Alexandre Pato has criticised former club AC Milan for causing his persistent fitness problems amid the current injury crisis at the club.
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Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri was able to name a squad of just 13 players for their Champions League opener against Celtic on Wednesday night with the bulk of his players having to undergo treatment.
Pato had spent a significant proportion of his five seasons at the Serie A club on the treatment table before he was allowed to join Corinthians in January, and the Brazil international claims the current problems were inevitable.
“I paid for my injuries and I still am paying for something that was not down to me but rather to the workload [at Milan],” he told SporTV. “Everybody can see the difference between when I was in Italy and since I’ve returned to Brazil.
“The treatment was different there. They do a lot of physical exercise, in the swimming pool, physiotherapy -- you end up doing 20 days of work in just one week, and it’s only normal that the body can’t cope.
“Milan have lots of injuries this year too, which shows that the muscular injuries I had weren’t my fault. I played one game, hurt myself, recovered and injured myself again. It’s the doctors and the excessive workload aimed at getting me back in action sooner.”
Allegri has jumped to the defence of his club’s renowned Milan Lab medical department, based in their Milanello training facilities, saying Pato should ask himself why he was always injured rather than pinning the blame on his former club.
“There’s no sense in talking in retrospect,” Allegri said. “Pato’s playing well in Brazil and I believe he’s pretty fit, but making gratuitous accusations against people who work in a professional way, trying to get as little wrong as possible, is not nice. Sometimes a bit of self-criticism does good.”