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i Rossoneri - AC Milan......The Return of a Legend!

The homecoming of Paolo Maldini!
Started on 7 March 2012 by arp303
Latest Reply on 23 May 2013 by niklas1992
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arp303's avatar Group arp303
11 yearsEdited

With a team of aging, very highly paid modern football greats and the declining finances of Italian football; the mighty AC Milan were on the decline. Massimiliano Allegri had managed to inspire one last swansong for his vastly experienced superstars by winning the Serie A the previous season but the red and black half of Milan had not made an impact among Europe’s elite in the Champions League for many years. Not to mention fresh, young, powerful teams like Napoli and Juve re-built and ready to challenge for domestic supremacy.

With this in mind, Silvio Berlusconi has decided to take decisive action! The Milan faithful demand a return to the glory days of old! AC Milan needs rebuilding from the bottom up with fresh talent, eager to become a part of this great clubs history. It will require somebody ruthless enough to cull the old guard and talented enough to nurture the new breed. ……

Enter the one and only……Paolo Maldini!

Good luck!!
Any transfer targets, both in and out?
arp303's avatar Group arp303
11 yearsEdited

As Maldini sunk into the rich black leather chair in the Rossoneri Managers office pondering his first moves in the transfer market, he cast his thoughts back to the many footballing luminaries who had sat there before him. Sacchi, Capello, Ancelotti and of course his father, Cesare……could he follow in their illustrious footsteps….??

A knock on the door snapped Maldini out of his daydream.....

“Come In”, Maldini gestured.

It was Silvio Berlusconi’s PA – a stunning brunette who wouldn't look out of place on the catwalks of this great city.

“Mr Berlusconi would like to see you, Mr Maldini”.

“Call me Paolo”, Maldini replied with a wry smile.

She smiled and ushered him through to the Board Room.

The meeting was short but Maldini was left under no illusion at the size of the task.

“We expect you to retain the Serie A in your first season, Paolo. And you need to do what your predecessor could not – reach the Champions League Final! You have a budget of £13.1M to achieve this. And welcome back, its great to see you back where you belong”.

With no time for debate, Maldini thanked Mr Berlusconi and set to work!

After meeting the players and staff, Maldini began assessing the squad in his first training session. The first thing that struck him was the quality of the first team squad. Pato, Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Nesta, van Bommel, Gattuso, Cassano, Ambrosini…..technically gifted and vastly experienced pro’s. What also struck him was the age of the team. The shrewd side of Maldini also made him wonder wwhat these superstars were costing the club……

He returned to his plush office and cast his eyes over the clubs accounting……

£2.27M wage bill per week!!! That’s £118M per year excluding bonuses! No wonder the club wasn’t as financially secure as years gone by! Maldini looked at the individual salaries and was shocked by what he found.

Ibrahimovic topped the wage bill at an astronomical £275k per week!

Flamini on £130k? Damn Bosman rule!

Zambrotta and Gattuso on over £100k each? So what if they won a World Cup!

The average age of the team was a real cause for concern and one that needed addressing if Milan were to re-build. Club favorites like Ambrosini, Nesta, Seedorf, Gattuso, Zambrotta, Inzaghi, van Bommel were in the twilight of their careers and even players like Ibrahimovic and Cassano only had a couple of seasons left before their value would plummet not to mention the vast cost of paying them every week……decisive action was required!
Ok, so this is a real story amongst stories, good luck and a nice quirky style!
arp303's avatar Group arp303
11 yearsEdited
The Cull

Some tough decisions had to be made but this is what Maldini was brought back to make! He loved AC Milan and the players as much as the fans but he had to keep a clear head and take the course of action that was best for the club.

A surprising first casualty was Kevin Prince-Boateng. The 24 year old Ghanaian international was supremely talented and had a great future. Arsene Wenger made a call personally to Maldini’s office with a £14M cash offer – this was double his valuation but Boateng had initially featured in Maldini’s plans. However, upon consideration Maldini thought he had adequate creative midfielders who could fill the void left by Boateng – and he needed the capital! So the wily Frenchman’s offer was accepted and ‘The Prince’ jetted off back to the English capital. The Gunners also went on to add the talented Argentine Diego Perotti to their ranks – ominous signs of a rebuilding job of their own at the Emirates!

Flamini followed him out of the door for £5M to newly wealthy Spanish outfit Malaga, although the Rossoneri will have to supplement his wages to the tune of £60k per week for the following 12 months! Small price to pay to get the overrated French midfielder off the books! Zambrotta and Gattuso also bid farewell to the Milan faithful for nominal fees but a combined wages saving of £11M was the real motivation. The fans were particularly upset by Gattuso’s exit but Maldini hoped the fans would trust his judgement and press on.

German giants FC Bayern took temperamental but hugely gifted Cassano to Munich for a fee of £9.25M. Good business for a player who turns 30 in a couple of weeks.

And then the transfer that sent shockwaves through World football…

One of Milans jewels was gone but Maldini felt that a £28M fee and a £14M annual salary saving could give the club the platform it needs to rebuild.
The New Breed

Maldini’s vision for Milan was simple: More Italian players, a focus on youth with a smattering of World Class players to complement the Brazilian contingent already at the club. Milan had some fantastic young prospects that needed first team football to reach their potential. The most gifted was Stephan El Swaarawy, an Egyptian born Italian national. At just 18 years old he was preciously talented. So much so that Maldini shunned a number of top class, established summer targets and installed him in the first team as first choice right winger.

Thiago Silva, Robinho and Pato were part of Maldini’s plans and they went straight into the first 11. Maldini wanted an Italian talisman to replace Ibrahimovic ………

At £34M, his fee was steep but Rossi was young, versatile and had a real eye for goal. He had the potential to lead the Rossoneri front line for years to come.

A controversial but financially prudent loan signing followed…..Mario Ballotelli joined Milan for no fee and just a 30% contribution in salary. Good business and add even more spice to the “Derby della Madonnina”…..

Astori joined from Genoa for £6M along with Camporese from Fiorentina and Prestia from Palermo to add some youthful exuberance to the Milan backline.

Steve Mandanda was probably the biggest punt made by Maldini. But the Frenchman’s impressive performances for Marseille and the £40M price tag demanded by Lyon for his compatriot Lloris forced his hand in a £10.75M move.

The search for a left back that fitted the bill was proving difficult. Brazilian international Michel Bastos was probably too reckless for Maldini’s liking and Real Madrid’s Marcelo was far too expensive at £41M. Salvatore Bocchetti had been making some impressive performances in the Russian Premier League for Rubin and he had recently broke into the Italian national team. His ability to play both at leftback and centreback also appealed to Maldini so Milan opened its chequebook and splashed out £18.75M to bring the Italian home.

A relatively unknown Brazilian by the name of Fellipe Soutto caught one of Maldini’s scouts eye. He was a tough tackling, talented midfielder who was touted as the next Dunga in the Brazilian press. This persuaded Maldini to spend £14.75M on the Brazilian bruiser, Maldini happy with his business in Latin America as he boarded the plane back to Milan.

The £1M transfer of versatile, 21 year old South African midfielder Andile Jali concluded Maldini’s business in this window.

The bulk of these transfers had to be spread over 48 months but Maldini hoped that they would be the foundation for which Milan were to build its future on and off the pitch.
Transfer Dealings Summary

Here is a summary of all of Milan’s transfers this pre-season.

The wage bill was looking much healthier now….£500k weekly saving

Maldini's Milan First 18

arp303's avatar Group arp303
11 yearsEdited
Friendlies and the Super Cup!

Maldini arranged some lucrative friendlies at the San Siro to maximise Rossoneri revenues during Pre-Season. Impressive showings against Liverpool and Roma bought 2-1 and 3-0 victories respectively. Despite losing 2-1 against Chelsea, it was a good display by Maldini’s men and a good run out to boot. A 3-0 win against affiliated Serie B minnows Varese concluded Milans pre-season build-up to make way for the Super Cup Final in Beijing against……..Inter Milan! The first “Derby della Madonnina” will serve as a perfect curtain raiser to the Serie A season and give the fans a good look at how both Milan giants are shaping up.

Maldini received a standing ovation as he strode out onto the San Siro pitch. He had made this walk hundreds of times for Milan as a player and now here he was as Manager of his boyhood club. His father Cesare was in the Directors box, applauding his son as he followed in the great man’s famous footsteps. Just as a lump was forming in Maldini’s throat Claudio Ranieri, Inter’s coach appeared and offered his hand. Maldini duly obliged and the game was on……

What a victory! Maldini's first game as Manager was always going to be a part of Milan's history but this surpassed his wildest dreams! Milan controlled the game from the outset with their superior passing and pace. A superb cross field ball from Italian right back Abate helped to stake his place in the team. His ball found Robinho who wriggled free from his marker and lashed the ball home from inside the 18 yard box. An unlucky deflection off Bocchetti made it an unfortunate debut but he will still take heart in an otherwise solid display at left back. Guiseppe Rossi scored a fantastic poachers finish to put the Rossoneri back in front and Thiago Silva rose to head in El Swaarwaay's excellent free kick to make it 3-1. Ballotelli completed the rout off the bench with his first touch after a mix up in the Inter defence.

An impressive display and an encouraging start. The only blot on the copybook was a damaged spine for van Bommel which will rule the Dutchman out for upto 2 months.

Do you think Maldini needs to make any more additions to the squad?
What do you think of his signing so far?
Wow. Great story mate! Love the dialogue. But what intrigued me most was the signings, in and out. Took a great deal of guts there to sell Ibra, Cassano, Boateng, but nevertheless justified, for now!

Could you have not gotten more for Ibra? Like 30M or 35M? Or was Man City dead set on 28M?

Great loan signing for Balotelli and a nice purchase there for Rossi!

The CL final will be a long shot for such a new squad, though I'm sure you can win the league, with the Rossoneri legend now on the hot seat!

Loving it, keep it up!
It was a non-negotiable offer but I guess with 3 years of wages saved its like receiving £70M.....that's what I keep telling myself anyway!

Thanks for the feedback!
Thank you for posting such a great story!

The Italians and particular teams such as Milan and Roma are very passionate about retaining the "oldies" (or how id put that) at the club. Not often you see young Italians players break trough.

As a Swede I must say, I’m not happy about you letting go Zlatan. He is Italy. Where ever he plays they win the title :)

Keep up the work ! Love it.
I really like it. Very well-written.

I'd recommend (because they're brilliant and to stop them going to anyone else) Sime Vrsaljko (in a few years a world-class right back, get him for as low as £1million; also Felipe Anderson, fantastic young central midfielder, could get him for as low as £5.5million.
If you have the Norwegian league then get kara from tromso, he is a great cdm who will cover and replace van bommel, and can also play cb and cm. He is 6"4 and a real beast

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