The Rossoneri won their first Serie A title in 11 years, beating Sassuolo 3-0 at the Mapei Stadium today. Stefano Pioli has won his first Serie A title as a coach and could not hide his joy after the final whistle.
“I am happy for my players, for myself, my staff, the club, the directors and our fantastic fans. For all the Milan world which deserves this Scudetto,” he told DAZN.
“We have always believed in it, surely I am happy.”
Why did they deserve to win it more than Inter?
“We were more consistent. If you get till here, it means that you’ve had continuity,” said Pioli.
“I don’t like to mention this, but I think the last game we lost was against Spezia, which we were not supposed to. The players’ mentality and identity have been remarkable, they’ve never given up and they have been fantastic. Everyone never lacked rhythm or intensity, also those who didn’t play much.
“We deserved it because we never gave up and we were more consistent. We won key games. I have a strong team with two exceptional directors. If you reach this level, all the parts involved have done their best.
“My staff and I had fun working with these players, we prepared every single game, trying to find suitable solutions for us,” the coach continued.
“We all enjoy what we do, which is the most important thing. We’ve always had clear ideas and a precise target which was to make it better than last season. We knew that we could have achieved something more by earning morning points.”
Pioli also praised Maldini and Massara who have built the team over the last two seasons, helping Milan to become Serie A champions after many years.
“The directors have created a winning mix of young and experienced players and we’ve built a winning mentality. We were brave, especially defensively, which rewarded us because we didn’t concede in many games, we defended like animals when the opponents had the ball.
“My idea is to improve the players I have, but it’s all more difficult without talent. The club’s ability to sign talented players brought results. Congratulations to everyone.”
Theo Hernandez also showed up for a post-match interview and Pioli was asked his thoughts on the France international, who was one of Milan’s key players this term.
“He has everything inside, he has taken a step forward in terms of mentality and ability to stay in the game. Perhaps, being different off the pitch has changed him as well. He is great in everything he does and he is a fantastic player.”
At the end of the interview, Paolo Maldini gave Pioli the Coach of the Year Award and the boss thanked his players and, once again, Milan directors. “Without them, this wouldn’t be possible.”
Pioli fought back the tears when asked who he dedicated the Scudetto to: “Surely my dad, wherever he is, he’ll be proud of what I’ve done.”