Gianni Rivera has spoken to La Gazzetta dello Sport about the situation of the Rossoneri and about San Siro.
The 1969 Ballon d’Or winner achieved everything with the jersey of Milan in his legendary career as a player. In these days, however, he’s starting a new path.
Rivera, who played 658 times as a Rossonero, has achieved all the necessary diplomas to coach at the highest levels, and the 76-year-old may soon start coaching in one of Italy’s top divisions.
The former midfielder spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Valerio Piccioni:
Why do Milan always find it so hard to get back to top-level?
“We need to understand how the management is organized and what the objectives are. Maldini and Boban understand football, I don’t know the rest of the people. It’s clear that the general situation affects everything, the technique on the pitch is affected by the management’s organization off the pitch.”
Betting on young players or building a growth around a top player?
“If you have Pelé then you can choose the second approach, but you don’t have Pelé. This is why there’s a return to the Youth Sector, after years of forgetting the Youth Sector, it’s a positive thing. There are good players, you have to make them work well.”
In the state of mind of the fan, and in general of a Milanista, there’s also the variable of San Siro. There’s the hypothesis that the stadium being demolished to pass the baton to the new futuristic stadium. What effect does it have to have to deal with possibility?
“A bad effect. My idea is this: if there are no other problems, of which I am unaware, San Siro must remain standing, and continue to be a stage for football. That’s my thought, I would say as a lover.”
What advice would you give to mayor Sala?
“San Siro represents a value, a great value. Maybe we never remember this enough. San Siro is a big, huge stadium, but where the game can be seen well almost everywhere. And you’re told that by someone who has verified it from the stands, but also from the Curva.”
When did you first enter it?
“With Alessandria Calcio, as a visitor, but half of me was already with Milan.”
We talked about the spectator, the sensations as a player?
“The feeling of being right at home, the closeness to the fans desire the enormity.”
And if another stadium had to be built?
“It can’t be demolished. Keeping it as a monument…? It’s a second hypothesis, but San Siro is of value because you play inside it. And it’s also memory, and it’s not true that people have no memory. Apart from those who live in the area, who are against it, I believe that most people want the stadium to not be erased.”
What time is it for Italian football?
“How long has it been since we won the Champions League…? There’s little to do: the best players in the world used to come to us, now they go somewhere else. So much so that when Cristiano Ronaldo arrived we were all surprised.”
La Nazionale of Mancini gives us hope.
“He’s doing a great job and it’s right to focus on young players. Maybe we could’ve gotten there sooner.”
You were part of the first and last Italy European champions, in 1968. Can we finally repeat ourselves in 2020?
“Before playing, you always have to think about winning. We come off difficult years for the national team, but with Mancini we are going back on track.”
You studied football and reached the umpteenth milestone in your history: you have become a coach. How hard was it?
“No, it’s not hard. Those who played at a high level are always at an advantage. Then, there were topics – medicine, psychology – which were less simple for me. Of course, I could’ve reached this objective sooner.”
Can we know the football idea of Rivera the coach?
“A football where technique comes first and helps to improve the athletic side. I remember the matches that Liedholm made us play with a touch…”
Now let’s imagine that Milan ask you to become coach.
“If they ask me, we can talk about it. But now Milan have a coach.”