Zvonimir Boban spoke ahead of tonight’s first Matchday, saying ‘only time and results will tell us who has worked well’ in the transfer market, and claiming the Rossoneri will not rely on Angel Correa’s will to force Atlético Madrid into selling.
Milan, with a new coach on the bench and a new management in helm, start the Serie A season tonight as they face Udinese at 18:00 CEST at Stadio Friuli.
It will be an interesting week for Milan’s Chief Football Officer, Zvonimir Boban. Today he will be in Udine to watch the players and during the week he’s expected to fly to Madrid for mercato-related meetings with Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid.
“How do I deal with the first Matchday as a Milan director? With the same spirit I had as a player, it can’t be any other way,” Boban said in interviews to il Corriere della Sera’s Monica Colombo and La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Alessandra Bocci. “When I work at Milan, I don’t think about work, I think about life. Besides, sharing an office everyday with Paolo Maldini – how do you think I would feel?
“The Rossoneri fans suffer from looking at Inter’s transfer campaign and dream of a big name? I don’t want to compare the operations, let alone discuss the mercato of other clubs, but I can say that only time and results will tell us who has worked well and who hasn’t. In my opinion, we are doing our best considering the various problems, which are real. It will take time, but we are Milan and therefore we have to somehow skip some steps.
“Also, the big names may not even match with being the right players: did someone know Kaká when he arrived? I’m convinced that in the end, our fans will be happy with our choices. The truth is that we are not looking for senseless fireworks, like Milan did a few years ago. You have to make the most logical football choices, the rest is made up of a thousand reasons.
“If we can say with certainly that Donnarumma, Suso and Kessié will remain or if everything is still open? Our will is to keep them, absolutely. If the fact that Ángel Correa wants Milan at all costs could facilitate the negotiation with Atlético Madrid? Milan is a fair and elegant club, and therefore will never rely on the will of the player. Let alone in this case, given the great respect we have for Atlético Madrid and President Miguel Ángel Gil Marín, who is a friend.
“If the Milan job has turned out to be more complicated than I thought given the Financial Fair Play stakes? I believe that the FFP has generated stability in the system. Overall, it was good for football, but I also think that UEFA realizes that it needs to be adapted and refined. Everything can be improved, of course, also the Financial Fair Play.
“If it’s a coincidence of good luck that my Milan debut as a director is against Udinese, which is where Maldini made his debut as a player and where, with me as a trequartista, Milan’s Scudetto race under Alberto Zaccheroni began? I hope so, but we are just on the first Matchday, the road is long and complicated, but let’s be clear: it must be a Milan-worthy road, even in a period of reconstruction we always have to honor the Rossoneri’s shirt.
“If Maldini and I feel the pressure considering President Scaroni said that Milan are leaders in the world and should resume their role? As I said, we know what the role of Milan is. Even if at this moment we have to keep a low profile, it’s still a club with a global appeal.
“How do I reconcile with the low-profile and sustainable market, and the desire to keep the charm and importance in the world? How do these two things work together? I wouldn’t want the low profile to be exchanged with the lack of ambition. The new owner has brought stability the objective – otherwise neither Maldini nor I would have been here – is a true Milan, a Milan that returns to being protagonists and winners, playing an offensive football and of character. Scaroni made a joke about Juventus being Italian leaders and Milan more global, but we know that we have to do a lot and quickly to be where La Vecchia Signora is, Juventus have always been Italian but also global.
“Then, it’s true that Milan have their own unique charm, but if you don’t win and you don’t play well, the history will count less and less.”