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Onyewu Speaks About Adapting to AC Milan
New York Times, August 21st, 2009 4:15PM

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During AC Milan's preseason tour of America, newly signed defender Oguchi Onyewu sat down with the New York Times' Jeffrey Marcus for an interview. Onyewu speaks candidly about handling the pressure of the big stage, his new team, and his identity as a person and player. He emphasizes his hunger to learn from this new experience, to take advantage of the opportunity and rely on his adaptability to succeed. Onyewu says the "first thing on his mind" is "to break into that starting lineup."  He says his new teammates are "really cool. I appreciate them a lot because they're making this transition unbelievably easy."

Onyewu on whether or not people overlook aspects of his game in focusing on his physicality: "I feel that people who don't know the game or are not as in depth in the game would probably focus on my size and strength and the other attributes that are in your face. But just to prove them wrong, I was probably, all last season of the championship, I was the player that probably got carded the least on our team and the player that played the most minutes out of everybody. So I can't be that physical in order to do all of that."

He added: "Obviously when I first started I was raw a little bit and I needed to learn my body and learn to control myself and I think that's the whole process of growing up, learning, progressing as a player. And I think within the last few years that I've def adapted within myself and I've changed that aspect of my game completely around. But there's a lot of points of my game that people don't recognize the progress I've made or the work that I've put in to make my weaknesses a strength and my strengths even stronger..."

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