“Milan Must Dominate in Europe again”- Baresi

Franco Baresi spoke to Libero about his Career, his AC Milan and his favorite players and stressed the importance for a club like Milan to dominate Europe.

I have been very lucky to wear the shirt of such a successful and prestigious club. I have always been a Milan supporter and during my career Milan gave me all the opportunities to realize my dreams.”

In the Beginning..

“Since i was a very big Milan fan, Growing up my footballing idols were Gianni Rivera, Pierino Prati and Karl-Heinz Schnellinger. They were amazing players. I also admired Gigi Riva, Sandro Mazzola and Roberto Boninsegna. They were the stars of the Italian National team at that time.”

“I was 18 when I won my first Scudetto and in that season everything went my way. I was considered a promising young football player and on the pitch, I imposed myself in a role that was very complicated for a player my age. I felt a bit of pressure, but it was always productive, not negative at all.”

“My height was Absolutely an advantage. I never felt it was a hindrance and it never made me feel inferior. My secret was to trust in our team’s way of playing. We didn’t leave our opponents or let them take advantage of air balls. Our good, solid organization made this possible.”

My brother and i had a friendly rivalry, never an angry one. Most of our rivalry was revolved around the two derby days in the season. However,We always got along off the pitch. He’s older than me and has always helped me a lot, especially during my early years as a developing player.”

Sacchi and AC Milan

“Arrigo Sacchi was the one who changed football in Italy. He was such a revolutionary man for that time, changing mentality and bringing in new ideas. Arrigo Sacchi is absolutely one of the most important protagonists in AC Milan’s history.”

“I never thought about leaving Milan. In early 80’s the club had some financial problems but I always wished that we could come through those and be back at the top of world football. Now I can say that I was right!”

“I think it’s very important for Milan to dominate on the European stage again. In the last 27 years, Milan have won a lot of international trophies. We had different phases comprised of different coaches and players but always with the same ambition and goal to be dominant in Europe and in the whole world. It will be the same in the future too.”

“I believe that the signing of Mario Balotelli is the key to the new strategy of Milan. Milan has chosen a completely new road. Many top players left the club last season and now it’s upto the young players to show their skills. I believe that with Balotelli, El Shaarawy, De Sciglio and the other promising young players, Milan are back on the right track.”

The penalty against Brazil

“The entire world was looking at me, watching me in that very moment and I didn’t feel good at all when i missed the Penalty int he ‘94 World Cup Final. I was so disappointed and there was a huge sadness in all of us. Although that was my best match i played in the World Cup after recovering from an injury. Nevertheless, I remember all the good things we did to reach the final. We were a special group of big players and good people.”

Top XI of players he played with..

During my career I played with a lot of top players. It’s impossible to choose only 11 players, but let me try.

Sebastiano Rossi, Mauro Tassotti, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Roberto Donadoni, Frank Rijkaard, Zvonimir Boban, Ruud Gullit, Dejan Savicevic and George Weah ! ….And many more!

..and the best libero of all time is ..?

Without a doubt…Franz Beckenbauer