Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Deulofeu inspired by Ronaldinho as he aims to reach Champions League with AC Milan

SoccerNews in Serie A 11 Feb 2017

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Gerard Deulofeu has described Brazil great Ronaldinho as his idol as he aims to revitalise his career with AC Milan.

The 22-year-old joined from Everton last month on a loan deal that lasts until the end of the season, having fallen out of favour under Ronald Koeman at Goodison Park.

His time at San Siro has started in encouraging fashion, with the former Barcelona winger having set up Mario Pasalic’s winning goal that gave nine-man Milan a 1-0 win away to Bologna on Wednesday.

Deulofeu says he already feels at home at the club and is looking to follow in the footsteps of former Barca and Milan star Ronaldinho and help the club reach the Champions League.

“I think Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo are fantastic, but my idol is Ronaldinho,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m inspired by the creativity and joy he brought to the game. Seeing him play was like happiness itself.

“I’m not thinking about the future. I am focused on the present and my mind is entirely on Milan.

“I came here because Milan showed a great deal of interest in me and is one of the most famous clubs in the world. When I was a kid at Barcelona, I watched their Champions League games with Milan on TV. I could always sense the aura this club had.

“The idea of playing in the Champions League – or even just in Europe – with Milan is wonderful but, as I’ve said, we can’t look too far into the future.

“It is gratifying to know I arrived here right at the moment this club is recovering from a bad patch. It’s exciting to be here right now and I want to be clear that I wouldn’t have come to Milan if there wasn’t a clear and ambitious project I could feel a part of.

“I’m only on loan but I already feel that this club is mine. I want to play as much as possible and make my contribution.

“I am very proud to have come through the Barcelona academy and that the Blaugrana have an option on me for the future, but I cannot live forever thinking about being tied to Barca.”

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