Sunday July 29 2012
Montolivo: 'Milan still strong'

Riccardo Montolivo is celebrating Milan’s win over Chelsea and insists the team has “not been weakened” by summer departures.

The midfielder was a substitute and played in front of the defence during last night’s 1-0 friendly victory in Miami.

“It doesn’t seem to me that Milan are struggling,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva were sold.

“Of course we have lost two phenomenal players, but the club was strong before Thiago and Ibrahimovic, was strong with them and will get back to the top even without them.”

Montolivo joined on a free transfer from Fiorentina and has a clear message for Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“Where do I see myself at Milan? I can say where I don’t see myself – as a trequartista. Milan were in my destiny. I could’ve gone into their youth academy at the age of six, but my parents thought I was too young and that it was better to stay closer to home. That’s why I grew up in the Atalanta system, even though my father supported Milan.

“I had seven wonderful years at Fiorentina, five of them with great football. I take with me a sense of recognition for the Della Valle family, who allowed me to reach a high level, and of course my rapport with the fans.”

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