Abbiati: “This team is different in all aspects from the Milan of the past, some players have the wrong attitude, I would like to work for the club”

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Abbiati salutes the fans for his last game to his career at the end of Milan-Roma at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 14, 2016. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Abbiati salutes the fans for his last game to his career at the end of Milan-Roma at San Siro on May 14, 2016. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Christian Abbiati shed some more light on why he decided to end his career: “I came from the top and didn’t want to end my career at the absolute bottom. It was a matter of personal dignity and pride.”

At the age of 38, goalkeeper Abbiati decided to quit football (and focus on his second hobby – motorcycles) and so he’s leaving the Rossoneri after 15 years and red and black in which won 8 trophies.

In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Abbiati revealed the reasons behind his decision to retire and spoke about the men in the dressing room which weren’t up to the standards of Milan in terms of behavior (not to mention abilities).

“I’d like Milan to start again from the Juventus performance (in the Coppa Italia),” said Abbiati, who opened a Harley Davidson dealership in early May, “This squad was worth more than seventh place. With the right attitude, they could go for the Champions League as early as next year.

“Brocchi said several players have the wrong attitude? He’s right. There are 4-5 players that didn’t do what was asked of them, and I’m not talking about making mistakes on the field. if it was just one player we could have isolated them, but because it was so many players, it was tough to do so.

“I said that I’ve decided to retire because this Milan is too different from the one of the past? If I close my eyes and think back to the Milan side’s I played for until 2011, I see a different team in every regard. I look at things by thinking about the values Albertini, Costacurta and Maldini taught me.

“Over my whole career I was only fined once, for falling asleep and coming late. This is not to say that we lived under a dictatorship or anything, but in training we all ran like lightning. If we suffer a bad defeat, I won’t even consider the idea of showing myself at a club. It had come to the point that I woke up on Monday morning and felt anxious when I stepped out of my house. I was ashamed to walk the street for how poorly the team was doing, even though my conscience was clean.

Abbiati celebrates during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Inter and Milan on May 13, 2003 at San Siro. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, Milan went through on the away goals rule. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Abbiati celebrates during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Inter and Milan on May 13, 2003 at San Siro. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, Milan went through on the away goals rule. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

“The fact that I didn’t play against Roma? It wasn’t a problem. In truth I was already out of it and I had to be sincere about it with Brocchi, who is my best friend. But my decision also depended on next year’s perspectives. I came from the top and didn’t want to end my career at the absolute bottom.

“It was a matter of personal dignity and pride. When I first considered to retire? After my rant in mid-March, following the game against Chievo. The final straw was after Bologna, I’d really had enough. As a symbolic example, consider that when Bacca was subbed off against Carpi, he left the pitch without waiting for the end of the match and without acknowledging the player who replaced him. I gave him a piece of my mind in the changing room, but when I turned around, I saw that nobody was backing me. It seems that if you don’t have certain values inside you, then you just can’t be interested in them. Back in my days, Gattuso would have pulled out a knife.

Abbiati celebrates after the Serie A match between Milan and Inter at Stadio San Siro on April 2, 2011. Milan won the match 3-0. (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)
Abbiati celebrates after the Serie A match between Milan and Inter at Stadio San Siro on April 2, 2011. Milan won the match 3-0. (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)

“How I feel without football? I’ll begin to suffer in mid-July when the team will go into retreat and I won’t be there. The reality is that I haven’t had a good cry yet. I wanted it to happen at San Siro against Roma but it didn’t. It’ll happen sooner or later, in private.

“The number of text messages I’ve received? Hundreds, even if it’s bizarre that many wrote on social media and not personally to me. President Silvio Berlusconi? I haven’t heard anything from him, I hope he will say something soon as he is part of my family.

“He seems focused on selling Milan? I understand the need to have fresh funds come in but I can’t see Milan without him. I hope he remains. Working for the club? I’d like that a lot. I’ll have a chat with Galliani, though we don’t have an interview scheduled and I won’t be the one knocking on the door.

“But I know very well what I could do for the club. Suppose that the Coach comes over and tells me a certain player isn’t behaving properly. Well, I could be the one who goes and gives him a good kick! Isn’t that called the ‘club manager’ nowadays?

“If that coach could be Brocchi? It’s hard to say. They can certainly start a project with him. He’s the right man for the type of football that Berlusconi likes and he has excellent ideas. Personally, though, I wouldn’t have sacked Sinisa Mihajlovic. The decision came too close to the end of the season.

Abbiati salutes the fans for his last game to his career at the end of Milan-Roma at Stadio San Siro on May 14, 2016 in Milan, Italy. Milan lost the match 3-1. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Abbiati salutes the fans for his last game to his career at the end of Milan-Roma at Stadio San Siro on May 14, 2016 in Milan, Italy. Milan lost the match 3-1. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

“For what would I like to be remembered? My human side and my fair play. The technical discussion doesn’t interest me. How would I rate my career? I’d give my career a 7.5 out of 10, or an 8. I had ups and downs, but I never came short in the important games.

“What will I miss and what I won’t miss about being a player? I’ll miss the changing room like crazy. Not the disciplinary training camps though. I don’t like to feel in a cage at the age of 38.”

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Mojdanis
Mojdanis
5 years ago

Legend who played with legends, of course he react when he sees idiots that we have now in the team.

Stuart
Stuart
5 years ago

Really interesting interview that gives a insight into what has gone wrong at Milan over the last few years, and how much the club as an institution has been allowed to decline in a manner that can only be described as disgraceful.

kaka's fan
kaka's fan
5 years ago

If he becomes coach in next 2 seasons he can help us, he knows the roots of the problem because they occurred while he was playing and he’d help develop donnarumma, livieri and others

Nas
Nas
5 years ago

And that my friends is all you need to read to understand all that’s wrong inside the walls of Ac Milan How can it happen that every single legend of Milan is allowed walk straight out the door without as much as a word of thanks? The current squad or club as a whole now has absolutely no one left with the exception of Baresi who understands the importance of pulling on our shirt and representing one of the biggest clubs in the world, nobody has ever even contacted the biggest legend of all Maldini to offer him a role… Read more »

ACMilanSince 69
ACMilanSince 69
5 years ago

Who are the mysterious 4-5 players? Menez? Boateng? Mexes? Niang? Balotelli? Bacca?

Nas
Nas
5 years ago

I wouldn’t put Mexes in that bracket as he always shows fight and determination with a great deal of respect for the shirt but all the others in my opinion especially Menez and
Balotelli, but I also feel there’s a great deal of frustration amongst the players as I’d bet my life on there being interference from Berlisconi as to how there meant to play
Sedorf said it all when he wanted 75% of the team axed

ACMilanSince 69
ACMilanSince 69
5 years ago
Reply to  Nas

I do think that the players, formations and tactics are imposed by Berlusconi and that the players realize the coach has no authority. Why was Boateng hired after he was summarily fired for bad discipline and attitude from his previous team? What message does that give?

Nas
Nas
5 years ago

There’s no doubt in my mind that Silvio interferes with everything to do with the team

I-Milan
I-Milan
5 years ago

How about Monto being first on the list? Abbiati said when he turned around no one was backing him after admonishing Bacca. That says a lot. Inadvertently, you expect the club captain to speak! Possibly De Sciglio too… Again remember Amelia said something close?

Also remember just before Allegri left when the Curva Sud held the team hostage after losing a game? It was Kaka and Abbiati who went to speak with the crowd. Captain Montoshito didn’t follow them – because he couldn’t care less.

Nas
Nas
5 years ago
Reply to  I-Milan

Agreed, he’s totally spineless crying crocodile tears after the cup final, he doesn’t deserve to lift silverware considering great captains who went before him

ACMilanSince 69
ACMilanSince 69
5 years ago
Reply to  I-Milan

The reports are sad. The Amelia incident is a sad reflection on the team. Players who can’t be bothered to sign autographs and greet the fans should be kicked off the team. You’re right. De Sciglio, often seems to be going through the motions rather than having his heart in the game.

milan10
milan10
5 years ago

There are no proper regenerations at milan. While the senile owner stubbornly never wants to let go of his ownership, steadily sinking his beloved club, the leadership transitions between players dont go smoothly. Ibra, ts33, abate, de jong and abbiati shouldve been ones taking baton from the senators, but berlu and galli foolishly sent majority of them away for peanuts. No way in hell players like balo, menez etc would behave like they do if ibra and ts33 were still here. Its a case of bad mgmt from top to bottom

Nas
Nas
5 years ago
Reply to  milan10

We’ve had our difference of opinion “Milan 10” but I agree 100% with you on this one, could you imagine Menez for example not passing the ball to Ibra if he was in a better position like he does to everyone else? Not a chance he’d skin him alive for wasting an opportunity and rightly so, its that kind of leadership we’re missing and will never come from Monty

Milan10
Milan10
5 years ago
Reply to  Nas

Very true. And to add insults to injury, the price for ibra was the same as bertolacci. Milan shouldve asked for at least 40 mill and psg would definitely complied considering just a year before his selling psg offered 33 mill for injury prone pato. Stupid mgmt

JaRossoneri
JaRossoneri
5 years ago

Two quotes from Simone Ganz, “I have signed a four year contract with Juve”, “I expected more from Milan”…

The kid scored 16 serie b goals and is now joining Juve despite being a Milanisti through and through…

One of the biggest problems with Milan is the inability to integrate young talent into the first team…..Ganz, Petagna, Cristante, SES, Saponara, Van Ginkel, Darmian, Aubameyang, should all be wearing red and black right now, or at the very least, they should all be owned by Milan.

Silver
Silver
5 years ago

I really hope he stays and mentor Donnarumma and other youngsters aswell. If Donnarumma, Romagnoli, Calabria and other youngsters had the dicipline of Abbiati then that would make our future alot brighter. When was the last time you saw De Sciglio angry or showing any leadership?

Aizi
Aizi
5 years ago

Shows how much ineffectual our captain and surprisingly no one mentions this, montolivo as a captain of milan should be responsible for bringing our players together and he is failing in that department. I think its time for a clear out beginning with montolivo,abate,bertolacci,poli,balotelli,mexes,menez and honda. Bacca is a great striker but if hes being ill disicplined he should be allowed to leave and most importantly, kick out gailliani we need need blood like maldini and new scouts who can collectively secure new talent and instill milans philosophy.

Nas
Nas
5 years ago
Reply to  Aizi

Why get rid of Abate? He’s one of very few who seems to care and actually does all he possibly can to win, it hurts him when we lose, plus he’s actually not at all bad only he’s crossing let’s him down 9 times out of ten

Aizi
Aizi
5 years ago
Reply to  Nas

Yes hes a decent player no doubt but the reference to him is because of the seedorf days, he was reported as being one of those players that wasnt pleased with seedorf as such along montolivo and de sciglio if I remember correctly. Even then hes been a makeshift rb from the start, originally he was just a fringe player for milan who played on the right wing for milan as an attacker and was loaned off to many other teams before allegri used him as an rb. He may try hard, but in the end hes a bench player… Read more »

Milanista121
Milanista121
5 years ago
Reply to  Aizi

Abate complained, not because he disliked Seedorf or had a problem with tactics, but because he was being benched. By De Sciglio and CONSTANT was being played as left back. The obvious solution then was to play De Sci on the left and Abate on the right.

nick
nick
5 years ago
Reply to  Aizi

Good point. However it was Leonardo who made him I into a right back.

ACMilanSince 69
ACMilanSince 69
5 years ago
Reply to  Nas

Abbiati has his heart in the right place, but he was never a top level goalkeeper. That’s why we hired Lopez.

Forza Milan
Forza Milan
5 years ago

Surprise surprise “”Intervened as a guest in the program “All Called” Radio24, the wing of the Denver Nuggets Danilo Gallinari, always great Milan fan, so he talked about the current situation related to Milan: “Milan The situation is very critical, to return to the glories of some time ago it will take many years. I say yes to the Chinese. Source – Milan News IT””” Why is Galliani vouching for a sale. Have the Chinese offered him something big? More than Berlusconi I am scared of this guy staying in Milan. Without Galliani any one can could have built a… Read more »

ACMilanSince 69
ACMilanSince 69
5 years ago
Reply to  Forza Milan

Galliani is not to blame. He does what the owner, who pays his salary, tells him to do. He tries to convince the owner otherwise, but in the end does what he is told to do.

Nas
Nas
5 years ago

I’ve actually come to that way of thinking too because if you just leave your anger aside with the amount of money wasted on below standard players and think rationally about it Galliani was once considered the best there is in negotiating deals for players once he had proper money to do so, let’s not forget the amount of world class talent he did sign for us, Pirlo, Seedorf, Cafu, Stam, Ibra the list go’s on and on but in saying that I also think its so obvious that he’s no longer capable and hasn’t been for ten years now,… Read more »

Milanista121
Milanista121
5 years ago
Reply to  Forza Milan

Haha bro, Danilo Gallinari is a basketball player who is a fan of Milan, just like it says in the article.
Adriano Galliani however is the name of our beloved vice president 🙂

Rosso
Rosso
5 years ago

Hire gatusso to be director of changing room, salpping all the bad attitude player

Nas
Nas
5 years ago

Found this on “caught offside” website and its exactly what I’ve been saying its well worth a read http://acmilan.theoffside.com/2016/5/24/11739872/the-deadly-future-of-milan-berlusconi-club-sale-champions-league

Milan Boy
Milan Boy
5 years ago

The problem with milan is a multiple one,It is not so much of the problem of the manager or the quality of players even though they are related ;the major problem is from Berlusconi and Galliani .The incessant sacking of coaches and the interference with the tactical aspects of the game leaves the entire team disillusioned,otherwise how else do u explain great performances from big teams and rivals and flops from teams of lower cadre.It goes to say that the team plays based on the motivation they find at a particular time which is dependent on ego,pride,rivalry etc

Christian Darmanin
Christian Darmanin
5 years ago

It should have been Montolivo’s job to deal with Bacca. This shows how Montolivo is no leader.