During today’s AC Milan's 2008-09 Adidas Kit presentation press conference, it was announced that will wear the number 80 for the upcoming Serie A season. This is inspired by his date of birth - March 21, 1980.
“This is a really special moment in my career. I think any player dreams of playing in a team as important as Milan, for this club’s greatness and the importance of their players. It’s truly a special moment and wearing this shirt is already a victory for me.
In Barcelona I spent a very positive period in my career, I managed to win important titles with my team mates, then for a period we didn’t win anymore so we decided together to separate. I’m happy to be here and I’m convinced that with Milan’s shirt I will be able to win more important titles.”
How do you think you will play with Kaká?
“I’m very happy to be able to play with Kaká, I consider him one of the best in the world. He’s also a great friend. Here at Milan I have a lot of friends and I don’t think there will be any problems in my adjustment. I have played many times with Kaká in the national team winning important things as well.”
When you came to San Siro for Demetrio Albertini’s goodbye match you found a crowd who already cheered you a lot…
“Yes it was a really special moment, I did not expect it. A few minutes later the match would start, so there should have been some rivalry, but I saw the special affection the crowd had for me. I practically feel at home already.I’ve also had the chance to speak with many Brazilians who have been at Milan and they’ve all spoken very positively about the environment in this club and that only increased by curiosity. I am very motivated.”
Did you ever think of joining Manchester City?
“In the period I was injured I only thought of getting better. But I knew there were negotiations with Milan.”
What shirt number will you get?
“We haven’t made a decision about that yet, I will tell you when it’s been decided.”
Do you think your involvement in the Olympics could take away some important time in your adjustment at Milan?
“I don’t think so. I consider the Olympics a very important competition, especially for Brazil who have never won it. This is a very important moment in my career, everything’s changing and I think that this engagement will not interfere with my adjustment in the team.”
The fans welcomed you very warmly, did you expect it?
“I thank the fans for the welcome they have given me and the affection they have shown. This is something that motivates me even more to repay them with my enthusiasm.”
What do you think of Italian football?
“The Serie A is one of the most competitive leagues in the world, I can’t say anything about the Italian league because I haven’t had the chance to play in it yet. But I am very positive and I’m sure everything will go for the best.”
Do you think you will miss playing in the Champions League?
“Anyone who has had the chance of playing in a prestigious competition like the Champions League knows its importance. Not playing in this competition this year only gives us extra motivation to make sure Milan goes back to playing in this tournament again soon.”
How do you feel about the match against Inter when you will meet many of your friends?
“I think each game has the same importance. I don’t think one match is more important than the other. Personally I think only about preparing well for each game I play and I’m happy to see that some of my countrymen have the chance to play in important Italian clubs.”
The Italian press gives a lot of importance to the life of footballers off the pitch, how influential is your non-football life?
“I’ve always had a regular life and I will continue to live the same way now. I have never had these problems and I will continue like this to be able to give my best.”
It’s been a very long negotiation…
“My brother Roberto has always taken care of negotiations, my only duty has always been to play football. I’ve come to Milan with the idea of winning and I hope to win more titles for this club which has already won so much, along with my team mates. I hope that my experience, even though I am still young, can help us to win. I think this is the right moment to come here and I’m certain of the respect and the trust of this great club, then it will be up to the coach to decide for me.”