Franco Baresi has outlined the joy he feels to have a role at his beloved AC Milan, insisting that the current project is one he has a lot of faith in.
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 was promoted to the role of honorary vice-president last year and is one of the figureheads that Elliott Management clearly want for their project moving forward, along with another club legend in technical director Paolo Maldini.
Baresi spoke exclusively to club partner Skrill about a number of different topics including the aims for Milan, their project, working with his friend and former team-mate Maldini and even a fantasy signing.
“I think Milan’s goal is to return to the Champions League after so many years out of this competition. having a good season, we are third in the standings, it’s up to us, this is our goal and we have to hit it,” he said (via MilanNews).
You have now been the club’s Honorary Vice President for almost six months, could you explain to the fans what your role entails and what it means for you to be part of the club’s senior management?
“Being part of Milan is a responsibility, a privilege. After my career on the pitch I have come a long way: I have held different roles and now I am very proud to be Honorary Vice President. Over the years I have learned what it means to be behind a desk trying to spread the values of belonging that have always been fundamental for this club.”
You have been a club ambassador for some time. How do you feel you can impact the club’s future in the years to come in this new role as honorary vice president?
“I believe that my experience can be an added value in the dynamics of the club as well as in the things I have learned over the years and now I can also do my part as a manager.”
You are famous for being one of the best players not only in the history of Milan, but also in football. What aspects of playing and influencing football on the pitch have you brought to working behind the scenes and influencing football off the pitch?
“My many years of experience on the pitch helped me to better evaluate the game, to advise how to behave in every situation, for better or for worse, in case of wins and losses. I think it’s almost the same kind of responsibility that players have. when they wear the Milan shirt.”
You played 196 games alongside Paolo Maldini as Milan central defender, conceding just 23 goals. How do you think this bond and partnership with Paolo on the pitch has helped to work with him now?
“We have played together for many years and have known each other since he made his debut when he was 16. I am very happy that our relationship still exists today. We both continue to work for Milan and we will both put all our knowledge and skills at the club’s disposal.”
Since you’ve been on the pitch, how have you seen football change? How would you have adapted your game to the present day?
“I have always thought of football as a purposeful game, a game that excites people. Yet football has changed externally, especially the approach to the media and the arrival of social networks. I have always thought that we must give children joy and the dream to be able to imitate their favourite champions. Footballers should always keep in mind the responsibility they have when they play.”
If there was a player you’d like to see Milan sign in the summer if money and availability weren’t a problem, who would it be?
“(Laughs) Let’s do a fantasy: Mbappé. I think he’s an amazing player. He’s young and he’s doing amazing things. He’s got strength, quality and plays in a modern way.”
Looking at today’s squad, who are the best players for you? And what is Zlatan Ibrahimovic in your evaluations of the football greats?
“Today’s team is trying to surprise and not disappoint expectations. It is a group that this year is performing at high levels and gives us confidence for the future. Zlatan is at the top of football; he is a legend. last 10 years he has been one of the best players for quality and personality. And there is no doubt about that.”