Disappointed AC Milan can look to Atalanta for inspiration


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AC Milan will look to recover from the frustration of the Champions League when it visits one among its major rivals for a place in subsequent yr’s competitors.

Milan heads to close by Atalanta on Sunday 5 days after shedding to Atlético Madrid 2-1 in its first dwelling match within the Champions League in additional than seven years.

There had been however loads of positives to be taken from that match. Milan dominated for the primary half hour earlier than midfielder Franck Kessié was despatched off for a second bookable offense, and led till Antoine Griezmann’s 84th-minute equalizer. Luis Suárez’s profitable penalty within the seventh minute of stoppage time completed it.

Milan’s second loss means getting out of its group will likely be an uphill wrestle however it may well take coronary heart from Sunday’s opponent. Atalanta misplaced its first three matches within the Champions League in its debut marketing campaign in 2019 however managed to get out of its group and go all the best way to the coronavirus-affected quarterfinals.

There are many similarities between the groups. Atalanta’s success was constructed on a shrewd switch coverage and a younger however gifted squad, which fights till the top. It is written on the crew jerseys, “La maglia sudata sempre,” which primarily means the gamers’ shirts ought to all the time be moist with sweat.

The Milan gamers’ grit and willpower was amply proven on Tuesday. And it’s a younger facet that has introduced the Rossoneri again to Europe’s elite.

Milan’s squad had the youngest common age in Serie A final season — regardless of the inclusion of Zlatan Ibrahimović, who turns 40 on Sunday. And it additionally had the second youngest squad on the opening day of the Champions League, behind solely Salzburg.

The future appears to be like rosy for the Rossoneri.

“First of all, there must be sporting outcomes as a result of with out sporting outcomes all the remaining doesn’t actually matter a lot,” AC Milan president Paolo Scaroni stated in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday.

“The sporting outcomes are starting to reach. Yesterday, for the primary time in seven, eight years we had a Champions League match at San Siro, so an incredible emotion for us.

“In the meantime we have created a squad that is young, fights hard and is full of talent. All that is in the trajectory that we have set ourselves for Milan.”

Milan has come a great distance since 2018 when U.S.-based hedge fund Elliott Management took over management of a membership with money owed of 164 million euros (then $190 million) after Chinese proprietor Li Yonghong missed a deadline to repay a part of a mortgage.

The fund had been anticipated to promote on the membership, with numerous events reportedly all for shopping for the beleaguered Serie A outfit.

But, as a substitute, Elliott began planning for the long run with founder and co-CEO Paul Singer on the time pledging to return the storied membership “to the pantheon of top European football clubs where it rightly belongs.”

Singer’s son — Gordon Singer, a managing accomplice in Elliott — was in Milan on Wednesday at an occasion to launch one of many membership’s charitable initiatives: “ Restore the Music Milan.”

“We didn’t talk yesterday but then we know the project well,” president Scaroni stated. “Elliott is a fund, it has invested in Milan. Their strategies aren’t short term so for the moment we’ll continue like this. We’re on the right path.”

Stefano Pioli’s facet led Serie A for a lot of the primary half of final season earlier than fading and ending second, behind metropolis rival Inter Milan.

Milan received the final of its seven European crowns in 2007, and the final of its 18 Serie A titles in 2011.

It is at present second within the Italian league after six matches and has but to lose.

“My ambition — then there are people that are more ambitious than me — is to be in the Champions League next year, too. So my aim is to be at least fourth in the league,” Scaroni stated.

Elliott’s ambition on the sector is matched off it, the place Milan plans to construct a brand new stadium with Inter to interchange the enduring San Siro.

Planning for the brand new stadium is anticipated to begin in earnest after the municipal elections in Milan subsequent month, with completion anticipated by 2024.

“It’s fundamental both for Milan and for Inter,” Scaroni stated. “Without a brand new stadium will probably be very tough to be aggressive in Europe.” 


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