press-conference08 July 2021


The Coach's words on the team's first day back at Milanello

The first day of school, the dawn of a new season. The Rossoneri begin their 2021/22 season with a team gathering at Milanello. With the majority of players having returned after their holidays, Coach Pioli is now preparing for them to start working again. He began doing so with today’s press conference at 14:00 CEST.

"We all enjoyed it, but only for a few days, at least this was the case for me. I immediately started thinking about the exciting things that will be coming our way this season. We’ve thrown ourselves into the new year: today is the first day, it's as thrilling as always and it’ll be great to see my players again."

"We've started a little earlier with the aim of doing the right things calmly and efficiently, to prepare well and avoid injuries. We want to make the most of this period, we had a long and demanding season, so I hope the lads are rested and ready. We’re back here again, and the start of the new season will come soon."

"The Club wants to try to make AC Milan competitive, with our journey beginning a year and a half ago. We still need to grow and improve, to raise the level of the team. Like everyone else, I would prefer to have the whole squad from day one but I also know the dynamics at play, we will do things right so we can have an AC Milan that is consistent in performance and results. I've already spoken with Maignan, we've got a great guy, now he'll have to rest after the Euros to be fit and ready for the season."

"First and foremost, I hope that next season will return to normal, with the fans at the stadium. We would like to get that emotion and those feelings back, for both football and the fans. We want to cement ourselves as a competitive team that can play good football and can play against anyone. We surprised everyone last year and we would like to do that again this year. What we’ll say between now and 22 August will only be words, but then all will be determined on the pitch; we want to be, and we have to be, ambitious and have a fire inside us, with the desire to grow further."

"Kessie has grown a lot, much like many of his teammates, he’s very strong and he has given so much to the team. We know how important he is and at the same time how happy he is to be at AC Milan. We spoke to each other, he took some rest, he got married, and now he will go to the Olympics: I found him to be calm, motivated, and ready to come back as strong as before. I bonded a lot with the players last season, Gigio and Hakan gave so much to this team up until the final day. I must thank them for everything, they have made their choices, and we now have to go our separate ways. I’m sure I’ll find another motivated group that are ready to grow and to give their all, that are ready to challenge themselves. We need quality players because you can go far when you have quality and spirit. I’m interested in the arrival of quality players, who want to play for AC Milan and who want to work with us. I expect growth from all my players, as much from Leão as from the many other players." 

"The success we have this season will be determined on the pitch, we must prepare well and need to complete the team, we’ll work to be ready for the elite level of the Champions League."

"The captain has always been and still is Alessio Romagnoli. We have more captains within the team, and, together with the Club, we’ll establish the vice-captains."

"I've spoken to Zlatan every day. Today, I found him to be doing well, but it will take ten to fifteen days before he's back out on the pitch. The prospects are looking good, we hope to have him available for the start of the season. Calabria paid us a visit yesterday, he’ll have to work separately for a short time, while Isma will work alongside the group from today."

"He went through a delicate experience. Many were amazed at his reaction, but we weren’t surprised: we know all about his human qualities. We’ve spoken often, including after yesterday’s game, and we’ll also do so in the next few days to determine how long we’ll give him to rest after a demanding European Championship."

"Fikayo has displayed important characteristics and got used our way of playing, showing conviction and mentality in the process. He’s also always given 110%. The Club pushed hard for a player who is already important for this team. But he’s also someone who could play an even more vital role going forward."

"Many teams will have the same objective: the Scudetto or a place in the top four. I’m disappointed that Antonio Conte will no longer be involved, but it’s exciting to welcome back Allegri, Spalletti, Sarri and Mourinho. Facing them means growing and being able to make further improvements."

"I’m open to all solutions. The important thing is to put players in a position where they’re able to perform at their best. We need to try to take the game to our opponents and dominate. I’m not anchored to fixed positions, our system will become increasingly fluid during our build-up play and when we attack."

#BackHome, Capsule Collection: check out the new collection to celebrate our return to the Champions League!

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