“I could have spoken from the gut, while time gives you more serenity. Some people are just passing through and don’t abide by the team’s identity and history. Others are tied to its ideals. It’d be better to hold onto them. If a side is sold for €1.2B, it’s within the rights of the new owner to change. However, people and roles should always be respected.”
Maldini dished on Gerry Cardinale and the accusation of operating solo excessively.
“You risk confounding that with the desire to take responsibility, which come with the position. It wasn’t easy to deal with an American fund and a South African CEO. He wanted me to win the Champions League but had already decided to fire me. I explained that we needed a three-year plan and prepared it with Frederic Massara. We devised a sustainable strategy to make the leap but never got feedback on it. The owner sacked me using the bad rapport with Giorgio Furlani as a justification and made a joke about the UCL semi-finals versus Inter. We just had a chat and four texts in a year. The higher-ups approved every deal.”
Maldini backed Stefano Pioli amid the ongoing slump.
“We should thank him as he was key for the youngsters. However, a coach is one of the loneliest people in football. Giving him more duties without support only magnifies that.”
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