Kalulu explains why he feels ‘very little pressure’ when doing the ‘dirty work’ for Milan

AC Milan defender Pierre Kalulu has insisted that he feels next to no pressure every time he takes to the field, describing himself as a ‘clean and elegant’ person in playing style and fashion sense.

Kalulu arrived at Milan from Lyon as a relative unknown over three years ago given that he had not yet made his senior debut for the Ligue 1 side, and he chose to try a new experience in Italy in order to better his development.

Fast forwarding to the present day, there is no doubting that the Frenchman is one of the most important players in a squad that has been constantly growing since Stefano Pioli arrived as head coach, culminating in the Scudetto win last season.

Kalulu was interviewed by NSS Sports in the fifth episode of their series ‘More Than’ which takes a deep dive into the life of players off the field as well as how they like to play their game on the pitch.

“There is a similarity between my style on the pitch and my style in dressing. As a rule, I always try to be very clean and elegant, only every now and then I try a more extravagant game, outside the box. Every now and then eh, not too much otherwise Mister Pioli gets angry (laughs),” he began (via MilanNews).

On fashion in the dressing room: “Fashion is an element that unites us because we are a group that likes to joke, even if the team always remains in first place (laughs). It is true that footballers are very focused on certain brands and on what is hype at the moment but the more I enter this world the more I understand that these are not the things that really matter.

“The style for me must be original, because it is true that a very expensive item can suit you but right now I have other priorities. In general I don’t focus too much on brands, it’s more a question of whether or not I like a certain item to buy. Lately, I have been very interested in Stussy, Our Legacy and Palace, very different brands that represent my feelings well.

“If I had not started a career as a footballer I would have liked to work in some artistic field, as a musician or as a photographer, I don’t really know how but definitely something that constantly stimulates me. I was pretty good at school too, only football was so obvious that I decided to take that path. The other side of the coin of my curiosity is that I change interest very quickly.”

More on his interest in fashion: “It’s something that has always interested me, because it belongs to my origins, but maybe I wasn’t aware of it yet. My parents came to France from Congo, which is a country extremely well known for the attention that they reserve for clothing, you can see that people pay a lot of attention to how they are dressed.

“Even my mother when I was a child constantly told me ‘be careful of this, be careful of that’, and when you are little you do not do it yet but it is true that when you grow up it is something that remains for you and now it comes naturally to me to pay attention to my clothes and details. This is why it may take me a little longer to get ready in the morning, so I have to wake up earlier to arrive at Milanello on time.”

On Milano as a city: “Now that I have discovered the city more I like it a lot, there are many things to see but it’s not too big. It’s a little old for me (laughs) but it’s really beautiful, it’s all there, it’s like a European capital. Since I am in Milan I have tried to be more and more integrated into the environment and to create my own reference tours.

“When I was still in France I loved going to the cinema, I was there once a week or even more. Now that I am in Italy it’s a bit more difficult and I’ve become more homely, but I never miss my favourite TV series.”

On Milan: “It was a great joy to arrive and win the Scudetto immediately. We are all young in the team and we don’t realise it, because when you start doing something and you succeed immediately it seems to you that that thing is very easy, but it is not like that.

“When you are a defender you have to like the dirty work and risk as little as possible but every now and then trying something more with the ball gives you a feeling of joy, but then if you succeed you are too strong and if you fail you are too scarce.”

On his impact in Italian football: “I feel very little pressure. In my opinion, the real tension, the one that blocks your stomach, you have to feel as soon as you enter the field, not before. For example, we play on Sunday at 20:45, if it’s not 20:35 I still don’t feel anything, then I get the right sensations and I get into a match atmosphere.

“When you are my age, you may not always realise it. At the same time you are already an example for a lot of people, a source of joy when you are on the pitch. Football in Italy is very important for the fans, so it is right to give your best for them. Maybe when you are Italian and you always live in Italy it is a normal thing, but if you go abroad you understand how very strong passion is.”

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