Costacurta admits he expected more from Ibrahimovic and names picks to replace Pioli

By Oliver Fisher -

Alessandro Costacurta has admitted that he expected Zlatan Ibrahimovic to have more of an obvious impact at AC Milan, while he named the two head coaches he would consider as good replacements for Stefano Pioli.

Costacurta spent over 20 years as a defender at Milan between 1986 and 2007 and played alongside greats such as Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, and Mauro Tassotti, forming one of the all-time iconic rearguards under head coaches such as Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello.

He wonseven Serie A titles and five Champions League/European Cup trophies throughout his career, averaging over one trophy per season during his time at the club, so it would be fair to say he know what it takes to win.

Milan at the moment meanwhile are a hive of uncertainty. Pioli is on his way out but there is nothing concrete about his replacement, offers are expected for star players and there are some big gaps in the squad to fill, plus a big gap to Inter that must be overturned.

Costacurta spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport about a number of topics from the fan protests to the derby against Inter last month as well as the future of the club beyond the managerial appointment.

Billy, is the San Siro protest more justified or ungenerous?

“Ungenerous. Second place, behind a team that went at the pace Inter have, remains a good result. They got themselves above Atalanta, the new Roma, Juve. A certainty that must keep their heads up.”

Did the last derby show that Inter were too stronger?

“I saw the real weakness in the two legs against Roma. In the two European games I was amazed by the attitude of the team, little aware of what was at stake, namely the possibility of changing the season.

“And then the suspicion arises that something happened between the team and the coach that caused the relationship to deteriorate. The results would prove it: before those matches Milan had won seven in a row, after that they only did it against Cagliari. Before and after the spirit was different, something must have broken.”

What are the solutions for the post-Pioli era?

“I would choose a good Italian, with international experience. Basically one of either Conte or De Zerbi. There is little to add about Conte, I think differently about De Zerbi than Capello. They both have personality and ruthless mentality, they transfer their ideas and their spirit.

“I like coaches like that, that’s why I’m not against Conceiçao, but I didn’t like them very well in the dressing room, with a quality of play and a tough character, like Capello himself. When he got angry, he kicked bags.”

The protest remains more aimed at the club, as an invitation to build an increasingly ambitious team. Is this a fair request?

“I am a patient person, I believe it takes time to understand the real intentions. In some ways silence can be a strategy, i.e. they don’t communicate the new coach for fear of losing him. Or like when they say that decisions are made together: yes, but in the end who is really in charge?

“At the same time I don’t think we necessarily have to say everything, but calling Cardinale an idiot is cruel. Just look at his story, how he was born and what he has become we start talking.”

Lopetegui’s candidacy vanished after the news spread…

“The fans need to dream, whether it’s with a new coach or with great players. However, if you are convinced of the choice you must have the strength to carry on.

“The fans are rightly passionate but then rationality is needed. And I repeat, we have to get used to the way of communicating from an American ownership, which is different from ours.”

Speaking of expectations, how many signings should we expect to try catch up to Inter?

“I think one per department could go well, even if on paper the teams have never won anything. There is the test on the field and next year it could be different.”

For Milan?

“More for Inter. It’s always difficult to repeat an amazing journey, the motivations may not be the same. And if this year they overshadowed the Champions League, and they could have believed in it more, next year they will have to assert themselves in Europe. Plus they will have the Club World Cup: with so many commitments the season gets complicated.”

Finally, did you expect some more signals from Ibra?

“He could have been more incisive or stood out a little more. But what happens in the dressing room isn’t necessarily known everything… and as far as I know, on a couple of occasions he really made himself felt.

“On TV I often listened to the reserve players and never players with personalities like Maignan or Leao, he could push them to take on their responsibilities in public or present themselves. And we know that when Ibra speaks, trivial things never come out.”

Tags AC Milan alessandro costacurta


  1. What has this dude done after his playing career?

    Get a job at the club. Better than pundit jobs. Pundits are for lazy people

    1. Why does that matter what he does or doesn’t do??? If he wants to be a pundit that’s his perogative not yours. Not everyone can be a coach or wants to be. Your basically calling him lazy because he didn’t do what u wanted him to do?? Lol 😂
      ……or you’re upset at what he said as a pundit so u attack him because he might be right

    2. Why? So Cardinale can fire him too and replace him with his own yes man?

      Read between the lines here man. He’s saying the backroom staff has lost a lot of it’s respect because of the current management – with other people in the industry. No one knows what the hell Cardinale is doing. Not even him.

      You do realize Cardinale unceremoniously fired & dumped the two guys who brought Milan back to the top of Serie A and deep into the CL – for MONEYBALL MONCADA. We traded living legends for a moneyball peddler. End of story.

      The worst part is, we still have no proper communication. Management doesn’t care despite everything that has happened, they don’t get it.

      Expect MONEYBALL MONCADA purchases incoming. Sell the best we have (because $$$) and then re-hire the cheapest players available. It’s all about the player portfolio and player resell value.

      Buying a useless 1 mil player and selling him for 2 mil is a better deal to these people than signing a good 10mil player and having his price tag remain the same. One is profit, the other is not. Who cares about the talent level of the players, it’s about PROFIT.

  2. “…before those matches Milan had won seven in a row, after that they only did it against Cagliari. Before and after the spirit was different, something must have broken”.
    Id have to agree here but it’s also down to the lack of support for the boys during the Europa League tie. First from management who never looked like they were close or came out with encouraging words of support and then the Curva who totally withdrew their support because they got their panties in a bunch. That probably led to the break point. I honestly believe the players loved playing for Pioli, but when he doesn’t get the support he needs it becomes difficult to function properly

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.