press-conference21 January 2021


Mario's presentation at Milanello: "I'm in great shape, willing to play in any role"

Eager to get back to playing: AC Milan have chosen Mario Mandžukić to boost their attack. An important addition to the team, both for his experience and mindset. The Croatian striker was officially introduced today after his medical and first training session with his teammates: here's what he had to say during his first press conference at Milanello:

"I'm happy to be at a Club as big as AC Milan; recently, I've been preparing for a challenge like this. Everyone knows AC Milan's history and their successes. I was really happy when I got the call from Maldini and Massara. My first impressions have been great! There's a brilliant atmosphere among the players and staff. I can feel the enthusiasm, conviction and determination; these are essential in order to be at a high level. My first impression of Stefano Pioli was also really positive. He's a great person and I like his ideas; I told him that I can play in whichever position necessary so we can win."

"The team is doing great things on the pitch and I'm ready to contribute. If I hadn't been ready, I wouldn't have accepted the offer from the Rossoneri. Don't worry, I'm in great shape because I've trained hard. I obviously need to work a bit more to be 100% and to get to know my new teammates. This is a young group but all the players want to fight and run. As a professional, I will always give my all in training and in games. I'll be happy if the younger lads follow my example."

"There's still a long way to go until the end of the season and it's a long road. But if you look at the team's performances and the way in which all the players fight on the pitch, we can and should be confident. If we play like this, it'll be easier to reach our biggest objectives. Winning the Scudetto would be massive. We need to try to reach this on the pitch, and not just with words. I prefer to work, not to talk. I'm not worried about other Clubs; I'm only thinking about AC Milan and about doing all I can in this shirt."

"Zlatan and I have a lot of experience. In football, it's important to instill fear in your opponents, to fight and to protect your team. I did also speak to Ante before I arrived; we're happy to be linking up again at AC Milan."

"Before and after the game, we're friends. During the game, they're rivals just like anybody else. I had a good relationship with Juve fans and I will always respect them for what they gave me. I also hope that Rossoneri fans can return to the stadium soon to give us and me an extra push. I don't like to talk about the past too much. Now, I just want to focus on the present."

"I don't have any particular problem with shirt numbers. I've often worn 17, but it wasn't available. 9 was free and I had worn it in the past, so that's what I chose. However, the number I wear on my back isn't important to me; the important thing is to look ahead and give your all."

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