Nikola Mirotic (32 years and 2.08 m) was announced as a new Armani Milan player this Wednesday. A commitment that materialized in early August and after many twists and turns and many rumors about his final destination following his sudden departure from Barcelona: with two more years of contract and a gross claim of 22 million euros, the Barça team decided to reset its project ( for sporting reasons and above all economic reasons) and unilaterally terminated his contract because the parties could not reach an agreement on his departure.
“I wanted a team with the potential to reach the Final Four, we have nothing to hide. Olimpia deserves to be at the top of Europe,” assured Mirotic, using the words summed up by Sportando, during his presentation together with Christos Stavropoulos. “The negotiations were neither lengthy nor particularly difficult. “It was a challenge, but that’s what happens when you’re chasing a player of this level,” commented the Italian club’s sporting director.
“Olympia has great players, seasoned veterans, a great coach and Milan is a perfect city to live in. For my family, for my kids,” the power forward continued. “I don’t like being comfortable, I don’t want to be in a comfort zone, I want the pressure. I’ve been here for ten days and I’ve been impressed by the club, how it works, how many people work to enable you to perform at your best. It’s the closest thing to an NBA club I’ve seen in my career. It’s a club the players want to come to.”
Milan is Mirotic’s third European club, the first outside of Spain after his steps, the first of his career, at Real Madrid, where he met Ettore Messina, the current coach of the transalpine team: “He’s a guy I. “ I want to fight, compete and help win. When I was trying to survive in the Madrid first team as a kid, he gave me the opportunity. He told me to work hard and be ready for the day when I had the chance: Two months later it came,” continued the Spain international. “We kept in touch, we saw each other when we were in the NBA. He is one of the two or three best coaches in Europe. I felt our job wasn’t done yet, so I’m happy to be able to play for him again.”
Mirotic’s landing on Italian soil took a long time. Although it was revealed that Barcelona wanted to do without him, their paths seemed to cross, everything pointed to the impossible, with Serbian basketball and Partizan in the lead (the agreement between the parties had been reached) and even the Greek one with Panathinaikos who bid hard for him. A back and forth of information and inconclusive agreements that don’t seem to concern him that much, as well as his bad farewell to Barça: “To be honest, nothing (of what happened in the summer) bothered me. I am the type of person who is not influenced by what you say or write. It’s not my turn. I’m concentrating on the present, on the great challenge of playing in the Olympics. That’s all that matters to me.