Former AC Milan striker and head coach Pippo Inzaghi has discussed the Coronavirus emergency, his career as a coach and his past at Milan.
Inzaghi had an illustrious 11-year career with the Rossoneri winning two UEFA Champions League titles (2003, 2007), and two Serie A titles (2004, 2011). He is currently Milan’s top international goal scorer with 43 goals and also holds the record for most hat-tricks in Serie A with 10.
Inzaghi gave an in-depth interview to Sky Italia about a range of topics starting with the current COVID-19 pandemic, and his words were transcribed by MilanNews.
“At this moment talking about football is difficult, we have all taken a step back, health is the highest priority,” he said.
“The only thing I feel like saying is that when everything will end we want to go back to playing. the clearest and fairest thing is to go back to playing, the best solution to avoid misunderstandings and to prevent some from being damaged.
“At this moment the greatest interest is that of health, we are close to those who have lost loved ones. We are ready to play in June, July, August, we don’t care. Any other decision will penalise someone, someone will fail, football will not lose two months but maybe two years.
“Our club [Benevento] deserves Serie A because we have been in Serie A since February, but for the good of the whole system we have to play. We have had the holidays in this period. We have played 28 games, there is little left to finish, maybe we will play every three days, but the championship must be finished for the continuity and for all the sacrifices made.”
In June 2014 Inzaghi was named manager of Milan’s first team after the dismissal of his former Rossoneri team-mate Clarence Seedorf, but it would not be a successful reign for the former No.9 as the team finished 10th.
A year after his appointment Adriano Galliani, the CEO of Milan, announced that Inzaghi would not be the coach for next season, and he believes he has learned from that experience.
“A coach must always grow and keep up to date, strong players help to make a difference. I took away the satisfactions, there was some disappointment. The players despite winning all the games never give up in any training. They are incredible.
“It’s normal for Milan to have marked my career, but I don’t forget all the teams I have played in. Milan was something unique, but all the teams I have been to have given me a lot.”
Inzaghi continued by reflecting on some of his important goals: “Those two goals in Athens, the goal in Montecarlo and the two in Yokohama, I was 34 years old, 5 goals in 3 finals. It’s something unique, I did it thanks to my comrades, a great memory remains. I dedicated that victory to Alberto D’Aguanno, I want to remember him, he was a proper journalist.”
On nutrition: “I have always tried to eat healthy and to eat well. I never put a pound because with the work I chose to gain weight was difficult. I am always at 2000 rpm, it is difficult to gain weight. You have to eat regular and at the right times and do some activity. For 17 years of activity, white rice, chicken breast and bresaola, then we get used to our stomachs to eat like this.”
On the curse of the Rossoneri No.9: “It makes me smile, putting the Milan number 9 shirt is hard for everyone, but the curse does not exist. If Ibrahimovic put the 9 shirt on, the curse is already over, like when I should have had ‘The curse of Van Basten and Weah’.
“Making comparisons is not easy, but I think the best Italian player is Immobile. He has shown something unique in these years. He is the centre-forward that I like best.”
His brother Simone is leading Lazio on an unforgettable season, and although older Pippo looks up to his younger brother.
“He is better than me in everything, there is everything to learn from Simone, he is a modern coach. Seeing Lazio is a show, Simone has surprised me in everything. He is a serious boy and serious boys they deserve these victories.”
On his stronger team-mate: “Too difficult, I played with the older ones. I had Maldini and Nesta, I had Pirlo, Gattuso, Ambrosini, Seedorf. If I have to name a name I have to say Kaka, with him we did something extraordinary together. Together with Shevchenko they were extraordinary strikers. Ibrahimovic is also a great player.”
On the toughest defender he faced: “The most difficult defender was Cannavaro, he always held me by my shirt in the area (laughs). He knew me well, he didn’t give me a centimetre.
“Playing together with Del Piero, Shevchenko and Ibrahimovic. You don’t have to adapt but make yourself available. I was trying to understand their strengths, you need to understand how your team-mates are, where to put the ball and where they will put it. You have to study your fellow attackers as well as your opponents.”