Milan director Paolo Maldini admits there was no comparison with Inter in 2023 after four Derby della Madonnina defeats, but reiterates they are ‘not built to handle two tournaments and the club owners know that.’

The Rossoneri had a mountain to climb after losing the first leg 2-0 and were beaten 1-0 this evening too, for a 3-0 Champions League semi-final defeat.

“The season is not over, as we must try to qualify in the top four in Serie A and we’ll see what happens to Juventus,” Maldini told Sport Mediaset.

Milan are currently in fifth place, but would be bumped up if Juve are docked Serie A points in the capital gains scandal.

“Reaching the semi-final was a great achievement and unexpected, but naturally if you lose against Inter then it will make this seem more painful than it otherwise would’ve been. We must remember this journey was totally unexpected.”

It is the fifth Derby della Madonnina played this season, but while Milan won the first 3-2, they lost all four in 2023 between Serie A, the Supercoppa Italiana and Champions League without scoring a single goal.

“In the last four games there really wasn’t much of a challenge. This game was better, but compromised by the bad performance in the first half. Perhaps the way Inter play causes us problems, but in recent weeks we have been struggling against teams that are frankly less prestigious and strong.”

At least there is some good news for Milan, as Maldini confirmed the contract extension with Rafael Leao is no longer in any doubt.

“We are truly just down to the smallest details, it will certainly be done, that is for sure.”

If Milan do qualify for the Champions League by finishing in the top four, how will Maldini judge this season out of 10?

“I would say eight. As we said last season, we are not yet built to handle two tournaments. We said that to the media, but also to the club owners, so they know that full well. This journey stated four years ago, which took great results, both economic and sporting, built a young foundation to the squad and there are roughly three years difference in the average age of our squad to Inter’s and that lack of experience tells at this level.

“If we do well in the remaining three games and qualify for the Champions League, then it will be a great season.”

Maldini has dropped numerous hints that he wants more investment from the club owners.

“You are never sated at Milan, that is not allowed. I think there are opportunities to take, so reaching the Champions League semi-final is something we must make the most of economically too, so invest to finish in the top four and hope to repeat this journey again.”

3 thought on “Maldini: ‘Milan not built for Champions League yet’”
  1. it was Zorro’s decision to stick with pioli. Not Maldini. All he has done is flush 3 years of work down the drain. Didn’t replace Kessie (who he didn’t sign), and gave pioli a squad not even equipped for top 4. His head should be the one that rolls first.

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