quarta-feira, março 31, 2004
No controversy, no accusations, no problems, no drama.
On the day of his 32nd birthday, Manuel Rui Costa was interviewed by telephone on ‘Studio Milan’, Milan Channel's Monday evening talkshow, where he refuted claims that he would leave Milan.
The Rossoneri number 10 wanted to distance himself from any rumours especially after providing the cross for Sheva's late equaliser against Chievo which provided the perfect birthday present. The midfielder said: 'I had a positive day today, it was a good way to celebrate my birthday but I am disappointed about what I read in the papers. I am sorry to speak in such an angry way, about the problems, accusations. I never gone out of my way to create problems because I am only interested in doing my best for Milan. In any case, my personal worries always come second to Milan. After my assist against Chievo, I was screaming with delight as it was a liberation, a way in order to express my personal satisfaction, and nothing more. It wasn't a scream against anyone, against the coach, against my team-mates, it was just a scream of liberation and to show I was still an important player. I had no intention to cause any problems and if someone interpreted it so then I am sorry. I think that after a lot of games on the bench it is normal to be a bit nervous and of course, the game against Chievo was difficult, it was 2-0 with 15 minutes to go, Roma were drawing, the team weren't playing well. A draw such as this brings out a lot of emotion and then there was my own situation. I am proud to come on and managed to do something, I am happy to help the team.'
Rui now has only one thought and added: 'I don't want to create problems but continue to work. I have always been available to help my team-mates and ready to do my bit. I work well all week and I am always ready to play. This makes me proud. I may have exaggerated my celebrations but without any motive to cause a problem.'.
Rui is also honest enough to recognise Kaka's merits and said: 'I am not a regular at the moment because there is a player doing very well. I am not the bench for an insufficient reasin, but because of a great player who is considered a future Golden Ball winner for many years. There is no rivalry between us, indeed after the goal against Deportivo I told him to take the match-ball. I think he is mature and intelligent, I know the situation but clearly I cannot be happy if I am not playing. If I showed it then it wouldn't be good for Milan.'
In closing, Rui looked to the future which he believes will continue to be red-and-black: 'It's true that I have always said I want to end my career at Benfica but I don't think I am at the end of my career. I don't think my playing days are coming to an end and I feel I can still be a major help to Milan. I am happy to be here, the papers said that I want to go to this club or that club. If the club feel I am still useful I won't leave.