Theo aims dig at Real Madrid and reveals what Maldini said in their first meeting

by | Jan 20, 2022 10:51

Milan star Theo Hernandez reveals what Paolo Maldini told him in their first meeting in Spain and why he lacked confidence at Real Madrid.

The Frenchman joined the Rossoneri in a permanent €20m move from the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2019.

Club director Paolo Maldini met the defender in Ibiza, convincing him to join the Rossoneri.

“When I was growing up, I watched Paolo Maldini,” Theo told The Athletic.

“I have a very close relationship with Maldini, from the first time we saw each other in Ibiza he set things straight.

“He told me that I was a very important player, very good, but that I needed to work hard every day. Thanks to that, I am the player I am today and we are speaking every day with Maldini who comes to watch our training sessions. It is an honour to have Maldini, the best full-back in the world for a long time, here with us.”

Theo was not a regular starter in Madrid but has now become of the best left-backs in Europe.

The 24-year-old has scored 19 goals in 105 appearances with the Serie A giants who are in talks to extend his contract to 2026.

His current deal at San Siro expires in June 2024.

“At Real Madrid, I lacked the confidence to play more loose and drive forward but at Milan, I’ve got it,” Theo said.

“I can link up better with the strikers and forwards. What is it that I like? Attacking and going up the pitch. I play with more freedom to score goals and assist more.

“I’ve had many good coaches but I think the one that has changed my life as a footballer and as a person has been Pioli,” he continued.

“Pioli, from the first moment I arrived, has given me that confidence that I needed to get more out of my game and thanks to that, I am playing the way I am. I am very happy here thanks to him.”

Thanks to four goals and seven assists, the Frenchman has been involved in 11 goals in 24 appearances with Milan this season.

Only he, Achraf Hakimi and Robin Gosens have contributed to at least nine goals in the opening 21 Serie A games over the last 15 years.


  1. Kilroy

    Where’s the “dig” ?

  2. ACM1899

    “I’ve had many good coaches but I think the one that has changed my life as a footballer and as a person has been Pioli”

  3. fossadeileoni27

    Please, please…with what we have now…i would rather play Kalulu & Calabria wide with Hernandez moving to a wide midfield role. Let him bomb all match.

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