Abate expresses pride after Milan Primavera make history: “Sign of destiny”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan’s Primavera side made history last night as they reached the final of the UEFA Youth League for the first time in their history, becoming the first Italian side ever to do so.

Milan found themselves 2-1 down in the dying embers of the game in Switzerland yesterday but after some late pressure, they finally earned what their effort had deserved.

Alexander Simmelhack bagged a last-minute equaliser after some magic from Kevin Zeroli – who recently extended his deal with the club until 2028 – and then the midfield scored the winning spot kick to spark jubilant scenes.

Speaking to Milan TV after the game, head coach Ignazio Abate spoke about the incredible result for his side in Nyon, and his comments were relayed by MilanNews.

Apart from the beauty of equalising in this way (right at the end), even if on the bench you will have experienced it with a little more tension, but when it ends well it’s wonderful to score a goal in the last minute and win on penalties for the third time in a row.

I imagine you are so proud of the two years, not just this year, because I remember, looking into your eyes, Milan-Hajduk, different situations, we were more discouraged, but you certainly already had in your eyes the desire to do it again. Nobody would have said it, we did it again and we are in the final…

“Yes, if you think that we are back here, I also told the boys, playing in the finals is something incredible. The path is difficult, difficult, then you know, along the way the matches are always tough, so every detail makes the difference, you see today.

“We had a good first half, as soon as we slowed down the pace a little we missed an exit and they put us away, the quality is high time the game was balanced, we conceded goals from set pieces where for three days we always worked on the corner kick because they are really good at using them, and then I believe that another team would not have come back.

“Only the heart, the desire and enthusiasm of these guys who brought it home. We could have scored a third on the counter-attack, but we didn’t lose our head, until the end. The changes made the difference, they came in great, and this that’s what I told them before the match, the group took us to the final, and now we’ll enjoy it for this evening and from tomorrow we’ll think about the next game.”

The group also means two guys who were with Pioli in the Europa League last night, on the bench or in any case in the first team squad, they made the journey, they arrived. Kevin Zeroli lost his man on the corner kick but practically scored the equaliser. It means a lot to have guys who respond to you in this way even if sometimes the first team has taken them away from you…

“You know, Bartesaghi and Zeroli haven’t really worked with us this week. They haven’t prepared the match, and for them it’s not simple. They arrived at the hotel around 11, they went to bed late, they made the trip, they absolutely wanted to be there, and they were commendable.

“Kevin, despite the mistake, played a stellar game, but so did Bartesaghi. They wanted to be there by force, 99% they will stay with us for the final too, and no it’s easy not to prepare and make the boys understand things only on video.

“But they did their best, I’m very happy and I told them guys that in my opinion the stars were aligned today and we would have gone to the final It’s heart-pounding to go through like this, I remember on on 19 April 1989 Milan won the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid 5-0.

“Maybe I told them ‘It brings us good luck’, and it is a sign of destiny. It was like this, we enjoy it and then we prepare for the next match which will be a difficult match, just as it will be for them [Olympiakos].”

Tags AC Milan Ignazio Abate Milan Primavera


  1. Who was the one laughing at me saying if we really thing signing Lopetegui or some other coach of his calibre we better give chance to Abate? Giving examples of Seedorf, Inzaghi and etc how they failed at the helm of the 1st team. Well none of them took the Primavera out of the slump and took it to the finals!! And in my opinion he really should be given chance if we don’t have the money to hire top manager – players like Zeroli Barthesagi and Simic would be finally given chance to play regularly and I’m sure Zeroli is gonna surprise us all as holding midfielder

    1. Hmm 🤔 sounds like something I would say so I’ll have a go.
      First off why are you and others back on the Abate train? When he loses matches in the youth league you guys are NOWHERE to be found. I always post sarcastically “hire Abate” to show how absurd it sounds and to highlight if you’re going to hire him such things…like losses…will occur. You’ll never hire someone on a losing slide, right? . The only reason his name comes back into the fray is because our team just had a loss and his team somehow has a win. That’s basically why! No other reason. The anger that builds up because ppl don’t like Pioli automatically gets overtaken by the grass is greener/ nearest available comparator …and that usually ends up being Abate.

      Oh he’s in the final of some tournament? Oh that’s nice. You do know that Pippo Inzaghi won the prestigious Viareggio Tournament coaching the Primavera back in the day, don’t you? He also posted some of the highest marks in his coaching courses. How did he end up doing as coach of Milan? The worse in the banter era and one of the worst all time. Plus most of the players in that same Primavera cohort are playing 3rd or at best 2nd division football and those were the best of the best , a golden crop (sounds familiar?) of Primavera players (except Calabria ofc and Petagna ..somewhat)
      So, no I don’t hold much stock with the Primavera system in its current form or the coaches there.
      Lastly, I’m impressed with zero of the coaches we have been linked with. Not saying don’t change but the options are dire and buyer beware even if Abate is successful in the final.

  2. Well it’s not SOME tournament… but whatever. I’m only pointing him out because in my opinion all the coaches linked with Milan atm will bring nothing new so we might as well give him a chance. I’m always saying for Milan to make the next step we need a winner someone proven someone to elevate this players to the next level.
    About Pipo I know perfectly what he achieved and what not with Milan but let’s not compare what he had to work with and what actually we have now as a squad. I’m not saying it’s a perfect one but at least we have something to build on.
    About Pioli yes respect he managed to pull us out from mediocrity but it’s clear that the cycle is over – maybe his tactics are good(which I strongly doubt) but the players seem not to listen or convert what he’s trying to implement. So what’s logical – buy 11 new players squad or change the the mister?
    And btw it wasn’t you who was arguing 😂

  3. Ok I see your point more clearly now. Gotcha 👌
    The thing is I’m not opposed to a new coach but much like yourself I don’t see the ones we’ve been linked with head and shoulders above what we currently have. Imo Pioli has done a great job overall and a good job this year especially trying to integrate 10 new players (but I DO understand why one would want a change as well after the abysmal performance in Europa League).
    Abate can be a bust or do well. It’s really 50-50. He also falls into the not clearly an upgrade category like the others we’ve been linked with. Maybe he falls into the sentimal category too, I’m not sure. I don’t rate the youth levels in Italy much along with the coaching in terms of a factor to the next level. Ideally I’d like to see him coach a low or mid table Serie A team to get a better idea. But I know it’s going to be hard for whoever is the next coach simply because they need to essentially win the Scudetto to compare better than Pioli (and I know that will haunt them)

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