Paolo Maldini explained how he came to take on a new job at Milan, as he and Leonardo “try to return to those principles” from their heyday.
The Rossoneri legend returned as a member of staff after US hedge fund Elliott Management repossessed the club from Yonghong Li.
He had been approached by the Chinese businessman first, but was immediately said he wasn’t convinced by the financial guarantees and project put forward.
Maldini was proven right when Yonghong Li failed to meet loan repayments and this week the balance sheet showed a loss of €126m during his one-year tenure.
“Leonardo called me, I was on vacation and he said that he’d been contacted by the club,” explained Maldini at the Festival dello Sport event in Trento. You can read the rest of his comments here.
“We reached an agreement in 48 hours. We divide the sporting area, which means dealing with the team, players and Coach. It’s an intense job and certainly not easy.”
Maldini and Leonardo were both players in the Milan sides that won everything under Silvio Berlusconi.
“Based on our experience, we try to return to those principles. At Milan, you must have clear in your mind that it’s essential to win trophies.
“Our objective now is to get back to being competitive in Europe as soon as possible. We have a three-year contract, so it’s not much time, but we’ll try. I won’t deny that it’s tough to talk about Champions League qualification, considering recent results, but we are convinced we can do it. That is our main target.
“It was important for us to feel that there was a strong club by our side as players, so it must be the same for the current group.”
Milan have already secured a deal worth €35m plus bonuses for Flamengo attacking midfielder Paqueta.
“He has talent, is not yet 100 per cent developed, but is a player who can allow us to dream.”