At the start summer, it seemed that Paolo Maldini was heading for the exit, with Ralf Rangnick to take over the important positions. However, then Milan confirmed Stefano Pioli and the club legend stayed.
Since then, he has worked very well along with sporting director Ricky Massara, identifying several good signings on the market together. After initial criticism, therefore, he has certainly grabbed the bull by the horns.
The Rossoneri are back on the top of the standings, two points clear of second, and it’s largely thanks to the signings that Maldini have brought in: Theo Hernandez, Simon Kjaer, Ismael Bennacer and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to name a few.
In an interview with Radio 105, as cited by MilanNews.it, Maldini spoke about the current situation and live as a director. Given his history with the Rossoneri, that goes back several generations, he’s an important figure to have at the club.
Milan on top again: “As in all magic, there is a secret, which we will never discover. There is a lot of work behind it and there is an idea of play and ownership, with an economically sustainable team and if possible self-financing.
“Coronavirus? It didn’t help us. Beyond this, I always do things with the Milanista mentality: that is to give satisfaction and joy to the fans.”
On his importance: “I carry a lot of history and respect with me. Now I have to earn another kind of respect, but always related to sport and Milan.”
On being a director: “I’m passionate about it. Considering a player as an employee is difficult. But even as a director, you participate in the joys and sufferings of the team. The integration is not easy, it takes time and unfortunately, we live in a frenetic society. I was never afraid to try.”
On the league this season: “The results are more open, even with completely different numbers. The absence of the fans certainly determines something. Some we have benefitted from the absence, but I’m sure they would have given us more.
“Not having an audience is still a terrible thing. The emotions are connected to the fans. Like, for example, with the 90,000 at Barcelona or the 80,000 at San Siro. I lack the tension, which the audience gives you above all.”
On Ibrahimovic: “As a player, I met him with different teams and I marked him as a centre-back. Now, for me, he has become bigger.”