Pioli and the last days at Milanello “I try not to think about it”. Turin is the penultimate step

Stefano Pioli’s adventure on the AC Milan bench is about to end. First, however, with qualification for the next Champions League, there are the last two championship matches to be played. Starting in Turin, this evening at 8.45pm at the Stadio Olimpico – Grande Torino. “We will meet the club at the end of the season and make our assessments”, said the Rossoneri coach himself in the press conference, who spoke in this way taking stock of all the issues at Milan.

How do you motivate players to achieve goals?
“It was finally a good week, because we hadn’t won for a long time… We are more serene and I believe that serenity can help us perform at our best tomorrow, so I expect a level performance also due to the desire we have to finish well the championship”.

What type of Milan will we see?
“Theo didn’t train today as he had a flu attack, so I’ll see if he can recover in time for tomorrow. If I succeed, I’ll let everyone play in these last two games.”

How are you experiencing what could be your last days at Milanello?
“Who? Giroud and Kjaer? (laughs, ed.). I try not to think about it. Then I’ll meet with the club at the end of the season, we’ll make our assessments. Until then I’ll try to be focused on helping the team, then eventually I’ll know certain emotions living them.”

How does Allegri comment on the affair?
“It’s always difficult to judge from afar. Allegri has won a lot, he’s a great coach. We know that for the role we have we have to manage certain types of expectations and pressures. Then all the things in our environment are always exaggerated, the compliments like the criticism”.

A vote for you and the team?
“No. We certainly had a better championship than last year, but a worse Europe than last year.”

Do you feel protected by your managers?
“I have always had a great relationship with the Club and it will be like this until the end, then everyone does what they have to do.”

Are you in favor of on-call VAR?
“I’m in favor of playing more. Having more interruptions, I don’t know if it’s the best path…”.

Is it possible that with almost 100 goals in the season you can’t win something?
“There are those who have taken more than us, but also and above all those who have taken fewer than us.”

Do you think you’ve exhausted your drive at Milan after 5 years? Massaro said that ‘if you take a coach incognito, you might as well keep Pioli’…
“If Massaro wanted to give a compliment… The reasoning is not correct: ‘It’s worth keeping Pioli’. But: ‘It’s right to keep Pioli because…’. I won’t comment.”

Don’t get warned tomorrow… (Pioli is warned by a booking, ed.)
“Well, I wrote this one down. Be patient, you’ve waited until now, bothering yourself talking about the future. Wait another week.”

Does this team have a future?
“You don’t have to ask me these questions. Giroud will play his last match, not tomorrow from the start: I hope he can reach 50 goals. The relationship I have created and had with the players is truly profound, which goes beyond of what we have done or not done… I can only be grateful and happy. I do this job here to get excited and I got excited here; this goes beyond any result, any criticism, any glory or benefit. For this I will always say thank you to my players.”

Giroud will leave Milan…
“He, Kjaer, Ibrahimovic were very important with me and with their teammates. Then in the meantime many of their teammates have grown and will have the task of taking on responsibilities and leading the way.”

What do you think of Giroud?
“We won that Scudetto because everyone did their best. I should say many things, praise so much about that year… We did something exceptional, in which everyone expressed themselves to the maximum, some even above their potential A magic had been created between us, with the environment, with the fans, then we were rewarded with a great success. Giroud was fundamental in the growth of the team. I am absolutely attached to him, to Kjaer and to Zlatan “.

What can your players improve on?
“The new ones have important qualities and can do even more, indeed: they will certainly do more. Last year, when we applauded together for second place in the gym, I asked the boys their ranking in their team last year and no one, apart from Okafor, had reached such a high level. Then we had ups and downs, but not due to lack of availability, compactness. For this I want to reward everyone in these last two games.

Why does Torino always dance in tenth place?
“There are teams of a very high level, so for those teams like Torino it’s difficult to stay inside. This year someone big is coming out of the Champions League, eh. It’s not easy for Torino to overcome those teams. I respect Juric a lot and it’s difficult to play against him. Then Torino has a reputation and a history that makes it difficult for the environment to accept medium-level seasons.”

30 years ago Milan won the Champions Cup… Where were you?
“I was in Florence, there was the Fiorentina-Milan friendly match with Capello who said he had understood who to play and who not to play. I played for Fiorentina. I remember the match very well: a stratospheric AC Milan. I remember Capello’s phrases very well …”.

Can Milan win the Champions League in the next few years?
“It’s difficult. I believe that Milan can do it, even if the level is very high. This year, however, we have had a clear example: Dortmund are fifth, 25 points behind Leverkusen and are in the final, even if Real Madrid are the favourites. Now Ancelotti will be touched (laughs, ed.) We have to take the other step.”

Have you thought about the 0-7 three years ago in Turin?
“It’s not in my head to rewind the whole tape yet…”

Have you thought about Rome again?
“There are always regrets. The team gave its all, but in those two matches against Roma the team wasn’t able to express itself as it could.”