Soccer-Milan's Pato targets immediate starting spot

MILAN Mon Jan 7, 2008 10:54am GMT

MILAN Jan 7 (Reuters) - New AC Milan forward Pato has set his sights on starting Sunday's Serie A match at home to Napoli after arriving in Italy.

The 18-year-old, a sensation at the 2007 World Youth Cup, signed for the European champions in August from Brazil's Internacional but has had to wait until January to become eligible.

A late bureaucratic hitch threatened to rob Pato of the chance to make his debut but the Italian league said last week that his registration had been completed and barring any more red tape he now looks poised to link up with compatriot Kaka.

"I feel ready to start. Certainly there is a bit of emotion but I'm calm. I don't feel any pressure," Pato told reporters after arriving in Milan at the weekend.

"I have a week of training in front of me. I have to work hard and then I will hope to be on the field from the start."

Noises from Milan's mid-season training camp in Dubai have suggested Pato could well be thrown in at the deep end when their stuttering Serie A season resumes on Sunday.

Milan have failed to win at the San Siro against Italian opposition this season and are languishing in mid-table.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti is under pressure and despite saying in August that Pato was one for the future, he looks ready to put his faith in the youngster straight away, especially as Ronaldo and Filippo Inzaghi are not fully fit.

"He will definitely give us something more in terms of quality and we are not scared of giving the lad too much responsibility," Ancelotti said last week. (Reporting by Mark Meadows; editing by Rex Gowar)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.