NEW AC MILAN SIGNINGS UNVEILED: Luca Antonelli, Salvatore Bocchetti, Mattia Destro, and Gabriel Paletta


(IN THE PHOTO: the players hold aloft the jersey) MILAN- This is what was said by the club’s new signings during the press conference at Casa Milan on Thursday:

“I want to thank Genoa because they helped me develop. The negotiations ended on Saturday night and I take the chance to say good-bye to the Genoa fans now. Milanello is the best training complex in the world. Inzaghi is a prepared coach and we will always give 110% for him. Help Milan achieve a second star? (a star is assigned for every 10 Italian titles. Milan have currently won 18 Italian titles, editor’s note). It would be a dream. My dad was very happy for me (Luca’s father played for Milan and helped Milan win a historic tenth Scudetto in 1979, editor’s note.) just like the rest of my family. I cannot ask for any more than this.” 

“I feel like I am in a big family. I am very happy. The welcome has been fantastic and I thank my team-mates for making me feel at ease right away. I wasn’t lucky with my experience in Russia, but I am now here and my only goal is to do well here. My first priority is to do well with Milan and the Italian national side will come as a consequence. I want to do well here to then go and play again for the Italian national side. I will have more chances to be watched here compared to Russia, but like I said before, a call-up to the Italian national side will come after doing well with Milan. I think there is an extraordinary group of players here.” 

“Milan is Milan and there was nothing to be convinced about. I have a big desire to do well and I think this is the right club for me to show that and achieve that. I couldn’t believe it and I was very moved when Galliani came directly to my home. I want to give everything for this side. I arrive with the right spirit, but above all, with the desire to show all of my qualities. I want to help the side and I will give my all. The gesture from Galliani was what convinced me the most. He’s an important director in the world of football and I am very proud. Milan have had many stars in attack. If I could achieve half of what they have achieved, I would be very happy. The national team is also important for me. I have the chance to show what I can do and my qualities to convince Conte to call me up. The group is very united and a great one. We simply have to work and to win. What pushed me to accept Milan and leave Roma? When Milan come calling it’s always hard to resist. I wanted to join a big club and this is a huge source of pride. I would prefer not to talk about Roma. I am a Milan player and I only want to do well here.”  

“We have to work in all areas. I have to learn the defensive movements of the team and do exactly what the coach asks of me. I knew a lot of these players from the Italian national team and they have all welcomed me brilliantly. We all want to give the team a hand. I haven’t got a specific role model in defence. I watch all of them and try and take the best aspects from each one. I haven’t spoken to coach Inzaghi about the World Club Final! (Paletta was in the Boca Juniors team that played against Milan in 2007 in that final. Paletta marked Inzaghi that day and during that final which was won by Milan, editor’s note).” 

“The difference between England and here is that there is more focus on tactics and technique. In England you also work a bit more on the physical aspect. But in the end, football is a universal language. I chose Milan because it is similar to Liverpool. They are both clubs with a big tradition and Milan was an excellent choice for me. I have the chance to do well and I would like to make history with this great club. I have to adapt though to a lot of new things. With time I will understand what the coach wants. It’s obvious that everyone wants to play. Every time the coach needs me I am available.” 

“Welcome to these new players. We strongly wanted them and they have now joined. I have no regrets over the transfer market activity and we have reached our objectives. We are very pleased. We were very keen on bringing Destro to the club. We wanted a centre-forward and we wanted Destro. We tracked him as of last summer. I went to Rome and then he asked for a night to think it over. It’s a shame we don’t have him this weekend (Destro will be suspended for the match away to Juventus, editor’s note). In the last year and a half Destro has scored 18 goals from 36 matches. He’s a good finisher and is what we were looking for. We chose Italian players because there is a precise desire on the behalf of the President Berlusconi to do so and which the President will talk about in the following months. It’s not just by chance. There have been many new arrivals also in part to the injuries. Up until December we were doing very well and had few injuries. We have 10/11 players injured and 2 suspended. I believe we have an important squad, but I don’t know where we will finish. Up until the 14th of December our form was good enough for Champions League qualification. We dropped off terribly in January. Last year we struggled against the bigger teams but picked up points against the smaller teams. This year the opposite is happening. The injuries have also played their part. Antonelli came through our youth sector he’s played for several Italian clubs and he’s now come home. Today we had a meeting about the stadium and it would be wonderful to be able to look out at Casa Milan and see the stadium. It’s a dream that I hope can come true. Suso is very young and we’ve been tracking him since he became a European Champion with the Spain youth side. He’s starting out in his career and is part of the talented generation of Spanish players. We must give him time. Third place? I don’t want to comment. Every time I speak about it we seem to trip up. So, head down and let’s work hard. We shall see whether the President will give an official communication about Milan’s philosophy. Mexes will come back when he has served his suspension. Mexes is also resolving a knee issue. We haven’t agreed anything with Munoz. There is no commitment to Munoz. Renewals? This is something we will talk about at the end of the season. No one here has ever thought that Inzaghi won’t stay if he doesn’t qualify for Europe. He has a contract for next year. There are 17 games to go and let’s look forwards and try and do well. I struggle to understand this side. It started really well, and did so right until December. We thought we were on the up but I cannot understand what happened in January”