Blaise Bourgeois

‘New Pirlo’ Sandro Tonali admits he grew up as a Milan fan

Brescia will enjoy their first season in Serie A since the 2010-11 season after clinching the Serie B title with one game to play, in large part to the sensational play of Sandro Tonali.

Tonali, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Wednesday, spoke to Gazzeta dello Sport about his potential future amid links to Inter, Juventus, and Milan.

“Promotion to Serie A was the biggest thrill of my life after being called up to the national team.

“Whatever my future is, I will decide together with my president. Cellino is good, he knows the best solution for my future. I am happy to stay, maybe I can become an icon of Brescia.

“My father is a Milanista, while my mother and my uncle are Interisti. As a child, I went crazy for the Milan colors and my idol was Gattuso.

“I was at San Siro when Kaka scored against Lazio, and I also saw the goal of Seedorf against Chievo.

“I don’t think about the Pirlo comparisons. I’m a midfielder, I play for the team. The regista is another role. In Italy, [Marco] Verratti has the touch and top experience but also [Stefano] Sensi stands out.

“[Steven] Gerrard is a dynamic director, [Luka] Modric is unique in style. I stay with my feet on the ground. I know I have to work hard and hard to strengthen myself but at the moment I am managing to do so.”

Tonali has contributed three goals and seven assists in 33 games this season and is under contract until 2021.