Arrigo Sacchi: Leao wouldn’t play under me in Milan Juve, Pioli shouldn’t make throws

Former AC Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi has expressed his views on Stefano Pioli, Rafael Leão, and the anticipated match with Juventus, in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport. Sacchi has observed numerous Milan-Juventus matches, one of which has stood out in his mind – a 4-0 triumph featuring Mannari, a player he reflects on enthusiastically.

Sacchi showed admiration for current Milan coach Stefano Pioli, praising his recent tactical adaptability. However, he also offered some noteworthy advice. He recommends Pioli not to confuse his players. Rather, he should stick to one game plan focussing on short passing.

Commenting on Pulisic, Sacchi remarked, “‘Pulisic is doing well. If he is as smart as they say, it’s perfect. Football is becoming more and more a game of collective intelligence.” According to Sacchi, current Milan player Rafael Leão would not have been in his chosen squad.

Recalling Mannari’s Porsche, Sacchi notes it wasn’t a suitable choice for the player at his stage of career. “I also had a Porsche, but he was early in his career. I always observed the players’ behaviours,” commented Sacchi.

He praised Stefano Pioli once more saying, “Pioli is a golden boy. He has grown a lot for me, he has managed to get an Italian team to play offensive football as a collective. It happens rarely.” He then reminisced about his time at his father’s company, where he was told about ‘pizzas,’ ‘mafia,’ and ‘catenaccio’. ‘At least I want to remove the catenaccio,’ he had said, and he managed to achieve it with Milan.

Speaking about betting scandals, Sacchi expressed regret, not only for him but also for those he had encountered during his years with the national junior teams. He recounted an incident from the mid-’80s at Parma, where he had to let go of two players who only talked about money. He believes that the human brain can intensely focus on only one thing at a time and it shouldn’t be money.

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