Maldini Expects Milan to Be a ‘Loose Cannon’ in UCL Round of 16

Milan cruised to a 4-0 win over RB Salzburg to clinch the second position in Group E behind leaders Chelsea, ending the group stages with 10 points. A brace from Olivier Giroud and goals from Rade Krunic and Junior Messias hands the Rossoneri qualification to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2013/14, having failed to do so last campaign.

Technical director Paolo Maldini spoke to Prime Video (via MilanNews) in his post-match press conference and maintained the seriousness of Milan’s progress to the next round. He believes the Rossoneri will be a ‘loose cannon’ among the teams qualified.

 “We have to be ambitious; we are happy. From tonight we start talking about something serious,” he said, before continuing: “We started 4 years ago, this is the year in which we have to tighten. We want to be protagonists in Italy and then return to having the European dimension that has always belonged to Milan. It is not easy because we are still far from an economic point of view. I think Milan will be a loose cannon among the runners-up.”

He then backed Stefano Pioli to stay put at the San Siro for years to come, irrespective of the results.

“We renewed him this week because we believed it was right to do it before today’s match. The coach was not in question, as well as the renewal. The match in Turin did not affect the decision and neither would the match tonight, even if it went badly, we would have renewed the coach until 2025.”

Finally, Maldini shone hopes of Milan going deep into the season playing for all possible trophies.

“I am hungry and I like to see the same thing in the team and among the fans as well. We have to be there. The Scudetto won is the demonstration that everyone had given 0.5% more than Inter. It will happen in the Champions League too. When we miss this, we will make it more difficult for ourselves.”

Milan could face either one of the seeded opponents in the first knockout stage – Bayern Munich, Benfica, Manchester City, FC Porto, Real Madrid or Tottenham Hotspur.

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