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Old 20-05-2015, 08:50   #501
bacon d'or
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Join Date: May 2013

Originally Posted by crazy4milan View Post
"Sacchi didn't even let us laugh"

Alessandro Costacurta (Varese, Italia; 1966) hang up his boots on may 2007. With 41 years and 663 games with Milan's shirt. There was only one game left. He asked the club to loan him San Siro to organize a farewell game with his best friends. "The butcher, the guy from the gas station, the one from management, the baker..., people that have grown with me and had never been to San Siro" explains the defender.

Q. What have you done in the past 3 years?
A. I've tried to be a coach. Now I'm working at Sky. I loved trainning, but my wife travels a lot, and I need to be with my son, Achille, 6 years old. Being on tv helps me out with that, being a coach not.
Q. Does time pass by faster now that you aren't playing?
A. It goes much more slower. I like it. A dear friend of mine, a phylosopher, says that there's nothing more beautiful than being bored. He is right. I've lived without having time for myself, and I've become a person that tries to get bored even if I can't do it.

Q. What did you look at your window when you were a kid?
A. I lived near Malpensa airport. I saw a football field. More than a football field it was a praire. We inveted the goal posts. That's where it all started.
Q. Were you always a defender?
A. The first time that I went to a real team I asked to be played as a sweeper. At 8, I thought a sweeper was the one that could play at any position: forward, midfielder, winger, defender...and no; in reality he was the last defender. I had asked for it already, so I had to deal with it, but early on I didn't like it at all.
Q. And you dealt with it till you were 41.
A. I was lucky that I never had any big injury. I talk alot with Paolo (Maldini): nothing had ever happened to our cruciate ligaments. Well it helps when you have a controlled life: not drinking much and not smoking.

Q. Who did you looked up as a kid?
A. Franco Baresi. All of the young defenders of Milan loved Franco. He debuted in the first team the year that I started in the younger teams. We all wanted to be Baresi because he was young, smart and tremendously good. And he got along amazingly well with all of the young kids. I always stayed watching him train.
Q. Did Tassotti, Baresi, Maldini and you hang out outside the field?
A. I went out and still do just with Maldini. Tassotti and Baresi in those days were married already and they were 7 years older. Paolo and I used to go out to flirt around in clubs, but they couldn't keep up with our rhythm.
Q. Who yell out the most?
A. Baresi. In reality, we prefered to yell during trainnings. With the automatisms we had, we didn't really need to talk.

Q. You work on that or is natural?
A. You work on it. There's no other way to achieve that than with trainnings.Sacchi believed a lot on that. In his first 5 months he had all four of us working one more hour.
Q. What did you do?
A. He placed the forwards and made us repeat time and time again the offside. He didn't stop. He insisted in protecting the ball, in double marking, and supporting the closest teamate.
Q. Was he a pain?
A. Yes. Specially at the begging. Just imagine players of the quality of Baresi and Maldini working in the tiniest detail day after day. It was a hard to understand situation for people of that quality. They were used to stop the rival with their strenght and talent. They didn't need anything more.Till we finally understood him...he was sooo right!
Q. How were the pre-match concentrations with him?
A. A pain. He demanded concetration since the day before. He didn't even wanted us to laugh during dinners. No kinds of noise.
Q. And with Capello?
A. He was more simple. He made us laugh. He wanted concentration, but till the minute we got to the stadium, we were able to laugh and joke around till we got to the dressing room door. You couldn't do that with Sacchi.
Q. Did you ever talk that with him?
A. Of course. He was completely convinced, and even if we didn't like it, looking at the results, he was right. With Sacchi and his rules we won playing pretty. With Capello we won, but maybe not in such a pretty way. It's complicated now to go and tell Sacchi "You were a nut and a pain banning laughing and joking around during meals". It's hard to criticize a winning idea.

Q. You had many different coaches. From outside, how do you see Mourinho and Guardiola?
A. I see Guardiola like a person that commands, in a very inteligent way, a team team that is built on a tradition. I met him, I like him, he is a nice guy, educated. If I have to choose between both, I go with him. But I realize that Guardiola is driving a car that was built by others. Mourinho, on the other hand, out of nowhere builts fantastic teams. His a born winner, more than Guardiola.

Q. Speaking of tradition, have Milan lost it?
A. Yes. With Maldini's good-bye we have lost that way of thinking. We were part of a group of italians that were born 20 years before. There was a way of thinking. There were certain ways of behaving that were an obligation, and you took care of them. Now with the brazilians, not so much. It's all a bit more simple.
Q. What you're talking about?
A. We had an schedule that we had to respect. If you were found at a club at 3 am, they took away your league bonus. I had to do it once. I took part of a teamate's bonus during the 1999-2000 season, when we won the league. I realized he had went partying.

Q. Why there's no more bandieras?
A. Maldini, Baresi and I were from Milan. It was easy staying in your city's club, even more so if it was the best team in the world. More than the colors, we felt the family. By family, I mean the club, the team, everything.
Q. Zanetti is not from Milan, he spend years without winning nothing, and decided to stay at it possible nowadays?
A. Yes. It's not hard feeling the colors of a team. Many times its not up to the player. In my days, if you had a bad season, no one put you in the market. They supported you, you were given the right to improve. Now that bearly happens. Look at Ibrahimovic. I think he liked Barcelona. But when the coach says "you can leave"...well it's hard. I think things go too fast these days.

Q. Have you seen many the times the video of the 5-0 against Madrid?
A. Just a few times.
Q. How were Butragueño and Hugo Sánchez?
A. For me, they were the first forwards to play together. They were very close, one always ahead of the other. It's normal now, but they were the first ones to do it 20 years ago. It was hard to stop them.
Q. The forward that has drived you crazy?
A. Ronaldo when he arrived at Inter. I've never seen anyone like him.
Q. You've won 5 Champions...the most special one?
A. The first one, because there were 90 000 Milan fans at Nou Camp. The path from the hotel to the stadium is unforgettable. The final against Juve, on the other hand, I remember because of the tension.

Q. Where did your boots ended up?
A. Mine in the trash can. I used them till I couldn't. Kaka, for example, used to give them to charity.
Q. Does your kid likes football?
A. No way! When I pass him a ball, he grabs it with his hand and tries to score a basket. I believe he'll end up playing at the Barca basketball team.
Q. You collect art. Do you have many at your place?
A. Each time I won a title, I bought myself a painting. The last one was a Damien Hirst, a skull, valued at 30 000 euros.
Q. Any footballer you hated?
A. Materazzi and Hugo Sánchez. Sánchez did many things in the field that were unacceptable. He liked to provoke. He dived, insulted. I have never liked him.

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