Donnarumma: 'I've never felt fear'
Gianluigi Donnarumma discussed Milan ambitions, the “responsibility” of being a goalkeeper, fearing nothing and playing with Leonardo Bonucci.
The 18-year-old sat down for a lengthy interview with the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“The thing I like most about my role is the responsibility. That’s what makes me proud in front of my teammates and the crowd. Being a goalkeeper is first and foremost responsibility, because when you make a mistake, it’s a goal.
“This is not a role for fragile characters or emotional people. It’s a real weight on your shoulders, full of challenges. It’s what I love about this job.
“Gigi Buffon has been a figure I’ve looked up to since I was little. He helped me so much on international duty, giving me a lot of advice and being reassuring during training. He has been really special for me, both as a Coach and a person.
“I am very grateful to him and he made sure I never felt scared. I’m trying to learn a lot from Manuel Neuer now too and taking inspiration from his career.”
The first goalkeeper to set the example was his older brother, Antonio, who is now back at the Milan squad as Gigio’s understudy.
“We really help each other in training. We’re colleagues, but obviously something more. Family is important.”
Donnarumma was given his Serie A debut at the age of 16 years and eight months, in a 2-1 victory over Sassuolo in October 2015.
“Sinisa Mihajlovic called me in on the Saturday and asked if I was frightened, because the next day he intended to give me my debut. I said no straight away, without hesitation, because I’ve never been afraid.
“I felt ready to play, even if I was very young. People tell me I’m very young now too, but I’ve never felt afraid of anyone or anything.”
Milan have been transformed over the summer with players like Andre Silva, Franck Kessie, Hakan Calhanoglu, Andrea Conti, Lucas Biglia and Bonucci.
Donnarumma was asked if he had regrets, knowing Paris Saint-Germain were interested and they now have Neymar.
“I play with Bonucci now, which isn’t bad! I have to say Bonucci really impressed me. I’ll be honest, I was surprised when I heard he was arriving, the directors are doing an incredible job.
“I’m sure Leo will give us a big hand, including in terms of character. We’ve changed a lot this summer and are now trying to form a team.
“We need to get back into the Champions League, that is our objective and our duty. Nobody can tell who wins the Scudetto, but we’ll fight it out with everyone. Juventus are certainly the favourites, but… you never know.”http://www.football-italia.net/108407/d ... -felt-fear