Donnarumma on Champions League Regret, Courtois and Milan

Gianluigi Donnarumma expressed regret over Real Madrid’s 14th UEFA Champions League victory in Paris. “We could have been there instead,” he commented, as forward ace Karim Benzema staged an astonishing comeback hattrick in the second half when the teams met in the Round of 16 2nd leg.

Los Blancos first dispatched Paris Saint-Germain before handing Chelsea and Manchester City similar results in the subsequent rounds. However, Liverpool turned out to be a hard team to beat in the final for the Spaniards, who had to rely heavily upon goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to rescue them from deadly situations.

Donnarumma was quizzed on whether the big Belgian is now the world’s best goalkeeper, shrouding his own exploits with Italy earlier last year (via La Repubblica).

“I saw the Champions League final, he played an incredible match and kept Real on their feet until the end. And they won. He has had a splendid year, with great interventions. I congratulate him.”

The ex-Milan keeper came under heavy criticism for making a mistake that handed Benzema the opener before PSG faced 20 minutes of absolute pandemonium at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“I have broad shoulders for criticism, which is part of the job along with the praises. I focus on moving forward and getting stronger.”

Donnarumma then went on to congratulate his former team on winning the first Scudetto title in over a decade.

“After the European Championship and our Ligue 1 title in France, the perfect end was with them winning the Scudetto. I congratulate all my former teammates and Stefano Pioli, I am proud of them.”

Finally, he urged Italy to pick up from their World Cup disappointment and go headstrong hereafter, especially considering the plethora of talent at the national team’s disposal.

“We have to start again and we have to do it with the youngsters. There are many guys: Alessandro Bastoni, Giacomo Raspadori, Gianluca Scamacca, there are many and we will make a great journey. But the disappointment of the World Cup is still fresh, we must give joy to the fans by winning and playing great games in Nations League.”

Italy take on Argentina in the UEFA-CONMEBOL Cup of Champions – the Finalissima – on Wednesday evening before commencing their UEFA Nations League journey against Germany four days later.