Simon Kjaer clarifies why Stefano Pioli 'is the ideal coach' for him and Milan, while the Scandinavian defender grasps the part of 'leader' to more youthful teammates.
The 31-year-old Dane moved toMilan
on a loan transfer from
in January and, alongside
, helped the team to turn the page after many unsuccessful years in Rossoneri.
“My history is pretty clear, I need to feel there is confidence in me and have always repaid coaches who gave me consistent playing time,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“The good thing about Pioli is that he listens to his players when they have concerns and wants to find the ideal solution for them. He makes the ultimate decisions, but there is at least dialogue, and that makes him the perfect coach for me.”
Thusly, junior players have blessed Kjaer as one of the leaders in the changing room and he is glad to acknowledge that job.
“I do feel that, even in training, as I observe the others and give them a hand. I always try to set the example and let the younger players know that we must never rest on our laurels.
and Frederic Massara brought me to Milan in order to have a voice in the dressing room. I arrived in a complicated moment for Milan, but despite the criticism that was raining down on us, I knew there was quality in these players. Now the situation has changed completely, there are good results and enthusiasm, but we must remember it doesn’t take much to slide back down. This group has shown maturity and we will try to get Milan back where they belong.”
The Rossoneri are top of theSerie A
table and unbeaten since March in the league, enduring only one loss in their last 25 official fixtures.
“We’re top and the Scudetto is certainly possible, but there’s a long season ahead of us and we must take it one game at a time. We can’t let the Scudetto become an obsession, it is an objective because we are Milan and the history of this club is one of trophies.
“After many years away from the top spots, we are back there now, so it’s our duty to believe in our chances of fighting for a Champions League place and the title.”
Ibrahimovic is the present top scorer of the team at 39 years old.
“In the way he combines technique and physicality, Zlatan is unique in the world of football. I’ve never seen such a dominant striker. I’ve always liked to start moves from the back and when there’s someone like Ibra upfront, you’ve got a better chance of making it stick.”
Milan renounced their offer for Ralf Rangnick and instead, they signed Kjaer from Sevilla for €3.5m as Pioli found him suitable for his project.
“I always thought that I’d done everything possible to earn my place here, but knew it was up to the club. It was a dream come true when I signed the contract.
“There’s a very thin line between dreams and objectives. Let’s start by getting Milan back into the Champions League, then I’d like to end my career here. After all, I’m still young…”