Pioli reveals the ‘best compliment’ he has received and names ‘turning point’ of the season

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has once again taken a look back at the Scudetto winning season including the key moments and the crucial factors in the success.

The celebrations are ongoing as Milan became the Serie A champions for a 19th time thanks to their 3-0 victory against Sassuolo at the Mapei Stadium on Sunday, which was witnessed by over 18,000 fans inside the stadium itself but by millions around the globe.

The squad were given a hero’s welcome back in Milano as around 1 million people showed up for the open-top bus parade on Monday night after tens of thousands had gone to Casa Milan to greet the team upon their return on Sunday night.

Pioli gave an interview to DAZN and retraced the steps that led from being the third or even fourth favourite for the title 11 months ago to hoisting the trophy above their heads as the champions of Italy, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

On the best compliments he received: “When the players hug me they make me feel their respect. These are the best compliments.”

On the squad: “Certain results do not come by chance. A great empathy has been created in the group. When you create certain dynamics in the locker room it is also easier for us coaches to work. The more experienced have helped the young players.”

On the crucial matches of the season: “There are two: certainly the comeback in the derby. After the defeat in the Coppa Italia, the reaction in Rome against Lazio was the turning point.”

On his staff: “I am fortunate to have a very complete team of collaborators from all points of view. I ask them to give me the data of the individual matches. There is a lot of data. We have made our own diary and we focus on that.

“I am not interested in ball possession, but I am interested in territorial superiority, the chances made, the high recoveries. Physical data tells you that pairs of players can do more. Then there are the sensations of training, which are fundamental to understand the feeling of the player and then you try to let someone play more lucid.”

On reaching the hearts of the players: “I think I’m a coach who wants to understand who he’s dealing with. Who knows they are people and not just players. I expect a lot from my players, but I am also a coach who likes to understand and know the feelings of my players. Listening to them can give you useful ideas for team management.”

On his growth: “I have always tried to keep up to date. When I realised that I had players willing to change, it was important while maintaining certain game values.”

On the possible changes of a typical week heading into next season: “We already have some changes in mind. For many of them it will be their third season together and it will be a very different season. And there will also be something different to demonstrate.”

On the next season: “There will be great emotion and great positivity. We have to play with the desire to be competitive in Italy and in Europe. It will take great determination and preparation.”

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli
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