Champions League Success Key for New Milan Ownership

Milan control their destiny in their Champions League group. They will try to get closer to the qualification by beating Dinamo Zagreb Tuesday. If it happens, with a favorable combination, a draw versus RB Salzburg could suffice in the final fixture.

The Rossoneri last played to the knockout stage of the top continental competition in 2014, over three thousand days ago, La Gazzetta dello Sport relays. They were eliminated by Atletico Madrid on that occasion. They had trouble finishing in the top four in recent years. They didn’t make it past the first phase last season.

Having success in the Champions League is pivotal in the vision of new Milan owner Gerry Cardinale, and not just for purely sporting reasons. Having a deep run brings money and global notoriety. Reaching the Round of 16 would rake in at least €20M. Ten alone come from a UEFA bonus, plus the quota of the market pool would increase and the game-day profits are sizeable. The clash with Chelsea generated nearly €7M.

The Rossoneri won’t have Fikayo Tomori because of a suspension Tuesday. Simon Kjaer returned from a thigh strain over the weekend and will pair up with Matteo Gabbia in the back, while Pierre Kalulu will star as a right-back. Brahim Diaz and Sergino Dest subbed off due to muscular problems in the Monza game, but they aren’t severe. Both avoided strains. The Spaniard is nursing a gluteus contracture, while the Barcelona loanee has some muscle fatigue. Their availability for the next game is up in the air, but they won’t be out long-term.

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