Former defender Franco Baresi believes that his old club AC Milan ‘can return to the top’ of Italian football in the future.
Baresi is an icon of the Rossoneri having led the club to six Scudetti and three European Cups during his 20 years with the club, and he turned 60 years old on Friday.
The former Milan captain gave a long interview to il Corriere dello Sport and began by talking about a return to action once the Coronavirus emergency is over.
“I know the fans hope the championship will resume and that it can be completed. But if I put myself in the shoes of the players, it’s not that easy,” he said (via FootballItalia).
“Playing in empty stadiums is not easy. If they are safe and if there are responsible behaviours, I think it’s right to start again, to provide joy.
“An extra hope for everyone because football must prove to be an example of responsibility. I hope that the championship can be completed, then the experts will decide when.”
He then went on to discuss the current state of old side Milan, with a lot of uncertainty surrounding the future direction that the club are heading in.
“Milan are my life. In every club there are cycles with changes. There has been a change of ownership. Berlusconi remained for 30 years and that, of course, is a favourable point.
“Today, there’s a lot of competition and it’s not easy because there are different rules, such as Financial Fairy Play, that must be respected.
“I still think Milan can return to the top.”
There were rumours that Baresi was set to leave Milan for Juventus in 1982, but the former No.6 has denied that it was ever close.
“It was just rumours, the request never came to me personally and I think Milan never wanted to sell me. I grew up at this club and I didn’t even consider it.
“That year, they made me the captain. I’m not sure if I was ready, but I learned along the way.”
Baresi also spoke about Ralf Rangnick, who many outlets believe will take an important role at Milan this summer as head coach in market leader.
“We must never be prevented from news. That’s my prerogative. Then we would miss it. Now, there’s a coach and a club that will decide, there are people who will have to decide for the best.
“I believe the club must always be at the base of it, there’s no need for individuality but for cohesion. We must think together without forgetting the history of the club and its philosophy.”
On current captain Alessio Romagnoli, Baresi added: We know the qualities of Alessio, one of the best players we have in Italy. He has been with Milan for several years and I think he understands the importance of wearing the Rossoneri shirt.
“The armband is a piece of fabric, but it has an incredible effect on the one who wears it.
“Paolo Maldini? It’s difficult to answer when we don’t know what he thinks. I would avoid making assumptions, we know who he was and what he did for Milan.
“Donnarumma? The opportunities are different from my times, giving advice is always very difficult. If I were Donnarumma, I would not hesitate to stay.”