There was a moment in the season when Stefano Pioli seemed to have lost his magic touch at AC Milan, but nobody is saying that after the two games against Spurs in the Champions League.
As reported today by La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanNews), Pioli’s story with Milan is a story of conquests starting with a return to the Champions League secured in 2020-21, then winning the Scudetto last season and now reaching the knockout stages and the quarter-final of the top European club competition.
There were a fair few difficulties that emerged in January as the team went on a seven-game winless run, but this seems to have only strengthened Milan’s spirit as yesterday evening in the freezing cold of London with the rain pouring the squad followed Pioli’s requests perfectly.
We seem to be seeing a transformed Pioli too as he looked on edge before the match but also during it, living every single moment of the game and willing his players on, even entering the playing area after Cristian Romero’s foul that led to the red card.
The Champions League has given a lot to this Milan squad as Pioli wanted to point out yesterday after the match: “The experiences in Europe, especially the negative ones, have helped us to level up. Now we have to take advantage of these positive evenings to grow in self-esteem and play for the quarter-finals with conviction and trust. Nothing is impossible in sport.”
The Champions League is part of Milan’s history and existence, so having rediscovered a magical evening like last night it is imperative that it becomes something to strive for regularly.
“Now we wait for the draw and then we’ll play it. I hope I don’t meet Inter or Napoli. In the meantime, however, we head to the league. To continue enjoying evenings like this, we absolutely have to finish in the top four,” he said.