Antonini backs Kessie to be decisive vs. Atalanta and draws comparisons between Allegri and Pioli

By Akhil Prasad -

Former AC Milan man Luca Antonini has drawn comparisons between the current Milan boss Stefano Pioli and his old manager Max Allegri.

Antonini’s legacy in Serie A will forever be remembered for his five year stint with Milan, during which he won the club’s last Scudetto title in the 2010-11 season. The Milan youth product was part of the Rossoneri team in 2013 that qualified for the Champions League. Since then, the Europa League is as far the Il Diavolo have reached on the continental stage.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via PianetaMilan) in an exclusive interview, the former Rossoneri full-back gave his thoughts on few topics including Milan final day clash against Atalanta, Stefano Pioli and Ibrahimovic’s absence.

On the crucial showdown against Atalanta, Antonini said: “You feel the importance of the event, you know how crucial it is to hit the goal. We have stayed out of the Champions League after playing it for years.”

Allegri masterminded Milan’s last entry into the premier competition. Speaking of which, he said: “Milan have been missing for too long. Qualifying is vital today as it was then. Allegri was very good at not letting us feel the pressure, he gave us great serenity.”

Stefano Pioli, however has changed Milan’s fortunes recently, ushering the Rossoneri back into the top of Italian pedestal, where they belong. Antonini praised Pioli for the trust he brings to the group.

“He trained me at the time of Modena and he had great solidity. The trust he instils in this team, I found the same with Allegri. Today, Pioli has two strengths: he knows the team like the back of his hand and has a great balance that he will pass on to the players,” Antonini said.

Ibrahimovic will be missing Milan’s final game and also the Euros with Sweden due to a knee injury.

He said: “Ibra is one who pushes on the accelerator, I remember the yelling at me and Ignazio Abate to encourage us to do better. He also charges you up by making you smile with a joke.”

Antonini expects Franck Kessie to step up his game and push Milan for a victory: “For Sunday I trust in Kessié: he is not afraid of games that weigh.”

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Tags AC Milan Franck Kessie Luca Antonini Max Allegri Stefano Pioli
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