Christian Pulisic reveals it was “love at first sight” with AC Milan fans
The USMNT captain spoke to Italian media about his time in his new surroundings, as well as his dream of scoring in the derby against Inter.
American winger Christian Pulisic has spoken to Italian media outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of AC Milan’s clash against city rivals Inter.
The forward spoke about the San Siro atmosphere, his new teammates, the aim for the season and living in Italy and speaking Italian.
“It was love at first sight for me too, especially when I saw the fans. I had never found a passion like this”, Pulisic said when asked about the positive reception he has received from the fans despite only featuring a few times for the club.
San Siro “one of the most impressive” stadiums in the world
When asked about two standout moments, Pulisic recounted “the first match, in Bologna, was a great evening” as well as “the warm-up of the first match at San Siro, as I was walking I raised my head and saw all those fans. Beautiful. I have played in some of the best stadiums in the world but San Siro is one of the most impressive. I also remember the atmosphere arriving at the stadium as an opponent, against Chelsea. It was incredible.”
AC Milan’s next opponents, Inter Milan, beat them in last year’s Champions League semi-final over two legs (0-2 and 1-0) and now they face each other once again, this time in the league. “The team is strong and it’s difficult to play against them” Pulisic said, “as the Champions League final also shows. If I had to choose one quality, I would say that they know how to defend very well with a low block and at the same time they have the quality to score goals on the counter-attack.”
Pulisic “can’t wait to play the derby and the Champions League”
On his dream for the derby the forward simply said “scoring goals, like for every forward”. He continued: “Or to provide an assist, which is always nice. I want to play the derby and the Champions League, I can’t wait. We started off great, I know we will do the best we can and I want to win, which is always there in the end.”
Napoli were league champions last season, romping to the title and winning it by 16 points. Milan, for their part, came 4th, 20 points behind. “We are confident about the Scudetto, we have strong players”, Pulisic, when asked if his side can win the league, something they last did in the 2021/22 season, said “excellent players have arrived, there is a great mix of talent. We can win, we just have to keep working and playing like this.”
Moving from London to Milan surely brings with it a certain culture shock, but Pulisic was positive about the change, saying that “the culture here is very different than in London, in some things in Italy the pace is slower and I really like this thing that I can have the sun every day. The Italians… well, they don’t speak English that well but they are very kind, they always help me, they are very friendly. I want to be more open, more extroverted, speak in Italian perhaps. Italy will help me.”
“Tough” Pioli “harsh” with opinions, says Pulisic
His new coach, Stefano Pioli, was labelled as “tough at times” by Pulisic. “He tells you his opinion of him harshly and I like that, it’s what I look for in a coach. I like that he says what he thinks.”
The USMNT captain still takes inspiration from his compatriots in other sports, and name-checked “Aaron Rodgers” when talking about his inspiration, “even though I’m biased, the Jets also have Sauce Gardner and Breece Hall. In basketball, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James.”