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Old 13-10-2018, 23:22   #5824
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(From rossoneriblog) Maldini speaking on stage at La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Festival dello Sport in Trento on 13/10/18:

“I started out playing as a striker. I was in love with the ball, evidently genetics made me seek it out as a friend,”*the 50-year-old Maldini told the audience at the festival, according to*“When I had arrived to Milan, they asked me what role I play but I didn’t have any because until then I was only playing in the oratorio. The role of the right winger was free, I played there and they made me stop right away. That was my first approach to the Rossoneri history.

“My appearances record at Milan? You have to be lucky to play a lot and for a performing team. I’ve never looked for personal glories and prizes: football is a team sport and thanks to that you win. I’m satisfied with my career. The history of my family is linked to the jersey of Milan, from the 50’s. When I stopped playing, my son was already playing in the Rossoneri academy.

“The importance of family? I was born when my father had already hung up his boots. I was told all sorts of stories about him and I did feel the pressure, reading and hearing comments, but at the end of the day it all just added motivation. For me it’s difficult to separate the person from the player.

“You should be outside like you’re on the pitch. To do competitive sport, you need to be a pro, sometimes you lose your temper but there must always be a habit of behavior. This is the first thing that my parents taught me, just like I taught my children; it’s not just in football but in general.

“My debut day at Milan? Until that day, I didn’t think that I could be able to play in Serie A. Once the game started, I told myself that I can do it. There was recklessness, also on the part of the coach who put me in at 16, and then the awareness of being able to do it.

“If the young players now are less good or are penalized by the system? There are generations with more talent and others with less. I think that there are strong young players. The system certainly doesn’t help. You’re either a phenomenon or a player coming out of the Primavera not ready for a professional league, even Serie C. This should make us think: the introduction of the second team [which Milan chose not to have this season], the desire of coaches to include more young guys… football should go in this direction, otherwise we have the results in front of our eyes.

“If it’s a pity that Arrigo Sacchi didn’t coach longer? For me he was fundamental, ambitious, with lots of ideas, and with a revolutionary way of training. He came to Milan at the right time. He was so obsessive that he himself was a prisoner of it. The stress probably consumed him a lot, brilliant people are often like that. If Sacchi’s ideas are still modern 30 years later? Many, yes. Others have evolved because the world has changed but some of his basic principles will always remain current.

“If Capello was more of a manager than a coach? No, he was a manager and also a great coach. When he was a coach, he gave 100%. The 1994 Champions League final against Barcelona? Perhaps the first time Milan were not favorites in a final. We played a few days before that a game against Fiorentina, who were in Serie B and we lost 2-0. We entered into the dressing room and Capello said: ‘Guys, we are very strong. We are going to the final and we will definitely win’.

“It was a good solution to prepare that week before Athens. It was my first time as a center-back? Yes, but I had already played it before: my first league campaign was as a center back and also in the national team I played there and in the 1994 World Cup I played in that role.

“Comparing between Sacchi and Capello? Sacchi was more pressing, I still have nightmares [laughs]. I was very young and it was continuous lessons. We talk about Sacchi, Capello and Ancelotti but everything started for me with Nils Liedholm, who taught me to play football and he threw me in. We have to take a step back and acknowledge that he started this great Milan era.

“The period with Ancelotti? Beautiful. Carlo is a master in managing the group. He was a former teammate, a friend, and by the age of 35 I was able to control my emotions better, so we had the chance to enjoy every moment. Ancelotti’s work in Naples? When he was at Parma, he didn’t want to get out of his scheme. Now at Napoli he has changed the positions of players with already established roles, like Insigne and Hasmik. I think he will bring many successes.

“If some coaches are for leagues and others for cups? If I think about Sacchi then we only won one Scudetto out of four. I always wondered why we didn’t win as much in Italy like we did in Europe. It was probably because he wanted to play in any condition – physical condition, the opponents, the climate – in the same way, and there can be a limit. But thanks to the same type of game, you can arrive at high levels in the world. Serie A of the 90’s? It was of very high level.

“If Gattuso is more a league or a cup coach? Let’s see [laughs]. Let’s see this year. He has a great sense of belonging which is what Leonardo and I have tried to transmit to the squad over the last few months. The image of Rino is changing: first it was all grit and now in his behavior and the thing that he says, he has made a huge leap in quality. It’s not by chance that he has our trust.

“If I expected him to become a coach? He was brave to come to Milan, but Rino has football knowledge and he knows how to listen. For a young coach, he is fundamental for the management of the players and for the management of the relationship with the club.

“The first adjective that comes to mind when someone says ‘Berlusconi’? Presidente, my President. A visionary. He came telling us that we would be the strongest in the world, we were all laughing as we were coming off negative years. There’s been a disappearance of strong figures in football? Football is changing and a single entrepreneur would find it hard. But the passion still makes the difference.

“If Monza will get to Serie A? I think they will do it. When he talks about football, Galliani’s eyes light up. Football is a disease and it doesn’t heal easily. I was surprised by their return but it’s something beautiful because they started there. I will also cheer a bit for them.

“The relationship with Galliani? Those who choose their collaborators have clear ideas and the past has nothing to do with it. Disputes are normal but we spent 25 years very intense years together. I would like to surround myself with people who don’t always agree with me, that’s how you grow.

“A definition for myself? It’s difficult. I hope that I’ll be remembered as a fair player. At times I could be very rough. Once at an awards ceremony with Diego Maradona, they showed a clip of an incredibly tough tackle. I went to Diego and told him: ‘Diego, I am sorry. I do not remember that incident’.

Feels like home again

Last edited by truant; 14-10-2018 at 00:45.
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