Thursday September 19 2019
Donnarumma: 'So grateful' to Boban

Gianluigi Donnarumma is ‘so grateful’ to Zvonimir Boban, reveals he cried when Sinisa Mihajlovic left Milan and assures they are adapting to Marco Giampaolo.

Milan have won two of their first three games under Giampaolo, although without playing particularly well, and face Inter in the Derby della Madonnina on Saturday.

“It was an adrenaline rush with the last kick of the game,” Donnarumma told DAZN, describing his show of passion after his side’s 1-0 win against Verona last weekend.

“We all wanted to win the game and we showed it on the pitch. It was a release, also for my teammates: I’m very happy.

“We’re a beautiful group. With a new Coach it’s normal to have some difficulty at the beginning, but we’re working well.

“We’ve picked up two wins from three, not playing very well, but winning helps us win more and slowly we’re getting to grips with our game.

“A derby goes over everything else, it’s a game that prepares itself and gives out a lot of energy and emotion. Playing the derby is a unique satisfaction.

“Samir [Handanovic] is a very good lad and a great goalkeeper, I like how he attacks the ball, plus we know all his other qualities.

“With D’Ambrosio I have a beautiful relationship, he’s my compatriot and he also lives near me. I’ll surely cross him.”

The goalkeeper was recently called a leader by Boban, while he was given his senior debut aged just 16 by Mihajlovic, who is currently battling cancer,.

“I’m so grateful to him. I always try to do my best to help the team and spur them on. I’m behaving like I always have.

“I’m an easy-going lad, among those with more appearances, and that gives me some extra responsibility.

“I was excited and naturally a little tense for my debut. It was a special moment, I remember when Sinisa told me the day before: I was excited, I wanted to call my family immediately! It was great.

“Sinisa asked me if I was afraid to play and I said ‘no’. I was ready. He’ll surely pull through it, he’s a lion. I wish him good luck and I hope to give him a hug soon.

“I cried and I was disappointed when he left. He’s a person who gives you everything. Even in matches, he gave you added motivation.

“He was direct with us. If he wants to tell you something, he’ll say it to your face: that’s to his credit.”

The Naples native turned 20 earlier this year and is already Italy No 1, as well as one of the shot-stoppers with the most appearances for the Rossoneri.

“There are moments when nothing happens, others when you’re confident and times when everything goes in.

“The important thing is to always work to the maximum as you never stop learning. I always do that with my [goalkeeping] coach.

“We work on everything. I’m much better with my feet now and I’m happy about that. With Giampaolo, play starts a lot deeper.

“As for my best save, my most exciting comes to mind, the one during our 1-0 win against Juve at San Siro in the last minute.

“The roar of the stadium was wonderful, the loudest I’ve heard. I also remember my first time on the bench against Cesena.

“I was with the national team at the time. Someone got hurt and Galliani immediately called me to tell me that I’d be on the bench. It was an indescribable emotion.”

Finally, Gigio was asked about his Diavolo captain Alessio Romagnoli.

“We have a splendid relationship, we’re very good friends. He’s a great lad and I love him so much.

“He’s a good captain and he’s able to give even more. I’m very happy to have him as captain and I hope he continues to be.”

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