Gianluigi Donnarumma will not be playing at AC Milan next season. The 22-year-old Player of the Tournament will be out on a new adventure at PSG. The No.99 has been at the club for almost 8 years, playing 6 of those years with the senior team.
Donnarumma received his call-up to the senior team by then manager, Filippo Inzaghi, three days before his 16th birthday. He made his debut in the preseason that followed against Real Madrid. He made his first start against Sassuolo in the finals of the TIM Trophy, where he saved 2 penalties in the shootouts to secure Milan’s victory.
At 16 years and 242 days, Donnarumma became the second-youngest goalkeeper to start a game in the Serie A. It was on the 25th of October, the same day a 13 day younger Giuseppe Sacchi made his debut for AC Milan 73 years ago. In front of a packed San Siro, Milan went on to break their winless run edging over Sassuolo 2-1.
Donnarumma at AC Milan
In the games that followed Donnarumma continued to impress thus keeping his place in the squad. He took his chance and made the goalkeeper spot in the starting line-up all his. In the years that followed Donnarumma stood as the final line of defence for the Rossoneris.
At 6ft 5in, he is a huge presence in the box. He is technically brilliant and will dive to any extent to save the ball. He has saved many penalties throughout his career, a clear indication of his enhanced reflexes. After Gianluigi Buffon’s retirement, the next Gianluigi took his place at the goal. He was integral in Italy’s winning run at the Euros. His performances earned him the Player of the Tournament award. He’s just 22!!!
Final words before leaving Milan
“Some choices are difficult, but they are part of a man’s growth. I arrived at Milan when I was little more than a child, for eight years I wore this shirt with pride, we fought, suffered, won, cried, rejoiced, together with my teammates, my coaches, all those who have done and they are part of the Club, together with our fans who are an integral part of what has been a family for many years.”
“In the Rossoneri shirt, I also achieved important personal milestones, such as making my debut at 16 in Serie A. I have lived extraordinary years that I will never forget. Now the time has come to say goodbye, a choice that was not easy, indeed, and certainly a post is not enough to explain it, or perhaps it cannot even be explained because the deepest feelings can hardly be translated into words.”
“What I can say is that sometimes it is right to choose to change, to face different challenges, to grow, to complete oneself. All the Rossoneri I met, from the first to the last day, will always remain in my heart as an important, indeed fundamental, part of the life path that made me who I am. I wish Milan all possible successes and I do it with my heart, for the affection that binds me to these colours, a feeling that distance and time cannot erase.”
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