Monday October 26 2020
Kessie: 'Milan shirt like a second skin'

Ivory Coast international Franck Kessie said the Milan shirt feels ‘like a second skin’, praised the fans and claimed the Rossoneri are ‘on the right path’.

The midfielder, who arrived from Atalanta in July 2017, har established himself as a regular in the Milan line-up and been a vital member of the side that are unbeaten in 21 games across all competitions.

“We don’t set ourselves any limits,” Kessie told BBC Sport Africa. “We are on the right path and we have to carry on working like this.

“We have great enthusiasm and high spirit: we want to keep it and nourish it even more until the end of the season.”

Rumours in Italian media have linked Kessie with clubs on the continent, but the 23-year-old revealed he ‘never thought of leaving’ Milanello.

“I have never even thought of leaving the club and no one here asked me to do so,” he said. “Wearing this shirt, which is like a second skin to me, is a source of pride for me and my family.”

The Ivorian midfielder has praised coach Stefano Pioli, who have managed to turn things around at San Siro.

“The gaffer knows how to manage the group and we all feel important parts of the project,” he added. “He told me what he expected from me.

“At the beginning it wasn’t easy, but then I understood his requests and I could translate them onto the pitch.”

Milan fans followed the team to San Siro ahead of the Derby della Madonnina against Inter, and Kessie believes it helped spur the team on to a 2-1 win against the Nerazzurri.

“Our fans affection is incredible. Thousands of them drove along our bus on their mopeds to the stadium ahead of the derby.

“That was a true demonstration of love and gave us that extra energy and motivation.”

Tonight, Milan face Roma and Kessie is expected to start the match against the Giallorossi.

The Diavolo can extend their lead in Serie A to four points and Kessie feels he has a responsibility to be one of the leaders on the pitch as they try.

“I’m already a veteran of the squad and I need to lead by example,” Kessie said. “Wearing this shirt is an honour as well as a responsibility.

“We represent millions of fans around the world and we all work hard every day to bring Milan back where they belong.”