Tomori: ‘Italy deserved to win EURO 2020, no pressure to justify my price tag’

Fikayo Tomori believes Italy deserved to win EURO 2020 and insists he feels no pressure to justify his €28m price tag.

The English centre-back has joined the Rossoneri on a permanent €28m deal from Chelsea after a six-month loan spell in 2020-21.

The 23-year-old scored one goal in 22 appearances with the Diavoli and became a regular starter under Stefano Pioli.

The former Chelsea man insists his €28m price tag is not a matter of concern.

“No pressure, it’s actually satisfying to feel trust around me, everybody is helping me, this is the right project for me,” he told Il Corriere della Sera.

“Everybody welcomed me all very well, from the first day. This is a great club, with exceptional training facilities. There is everything to grow and to win, it’s a dream,” Tomori continued.

“Nothing is impossible, we play to win. We have a young team and we are improving. Last season we finished second and it means we are on the right path. We need to continue like this, step by step.”

Tomori often partnered Simon Kjaer at the heart of Milan’s defence, with captain Alessio Romagnoli relegated to bench role.

However, Tomori claims he is learning a lot from both as well as from coach Stefano Pioli and club legend Paolo Maldini.

“Kjaer and Romagnoli are two great champions, they are helping me to improve so much, on and off the pitch. Romagnoli is my captain, he speaks English and this is helping, I have a great feeling with Kjaer and him,” the 23-year-old said.

“Pioli is teaching me all the little details. He was a defender, so I’m learning a lot, especially on my positioning. We are on very good terms.

“Sometimes, it still feels unreal talking to Maldini. He is a legend of football, one of those people who can really help you and give good advice. I am trying to learn as much as I can from him.”

Tomori will soon reunite with Olivier Giroud, who completed his medicals with the Rossoneri yesterday ahead of a permanent move from Stamford Bridge, where they had played together. The French striker will be one of Milan’s most experienced players next season, along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“Giroud is a very nice person and a top striker, he has great experience,” Tomori said.

“Ibra is a true leader, able to make you bring out the best even with a word, or a sight, a true champion.”

Tomori was not part of the England team that lost the UEFA Euro 2020 Final against England.

However, he hopes to be part of the World Cup squad in 2022, although he reckons that both Italy and England need a cultural change to tackle racism.

“We need a cultural change. It’s a minority of people who live on social media. If you play a game and you miss a penalty, it’s inevitable to receive insults, but it’s not right and I think everyone agrees that we need to do something, we need to make a change.

“There are minorities also in Italy, but the problem is that many people don’t know new cultures, so they are afraid of them. We live in a multicultural world, you can see it in Milan or London. We need to start with education to know what racism is and why we need to fight it.

“In the Final, we [England] took the lead and the situation seemed to be positive, but Italy grew up strong during the game. England came close to winning and played a great Euro, but Italy deserved it.

“Now we must focus on the World Cup, we’ll need to have the same mentality and use this experience to improve. The team is very young and the World Cup is just around the corner.

“I hope I will be part of the team, that’s my target. Everybody would like to play the World Cup and it’s a dream I have. Milan are an enormous opportunity for me, I am focusing on this and I am feeling well.”