AC Milan Women’s head coach Maurizio Ganz has spoken out about his conflict with Valentina Giacinti which led to her leaving the club.
Ganz recently gave an interview to il Corriere della Sera and during it, he discussed a multitude of topics, including his decision to become a women’s football coach, Alia Guagni’s impact on the team, and his conflict with Valentina Giacinti.
Among the highlights of the interview…
On how he became the coach of the AC Milan Women…
“It was a challenge for me. Milan gave me a lot, so by saying ‘yes’ [to the coaching job], it was also a way for me to give back to the team. Women have come a long way, and they become better and better because they know that there is little room for error.
“I hope to lead Milan to a trophy, but at the same time, I also want to grow the women’s movement. I am at the disposition of the football that has become a part of me.”
‘Women’s football saves you’
“In women’s football, there is a lot of enthusiasm. Diversity is not a technicality, if anything, it arises from the relationship that is created with the players. You have to learn rather quickly who you are dealing with.
“You have to be direct and you cannot lie [to the players]. I have discovered an incredible world in women’s football. I give 100% when coaching the women, as I love working on the field and they follow my lead, as they do not cut corners, and they even go above and beyond [what is required of them]. The prima donnas are there, but if they work for the team, then it is not a problem.”
What he thinks of his predecessor, Carolina Morace…
“Morace has done a lot for women’s football, and it was not embarrassing for me to take their place. I knew I had to start from scratch [when I took over].
“To understand how to deal with women I trained with the ones in my own home, and I prepared myself psychologically. This year we are trying to replicate the excellent season that we had last year: now we are aiming to finish in a Champions League and slot we are also in the Coppa Italia semi-final.
“The Super Coppa loss still hurts me, especially because of the way we lost it, and extra time would have been fair, but it was a great game. We have come from behind and turned it around in many games, and we must believe in ourselves to very the end, carefully until the final whistle, as that’s what Juventus does.”
On mounting a challenge to Juventus…
“Juve is making its own way. We [Milan], Inter, Sassuolo, Roma, and Fiorentina must organise ourselves to become more competitive. We all have to grow, but we are already growing, and it is only in this way do we close the gap with Juventus.
“The Champions League makes a difference, and an economic commitment [from the clubs] makes the difference: if you have these things, then the best foreign players will choose to play for you.”
On foreigners in Italian football…
“I have eleven good players who are Italians. Foreign players are important because they have professional mentalities. In the men’s league, for example, there are many [foreign players], but only a few are actually making a difference.”
On how Alia Guagni has benefitted the team…
“Alia is fantastic both as a player and as a person, and accepting our offer was the right thing. Last year was unfortunate as she was injured a lot, but now she is doing better.”
On his fall-out with Valentina Giacinti…
“It was a difficult thing to go through. But we must know that with every action there are consequences.”
On what he wants from life
“I want everything. I’ve been given a lot, but I keep wanting more. And I want more with the group, because it’s everything and without each other we have nothing, and together we win.”