Exclusive Donati: ‘Eriksen better than at Tottenham’

Massimo Donati believes Christian Eriksen is now a more complete midfielder than he was at Tottenham and says he would never sell Cristiano Ronaldo in an exclusive interview with Football Italia.

The former Milan, Atalanta and Celtic midfielder, who is now working as a pundit for DAZN Italia, spoke exclusively with Football Italia to discuss Serie A’s main issues.

Inter have a nine-point lead over Milan, is the Scudetto race over?
“It seems Inter are going to win it. I think it’s tough for the opponents to recover so many points. Inter can focus on the Serie A only, they are focused on that. I think the job is almost done.”

How do you explain Christian Eriksen’s development?
“There are many players who need to settle in. Eriksen needed to know what Antonio Conte wants from him. He needed a different intensity to impose himself.
“He understood quality was not enough, he understood he had to add something extra, more runs, more sacrifice and now you can see all his qualities.”

Is he a more complete midfielder now?
“I think he is different because he is playing a different football. When he was at Tottenham he had more attacking duties. Therefore, he was fresher when he had the ball in the final third. Overall, however, I think he has improved. Conte is capable of making his players evolve and I think Eriksen is a better footballer now.

How about the fight for the top four? Who is going to make it?
“It’s still early to say, there are clubs with highs and lows. Roma’s defeat against Parma was almost unpredictable despite coming from a very good moment. Atalanta are playing the best football right now. They are still there and will battle until the end. There are many clubs still involved, Napoli and Lazio too. It’s difficult to predict who will make it.”

Do you agree with criticism towards Cristiano Ronaldo?
I think it’s crazy to question Ronaldo. Indeed, he didn’t play well against Porto. But he has solved so many problems for Juventus, so many times. You can’t question his signing, and I would never sell a player like him, despite his age. He looks 10 years younger.”

Do you still imagine Andrea Pirlo on the Juventus bench next season?
“I don’t know, Juventus must always win. Don’t they? It’s normal to be questioned if you don’t win. Pirlo has just begun his coaching career. He was an excellent footballer, but he had no experience as a coach. Juventus have also signed many young players. It’s normal to make mistakes, but mistakes are made to improve. I think he would do some things differently if he could go back in time. But it was his first season, so why not? He could be confirmed.”

Assuming Milan qualify for the Champions League, what do they need to do a further step ahead?
“Another striker. It’s crucial to confirm Ibra, but he can’t play every game. Physically, he is outstanding, but Milan need another striker. They also need to sign a new midfielder to give Stefano Pioli more options and maybe a right-winger.

“Milan’s season has been excellent and they have so much room for improvement. They are such a young team. Sandro Tonali will improve, it’s not easy to wear the Milan jersey, but he will put the pressure away and he will become an important player for Milan.”