Clarence Seedorf is “proud” of Milan’s performance despite the 1-0 home defeat to Atletico Madrid.
“I think everyone saw what the lads did on the field. I am proud of what they did,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia after the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16.
“In the last 20 minutes we lost our intensity and Atletico started to get closer, even without creating that many chances.
“We were a little unlucky with the goal, but I saw some very good responses in the first half.”
Mario Balotelli went off with a shoulder problem after a nasty fall and was seen leaving the stadium with heavy strapping.
“I thought Balotelli did a lot of good things tonight, worrying the defence and creating chances. He is growing and it takes time for all the forwards to get to know each other better, as they aren’t quite in sync yet with this system.”
Milan must now win at the Vicente Calderon in the second leg on March 11, but Seedorf remains optimistic.
“The Calderon is a fiery atmosphere, but that stadium knows me too. I had some good times there! We’ve shown we have the utmost respect for Atletico, doubling up on the marking and remaining aggressive throughout.
“The San Siro crowd gave us a big hand, as I knew they would on a Champions League night. I say the players and fans have every right to be optimistic and to believe.
“I’m so proud at their hard work, the willingness to learn and the unity, which was behind all my success in my career. Even if there are harsh words occasionally, they are done with positive intentions. These are the foundations on which to build some great football.”