Maldini discusses decision to start Kessie, injury problems and potential Scudetto battle

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini has backed Stefano Pioli’s decision to start Franck Kessie against Atalanta, and reflected on his son’s first goal.

Maldini spoke to DAZN before the game about a number of different topics, starting with a response to the idea that Milan could target the Scudetto this season.

“Our idea is to improve: we know the difference between playing well and winning. At Milan we know it well: it’s a subtle difference, but this is the hard step to take,” he said (via MilanNews).

A whole 4500 days after his dad made his last start for Milan, Daniel Maldini made his first (in the league) last Saturday afternoon as the Rossoneri faced Spezia. It was a successful full debut, as the No.27 got on the scoresheet.

“I always rejoice at the goals of the other players, I am always very transported. Daniel’s goal created a particular emotion in me, a mixture of paternal and sporting satisfaction. What he is feeling is that that I felt, with so many prejudices and so much pressure. I’m happy with this moment.”

On the injured players, he added: “Ibrahimovic? The idea is to see him again after the break, he has no injury but a pain in his calf. Like him, Giroud, Bakayoko and Krunic should be ready: we will undoubtedly have important returns. Today Messias is on the bench.

“The management of Zlatan will be a particular management: dialogue with the manager is essential to understand when to play and when not. Giroud has a back problem sustained in Liverpool; we thought he had passed, but it has come back.”

The headlines away from the games continue to focus on Franck Kessie, whose contract expires at the end of the season with nothing to suggest that a renewal is imminent, and if anything more worrying reports about a big distance between the parties.

On Kessie, Maldini added: “There is the management of the match that we face: we try to put the best on the field. We do the contract management, the coach does the management of the field.”

Last season Milan’s cycle came full circle in many ways. They put the 5-0 defeat of 2019-20 behind them and managed to win 2-0 to secure a return to the Champions League.

“In the 5-0 everything was being destroyed, but from there we managed to come up with positive things. But the most vivid memory is the last one, the 0-2 of last year.”

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini
Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.