Kalulu discusses Maldini’s role in his decision, coaching style and Pioli renewal

AC Milan defender Pierre Kalulu has set his sights on winning the Scudetto again and has admitted he has a desire to renew his contract as long as he remains a starter.

Kalulu was interviewed by La Gazzetta dello Sport on a number of different topics, starting with Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Napoli, in which Milan suffered defeat for the first time since January in the league.

“Some details made the difference. We lost three points, but it’s not all to throw away, you also learn from defeats to improve,” he said (via SempreMilan.it).

“Scudetto? Pioli tells us every day: this year it will be even more difficult. This is evident from the fact that the matches with the rivals are decided precisely on the details. It is up to us to prove that we are the defending champions. I am convinced that everyone will fight for the title until the end. In any case, we want to finish first again.

Kalulu came on a free transfer from Lyon (for a small development fee) and never having made his first-team debut, but with his work at Milanello he won the esteem of his teammates and the truth of the game. head coach. He revealed a bit about why he chose the Rossoneri.

“It has a certain effect if Paolo Maldini calls you. I’m used to it now, but the first time it really impressed me. Even though I’m young, I still saw him play, certainly at the end of his career, but he remains a benchmark,” he said.

“The funny thing is that at the moment the roles were a bit reversed, since I was trying to keep a certain distance and he was trying to convince me. Maldini convinced me by telling me that he had total confidence in myself, that I would be part of the first team, finding space according to my growth. So that was it.

“He [Maldini] is very present, without ever overlapping the trainer. He advises me, for example, on how to defend in certain phases, or how to deal with a certain attacker. Small details that can be improved a lot. There is only one Maldini, but I want to build my story and become one of the best in the world.

Stefano Pioli also deserved credit for helping Pierre Kalulu grow, putting him in the right situations and showing great faith in the young Frenchman.

“At these levels, it is not insignificant for a coach to be able to involve everyone. I appreciate the high intensity of the training, the same in the game, with healthy competition,” Kalulu said.

“If you’re fine, he tells you, and he knows how to talk to you when you’re less well. In times of doubt, he knows how to motivate, remembering that we are a strong and intelligent group. We are a young team, but with him I have improved a lot.

On newcomer Yacine Adli, he added: “We know each other from the youth teams in France. He has the right attitude and all the qualities to make room here too. I’m sure he will prove it by gradually gaining minutes of play.”

There is talk of Kalulu extending his current contract which expires in 2025 given his importance in the project, which Pierre certainly did not refute.

“If everything goes well like now, that we win, that I play as a starter, there is only the desire to continue. But there will be a way to talk about the contract with the managers.