AC Milan legend Arrigo Sacchi has now encouraged the incoming new ownership to rediscover the club’s sense of pride, whilst also insisting that they should be vigilant when signing players.
During his initial spell in charge of the Rossoneri, the revolutionary tactician guided the Milanese outfit to the peak of world football, helping his side secure eight titles in just three seasons.
However, the 70-year-old has insisted that this success was largely down to the impact of outgoing president, Silvio Berlusconi, who, along with his right-hand man Adriano Galliani, helped change the face of European football.
What do you think about the prospect of Milan now being under foreign ownership?
“I make a lot of this change,” said Sacchi. “It is difficult to think of Milan without Berlusconi and Galliani. As a pair they have managed to create something that will go down in the history of Italian and world football.
“Silvio was a revolutionary, he changed customs in regards to ideas with the ball. He had the courage to make hazardous choices and make his dreams come true. I would say that with him we saw a footballing renaissance.”
In your opinion, what was the most decisive factor that forced him to leave?
“His health was key. So this is something you cannot disagree with because that goes above everything else in terms of importance. He made the right decision. Nonetheless, it is a shame because we will no longer see him and Galliani together.
“Those two have been the best directors in history. When I used to give Galliani my list of desired signings, he would always bring me the first name.”
How would you describe AC Milan to the new Chinese investors?
“I would say that Milan needs to rediscover its’ greatness, aligned with a search for ambition, pride and passion. Then I would also say that they need to pay close attention to certain things and select the right men.
“The base is to have players that feel loved and appreciate their own profession. One must seek excellence. There is also the question of attitude and behaviour. Those that don’t behave well shouldn’t be at the club. First assess them as men and then analyse them as players. ”
What do you think about the coach?
“He needs to implement a great strategy that helps get the best out of the players. I like Vincenzo Montella a lot and I hope he can be successful. Another aspect is that the players must be comfortable with their own ideas of football.
“You do not win matches if you sit in your own half and wait to strike. You need to be the protagonist. For Milan you need to give everything, you have to dedicate your life to reach a specific sporting level.”
It seems that the new ownership have the intention of bringing in some ex-players at board level. What are you thoughts on this?
“It would prove to be extremely useful for the club, but I also see the main reasoning behind this. It is more than just a link with the past. It would provide a means of having clear ideas for the future.”
Demetrio Albertini, Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta have all been linked with a return; how would you describe them?
“Albertini was my federal vice-president when I was in charge of the Azzurri youth side. He has matured whilst obtaining boardroom level experience.
“As for Maldini, he has became a proper man. He has not built his life around opportunism and he has demonstrated the ethical and moral richness of life. Of cause he has less experience that Demetrio but he is very intelligent, just like Costacurta. I am fond of all of these players and I am aware of their humanity and professionalism. I also add Galliaini to this list, that is a certainty.”