Thiago Silva has become a rock in the Milan defence and pledged to resist overseas offers. “I'd love to follow Paolo Maldini's footsteps.”
The Brazilian already impressed in his first season at San Siro and has been a key figure in their Scudetto push.
“It's true that I now play in a relaxed manner even without Alessandro Nesta by my side, as I have more confidence in my abilities than last season,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Nesta is unique and often talks to me on the pitch. I still remember my first friendly against Varese, as he didn't stop giving me advice and instructions for a moment.
“I even got annoyed that time and told him he was giving me a headache, but I'm used to it now!”
Thiago Silva has been repeatedly linked with a move to Real Madrid, but Milan and the defender are resisting the big money offers.
“I like the idea of becoming a symbol of the club. I'd be happy just winning half of what Maldini won in his career, so I'd love to follow his footsteps.
“I did start out as a midfielder, but now I only play there when the team needs me to. It's fun going forward every now and then to have a shot on goal.”
The Brazil international hailed more of his Milan teammates and welcomed probable summer signing Paulo Henrique Ganso from Santos.
“Zlatan Ibrahimovic has brought a winning mentality to the side. Right from the first game he told us we always had to win everything, so if we do get the Scudetto it will be primarily down to him.
“I don't think Alexandre Pato is missing anything to be considered a phenomenon, as he is the complete striker. He has even learned how to defend.
“I spoke to Ganso a couple of days ago and confirmed he should join us, but he knows perfectly well it's the best choice. Ganso and Neymar are the best Brazilians around right now.
“Kaka is fast and explosive, whereas Ganso is better at keeping hold of the ball. He can become the new Zinedine Zidane.”