Former AC Milan executive, Massimiliano Mirabelli, has shared his thoughts about his involvement in the signing of Hakan Calhanoglu for Milan in an exclusive interview with Tuttosport.
Reflecting on Calhanoglu’s transfer to the Rossoneri, he said, “People thought I was almost crazy. In Germany, everyone knew him. Here, they would say: ‘Calhanoglu who?’ and they would go on the internet to find out who he was. Then, when people found out he had been inactive for eight months, they started criticising his arrival. Many were not happy. Try to imagine what it was like for me, introducing Milan to this type of profile. Today, it’s too easy to talk about Calha. Back then, it was not the case.”
Mirabelli also lauded the player’s on-field skills, saying “In addition to having significant physical and technical qualities, wherever you put him, he would put up a great performance. That is, he almost challenged you to find out what his role was, where he could express himself best. Tactically intelligent, few in the world have a foot like his. He never lacks for running either. Today, he is the world’s best playmaker. And I was right when I spoke in such terms with Montella and Gattuso.”
Addressing the rumours around Calhanoglu’s move to Inter, Mirabelli stated, “The truth is somewhat different. That is, someone wanted to erase the work that had been done. Milan had to fight to keep him, not let him go for free as they did with Donnarumma and Kessie. The fans at Milan admired him. Today they think he betrayed the Rossoneri, but that’s not the case. It was Milan who did not want to retain Calhanoglu, not Calhanoglu who wanted to leave Milan.”