Milan President Paolo Scaroni praised ‘real gentleman’ Stefano Pioli after his contract extension. ‘A bit of consistency will be good for us. Finally we have a team that plays together.’
The surprise announcement arrived late last night, after the 2-1 win away to Sassuolo, that talks with Ralf Rangnick had been abandoned and Pioli would extend his contract to June 2022.
“I am very happy to have Pioli, who brought us such an entertaining, young and active Milan,” said Scaroni in a video message on the club website.
“A bit of consistency will be good for us. I met many people who worked with Pioli at Fiorentina, Lazio and Parma – they all speak highly of him. That means he’s been able to earn credibility and respect in Serie A.
“I consider Pioli a real gentleman. He acted like this during the most delicate period of the season, when it looked as if he might be replaced. The fact he made no statement and was focused on his work seems to me the ultimate proof that we all made an excellent choice with Stefano Pioli.”
Scaroni acknowledges stability is something Milan have been sorely lacking lately, with owners, coaches and directors constantly changing over the last few years.
“Having a team that has stabilised on a sporting level allows us to look at the other things that matter in Milan’s future. First of all, the stadium. I don’t wish to seem repetitive, but without a modern and efficient stadium, the future of Milan will be much more difficult.
“Then there are sponsorships, which we need to bring the finances of the club back into positive territory. So these three elements, but naturally first of all the sporting one, and I am very comforted to know Stefano Pioli will stay with us for the next two years.
“I expected progress, but this is real progress. We had some fantastic games and I had great fun, as finally we have a team that plays together, that enjoys itself and entertains us.
“I loved the match against Juventus, especially as it looked like a reverse of the derby with Inter, that I still cannot get over. That victory helped ease some of the pain that I felt in that derby.”
Whereas Milan had fumbled a lead to lose 4-2 to Inter, they fought back from 2-0 down to defeat Juventus 4-2.
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