The last time the Diavolo reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League was in 2011-12, eliminated by Leo’s Barça. In between there was everything: Europa League preliminaries, corporate problems, exclusions for financial fair play. Now a new rebirth
The “tasty Italian dish” – copyrighted the day before the English newspaper Sun – in the end proved to be decidedly indigestible for the Spurs world. Who most likely does not know where this qualification has its roots, celebrated almost as if it were a final. They are the roots of the awareness of the place and the day from which we started to get here. A concept that Pioli often underlines not only in the locker room, but also in the conference: “We must never forget where we started from”. Translated: the suffering of seasons made up of endless weeks without European commitments, he spent in front of the TV trying to imagine when Milan could have become protagonists again.
The last time the Diavolo took part in the G8 of the Champions League was between March and April 2012. Double challenge against Messi’s Barça, finished goalless in the first leg at the San Siro and three-one for the Catalans at the Camp Nou with a brace from Leo from a penalty. The Champions League was then hailed for seven long years in 2014, out in the round of 16 with Atletico Madrid. Since then, AC Milan has experienced a European nightmare which at a certain point, between (major) corporate turbulence and just as many problems with the Uefa financial fair play ax, seemed to never end. There have been three seasons without Europe, until the 2017-18 Europa League. Minor Europe, for heaven’s sake, but still useful to get back in the loop, to remove the dust from the coat of arms. A Milan that restarted from the third qualifying round – the Romanians of Universitatea Craiova – and which ended its race in the round of 16 by beating Arsenal.
The following season’s performance was also burning, stopping at the group stage, but perhaps the real turning point is that of the 2020-21 vintage, with the famous match in Portugal with Rio Ave resolved in favor of the Rossoneri after 24 penalties. In reality, even that time the race in the Europa League was interrupted in the round of 16, again against an English team – United – but that surreal challenge under the Portuguese flood left something special in the group coached by Pioli. Another quote the coach often makes. And then, finally, the most beautiful cup came back. Seven years after that last crossing with Atletico Madrid. The most beautiful cup is back and with it millions and visibility. Last year, in the iron group, the Devil began to regain confidence, stopping in the group stage. This time the entry into the G8 has arrived, and then who knows. A whole world has passed since that brace from Messi eleven years ago at Tottenham who fell silent at home. And now Milan does not intend to stop.
March 9, 2023 (change March 9, 2023 | 00:14)
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED
Leave a Reply