Gazidis details why the club opted against Rangnick and why he is ‘in love’ with Pioli

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis has offered some background on the decision to stick with Stefano Pioli and snub the hiring of Ralf Rangnick.

It feels like such a distant memory now, but every source reported that Rangnick was going to arrive during the last summer, but towards the end of the pandemic-extended season the deal fell apart.

We spoke to Fabrizio Romano on our podcast about how close it was to happening and why it broke down, and he confirmed that it was only a step away from being completed but the Rossoneri instead opted for continuity.

Gazidis spoke to Peppe Di Stefano of Sky about his vision for Milan moving forward, as well as some anecdotes about the past, with his words transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.

Can you clarify how the Rangnick affair went?

“For me the choice must be made for sporting merit. I’ve always told Stefano and he understood it. The thing that surprised me was Pioli’s attitude on the pitch. A modern approach, which embraces the young talents that we have brought to the squad,” he said.

“Stefano uses data, analysis, videos, and understands that the 5 seconds of transition are the most important moments in football. Exactly a year ago, we lost against Inter… But from there we understood that there was something. We saw a way of playing that gave us awareness in his work. From there we understood that Stefano was the right choice.”

With results the way that they are, Gazidis has absolutely no regrets about his decision to show faith in Pioli.

“Pioli is an intelligent man. He is a simple but profound person. Stefano immediately understood that there is pressure here. It came at a tough time.

“The impressive thing is that he focused on work, not with words, but with deeds. He never paid any attention to the rumours. He has proven to everyone that he has the ability to run such a large club. This is why I am ‘in love’ with Stefano.”


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Tags AC Milan Ralf Rangnick Stefano Pioli