Chelsea legend John Terry was among those who praised Fikayo Tomori after a video of the former Blues defender speaking fluent Italian just 13 months after his move to AC Milan went viral.
After initially joining the Serie A club on loan last January, the 24-year-old made a permanent move to Italy this summer, and it’s safe to say the England international has adapted to the culture like a duck. at the water.
Tomori was born in Canada to Nigerian parents, but moved to England before his first birthday and spent his childhood in Kent.
He joined Chelsea’s academy at Under-8 level and was loaned out to Brighton, Hull City and Derby County before making his first-team breakthrough with the Blues under Frank Lampard in the 2019/20 season.
His Chelsea career dwindled following Lampard’s exit as boss, leading to him temporarily joining AC Milan last season, with Serie A then triggering an option to buy him.
The Rossoneri centre-back gave an interview after his side’s 1-0 win over Napoli, and it’s clear the Englishman has embraced his new life in Italy, both on and off the pitch.
Speaking confidently and with excellent pronunciation, the defender said in Italian: “[Victor] Osimhen is a very strong and quick striker too. Napoli are a strong team. Today Peter [Kalulu] and myself, the whole defense and the whole team, we had a great game.
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“We are happy but we still have ten games to play. We have to play like we played today and raise the bar too.
The video sparked a huge reaction online, with thousands of likes and throngs of fans praising the defender for his commitment to learning the language.
Tomori gave a humble response on Twitter to the praise he received for publicly putting his Italian lessons into action, saying, “Not perfect yet… But I’m trying,” before translating it into Italian. below.
The AC Milan number 23’s post-match efforts were also applauded by big names on social media, including former Chelsea captain Terry.
“I love this mate,” the former Blues skipper said, complete with a cheering emoji and an Italian flag.
Former Premier League midfielder David Meyler joined in the praise for the England international, saying: “Naaaa so impressive this buddy”.
Tomori has also earned comparisons to Paul Ince and David Platt who both learned Italian during their spells in Serie A during their playing careers.
Ince spent two seasons at Inter Milan between spells for rivals Manchester United and Liverpool, while Platt spent three seasons in Italy with Juventus and Sampdoria, later returning to manage the Genoa-based club.
Fans also took to Twitter to express how impressed they were with the interview.
“Love it,” read one of the comments on Twitter. “I really love it. Fantastic to see young players go abroad and do everything to fit in and maximize the experience.
It’s not just Tomori’s ability to speak Italian that has blossomed since moving to the mainland.
His defensive performances for the Serie A side have also strengthened, having lost just five games since signing for the club on a permanent basis this summer.
Tomori featured in England’s World Cup qualifiers in October, as a substitute against Andorra, and the centre-back hopes his rise to form in Italy will persuade Gareth Southgate to take him to the next World Cup final in Qatar.
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