Monday July 8 2013
‘Milan must always be champions’

Silvio Berlusconi is optimistic ahead of the new season for Milan and commented on the conviction that the Rossoneri ‘must always be champions’.

Milan have begun preseason today and received a visit of encouragement from their owner and President.

“I am always here even in spirit so I will always come when called upon, today is about starting again, I wanted to come and give my best wishes to Mr. Galliani, our Coach, to all the guys,” explained Berlusconi in conversation with Milan Channel.

“I stayed with the new players, Poli and Saponara, for half an hour which I liked very much. Many congratulations to [Adriano] Galliani who has made quite a leap towards a younger team, responding fully to the mandate.

“Last year in the second part of the season we had the most points of anyone, we have the young players from last year so we hope to have a good championship.”

The President then turned his attention to the team’s strike-force, which will consist of Stephan El Shaarawy after he was confirmed off the market, and Mario Balotelli.

“With El Shaarawy we were favourably impressed by the fact that he showed a great attachment to Milan and he said he did not want to play for any other team in the world that was not Milan.

“When you see a team for the first time when you are young you have affection for them and Balotelli has become one of the heroes on the pitch.

“It is very difficult to change the team you support and I was born with this passion my father gave me.

“It would be sacrilege to cheer for another team, Mario was born a Milan fan and we are pleased about that.”

One forward who looks likely to be leaving is Robinho, with former side Santos pushing for a deal in the coming days.

“I expressed our satisfaction if he remains at Milan, he has nostalgia for the his city, for his family, for his friends and for Santos which is the team in which he started.

“Only Robinho's departure will see a new player come in. If this happens the possibility of his return to Santos would be the only option that would see us give him up.”

Berlusconi was asked what demands he has placed on Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“What I said to Allegri is part of the absolute secrets between a President and a Coach.

“A fifth consecutive top three finish? Milan's mission since I have been the President is to take the pitch to be master of the pitch and master of the play, winning in a convincing way but behaving correctly towards opponents and to have the status of the most successful club in the world, Milan must always be champions.

“I do not exclude the possibility that there may be a further strengthening of the team, but we are all convinced already that we can win the championship.”

Milan’s city rivals Inter are in talks with Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir over possible investment and a takeover.

“There are needs that manifest themselves because football for those who want to be competitive needs a lot of money, now there is a new rule that was imposed in Europe for which teams must have budgets that commensurate with their income, so this possibility is to let in some new share holders or sell the entire share capital, I do not find anything wrong with that.

“Regarding Milan there is not this possibility, because for me and my family we are always Milanese, Milan is a matter of the heart and Milan would be the last company I would sell.”