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Romagnoli: “I hope to play 200 more games at Milan – if not more, my dream is to become the strongest of all and to win and be remembered as a winner”

Alessio Romagnoli during Milan-Lille at Stadio San Siro on December 3, 2020. (Spada LaPresse)

Alessio Romagnoli spoke to Sky Italia to celebrate his 200th appearance at Milan, discussing his past, present and future.

Simon Kjær got injured in the first 10 minutes of the game against Celtic last night, so coach Stefano Pioli sent Captain Romagnoli onto the pitch.

Last night’s game, which Milan managed to win 4-2 despite being 2-0 behind, marked Romagnoli’s 200th appearance for the Rossoneri. To celebrate the occasion, the 25-year-old Diavolo captain had a special interview with Sky (as reported by Milannews.it):

On 200 games in Red and Black: “200 matches mean many things, I see them as a starting point and not as a point of arrival. I hope to play 200 more games, if not more. I’m always proud to be the Milan captain and I’ll always give my best in every match.”

On Roma: “I owe a lot to Roma, a lot. They took me as a kid and raised me, I owe a lot to Zdeněk Zeman, and he wanted me in the first team when I was very young. It was a really good experience.”

Alessio Romagnoli celebrating with Nicolás Burdisso and Francesco Totti during Roma-Genoa at Stadio Olimpico on March 3, 2013. (@imagoimages)

On his first goal in Serie A against Genoa in 2013: “My goal was very emotional, then going to hug Francesco Totti was fantastic.”

On the past as a fullback with Rudi Garcia: “I feel like a central defender. At 18 years of age I could not say no to playing as a fullback. I did well enough, it was an important experience for me and an important step in my career.”

On the experience at Sampdoria with Mihajlović: “I remember Sampdoria with great emotion, Miha was very important for me. I have to thank him because he wanted me strongly at Sampdoria and Milan, he spent a lot of money for me and he made me play even when I was making some mistakes.”

Alessio Romagnoli holding a Milan jersey after signing the contract on August 11, 2015. (@imagoimages)

On the arrival at Milan: “I said ‘yes’ at the first moment, a call from the coach was enough. All the rest was done by Galliani and by my former agent. Milan means Champions, trophies, and victories, I have always felt part of a family. I arrived very young and I’ve been here for six years and I can’t ask for anything better, it was love at first sight.”

On Nest and the #13: “Nesta for me is the great defender in history, Italian and not only. The #13 was available, I felt I could take it, without problems, very lightly.”

On the win in the Supercoppa Italiana in 2016: “The first trophy is never forgotten, over the years we could have won other ones like the Coppa Italia final we lost in extra time. I lost three finals, I hope to make up for it in the next few years. The first trophy, however, was very important.”

Alessio Romagnoli during a press conference at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah on January 15, 2019, a day before the Supercoppa Italiana final against Juventus. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

On Montella and Gattuso: “I was sorry for Vincenzo’s firing but football goes like this. Then Rino arrived, he’s a ‘real person’ like Siniša, a real man. With him came the results and the satisfactions, it was a truly fundamental year for us. That Milan was the mirror of its coach, a Milan always ready to fight.”

On the goals in the last minute in 2018 against Udinese and Genoa: “Those goals were important, they came in difficult situations and allowed us to stay in the wake of the Champions League even if it ended like it did… those were two of the best moments of my career so far.”

Alessio Romagnoli celebrating during Udinese-Milan at Stadio Friuli on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

On the captain’s armband: “We were on tour in America, Gattuso touched my arm and I immediately said ‘yes’. Bring Captain of such a glorious team at 23 can only be a source of pride. Few people wear the Milan armband, the strongest in the world have worn it and it’s a push to do better and better.”

On Pioli: “He is one of us. A person who does things in a group, he wanted so much that this group could grow. We must not stop, we are at the beginning, nothing is written. We must be good at taking advantage of the moment and doing the best possible.”

On Ibrahimović: “He added hunger for victories, mentality and goals that we were missing in the beginning.”

On the Scudetto: “Our objective is and will remain the Champions League, the league campaign is still long, and it is still too early to make predictions. We play every game to the maximum to reach the Champions League, then let’s see…”

On his character: “Off the pitch I am very calm, even timid. I like to keep things inside, I have always maintained the same friendships but in Milano I found my ideal environment.”

On his future: “I feel great at Milan, it was love at first sight. I am very happy in Milano, I have a contract until 2022 and there is still a long way to go and then we’ll see. As long as I stay here I will always give my best.”

On his personal objective: “My dream is to become the strongest of all, to win and to be remembered as a winner. Every play works for this. I aim to be a winner and to win as much as possible.”

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