Christian Pulisic joins AC Milan still challenging about his record at Chelsea and deeply frustrated by a lack of faith and enough chances given to him at Stamford Bridge, but ambitious and committed to winning Serie A and the Champions League with he Rossoneri.
Asked in an exclusive interview with ESPN at Casa Milan by the club’s imposing headquarters, Pulisic if he should have been given a fairer and more regular chance to prove himself, said: “Of course there were definitely times where I wish I had. could get that.” much more of an opportunity and I’ve been ‘that guy’, but that’s not the case. I’m very proud of what I achieved at Chelsea, winning important cup finals, being on the pitch and helping my team, Champions League, Super Cup, everything.
“I think I had great moments at Chelsea. I learned a lot as a player and grew a lot, but now I am fully ready for this brilliant challenge at AC Milan.
“I remember playing here at the San Siro in the Champions League (a 2-0 Chelsea win in October) and I couldn’t believe my eyes before the game started when the fans were just singing and shouting. The atmosphere was absolutely electric. “I’ve never experienced anything like it. I think AC Milan, playing at the San Siro, could be the best place in the world when there’s a big game.”
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“I’m very excited, now, to be home to such brilliant support and to be a part of all this. The Milan fans have already been impressive, it’s unbelievable. Every place I’ve been seems to have fans.” waiting there; it just shows you the passion and culture of this city and what this club means to them. They’ve definitely gone ‘above’ so far.”
The Rossoneri, about to celebrate their 125th anniversary, have won 18 FIFA and UEFA trophies, more than any other Italian club. Only Real Madrid have won more Champions League than Milan.
Pulisic, 24, will become the first US-born man to start for this immensely famous club, Champions League semi-finalists last season and Italian champions the season before. However, his stance is that the opportunities in the immediate future far outweigh making history due to his unique status. He is also very clear that working in street and ultra-tactical Serie A will directly benefit the quality and maturity of his performances for the US Men’s National Team.
Pulisic, the player of the tournament when the USMNT won the Concacaf Nations League by beating Mexico 3-0 and Canada 2-0 in June, told ESPN: “I’m proud to be an AC Milan player, no matter what. where I am or be unique This club has won titles throughout its history and while I’m obviously looking forward to representing my country and being the first kid from the US to come here and make a big impact [Oguchi Onyewu came on for a 30-minute cameo in his single Milan appearance, and Netherlands-born Sergino Dest played intermittently on loan last season]the key fact is that I am here to help AC Milan continue to win trophies.
“As far as the US team is concerned, this experience is just a great opportunity to learn and grow as a soccer player. Playing in a new league is a challenge that will test me.”
“When those big international moments come around, starting with the Copa América next summer, I will have a lot more experience in battles. I see earning my place and performing well for AC Milan as a great opportunity to step up.” go up and go to another level as a player”.
After a brief vacation in Palm Beach, life has turned into a whirlwind for the player born in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He will be training for the first time with (mostly) new teammates under a manager eager to see his new signing in action. Then a tour of the United States, playing Real Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona in Los Angeles; Pasadena, Calif.; and Vegas. Even the whiff of the first Milan derby is only nine weeks away.
Fortunately, there are a number of reasons for you to adapt quickly. The most hearty of which is his beloved grandmother, Johanna DiStefano.
A woman from Brooklyn, whom the young Pulisic absolutely adored, considered herself a proud Italian.
“Yes, I think my grandmother would definitely be more proud to see me do this, sign for the best Italian club, so it’s a great feeling,” Pulisic said. “I’m really honored to be here to play for a club as storied as this and to play in Italy. She’s definitely looking down on me right now and she’s proud.”
When Pulisic was at Borussia Dortmund and his grandfather’s Croatian heritage became a central issue, DiStefano strongly urged his talented grandson to proclaim his Italian lineage.
“Oh yeah, she let everyone know that she was Italian, in fact, that she was Sicilian,” Pulisic said. “That was her claim to fame. She definitely cooked us amazing Italian food. I miss those meals, so she was a big part of my life, and yes, we miss her a lot too. My dad, her son, has an Italian flag tattooed on him. on his forearm, so I guess it’s funny how all of that works. Now Italy is a big part of my life.”
Pulisic reveals pride in his Italian roots after signing from AC Milan
Christian Pulisic opens up about how proud his grandmother would have been of him after signing for AC Milan.
There are more practical road maps to the new Milan star, who was mobbed by fans waiting at Malpensa airport when he arrived, quickly fitting in.
He speaks Spanish quite well, a clear interpretive guide to understanding much more Italian while learning the new language. He also loved the extended briefing Milan manager Stefano Pioli gave him long before the contracts were signed.
As a bonus, he knows, and has been in contact with, several members of the Rossoneri team. Pulisic shared the Stamford Bridge dressing room with Olivier Giroud, Fikayo Tomori and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Pioli, the coach who in 2022 gave Milan its first league title since 2011, not only informed Pulisic about his potential role in the team, but persuaded him to sign.
“The manager really made me feel that he wanted me here… that he wanted me to be a part of this team and that he saw me fitting in,” Pulisic said of Pioli. “That’s precisely what I wanted to hear. Obviously I just want a fair chance like everyone else, I still need to earn my place of course, but I felt like they really wanted me here. When I show good effort, good attitude every day and train Well, I’m going to get a chance to go out there and perform.
“Coach Pioli explained to me that the reason they want me is because I am a very direct and creative player. That is something they specifically want.”
Nor have they lacked the encouragement of their new teammates.
“I’ve been talking to all the former Chelsea guys,” Pulisic said. “Obviously [Giroud] and I had a great relationship at our last club and we had a good time together. We scored a lot of goals together and he definitely convinced me to come here.
Pulisic takes a tour of the iconic history of Milan
Graham Hunter takes Christian Pulisic for a walk through his new club’s rich trophy history.
“He spoke to me precisely about how big the club is and that AC Milan is a place where I can really flourish as a player. But I have spoken with [Tomori], [Loftus-Cheek], all those guys. I’ve only heard good things, so I’m really excited to start here, and it’s nice to see some familiar faces.”
The last time ESPN sat down with Pulisic was in London, shortly after his influential and exciting World Cup performance. He spoke passionately about his faith, his belief that there is a predestined path to his life, and his ability to overcome challenges.
Now, possibly, there is an even greater feeling of fate.
“It’s still very true that I trust the path I’m on. I know [God] he is always looking out for me, and although there have been many difficult moments in my career, I would not be where I am today without him. So I just trust. I trust that everything happens for a reason and there is definitely a plan for me.”
The next part of the plan begins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on July 23 against the mighty Real Madrid. Go ahead.