Thursday December 3 2020
Maldini: 'Europa League more physical'

Paolo Maldini warns the Europa League is ‘more physical than tactical’ and can cause Milan problems, including against Celtic today.

It kicks off at 17.55 GMT, click here for the line-ups and LIVEBLOG.

A victory this evening, and Lille beating Sparta Prague, would qualify both teams for the Round of 32.

“Our objective first and foremost is to continue in the Europa League. After that, getting a game that doesn’t ‘matter’ is very useful in such a crammed fixture list,” the director told Sky Sport Italia.

“The tempo is different in Europe to Serie A, but it can also be more physical than tactical, and that can send us off kilter.”

Maldini was also asked about the on-going negotiations for new contracts involving Gianluigi Donnarumma, Hakan Calhanoglu and more.

“There’s no rush, there are appointments for meetings. It’s a continual process, none of the negotiations were ever really interrupted, it’s about finding the right moment to close a deal.”

Milan continue to soar in Serie A with a five-point lead at the top of the table, but Maldini isn’t entirely surprised by their progress.

“I always saw positives, that the team was laying down the foundations. Zlatan Ibrahimovic can push you towards a result that might seem impossible, but that has always been true of champions.

“In Arrigo Sacchi’s Milan, he always pushed us to give something more and to be better than any opponent. We have this excellent spirit at the moment and want to keep that momentum going.”