MILAN – Gianluigi Donnarumma’s hopes of receiving a warm welcome from AC Milan fans on his return to the San Siro stadium were dashed on Wednesday (Oct 6) as the club’s former goalkeeper was booed during Italy’s Nations League semi-final against Spain.
Donnarumma left the Rossoneri to join French club Paris St Germain in July after six seasons in Milan and some supporters have not forgiven the 22-year-old for his departure.
The goalkeeper helped his former side finish second in Serie A last season to secure Champions League qualification for the first time since 2013-14 and also played a decisive role in Italy’s Euro 2020 success in July, where he was named Player of the Tournament.
“I’m excited, I hope there is nothing (negative from fans). I will always be a Milan fan,” Donnarumma told a news conference on Monday.
There was no happy homecoming, however.
Some Milan supporters unfurled a banner with the words “Donnarumma you are not going to be welcomed anymore in Milan” just outside the hotel where the Italian team was staying, Italian media reported.
The goalkeeper’s name was booed when the stadium announcer named Italy’s lineup and Donnarumma was targeted every time he touched the ball in Wednesday’s semi-final, which Spain won 2-1 to halt Italy’s world record winning streak.
Asked whether such treatment had affected Italy’s performance, coach Roberto Mancini showed some frustration.
“We were sorry because it was Italy’s game and… I think that Italy should be put before anything,” he said.