Saturday, February 14, 2009

Maldini On Mourinho And Milan's Domestic Struggles

Milan legend Paolo Maldini talked about the Inter coach and his team's failure to win silverware on the domestic front over the last few years.

Ahead of this weekend's Milan derby, which will be the last of captain Paolo Maldini's career, the 40-year-old legend gave a long interview to Milan Channel in which he talked about a range of topics.

One of these was Inter coach Jose Mourinho, who he thinks lives up his hype.

"Mourinho won in Portugal with a good but not phenomenal team," he said. "He won in England and everything seemed easy and simple. But then we saw it's actually quite difficult. For the image of a coach results are what matter most. Without results what he says would count for nothing. For example, someone like [Zdenek] Zeman is not credible."

Maldini then went on to reflect on why Milan have failed to win domestic honours over the last years.

"It's a bit strange," he commented. "From 1999 the club started a policy of using young players, which did not bring great results.

"Then from 2002 we started to buy champions again, like [Alessandro] Nesta, [Clarence] Seedorf, etc. People say Milan are old but we have also bought many young players, like [Yoann] Gourcuff, [Alberto] Gilardino, and Pato.

"Of course, when you use only young players, like during [Alberto] Zaccheroni's period, it's difficult to win. Then, after winning in 2004, we finished behind Juventus for two years. After that everyone knows what happened, staying on course with a team that ended up getting punished by the sporting justice."

During his long career at Milan, Maldini won seven Serie A titles, in 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, and 2004. At the moment they are eight points behind city rivals Inter, making this weekend's derby a must-win game for the Rossoneri.