Saturday November 24 2012
Montolivo: 'Milan hit rock bottom'

Riccardo Montolivo feels Milan will learn after they “hit rock bottom” and become stronger for it against Juventus tomorrow evening.

“Let’s just say when we hit rock bottom, it did us good,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We were able to overcome the difficulties together and in situations like this a group of players emerges stronger at the end.

“Was the side suffering after so many leadership figures left? Of course you’re going to miss characters like that, but the gap must be filled. Have I filled it? It’s too early to say. I am at the disposal of the Coach and the team. I think a leader should set the example more than order people about.”

President Silvio Berlusconi visited the training ground last week and noted Montolivo reminded him of Andrea Pirlo.

“I am not worried by the head-to-head with Pirlo, because we are different players. He is more of a director of operations, while I also try to win back possession. Andrea is untouchable for all he did at Milan, so I won’t even worry about comparisons with him.”

The Rossoneri have a new superstar in their midst, as Stephan El Shaarawy is Capocannoniere despite turning 20 this month.

“Nobody expected such a strong season, not even him, but I have always liked El Shaarawy. He has pace and a real ability to split defences. He also shoots with power and precision.”

On the other hand, Alexandre Pato declared this week he wants to leave Milan in order to play more regularly.

“It is an unusual situation,” mused Montolivo. “You need patience with him, but it’s worth the wait. He is an amazing player and I have never trained with one so talented. It’d be a shame if he left.”