Sunday November 22 2020
Maldini: 'Gattuso doing great job at Napoli'

Paolo Maldini hails Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso for ‘doing great work’ and insists Milan aren’t ‘afraid’ of discussing a Scudetto push.

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There are six members of the Rossoneri staff absent due to COVID-19, including coach Stefano Pioli and his assistant manager, so Daniele Bonera steps in as caretaker coach.

“Daniele is a very calm person, Stefano feels things in a more passionate way,” Maldini told Sky Sport Italia.

“The coach becomes even more important during the age of COVID, as you can hear what’s coming from the bench much clearer in an empty stadium than when there are 70,000 people shouting.”

There were lovely scenes during the warm-up as old friends and teammates Maldini and Gattuso embraced on the touchline.

“Rino is Rino, he’s a coach who now has experience and is dealing with probably the most technically-gifted team in Serie A, in my view. He’s doing great work here, he was the right coach for Napoli at this time.

“To be honest, we talk more about family when we get together rather than football.”

Napoli insist this is not a Scudetto showdown, but Maldini assures he is not ‘afraid’ of mentioning the Serie A title.

“When I ask the lads to be ambitious, I mean that we should give our all. If we can be this consistent not just in 2020, but also to the end of May, why shouldn’t we propose ourselves as candidates for the Scudetto?

“I say we have to be perfectly honest, so if we don’t win the Scudetto, we won’t be angry. I will only be angry if we don’t do the maximum that our potential allows.”

Maldini was also asked about the contract extension talks with Hakan Calhanoglu and Gianluigi Donnarumma.

“Our intention is to try to keep Calhanoglu, just as we are trying to keep Donnarumma. As I said before, it takes two to tango, we need everyone to be happy with a deal.

“Calha is an emotional guy, you could always tell he was giving his heart and soul even when the performances weren’t going as well. That passion and attachment can be a strength and also a weakness for a player.”