Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Being Paolo Maldini

“The last match in Florence was nice to reach the third place and from a personal level, what happened at the Franchi was an honour to have received the affection from the fans and from my team-mates.

“I am and will always remain a Rossonero fan, sincerely this is an huge chance. Kaka is the first player of a certain level to be sold, in the past such an idea was never taken into consideration. He’s one of the five best players in the world, just like Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. This decision was taken badly by my team-mates and the fans.

“Looking at the accounts is logical, but it’s also logical to fix reachable objectives, thinking of winning the Champions League without Kaka is a utopian objective. There is an important change, but I have the hope that this team remains always at the top. The difficulties of the transfer market are in choosing the players who allow you to make the quality jump, the purchasing power of Italian football changed, and the teams who have the strong players are holding on to them. As a player, when Baresi quit, I felt almost lost, I was missing a morale and physical support, I was seeing a black future, but then the club worked well and everything started again. We had many farewells and this team always started again greatly with bigger objectives. Milan’s story goes on. The investments of the Italian teams are not the same as the English or Spanish ones, we have teams who play well at football and to survive they must look at the balance and less at the game. Milan had success because to win n Europe you don’t need to be physically strong, but you must impose the game.

“Ronaldinho will have many responsibilities for next season, last year he was not the real leader and this responsibility can do him well. I don’t know the market strategies of Milan. Our team with two or three retouches could have been great, losing Kaka we must aim on other players and we must see what team will be set for July 6 at Milanello and put in the hands of Leonardo. Even he will have to test himself, it’s a bet and Milan won them in the past, the hope is that even this time it can reach a good result.

“I believe the enthusiasm is fundamental to arrive to certain results, I don’t think that the Milan transfer market is over, it has just started. Pirlo? I think it’s too early to consider him a player of a certain age since he’s only 30 years old, I don’t know the details and I don’t know the club’s thought, I think that before leaving Milan he will think about it not 10 times, but at least 100 times. I don’t think that there is a soap opera like with Kaka for Pato, he’s 19-years-old, has an extraordinary talent and so Pato must remain here.

“It’s important to have a Youth Sector with a club’s line to pull out important players. There will be Filippo Galli who I consider a capable person. We started late but the results will be seen in three or five years.

“I don’t know who will be the Milan captain, the idea could have been that it was Ambrosini due to the rules we have always given ourselves, but the choice could also be taken by the coach. Everything will depend from the management of Leonardo, I don’t see it as a big problem.

“Berlusconi said some things which I agree with regards to what happened on Sunday during Milan-Roma. The club is not identifiable in just one person, Milan are the fans, the players and the directors. Berlusconi’s words put me at ease. He said things I would have liked to hear after the Roma game. With regards to the response announcement of Galliani, maybe he took it personally, but I didn’t want to put it personally. Guardiola’s gesture after the final in Rome was very nice: him winning the Champions League and a minute later he thinks about me…no I will not go to Barcelona, even though the thing pleased me a lot. The dedication arrived even though I only spoke to Guardiola two or three times as an opponent because some game, I'm not his friend, therefore it was all dictated by the sentiment and the heart. Barcelona arrived in Italy on Monday, they saw what happened the previous Sunday at San Siro and there were shocked. Milan-Roma and the banners? I felt bad at first, but going back home, after 200 people came to celebrate me, what remained mostly in my head was the full stadium with all those scarves exposed to the sky for me. It was a confirmation of the fact that what I had I deserve it on the pitch and I never asked for anything to anyone, despite having an important surname. What has been said about my name when I was a small kid hurt me, but it helped me to grow. I don’t think that Berlusconi has any intention to sell, I think that he will continue. In the past there have been moments of refounding with many players who stop, there have been minor objectives before always returning to great targets.

“My future? It’s the management of my family life, I did not make any commitments with anyone, I received some offers from my historical sponsors. From Milan nothing, but there’s time, it doesn’t mean that a great player can be a great director, but I know this environment well. I wouldn’t like to put just my face, the youth sector was offered to me, but it's not my aspiration and I think that they must be people who have a certain experience and I don't have.

“I’m serene and happy to have fulfilled myself in the profession I love and as a person. I’m prudent on the future, even though there’s a small question mark right now. I never thought about changing shirt during my career due to my faithfulness to these colours, and this for a young player like Santon could be a very nice story. The players at times are forced to leave. I think that I will realize this when the teams will be during their training camp in mid-July. If I had listened to my children, I should have gone forward for five or six more years. They were very attached to Ricky for his technical qualities and he has a strange effect on the children. Even they will not have any difficulty to remain always Milanisti.

“It was a very beautiful last year. I played a sport I love in a wonderful environment, nothing could scratch and touch what I did in the past, a year without winning cannot damage my career. The best moment of my career is not only one, but two or three at the fullest of my capacity. I remember the first and second year of Capello, the year with Zaccheroni, even with Ancelotti in 2003 and 2004, but also with Sacchi, because I formed myself and reached the national team. The passion was at the base of everything, trying to always improve, in the long run it became a challenge with myself. In football you grow from the human level, you learn the respect towards others, at 16 years of age I used to work in a world of adults and it was a growth which brought me to be a respected person, the real spring is the passion for the sport. I had many positive examples and from them I tried to learn, the important thing is the family and I had close to me who managed me and gave an education. With Milan I have no regrets. The defeats are very painful, but are part of the game. After 4 World Cups with the national team, I would have wanted to win something, I cannot deny that they were 15 very beautiful years, with a bit more of luck I might have managed to win what the Italian national team won when I stopped.

“On the rapport with the fans of the Curva I think that if I have to go to dinner with them to earn a banner, I ask myself what sense it has, if they do it without me going to dinner it means that I did well what I’m paid for. If a certain detachment is kept, certain actions that they do can be criticized, it’s a more direct rapport.

“With regards to Carlo Ancelotti, I think that in England he will have to adapt to a more physical football, he will need to learn English well. Leonardo is a bet and usually the president won these bets, bringing a charge of innovation and youth is not bad. It’s a courageous choice, but it’s not bad. The coach is important, he must manage the group and is there that the wins are prepared and is also important for the management of the dressing room during the year. There are coaches who give an unmistakable footprint to their squads.”

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