Thursday December 3 2020
Donati: 'Milan mentally ahead of Celtic'

Former Milan and Celtic midfielder Massimo Donati said the Rossoneri have a ‘mental’ advantage ahead of the Europa League clash at San Siro tonight.

The 39-year-old moved to Celtic from Milan in July 2007 and won the League and the League Cup during two seasons with the Scottish giants.

Donati, who only played 27 competitive games for the Diavolo after his move from Atalanta in July 2001, thinks the Diavolo are favourites against Neil Lennon’s men tonight.

"It's hard to say. Mentally, Milan are very good right now,” Donati told the Italian Football podcast. “They are top of the league, every player is very confident.

"Celtic are the opposite, they are not having very good results and the pressure is on and there are some rumours. So mentally Milan are ahead but it is still a game.

"In the first game this season, Milan dominated the first part of the game but after Neil Lennon made some changes Celtic then were the better team.

"Celtic just have to play as if they have nothing to lose, push and run and then they can do a very good game."

Donati, who retired after a short stint with St Mirren in 2018, revealed he didn’t get along with former coach Gordon Strachan but admitted he ‘made a mistake’ when he moved back to Italy in August 2009.

"Because sometimes people in life make mistakes and I made a mistake. It's simple.

"My family and my wife were a bit homesick. My two children were born in Glasgow. The second season I had wasn't the best, I had a few problems with Gordon Strachan.

"But you make decisions, you think 'I have two young kids, maybe we should go back to the family', but I wasn't sure about this, but I said this to the club.

"In the third season, Tony Mowbray took over as coach. And honestly, he loved me, he said to me that I could play in midfield or defence. I left the club on August 29th, but at the start of the season I had played every game for Celtic and even scored a goal against Arsenal in the Champions League.

"Tony said to me: 'Why do you have to go? Why do you have to go?

"In my mind I was torn and thought: 'What should I do? What should I do?'...But then an offer came from Bari, and the club accepted the offer. So, I left."