Italy’s Euro 2020 hero wrote emotional farewell to AC Milan

Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma wrote a farewell letter to AC Milan fans and posted it to his social media account ahead of his expected transfer to Paris Saint-Germain. Donnarumma, who won the Euro 2020 Player of the Tournament after his impressive saves during the penalty shootout against England, spent six seasons as Milan’s first-choice goalkeeper after making his Serie A debut back in 2015.

“Some choices are difficult, but they are part of a man’s growth,” the 22-year-old, whose contract at San Siro expired this summer. “I arrived at Milan when I was little more than a child, for eight years I wore this shirt with pride, we fought, suffered, won, cried, celebrated, together with my teammates, my coaches, all those who have made and are part of the Club.”

At 16 years and 242 days, Donnarumma was the second-youngest keeper to play a Serie A match. He also broke the record as the youngest Italy under-21 player ever to play, aged 17 years and 28 days in March 2016. Six months later, he made his senior international debut, becoming the youngest goalkeeper ever to appear for Italy, aged 17 years and 189 days.

“Now the time has come to say goodbye, a choice that was not easy, indeed, and certainly a post is not enough to explain it, or perhaps it cannot even be explained because the deepest feelings can hardly be translated into words. What I can say is that sometimes it is right to choose to change, to face different challenges, to grow, to complete oneself,” he added. 

Donnarumma was also included in the UEFA Team of the tournament alongside four Italian players – Leonardo Bonucci, Leonardo Spinazzola, Jorginho, and Federico Chiesa. “I wish Milan all possible success and I do it with my heart, for the affection that binds me to these colours, a feeling that distance and time cannot erase.” Donnarumma kept 14 clean sheets last season as Milan keeper.

His contract at Milan expired earlier this month after he declined to sign a new one. Donnarumma – who was always named ‘the heir of Buffon’ – is expected to be officially confirmed as a PSG player soon, signing a five-year deal there. He has become just the second goalkeeper to win the highest award given to a Euro player after Peter Schmeichel’s instrumental role in guiding Denmark to glory in 1992. 

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