Paolo Maldini spoke to MilanTV today to give his outlook on several topics.
Milan are in the midst of a training camp in Dubai, as they are getting ready for the second part of the season.
After watching Theo Hernández and Olivier Giroud lead France to the World Cup final last night, and one day before the friendly against Liverpool, Milan Technical Director Paolo Maldini sat down for an interview with the club’s TV network.
“The team is doing well,” Paolo told MilanTV. “We’re in preparations and our aim is to be ready for the 4th of January when we will have a hectic schedule. We will do our utmost to repeat the first part of the season which led us up to the World Cup.”
On the training in Dubai and the season goals: “The heat of Dubai helps for the injured players to recover. The conditions are idea even for double training sessions which we don’t so often have at Milanello. But that’s what it’s all about right now: work, sacrifice and togetherness. After a few days apart we’ve reunited and set our goals for the season. We still have some injured players and hope to get everyone fit again for January. Milan must be a protagonist in the four competitions we are involved in. The next six months will be very intense but we have to approach things in perfect Milan style. We always want to win and it’s no secret that the Champions League is our main goal but at the same time it’s also the most difficult to achieve. But we have to think step by step. The game against Tottenham takes place only in February but will undeniably set the tone for the remainder of our Champions League campaign.”
On the Milan players during the World Cup: “Rafa is the only World Cup player I’ve been in touch with, also because you never know what the plans of the international teams are, nor their habits, so I’ll let them savor an incredible moment like the participation at a World Cup, which is a fantastic opportunity for a professional player. But when the time is ripe we will see each other again.”
On the World Cup Milan players are having: “Rafa played his part, scoring 2 goals at a World Cup is no mean feat. Sadly he didn’t play a lot but it was an enriching experience at a high level for him. As for Theo and Olivier, they’ve been pivotal for France from the outset. And we take a lot of pride in the fact that they’ve reached the World Cup final, all while being regular starters.”
On Theo: “Theo’s rise is only down to him, not to others. The start to his career had been dazzling before he lost his way a bit. He then took a pay cut to join Milan in a bid to kick-start his career. His burst onto the scene reflects the player he is. Theo still has a lot of improvement but is one of a kind.”
On his 2022: “When we won the Scudetto against Sassuolo, a three-year period came full circle. Our project back in 2019 was well-defined and it didn’t include winning the league, but the return to being a competitive side again. That’s what is engraved in my mind, but we’re Milan and we can’t be complacent after winning the Scudetto. We will have to be even more ambitious.”
On the extension of the sponsorship deal with Emirates: “Football is a business and the economical side is indispensable if you want to be competitive. For some club having a certain type of revenues translates mathematically to having success. If we want to hold our own at the highest level, our revenues need to match. Emirates has been our sponsor for 15 years and we’re now used to this collaboration and we are very happy to be here, first of all, and that we renewed terms for a few more years.”