Donnarumma delighted for Milan but has 'no regrets' over leaving for PSG

By Sports Desk May 29, 2022

Gianluigi Donnarumma hailed the "perfect year" after Paris Saint-Germain and Milan won their respective leagues, but the goalkeeper has no regrets after leaving the Rossoneri.

Donnarumma was met with widespread condemnation by the Milan supporters after not renewing his contract, before opting to join PSG on a free transfer ahead of the 2021-22 season following his successful Euro 2020 campaign with Italy.

The 23-year-old kept five clean sheets in his 17 Ligue 1 appearances as he shared the goalkeeper duties with Keylor Navas, with PSG securing a record-equalling 10th Ligue 1 title.

Milan, meanwhile, edged out Inter to secure their first Serie A crown in 11 years, much to the delight of Donnarumma.

"After winning the title, the perfect year was the Scudetto of Milan and I congratulate them, they did an incredible job and I'm proud of them," said Donnarumma in a news conference on Sunday.

"I have no regret, I'm happy with what Milan have done and I wrote to all my team-mates to congratulate them."

Donnarumma was also praised the performance of fellow goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who was on top form to help Real Madrid to a 1-0 Champions League final victory over Liverpool on Saturday.

Courtois pulled off nine stops in the final, the most on record since Opta began recording data in 2003-04, as Madrid secured a 14th European Cup, more than double any other side.

"I saw the match and he played an incredible match, he kept Real Madrid standing until the end," Donnarumma said of Courtois.

"It made me feel a bit like we could have been there, but unfortunately football is like that. They won and I congratulate Courtois, he made great interventions."

Donnarumma's focus now turns to the 'Finalissima' between Italy and Argentina at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday, in a meeting between the European Championship and Copa America winners.

Italy defeated England on penalties in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley before missing out on World Cup qualification for Qatar after play-off defeat to North Macedonia.

"We must not forget what we did at the European Championship, this is a fantastic group and they gave us an incredible result," Donnarumma added.

"The disappointment of not qualifying for the World Cup is still fresh, we are still disappointed. It hurts, some guys will no longer be with us but we young people must bring Italy back to where it deserves."

Roberto Mancini will have Giorgio Chiellini to call upon for one final game before his international retirement, and Donnarumma says Italy will miss the experienced centre-back.

"We will miss everything about Giorgio, both on and off the pitch he was a point of reference for Italian and world football, especially for us young people," he continued. 

"He gave us great help, now we want to give him great joy. He will be missed on the pitch, he is truly fantastic and will always give you a hand, even just with a simple word."

Related items

  • Real Madrid 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt: Benzema overtakes Raul as Los Blancos seal Super Cup success Real Madrid 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt: Benzema overtakes Raul as Los Blancos seal Super Cup success

    Karim Benzema moved to second in Real Madrid's all-time goalscoring charts as Los Blancos followed up May's Champions League win by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 in the Super Cup.

    David Alaba prodded home when Eintracht failed to deal with a first-half corner to give Carlo Ancelotti's men the lead in Helsinki, before Benzema fired past Kevin Trapp 20 minutes after the break to seal the win.

    Benzema's effort took him to 324 goals in all competitions for Madrid, putting him one ahead of legendary Spain forward Raul and trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo (450).

    Having made a bright start, Europa League victors Eintracht were ultimately second best as Madrid cruised to victory, offering a reminder of their nous on the European stage at the outset of the new season.

    Eintracht missed the first clear chance when Daichi Kamada forced Thibaut Courtois into a superb one-on-one save after 14 minutes, before Tuta denied Vinicius Junior with an incredible goal-line block two minutes later.

    Vinicius again went close when Trapp tipped his low effort around the post 36 minutes in, but Madrid broke the deadlock from the resulting corner as Casemiro nodded down for Alaba to convert into a gaping net.

    Benzema flashed a fierce volley wide of the bottom-left corner as Madrid ended the first half on top, before Trapp made a reflex save from Vinicius' left-footed strike 10 minutes after the break.

    With Madrid establishing greater control, Casemiro rattled the crossbar with a sweet left-footed strike from range before Courtois made a routine save when Ansgar Knauff led a rare Eintracht foray. 

    But Benzema, the outstanding candidate for the Ballon d'Or, was determined to have the final say, drilling Vinicius' cut-back under Trapp to ensure LaLiga champions Madrid would take another piece of silverware back to the Spanish capital.

    What does it mean? Another title for continental kings Madrid

    Madrid won the Super Cup for the fifth time on Wednesday, as they atoned for a memorable defeat in their last appearance in the competition (4-2 v Atletico Madrid in 2018).

    The results means the Champions League holders have won nine of the last 10 editions while the Spanish giants have won 17 of their last 19 one-legged finals.

    Karim the dream

    Benzema's unbelievable return of 15 Champions League goals helped Madrid to their 14th European crown last season, and the France star picked up where he left off to steal the headlines in Finland.

    Only Ronaldo has now outscored Benzema in the famous white shirt, while his bid to be named the world's best player has gone from strength to strength. 

    Don Carlo reigns again 

    Ancelotti became the first coach to win four European Cup/Champions League titles with May's hard-fought final win over Liverpool, and his latest success saw him become the Super Cup's most decorated boss.

    His fourth triumph in the competition (having also won with Milan in 2003 and 2007 and Madrid in 2014) saw him move one clear of Pep Guardiola. 

    What's next?

    Madrid begin the defence of their LaLiga title at Almeria on Sunday, while Frankfurt go to Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga on Saturday. 

  • Benzema overtakes Raul in Real Madrid's all-time scorers list Benzema overtakes Raul in Real Madrid's all-time scorers list

    Karim Benzema became Real Madrid's outright second-highest goalscorer as he overtook Raul by netting in the Super Cup.

    Benzema tied level in second place on the club's list of scorers back in May, when he equalled Los Blancos great Raul on 323 goals with a header in a 6-0 rout of Levante.

    He is now alone in second, on 324, after netting Madrid's second against Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday in Helsinki.

    With David Alaba having put Madrid ahead in the first half, Benzema made it 2-0 in the 65th minute as he struck up with Vinicius Junior for a familiar combination.

    Vinicius assisted Benzema 10 times last season, and the Brazil winger's cross from the left side of the area presented Madrid's new club captain with the chance to side-foot home a first-time finish that crept through Kevin Trapp.

    Only Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored a remarkable 450 goals during his nine-year spell at Santiago Bernabeu between 2009 and 2018, stands ahead of Benzema, though it would seem unlikely the 34-year-old France striker will go on to match that record.

     

  • Nunez gives Liverpool a 'fantastic mix' in attack, says Milner Nunez gives Liverpool a 'fantastic mix' in attack, says Milner

    James Milner believes the addition of Darwin Nunez means Liverpool have a "fantastic mix" in attack this season.

    Nunez, signed from Benfica for a fee of £64million (€75m), with a further £21.4m (€25m) in potential add-ons, marked his first Premier League appearance for the Reds at the weekend with a goal in the 2-2 draw at Fulham.

    That followed his goal in the 3-1 Community Shield victory over Manchester City a week earlier.

    Nunez joins Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and fellow new signing Fabio Carvalho in attack as Liverpool look to mount Premier League and Champions League challenges again this term.

    Milner is excited by what Nunez offers and believes Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has a tantalising group of forward players to choose from.  

    "I think he'll have an impact the whole time he's here, to be honest," Milner told Liverpool’s official website.

    "Since he's been here, he's been impressive on the field, worked hard, makes great runs and is desperate to put his head on the ball in the box.

    "If you put a ball in there, he'll do everything he can to get on the end of it – good finisher, both feet and he's different to the other boys up there.

    "We've already got some very exciting attacking players who can cause problems, so he's a great addition. He'll be fantastic for us.

    "You want options up there, you want to cause people problems, and you want to have options to play different ways because obviously teams are going to watch us and try to stop us, so it's important we can do everything.

    "With the options we have up there, I think we have a fantastic mix."

    Liverpool are next in action on Monday when Crystal Palace visit Anfield in the Premier League. 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.