The Rossoneri manager talks about himself at the Sport Festival: “Now as a manager I feel adequate. The more revenues we make, the more we invest, hence the restructuring of our football. Berlusconi? He called me to recommend a purchase … “

    Marco Pasotto

    September 25th
    – Milan

    The last caress in chronological order was that of Gullit, and dates back to yesterday: “For a player, knowing that Maldini wants him changes everything, he is the history of Milan”. Wherever he goes, and with anyone who talks about him, Paul makes his full bows. From that of Sergio Ramos at the Bernabeu to the post of Salzburg a few weeks ago (“When Paolo Maldini arrives in the city, all you can do is look in awe”), passing through all the Rossoneri players who have talked about the thrill of finding him alongside Milanello, Maldini remains the purest embodiment of Milanism. Also because it is a family tradition that has been going on for seventy years. It is therefore not surprising that the event with the Rossoneri dt at the Trento Sport Festival once again certified the immense love for him on the part of the Rossoneri people, who crowded the Teatro Sociale forming a long line to enter from the early hours of the morning. And a roar in the hall when Paolo arrives on stage – even the choir “there is only one captain” rises -, in the meeting curated and conducted by Gianni Valenti and Luca Bianchin. Maldini talked about practically everything, here are his words.

    On the Scudetto

    “It was very important and very different from when I was a footballer. Not playing, you have no way of releasing the pre-race adrenaline so you watch. A completely different tension, a different job. When I returned to the club in 2018 I still had to understand the manager’s vision, then I had a fair amount of experience and the Scudetto is the seal that one dreams of being able to put “.

    Three flashes

    “Since I’ve been working as an executive, three have come to mind. The moment of the signature. The first moments of difficulty, because I felt neither ready nor adequate, but I had Leonardo by my side and with him everything was easier. Finally, the day of the last match in Reggio Emilia, with the following party ”.

    On the importance of the surname

    “When I talk to a player I start with this advantage, in fact. But it is not only due to my family history, the advantage is also being linked to a club that has been great for so many decades, has a history that presents itself. Whoever is contacted by someone who carries all this with him, is perhaps more inclined to believe what he is told “.

    On his first purchase

    “Everyone thinks of Hernandez, actually the first real purchase was Krunic. And then I went to Ibiza to see Theo, I tried to use words that I would use with my son. I feel a little this father-son relationship with the players, I try to give support to the boys before the players. I remember how I suffered from my insecurities, if I had had someone who supported me sometimes I would have been better. So now it’s something I’m trying to do ”.

    On its roots

    “When you try to take on a player, the difficulties are various, because you have to tell about a project that is different from the Berlusconi era and is a downsizing. You must therefore tell a credible and in any case winning project. In my role I like to feel a bit like a guarantor of the project, it is something I feel, because I have the roots and they are also very strong, perhaps unlike other figures who do not stop short. I think I took the opportunity as a manager at the right time, slowly I feel adequate, something that I did not perceive in the first six months “.

    On the derby and Giroud

    “Giroud is a champion, an exemplary professional. The main characteristic of a champion is to work hard, to be humble and to be a team man. In difficult moments the champion comes out and he comes out. Last year we knew that the match was the right occasion, because the right moments don’t always come back ”.

    About Massara

    “The Maldini-Massara couple was born from a trio, that is when Leonardo leaves. To stay I ask to have Boban, my great friend and great connoisseur of football, in the company. A DS was also needed and I received tons of phone calls that spoke well of Ricky, whom I personally did not know as an executive. We had the interview, I liked it so much and we left. He has a different path and vision from me and this increases knowledge. Having a different view is essential. He is a great football connoisseur and hard worker. We are now a de facto couple, we live in symbiosis for most of the week. Moments with different visions? Well, for example, I liked Kjaer as a player but I didn’t know him in detail, while he insisted a lot ”.

    That sentence to Gordon

    “I am very realistic but also very dreamer. And dreaming of reaching the maximum result is something that transmits confidence. It’s something you do, that’s why I sent that message to Gordon Singer at Christmas telling him we were going to win the championship. I wasn’t sure if I would win the championship but there was potential. In January we actually didn’t have the budget to make the transfer market, then Juve took Vlahovic, Inter Gosens and then a small budget came out. And at that point I said ‘I don’t want it, we’re already strong like this’. As for this year’s ambitions, we are starting to win, we are reigning champions and the responsibilities should not scare us ”.

    About the group

    “The nice thing about the Scudetto is that they were all protagonists. Like Tatarusanu with the penalty saved at Inter, or my son with the goal at Spezia. We did not have any players on the sidelines of the project, thanks also to the management of Pioli who is fantastic in this respect ”.

    About Cardinal

    “When in doubt, I told Cardinale my story. It’s like I’m going to lunch with a baseball legend, I’d have a hard time knowing what his life is like. I told him about my past, my family’s relationship with Milan. Gerry is one who has energy, he wants to do and listens, and I like that a lot. The idea transmitted is a continuity of the project after Elliott. The club has been restored and is now expected to move up towards bigger goals. Desire, determination and ambition are there, we are Milan the story speaks for us “.

    On Italian football

    “If Milan have more revenues, we will have more opportunities to invest. From this also passes the general restructuring of Italian football. With England the difference is now unsustainable, our weapons are history and maybe more ideas. Our Serie A and our rights are worth too little for who we are ”.

    On De Ketelaere

    “The transfer market is dynamic, before De Ketelaere we tried to take Botman, who would have run out of budget and would have taken us to other players for the trocar. At this point in our journey we don’t have to take average players, but players of great prospect and Charles is one of them. We need time, I know that the fans and the media are not waiting, but we have to wait. Think about Platini’s first six months. A 2001 is not yet ready to take charge of a club like Milan and we must give the balance that is lacking outside. We have very few doubts about him ”.

    On Pioli

    “With Stefano I played in the Under 21 many years ago. But I did not know about him that he had such a contagious charge on the field, he releases an incredible energy. I knew him from a technical, moral and tactical point of view, not with a similar energy. Every day he transmits something exceptional. He shares our projects and strategies, he takes no excuse. We have seen a born leader, and think he is considered a normal one. The relationship has cemented, we discuss, we fight, Stefano is a sanguine. He finally found the environment where he was able to really show what the man and the coach are like. The things he hangs in the locker room? They are statistics, or perhaps phrases from former teammates or coaches, he always understands the best way to stimulate the group ”.

    About Ibra

    “He knows that recovery is difficult, but when we went to him to make the renewal proposal we told him that we needed someone who would still consider himself a 100% footballer. And he started with that idea, he wants to play again. He has a little anxiety about having to stop, but I think it’s normal. What will he do next? He will play Zlatan, that’s his role ”.

    On Inter

    “There is a great rivalry and a great respect. Milan teaches you this, to respect opponent. I live it in a serene way, everyone benefits from Milan playing a Champions League semi-final ”.

    On the new stadium

    “The coexistence with Inter in recent years has gone well, we have divided trophies, stadium and square, and therefore it is not a problem to share the stadium. San Siro is full of memories but the question is: do we want to live on memories or create others for the new generations? We have to create, to make ourselves competitive ”.

    About Galliani

    “I’ll tell you this. The referee who had not validated the goal with Spezia shortly after refereed Monza, Galliani went to him and asked him ‘How was he allowed to cancel that goal?’. With Adriano there was some misunderstanding, perhaps we had a somewhat shortsighted vision of who the other was, but now the relationship is fantastic. He is a great manager, long live Galliani, we owe him a lot ”.

    About his son Daniel

    “I lived my relationship with him on a roller coaster. Emotionally, you have to hold back, but then there’s no point in pretending. He is there because he deserves it, in fact his surname has brought him only annoyance, and I know it well because I have been there. But the name of my family is inextricably linked to this club, in the next few days a tribune will be named after my dad at Milanello and will always leave the memory of him alive ”.

    On Berlusconi (and Pioli …)

    “Berlusconi has called me lately to advise me on a purchase, but I can’t say who he is, or even if we have taken him … He calls Pioli often and advises him not to let the goalkeeper play too much with his feet. Moreover, Maignan is the best of our defenders to get the ball rolling, he is a modern goalkeeper, a fussy eater, he is ambitious. A very successful purchase “.

    On indecent offers

    “Say, I happened to say to a foreign club ‘don’t even show up’ (Hernandez, ed). Then, if they show up anyway, you have to see. Our sustainability does not currently need a divestiture because we have the accounts in order. We the strongest want to keep them, then it is clear that no one can be sold in absolute terms “,

    Singer senior’s sentence

    “Paul Singer told me ‘You have a fortune, through your work you can give happiness to one person, it doesn’t happen to everyone’. Of course, he has seen the best, but he is right: and it is a concept that has impressed me ”.