Antonio Mirante said he has ‘positive feelings’ after joining Milan as a free agent to replace injured Mike Maignan in Stefano Pioli’s squad. ‘I’m experienced enough to not allow any panic to set in’.
The 38-year-old arrives at Milan after Maignan suffered a wrist injury on international duty with France.
The Rossoneri acted swiftly after the news of Maignan’s injury was confirmed and signed free agent Mirante, who left Roma after 2020-21.
“My feelings are very positive, obviously,” Mirante told MilanTV. “Most of all for how I got the call, this negotiation, and that gives me a great boost.
“I’m aware and experienced enough to not allow any panic to set in, in light of the situation. Even though all of this came out of the blue.
“The negotiations were lightening fast. Yesterday afternoon, I got the call following Maignan’s injury. I wish him the best of luck, we hope he’ll be back soon.
“As I was saying, the negotiations – if we can call them that – took no time at all because I accepted immediately because there was never any doubt in my mind.”
Mirante has experience from stints at Juventus, Sampdoria, Parma, Bologna, and Roma, and he believes he will bring ‘human qualities’ to the dressing room, as he’s now one of the experienced veterans in Pioli’s squad.
“Considering my age, it’s right that I should bring human qualities to the dressing room,” he said. “From the outside it appears to already be at a really high level.
“The team give the impression of having great enthusiasm, a great approach and of always being positive. Which is a great value for me.”
Mirante has never worked with Pioli previously, but claimed his qualities were obvious when playing against the Milan coach.
“I have not worked with the coach before, we’ve only faced each other,” he said. “But I have always had the impression that he is well prepared and that he took over at Milan at the right time.
“This helped the team and the coach grow exponentially. I believe this growth, this partnership, will last a long time.
“The thing that catches the eye watching Milan play over the last year or so, is that the team always seem to know what they’re doing,” Mirante added.
“They always appear to push hard and always appear to know what needs to be done on the pitch.
“The team are always well positioned on the field, they have a clear idea, a precise identity, while still being versatile.
“They are a team that can have their say against anyone.”
Mirante will reunite with former Roma captain Alessandro Florenzi at San Siro and said he knows most of his new teammates after his many years in the top flight.
“I have only heard from Florenzi by message, because my day was choke-full of medical checks, so it was just a quick text message to say ‘hi’ and we’ll see each other at Milanello tomorrow.
“Of the others, I’ve met [Alessio] Romagnoli, with the Italy team, but given my age I have faced most of my teammates before and I’m confident I won’t have any issues settling in.”
Mirante then spoke of Milan legend Dida, who is now the goalkeeping coach at Milanello. He believes the Brazilian can help him improve, despite his age.
“I don’t need to point out how great Dida was,” he continued. “I don’t know what type of coach he is, but I learnt during my experience at Roma, and this is my philosophy, that you can always improve.
“So, I go to training aware of the fact that every day I’m adding a brick to my experience and my qualities.
“I believe Dida can teach me a lot, he can help me grind down my flaws, because even at my age I need to continue improving.”
Image credit: @ACMilan on Twitter
🗣️ “I arrive at #ACMilan with the right awareness and experience”
Mirante’s first thoughts as our new goalkeeper 🧤
— AC Milan (@acmilan) October 14, 2021
— AC Milan (@acmilan) October 13, 2021