Monday January 30 2012
Sacchi: How old are Milan’s players?

Arrigo Sacchi has lightly attacked Milan, revealed which Coach he recommended to both the Rossoneri and Real Madrid and where Italy are falling short on youth development.

Current technical coordinator with the Italian FA, Sacchi had the opportunity to speak to the media at FIGC’s national training centre at Coverciano, and began with a wry dig at his old team Milan.

The Rossoneri defeated their Sardinian visitors 3-0 in a low-tempo affair on Sunday night to move back to within a point of League leaders Juventus. Despite the ease with which the result was achieved, the San Siro side’s pace of play did not go unnoticed by the club’s former Coach.

“I saw Milan last night and I had doubts that some of the players were not my age,” commented the 65-year-old, who revolutionised how Il Diavolo played its football in the late 1980s.

“With all my affection for the Rossoneri, when I see them I am reminded of a phrase [former Real Madrid player and sporting director Jorge] Valdano says: ‘I always hope to see lots of Italian football matches, because they do so few interesting things, that they then see a replay, and for the rest of the game can do no more.’”

However, Sacchi also made it clear he was not criticising Coach Massimiliano Allegri, even if he then suggested that he won’t win the League this year.

“Allegri is a great Coach, he has a squad that is perhaps the most complex, but with many individuals, where Juventus are less complex but have fewer individuals.

“The Bianconeri are going to win the Scudetto because they have an advantage, to not participate in Europe, and there is a big push by all that are there. Juve are playing a continuous, international style of game, with good players but few who are excellent.”

The former national team Coach, who took Italy to the 1994 World Cup final in between two spells with Milan, is now responsible for overseeing the national team’s youth development from Under-16 to Under-21 level.

The 4-4-2 tactician took the opportunity in front of the assembled media to reflect on where he still thinks Italy can improve in supporting its youth.

“FIGC is giving us a big hand on the youth development, but perhaps we could do more, particularly from an economic point of view. No doubt we are behind in terms of investment.

“Suffice to say, Real Madrid invests €40-45m in its youth sector, Barcelona €50-55m, whilst Milan and Inter, who invest the most in Italy, only spend about €14-15m. This fact prevents us from evolving as we should do.”

Sacchi also passed comment on Pescara Coach Zdenek Zeman, who he revealed he holds in high regard.

“Zeman is still a good Coach, one of the best, not only at national level either. He was one of the three Coaches I recommended to Milan after the first time I left Milan and again I said the same thing about Zeman when I left Real Madrid.

“There is a harmony to his game, it seems almost like a utopia, and this is down to the strength of his ideas.

“If he had an orchestra, the tune would be Pescara.”

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