Montella: “Happy with the performance, the club is giving me confidence, Milan can still reach the Top 4, Borini…”

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Vincenzo Montella during Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Vincenzo Montella during Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Vincenzo Montella, as always, told the press that Milan did well despite losing for the 6th time this season in 13 games.

Milan visited the San Paolo last night with hope that they would finally be able to get a point against one of the Top 6 sides.

But hopes and dreams are one thing and reality is another: the team of Vincenzo Montella is simply not in the level of Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli, who despite not having a particularly good match, still managed to beat the Diavolo 2-1.

In the 32′ minute, Alessio Romagnoli kept Lorenzo Insigne onside and the pacey Italian winger showed why he could’ve made the difference for Italy against Sweden with a good goal. In the 72′ minute, Dries Mertens sent a great ball to an onside Piotr Zieliński and three minutes after coming on, the 23-year-old Polish midfielder beat Gigio Donnarumma.

Milan scored a consolation goal in the 91′ minute with a fantastic Romagnoli shot from outside the box. But that goal was too little too late from the Rossoneri, who once again go home without points.

As written by @OptaPaolo on Twitter, Milan became the second team in the league to have had no touches in the opposition box in the first half this season (after Benevento, who did so against Napoli and Juventus). They did a bit better in the second half and enjoyed a lot of possession, but the story of this side is that it seems to have absolutely no idea how to score a goal unless one of the players does something on his own (usually Suso, who was forced out of the pitch before the HT whistle).

Leonardo Bonucci, Nikola Kalinić and Giacomo Bonaventura at the end of Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017. (@acmilan.com)
Leonardo Bonucci, Nikola Kalinić and Giacomo Bonaventura at the end of Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017. (@acmilan.com)

“I keep the performance, as this team showed great character and our passing moves have been steadily improving too. When you lose badly, it’s upsetting, and when you lose and deserved more, then that’s upsetting too,” Montella told Premium Sport, perhaps trying to convince those who didn’t watch the game. “We have to improve in the last 20 meters, but I saw a present Milan.

“We weren’t incisive enough in the final third, but we caused Napoli a lot of problems and I am happy with the performance, proportional to the anger I feel at losing when playing so well. We lost to all the teams that are ahead of us? Our last two defeats were against Juventus and Napoli, so of course they are ahead of us, but despite the results, we were in the games, which at times was equal. We showed character, we are growing and it’s a growth process. As I said, I am proud of the performances against Napoli, Juve, Roma and Inter, because to get to their level we need patience.

Marco Fassone, Vincenzo Montella, Massimiliano Mirabelli and Han Li before Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017.  (@acmilan.com)
Marco Fassone, Vincenzo Montella, Massimiliano Mirabelli and Han Li before Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017. (@acmilan.com)

“I thank the club for giving me this support and confidence. To get the results, a process is needed, but I’m convinced that the team is improving. The results are not arriving, and the standings is hard to look at but now we have matches that are within our reach and in which we must make results.

“Hopefully this type of performance will see us in good stead. In what do we must improve? Given that we’re playing every three days, it’s difficult to train but this is not an alibi. We need imminent results and we have to work on everything. After this match the team must improve, we must be more concrete in the final third and have the goalmouth in our minds [Milan scored just 19 goals this term].

Fabio Borini shown the yellow card by referee Daniele Doveri during Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Fabio Borini shown the yellow card by referee Daniele Doveri during Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

“Borini struggled as a wingback [he was put against Insigne]? We need to improve in our interpretation of the various phases of the game and that too is a journey. We wanted to cause Napoli problems on the wing with a more attacking player like Borini, who can give more freedom to Suso.

“Napoli have so much quality in attack and so many options to combine that if you get pinned back, you do risk conceding a goal. To defend against them we needed to keep the ball as much as possible. I preferred to attack them, as five in defense would’ve been too negative. I took a gamble. We also lost Suso and that forced more changes. I think Borini did well considering his characteristics.

“Milan’s objectives? I am truly optimistic, I don’t know why. I feel we have already overcome the worst period of our season and I see those in front going at a pace they cannot possibly maintain. I remain convinced these players will improve and give us better results going forward. I’m confident we’ll be in for one of the first four places [Milan are currently 11 points behind 4th place].”

Lorenzo Insigne celebrating during Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Lorenzo Insigne celebrating during Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Speaking to Sky, Montella added: “It hurts, we are improving in some stages and we have to improve in others. We faced a team of higher level, but we were always in the game and played with order. In the second half we were more continuous, we weren’t conclusive enough and we have to quickly improve that. The performance was there, even a tie could’ve been there.

“The head-to-head matches? On Saturday the team gave all its energy and demonstrated a growth in personality. The team reacted after the second goal of Napoli. I’m particularly optimistic and the guys can still grow. We are showing that we’re getting closer to the big sides. We need to improve in the interpretation of moments of the game, which is what makes the difference.

Giacomo Bonaventura during Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Giacomo Bonaventura during Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

“My choices [Montella used Bonaventura as a wingback and played Locatelli in an advanced role in the first half]? I must make choices, I have so many new players. This game was decided by the construction of the play and we worked harder on this. If you are unable to get the geometries right, then you lose inertia and we didn’t lost it. In front of us there was a team that defends optimally.

“The moments of the match? The coach can send messages with substitution of players, but the interpretation of the moments depends on the team’s reading. I’m always very sorry when we lose, we work to achieve great results but to get them it takes a path, when you start a revolution.

“If we can reach the top 4-5? Absolutely yes, there is still time.” Montella has had this squad since the start of July and even though some improvements have been made, it’s clear that it’s far from enough.

Vincenzo Montella during Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Vincenzo Montella during Napoli-Milan at Stadio San Paolo on November 18, 2017. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

The coach also had a post-match presser at the San Paolo: “Milan did well but had no fire power in attack? Napoli are fighting for the league title; they have won 100 points in 39 games. Their level of play is very high, and our intentions were to limit their passing game because they tire their rivals out through ball possession and wait to find spaces up front. Napoli did what they know best, even if this time they were not as clinical, they managed to win even when the match was even. We conceded the second goal right when we were playing at our best, but this is football.

“Playing Borini on the wing? He has been playing in that position for a while now. He played a good game, supporting the defense and pushing forward at the same time. Suso’s injury? He suffered a contusion. Leaving Ricardo Rodriguez out? He has played from the start almost every match with me. I made a choice between him and Romagnoli based on the demands of this clash. If we can play with two strikers from the start? Yes, it’s already happened, and it depends on the matches.

“How much more time is given for growth? I don’t know. Meanwhile we are done with the teams that are above us.” Milan’s next 4 matches are Austria Wien (H), Torino (H), Benevento (A) and Rijeka (A).

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Milan10
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Milan10

Being wrong is perfectly acceptable. Staying wrong is not. Thats all i can say to new mgmt

Vic
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Vic

Well said

derya
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derya

põem of the year

Mathijs Savicevic
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Mathijs Savicevic

Nothing to add

Perfect10
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Perfect10

Stfu, You were the biggest montella and bonaventura supporter last year. I warned for this…

Milanista121
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Milanista121

Hm…someone backing out of his word, who does that remind you of?

Perfect10
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Perfect10

Just like you backing out of your common sense, in a matter of fact, i doubt you even had one to start with,

Milanista121
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Milanista121

Hey werent you supposed to leave this blog?

Vic
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Vic

“Perhaps trying to convince those who didnt watch the game” well said.
If they dont replace him, than our problem is not just the coach

derya
Guest
derya

it get so boring the hear the same empty words week in and week out.
asking where is the prife from this man,he feels no shame .
as a die hard rossoneri ,it feels like exploding ,
it is just unbelievable,
te choises he does and the way he looks at the result of his choises.
god is on our side
we will not see his face for solong
AND MILAN WILL RISE
one day

Jibola
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Jibola

Montella shows yet again he’s tactically naive and not good enough not just for Milan or any top 4 club in the world unless he improves tactically and thinks smarter as a coach. Napoli won this match for 1 reason…. THEY KNEW MILAN’S DEFENSIVE GAME PLAN FOR THEIR FORWARDS AND WAITED FOR RIGHT MOMENTS TO EXPLORE OUR ERRORS (which would come considering the speed of their attack). We conceded two goals from AVIODABLE offside traps errors, this confirms that Montella didn’t prepare the team weel for the match and needs to be questioned. Napoli could have score 4 from same… Read more »

Jomokau
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Jomokau

@Jibola. Am glad you gave Monto due credit. Locatelli had a good game partly because Monto sat back, did the dirty work and that allowed Locatelli to flourish further up. In the 2nd half these 2 won the midfield battle. It’s clear that Locatelli performs best in a 5 men midfield. The headache for us is what to do with the forwards. Kessie is getting a lot of stick and rightly so given his poor performance. Not trying to make excuses for him but maybe he was exhausted after the World Cup qualifiers with Ivory Coast. Don’t forget he dominated… Read more »

derya
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derya

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/business/dealbook/china-soccer-acmilan-ownership.html

a must read article to understand

– if the roots are rotten the the flowers will not smell –

Mathijs Savicevic
Guest
Mathijs Savicevic

Is it still worth watching while Montella is in charge?

Abdulmajeed
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Abdulmajeed

Yes

Mathijs Savicevic
Guest
Mathijs Savicevic

Gimme 1 reason?

Ted
Guest
Ted

There’s so much wrong with this club on so many levels. Seems that Li family are just a bunch of fraudes, this club could fall even deeper than in the last years of Berlusconi era

Regarding Montella, just shut up for once. 1st half we did not even try to attack and were unable to brake further than the middle of the pitch. Every time Milan recovered the ball and had a chance for a counter, they just stopped, no idea how to pull off a counter or perpare any attacking action. Utter shite from Montella, please leave

derya
Guest
derya

a rotten Berlusconi who did not care about milan could have never sold for some one who cares it was mostly a deal what served Berlusconi to his dark agenda now milan in the hand of some unknown chinese guy and they dont care about anything what representes milan we must staty close to the team the only victims are the players the whole structure from owner to coach just does not smell good i trust in the players fully maybe a change of coach will let them fluorish and we get the results on the pitch as montella is… Read more »

Pelle80
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Pelle80

STFU MONTELLA AND LEAVE!!!

pipo
Guest
pipo

Montela must go i cant watch this team with him

henriano
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henriano

I never expected us to win napoli,I expected like 3 4-0 against us so we really tried. But as our defence continue to improve though slowly,our attack remain stagnant,we lack idea in fhe final third and that has killed us against juve,inter,roma n napoli,you can have kalinic n won’t be crossing goos ball to the box, Montella must understand that silva is the only milan striker defenders fine it difficult to contain cos he’s nit static n create space for other players. Am not upset about last night match but that of lazio n sampdoria still hurt.

Enzo
Guest
Enzo

Well said

Alayo
Guest

montolivo is gradually coming back

agustinar
Guest
agustinar

How can we reach the 4 tops if we always loose against the top 6 ?

Sheva
Guest
Sheva

Now, now Montella. Here is what you can make of this game: 1.Locatelli was one of our best players.He plays better behind strikers than Suso and Cahanoglu combined. And that shoulder pass was amazing, he just passed it to the player who didn’t know that was possible 2.A. Silva did more tonight in warm-up than Kalinic in last 5 games. 3. Musacchio is our most solid centre-back(defensive wise). 4. When I look at Kessie, I get tear in my eye and I think of Poli. 5. At least Bonucci is starting to act like a captain and Romagnioli is getting… Read more »

sebo
Guest
sebo

Enogh is enogh you totally lose the controoll of the players sack montella now and take shit borini ,kalinic, and shit bonucci with u !!i dont understand how a manager can be happy when napoli raped us apart

Ted
Guest
Ted

I was positively surprised last night by Montolivo, seems that a captain armband really was a burden on him, he is a totally different player this season. Locatelli is just Loca, I’m falling in love with the kid with every game (no homo). Right now our most solid mid trio are Loca, Monto, Kessie andI want to see them regularly since Biglia is really in bad form, he is even worse than Montolivo was last seasons And please, if we really need to play back three formation at least stick with 343/3421 or since Suso seems to be injured go… Read more »

Apache
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Apache

All I know is that montella came as usual to get draw or lost by a goal because in the first half Milan played as if they were afraid and lost the control of the game but in the 2nd half we matched them and played better in the last 30mins. If we had played like this against the clubs we lost to I know we would have drawn or won. To me montella is too small to coach Milan and moreover he should start using kalinic and silva together always. We have to win all our next matches until… Read more »

Cuong TranMinh
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Cuong TranMinh

I didnot believe in what everybody said, specially in Montella!

Milanista121
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Milanista121

How long havent Ink and I said that Loca should start every game, and how many times did we get the response “he isnt ready” and whatever. The kid oozes creativity and class. He is a “predestinato” as they say in Italy. But now, probably since Loca started this game, he will be benched in EL in favor of Biglia, because everyone must play to be satisfied, because continuity doesnt matter. Unless youre Kalinic or Kessie and it doesnt matter how you perform, you’ll still start.

Ink
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Ink

Indeed, it gets sad occasionally, and helps to take time off football for a couple of days :p
Just like Pasalic last season. Doesn’t matter how Pasalic performs, he starts. I wish I could give a facepalm sign here.

Milanista121
Guest
Milanista121

Yeah, and he scored some goals and made everyone forget that he was invisible otherwise. Just like Nocerino in his first season, take away his goals and he didnt really do much of use on the pitch.
And Loca had a great spell, then had a dip in form and got benched, while Pasalic had one good game, and ten awful ones, still got to play every game…smh…

Mathijs Savicevic
Guest
Mathijs Savicevic

Montella : “happy with the performance”!!! What the fuck?!?! If you take this as a supporter you are stupid naive piece of shit.

Bonucci :”we can’t afford to make a false step again”!! Complete different conclusion as Montella. At least Leo is realistic. But a difference between the captain and coach is born. Hopefully the beginning of the end of Montella.

Soheil Balini
Guest

I think Milan played good yesterday. Players showed they can be a team but again the problem was the formation. playing players out of position and playing players that are out of form.

Is there a petition or something that we and Italian fans can sign? Can we contact the Curva?

Ted
Guest
Ted

AC Milan statistics against top 6 this season

4 achieved goal
15 received goals
6 defeats
0 wins

But you are happy with the performance week in week out. If this is not the reason for sacking then I don’t know what in god’s name is!

Perfect10
Guest
Perfect10

This project is a joke, milan fans are even bigger joke, and curva sud is the biggest joke in the entire sport world. I hope the president of curva sud reads this.. you are the biggest pussy in the entire world!

Ipadeola kolawole
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Ipadeola kolawole

Montella must be sacked. He lacks ideas. He has really tried on his own cos u can’t give what u don’t have. But I will blame everything on the management of mirabelli and fassone who refused to sack him.

Adekunle
Guest
Adekunle

Why kalinic? Borini with waste and poor crosses, Abate that can cross has to wait till 80minutes,i don’t understand this clueless coach, this management are bunch of jokers playing with all Milan fans, even Everton sack coleman. Give any better coach this team I strongly believe results for will come out, Montella has no idea on what to do….better to quit now.

Mads
Guest
Mads

I was pretty amused by this comment by Montella – “I am truly optimistic. I don’t know why”.

Ted
Guest
Ted

Watching Sampdoria pocketing Juventus right now… What a beautiful performance and that Torreira kid… Just wow

RKaY
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RKaY

Sacchi recommended Sarri, we didn’t go for him.

Sacchi recommended giampaolo, we didn’t go for him.

Now look at Napoli and samp

Who knows if they could have pulled milan out of these dark times but next time sacchi recommends a coach I suggest we consider his suggestion.

Now Sarri is hot property and Giampaolo will be too if he keeps it up.

rado
Guest
rado

happy with performance????….was i watching different game or what??

Agni
Guest
Agni

Well done montella, keep it up.
I’m also very happy with your performances

Take us to hell.

He will do to milan what Ventura did to Italy.

TrueRossoneri
Guest
TrueRossoneri

Napoli played poorly and we played one of our best games this season, yet we lost. Shouldnt that make you sad, Mr Montella?

Baresis Dream
Member
Baresis Dream

I respectfully disagree with most analyses here and elsewhere. And this not about pro Montella nor against, its about facts. 1. Up until the goal Napoli created zero chances (maybe half a chance with Hamichich’s shot from outside the box). This is the best offensive team in Italy and top 3 in Europe in that respect, playing at their home turf mind you. 2. The goal was created due to Romag botching the offside trap. No tactical mismatch, no formation issue, just a standard offside trap botched by a young player. 3. In the second half Jack got into several… Read more »

Gman
Guest
Gman

Top3 attack in Europe? None of their players are world class. And they have never done anything in Europe. Easy with the praises.

Baresis Dream
Member
Baresis Dream

Top 3 maybe a bit too much, I agree. But I’m not talking about Napoli’s history, I’m talking about today – I really don’t think there more than 8-9 teams out there who are better offensively – City, Real, barca, psg, bayren, manu and dortmund maybe, and I don’t know who else.

But anyways, that wasn’t the main point of what I was trying to say.

Alexmilan
Guest
Alexmilan

Montella is everything but not a coach of the milan’s level ! with montella milan will be a kind of catania

yourBoss
Guest
yourBoss

I’m not surprised that he is happy just matching Napolis performance. Now Fassone is the problem after this guy constantly showing satisfaction toward defeats. WTF. But Fassone is probably taking hope from the little good 35 minutes of these loses. Is sucks getting stucked with idiots like this.

Mansa
Guest
Mansa

To not realise that Kalinic is nothing but a tap in merchant is enough reason to get a coach sacked. And for a team with creativity problems, such strikers sit out for hustlers

The fact that a young Locatelli is the best midfielder is really disturbing.

if manager wont cut this stubborn man I hope Montella turns this around, I really do, but given his record in a year and half in Milan that’s a distant dream

Ali
Guest
Ali

“I am truly optimistic, I don’t know why.”
I’ll tell you why Signor: Because you are fucking stupid.
And I am already thinking of putting the pressure on the damn management.

Calm down
Guest
Calm down

After losing 5 in a row they give him easy last chances like Chievo and Wiena as if he’s going to lose those

derya
Guest
derya

http://www.football-italia.net/113048/ny-times-milan-takeover-embarrassing i start to believe the whole mr.li story was invented . mr li has no money at all Berlusconi made a coup he used his OWN dirty Money and made mr Li look like the buyer and suddenly his dirty Money came in to his hands as clean Money mr.li will not be able pay the Money back he borrowed and milan will be owned by elliot they will sell milan in peaces ============================ read this part of the article added above and you can see more clear: * “We worked on this story for a few months, in… Read more »

Kaka001
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Kaka001

#sackMontella he lacks ideas no creativity, Bonaventura kills the attack with his moves The management is a mess… I think Milan is still gonna suffer even more with Montella as our coach, and this management is a scam believe you me… I miss the milan of kaka, inzaghi, sheva, etc

Someonesomewhere
Guest
Someonesomewhere

I dont know what’s worse, watching our team playing horribly and losing week in week out or the club not having the finances to fire “Montmerda”.

Milanellofm
Guest
Milanellofm

Seeing as they still won’t sack montella I look forward and in the next 9 games we should win at least 8. Torino haven’t been great and we should win next game. Then we go onto playing benevento, Bologna, crotone, hellas, fiorentina and the hardest Lazio. Seeing this is a bad situation for us these next 9 games are a favor. We need to win 8 of those. That will truly bring form to this team and perhaps start something. I’m not holding my breathe though. Two guys I argued about buying this summer are biglia and kalinic and this… Read more »

nomontella
Guest
nomontella

This guy is always happy

Forza Milano
Guest
Forza Milano

We lack creativity & flair in this Milan team .. January is close by .. we need to get players that can fix this

Mads
Guest
Mads

I really wish Deulofeu would come back to Milan. Had it not been for him, we wouldn’t even have the Europa League to look forward to. He is dynamic and can create on his own, qualities we sorely lack now. I honestly don’t even know how he is doing now with Barcelona, but I read a quote from him saying he was very fond of his time with Milan.

Perfect10
Guest
Perfect10

lmao.. as long as there is milan fans like you, we must stay happy for justing being in Serie A.

How can ALL LOW LIFERS are became milan fans.

Gutsy
Guest
Gutsy

Pls for d love of God
Sack montella, his just one son of a bitch who isn’t worth been with a team like Milan
#Forza_Milan

Ted
Guest
Ted

According to reports UEFA are not satisified with the new voluntary agreement that Fassone presented and are considering to disqualify Milan from European competitions coming next season due to FFP violations. This is coming additionally to Yonghong Li investigation that New York Times journalists started

Things don’t seems so bright for this club all of a sudden in all aspects from ownership to performance issues

derya
Guest
derya

berlusconis last gift

Barney
Guest
Barney

Ofcourse he’s happy , he’s a loser !!

Milanellofm
Guest
Milanellofm

Reports saying uefa are going to turn down milans FFP proposal. Well that’s great, make us go further down the order. I swear FFP is the dumbest thing they ever put in order. It makes the poor teams worse and the big teams better. How does that ever give them a challenge if you sanction them on players you have to sell to make ends meet? Why don’t they ever consider the fact that teams like madrid and man utd are in a billion dollar debts? It’s all a scam and if they turn us down and give us sanctions… Read more »

Ted
Guest
Ted

*conspiracy theory* 1. Maybe Berlusconi decided to sell the club to frauds, making sure no one rewrites the story with this club as beautiful as his. He rather sees it go down and then bash on the new owners for his political campaign 2. Maybe the story behind this is that what Yonghong Li payed Berlusconi for the club is really Silvio’s dirty money from China as I read right now that Yonghong Li could sell the club soon for a bargain price according to Forbes Joke aside, things really look bad as new owners put some Milan assets as… Read more »