Paolo Maldini, along with his colleague Ricky Massara, has been praised a lot in recent months for his work at Milan. for the first time in many years, the project makes sense in every move that is made by the club.
The club legend has brought in the likes of Ismael Bennacer, Sandro Tonali, Alexis Saelemaekers and above all Theo Hernandez, just to name a few. The latter has been hailed as the best signing, as the Rossoneri paid just €16m.
As mentioned, the project makes sense after many years of disappointment, now also resulting in success on and off the pitch. In an interview with DAZN (via MilanNews), Maldini spoke about the club’s vision and many other things.
On the vision of the management and club: “The design changes along the way, I’m linked to a winning Milan, my figure is linked to something that isn’t just about settling the accounts.
“I must also safeguard what my history brings, what the fans expect from me. That’s where I push the owners to do certain things instead of others. The results proved them right for many things and us for many others, right now there is a unique idea and this helps what the project is.”
On scouting: “Between you and the scouting department, you have to start knowing what you want and they maybe tell you what has worked statistically in the last five years compared to the previous five years.
“Let’s talk about defence, for example. A defender is easy enough for me to read, but before a player who was good in a department was required, now I would get a player who is strong in one-on-one, then you teach him to be good in the department.”
On the signing of Saelemaekers: “Saelemaekers was the result of our scouting, I didn’t know Alexis. We were looking for a right-back there at that moment, or one who could one day play there. We saw this guy playing right, left, as a full-back, as a number ten, with such intensity that after you give him the ball he’s there.”
On Ibrahimovic: “Ibra was already an idea from the previous January with Leonardo, we had talked with him and Mino. But he had promised LA Galaxy and he said we would talk about it again.
“I was very sure that it was a risk, because he came from many years in MLS. With all due respect, it’s a completely different thing. He himself, when we offered him an 18-month contract, told us to do 6 months because he didn’t know what he could give us.”
On Ibra’s determination: “He breaks the boxes in an impressive way. He’s very competitive, it’s right to set goals that are beyond his means, this is to raise the level. It makes sense that he says what he says about responsibilities.”
On the FFP: “The FFP doesn’t allow you to invest what you would like, it’s also a brake on the future distribution of victories in the various competitions, but I believe that it’s the right way. We started with an idea of a project that could become self-sustainable one day, in a time of great crisis this has even more value.”
On Pioli: “In transmitting his thoughts, he does it with a vigour that you don’t expect from such a calm person. In his career, he hasn’t always confirmed what he showed at the beginning.
“He seemed weak with the players, on the other hand, it’s the opposite. Sometimes we have to slow him down a bit and give him a little sugar. It’s a characteristic that I didn’t recognize and that he managed to impose in an important club like Milan.”
We can only hope that the Rossoneri will continue in this direction. Although the standings are looking very good right now, winning the Scudetto remains unlikely and a top-four finish would do just as well, although you never know.