Paolo Maldini insists Gennaro Gattuso is the right Coach to take Milan back into the Champions League. “We’ve never doubted him.”
Milan face Lazio on Saturday in the first of a double-header between the Champions League chasers this month, and Maldini was asked for his thoughts on the clash.
“Lazio are doing well, they have quality and, like us, are playing to qualify for the Champions League,” he told Sport Mediaset.
“We’ve had highs, lows and big problems against the teams ahead of us in the table. If we get two good results against Lazio and Torino, we’d be ahead of them, even if we end up on equal points.
“The idea is to get back on track after picking up a point from four games, but we’re still up there.
“The match against Juve gave us many assurances: we’re up there physically and mentally.”
Gattuso has two years left on his contract, but a recent loss of form has fuelled speculation that Milan could look to replace the former Italy midfielder this summer…
“We’re happy with Rino and we’ve never doubted him,” assured his former teammate.
“There was never the idea of changing him. We’re convinced that he’s the right Coach for us.
“We have a very direct relationship with him and the players. Rino knows everything, he knows what we think of him and his work.
“We’ve never thought about changing him. He can also help our young players, since he knows the club well.
“He still has two years left on his contract. We didn’t ask him to qualify for the Champions League at the start of the season, but now that we’re up there...
“Leonardo and I often tell each other how nice it would be to get back to winning with Rino in the dugout.
“Between us remains a certain frankness. We talk to each other’s faces. It’s much better than talking behind each other’s backs.
Maldini had initially hesitated on a return to the Rossoneri in a non-playing capacity, so why did he accept Leonardo’s call last summer?
“I was lucky to hear from Leonardo,” he explained.
“He has plenty of experience as a director, and it was crucial for me to work with an executive who knew the structure of their club.
“Leo and I divide ourselves between the office and the pitch. The results determine the success of our work.
“We’re trying to instil the idea of a winning Milan in this group.”
Daniel Maldini has broken out for Milan and Italy at youth level this season, so could he take his father’s No 3 jersey at San Siro?
“It would be great because it means my children’s dream of playing football would be fulfilled,” he concluded.
“However, I don’t know if they’d choose the No 3... I just hope they’re happy.”