Maldini disagrees with Pioli’s assessment: “Not reaching the Champions League would be a great sin”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini has insisted that he believes the team can reach top four, and it would be a ‘great sin’ if they didn’t.

Milan have found themselves in a do or die situation, knowing only a win will be enough to secure a top four finish after a rollercoaster season. The draw against Cagliari a week ago has meant that Milan could potentially even be classed as the underdogs to reach the top four given the recent record against Atalanta and the fact that both Juventus and Napoli have easier fixtures.

Maldini was interviewed by Sky Italia before the game against Atalanta, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.

A circle that closes with Atalanta: “We had the opportunity to close it earlier, symbolically it is the closing of a circle that saw us as protagonists of 15 months of high quality and great results. At the end of the year, based on the placement we will make more complete speeches.”

Pioli recently remarked that not reaching the top four would not be a failure for the club because the good work remains regardless, however it seems Maldini has a different idea.

“The club has asked us for many things and we have practically done them all. Not reaching the Champions League would be a great sin, even if the club did not ask for it.

“The good and even less good things about having a young team are these, they can give you great surprises or less positive things. A team that has to become really strong must become much more stable. We still have to work on this.”

On the fans: “Milan with the fans would have had 60-70 thousand spectators. They would have been a great help.”

Do you believe? “Of course. We started from very far away, we also did unexpected things, of course I have to believe in it. This is the message to be transmitted to the boys who in turn believe in it.”

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini


  1. The objectives were laid out before the season — a top four finish and a return to UCL football.

    This moving the goalposts is just a perfect microcosm of the lack of accountability at the club. Pioli was a nice stabilizing force, but he is not going to be the person to take the club much further.

    1. Have to respectfully disagree. Kudos to Pioli who was a stabilizing force in a difficult period with Covid. Bu I do not believe he is the manager to take us to the next level. Hope I am wrong but just my opinion. Need a world class coach.

  2. Milan only reached the Champions League thanks to the players, not because of Pioli. Pioli did not achieve anything with his ideas, every time he was too tactful Pioli lost the game because he is not at the level that the players respect him 100%. Milan needs a new coach because of the Champions League, an experienced strategist who will lead Milan in the Champions League and in the new Serie A season to do much more with young players than Pioli who did not know how to use the chance for Milan to win the Italian championship, mistakes against Parma, Samdoria, Caglaria, Udinese, La Spezia, and Genoa. These are the teams where Milan had to win. That is why I believe that Pioli cannot lead Milan further

    1. cannot agree with you more…. exactly as you say i would add his substitution is so average and playing castillejo do many games with results his got is madness…. every time hi was playing milan soffre and either loss or draw last minutes….plus 30 points at home and 49 out says a loot…

    2. You are clueless. You would’ve killed for a top 4 finish with these players before the season began. He gave you the second place!

  3. I don’t remember the clear goal to be a return to UCL before the season.No one in their right mind would have set that goal with this roster,Simply,not realistic.The fact that it became a goal based on results during the season,is a whole different story.

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