AC Milan vice president Franco Baresi has backed Alessio Romagnoli to return to the top level after a difficult past few weeks.
Baresi is a man who knows what it takes to win, having spent 15 seasons and being considered one of the greatest defenders of all-time. With Milan, he won three UEFA Champions League titles, six Serie A titles, four Supercoppa Italiana titles, two European Super Cups and two Intercontinental Cups.
He spoke during an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport and discussed a number of key topics, beginning with how Milan have many Italian talents in the squad at present.
“It is our tradition. Valuable Italian players, often raised in Milanello: knowing the environment also means knowing the culture of the club, and the fact that Pioli can also focus on young people who have grown up here is certainly an advantage, even for those coming from outside and must fit in,” he said (via MilanLive).
Romagnoli has struggled in recent months and as a result, he was benched in the important game against Roma earlier in the month. His replacement in that game, Fikayo Tomori, performed really well and has held a starting spot pretty much ever since, with Romagnoli also having a muscle issue.
The captain is no longer an undisputed starter in this Rossoneri side after what has been several years of being one of the few certainties.
On Romagnoli, Baresi said: “He just has to get back from the injury. He is a point of reference and will return: he is the captain and is recognised by all.”
On Ibrahimovic’s return to the national team: “It doesn’t surprise me anymore. Indeed, there is one thing: those tears in front of the cameras, he is a boy with a heart. In management? There is time, I hope to see him on the pitch for another season.”
Head coach Stefano Pioli has drawn a lot of praise for his work with the team, having inherited a team battling for a spot in the top half and transforming them into a club with title ambitions.
“Pioli has grown to create a special harmony. It is a young group, and as such they live the matches with enthusiasm: this can sometimes lead you to make mistakes, it is part of the growth path. Mistakes also have their weight, they come in handy in the future. Milan in the Champions League? Let’s think about the present. What I am sure of is that if there are important goals to fight for, the club will move accordingly.”