Ordine: Cardinale puts his foot down in meeting with Maldini – the key takeaway

By Isak Möller -

Prior to AC Milan’s win over Tottenham earlier this week, the club owner Gerry Cardinale had a meeting with technical director Paolo Maldini. What was talked about has now emerged, also based on the latter’s words. 

Cardinale was present at San Siro for the big game in the Champions League against Tottenham and he couldn’t have picked a better occasion. However, in addition to watching the team in action, he also had some meetings in Milano.

One of them, as was confirmed by Maldini himself before the game, entailed speaking with the management. Although the director was rather cryptic, we can make out the broad strokes of the discussion that took place, as Franco Ordine writes.

“I find it very useful to read what Paolo Maldini said, before Milan-Tottenham, on the meeting with Gerry Cardinale. After lunch with the new owner, he said ‘it went well’. He also added that ‘we are committed to the project but it takes time to fully implement it’. Very true.

“Behind these two sentences, there is a whole scenario to be reconstructed. The meeting was born in the wake of the budget controversy that emerged in newspapers, sites and social networks. The result demonstrates that clarification has taken place.

“Above all, he said that they are committed to the project, i.e. the famous sustainable football, the formula that led to the success of the Scudetto, restoring the club’s accounts that had been destroyed by the Fassone-Mirabelli management.

“The era of requesting extra budget is over! We need to build the Milan of the future by relying on the same criteria used in the past with Leao, Kalulu, Tomori, and now with Thiaw,” he concluded.

In short, Cardinale put his foot down by referring to the project in place. The budget that is set before the start of the season will be the same in January, it’s just up to Maldini and Massara to spend it out as they see fit.

Tags AC Milan Gerry Cardinale Paolo Maldini


  1. Translation: we are not signing any established quality players. Let’s hope our scouts can find the next Osimhen or Kvara at a small club for very very cheap.

    1. Let’s hope they also find a coach that can make those players Serie A ready in less than 3 years. Pioliball requires 2 years in primavera, 5 on a loan, 3 years on a bench to be Serie A ready. It goes a tad faster if you have an Italian last name.

      1. Bennacer, Tonali, Theo, Tomori, Brahim, Saelemakers, Dalot, Leao. All were/are young and all started or played a lot from day 1 under Pioli.
        Even CDK has played a lot.
        All this Pioli requires several years of adaptation is just nonsense.
        The only player who had to wait, learn, and adapt was Kalulu, but that’s because he had never played a senior club game before. Milan bought him from lyon’s youth system.
        Half of our starting line up are players 25 and under who have been starting for at least the last 3 years , but still we have people spewing nonsense, because Pioli doesn’t play the “pre season superstar” Adli, who BTW every time he played vs serie A team looked lost and 2 steps slower than everyone else

        1. It took Leo 2 years to adapt, Tonali who came from Serie A club and took him a year, Kalulu 2 years, Aster, Adli, Hauge see the pitch only as wallpaper on their computer screens. Colombo, Maldini on a loan. Lazetic to primavera and then after a year on a loan. Theo and Bennacer joined Milan before Pioli. Salad had SamuCasti as competition, of course he had to play him, there wasn’t any choice. Similar situation with Tomori, he was playing because there was no other option at the time. If there wasn’t for injured players, we would have never bought Tomori, Kalulu would still be rotting on the bench because he is not Serie A ready, and Malik too.

          Pioli makes changes only if there is no other choice. He would play same 11 people all 90 minutes every single game, but luckily there are injuries and fatigue, so he can’t.

          When it comes to young players and integrating new ones into to team, Pioli is clown.

          1. Leao took almost 3 years to adapt even though he played a lot. And that’s Pioli’s fault somehow.
            Tonali, basically came from serie B and never played in double pivot. He also played a lot but it’s Pioli’s fault that Tonali still can’t make a simple pass.
            Aster is trash, Wolfsburg couldn’t wait to get rid of him.
            He singlehandedly lost the Roma game but people are blaming Pioli for putting Gabbia instead of Thiaw in that game. You should blame Pioli for putting Vranckx in that game, who was also awful in the nest game vs Torino in the Copa.
            Adli also trash, Bordeaux benched him towards the end of the season when they were fighting for survival.
            Colombo was 18 and even at 20 today he isn’t ready to play for Milan.
            If Daniel had a different last name , we wouldn’t have ever heard of him. He is so trash he can’t even play for Spezia but I guess that’s Pioli’s fault too.
            Theo and Bennacer came to Milan literally 2 months before Pioli, and neither one of them was starting for Milan under Giampaolo, but they started for Pioli from day 1.
            Samu or not , Saelemakers was starting out of position for Pioli.
            Injury or not, Tomori was starting from the moment he stepped of the plane.
            I forgot to mention Hauge who also played a lot under Pioli.
            So which one besides trash players like Vranckx, Adli and Maldini’s son hasn’t played under Pioli?
            Thiaw came from Bundesliga 2, and was only 20, of course he will need some time to adapt.

          2. Two pathetic 1:0 wins against a midtale Seria Ass club and half of PL bottlers and we forget 5:2, 4:0, 3:0, 1:0, 2:2 x2… Pioli is borderline incompetent, dreaming of the day when he would reach mediocrity.

          3. @Shiva I am not Pioli’s biggest fan , but you are pushing this narrative that Pioli doesn’t use, young players, players take too long to adapt to “Pioliball” and that he is playing favorites.
            If you look at our starting lineup outside of Giroud and Maignan, the rest of the players are 25 and under, and like I said, most have been starting for at least 2 years. In the last w years Milan has had one of the youngest squads in Europe.
            It’s not Pioli’s fault that leao doesn’t understand football. Khvicha, who is also a LW in his 1st season in serie A, is the best player in the league, leao took 3 years to show something. It’s on the player, not the coach, especially when you play as a winger , the easiest position to adapt to in any system in any league under any coach.
            And every coach has favorites, not just Pioli.
            People act like Pioli is working with some super talents and not some scrubs that Maldini managed to sign on the last day of the Mercato after he was chasing his tail all summer long

          4. The huge pile of fine connoisseurs around here is just ridiculous.Raj,go back supporting Fc Punjabi and leave us.In order to have a readableworthy opinion about football you need to have played it for real or to have some knowledge of any kind(your illusions doesnt count) of coaching,managing football.

          5. @Z you are absolutely correct especially about Adli who had one of the worst pass receptions in Europe when he played in France. But people don’t want to talk about that,.all they see is some passes someone SHOULD make as a cam during pre-season friendlies. Also Pioli is the coach and yes he’ll known when players are ready. If he introduced Those too early and he flopped everyone will be crying foul like how they’re doing with Pobega and CDK. You can’t win

          6. Leao literally played above 30 matches on his 1st season. And always amass > 30 matches ever since. Tonali played 25 matches on the 1st season which was a LOT considering we had Kessie and Benny in that post.

            If the fan’s favorite here, Charlie denext Kaka and Yacine Gourcuff do not deliver on par with the initial expectation, yes, the easiest way is to blame the coach.

  2. When you can’t even she’ll out with 9m I’m gate receipts and the extra money brought in from winning the league and it’s associated perks you know you’re fooked

    1. Have you been paying attention over the past 5 years? The club are failing FFP, most of the turnover goes on wages, running costs and servicing debts.

  3. He probably told him
    – stop crying about the budget thru your friends/ex teammates who are now media pundits,
    – use the money that is given to you efficiently(unlike the last 2 summer windows) ,
    – if you want more money for transfers, maybe you should learn how to sell players, attend a seminar or buy an instruction book” How to sell footballers, for dummies”,
    – if you can’t do that, we’ll find someone who can.

  4. I take it this means that we still have a salary cap??
    After next season I doubt the project will be sustainable with key players leaving.

  5. Ok. No problem but Maldini and Massara wasted 5m on making Messias loan permanent. They also wasted 10m to sign Adli. They also wasted another 5m to sign an old and injury prone Florenzi who by the way is on high salary.

    They also wasted money on Origi high salary of 4m even though he was a free transfer he was injured and should never have been signed since Ibra was already out injured on a 7m salary.

    And to top it off they wasted 32m on CDK who by the way was not playing in one of the top 5 European leagues and we should have never paid that much for any player in the Belgian league.

    In other words Milan wasted the majority of the 50m budget (43m to be exact ) on useless senseless signings except for Malik Thiaw who we paid 6m for to get him from Schalke.

    So the way I see it, is that the problem is not the amount of the transfer budget but how Maldini and Massara are spending the budget wastefully on useless players.

  6. Cardinale is saying that he won’t spend big, and the target is too four next season, also Maldini should know when to sell a player and if lucky sign a Haaland for peanut, Pioli should get ready for more headache and we the fans will also be ready to cry and scream also.
    But as for the big boys, their wages will be increased.

  7. Milam needs a good coach who knows how to motivate his players mentally and technically.

    Now, good coach, means know how to build and develope players that fits his plans. To get that dine a good scouting is very crucial. Take example of Brussia Dortmund or Ajax as they always produce good quality players from nothing

    Only coach I see firs that bill and know italian football is Conti. Sarri . So let’s wait to see

  8. Y’all spouting nonsense complaining about our current situation.
    We just won scudetto last season, nobody expect it, even Milan management wasn’t expect that.
    Pioli system works… We are where we should belong, fight for Champions League spot, I don’t care wich player or how Pioli select them, I just want to see my Milan play in UCL every season. Sign primavera player every season, I’m sure we’ll be lucky and hit a jackpot with brilliant youngster.
    Support your team, Milan now choose a sustainable project, wich is the correct way. Not the overpending and sell to another bidder again.
    Forza Milan

  9. My opinion? Milan are fine. Pioli is fine. He’s a Scudetto winner with an inferior team compared to competition for God’s sake. He won it for us after a decade.

    He’s had serious mistakes this season but it looks like he’s fixed them, or is on the right path to do so. So credit to him.

    It would be much easier to plug the holes in the squad with world class players, yes. Searching for talent is hard and a gamble that sometimes don’t pay off (and people are surprised for some reason?) but it can be done.

    Much will depend on our formation next season but for the 4-2-3-1 we need a right winger, a working attacking midfielder, and another striker who is not Origi of this season. If the CDK and Origi transfers had worked the way it was expected, we’d be battling it out with Napoli right now. It went bad though and that happens in football.

    Sometimes your 500k investment turns into Kalulu, another time your 32m investment will fail to produce immediate results. Napoli’s investments bore fruit immediately this season, but it hasn’t always been that way for them either.

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