A POINT THAT DOES LITTLE
Once again I’m writing to you before an immiment match and that’s because the list of fixtures in December is very busy: from here to the end of the year we have eight games scheduled. Last week we had a double visit to London and we ended up withsix points out of six. They were two tough wins, two difficult games where David had to show his great potential in certain moments to help us. These two wins give us energy and optimism ahead of the big challenges of the current week.
Before anything else, I want to thank you all for your birthday messages. Waking up in the team hotel and receiving them all is something that’s incredible. I feel very fortunate for all of the care that you have shown me and I wanted to thank you all for that.
I know that all of you have in mind next Sunday’s derby but before that we have to play the last game of the group stage in the Champions League, and it’s also a very important one. Right now all our attention is on the game against CSKA,we would be making a big mistake otherwise. We are proud of what we have done so far in the group, with four wins out of five games, and we want to finish the job with a good game at Old Trafford. CSKA will try to get to the next round, so there’s no need to emphasize the importance and difficulty of the game. It’s a Champions League night at Old Trafford, there’s nothing more to add.
It was a different birthday for me because it was a match day, and on top of that we were playing a very important game that was also special because it was against Chelsea. A dream for anyone who loves this sport. The match was, as we expected, very hard fought and exciting. We started very well, dominating the game and I had the chance to put the team in front. Scoring a goal at Old Trafford is always amazing, it is a feeling that is difficult to put into words.
And later on it’s the derby, indeed, which is always a special game. I remember very well the last derby against City at Old Trafford, last season in the EFL Cup. It was a very important win because it allowed us to move forward in the competition and to win it at Wembley eventually. In this case it’s the Premier League and, looking at the scores that Manchester City are obtaining so far, the game will demand a very good performance from usin order to win. Playing at Old Trafford will give us an extra power, once again. I’m sure the atmosphere at the stadium is going to beincomparable.
Sadly, they equalised and a point does little for us given the state of the league table. We felt as though we could have won, but right now the only thing that we can do is to look ahead and be optimistic.
For me, visiting Aleksander Ceferin in Switzerland last week was also incredible and special. The fact that the UEFA President has committed to Common Goal proves that we are in the right way and that we are many who believe in the huge power of football to improve the lives of millions of people. I want to publicly thank the President. Both last Wednesday and in our previous meetings, I was greatly impressed by Ceferin. He’s someone close,down to earthand obviously with a global vision of football as a way to foster unity and a way of life for many people all over the world. Besides, heis aware ofthe privileged position we’re at, and from there he wants to help with honesty and engagement. Rather than mere ideas, he’sturning his words into actions, as we saw last Wednesday. I’m lucky to cooperate with such a person and I hope he’s the first of many football leaders to join the movement in the future. Thank you, Aleksander, and your entire team for your reception and kindness at the Home of European Football.