Donadoni: “Milan have made courageous and well-considered choices, Giroud is a super-proven player”

Roberto Donadoni during Milan-Bologna at Stadio San Siro on December 10, 2017. (Daniele Buffa)

Roberto Donadoni spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport about the upcoming Serie A.

In just over a month, football will return in Italy as Serie A will be kicked off. Milan are training hard ahead of Matchday 1 against Sampdoria, as they aim to once again fight for a Top 4 place.

Donadoni, who played at Milan from 1986 to 1996 and then again from 1997 to 1999, winning six Scudetti and three Champions League titles, sat down for an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Andrea Schianchi to discuss the new year:

The year to come according to Roberto Donadoni…
“May it be a season of passion after so much pain… a season of normality and of life.”

What will the next Serie A be like?
“There have been many changes on the benches that bring curiosity and expectations. A reshuffling from which something good and beautiful can come out.”

Can the victory of the national team transmit positives values to the clubs as well?
“In the meantime, the Azzurro success has generated enthusiasm throughout the environment. I expect to see novelties, even if I think that the main ability of a coach is to know how to evaluate the material at his disposal.”

The merit of the Italy of Mancini?
“The group spirit. When those who enter play at the same level of those who’ve just went out it means that the coach has been able to transmit important values.”

Roberto Donadoni before Milan-Sassuolo at Stadio San Siro on December 15, 2019. (@imago-images)

Will there be uncertainty or in the end the usual teams will play for the Scudetto?
“The technical values are determined by the clubs’ financial resources. The concern is that the usual ones will be fighting for it.”

Let’s talk about Milan. Donnarumma has left, Çalhanoğlu has left, but there have been many interventions on the market. What do you expect?
“A step forward. They’ve made courageous and well-considered choices, they have given up on Gigio and have bought Maignan – a talented goalkeeper with prospects. The directors are following a path that I agree with: spending money while keeping an eye on how much there’s still in the cashier.”

Is the mix between young and old correct?
“The young bring enthusiasm, the old give experience. It’s the right balance.”

Roberto Donadoni poses to take a photo in Shenzhen city on July 7, 2020. (@imago-images)

How do you evaluate the arrival of Giroud?
“He’s a super-proven player. Since he’s no longer a kid, his physical conditions will have to be evaluated and consequently he’ll have to be managed. But he’s a striker who gives ample guarantees.”

In order to make a further leap in quality, where should Pioli work?
“Milan must be aware of their strength, without it leading to presumption. This is the way to be masters of the game and not to spend so many minutes at the mercy of the opponents.”

In the last campaign, the Rossoneri did a lot…
“A lot, but sometimes they adapted to the squads they faced. If you are sure of your qualities, you do not adapt – you impose yourself. This is the step to climb.”

What will Ibrahimović’s contribution be, at 40 years of age?
“He has desire, stimuli, experience and a strong character. He must be used in the right way.”

Roberto Donadoni during Juventus-Bologna at Juventus Stadium on May 5, 2018. (Tano Pecoraro LaPresse)

After two years of experiments, Juventus has recalled Allegri…
“Great coach. Juventus realized their mistakes and corrected themselves. It’s a sign of maturity of the directors.”

CR7 remains: added value or a burden to be managed?
“Ronaldo will never be a burden. He wants to prove that he’s still No. 1 in the world, he has an incredible personality. With Allegri’s advice and the support of the club, he’ll give many emotions.”

How do you assess Mourinho’s return to Italy?
“I’m very curious. The challenge is tough in a place like Rome. But he has broad shoulders and clear ideas.”

The Scudetto-winning Inter no longer has Conte. Will they suffer the backlash?
“Inzaghi has the experience to manage the transition. If anything, we must consider the fact that the club has decided on a downsizing.”

What will Çalhanoğlu give?
“I like him a lot, he can give a lot also in the Champions League.”

Roberto Donadoni during a Shenzhen press conference on July 30, 2019. (@imago-images)

Napoli: what kind of couple are Spalletti and De Laurentiis?
“Two that don’t let each other down. The important things is that any discussions take place in a constructive manner and not just to create controversy.”

Sarri returns: intrigued by his impact at Lazio?
“He will be able to put his footballing project into practice at a club that will know how to wait for him.”

And, hush-hush, what is Atalanta preparing?
“Atalanta is an absolute certainty. This year I think they can fight for the Scudetto. They are now a star of our Calcio.”

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