First Team

END OF AN ERA


After all the emotion of the final day of Serie A action, the words from club CEO Adriano Galliani: “We’ll miss these extraordinary champions, men who kept the changing room the way it should be, good men. The end of an era.”

MILAN - Here’s what players and staff had to say at the end of Milan-Novara:

ADRIANO GALLIANI

We’ll miss these extraordinary champions, men who kept the changing room the way it should be, good men. The end of an era. Milan is a club that loves its players and it’s always mutual. I don’t mean only the ones who have been here for a decade but also who, like Mark Van Bommel has only been here a year and a half. Rino Gattuso’s choice should be respected; it was him that wanted to leave. I tried to convince him. It would seem to be a definitive decision, but we have an excellent relationship and we’ll see. The players that are leaving are doing so because they think it’s the end of a era or because they want to play in a less demanding league. That’s the situation today, but there’s no certainty over tomorrow.
It was a competitive season. The club goes from winning to not winning, the adversaries change but we’re always there. Since Allegri’s arrival, even if it’s criticized, we have 20 points over third place. I don’t want to talk about the league as today, emotions prevail over reason. Much of the merit for all that the club has done is down to the strength, determination and concentration of Pippo Inzaghi. He’s incredibly professional. Much of the merit is his, and then of course what the president and I were able to do, we did. If Nesta hadn’t come to the club, I don’t think we would have won a Champions League title. For me the best thing was knocking out Inter in the semi-final and then Juventus in the final.”
Gattuso made his decision, he said he’s leaving and he said it with love and that’s the way it goes. Now we have to meet the players out of contract one by one. I think Allegri was a good choice and I hope that the next two seasons will be as good as the last two. It’ll be a good summer….”

RINO GATTUSO

"It was right to retire the Baresi and Maldini jerseys but I don’t think they should do the same with ours. I’ll keep today’s joy and emotions in my heart jealously. You can’t have second thought about certain things. I’ll try and return someday and we’ll see in what role that will be. I still feel like a player and I feel I can still give something to the game.”

GIANLUCA ZAMBROTTA

It’s a special day full of indescribable emotions. It was the last game here at the San Siro for me and some of my team mates, players who made history with the club and with Italian football. It’s understandable that we’re all a bit emotional. It’s tough to leave such a great group of players that I’ve known for so long. I’ve known Rino for more than 15 years, with the international side even before coming to Milan. It’s tough to leave this club but life goes on. I’m about to have my first child and I’ll concentrate on that, that’s the priority. Milan always look to win the most possible and this year we got close in all competitions, they’ll try again next year. It’s a great group, fantastic people and I want to thank all the squad and the club for all that they gave me. When is aw Rino in the centre of the pitch, I wanted to give him a hug. It was right to leave the stage to these amazing champions who made history with the club. Thanks to all the fans for the affection they’ve shown me.”

ANTONIO NOCERINO

Today was their day. A party a great day for everyone. They deserve this and much more. We were lucky enough to have them as our maestros but they can’t be replaced. You can’t create players like them, monumental, irreplaceable. It was incredible to have got to know them as men, I have a good relationship with all of them and I’ll miss them. I’ve been here a year and I feel close to all of them. It’s a real joy to see the stadium salute them like this. The fans, the club and the team have always been one single entity and we have to start again from that. I’ve won nothing and next season we’ll be playing to win and to keep the club colors flying high. These players are leaving without celebrating the title that they deserve. Rino is one of a kind and you won’t find another player like him both on and off the pitch. I was lucky enough to have met him and maybe I can take something from that.  It doesn’t worry me to be seen as his heir. It’s an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence as such a football monument. You can only hope to learn something from him. I want to take this chance to thank him for giving me the chance to do well and to be a part of this family and I hope to be able to do 1% of what these players have done. They do more than talk and that’s another reason why they’re great.”

DJAMEL MESBAH

"Big emotions and big players who have made history in world football. They’re all great men and great champions. Credit to them. It was a great afternoon. They have left me great humility and that what I expected from such great champions. Gattuso is extraordinary; he works hard and always runs the most on the pitch. They gave me a lot on these four months. We’re losing great players who started winning everything when I was still young. There have been many injuries this season with Pato and Cassano and Boateng we would have won no problem. We’ll be aiming high next season. We want the title because I came here to win. We had a lot of injuries but credit to Juventus who never lost a game but now we look to next season.”

ALBERTO AQUILANI

"Scenes that leave a mark on you today. I’m proud to have played with them. I was lucky enough to get to know fantastic players, champions who made history in football. They left with the shirt that they love after having made history and they showed themselves to be real players to the end. We’ll see about next season. There’s still a door half open.”
 

TAG >

Photogallery