Fernando Redondo has made his long-awaited debut for Milan, over two years since he joined them from Real Madrid for œ11.1 million.

The elegant Argentine played the first half against Ancona in the Coppa Italia last night, and was happy to come through the contest unscathed after a series of troublesome knee injuries.

“The most important thing this evening has been that the knee was OK – I am very happy”, said Redondo.

“I agreed with the medical staff on playing just one half. I’ll go on like this for the foreseeable future, then we’ll see.”

This was his first competitive match since the Champions League Final in 2000. Since then, successive injuries have prevented him from appearing for his new club. However, Redondo never gave up faith in his ability to recover and return to first-team action.

“I wentthrough very difficult periods, especially last year, when my problems seemed to be never-ending, but I’ve never thought to give up football.”

“The most important thing is that my knee came up with the answers for every question I asked of it.”

The match, which ended 1-1, also saw the return of the Leonardo from injury. Indeed it was the Brazilian midfielder who scored Milan’s only goal.