Hat-trick hero Carlos Bacca said he promised to guide AC Milan back into European competition after rejecting a move away.
Milan kicked off their Serie A season in winning fashion, overcoming Torino 3-2 thanks to Bacca’s three-goal haul on Sunday.
The match-winning performance came on the back of an off-season fuelled by speculation linking Bacca with a San Siro departure, amid strong interest from Premier League outfit West Ham.
But Bacca reiterated his desire to help Milan return to Europe, either via the Europa League or Champions League.
“When the intermediary presented the offer, I consulted with my family and decided to stay,” Bacca told Sky Sport Italia post-match.
“It was the right thing for me to do.
“I wanted to remain because I promised I’d take Milan back into Europe.”
Bacca opened the scoring in the 38th minute, only for Torino to hit back courtesy of Andrea Belotti three minutes into the second half.
Milan, however, moved ahead again thanks to Bacca, who completed his hat-trick with two goals shortly after the hour-mark.
Daniele Baselli reduced the deficit in the 90th minute to give Torino hope, and Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma came up big for the hosts, saving a last-gasp penalty as Bacca walked away with the match ball.
“My son wanted the match ball and I’d promised to score him a hat-trick eventually, so I wanted to take the penalty and do it for him,” added Bacca, who scored from the spot in the 62nd minute after Giacomo Bonaventura was fouled inside the area.