I don’t think many people expected the Donnarumma saga to end like this - at the very least we expected the youngster to sign a deal before leaving on a big money deal to another club - but refusing the deal altogether? It was a bolt in the blue.
The news of Donnarumma’s decision was met with more than shock - an undercurrent of anger emerged from Milanisti and from other figures in Italian football media. Disgust and toxic resentment emerged from the Milan faithful - and almost rightly so.
I don’t say that lightly. Hate is a very, very strong word and one of the emotions I genuinely choose to avoid, I can’t remember who it was - but one of the quotes that will always stick to me regards anger as a value that is equivalent to acid. An acid that will do far more damage to the container it is held in than anything it could be poured on. We don’t deal well with anger - certainly I should say that I don’t deal with anger well. Instead, I’m simply disappointed. I guess we had all built up a narrative on our head of Gigio being the homegrown kid who will lead Milan forward. It’s almost similar in regards to those Tumblr fandoms and how heartbroken bloggers are when their headcanon is slain by a showrunner or an author. Certainly, you can understand why people are angry, it’s because they feel like their hope - and affection - was misplaced. Love isn’t something we give out freely.
It’s hard to understand why Gigio came to the decision that he did (well, not really considering Milan’s form over the last few years, but it should be on the rise) and while we can certainly blame the influence of Mino Raiola (and rightly so, since he’s under review by an ethics commitee - and he earned a bomb from the transfers of his clients), it is Mino’s job to seek the best deal for his clients. Maybe Milan banked too hard on Gigio’s support of Milan? I’m certainly all for Gigio making bank - but he’d have made it at Milan. Gianluigi apparently wept after seeing the reaction to his decision - and while that is sad, this was always, always going to happen.
I can only relate to Gigio in one way - and that’s the fact that I know what it feels to be an 18 year-old. When I turned 18, I expected the world to change considering that I was now an ‘adult’. It didn’t, obviously - everyone still acted like children. We’re all just big children - but thankfully are lives are not defined by the mistakes we make at age 18 in most cases. It might turn out that Gigio’s decision was a huge mistake; but is he not so human as to be allowed to make such errors in judgement? Especially with so much at stake?
Not in Milan, but it’s always been that way - and when you’re part of the Rossoneri, you’ve got the weight of expectation on your shoulders.