Balague explains why Milan will regret Lopetegui decision: “One of the top managers”

By Ben Dixon -

Following AC Milan’s decision to move away from Julen Lopetegui as their next manager, Guillem Balague has hounded the Rossoneri for their decision to move away from a top-class manager.

The Lopetegui to Milan saga was rather short-lived, but progressed and declined with great pace. After leaving Wolverhampton Wanderers, the Spaniard was consistently linked with the post, during the early stages of the 2023-24 season, but nothing happened with the Diavolo refusing to sack Stefano Pioli before the end of the season.

However, as time progressed and Pioli’s fate began to be written, the Spaniard’s name grew in stature, and after a quick progression in talks, it seemed inevitable that he would become Milan’s manager, once the decision was made by the club.

It did not end that way, though, with fans crying out for someone other than Lopetegui and the management followed suit, turning to other candidates. Speaking to BBC London (via Hammers News), Ballague offered his opinion on the situation, and why Milan may live to regret their decision.

“What he did at Sevilla was extraordinary… in the last three years of his time there [Sevilla] they didn’t sign very well.”

“But he maximised the potential of that team, taking them into the Champions League etc. Look where they are now, they were about to be relegated.

“He’s a man with a lot of energy, with a lot of ideas from the Johan Cruyff school [of attacking philosophy] but versatile enough to understand what a team requires depending on the players he’s got.

“You are talking, I insist, about one of the top managers in Europe. And yes he could have been going to AC Milan. AC Milan’s new American owners felt that he was the man for them. They were negotiating and AC Milan told him ‘Don’t go with anybody else, it’s us’.

“And then this campaign from the ultras, who want to bring Antonio Conte – and in that way control Antonio Conte – it’s all very sad the club decided not to pursue the idea of Lopetegui. By the way, this is happening, he’s signed, he’s going to West Ham.

Tags AC Milan Julen Lopetegui


  1. A Spanish journalist trying to defend a Spanish coach that by some miracle no Spanish club wanted to hire. I am shocked, shocked! Well… not that shocked.

    1. No Italian club has hired Conte recently. That only means so much and he is not short in offers.

      Lopetegui is not worse than the other names in circulation.
      It is ok to dislike Lopetegui on a personal level but in general I do have an issue with people acting like the emotional outbreak against him is objective when he has one of the better CVs among the candidates.

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