AC Milan’s new signing Malick Thiaw has revealed some of the strengths he thinks he will bring to the team and outlined how his adaptation is going so far.
Thiaw’s arrival was one that seemed to be done and dusted within a fee hours news of an agreement first broke after Milan’s game against Bologna the weekend before last.
Stefano Pioli even shared his thoughts on the centre-back at the time, and then Thiaw arrived in Italy before undergoing the medical tests and signing his contract with the club the day before the transfer window shut.
Today was the day of Thiaw’s unveiling press conference at Milanello during which he spoke about the feeling of being a Milan player and the trust of Paolo Maldini, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.
When you were growing up as a boy and as a player, how did you view Milan?
“I started playing very early on the street, football is a passion and I made it a profession. Being here gives me great happiness, personal pride and honour.”
What are your targets for this season?
“I always set myself goals, I’m ambitious. Being here is already a great result, but I want to keep growing. I know I have the best coaches here, excellent teammates to grow in every training session, learning the local culture and playing more. matches possible.”
What kind of defender are you?
“I think I’m a strong player: I’m good at tackling, in aerial duels, in moving the ball and I have a physique that helps me.”
What kind of defender are you?
“I think I’m a strong player. I’m good at tackling, in aerial duels, in moving the ball and I have a physique that helps me.”
In front of you is the emblem of defenders, Paolo Maldini…
“He is a great icon. Milan have always had excellent defenders like Maldini and Nesta; at the time I was not a defender and I also followed Ronaldinho and Kakà, but in recent years I have followed several Serie A matches and I know them well enough.”
Milan have bought you outright, is this an important sign of trust in you?
“I want to express my thanks for the formula: I am very grateful for the five-year contract. But it’s just the beginning: I have to prove my worth in every match, but the contract is already a sign of recognition for me.”
Is there a team-mate you’ve bonded most since you arrived?
“They are all excellent team-mates, with my English I manage well and there is Kjaer who speaks German.”
How are you finding it with Pioli?
“For me it is all new. They are intense training sessions, not very long, but full of tactics. I have only recently been here, but I have already learned a lot; it is different than what is done in Germany, here I can learn a lot.”
Do you have a reason why Pioli should include you in the Champions League squad in the future?
“I think that it is not enough to find a convincing reason, but to offer a whole quality package that I will try to show off. I will try to show aggression, my strength, putting myself at the service of the team to try to convince the coach to join me, from January, in the list.”
Milan followed and tried to sign you even before the summer transfer window…
“It’s a nice confirmation. There were already meetings in winter that had not been successful for various reasons, then other phone calls… I see it as a confirmation of the good things I did on the pitch and in training with Schalke 04.”
On Saturday you went to San Siro for the derby. What impression did you get?
“I made my debut at San Siro against the worst opponent in a match that has enormous value. It was an extreme experience, in a sold out stadium… Without detracting from the Schalke 04 fans it was a huge experience for me. It was a good omen since we played so well in the derby.”
Can you tell us exactly how your surname is pronounced?
“My surname is said as ‘ciao’ in Italian, but my mates call me Malick.”