Boban: “Appointing Giampaolo was an easy and logical choice, Elliott has much greater ambitions than people think and I wouldn’t be here otherwise”

Zvonimir Boban and Marco Giampaolo during a press-conference at Casa Milan on July 8, 2019. (

Zvonimir Boban talked about his return as he sat alongside Marco Giampaolo, Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara today for the coach’s presentation.

Zvone has been back at Milan for a few weeks now, but on Monday he made his first real appearance as a director of the Rossoneri, sitting at the table at Casa Milan for Marco Giampaolo’s presentation.

“Thank you all for coming to this press-conference. I want to keep things short because this presentation is for Marco Giampaolo,” he told the journalists.

It was an easy, quick and footballing-logical choice. We’ve been keeping an eye on Marco for many years now, knowing he is offering something different: the idea of football, the beautiful play that he brings is ideal for Milan. It is what the fans want. But through this beautiful play, we must get the results. We are confident that Giampaolo will lead us to where we need to be, he will lead Milan back to where it must be – at the top of Italian and European football.

Frederic Massara, Paolo Maldini, Marco Giampaolo and Zvonimir Boban during a press-conference at Casa Milan on July 8, 2019. (

“I’m delighted to be back at my club. When I was contacted by Paolo to come back and take on a role here at the club, also knowing Ivan Gazidis, I’d thought about it very little…. The first thing we discussed was the coach, he asked me who I think we should hire and I said that based on what I’ve seen and commented on, on TV, the best candidate was Giampaolo, he told me he had him in his head as well. Then we also met with Ivan and in the end it was a unanimous decision by all of us to select Giampaolo. He was delighted to come here to start this new project with Milan. He has a shy nature but he has great knowledge of football, although he does want to immediately stand out, as you can see – he is the only one here not wearing a tie [smiles]!

“The ‘feeling’ between the coach and the management? We have a great harmony. We know what kind of football he likes his team to play, we’ve been working very hard to provide the players that would be best-suited for his style of football. Paolo has been working 27 hours a day, I’ve been 24 hours a day and Ricky [Massara] has been working 26.5 hours a day. On one hand this role is slightly new for me, because I’ve done other things previously, but I’ve been working in football for a long-long time so it’s not that different. I accompany and assist Paolo and Ricky. Massara knows everything and everyone nationally and internationally. I was floundering at first but now I’m here. We all have our own roles to play, and we’re all working in great symphony, all four of us. Obviously, the coach asked us for certain types of players but not for specific players and we’re doing our best to get those kind of players. The better the quality, the better it is for everyone.

Frederic Massara, Paolo Maldini, Marco Giampaolo and Zvonimir Boban during a press-conference at Casa Milan on July 8, 2019. (

“The exclusion from Europe? It is clearly a pity we will not be partaking in the Europa League. Milan must participate in the best competitions in Europe and in the world. It is a pity to miss out on the Europa, but we must push on and work hard and this allows us to work harder because we’ll have a few extra days to work each week.

“The work of Gattuso? The club wishes to thank Gattuso for all he did last season. Paolo and I are friends of Rino’s, it’s a pity he decided to step down. We hope he has the best luck going forward. He did a great job last season, now we must move on with Giamapolo.

Zvonimir Boban during a press-conference at Casa Milan on July 8, 2019. (

“How to make the project sustainable but ambitious? Sustainability doesn’t mean not being ambitious. It’s important to be ambitious, but while we’re ambitious we must keep our feet on the ground – it’s important to be responsible. This ownership has much greater ambitions than people think, I wouldn’t be here otherwise. We need to do things well, correctly, we must make intelligent moves. Clearly there are limits to our budget, the goal is to have sustainable growth while winning at the same time to make sure Milan gets back to where it’s supposed to be.

“If the rumour about Luka Modrić was just a rumour or if there’s something to it? It’s impossible to sign players like Messi or Ronaldo at the moment, but we want to sign players not just only who are young and could become top players in the future, but ones who can definitely add to the team at the moment. It’d be important to choose the right players and we’re confident we can manage that.”

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