Tuesday September 22 2020
Calabria: 'Milan didn't have winning project'

Davide Calabria admits the team is relieved to continue working with coach Stefano Pioli. ‘There hasn’t really been a winning project at Milan’ for several years.

The 23-year-old has spent his entire career with the Rossoneri, coming up through their youth academy to become a regular, especially as Andrea Conti is still out injured.

His form has improved a great deal recently too under coach Stefano Pioli and Calabria believes there’s a good reason for their performances in recent months.

“We feel certain that we are a great team. We give 100 per cent and don’t set limits on ourselves, so we are in good shape both mentally and physically,” he told DAZN.

“Over the last few years, there really hasn’t been a winning project at Milan. We’re mainly happy to have begun a new season without having to start from scratch yet again.”

Director Paolo Maldini is taking a more central role in organising the squad and ensuring more of a Milan identity.

“Like Sandro Tonali, I too wrote a letter as a kid asking to play for Milan. My version was to one day drive a particular car and to play in a Champions League Final for Milan against Chelsea.”

Yet it had seemed until very recently that Calabria was on the transfer market.

“The past is the past, I am not interested in that and want to focus only on the present. At the start, I was told to remain further back and defend, more of a centre-back than a full-back, but I am given more freedom to go forward now and I feel more motivated too.”

No team improved more after the lockdown than Milan and Calabria has an intriguing theory as to why they performed better behind closed doors.

“Considering many in the team are young, perhaps the absence of a crowd gave us a helping hand. We are able to communicate better on the pitch and are better organised.

“I don’t think it’s because there is less pressure, because anyone who wears this jersey is accustomed to that.”