Saturday November 21 2020
Bonera: ‘Ibra needed a break, Calha cares about Milan'

Daniele Bonera says he is happy to reunite with his former teammate Gennaro Gattuso and reveals Zlatan Ibrahimovic ‘needed a break.’

The former Rossoneri defender will replace Stefano Pioli and his assistant who have tested positive for Covid.

“I am very happy to return to Naples and find Rino as an opponent,” Bonera said at a press conference.

"He was a friend on the field and he continues to be one outside, there will be space after the game for an affectionate greeting,” he continued.

"All games are very important, I don’t see it as a final exam, I believe in the responsibility of the players, it’s just a small piece, it’s a long way before the end of the season.”

Bonera has overseen the team in Milanello this week, keeping contact with Pioli. Will the same happen on Sunday?

“I’ve never felt alone. I was always in close contact with the coach. I thank the club for what they have done on a technological level. I had carte blanche during training sessions.

“As for the game, we don’t want to create confusion. We thought of having a pre-match meeting, then if there are important things, we will have another check at the end of the first half.

“It’s going to be a tough game but we want to impose ourselves. Everyone feels well, Leao had that problem and he will be evaluated again in 10 days. Today we have a new training and tomorrow we leave for Napoli.”

Ante Rebic will start on the left to replace Leao.

"Ante is an important player, he must have a good condition for his characteristics,” said Bonera.

“We know that he is not 100% fit because the elbow problem still affects him when he moves.

"As for Ibra, he needed to have a break even mentally, he’s always presented himself as a group leader, we know his importance.

“The team has grown in terms of responsibility and culture of work. Seeing the players who came back from the national team only to say hello and do therapies has filled me with pride.”

Ibra won’t kick a penalty if Milan will have one.

"Ibra said it, I raise my hands, if he said it, it will be Franck [Kessie, to take it].”

Hakan Calhanoglu is in talks to renew his expiring contract but an agreement seems to be far away.

"We are very happy with the performance of Calhanoglu, I don’t want to speak about his contract but yesterday he made me understand that he cares about this shirt.”