Two AC Milan legends in Arrigo Sacchi and Pippo Inzaghi have praised the environment that the current management have built.
Milan were able to extend their unbeaten league run to 25 games and also keep their lead atop the Serie A table as Theo Hernandez netted a late winner against Lazio on Wednesday night.
Fans and sections of the media are beginning to believe that this team could go on and do what was presumed to be impossible heading into the season and win silverware.
Former Rossoneri coach Arrigo Sacchi was interviewed by MilanNews, and he spoke very highly of what the management are doing.
“Maldini, Pioli and Gazidis have created harmony and esteem between the parties. This creates a synergistic group that is giving the best of itself,” he said.
“Maldini is a smart guy. I had him when he was very young but he had already played two high-level Serie A seasons. I had a particular way of choosing players. Being used to poverty and being used to coaching in first or second category teams, I went to clubs that were used to fighting for relegation. Not having a lot of money to spend, I focused on the enthusiasm, modesty and intelligence of these guys. And I did this with Milan too.
“I discarded players who had an excess of protagonism or selfishness and people who were envious and greedy. I remember that I didn’t want players who were phenomenal but who would undermine the integrity of the group. I remember once I told Berlusconi about a player that his engagement would be like inserting a neo-melodic singer into a rock orchestra.
“The first thing I looked at was the human and professional side. At Milan, in this sense, I found very good players like Paolo. There were great men but who at first struggled to relate on the pitch. One of the first things seen in training was the positioning of the body with respect to the ball in possession of the opponent and not so much on the player who had the ball between his feet.
“In relation to this the team moved collectively, together and in harmony. We were a connected team. I remember that once, against Napoli, Evani was tense because he had to mark De Napoli who had a great pace. You remind me that I told him not to be worried because the team would help him. The union of intentions is and always will be the secret in football.”
On the impact of Ibrahimovic, Sacchi added: “Yes, partly yes and I’m very happy for him. He has always been a great player but in some places he is a soloist while now I see him much more integrated into the collective.
“Milan have great enthusiasm. Great learning ability and a great desire to improve. There was great team spirit and a very close collective that shifted the vision of a single against 11 to 11 players united against one.
“It reminds me a lot of the Parma with which I beat Milan in the Italian Cup and with which we reached great goals. If the collective fails, you can see all the defects of inexperience but as a group, instead, they compensate for what the teams that spend the most have individually.”
The Rossoneri will get back underway against Benevento on January 3 when they face an opponent they have not beaten in Serie A, and they will square off against a familiar man in Pippo Inzaghi.
Inzaghi, interviewed by La Gazzetta dello Sport, spoke about the upcoming game.
“It will never be a normal match. I’m happy for Milan, I think they can fight for the Scudetto until the end. And I am happy for his fans who will remain forever in my heart and that every day, I am sure, they are informed of the result of Benevento,” he said (via MilanLive).