Baresi: “We made history with Sacchi for how we played, I understand the anger and frustration of the fans”

Franco Baresi during an event in New York City on July 24, 2019. (

Franco Baresi spoke about the Milan of Sacchi, and stated ‘a silent leader is a leader even without speaking’.

La Gazzetta dello Sport hosted a Festival dello Sport event in Trento on Friday to celebrate the Milan of the Immortals, the Arrigo Sacchi team – captained by Franco Baresi – that won the Champions League at the Camp Nou in 1988–89.

Baresi spoke to Friday’s edition of il Corriere del Veneto before the evening, which took place at Centro Servizi Culturali Santa Chiara.

“For UEFA we are the strongest team ever? We have made history not so much for winning, but for how we won,” he said. “We played a new football for Italy: fast, aggressive, and organized. We imposed our game everywhere and we surprised Europe and the world. We were excited by winning.

Ruud Gullit scoring during the Steaua Bucharest-Milan UEFA European Cup Final at the Nou Camp Stadium on May 24, 1989. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Allsport/ Getty Images)

“If I expected to write history then considering the cycle began in 1987 with Arrigo Sacchi and Silvio Berlusconi was President for a year? No, I don’t think anyone could’ve imagined it at the beginning. Milan came off many dark years, Berlusconi certainly brought a breath of enthusiasm and he felt that something can changed with him. Then he foretold the coach.

“Things were not going well with Sacchi at the beginning? There had been so many changes, but we were all with him. None of us had yet won and we wanted to create something new and follow the coach. Do you know what it is…? We were all curious, Sacchi had new methods and we wanted to understand what he was asking of us. But behind it was there was a club capable of keeping all the components together.

Roberto Donadoni, Filippo Galli, Mauro Tassotti, Franco Baresi, Arrigo Sacchi and Silvio Berlusconi with the Champions League trophy during Sacchi’s book presentation at Banco BPM auditorium on June 17, 2019. (

“We can’t say the same about today’s Milan in which there was not the same union and patience shown to Giampaolo who Sacchi called his heir? I’m not talking about today’s Milan. I have a role in the club [Brand Ambassador] and the technical area is not my field. Football, as we know, is made up of cycles and generations of players.

“What to say to the fans? I understand their anger and frustration. Milan have a great history, which brings honors and honors to those wear that shirt. This should never be forgotten.

Franco Baresi and Nacional Medellin during the Milan- Atlético Nacional Intercontinental Cup final at National Stadium on 17 December 1989. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

“In the first years of my career I played as a Libero, an ancient role that disappeared with me? Before Sacchi, Nils Liedholm had already set me up as a central defender. I went through two generations of players: from football of man-marking to that of zonal-marking. Up to the age of 25 I was a traditional Libero, then with Liedholm I changed philosophy.

“How did I experience that change? It was pleased. I’ve never nostalgic but rather a curious person. With the new way of playing I expressed my attributes better: I set the game and took part in the offensive phase.

Franco Baresi during the Serie A 2018/19 calednar unveiling on July 26, 2018. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

“If the legend it true that Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Mauro Tassotti and I never spoke to each other on the pitch? Let’s say that we didn’t need to talk to each other much, our strength was training and we were moving in sync. We played together for 10 years, we knew each other and there was a lot of friendship between us.

“How did I become a symbol considering I’m a shy person of few words? I never wondered, but I think it depended on my behavior. What one does is what counts and not the words. A silent leader is a leader even without speaking, then there are those who talk and do the opposite. There are two things that are valid: silence and behavior.”

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I swear Milan is too nostalgic and it killing the club’s progress. Sacchi has world class players. It’s the same with Giampaolo who didn’t even get the players he needed for his type of football.

Today’s coaches need to adapt to their players strengths and not the other way around. Giampaolo wanted players to adapt to his style of football and formation and that’s why he failed.

Milan needed to get out of the past and stop looking for the Sacchi or Capello or Ancelotti. Hire a coach with a proven track record and get quality players.


And get rid of all ex milanista in the executive roles


Yes.. well said. We are too proud of all the history, tradition and past glory.


Totally disagree that Giampaolo failed. You just heard Baresi say that sacchi’s own team too didn’t start well and he was on the verge of being sacked too. I think Milan management and fans lack the temperament for what is necessary. Look how Maldini went from defending the coach to sacking him after a win.


what was he supposed to say? “yeah giampaolo sucks and we made a mistake?” i dont know the first thing about public relations but even i know the etiquette when commenting, especially when ur doing a high profile job.
judging from maldini and boban’s expressions during matches, its safe to say they were not satisfied with giamfanculo and im sure there were arguments between them and him behind closed doors but what good would it bring to say stupid things like “no, we dont support the coach” in public while the coach is still around?

Coach Seedorf

@nick, Milan will regret sacking Giampaolo, my honest opinion. If we can resign him, we better do and equip him better but it may never happen


I have no problem with this Ac Milan, whoever the coach is, standing on the table and poor game. If only they said at the beginning of the season that the goal was not to be relegated.


Lol every time I see Baresi it comes to my mind a scene from the movie Tifosi where someone asks two nuns “How come Baresi is not beatified yet with all the miracles he has performed on the pitch?”