Thursday, April 10, 2008

Maldini: Juve game is special

Paolo Maldini is looking forward to Milan’s battle with Juventus on Saturday and insists the players would be happy to see Andriy Shevchenko return.

Maldini’s 43rd clash with the Old Lady could be his last as he is considering hanging up his boots at the end of the season.

It promises to be a tense affair and one that the Rossoneri can’t afford to lose with their Champions League qualification hopes hanging by a thread.

“The longer your career goes on, the more you want to play in this kind of game,” Maldini told Sky Sport Italia. “Juve are Juve and they are always our rivals, along with Inter.

“We also had a tense relationship with Napoli at the end of the 80s and then the Rome sides for a bit, but the game against Juventus has always been the battle for League supremacy.

“These occasions give you that little something extra. You don’t have to look inside for the emotion because it comes naturally.”

The newly promoted Bianconeri are daunting opposition after exceeding expectations this term and Maldini admits that they have surprised him.

“Juve have done very well because they had a difficult task and even they didn’t expect a campaign like this,” he stated.

“They are an ambitious club due to everything that they have won and will win in the future.”

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi is determined to bring back former Diavolo striking star Shevchenko, despite opposition from some fans and Coach Carlo Ancelotti’s reported reluctance to work with the Ukrainian again.

“In terms of the atmosphere, there would be absolutely no problem with him coming back,” Maldini stressed.

“Anyone who has given so much to the club will always be readily accepted by the club and the players.

“Ronaldinho? He is a great player and he would do very well in any side.

“And that’s as far as the discussion goes as far as us players are concerned. We will leave the discussions about tactics and the transfer market to others.”

Channel 4