AC Milan striker Gianluca Lapadula admits was delighted to silence his critics by scoring a brace in an emphatic 4-1 victory over Empoli on Saturday evening.
After arriving at the Italian giants in the off-season from then Serie B side Pescara, media and fans criticised Milan management for investing €9 million in a relatively unknown player, with no top-flight experience.
The 26-year-old himself admits he was aware that he'd been labelled as a transfer flop but it gave him, even more, desire to prove them wrong.
"I would like to congratulate my teammate Suso and thank him for the two assists," he told Skysports Italia after the game.
"A month ago, I was almost considered a transfer market flop throughout Italy but at that moment, I gained, even more, desire. Thanks to the teammates and the coach who give me a way to express myself, I'm getting satisfaction.
"I never contested it but a month ago, even though I didn't do the pre-season training, no one was speaking well of me.
"Silvio Berlusconi [who pushed to sign Lapadula]? The President was the first to find me. I talked to him on Saturday night and he congratulated me.
"I have never considered myself a reserve player. I just want to prove that I can do well and the choices are up to the coach," he added.
"The call-up to the national team? It provided extra motivation. Just 18 months ago, I was in Lega Pro, now I wear the jersey of the Nazionale. But now I must always do well on the pitch."