AC Milan's Theo Hernandez Says He Was 'Insulted and Criticised' at Real Madrid

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2019

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 29: Theo Hernandez of AC Milan  during the Italian Serie A   match between AC Milan v Fiorentina at the San Siro on September 29, 2019 in Milan Italy (Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Theo Hernandez said he experienced a tough two-year spell at Real Madrid but feels honoured to have signed for AC Milan this summer.

The left-back explained that Milan technical director Paolo Maldini convinced him to leave Los Blancos and join the rebuilding of the San Siro giants.

Speaking to La Gazzette dello Sport (h/t AS), the Frenchman said he's matured after failing to impress at Real.

"I became known as a bad boy," Hernandez said. "I was insulted and criticised a lot at Real Madrid. I did some stupid things, but I have matured as a person, and I consider myself the playful type who spends a lot of time at home with my dogs and watching tennis on the television."

Francisco Seco/Associated Press

The defender was part of Atletico Madrid's academy and excelled during a loan spell at Alaves, prompting Real to sign the teenage prodigy.

He was unable to displace Marcelo at the back, however, and slipped down the pecking order before spending last season on loan at Real Sociedad.

The move to Milan should offer Hernandez fresh opportunity after 24 La Liga appearances for Sociedad last term.

The Marseille-born player already has a goal and assist in his opening five Serie A matches for his new team.

The 22-year-old added he's proud to now wear the famous Rossoneri shirt:

"It's an honour. Paolo made football history and not just at Milan, and with me he was very convincing. I didn't take long to accept the offer. I spoke with my agent and immediately we were in agreement.

"The dream is [to] lift the Champions League, but first you have to get there. Now we are far away from the Champions League places. A lot of things happen in football and I don't know how long it will take but the path we are on is the right one."

Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

Milan have spent years struggling in the Italian top flight, and the seven-time European Cup winners came fifth in Serie A last season.

Stefano Pioli's club have not won the Italian title since 2010-11, and they sit 12th in the division after an inconsistent start to the new campaign.

Milan have lost four of their opening eight league games and will find it difficult to earn a qualifying place for next season's Champions League.