Gazidis discusses Milan’s vision, new stadium, return to Italy and Pioli’s work in revealing interview

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis has revealed that he feels like the is back home upon returning to Italy from New York, and talked about the club’s plans moving forward.

On the occasion of the feast of Saint Ambrose, Gazidis gave an interview to Milan TV about a number of topics including returning to Italy, the new stadium, Stefano Pioli’s renewal and the squad’s current form.

“I missed Milan a lot. It is a city with a strong heart. I felt this belonging during the period of the lockdown, I felt the strength of the city, the generosity of the people. In that period I felt all these quality and I felt part of this city. Milan has an incredible history, but it is a city that looks ahead. It is always necessary to look ahead and think about young people and their future,” he said (via MilanNews).

Gazidis has been in New York where he continued treatment on the throat cancer that he has been battling since his diagnosis in the summer, and he is now back in Milano ready to get back to work with the Rossoneri.

On going back to San Siro, he added: “A truly unique, special moment. Not only in my professional career, but also in my life. I will never forget it. When I arrived in Milan there were doubts that I understand, but over time I believe that the fans can see the vision we have for this club. It is possible, with the club’s values, to take this path. It takes courage, but Milan have always had it.”

Milan, Inter and the City Council are current locked in talks over a new stadium and it seems that the plans will be approved, with Italian firm Manica and American giants Populous the two competing firms trying to land the project, which Gazidis believes is fundamental.

“I understand the doubts, because San Siro is a special place, but it is necessary to have courage. The feelings exist and cannot be questioned. The memories of San Siro will be there forever, no one will be able to erase them, it is impossible.

“Every league in the world that has been successful has done so by building new stadiums, with an incredible and inclusive experience for the fans. This is very important for the future. We have everything that is needed: football, people, fans… I see a bright future, you just need to have courage: creating new stadiums is a fundamental step if we want to be at the top of football in the world again.”

Part of the agreement however pertains to the current structure of San Siro being preserved in some way, perhaps for other events, while the surrounding district will also have a lot of investment.

“We have been working on this vision with the mayor for two years. It will be a new heart for Milan: it is not just a football project, but also a vision for the whole city.”

The Rossoneri reclaimed top spot with a victory over Salernitana at the weekend as Napoli lost, meaning just two points separate the top three places in the table with Inter having closed the gap too.

“We are first… at the moment (smiles). We are growing. We have always said that we are at the beginning of the journey, not at the end. There is great unity at the top of the club, from president Scaroni to Maldini, Massara and I, and with Pioli. The players see this unity and understand the vision. Everything is possible when there is unity and work.”

On Stefano Pioli, Gazidis added: “He has the quality to play the kind of football I wanted on the pitch. Each player has a very important role in achieving our goals. I immediately saw the possibility of bringing Milan back to the top. This is my dream: at the end of my life I would like to say that I had a small part in this great vision. I love Milan and there is a vision for the city similar to that for the club: a modern, inclusive city that looks ahead with courage.”

Finally, he sent a message to the Milan fans: “The AC Milan family has given me great energy and this gives me pride and strength. We have lived through two difficult years, I wish our fans and the citizens of Milan a good feast of Sant’Ambrogio, and I also hope in an easier year for everyone.”

READ MORE: Milan hoping for another special European night – collective fury needed against Liverpool

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