Former AC Milan defender Dario Simic has offered his thoughts on the Rossoneri’s season, some of their star players and what the future holds.
The Rossoneri ended the 2020-21 season in second place – their highest finish since 2011-12 – and by doing so they also secured a return to the Champions League after a seven-year absence, something you could have backed on new betting sites if you were feeling confident.
Simic spoke during “SempreMilan Special” on Milan’s official Twitch channel with Lorenzo Lollo and Mauro Suma and his comments were transcribed by MilanNews.
“We said last time that Milan were doing well, we dreamed of winning the Scudetto and we played well, then we had a decline. Analysing everything coldly, we can say that we have taken a big step forward towards the Milan that we want to see. It wasn’t easy to shorten this gap, but I think we made a big step forward,” he said.
“Great work by Paolo Maldini together with the owners and the scout area. It’s not easy to be competitive without a big budget. We see that the great strikers without the 80, 90 and 100 million euros are difficult to approach. Maldini is a great value for this club.”
On the defence of Milan: “Theo was a great signing, Tomori also did very well. We hope he stays. The young Kalulu also did well, Calabria had a great season. I think we have good material, if Tomori remains and we add another element, the defence becomes one of the best.”
How much influence can the Champions League on Tuesdays or Wednesdays have on the construction of a squad?
“Absolutely, we will still need great players and a larger squad. Maldini had a very difficult job, improving the team by changing some players. He brought Bennacer, Kessie remained, one of the best last year, Ibra last year had a great season. Rebic did well, Leao has great potential. Now we need to add another 5-6 players of the same quality or even better. I think this team is competitive, they did well against Juventus and Atalanta, we can hope to be able to compete at high levels.
“This season it was not easy not having a big budget. We have loaned several players who have improved the squad anyway. I hope entering the Champions League can help Milan become an excellent team in the next 5-6 years. We have a good base, we hope for the next 5 years.
“Money is not enough to make the team, Paolo is working and for each player he spends the right amount, he doesn’t waste money. It’s not easy, but if you’re good and honest, you can. It is also important that they have to be trained well, without a strong coach it is difficult for the players to express themselves at their best.”
How did you manage the physical drops during the season?
“It wasn’t difficult to keep fit, Milan always played on Wednesdays and Sundays. Luckily we were 20 strong, we often changed, those who were not fit were replaced. You have to train hard, but often you need players with great physical abilities who are needed at this level. Football is now more physical, faster and more intense. We need to add young players who manage to run, as did Atalanta which is an interesting model.”