AC Milan winger Alexis Saelemaekers has shown his appreciation for Stefano Pioli for the things the Italian coach has done to make him a better player.
The Belgian was not handed a call for Belgium’s preliminary squad for the upcoming European Championship, despite helping
s side to secure Champions League qualification.
“I worked hard, but didn’t think it’d be so easy to achieve the objectives I’d set,”
Saelemaekers told DH Les Sports
The 21-year-old also expressed his gratitude for the faith the coach has in him.
“The coach has faith in me and that is fundamental at club level. However, if you miss three or four games in a row, things can change pretty quickly.
“I’ve learned to grow and become more mature with the experienced players at Milan. Playing football is fun, but it is first and foremost a profession. If you try a nutmeg, it’d better come off, otherwise the coach will start shouting – or Ibrahimovic!
“The coach realized the kind of player I am and is trying to put me in the condition to give my best. I owe Pioli a great deal, as he gives me freedom to express myself. So few coaches know how to adapt to the players at their disposal, and that inevitably gives you the desire to play for him.
“Next season I hope to be more decisive in front of goal, but without forgetting the most important part of my game, which is to work hard and keep running.”