Pioli discusses his relationship with the management, Giroud’s future and his gratitude to the players

By Ben Dixon -

Ahead of the fixture against Torino, AC Milan’s head coach Stefano Pioli spoke to the media about the fixture and offered a message of gratitude to his team.  

This weekend is the penultimate game of the Serie A season and the beginning of the end for Pioli. His future is written, even if it is not signed, and this final travel with the Rossoneri.

It has been a season to forget for several reasons, and the 58-year-old has often admitted that, but he is leaving the club in a great place to build from, as has been a sign throughout his tenure. He brought Champions League football back, and a second-place position allows the club entry into the Supercoppa.

Additionally, the foundation of the squad is fantastic. A young, hungry side, filled with quality, that will only be improved as the years pass, aided by new ideas.

On Saturday evening, Milan will travel to the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, with the aim of building on their impressive 5-1 victory against Cagliari last time out.

Ahead of the fixture, Pioli spoke to journalists, and his words have been relayed by Milan News.

How do you motivate players after goals have been achieved?

“It was a good week finally, because we haven’t won for a long time…. We’re more serene and I think that serenity can help us to perform at our best tomorrow, so I expect a high level performance also because of the desire we have to close the championship well.”

What kind of Milan will we see?

“Theo didn’t train today because he had a flu attack, so I’ll see if he’ll be able to recover for tomorrow. If I can, I’ll have everyone playing in these last two games.”

How do you experience what could be your last days at Milanello?

“Who? Giroud and Kjaer? [he laughs] I try not to think about them. Then I’ll meet with the club at the end of the season, we’ll make our assessments. Until then I try to be focused on helping the team, then eventually I’ll know certain emotions by living them.”

How do you comment on the Allegri affair?

“It’s always difficult to judge from a distance. Allegri has won a lot, he’s a great coach. We know that for the role we have we have to manage certain types of expectations and pressures. Then all things are always exaggerated in our environment, compliments as well as criticism.”

A grade for you and the team?

“No. We definitely had a better championship than last year, but a worse Europe than last year.”

Do you feel protected by your managers?

“With the club, I’ve always had a great relationship and it will be like that until the end, then everyone does what they have to do.”

In favour of VAR on call?

“I am for playing more. Having more interruptions I don’t know if it’s the best way…”

Is it possible that with almost 100 goals in the season, you can’t win something?

“There are those who have scored more than us, but also and especially those who have taken fewer than us.”

Do you think you’ve run out of steam after five years at AC Milan? Massaro said that ‘if you take a coach with incognito, you might as well keep Pioli’…

“If Massaro wanted to pay a compliment…. The reasoning: ‘It is as well to keep Pioli’ is not correct. But: ‘It is right to keep Pioli because…’. I won’t comment.”

Don’t get cautioned tomorrow…

“Hey! This one I’ve marked. Be patient, you’ve waited until now breaking your balls talking about the future. Wait another week’.

Does this team have a future?

“You don’t have to ask me these questions. Giroud will play the last game, not tomorrow from the start: I hope he can get to 50 goals. The relationship I have created and had with the players is really deep, which also goes beyond what we did or didn’t do… I can only be grateful and happy. I do this job here to get excited and I got excited here; that goes beyond any result, any criticism, any glory or benefit. For this, I will always say thank you to my players.”

Giroud will leave Milan…

“He, Kjaer, and Ibrahimovic have been very important to me and to their teammates. Then in the meantime, many of their teammates have grown and they will have the task of taking responsibility and being a driving force.”

What do you think of Giroud?

“We won that Scudetto because everyone did their best. I should say so many things, give so much praise about that year…. We did something exceptional, in which everyone did their best, some even above their potential.

“A magic was created between us, with the environment, with the fans, then we were rewarded with great success. Giroud was fundamental in the team’s growth. I am absolutely linked to him, to Kjaer and to Zlatan.”

How can the current players improve?

“The new ones have important qualities and they can do even more, indeed: they will certainly do more. Last year, when we applauded together for second place in the gym, I asked the guys about their team ranking last year and no one, apart from Okafor, had reached such a high level. Then we had ups and downs, but not for lack of willingness or compactness. That’s why I want to reward everyone in these last two games. I can only be grateful to this group.”

How come Torino always dances in tenth place?

“There are teams of a very high level, so for those teams like Torino, it is difficult to stay in. Someone big is going out of the Champions League this year. It’s not easy for Torino to overcome those teams there. I respect Juric a lot and it’s difficult to play against him. Then Torino has a blazon and a history that makes it difficult for the environment to accept mid-level seasons.”

30 years ago Milan won the European Cup… Where were you?

“I was in Florence, there was the Fiorentina-Milan friendly with Capello who said he had understood who to play and who not to. I was playing for Fiorentina. I remember the match very well: a stratospheric Milan. I remember Capello’s phrases very well…”

Can Milan win the Champions League in the coming years?

“It’s difficult. I believe Milan can do it, even if the level is very high. This year, however, we have had a clear example: Dortmund are fifth, 25 points behind Leverkusen and are in the final, even though Real are favourites, Ancelotti will touch himself [he laughs]. We have to take the other step.”

Has you thought about the 0-7 three years ago in Turin?

“It’s not in my head yet to rewind the whole tape…”

Has you thought back to Roma?

“Regrets are always there. The team gave its all, but in those two games with Roma the team was unable to express itself as it can.”

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli


  1. Do you feel protected by your managers?

    “With the club, I’ve always had a great relationship and it will be like that until the end, then everyone does what they have to do.”

    I noticed he’s been dodging this question everytime it’s brought up

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.