Paolo Maldini urged Milan to make the most of their Champions League performance after evoking memories of the great Rossoneri teams he represented.
After a 1-0 home win over Tottenham Hotspur last month, a goalless draw away on Wednesday was enough to help Milan reach the quarter-finals of the tournament for the first time since 2011/12.
Milan went seven campaigns without football in the Champions League before returning to the competition last season, a far cry from the success of Maldini’s matchdays.
The technical director who helped Milan win five European titles as a player was delighted to see that the Rossoneri’s current crop record is their own notable victory on the continent.
“You suffer more as a director, but you have a different focus. When you’re older, you can do things better,” he told Milan’s media channels.
“I got back those goosebumps that the great Milanese teams of the past gave me because it was a real achievement. Needless to say, these guys deserve it.
“For some of them it was the first experience at this level, and the fans who were there even in bad times deserved it.
1 – #ACMilan advanced to the playoffs #Champions League going unconceded in both matches for the first time since the last 16 matches of the 2006-07 season against Celtic. Armor.#Tottenhamvsmilan #Championship pic.twitter.com/uJyoWdfSXO
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) March 8, 2023
“Obviously, we cannot consider ourselves a stable player in the last eight, of course, this is not the case yet.
“However, now that we are here, we will go for it because you need to take advantage of these opportunities when they come.”
No Serie A side reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season, but with Inter and Napoli leading midway through their round of 16 fixtures against Porto and Eintracht in Frankfurt, this season promises to be more successful for Italian clubs. .
Asked if he had any preference for Milan’s next opponent, Maldini said: “I would prefer to avoid the Italian team, but if all three win, I’ll be happy for Italian football.
“For now, we will get who we get. Now we cannot think that we are at the level of Bayern Munich, Manchester City or Real Madrid – the reigning European champions.
“However, if we are selected by one of these teams, we will go for it.”