Speaking to Sky Sport in an interview aired this New Years’ Eve, Stefano Pioli spoke on his Milan team’s season so far and his attachment to the club. Notably, the Rossoneri coach spoke about the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimović in January and the various challenges faced by the club throughout the year.
“If Milan were a woman, she would be my wife. I’ve been married to my wife for 32 years, which means the same for Milan…”
“The negotiations to bring in Zlatan began long before the Atalanta game [5-0 defeat last December]. His agreement came in the days after the Bergamo loss, but the club had spoken to me about the possibility [of signing him], and I took it well.”
“I knew we needed his character, his strength, and his charisma, so we were all ready to welcome Zlatan in. I always thought Ibra was the right player for the squad and for our style of play.”
“I first met Zlatan at Milanello [the club’s training ground], at that point I knew I was dealing with a champion in terms of mentality, professionalism and skill. We said few words to each other, but from then I started to understand that I was faced with a very intelligent and kind person, and a player for whom that turns into the wrath of a god when he enters the pitch. I like his authenticity, the way he’s very direct.”
“I think our whole journey began in January of 2020, with an important transfer window in terms of incomings and departures. That’s when we started to lay the foundations to build something positive.”
“It’s been a gratifying year, I’m managing a great club and a group of guys that I like […], even though they’re young they’re already responsible, what we’re living through in the world is a peculiar situation and it’s delicate for them as well.”
“The experience I had in Florence, as well as the loss of my father last year, have meant I have another two guardian angels. They’re also a part of this great season with Milan.”