AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has thanked everyone from the management to his coaching staff and the players after he won the Panchina d’Oro yesterday.
It was confirmed at the ceremony in Coverciano yesterday that Pioli was the winner of the Panchina d’Oro for the 2021-22 campaign. The Golden Bench (as it is in English) is a yearly prize given to the best coach in Serie A for the previous season, while there is also an award for the men’s Serie C and women’s Serie A coaches as well as the best coaches in men’s Italian futsal.
The last edition was won by Antonio Conte after Inter’s wait for a league title ended and given that Milan won the Scudetto last season, Pioli was the red hot favourite. The Milan boss did indeed win with 33 votes out of 46 from his fellow coaches.
After scooping the award, Pioli spoke to Milan TV about the ingredients that contributed to the crowning moment and about the celebrations that followed.
On the award: “This award certifies the goodness of our work. I received the award, but it must be shared with the club, which has put us in the ideal conditions to work at our best, with the managers, who are always present and always support us, with my staff, for their support and support every day, and of course with my players, who have been too good.
“And I also want to share this award with the fans who have been fantastic: winning the Scudetto after so many years and celebrating it together at work was incredible. They deserve this award too.”
On experience: “Experience gives you more awareness in everything, in what you want to convey to the players and in the relationship you want to create with them. Then there are many things that can be done better. I know that I can still improve a lot and I update and study every day to try to make new content available to the staff and my players.”
On his work: “In our world it’s easy to give labels and judgements. The best thing for me was coaching a great team for several years. I’m succeeding and continuing to work here is a source of great pride.”
On the 2021-22 campaign: “Last year’s team played many great matches. It’s difficult to choose one, also because we won the Scudetto by two points, so every match was decisive, even the one that seemed the most banal.
“The final run-up stands out, a great energy had been created around the team. It was the continuity that we found that allowed us to win the Scudetto, not a single match.”
On the celebrations: “When we returned from Sassuolo I smoked a nice cigar and there I understood what we had done. If I had still had any doubts, I would have thought about it the day after the tour of Milan on the open-top bus.”
On the Scudetto: “I’ve always said that when I entered Milanello I felt something special and particular. And so I hoped for it.”
On the Panchina d’Oro: “I’ll celebrate with my family, but I’m already focused on Sunday’s match. We had a positive week, but we have to continue and give continuity to the performances and above all to the results. A dedication? To all the Milan fans because this award is theirs too.”
Finally i have won something