Maldini urges Milan to ‘be ambitious’ and reveals background on Pioli’s renewal

By Isak Möller -

After the game between AC Milan and Salzburg, which the Rossoneri won by four goals to nil, Paolo Maldini spoke to the media about the achievement. It’s the first time in nine years that they have made it through. 

Milan need a draw from tonight’s clash to advance to the next round of the Champions League, but they stated from the start that they would go for the win. It ended up being a fun evening at San Siro as they won 4-0.

Speaking to Prime Video, as cited by MilanNews, Maldini shared his thoughts on the achievement. The director is one of the key reasons behind Milan’s recent success and he was clearly happy about tonight’s result.

On the knockout phase…

“We have to be ambitious, we are happy. From tonight we start talking about something serious.”

On the turning point…

“We started 4 years ago, this is the year in which we have to really show our progress. We want to be protagonists in Italy and then return to having the European dimension that has always belonged to Milan. It’s not easy because we are still far away from an economic point of view. I think Milan will be a loose cannon among the runner-ups.”

On the climate in the locker room…

“We are happy. This team is young but it’s maturing. Maybe two years ago we would have rejoiced more and I think this is a very good thing. We are all happy, but we are becoming more mature.”

On the renewal of Pioli…

“We renewed him this week because we believed it was right to do it before today’s match. The coach was not in question, as well as the renewal. He didn’t affect the match in Turin and neither would the match in Turin affect him. Tonight, even if it had gone badly, we would have renewed the coach until 2025.”

On ambitions…

“I am hungry and I like to see the same thing in the team and in club as well. We have to be there. The Scudetto win is the demonstration that everyone has also given that 0.5% more than Inter.”

On tension…

“I’m tried, but happy. Then not playing is more complicated.”

On the return to the knockout…

“It’s a start. We must never forget what this club represented in football. We cannot be satisfied with what we have done.”

Milan will face Bayern Munich, Benfica, Man City, Porto, Real Madrid or Tottenham in the Round of 16. There are a couple of ‘easier draws’ in there, but we have learned that all games in the Champions League are difficult.

Maldini also spoke to Mediaset Infinity, with his comments again relayed by MilanNews.

“This was one of the targets of the season, even with a simpler group compared to last year. There was a great response: from the team, from the fans, from the Curva. We must be proud of the environment we have created,” he said.

Do you set yourself limits?

“There are more peaks than descents in our European history. In football there is defeat that hurts, like in Istanbul, but our ability to get back up has always been great because we have an environment used to this kind of pressure and the players know what to do.”

In the next round you could meet Ancelotti…

“It would be great and, anyway, the last 16 will be great. There is a big economic gap with the teams that have done well in the last 10-15 years and it becomes almost mathematical from here on out… but the other teams know the strength of Milan and coming here to San Siro is not easy for anyone.”

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini Salzburg
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