GdS: A commercial opportunity that irritated Deschamps – background on the Milan-Roma friendly

By Oliver Fisher -

France boss Didier Deschamps has caused a stir with some comments he made regarding the trip to Australia that both AC Milan and Roma went on last week.

In the unsolvable battle that has always and will always pit the needs of the clubs against those of the national teams, Deschamps did not mince words to describe his discontent towards Milan: “Organising a tour in Australia in the midst of the national team’s retreat, it’s not very nice.”

As La Gazzetta dello Sport write, the reference is obviously to the friendly played on Friday against Roma in Perth, which saw Milan leave for Australia on Monday last week, to return to Italy on Saturday.

In addition to that, it is also obvious that Deschamps is not interested in the rest of the Milan squad, just Theo Hernandez and Olivier Giroud. Not even Mike Maignan was impacted, who was injured and did not take part in the intercontinental trip.

The France coach is already annoyed by increasingly busy calendars which progressively shorten the national team retreats and he has pointed a finger at the Australia trip since the announcement of the list of players called up for the European Championship.

We were still in mid-May when DD had already revealed a certain discontent, cutting short those who asked him if Giroud and Theo would be available for the first friendly against Luxembourg, scheduled for 5 June in Metz.

“They don’t play because they travel. Five days away, 24 hours of travel on the outward journey, 24 on the return journey,” he said.

“But it’s also a question of FIFA dates which opens its cycle on 3 June, so the Milanese management have every right to do so, but I won’t hide from you that there is little chance that the Rossoneri players will be included in the plans for our first match.”

Milan obviously believe that they has done everything legitimately, based on their own sporting needs, but above all of a commercial nature. The week in Australia culminating with the match against Roma (a 5-2 defeat) was in fact organised to help boost brand visibility and connect with fans down under.

There was a significant participation fee for both clubs as part of an event that saw the involvement of the Government of Western Australia, a country where Milan – according to the data in the club’s possession – has a fan base which exceeds two million people, with several fan clubs.

Furthermore, as happens in these types of occasion, both clubs were contractually required to have a minimum participation of first-tier players – four – to give meaning to the match and the long trip.

Here, however, the philosophies went in slightly different directions: Milan, by their own choice, brought the majority of the squad (Maignan was absent, plus Rafael Leao and Christian Pulisic for personal reasons), while Roma opted to leave at home the national team players at home.

Tags AC Milan Didier Deschamps


  1. The Australia game timing was sheer idiocy. Imagine if Theo or any other internationals got hurt.

    You want to promote in Australia? Fine. Pick a better time.

    1. As a French citizen, and supporting the national team is a duty for us haha, I couldn’t agree more. I was shocked that both Théo and Giroud were in the group, missing the beginning of the gathering at Clairefontaine with ALL the other players, albeit Camavinga and Mendy who had better business to do with the UCL final. I’m even more shocked that they played. Didier président !

  2. I’m fully with Deschamp here, the players could also have had the euros ruined for nothing. Every player that will play in the euros should have been left at home.

  3. Milan’s management and their idiocy. It will be soon that their idiocy will be recognized across Europe by European professionals in football. I-d-i-o-t-s.

  4. The thing is, it’s not entirely management fault. They open the date like that and it allow the club’s to use it for friendly.

    And we are not alone, there are many clubs that do the same : Roma, Tottenham, Newcastle, Valencia, and Real Sociedad.

    But I agree that they shouldn’t include players who will play in Euro.

    1. How is it not the managements fault? Like what? What do you think management means? Have you ever worked? Starting to understand your comments more 😵‍💫

      1. You are missing his point here and that is that they are working within of the lines of what they are allowed to do. Was it a smart move ? not really in my view but AR also agrees that players who are called up for the euros shouldn’t have been called up for that friendly match.

  5. Every time Maignan leaves for the national team he comes back injured. Now that Deschamps guy complains about the club using their highly paid employees.

  6. Regardless of what any Milan fan may think of this, Regardless of the trashing by Roma, that match was pointless.

  7. Promoting and increase brand are important for club like ACM but they should let player that participating on euro absence. Just bring player that dont play on euro like rlc,tomori,sportielo,calabria,florenzi , puli,yunus musah and some academy

  8. Useless friendly match 1 week after the season end and when Euro Cup training start. Milan management full of d*mbass.

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