First Team


Massimiliano Allegri makes his mark ahead of the game against the Bianconeri. His interview today touched on themes of character and also on the unique event that is Juventus-Milan.

MILAN – On a certain level, the game has already started. All the buildup and the pre-match comments of Milan’s Massimiliano Allegri were published today in Italian dailies La Repubblica and Tuttosport.

Here’s what Allegri said to La Repubblica: “Pirlo? Andrea already explained this. He needed a new challenge. When you’re in the same place for 10 years, you need a change and he’s showing the benefits of that now. But also last year, he came in very well for us against Bologna on the wing then he missed almost the whole rest of the season through a series of injuries. Ibra? I can’t quantify how much he means, I can only say that I’m happy to have him back. He’s got technique and presence. In the first six months of last season, before he was suspended, he allowed Milan to grow around him in the form of a team. Intuitions? The only one I can see is using Boateng as an atypical playmaker. Atypical because he has great physical strength and an ability to add presence to either the attack or the midfield. But if the rest of the team wasn’t willing to sacrifice as much as they have, these intuitions wouldn’t have been any use to anyone.”

And here’s what the Rossoneri coach said to Tuttosport: “Cassano was not overweight, he has improved his physical condition and mentally, he’s working well. After Bari, he’s been playing quite often and so he’s found continuity and motivation. He’s important for me even if that’s difficult to explain to a player that you leave on the bench. Boateng is alright even if he’s not 100%. I have to figure out if he’ll start or not. Matri? I’m happy for him, he has improved a lot. A great player and a good guy. It’ll be a tough game for us, they’re working well on both ends of the pitch and have a lot of solutions in the final third. We’ll be a bit fatigued because for the past month, it’s always been the same players on the pitch. We’ll need mental lucidity and excellent technique. The stadium could be an advantage for them, I just hope the pitch is good. With the bench surrounded by fans, I’ll accept ideas from the stand… But I’d take the San Siro with 70,000 fans any day.”