Thursday September 8 2016
Montolivo: 'Montella's Milan is modern'

Riccardo Montolivo welcomes “modern” Coach Vincenzo Montella and his style of football as Milan target a return to Europe.

The Rossoneri started the campaign with a victory over Torino and defeat to Napoli, providing plenty of goals at both ends of the pitch.

“It’s going well, even if we are not satisfied with the most recent result at Napoli,” Montolivo told Milan TV. “In terms of performance we did good things, even if there are aspects we have to improve.

“We are all at the disposal of the Coach. He is a modern tactician, so it’ll take a while before we see his style of football, but we’re on the right track. Montella asks us to focus on possession and controlling the game.

“We know very well what we need to do when the ball is at our feet. In these first few games we gave a certain identity to our approach. The objective now is to find consistency for the entire 90 minutes.”

Last season the club continually spoke of its intention to qualify for the Champions League, but Milan finished in seventh place and missed out on Europe altogether.

“Targets should be achieved and not declared. We want to get back into Europe,” noted Montolivo.

“The fans would like to see Milan win all the time and we try to give our best on the field, hoping to make the supporters happy.

“Being the captain is a lot of responsibility, as I need to be a reference point for my teammates. It is important to set the example and a captain like me cannot make mistakes.”

Montella took over this summer, but Sinisa Mihajlovic was sacked in April and Cristian Brocchi lasted only a few weeks.

“Mihajlovic had a strong rapport with the squad too and this is why I am disappointed at the way things went. Now we all have to prove ourselves on the pitch.”

Milan are aiming to rebuild based on Italian players and that was evident in Giampiero Ventura’s recent Azzurri picks.

“It was perhaps the first time in recent years that Italy had more representatives from Milan than Juventus. This squad has quality, obviously it’s not the Milan of a few years ago, but it’s not the opposite either. It’s important for Milan to have a strong core of Italian players who know the values of this club.”

The club is changing, as President Silvio Berlusconi is in the process of selling to Chinese investors.

“We must all be grateful to Berlusconi for what he has done over the last 30 years. This sale is another gesture of love towards the team and fans, as he realised he cannot go forward alone.

“I hope he can remain in the club, as he has incredible charisma.”

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