AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori: ‘It was sweet to all of us. We knew we could do it’ | England

FIkayo Tomori has been warned. as such Milan He chased after his first Serie A title since 2011, then spoke the only player in the team he was part of at the time. It was Zlatan Ibrahimovic. “He was like, ‘You guys, if we win, be prepared because it’s going crazy,'” Tomori says.

However, it is doubtful whether anything prepared Tomori and his teammates for the reaction to what they achieved on the Sunday before last, as they got the result they needed in Sassuolo to Delivery 19 miles Scudetto. And certainly not for the viewer during the open-top bus parade the following night.

Reports vary, but some have claimed there were up to a million fans in attendance, which slowed the bus to a crawl as it made its way to Piazza del Duomo from Casa Milan, the club’s headquarters. Burnt red flares. The outpouring of emotions was extraordinary.

“It wasn’t like anything I’d seen before — so many people,” Tomori says. “It was three, four or five kilometers but it took hours. To see everyone on the streets… I can’t really describe it.”

Few would have thought Milan would be able to fend off their city rivals, Inter Milan – not with such a non-starlet young squad (far from Ibrahimovic) and certainly not with other inexperienced players that coach Stefano Pioli depends on. Tomori, 24, was a center partner with Pierre Kalolo, 21.

You gain nothing with the kids and not in Milan, where the shirt is too heavy. But they will end up with the best defensive record in the division. During the second leg, they conceded twice in 11 matches.

“No one expected us to do that,” Tomori says. “So when we did that, it just felt better — kind of proving people wrong, it was pretty cool for all of us. We knew we could do it.”

What a season it has been for Tomori having earned £25m Moving from Chelsea; He was on loan at Milan for the second half of the previous season. He’s one of the first names on the Pioli team’s paper, and his speed helps facilitate a high streak; His aggressiveness and anticipation stand out as his focus and tactical awareness improve.

Fikayo Tomori playing for England in Andorra last October.
Fikayo Tomori playing for England in Andorra last October. Photo: Quality Sport Images/Getty Images,

Cherry on top? England have been called up for Nations League matches, the first of which is against Hungary in Budapest on Saturday. And the third of the four against Italy in Molino next Saturday. Tomori was previously selected by Gareth Southgate last October, when he won his second match as a substitute in 5-0 away win over Andorra. His debut came in November 2019 as a substitute in 4-0 win in Kosovo.

There was a surprise in some quarters when Tomori was overlooked on the March show but his timing appears opportune, with this penultimate meeting before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar on November 21. He is basically a replacement for Tyrone Mings and his competition for the final team will likely come from Conor Coady, Mark Guehy and Ben White.

“If I don’t get called up, I don’t think: ‘Uh, what’s going on?'” Tomori says. “I wasn’t panicking [in March]I was just focused on my performance and helping Milan. But from there, if I am called, it will be ensured that I take the steps to stay here.”

Tomori loves the Italian view of defense as an art form and enjoys Pioli’s attention to detail, as well as the occasional chat with Paolo Maldini, Milan’s technical director. “I saw [Franco] Baresi after the last game, he was great,” Tomori says. “You see different legends flying around.

“The way they act as defenders [in Italy] – I wouldn’t say it’s personal but it’s: “I need to make sure what I do is about money and no one gets over it.” They have this pride. There are little things the manager will tell me – make sure you prevent running or that you don’t allow this to happen or make a connection in the box.

“Watch [Leonardo] Bonucci and [Giorgio] Chiellini…they’re walking down the street, you’re picking up things. The referees whistle so much that you can’t get in or, if you do, you have to deal properly. Make sure that you are on your feet and that you are in the right positions so you can get the ball back and not give up mistakes.”

Tomori’s mind returns to a different scene of partying outside the Domo from last year’s summer, albeit he can’t embrace it. He had followed England’s matches in the European Championship 2020 in London, where he participated Quarter-final victory over Ukraine From Boxpark Shoreditch. But he returned to Milan to participate in the final, and was watching in a hotel like England lost on penalties to Italy After a 1-1 draw.

Fikayo Tomori deals with Lautaro Martinez from Inter
Fikayo Tomori says he enjoys the sight of defense in Italy. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters

“When they tied, I was wearing a face and didn’t want to look down too much,” Tomori says. “But with the penalties going on, it was hard to watch. I was near the Duomo, and somehow, it was great to see them celebrate. I was right in the middle of it.”

“But I really couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I felt what it was like England As we progressed it was crazy. Then I saw Italy celebrating after the final and that definitely motivated me.”

Italy will not participate in the World Cup finals after the play-off The loss of North Macedonia in March. Tomori’s mastery of Italian is impressive and explains that “Macedonia” translates in his new language as “fruit salad,” creating a near-normal situation in the dressing room featuring his Milan teammates Sandro Tonali and Alessandro Florenzi, who were part of the undefeated Italian side.

“Tonali and Florenzi were there so people brought Macedonia [fruit salad] to the training ground,” says Tomori. The newspapers were like: Whoa. But people were saying, “Well, we lost to a fruit salad.”

“It was taken as a joke but it was weird. They just didn’t expect to lose.”