Ahead of the clash between AC Milan and Inter, the first of two in six days, Paolo Maldini spoke to the media. Among other things, the Rossoneri director shared an update on the renewal of Rafael Leao.
Leao is struggling with a minor muscle injury and thus isn’t in the squad for tonight’s game. He will be replaced by Alexis Saelemaekers and Milan will be hoping that the Brlgiaj can put in a good tactical performance.
Speaking to Prime Video, as cited by MilanNews, Maldini shared his thoughts on the important game and Milan’s important journey in the Champions League. As said, he also spoke about the renewal of Leao.
On the UCL journey…
“I would say one thing. Beyond the excitement of being here at such a high level, having Milan and Inter play this game as they did 20 years ago is a great thing for Italian football. Two teams that have quality, then Napoli who were eliminated by us were the best this year. A great signal for Italian football.”
Did you have the courage to dream?
“Dreaming costs nothing, through dreams you get results. If you are satisfied you can’t give everything, this is a mentality that great teams have. We must also be practical, the dream is not enough.”
On Leao’s renewal…
“Let’s say that we’re close, this is the will of the club and of course the will of the player. Beyond the technical things, there were many components that came from the past.”
Are Milan ready to stay at this level?
“In my opinion, we are not ready yet to remain at this level but what I was trying to explain to the two American owners [Elliott and RedBird] is that this club is special and this city is special, and very often the processes are faster. You have to seize the moment, because if we let this moment slip away it would be a real shame, and sometimes you even take two steps back.”
How much do you want to get back on the field? “That’s just the mind, the body no longer follows. Unfortunately I like to do things well, I wouldn’t be able to do even 1% of what I could do. It’s nice to have a good memory (laughs, ed)”.
Tonight’s game is the first of two and Milan will be looking for a good result ahead of the return leg in six days. The atmosphere will be fantastic underneath the floodlights of San Siro this evening, with the fans eager to get the battle started.