Pioli affirms desire to ‘improve the squad’ and insists Leao ‘must have ambition to become a star’

By Oliver Fisher -

Stefano Pioli believes that Rafael Leao will continue to get better with the right mentality, and added that the work of Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara to strengthen the squad can now begin.

Milan signed off the 2022-23 season with a win in what was a passing of the baton moment of sorts. Leao celebrated his contract renewal with a late match-winning brace and went over to hug Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who announced his retirement after the game.

After a night full of emotion the dust has begun to settle and Milan must plan for life without Zlatan just as he must adjust to a life without being a player. An important summer transfer window will begin, with several holes in the squad to plug.

Pioli was interviewed by DAZN after the game and reflected on not only the three points obtained against Verona but also the season as a whole, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

What are your emotions right now?

“The pride of coaching a strong group, and we demonstrated it in January and February, and the sadness of not coaching Zlatan anymore.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said goodbye to football…

“I spoke to him this week and he didn’t get overwhelmed until the end, you saw a very conflicted person, very worried. Zlatan is a fighter, it’s not easy for him.”

Can Rafael Leao get even better?

“He must, he has incredible quality and potential. He must have ambition to become a star, he proved it.”

What are the plans for the summer?

“Just rest, but we’ll see each other. Now their work will begin above all.”

Are the team in good shape for the future?

“We have a solid base, where the owners, the club, the managers have been good at making it solid. If we want to be competitive in two competitions, even if it happens to only a few clubs in the world, if there is the possibility we will improve the squad.”

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli

1 Comment

  1. Leao is already a star. Just look at this season and that second goal!

    I already miss Zlatan. I hope to see him at San Siro many times in the future though!

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