Fabio Capello has shared a very positive reflection on the current moment his former club AC Milan are experiencing under Stefano Pioli.
Pioli has managed to rack up 20 games in a row without defeat, something that only six other coaches in the history of the club have managed to do, the others being Fabio Capello, Arrigo Sacchi, Nereo Rocco, Lajos Czeizler and Nils Liedholm.
The most recent result was one of the biggest in that run: a 2-1 Derby della Madonnina triumph over rivals Inter thanks to a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Capello was interviewed by Monday’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport and was asked a number of questions about Milan, with his comments transcribed by MilanLive and translated below.
“I like this Milan. They are interesting, full of vitality, playing good football. One thing struck me: everyone plays with enthusiasm and joy,” he said.
“Thanks to Pioli, he was able to choose the players suitable for his style and won the trust of the club. He went through the difficult moments of last season in silence, focusing on his work. He intelligently managed the delicate phase of the lockdown. The players respect him and it shows.”
Credit must also be given to the management, Capello adds: “Maldini and Massara did well. From the outside the profile of a compact Milan emerges: Maldini, Massara, Pioli, team.”
On Ibrahimovic: “I wanted Zlatan in Italy. He manages to be decisive even at 39: Ibra wants to win. A champion like him is a driving force for the whole group. The younger players see Ibra doing his utmost in training and think: if someone like him works hard like this during the week, we can’t back down.
“I like Bennacer and Kessie. The former is growing, the latter was a bit lost after the move to Milan, but he is finding himself,” Capello added.
“Calhanoglu had already shown his talent in Germany and is now establishing himself. He is an experienced player at the age of 26, he has played fifty games for the Turkish national team. And then there is Donnarumma , a top goalkeeper, one who adds points to the standings.”
On the derby: “Milan can cultivate their ambitions. When you wear a shirt like the Rossoneri shirt, you always have to aim high. I said that Inter have enormous potential and I repeat my prediction: they are the favourites to win the title, but Conte must recover some players who ended up on the market in the summer.”
Finally, on the Maldini dynasty: “They started from the heart of the defence with Cesare and arrived in attack with Daniel. He is a quality guy. Having Paolo’s experience behind him will help him.”