AC Milan forward Junior Messias has revealed that he is ‘having a great time’ already after sealing a deadline day move to the Rossoneri.
Messias was Milan’s last signing of the summer window, and he arrives with quite a back story. The Brazilian moved to Italy in 2011 and played for Casale and Chieri, before making his debut in professional football with Gozzano only six years ago. His climb up the ladder continued as two summers ago he joined Crotone, and now it feels like a full circle of sorts.
Messias arrives as a bit of an unknown quantity to some despite the fact he played against Milan last season and scored 9 goals in Serie A. He was interviewed on Milan TV as part of their new ‘On the road’ format in partnership with the club’s official partner BMW, and his comments were transcribed by MilanNews and have been translated below.
“I’m having a great time in Milan. Now I’m looking for a house, I see where it’s most comfortable for my family. I’m happy they’re here, I’m a great support for me,” he said.
On arriving at Milanello: “It was a good experience. The Sports Centre is important and well equipped, working with the coach and with Ibra is a pleasure. I think of Dida, who is a very good person, I think of the Brazilians who played here revolutionising the game.
“Director Maldini is a legend. When I think of Milan I think of history. I saw them on television and it’s an exciting thing. Last year I did an interview and I realised I became a footballer when, having to study my opponents, I found a video about Milan.”
On his nickname: “They call me Mico, he’s a little monkey; a friend of mine gave it to me. My brothers started making fun of me, I got angry but my nickname remained.”
On his background: “I’m from Ipatinga, but I grew up in a village of 5 thousand inhabited places 5000km from Belo Horizonte. I started playing there as a winger.”
On his family’s reaction upon joining Milan: “My parents are very important to me, they educated me really well and taught me to live; I can be a bricklayer, I can be an electrician thanks to them. When I signed with Milan my parents were very happy, it was what they wanted.
“My mother is very believing and she prayed a lot. My aunt had made a prayer and told me that I would become a footballer in Europe, but I didn’t believe it anymore … Now I’m happy and it makes you understand that God really exists.”
On his faith: “Yes, it is very important for me. I always went to church when I was in Turin, on Mondays I went to clean the church. I have many friends from many countries.”
On his career in Italy: “At the beginning of my Italian career I worked, I went to make deliveries.”
On Crotone: “Crotone changed my life. I played in higher categories, I found a coach as good as Stroppa who made me grow a lot, I found a family. After 5 years, starting from Excellence in Serie A is not a normal thing. I thought that, despite being 29 years old, I can still grow.
“I care a lot about football, sport is very important to me; I always try to improve, every day I give my best. You have to sacrifice yourself, you can’t wait on the sofa for something you arrive: if you want it you have to go and get it.”
On his wife: “She has always been my support. When I feel alone, abandoned by everyone, she was there. She has always embraced me, she has always been close to me. She has given me two fantastic children: one has a intelligence out of the ordinary, the other is more active.
“I am a father who plays with them, but I am also strict because I want to teach them the values of life; I have lived in a different way, they can have everything they want, but I do not give it to them, otherwise they lose the pleasure of having things.”
On Pioli: “Pioli is a very good person, has a culture of work and has clear ideas.”
On dreams: “The main thing is to study. Then you have to believe in dreams, sacrifice yourself because life doesn’t give you anything. You have to believe in it, go on and never give up because it’s never late. I arrived at Milan at 30: in life everything is possible. I have always thought step by step and this has been my strength: when you think you can’t do it you give double what you can give.”