Galliani reveals anecdotes on Buffon, Lloris, Donnarumma, Maldini and Ancelotti

By Oliver Fisher -

In each interview with Adriano Galliani gives about AC Milan he seems to reveal more fascinating insight into deals that almost happened and the figures that he worked with.

Galliani – who is now the managing director of Monza – gave a long interview to Luigi Garlando during the Sport Festival and he spoke about a lot of topics related to Milan from the goalkeeping department to Paolo Maldini and Carlo Ancelotti.

“Sebastiano Rossi psychologically is the strongest goalkeeper I have had. Every year I thought about taking a stronger one. of him, but psychologically he killed him and played punctually,” he said (via

“Dida was the strongest in the world until the firecrackers of the Curva Nord from Inter hurt him. After that he was no longer the top. But Dida is always present because he is still there. Now I’m going to rewatch the penalties of the Champions League final against Juventus where he saved three.

“Donnarumma? I remember him in the Supercoppa we won in 2016. Mauro Bianchessi came to my office one day and told me that he was the best ever but he was about to sign with Inter. I managed to bring him to Milan when I was 14.

“At 16 he made his debut in Serie A and in the European Championship that we won he was elected as the best player of the tournament, not just the best goalkeeper. Then unfortunately the memory in football is short.

“Buffon? We tried in every way to bring him to Milan, he played at a big club like Parma. He decided he wanted his mother to be close, close to her home. We had Lorenzo Buffon as a scout, vaguely related to Gigi.

“I agreed a deal for Lloris many years ago. Abbiati was to go to Palermo, he refused the transfer and Hugo Lloris was going to arrive in his place. But he didn’t go like this.”

After he retired in 2008, Maldini was repeatedly linked with a potential return to Milan in various different capacities while Silvio Berlusconi was still the owner and Galliani was the CEO. However, he never deemed it right to come back until 2018 when he was convinced by Elliott Management.

“Paolo is Milan, because his father was Milan. The technical characteristics of Paolo are known. His father in ’63 raised the European Cup and 40 years later back in England after Cesare it was up to Paolo to lift the same trophy. It hasn’t happened to any team in Europe.

“Cesare always told me, even during the negotiations for contract renewals, that he would never take Paolo away from Milan. And he took back education and morality from his dad. We retired the number 6 shirt from Baresi and the 3 from Maldini. Paolo’s can only be used by one of his sons.

“Why did Paolo only join the club when I left? I offered him any other positions that weren’t mine. And he didn’t accept. I didn’t give him my seat because I’m not that generous and I didn’t want to leave Milan.

“I also offered him the management of the youth sector. It probably wasn’t supposed to happen at that moment, there is the moment when you have to go in and you have to leave. It happened like this, now he is proving to be a great executive. I hug him at every game, sincere affection and I am happy for him.

“Maldini the condor of the future? I gladly leave this role to him. I don’t remember who gave me this nickname.”

Finally, Galliani also recalled Carlo Ancelotti’s time first as a player at Milan and then as a head coach, with the midfielder able to win virtually everything there was to win in both roles.

“Ancelotti was a player first and then coach. Carlo on the pitch was extraordinary, despite his injuries Sacchi convinced me and President Berlusconi to sign him. Roma gave him up because they thought he was at the end of his race.

“Wonderful player and person, a great relationship remains between He and us. At Juventus as a coach he finished second, he was not considered a winner. At the turn of 2000 he finish behind Lazio and Rome. I spoke to Ancelotti when Terim was on the bench at Milan. It didn’t go very well, that’s why we went to Carlo Ancelotti.

“He did exceptional things with the Rossoneri. I remember that after the first training session with Kakà he told me he was a phenomenon. At the time we also had Rui Costa. The only phone call from an intelligent player in the course of my career that I received from Manuel who told me that he had to leave because Kakà was too strong.”

Tags AC Milan Adriano Galliani Carlo Ancelotti dida GIanluigi Buffon Gianluigi Donnarumma Paolo Maldini


  1. So basically f**k Abbiati for not going to Palermo 😂😂😂 we could have gotten a solid keeper for the next 10-15 years in Lloris. If.i recall correct, I think it was in 2008 that he could have joined but Abbiati didn’t want to move. So pissed. Lloris was sooooo much better at the time and even now is still great. Abbiati was garbage
    But not as garbage as Kalac who costed us vs Arsenal in UCL in 2008. Couldn’t save a roller from 30 yards out. 🤦‍♂️

    1. Abbiati was never a world class keeper, but definitely one of the best in the league; pretty much like Seba Rossi. He was never a garbage.

    2. He’s definitely not a garbage. A kind of latebloomer GK, yes. Took over Dida’s place in 2010/2011 and had the best performance on his career for 4-5 seasons.

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