Pioli speaks on Milan’s Europa League campaign: “Now our Champions League”

By Ben Dixon -

AC Milan must use the disappointment of their Champions League elimination as an extra motivator to go far in the Europa League. Before the match, Stefano Pioli stated the importance of the competition.

Whilst Milan did their side of the bargain in the final game of the ‘Group of Death’, Borussia Dortmund could not prevent Paris Saint-Germain from progressing into the Round of 16, so the Rossoneri were left with a place in the Europa League.

The difficult draws did not just come in the Champions League, as the Diavolo got pitted against one of the most difficult sides in the play-off stage, Stade Rennais.

Given what is at stake, nothing but Milan’s best will be demanded in both legs of the draw. Whilst not as significant as its sister competition, a large pot of revenue is available for success in the Europa League. Furthermore, the Rossoneri’s trophy cabinet lacks one from the Europa League, so the aim will be to rectify this.

Pioli spoke to Sky on the eve of the clash, and his comments have been relayed by MilanNews.

It’s not the Champions League, but it’s still an incentive…

“Never having won it is an extra motivation. A few months ago there was disappointment, but now our Champions League is the Europa League. We have to stay focused, Rennes is very good. We have to be very focused on tomorrow, which can already be something to put us ahead of our opponents.”

What ambitions does Milan have?

“We have to live match by match, the objective now is only on the double clash with Rennes. However, we must enter this competition with the absolute ambition to go all the way. It will be a very difficult competition, just think that Bayer and Liverpool are first in their respective leagues. We must be ambitious and absolutely try to beat Rennes.”

The good atmosphere at Milanello…

“It’s a good moment for us, we know that within seasons there are negative moments that must be overcome with conviction and positive moments that must be carried on.

“Yesterday was not my celebration [referencing the 100th victory presentation] but it was the victory of a group that has been working together for four years and wants to improve. We welcomed Chukwueze today and congratulated him on reaching the final, even if he didn’t win. The group has the will to do, they want to believe in their own qualities.”

On Kjaer and Thiaw…

“Simon [Kjaer] is well, he has recovered well, I think he can be in the match. In the same way, I think Malick [Thiaw] can be called up. With a reduced minutes but he will be called up.”

On Rennes…

“We have known for a long time that we have to face them, we have followed them for many games. They have a very good coach, they are a very fast and very vertical team with young, quality and talented guys. They have to be approached very carefully. We play at home, it would be very important to take some advantage for the return match.”

Tags AC Milan Milan Rennes


  1. No Sir, this is your CL, not Milan. This is your calibre, not Milan. Don’t mix it up. Just do well please, and bring it home

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