Paolo Maldini welcomed back the boys at Milanello on Monday, even if many are still missing, as Milan begin working for the 2nd star.
Milan won the Scudetto on May 22nd and today – July 4th – they began preparations for the new 2022/23 campaign, in which they will be trying to defend the title and get the club’s 20th Serie A title in history.
Milan Technical Director Maldini, who renewed his contract for two more years a few days ago, was at Milanello of course for the annual get-together, which saw many of last season’s starters missing as they are still on vacation or left the club, and he spoke to MilanTV:
We’re here with Paolo Maldini. It’s the first training session. We’re back, finally…
“Yes, finally, the boys have had a nice break, which was deserved after such a great season. Those memories are still fresh in the mind but it’s only right to keep in mind how we got to that title, but also to turn the page and focus on our aims for this season.”
We’ve seen the banners and the support from the fans; can that be the extra boost needed to make yet another jump in quality?
“Yes, it needs to be. We need to remember how we attained that victory and just forget for a second what happened after the Sassuolo game. That is something that will stay with us and that has boosted this group’s confidence even more but we go again. Every year is different.”
View this post on Instagram
It’s Day 1; we’ve had a first look at the team. Simon Kjær is back with the group, which is great. What is your take from seeing the boys heading back out onto the pitch?
“We are still missing a few players because some of the guys were away on international duty at the end of the season. We’ll have them all here from July 15-16. Not all being here, we kind of lack that full team spirit because a lot of them don’t know each other with a few coming back from loans. It’s the first day. We’ll have a better routine from tomorrow. I always said that this day at Milanello is never normal but it must always be special. It’ll be a day like those that set us apart last year.”
On the topic of the future, this might be an odd year because we have the World Cup in the middle, so this will be another hurdle. I’m not sure how we’re defining it…
“We need to get used to it. We got used to COVID with all the suspended games and games behind closed doors so we need to get accustomed to it. The season will be divided in two and we need to see it as such. It will be a long period of inactivity for those not going to the World Cup so we’ll have a break and then go again.”
A lot of work goes into preparing the team…
“Certainly, we have to prepare the team, we need to set our objectives for the season. We need to manage the group. A lot of things go into making this work great, if you can call it work [smiles].”
Hundreds of Milan fans were at Milanello today and Maldini addressed them directly: “Thank you all for your support. We will try to continue the path we’ve undertaken in recent years and try to make the club and the fans proud. The guys have done something extraordinary, but we’ve already put that side. We are all already focused on the objectives for the new season, which is to try to win the second star and be competitive.
“We can promise that we will be there in terms of spirit and values. We hope to entertain you again this year.”