Alexandre Pato admits that while Milan remain dear to him, he would not say ‘no’ to Inter.
Pato scored 63 goals and won a Scudetto in six, injury-hit seasons with Milan and now plys his trade in China for Fabio Cannavaro’s Tianjin Quanjian.
“Milan’s new owners? I don’t know who they are, but I can say that [in China], there’s a great passion for football,” the Brazilian striker told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“They study it and have money to invest. They’re already a great power on an economic level and want to become one in football.
“I played at Milan under Berlusconi, with whom I had a very close relationship. If Milan are so loved around the world, it’s thanks to him.
“But the club needed major investment. I’m glad they've come in and are already making signings.
“Here, a lot’s being said about Milan: I’d like them to go back to the successes of 5-6 years ago.
“Would I have still left Milan? Berlusconi tried to keep me twice. It first happened in January 2012: not going to PSG wasn’t my decision.
“Barbara [Berlusconi] told me that her father wanted to talk to me, the President called me while I was having breakfast and said to me, ‘you won’t leave, you’re our symbol.’ I respected his will.
“I continued to have physical problems. For Berlusconi, I was always unsellable, but I went to him and convinced him.
“I told him it was for my own good. I had to regain my confidence. Someone at Milan told me that I wouldn’t be able to play again, but I knew that wasn’t the case. That’s why I left.
“I had to change my way of training and recovering. Corinthians changed my preparation in 20 days and I started to feel good again.
“For me, Ancelotti was a mentor. With Allegri, we had just a player-Coach relationship and zero contact away from football.
“But the most successful Coaches, even in Europe, are those that create empathy with their players: Ancelotti is the example of that.
“Return to Italy? I’m in love with Italy: I’m fine in China at the moment and I’m happy to contribute to this project for football development, but in the future who knows?
“Would I say ‘yes’ to Inter? Why not? I’m a professional.”
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