"I supported Milan, I grew up watching the Milan of the Dutch players." Defender Cristian Zaccardo

By Anna Italia
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New AC Milan defender Cristian Zaccardo finally held his first press conference on Wednesday 6 February 2013  following his transfer to Milan from Parma over the January transfer window.   Zaccardo is also part of the victorious 2006 Italian FIFA World Cup winners.  Zaccardo signed for AC Milan on 24 January as part of a swap with Djamel Mesbah to Parma. 

Zaccardo is looking forward to make his debut for the rossoneri.  These are the declarations from Cristian Zaccardo during the press conference courtesy of AC Milan official website.

AC Milan Tickets"I feel very positive, the group of lads are great and the team are very good. The position in the table is now better, we are just three points behind third place and we are level with Inter. We have Balotelli who is world class. I am getting to know everyone although I already knew all the Italian players. I just want to be ready for when the coach needs me. This club leaves nothing to chance. There is more pressure and more responsibility but these things make you feel a more important player."

For Zaccardo the next two games are vital to reach the derby in the best of shape.

"On paper the next two games are games we can win and we want to get to the derby with two wins in the bag. We have cut the gap on the teams that were above us."

Cristian spent almost four seasons at Parma before the call came from the rossoneri and he wasn't the only signing in the January transfer window.

"Mario does some great things in training and he will very useful, I think we have the best strike force in Italy. I have put myself on the line, I know that here it will be a lot harder to get a game than at Parma. To come here I sacrificed a year of my contract and I have signed until June 2016."

Zaccardo is a versatile defender who feels comfortable playing both in the middle or out wide depending on the needs of the coach.

"Everybody wants to play every game. I train hard and I want to be ready for when my time comes. I started my career as a right back but over the years I have adapted my game to play in the middle. It is great to be able to train with quality players. We have a very young attack that can do very well. El Shaarawy is extremely quick, Balotelli is a complete player while Niang is an excellent player for his age, and that's not forgetting the likes of Robinho, Pazzini and Bojan."

The 31-year-old hopes to mirror the career path of one of his former teammates in Wolfsburg, Andrea Barzagli.

"I hope to do what Barzagli did. We have had very similar careers and I hope to follow in his footsteps seeing that now he is a first team choice for Juventus. After the World Cup I played a good season at Palermo, then came the chance to play in Germany although I never managed to play with any consistency and that is why I decided to come back to Italy, to Parma. I thought I would end my career there but then this opportunity came along and I couldn't say no."

There are no doubts about who he used to support as a kid. "I supported Milan, I grew up watching the Milan of the Dutch players."

Click the video to watch the declarations from AC Milan defender Cristian Zaccardo, Press Conference, Wednesday 6, February 2013

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