The time has come, and the last chapter comes to an end!
After Nestas departure, three players at the milanello decided to take the same path. The players are: Gennaro Gattuso, Filippo Inzaghi and Mark Van Bommel. Here comes the players comments and official press release:
“Thanks to all the journalists for coming. I want to thank to the club, all employees and everyone at Milanello for what have been 13 fantastic years. It was my childhood dream but life goes on and let’s hope my eye stay open (laughs). I still want to keep fighting and to show that I’m not finished as a player. For now I want to thank the club, the Berlusconi family and Adriano Galliani who showed such regard for me. But now the moment has come.”
“I’ve always said that I don’t want to be a cross to bear for anyone. The club wanted me to stay but inside myself, I felt the need to leave. The spine of the team is leaving and even though it’s not easy, you have to make choices in life. Let’s hope it’s not a mistake.”
“It’s not running away. It’s just that when you’ve given so much, you make choices. I couldn’t give anymore as a player and I felt dead inside and no longer that combative player that could give something to this club. 5 or 6 months ago I had other plans. I wasn’t hoping to get back on the pitch and the plan was to stay at the club with another role. But then things changed thanks to the medical staff and doctors. I got the desire back to play again and here I think I’ve given all I can. I never asked for a fixed place. In my way of thinking, the only certainty is death. I did bad by Leonardo, but I assumed my responsibilities and I apologized. There was still place for me here otherwise they wouldn’t have given me a contract extension.”
“I’ll leave at Milanello what Maldini and Costacurta left for me. Now there’s only Ambrosini left. I really regret the stupid things I did with Joe Jordan and Leonardo. I hope that the reputation for respect continues however, as it’s a part of the culture at the club and I hope it won’t die.”
“To the players who stay here I say, when you put on this jersey, you need to win. I don’t forget that 4 months ago I was 5 kg overweight because of the cortisone. I wasn’t in good enough shape to play and it was a miracle that I made it on the pitch. I could feel inside myself that the time had come and after watching Nesta’s press conference I knew the moment had come because a cycle had finished.”
“I hope the club will build a competitive side but we can’t forget that economically it’s a tough time. Knowing the people involved though, I know they’ll do all they can.”
“I have 60 people who work for me, I have a wide and two children and I have to decide with my wife what to do in the future. She’s the family captain. I have offers. My dream is to play for Glasgow Rangers who gave me the chance to play when I was a no one from Salerno. My wife’s mother lives alone in Glasgow and it would be nice to go back for a year. It would be my heart’s choice, a sign of affection for those who made me into a ‘half’ player, even if I know it wouldn’t be easy.”
“For me Carlos Ancelotti was a coach, a friend, a father and a lover in football terms. I used to joke that they should put his statue in Milanello alongside Nereo Rocco because he was a great man in those years and raised the bar at the club. He wasn’t just a coach, he was an emblem of the club and when you took to the pitch, you did it for him. He used to day: “You get on the pitch and I’ll make you win”. He used to plan the matches with a cigarette in his mouth, incredible.”
“I can’t forget last year with Allegri, we had a great campaign and he gave me the chance to play. We’re talking about two people completely different. Ancelotti knew the environment and it was a much simpler changing room than now.”
“My team mates were a bit disappointed. I didn’t speak to anyone about this decision. It was something that was boiling inside of me for a month and a half, and it was right to speak first with the club and then the players. They’ve put up with me in these past few years. I can be a heavy personality, I’m Calabrese…
“I would never join Inter or Juventus for the love of the club that I have and they wouldn’t want me anyway, but I definitely wouldn’t go.”
“On Monday I’ll start a four week training course and I plan to do the second and third parts of the course as well.”
“After the loss to Liverpool in 2005, I had nightmares for 5 or 6 months. The best win was in 2003. Beating Inter in the semi final and Juventus in the final was big for Italian football.”
Everything that you’re about to read is secondary to this. The first and foremost thing that I want you all to know is I played and won for “us”. Playing and winning without sharing the emotion is nothing, but you and me, us, we did it all together. We hoped, suffered, celebrated and rejoiced. We lifted cups and won titles together in our hearts. We have always been on the same wavelength. And no one can ever take that away from us.
Dear Milan fans, when I got to the club you didn’t know this. I was in a hotel room and couldn’t leave so as not to compromise the negotiations between Juventus and Milan. The first weeks, the first months, you studied me and we watched each other.
Then we fell in love. That evening against Torino. You were angry, things weren’t going well on the field and you were in silence. I started warming up and the roar you gave me made us win the match, pushing us into the Champions League and towards that final in Manchester. These memories as well as all those who consoled me in the difficult months of 2004 and 2005 and the shivers down the spine that we felt on 9 August 2006, my birthday against Stella Rossa will always be in the bedside drawer of my heart.
Athens. Football given to us for one reason: me and you, us, we wanted is so strongly, so intensely that it had to be given. Of course the reality went beyond our wildest dreams. 2 goals, against Liverpool, 2 years after Istanbul, the seventh Champions League. Destiny gave us more than we had dared hope.
Today I would like to thank with affection and emotion President Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani: their electricity and their ability to transmit emotion for me made me stronger and pushed me beyond any and all limits. But I also want to give a thought to those who, from the youth sector to all the wonderful clubs that I’ve played for, helped me to become the man and the player that I am today.
Thank you Milan, thank you football. Allow me to call you my own, the people of Via Turati, from Milanello to the offices to the phone operators to the warehouse workers, the physiotherapists, the doctors, the cooks, from the stadium to the changing room. All the people who saw me on Sunday with the short sleeves and shook with the hope that I would score. Ciao Carlo Ancelotti, I won a lot with you. Ciao to my wonderful fans who followed me the world over with affection and passion. Ciao to my team mates from today and yesterday.
Last of all allow me to thank my family, my mother Marina, my father Giancarlo, Simone and Tommaso. I never would have got here without you. You’re my strength. My dear Milan, I’m leaving you only because that the way life goes. The moment has come and you know it as well.
Ciao and thanks to everyone.
“I’ll leave Milan for PSV. I may come back as a coach, who knows? This is life, and life goes on. When i first came to Milan everyone told me that Milan is like a family and I’ve realised that. Thank You Forza Milan.
Down under an emotional video of Mark Van Bommels farewell follows:
Thank you for everything Guys and good look with your new adventures.
Avanti Milan, Milano siamo noi!