AC Milan are about to face Inter in the Derby della Madonnina at the San Siro, with Stefano Pioli’s men looking to bounce back from two disappointing results against Spezia and Juventus after which the team sits in third place of the Serie A table, four points behind their opponents on top.
The Rossoneri’s technical director Paolo Maldini spoke to the media before kick-off, commenting on a variety of topics, starting from the atmosphere of the Milan derby and how he experienced the historic matchup as a player.
“As a footballer, I experienced it in an almost distressing way in the early years. In the last years, I enjoyed it, regardless of the result. I won and lost by doing everything, superstitious rituals no longer exist,” Maldini told DAZN (via Milannews.it).
Maldini went on to talk more specifically about today’s very important match for Milan, addressing Stefano Pioli’s tactical flexibility in fielding Franck Kessie, who has only just returned from the African Cup of Nations, as an attacking midfielder.
“We have experienced physical loss from some players and also the absence of Rebic. Each player has different characteristics. Kessie gives a lot of balance and a few goals,” he said.
“The coach chooses the starting lineup also thinking about the possible substitutions. If you put those who can make a difference immediately, you find yourself without solutions,” Maldini added.
Finally, the Rossoneri technical director addressed Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the possibility of the Swedish superstar continuing to play for Milan beyond the ongoing season.
“First of all there is an open conversation with Zlatan, he is an independent person. He knows, and does not pretend, what his situation is and what the possible agreement with Milan could be,” he said.
“If he doesn’t feel like continuing, he’ll be the first to say it. His idea is to continue. Zlatan will never be a burden for this team, but a resource,” Maldini concluded, hinting at a possible contract renewal.