Friday, September 26, 2008


Paolo Maldini, the captain, as always doesn't take things too far, also a few hours before a match that's worth a lot, like the derby. During a PRESS CONFERENCE he analysed a lot of themes. From tactics to Mourinho.

MILAN - A long press conference, today, from captain Maldini. The defender, with a lot of calmness talked about everything regarding the upcoming Milan derby. For him it will be the last time in a derby in front of his home crowd and what he hopes for the most is spectacle: "I hope it's a spectacular game... But if Milan win it's better..."

"It is an important match. It comes at the start of the season and however it goes there will be time to recover for both teams. Sure, the standings make us a bit apprehensive, because we haven't started well, but we want to change direction. Playing like a team means to have a good physical condition, but also the tactical balance is important, especially to get past certain defences which close up. We know that historically Milan have always had problems beating teams like that. Another important thing is consistency, given also by objective evaluations of defeats. There are a lot of factors involved in the concept of a team. When we played against Bologna we were also unlucky."

"Compared to Inter we play differently, but not only compared to them. We are not strong structurally, so we have to use other characteristics. Sometimes we struggle on dead ball situations, but we have pros and cons, so we work to improve both. Playing one on one against Ibra is difficult. He is not a static player, despite playing in the center. He looks for the best position to hurt so I don't consider him just a goalscorer."

"I like Mourinho. I think he has come to Italy to continue his project and continue his career as a coach which he started with Porto and later Chelsea. With a strong character like him sometimes it's forgotten that it's the players who go on the pitch. I am more worried about Inter's strikers than who's on the bench. It's hard to understand how he works from the outside. He's certainly different from the others in the media."

"Sheva has always done well in the derby. He has resolved many games, but things have changed for everyone. At the same time I think Sheva is physically ready. While Ronaldinho was penalised by the fact he hadn't played for 3 months with Barcelona and he played in the Olympics. He didn't train much with us."

"In the last two years Inter have been superior in the league. It's also true that in the past they often thought of the derby as a way to salvage their season, which means you are not a great team. To be that you need to be competitive in all the tournaments you take part in. The Inter of this season doesn't seem much different to the one of the last few years. I don't think there have been too many changes. They have a player like Cruz who is always dangerous, not just for us. He is a complete player. They are also structurally strong."

"I will face Zanetti, which will be nice. It's good to play against someone who has been a part of the history of a team like Inter. In the past, for example, it happened with Bergomi. I think we are two reference points, in a football world where more and more players change teams a lot. The best player I have ever met in a derby was Ronaldo, while Ibrahimovic is in the top five."

"Milan have had problems in the last few years also because of injuries. This season the idea to increase the amount of players in the squad and to buy certain types of players was to have more consistency. Inter had that in the last few years and that made the difference."

"The tactical scheme is not strict, in the sense that it depends on the players you have. Take Borriello. Playing with or without him makes a difference, because we don't have a player to replace him, and if Marco isn't there the coach has to change something. I think that, considering these things, the derby could be an important test."

"Yes, I was very close to quitting, at the end of last season, but we resolved everything by talking. I think that talking helps people to find agreements."

"The Champions League? I don't watch it, it hurts too much. Anyway, I think there are very strong teams and it won't be easy to win for the Italian teams. One of the teams I consider ready to go all the way is Chelsea."