Failure to make top four must spur AC Milan on, declares Donnarumma
AC Milan must harness the bitter experience of missing out on a top-four finish last season and focus on making amends in 2019-20, according to Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Goalkeeper Donnarumma was injured in Milan's 3-2 victory over SPAL on the final day of the 2018-19 campaign, a result that was not quite good enough to see them pip rivals Inter to fourth place.
The Rossoneri will not play in Europe at all in the upcoming season, the club reaching an agreement with UEFA to serve a ban after breaching Financial Fair Play rules.
However, Donnarumma had underlined his commitment to the cause as Milan attempt to reclaim their place at Europe's top table under new coach Marco Giampaolo.
"I was upset to leave the field early in Ferrara [against SPAL] but I'm eager to begin the new season," Donnarumma told Milan TV.
"It's upsetting that we won't be in Europe this year but as our coach and director said, we can now focus on returning to the Champions League, where the club deserves to be.
"We were qualified for the Champions League with just 10 minutes to go but we all know how it ended.
"We were all disappointed but it has to be a boost for us to achieve our goal this year."
Davide and Gigio are raring to go as the season is about to get underway. Hear what they had to say at the end of Day 1— AC Milan (@acmilan) July 10, 2019
Tutta la determinazione di @davidecalabria2 e @gigiodonna1 in vista della nuova stagione, nelle loro interviste a Milan TV pic.twitter.com/v2uUqm8nmx
Donnarumma - who has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain during the close season - is vastly experienced despite being only 20, though he still suffers pre-season nerves.
"The first day of training is always a flurry of emotions," he said.
"It always feels like my first time at Milanello and I'm excited. I'm keen to begin training and give my all. We have to give our best in order to return to where we deserve to be, which is in Europe.
"I'm more mature even though I'm just 20 years old but I feel more like a man now, which is also thanks to AC Milan, and I feel the same way on the pitch.
"I have greatly improved in many aspects, but I still have to improve a lot, because it is never enough – you always have to give your best in every training session in order to constantly improve."