Atalanta defender Mattia Caldara has revealed the unsuccessful stint at Milan 'still burns', but vowed to ‘make another leap in quality’ after the forced break.
The 25-year-old moved to Milan via Juventus in the summer of 2018, but only made two appearances for them in all competitions due to two serious injuries.
“At Milan, for the first time in my life, I was unable to repay the trust I was shown by the club, to express myself at my level,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “It still burns a lot, it was a defeat.
“I still think about it, but I know I have to put it aside. It’s enough with the difficult year and a half. I will always say thanks to Milan, if it didn’t work, it was my fault.”
The centre-half faces a tough task to reclaim his place in the Atalanta squad and has only played twice in Serie A since his return to the Gewiss Stadium in January.
La Dea sit fourth in the League and are through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after an 8-4 win on aggregate against Valencia before the forced break. Caldara reveals that the Orobici are trying to take advantage of their unfamiliar style in their debut season of the European competition.
“At Atalanta we have a very particular way of playing, which is not yet known in Europe. We have to exploit it,” he added. “But the most important thing is to play them, these quarter-finals of the Champions League. We have to try to advance.
“At San Siro against Valencia, in five minutes from the bench to a game where we played a lot. That evening I was finally happy again, thanks to football.
“Before the stop, I still had a good 20 per cent of growth and when we start again, I hope to be even better than before. I have to back to how I was two years ago, or even better.
“I have two more years of experience, it’s time to make another leap in quality.”
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