De Sciglio describes spat with Milan fans and admits he was ‘close’ to depression

by | Jun 21, 2022 17:15

Juventus defender Mattia De Sciglio admits he was ‘close to depression’ and describes a dispute with Milan fans before his move to Turin.

The Italy international has just extended his contract with the Old Lady. He was seen as one of the promising youngsters in Italy at the beginning of his career but has failed to entirely fulfil his potential, despite winning several trophies at Juventus and Milan.

The 29-year-old joined the Bianconeri in 2017 following his former coach and mentor, Massimiliano Allegri. His last few months at the Stadio Meazza were quite tricky, with the player heavily criticised by Milan fans on and off the pitch.

The defender detailed a spat with a group of Rossoneri supporters after a home game against Empoli in April 2017.

“That was the breaking point and talking about it still ignites me,” he wrote in a long and touching letter for Cronache di Spogliatoio.

“Coach [Vincenzo] Montella replaced me after 70 minutes. The situation was already compromised, but at that precise moment, the water overflowed from the pot and became gasoline on the fire. A full-back for another full-back. Ocampos was subbed on.

“The whistles were so loud that I couldn’t think. I sat on the bench and got overwhelmed by hot flashes of anger.

“I never felt like I did in those seconds. I was thrown into the fire, just to feed the fans. I was pissed. And then the whistles: we were all playing badly. Why was I the only scapegoat?

“I exploded under the shower, then I reached my parents inside the stadium’s garage, where they were waiting for me to go back home.

“There was a little queue, so my father stopped and lined up. A fan with a beer in his hands saw me and shouted: ‘De Sciglio is in here!’ More fans arrived, they insulted me and told me: ‘Go to Juventus.’ Some journalists had spread the rumour that I had already signed with Juve. It wasn’t true. My father got out of the car, trying to explain that they couldn’t mortify a person like that, but they started pushing.

“At that point, I didn’t see anything else. It all became black. I also got out of the car and I made the mistake of reacting. I couldn’t keep all those negative emotions inside me. I was wrong, but I had seen my parents involved in that sad story. It was terrible.”

But it hadn’t always been that way.

“I had everything. So many great moments filled my heart, but nobody prepares you for the abyss. I started having physical problems. Not big ones. I didn’t play consistently. I stopped for a few weeks, then returned and got injured again. The media and the fans started to criticise me. Their obstinacy hurt me. I went from paradise to hell. They lacked respect and I got angry because they created the wrong image. Even when I played well, there was always an excuse to attack me.

“I wasn’t happy. I lived in a vortex of negative thoughts. I felt wrong to even go out with my girlfriend or my mum. I felt bad going out because I was worried about people’s judgment. I didn’t handle it properly, leading to an interior closure.

“I struggled to smile, I had become the opposite of myself, closed at home, thinking that going out was something I couldn’t afford. The first time that my parents met Stefano Tirelli, my mental coach, who helped me leave the abyss, they told him: ‘We are not too interested in Mattia the footballer, we care about our son Mattia, give him his smile back and we’ll be happy.’

“We began a path that allowed me to rediscover serenity. He told me that I was close to depression. During this path, I’ve understood who I really am, that I’ve reached certain levels because I deserve it.

“Things happen for a reason, you must look for luck, but the determination I’ve had since I was a child has brought me where I am now.

“I worked on my mind every day and I had two sessions per week, it was a stimulating journey.

“My peaceful personality has been interpreted in the wrong manner like I was missing character and it’s not fair that four idiots out there affect your life. They can’t ruin everything.”

A few months later, he really joined Juventus, where he reunited with Allegri.

“We have a special bond, he saw me fall and rise again,” De Sciglio explained.

“I think Allegri has noticed that I want to look like a genuine guy, simple and available.

“The confidence we have, which has often been emphasised, has created a mutual trust. He demands a lot from me, I am one of those he targets the most because he knows my qualities. He works a lot on communication. He motivates me, we have fun. He likes to give nicknames to players. He calls me ‘eat and sleep.’ Because he believes that I train, eat and sleep. Stop.

“His pragmatism is seen as a shortcoming, a lot think about Guardiola and just point the finger. To me, Pep is something different, unique in his way of organising the team and inventing roles for certain players.

“People think that every top team must play well, I don’t want to defend Allegri, that’s why I think, but this is a contradiction. In Italy, we tend to look at the result, but then they talk about playing well. And many times, the two things do not go hand in hand.

“Every game is a separate story, sometimes, you play better because the opponents let you do it. It depends on the spaces that they give you or those that you give them. There are many variables.”

7 Comments

  1. Vince

    Poor me, poor me

  2. Milan Fan

    He’s a good player and did well for Milan. I respect him a lot. His face was disfigured forever playing for Milan and I will never forget he kept on playing till the end of that match injured like that.

  3. DB Milan

    He was right to react. How dare anyone touch his father. No apology necessary.

    I just can’t believe he’s 29, still see him as a young, promising full back.

  4. Usman Muhammed

    Sorry Mattia De Sciglio that the ac Milan and San siro you most lean how to play with pressure 😉😉

  5. square

    Good player. The burden he had as the next captain, next Maldini was too heavy.
    He doesn’t have the character to be a leader nor the ambition to become the best.
    I’m so happy he leave for the best of both Milan and himself.
    Now we have Theo.

  6. putuco

    LOL at this kid. “I deserve it”. While I don’t agree to insult players or even when they touch his father (I agree with DB Milan about it) he does not get he is a lucky bastard to earn his life through kicking a ball, and let me say, the guy is not even very good at it. Lots of pressure of being the new Maldini, sure. But you still bag the money for being in the most decorated team in Italy at Europe. Stop this victim complex Mattia – shut up and put the effort in the pitch, there is a reason Juventus lowered your wages big time

  7. marco

    touching his family is wrong so you do what you got to do. besides that, he has never lived up to his potential to this day

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