Junior Messias: ‘Milan a source of pride, an honour to play with Zlatan’

Junior Messias said it’s ‘an honour’ to play with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and that joining Milan is a ‘source of pride’, whilst making himself himself available to play in any role under Stefano Pioli. ‘The coach decides’.

The 30-year-old joined Milan on a paid loan with an option to buy and stressed he will continue to work hard to earn a place in the squad.

“At Milanello, I found great players and a great coach,” Junior Messias said at a press conference. “These are the emotions you don’t get many times in life.

“I’m happy to be here and I can’t wait to wear the Milan shirt. Only talent is not enough, neither is the hard work. All together is necessary to do well at Milan.

Junior Messias has gone from a delivery job to an impressive breakthrough at top level in Italian football.

“Any kid would like to play here, for me it’s a source of pride and satisfaction. The work has paid off, the sacrifices too,” he added. “I’m happy to wear this shirt that has an impressive history.”

When asked about his preferred role in the Rossoneri team, the Brazilian said he is available to play wherever coach Stefano Pioli wants.

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“I make myself available to the coach, I will play where he wants,” the 30-year-old continued. “I was born a winger, but I also played as a second striker. Pioli will decide.

“I’m here to play like a Milan player. I don’t think about the past, I want to show that I’m ready.”

Many Brazilians have played for the Diavolo in the past and Junior Messias struggles to pick his favourite.

“It’s impossible to name just one,” he continued. “There was Dida, Cafu, Serginho and Kaka.

“But then there are the Italians too. It was a dream team, which entertained. Being Brazilian doesn’t change anything. I play football because I like it.

“The way of playing has changed, I want to give my best and do what I can do. I’m here to give my best.”

Junior Messias believes Milan are close to winning the Scudetto after finishing second in 2020-21.

“The Scudetto could have arrived last year,” he continued. “This year, even more. We have great players, and we will try.

The former Rossoblu player said he couldn’t sleep during the negotiations with the club.

“I didn’t sleep, I was waiting for news,” he added. “At 2.00 in the morning my agent called me, then I spoke to the President of Crotone, [Paolo] Maldini and [Frederic] Massara.

“I was really happy when the news arrived.”

Milan are preparing for a tough fixture list after the international break. Junior Messias looks forward to the challenges ahead, as the Rossoneri are playing against Lazio, Liverpool and Juventus in their next three games.

“I can’t wait, they will be difficult matches, but I don’t feel the pressure,” he said. “I understand that after seven or eight years, the fans were waiting for a big name.

“The club has given me confidence and I want to replay them. The pitch will do the talking, as usual, and I want to give my best.”

Junior Messias said it’s ‘an honour’ to play with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“Ibra is an example for everyone,” he continued. “Now, many are with the national team, I would like to learn from everyone, to improve.

“Zlatan is a legend and for me it’s an honour to play with him. This team already has a lot of things, not much is missing. I’ll try to bring the desire to work, trying to help make things go well.”

And the forward added he dreams of winning a major trophy with his new club.

“The dream is to win the Scudetto or the Champions League,” he said and added that he feels the time was right to join the Rossoneri. “I have improved a lot in recent years. Things have come at the right time.”