Former AC Milan coach Alberto Zaccheroni has urged the current Rossoneri team to go out and seize the opportunity they have to win a first league title since 2010-11.
Going into the final three games of the season Milan are two points ahead of their city rivals Inter and have the head-to-head advantage over them, but arguably have the harder schedule on paper.
Seven points from a possible nine are what is needed for Stefano Pioli’s men to be crowned champions of Italy and if you’re feeling like a flutter, GGPoker is the place to go.
Zaccheroni’s Milan side won the title in 1998-99 when few expected them to, and he spoke to MilanNews about the title race this season and Sunday’s game on Sunday against Hellas Verona at the Bentegodi.
What are your thoughts on Sunday’s match?
“More than a Scudetto match, we can safely say that for Milan the match in Verona is the most insidious of the last three, with all due respect for Atalanta and Sassuolo. The Scaligeri do not have great ambitions for the classification but they are aggressive and have acquired an important mentality over time.”
What will the Rossoneri need to pass the test?
“It will be enough to play like Milan. Take the field with the right attitude, don’t think about Inter, don’t think about anything other than the match. With Ibrahimovic and Giroud removed, the Rossoneri players have honours boards to fill, they are hungry for success. The right anger will be needed.”
If the Rossoneri were to win – with the head-to-head advantage considered – would it be a big step towards the title?
“Definitely yes. At that point the road would be downhill, I don’t want to repeat myself but Verona is the most delicate stage of this finale.”
Do you believe in past references to ‘Fatal Verona’?
“The past and the taboos do not take the field. The Scudetti lost in the past are part of other eras and I am the anti-superstition par excellence.”
Would you trust Ibrahimovic from the first minute?
“No, I think Stefano Pioli is managing him very well. The Ibrahimovic seen now is still far from the best condition and whoever is playing in his place is doing well. In addition, Milan is a team that does not go much on the bottom, the central funnel is always very crowded. Giroud himself, in some places, struggles with this system.”
Does Leao remind you a little of your Weah?
“First of all it should be said that Weah was already on the decline when I arrived at Milan while Leao is exploding right now.”
And he it doing it right?
“Very well. He is a marvel, he has the means of a great player. The management of Pioli is tangible but above all the character impact of Paolo Maldini whom I know very well. They are making him a well-rounded pro. He has the future ahead of him.”
What are the faces of this Milan team?
“I say two, Tomori and Kalulu. They are composing a granite central pairing and let’s remember that it is not easy to replace someone like Kjaer. I saw Tomori immediately last year and we all understood a bit that we were in the presence of a top player on a defensive level. Kalulu is proving even better as a centre-back than as a full-back.”
What would you say to the players before taking the field?
“Seize the day because it may be the right year.”