Chelsea defender on loan Fikayo Tomori talks about life in Italy and his ambition to win a trophy at AC Milan | Football news
“I’m just happy to come back and play, and in the thick of it, which is the most important. Coming here I think one of the goals personally was to come back on the pitch and try to win a trophy. , that would be amazing. “
Refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to be an important player for AC Milan this season, Fikayo Tomori was full of energy and happiness as he discussed life in Milan.
Tomori only made three appearances in all competitions for Chelsea before sealing a move to San Siro for the remainder of the season.
And the 23-year-old has already surpassed that total for AC Milan in just three weeks since joining and he’s already adjusting and, more importantly, enjoying his Italian adventure.
“I definitely feel a part of it and I feel it. I try to make the most of the experience, to try to improve myself, to learn the language, to understand the language,” said Tomori. Sky Sports News.
“It’s a lot more tactical here, there’s a lot more thinking and a lot more position awareness,” said Tomori.
“In England the game is much faster. Like when a goalkeeper catches a ball and then suddenly forwards and wingers are bombarding the pitch, here it’s a bit more structured and a bit slower.
“There are a lot more cases where you are 1 on 1 and you have to know where the ball is, where you need to stand at a specific point in time relative to the ball. That kind of thing is different and it takes time. to get used to.”
‘It was a dream come true’
The way Tomori talks about Milan – you can tell he appreciates but isn’t fazed by the weight of history and expectations wearing the famous Rossoneri jersey.
Tomori officially joined the Italian squad on January 22 and just four days later he made his debut in one of the greatest derbies in world football, the Milan Derby in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.
“I didn’t think I would make my Milan derby debut. Before the game I thought about all the times you see AC Milan vs Inter Milan on TV,” said Tomori.
“In England it’s always been a big game, and making my debut in that game at San Siro was a dream come true.
“Even driving to the stadium I saw supporters with massive flags and you see them singing and waving their hands – you could feel the passion entering the game.
“When I was asked to warm up I found myself a little nervous and not really getting nervous, but seeing the red and black and blue and black stripes, it was amazing.”
Inter Milan won the quarter-final 2-1, but Tomori is already looking forward to the league rematch this weekend with Inter leading the Rossoneri by one point.
“Heading into Saturday’s game, both teams are first and second in the league at crucial times – it will be an intense game.
“The only thing with the coronavirus is that the fans can’t be in the stadium, but hopefully we can take the win and get back to the top of the table.”
Maldini and Zlatan
Tomori’s decision to join AC Milan was an easy one. That’s not to say leaving Chelsea was easy, but once the opportunity arose, the young defender’s eagerness to play for the famous Rossoneri along with the opportunity to play more games helped him to to decide.
But there was also a special phone call from the great San Siro if he needed more persuasion to take the step.
You may have heard of him. AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini – but better known, a legendary defender who represented Milan for 25 years, winning seven Serie A titles and five European Cup / Champions League titles along the way.
Tomori explained, “I was at home and my agent asked me about the call and I was like ‘yeah, what time, what time is it going to be?’
“It was a surreal moment, it was nothing heavy but rather seeing how I was as a person, and showing up in Milan, I felt he wanted me to come and that m ‘made more eager to come. “
Two years after Maldini’s retirement, AC Milan won their last major trophy and this year it looks like their best chance to get the Scudetto back. If they want to do so, a player who will be essential to any title accusation will be the eternal Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“He’s been great to me, he’s got a great personality and he’s a legend of the game. He’s a leader and you hear his voice on the pitch, in training and it’s not bad, everything is. in a motivating and encouraging way, “says Tomori.
“To reach the levels he needs to reach… you can see it in the way he talks and the way he plays.
“I’ve only been here three weeks, but you can see he’s focused, determined and driven – seeing it up close and different from what we see on social media is really fascinating.”
Off the pitch, despite the coronavirus pandemic, Tomori was able to see some parts of the new city he now calls home at short notice, but also admitted that it had been difficult to move countries at such a time. hard.
But it’s easy to forget, this young man is only 23 years old and having been involved with Chelsea since the age of eight, it was understandable if a move abroad, especially under the circumstances, was a little intimidating.
“Personally, I’ve always liked the idea of living in a different country, it wasn’t really a mental shock, I always thought it would be good,” said Tomori.
“I appreciate it, obviously I don’t see my family as much but luckily we have FaceTime so I can keep in touch.”
So what’s next for Fikayo Tomori? As a young center-back, he grew up watching legendary AC Milan teams including Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta.
It’s legendary players like them that Tomori wants to emulate this season as AC Milan look to win their first Serie A title since the 2010-11 season, and their first trophy since 2016-17 and that’s only if you want to count the Supercoppa Italiana.
“I try to make the most of the experience, to improve myself, to learn the language and to understand the language,” said Tomori.
“I was greeted with open arms and I feel comfortable with the team and there is still a long way to go in the season and I hope we can do something special so that all of our names are in the history books. “
AC Milan is encouraging fans around the world to fill their San Siro stadium by purchasing virtual tickets, with all profits going to charity. You can find out more about the initiative here.