GdS: Why the Europa League is now Milan’s priority with Cardinale’s landing imminent

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan feel like they now have a top four spot locked up and thus Stefano Pioli can focus on going as far as possible in the Europa League, a report claims.

As La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) writes this morning, Milan’s 13-point advantage over fifth place in the table is why the Europa League has become the primary objective for the second part of the season.

The first obstacle will arise tomorrow evening at San Siro, in the first leg of the play-offs, because getting past Rennes – seventh in Ligue 1 but on a real surge – looks a more complicated tie than it did at the time of the draw.

On the contrary, Pioli would like to do it without much effort, closing the tie in the first leg. On 23 February the draw for the next round becomes more challenging: West Ham, De Zerbi’s Brighton, Rangers, Atalanta, Liverpool, Villarreal, Sparta Prague and Leverkusen could all become round of 16 opponents.

Milan have never won the Europa League nor the UEFA Cup, and they would be the first Italian club to win it since it was renamed from the latter after Inter and Roma lost in the final. The Rossoneri were the first Italian club to win the European Cup, back in 1962-63, so they have always been pioneers.

Gerry Cardinale will be in Milan in the next few hours, and then go and sit in the stands tomorrow evening. His presence is significant, and for the owners it is very important to be able to lift a trophy at the end of the season.

We know how much sporting results, entertainment and visibility are connected to each other in the business plan of the founder of RedBird Capital. To avoid distractions, Cardinale will be there to remind everyone.

In November, Milan beat PSG in the Champions League (Cardinale was there). Rennes have 19 points less that them in the Ligue 1 standings, which is why nothing but a victory over the two games will be acceptable.

The Europa League final is on May 22nd in Dublin, and four days later Milan will close the season against Salernitana. The San Siro crowd could sign off 2023-24 with an underwhelming game, or they could have a trophy to show off.


Tags AC Milan


  1. So what will be next ‘priority’ or ‘target’ AFTER being eliminated from Europe League???
    To finish the season by conceding as less goals as possible???

    1. Just remain in this top 4 sweet spot and act like we had a great season.
      We played both games against Bologna, against Napoli and against Roma, so technically the only teams remaining that will can beat us are Inter, Juve and Atalanta, the 3 of them being favourites against us. We might lose other games but I’d fancy our chances more often than not against everyone else.
      I don’t really think the Europa League is a priority, and the level of competition there makes it almost impossible for us to win it this season.

  2. The Europa League (or UEFA Cup) is a European competition that we have never won. Earnings are far from those in C.L. but the competition and prestige it carries are not much less, and the club management knows it! I think it would be foolish to ignore that and focus only on those top four spots in Serie A which don’t mean anything until next season! In this situation, european competition should be a priority. The French are fit and should not be underestimated.

  3. Wow it’s been a long time since la Gazza didn’t write about Jerry. At least two minutes. Very lovely how they reminded him on Valentine’s Day.

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