Gazzetta dello Sport begged the Rossoneri this morning. Ahead of their clash with Manchester United in the Europa League, the headline was, "Milan, lift us up."
This is because Italian sides have failed to impress, no, embarrassed themselves in European competition again this season.
Why is this? Inter went out at the Champions League's group stages, Juventus fell to Porto, Atalanta lost to Real Madrid and Lazio were silenced by Bayern Munich.
Do not see this as an explanation or a blog. See this as an open letter for discussion. There would never be a cure for this issue written in a thousand words, it would need a thesis and an economic and political deep dive on this subject just to scratch the surface.
Then with Italy's bureaucratic system, it would take decades to change anything. The first thoughts were that the reasons for this explosive mess Italian Football finds itself in, could be categorised into the following.
Why do Italian teams continually fail in Europe?
1. Lack of foreign investment,
2. The league has too many teams,
3. The fallout from Calciopoli,
4. Lack of interest in the Europa League,
5. No major investment in stadiums since 1990 hence no major tournament allocation.
Despite this list, it was the last point that seem to draw all the other ones together. The stadiums.
How many times have we talked about Italy's crumbling infrastructures, how many foreign owners are now trying to come into the league with grand plans, only to see them dashed on the rocks thanks to Italy's bureaucratic system acting like a lighthouse with no bulb.
Even if you look back to Italia 90 it was a sham. The Stadio San Nicola is and always be a white elephant, the other stadium built for the tournament was the Stadio Delle Alpi that had been demolished to build the Allianz Stadium, which was inaugurated exactly ten years ago.
The Stadio Sant'Elia even opened its doors with banners of Italia 90 and Coca Cola looking so modern whilst workmen still banged away on the other side.
Okay, they put a few rooves on few Mussolini approved structured from the 1930's and the World gasped as these art-deco stadiums with shiny seats and images of Ciao made everyone sit up, but surely this was the back drop of the beautiful cities also that helped.
The fact that the local authorities and the clubs share ownership of these stadiums is a constant thorn in the side of the league.
How can foreign owners come in and pump millions into a club whose stadium cannot be upgraded? Look at Rocco Comisso and his issues, they are many, deep and complex.
I interviewed him for Football Italia upon his arrival in Florence and he had great plans for the stadium and the training ground. Look where they are now as Italy's stadium laws tie up plans and the training complex was also dragged through the mud due to preservation laws on farmyard buildings.
How many clubs maximise their income when this is constant. Foreign owners cannot just come in and spend millions on a team they have to conform to FFP, which does not help.
Look at Arsenal when they moved ground in the UK. The difference is enormous, the club moved yards away, in London and built a shiny new stadium with 'the armoury club shop' that gives them colossal revenue, so did Tottenham.
How many times do we see plans for Italian Football stadiums flash before our eyes? Remember Napoli's? Even better Bologna's as that was a beautiful plan.
Should we have a laugh at Roma's or even better, how many plans have you seen for the new San Siro? What about the re-model of Siena's Artemio Franchi?
That even had a grass roof! They all look beautiful and if Serie A had moved forward with these, then the league would be in a much better shape.
There are deep and complex reasons and stupid reasons for these not going through but it is a major factor of why Italy have not been considered for a major tournament since 1990. Even if only half of these had been done the money from a World Cup would have helped re-design the rest.
There have been moves to change it, but I would ask anyone to tell me just how much confidence they have in the Italian governments' shock plan'.
As Italy's economy reels from the COVID pandemic this stimulus package was suggested to kick start football. The then Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, said, "It's essential toremove the urban development limitations. It's unthinkable that San Siro can be renovated, but not the Stadio Franchi in Florence."
Still what has happened? Just how has the 'Sbloccastadi – Stadium Blocker' change the world? Are we seeing everyone now doing what Udinese or Juventus did?
The knock on effects are huge. TV rights are always a major topic in Italy and will continue to be. The cameras want to see the top players play in full modern stadiums, which will be even more so after the pandemic.
The better the company that takes on the broadcasting, the better the marketing because one would gamble that nobody who reads this would not agree that the Lega Serie A's marketing of their product is nothing short of absolute shambles.
They are happy to sit on past glories and these days are long gone. Milan's Champions League success and Italy's World Cup win may have papered over the cracks of Calciopoli for a year or two but the league was already dead by then.
Serie A has improved since then but it needs a lot of tender love and care. It needs restoring to former glories, true, but it needs to happen in a modern way that looks to the future and it needs to happen quickly.
Perhaps making the league smaller may also work to make it seem more elite (no offence Crotone).
Marketing the importance of the Europa League, this is another mind-blowing one as Italian clubs used to love the Cup Winners Cup and the UEFA Cup. These were good training grounds for the Champions League.
Ask yourself when was the last time and Italian club won the UEFA Cup/Europa League? Shocking, isn't it.
These however, are all theories that many will have thought of before. However, the fact is that without deep-rooted change, Italian clubs will continue to fail in Europe.
You may get the odd anomaly, which is true but it will not be structured dominance. Perhaps Gazzetta dello Sport should change its stance. Rather than beg Milan to save face for the Italian game, maybe they should rally for change, but they won't.
This time next year, they will be once again asking cap in hand for Inter, Milan, Juventus or whoever, to please help hide Italy's great shame.