An AC Milan player has revealed the identity of his own Messi and it is not the Argentine …
Fikayo Tomori has the same desire to impress Milan legend Paolo Maldini as any striker would to win the favor of Lionel Messi.
The center-back is desperate to make his mark at San Siro, where Maldini – widely regarded as the greatest defender of all time – is the technical director.
Maldini’s rich career has seen him win seven Serie A titles and five European Cups, with 126 Italian caps to his name.
And Tomori believes such achievements put Maldini on a par with Barcelona superstar Messi.
“Having Maldini in charge of the technical field is like dealing with Messi as the sporting director of a striker,” the 23-year-old told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “You want to impress her every day.”
Milan have the option of buying Tomori and he has certainly made his home and Italian top-flight home since joining, with Serie A offering a generous learning curve.
“I was a little surprised to immediately enter the hearts of Rossoneri fans, but it makes sense given the character of the people here,” said Tomori. “It was easy to settle in, they were all very nice.
“Serie A is like a university for defenders. I’m growing up and learning all I can.”
Stefano Pioli’s side are six points behind Inter in the Scudetto race, but Tomori refuses to give up hope.
The Rossoneri have 10 games to play while their rivals have one game in hand.
“The gap with Inter is big, but I don’t see why we shouldn’t believe it before the end,” he said. “Coming back to the Champions League is a great goal.
“But as a player you have to think about the big goal, and we know we can do something special.”
Speculation about Tomori’s future continues to grow, but he doesn’t want to be distracted by discussions about his future.
“The goal is to be among the best in the world in my role, as quickly as possible,” added Tomori. “I work for this every day.”