When AC Milan beat their arch-rivals Juventus in the final of Super Cup in Doha last Friday, it was a very special moment for every supporter of the Rossoneri, as it ended a five-year trophy-less period for the Italian giants.
But for AC Milan captain Riccardo Montolivo it was even more special, as he celebrated his first ever trophy at senior level. An unbelievable record for a player who has always been regarded as one of the best midfielders in Serie A from the moment he rose to prominence at Atalanta.
Unfortunately, the 31-year-old midfielder didn’t take part in the match due to a knee ligaments injury he picked up during a match with the Italian national team in October.
We have met with the Rossoneri captain in Doha during a special event organized by Diesel, the official style partners of AC Milan as they unveiled the new non-playing uniform of the Italian giants, and here is what he said:
First of all, how is your recovery going?
“I am recovering very well, it’s a long term injury and I have to be patient, I need more or less three more months, maybe I will be back in spring.”
I see you are already wearing the new Diesel-designed uniform, what is your first impression?
“I really like it, it’s a revolution, a positive shock we can say, because we are used to wear formal suits like most teams around the world, and now we are wearing casual suits. The most important thing is that it is very comfortable as we travel a lot. The partnership with Diesel was a good idea, and I think we will see more positive things coming out of it in the future.”
Is it your first visit to Qatar? Did you enjoy your time in Doha?
“Yes, the welcoming was very good, the city is so modern, I was not surprised as I know this part of the world, and I have been to Dubai and Abu Dhabi before.”
And what do you think about the fact that the World Cup will be organized here in 2022?
“It is a great idea to bring the tournament to this part of the world for the first time. I do not know if I will still be playing by that time, but it is a revolutionary idea to organize the tournament in winter. For the players it won’t be easy to change the 2022-23 season calendar, but it might be nice for a change, and of course for the people who live in this region.
You are spending your sixth season with AC Milan, describe to us the feeling of playing in San Siro?
“AC Milan is an international team, one of the biggest teams in the world, the passion for the team is like no other, and there is nothing like playing in San Siro, the best stadium in the world, especially when it is full in a Champions League matche against another big team like Barcelona. The atmosphere is incredible”.
Riccardo Montolivo – Fact Sheet
- He started his career with Atalanta where he made his name as one of the brightest young talents in the world.
- At the age of 20, he moved to Fiorentina where he continued to prove his undisputed talent, winning the Italian young player of the year award in 2007, a year that also saw him make his senior debut for the national team.
- After more than 200 Serie A appearances with the “Viola” and a second place finish with Italy at EURO 2012, Montolivo made the move to AC Milan where he quickly replaced the departed Mauro Ambrosini as the team captain, an honor that will put him in history alongside legends like Gianni Rivera, Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini in the club’s history.
- His new role at Milan came at a difficult time. The Club went through a transitional period, following a number of poor transfers and a frequent change of managers since the departure of Massimiliano Allegri. But things look different this season for the Rossoneri, with the arrival of their new coach, Vincenzo Montella, as they are mounting a serious challenge for a UEFA Champions League spot.
- Montolivo represented Italy in all age categories, U-15, U-18, U-19, U-21 and U-23.
- He was part of the Azzuri squads in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2012 European Championship, the 2009 and 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Career in numbers
13 seasons in Serie A
1 Season in Serie B
27 goals/359 appearances in Serie A
AC Milan 7/108
2 goals/64 caps with the Italian national team