Milan winger Samu Castillejo praised coach Stefano Pioli for being a ‘great coach and a beautiful person’ and expects to start the season with a tough game against ‘the strongest team in Ireland’.
The Rossoneri resume after the short break with an appointment in Dublin and the Spanish winger admitted coach Pioli warned the Milan players ahead of the second qualifying round in the Europa League.
“The coach told us from the first day we heard about our opponent, that Shamrock are a tough team,” Castillejo told DAZN.
“They are the strongest in Ireland and play beautiful football. It will be very difficult.”
Castillejo thrived as Milan turned their season around under coach Pioli and helped the Diavolo finish with an unbeaten run of 12 games in Serie A.
“Since the new year began, I have had the opportunity to play, right from the match against Cagliari.
“From there I changed a lot, like the team did. Many players left and new ones arrived. Anyone who knows me, knows that I will never leave a team without leaving a good memory.
“I worked in silence, I was corrected, and I waited for my opportunity.”
Castillejo enjoys working with Pioli, who prepares for his first full season at Milanello.
“I remember after the Cagliari match, he said some beautiful words to me. He’s a coach who talks a lot, he’s very close to the players.
“Even when he was on holiday, he made himself heard through messages or phone calls. This is very good for the players because they know the coach cares about them and they look forward to giving more.
“Beyond being a great coach, he’s a beautiful person.”
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