Maldini is just focused on winning. He talks about choosing Pioli as a coach, signing Ibrahimovic, and extending Pioli’s contract.
currently top theSerie A
table. They have only lost one of their competitive matches since March and as a result, they extended
“Plans change along the way. I am tied to the image of a winning Milan and that means I cannot only focus on keeping the books balanced,”
“I must also safeguard that history and what the fans expect of me. This is where I push the club to do some things rather than others. The results show they were right in some things, I was right in others, but at this moment we have one single idea going forward and that helps the project.”
Maldini and Zvonimir Boban both wanted to sign
and Simon Kjaer in January.
“Ibra was already an idea the previous January with Leonardo, as we’d talked about it with him and Mino Raiola. However, he’d already given his word to the LA Galaxy and said we’d talk about it again in a year’s time. He kept his word.
“Of course, it was a gamble, because Zlatan had spent several years in MLS and, with all due respect, that’s a completely different level to Serie A. When we proposed an 18-month contract, he told us to go for six months, as he wasn’t sure what he could give us.
“Ibra is extremely competitive, to an astonishing degree. He raises the level and drives the other players crazy by pressuring them.”
The biggest break between Maldini and Milan was about the coach. But now Pioli has won everyone over.
“He has this way of transmitting his thoughts with a vigor you wouldn’t expect from someone so calm. In his career, he hasn’t always maintained the promise of what he showed at the start of experiences, as he seemed weak with his players, but the truth is the contrary.
“At times, we have to hold him back a little bit. It’s a characteristic I wasn’t expecting and he did well to bring it to an important club like Milan.”
Maldini used to play as a defender as a left-back and center-back and he was one of the best defenders in the world.
“They used to look for a defender who could fit well into that team, whereas now I’d go to find a player who is good at one-on-one situations and then teach him to fit into that role. The most difficult thing to teach is how to take men on because it’s about concentration.
“At this moment, due to the way we play and also the general football situation, I’d get a defender who is good at taking men on, and then the coach can teach him to be part of the defense.”