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Pirlo: 'A very different Milan now'


Andrea Pirlo warns “this is a very different club to the old Milan” and gives his views on Stefano Pioli, Lucas Paqueta, Theo Hernandez, Suso and more.

The now retired midfielder told La Gazzetta dello Sport his views on the club where he spent 10 years, playing in 401 competitive matches.

“This is a very different club to the old Milan. Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban are doing what they can, signing the players they could get, as there aren’t the same financial capabilities as the past,” said Pirlo.

“The problem for Maldini and Boban isn’t going from the pitch to behind a desk, but from the Milan they knew to the club they’re dealing with today.

“I think they have done well in a delicate moment and are the right people to slowly recover. The same goes for Stefano Pioli, who is doing the most with what he’s got and has been able to give this team an identity. I’ve always liked Pioli as a person, too.

“The best example for Milan is my Juventus team, which would make a couple of targeted signings every year.”

It’s the Milan Derby on Sunday evening and Pirlo sees a big difference in quality between the two San Siro giants.

“When you look at their midfields, Ismael Bennacer is very talented and one of the best in Italy right now, but Marcelo Brozovic has the upper hand, because he played in a World Cup Final with Croatia. This too represents the difference between the two clubs right now.

“Theo Hernandez is better than anyone expected and can improve even further. Rafael Leao is still very young and I am sure Zlatan Ibrahimovic will remove that ‘sluggishness’ you see sometimes during a match.

“Hakan Calhanoglu is talented, but he still doesn’t have a defined role. It’s not clear where he’s supposed to be playing. Lucas Paqueta is similar, as he needs to find his position. In the meantime, go easy on the Kaka comparisons.”

Milan sold Suso to Sevilla in January and Pirlo believes it is ultimately for the best.

“If you lose all confidence at the first jeer from the crowd, you cannot play at the top level. Champions react the opposite way.

“Milan are missing key figures more or less throughout the squad. I doubt they’ll qualify for the Champions League this season, as Atalanta are more well-rounded.

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