A surprising header from Junior Messias within the dying minutes handed AC Milan a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid and saved alive their hopes of qualifying for the last-16 within the Champions League on Wednesday.
The objective additionally highlights Messias’ exceptional profession journey that has gone from delivering fridges to scoring on his Champions League debut when the Brazilian got here off the bench to web the winner.
The 30-year-old, who joined the Rossoneri from Crotone within the low season, scored together with his first try as a Milan participant on his third look, and his first in Europe’s elite competitors.
“I dedicate it to my household and associates in Brazil. However particularly to those that have believed in me and who had the religion to carry me to Milan. I’ve had a unique path to others, so I dedicate this objective to them,” Messias instructed Amazon Prime.
Messias moved to Italy from Brazil in 2011 and initially juggled novice soccer with a job delivering fridges, earlier than slowly climbing up the soccer ladder.
In 2015, he joined Casale within the fifth tier of Italian soccer, then rising by way of Serie D, C and B in subsequent years earlier than lastly making his Serie A debut final season with Crotone aged 29.
“That is crucial factor that has occurred to me to date,” he stated. “However humility needs to be a relentless. You may’t beat your self up about criticism or get over-excited about compliments. It’s worthwhile to have the correct steadiness.”
Milan arrived in Madrid rooted to the underside of Group B with just one level and something however a win towards Atletico would have eradicated them from this season’s competitors.
“It was a troublesome recreation, a decent recreation, with plenty of effort from the groups, making an attempt to get a bonus within the small particulars. They took the possibility they’d, we could not take ours with Matheus Cunha, and the sport acquired away from us,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone stated.
Wednesday’s outcome means the race to see who will be part of group winners Liverpool within the subsequent spherical will go right down to the wire. FC Porto, who’re on 5 factors, in addition to Milan and Atletico, who’re tied on 4 factors, should wait till the ultimate spherical of fixtures to determine who will end second, and therefore progress to the final 16.
Milan will host Liverpool whereas Atletico will journey to Porto on Dec. 7 for the ultimate Group B fixtures.
In a freezing night time in Madrid, a packed crowd on the Metropolitano Stadium did not spur on Atletico, who struggled to make any sort of impression towards a Milan aspect who confirmed urgency and aggression in a must-win state of affairs.
Brazilian Messias broke the impasse within the 87th minute with a spectacular header after latching on to an ideal cross from Franck Kessie.
“That is soccer. We now have one recreation left, there’s life, we now have to provide the whole lot till the tip. I consider within the workforce, we will win in any stadium, and now we now have to indicate that, and we’ll see,” Atletico ahead Antoine Griezmann stated.
Atletico defender Jose Maria Gimenez owned as much as being out of place for Milan’s recreation winner.
“We now have to just accept our errors, settle for the blame, in the long run I used to be the defender who was in that zone, I am the one accountable. So it hurts, it hurts lots as a result of defensively we might carried out fairly a superb job and that element makes the whole lot far more troublesome for us,” Gimenez stated.
As for Messias, Milan coach Stefano Pioli stated there may be far more to come back from the late-blooming star.
“It’s a fantastic story, however I feel he’s solely getting began. He has nice qualities, and this objective will give him much more perception,” Pioli stated.
Data from Reuters and ESPN Madrid correspondent Alex Kirkland was used on this report.