, I played 33 games and missed only a handful. Even then people said I was always ‘broken!’ That is not the truth, even if I am aware I’ll never shake off that reputation now.
“I am only paying for one very serious injury to my ankle, but the rest is within the normal parameters of a football player.
“I got it wrong when at Roma, as I shouldn’t have pushed on to the point that I had to undergo surgery. That was the start of a long nightmare.”