Former coach Arrigo Sacchi claims the players at Milan “need pride” and to learn from Atalanta, was “surprised” by Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s impact at San Siro and can’t think of the football season resuming anytime soon.
The tactician marked his 74th birthday on April 1, though there was clearly no party due to the coronavirus lockdown.
“The situation is not very serious here in my town, but I have friends who are in hospital, some of them are dying,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “It’s terrible. Many leave without having their relatives next to them.
“A friend from the Marche called me from the home he works in. Three died, none of them had been tested. Who knows how much death there is outside of the statistics? We started the restrictions late, but it’s an exceptional situation.
“Aside from the tragedy and the pain of others, I’m fine. In fact, for the first time since I was 19, I’m resting. I had a 30-year backlog of things to put in place: books, videotapes…”
The former coach doesn’t want to think about football and the possible resumption of Serie A during the current crisis.
“I can’t think about it. It’s one thing to watch back old games, it’s another to think about the best formula to finish the campaign.
“My thoughts go to the people who die, to the news on coronavirus.”
But he still shared his thoughts about what happens at his former club Milan. His team picked up every trophy except the Coppa Italia and won the European Cup twice during his time at the Rossoneri.
But Sacchi encourages Milan to take inspiration from Atalanta, as they are going through a difficult spell.
“They need an environment where the players feel pride and belonging, that drives them to always give their best,” he said. “Atalanta had no champions, but they became champions in a virtuous environment.
“Values are more important than the champions. I’m sorry for [Zvonimir] Boban.”
But Zlatan Ibrahimovic did prove to be just the champion Milan needed and Sacchi admitted that he was pleasantly “surprised” by the huge impact made by the former Sweden international.
“This time he surprised me. He gave Milan personality and courage, he was generous. I have always trained young teams and I was looking for experienced leaders like that.
“At Rimini, I had [Pierluigi] Frosio, who was exceptional.”
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