Alessandro Matri out to prove a point
New Fiorentina signing Alessandro Matri says he only has himself to blame for his struggles at AC Milan, while he is determined to ensure things pan out differently with the Viola.
Matri, 29, completed a move to the Florence club on loan until the end of the season on Wednesday.
The striker was presented by Fiorentina at a news conference on Thursday, eager to prove he is not the same player seen by the fans at the San Siro during the first half of the season.
"I have a great desire to spark the engine back into life and show what I did up to last year," said Matri, who joined Milan from Juventus last summer. "I'm very self-critical so the blame is mainly mine and I have no problem admitting it. I'd like to thank Milan who made such an effort to get me.
"They were an odd six months because I wanted to bounce back after Juve, but exclusively due to my own problems in settling in, this decision has now come about for me to show, maybe with a bit more consistency, what my real worth is."
Matri has been drafted in to fill a void in the Fiorentina attack left by serious injuries to both Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez.
However, he has four months to prove he is worthy of a place in the side, even when both are fit again, and perhaps also to secure a return to the Italy national team.
"My first objective is to do well here because that's crucially important," Matri said. "I've said it in the past: if I do well in the club I'm playing then there's always the chance to be called up [for Italy]. Being called up to the national team is what every player aims for, but my priority is what I do here.
"I am here on loan so, at the end of that term, both clubs will have a decision to make. It will depend on how I play and I'd like to think of the present because there's no sense in thinking of the past and the future. I am ready and I want to make my contribution immediately."
Matri has moved from a side languishing in 11th in Serie A to one just five points adrift of a place in the Champions League next season.
"We've got to believe that we can qualify for the Champions League," he said. "We're very close to third place and there is motivation at least to give it a go. Fiorentina have surprised me a lot over the past few years, to be honest. In such a short space of time, they have risen to a great level and I'm really pleased with what I've seen these few days."
Matri, who joined Milan from Juventus for nine million euros just six months ago, will return to Lombardy next summer according to the terms of a loan deal which Fiorentina's director of sport Daniele Prade said was the "only way" they could get their hands on the forward.
"It was the quickest way too," Prade said. "The fact we play such exciting football, and we have such an attractive city does a lot for us because of course otherwise we cannot compete financially."