Maldini applauds ‘amazing’ Napoli and provides update on Bennacer and Leao renewals

By Isak Möller -

Paolo Maldini was handed the ‘Best Sporting Director’ award along with Ricky Massara at the GSA event in Dubai. He spoke to the media afterwards and was asked about several things, including the renewals. 

AC Milan are currently working on several renewals, especially Ismael Bennacer and Rafael Leao, and the situation is a bit complex. Regardless, the work Maldini and Massara have done since joining the club cannot be undervalued.

The duo truly deserves the award and it’s nice to see them getting the international recognition they deserve. Speaking to Sky Italia, as cited by MilanNews, Maldini shared his thoughts on the award and also the renewals.

On the award…

“The award is a satisfaction. I’m not a sporting director, my role doesn’t exist in every team. I’m partly a sporting director and partly a technical director. It’s a role I have created a little on my own and after four years, a new chapter of my life is starting, but I’m very pleased to be here.”

On Ibrahimovic and his return…

“We renewed the contract with a precise idea, to have him with us for the training camp in Dubai and hopefully on the pitch in January: this is the goal.”

On experienced mixed with young players…

“There are feelings and there are also careers, it’s not the same for everyone. I think of my own two children. We need to understand young people, we cannot base ourselves on what our experience has been, each of us lives life in his own way. We have to adapt what our experiences have been to modern times.”

On the Scudetto duel with Napoli during his playing career…

“I remember it well, they were wonderful years for Italian football. We had a great team, they had Maradona and other great champions. For us, it was the beginning of 25 years of success and now there could be this clash.

“They [Napoli] have overshadowed everything the other teams have done because we, with just two points less than last season and having reached the UCL round of 16, find ourselves 8 points behind a team that sincerely had an amazing first half of the season.

“Big credit to them, we know we can’t give up. We’ll be there until the end and we’ll see: everything is in their hands and this is a great advantage, but the season is very long.”

The renewals of Leao and Bennacer…

“We have been talking with them for months and years. When the time comes, we will meet. When a decision has to be made, we will make it. The idea was to close before the World Cup, especially for the players who went to the World Cup, in this case for Leao but it wasn’t possible. As for Bennacer, we will have the opportunity to talk to him and his agents these days.”

It remains to be seen what the outcome of the Leao negotiations will be, but it’s clear that getting the winger to sign a new contract would be a huge win for Milan. If not, a hefty sale could be on the cards.

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini Ricky Massara


  1. What do these GSAs and others giving out prizes know about football anyway? The real experts here (aka keyboard warriors) have already declared Maldini as completely incompetent to do his job and who cannot get one simple transfer action right. LOL. 😀 😀 😀

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