With AC Milan hoping to welcome goalkeeper Mike Maignan back after the mid-season break, former custodian and current goalkeeping coach Dida believes that the Serie A champion can become an even bigger influence at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
The Frenchman is currently missing his country’s attempt to retain the World Cup in Qatar after suffering a calf injury while on international duty in October, but Rossoneri deputy veteran Ciprian Tatarusanu underwent an eye operation when the 2022/23 campaign paused.
Maignan will continue to grow
“Mike [Maignan] is a friend. He came to Milan with the idea of winning and he won immediately,” Dida told Milan TV. “He did everything to improve in training and has grown a lot, but he can still improve in all areas.”
“[Before arriving at the Rossoneri] he had done little in terms of training,” claimed the 2003 and 2007 Champions League winner. “but Milan has everything they need to help these guys grow.”
After progressing to the Champions League Round of 16 in his absence, Maignan still has plenty of opportunities to win more trophies this season. Starting with a Coppa Italia clash with Torino on 11 January and the Supercoppa Italiana Final against crosstown rivals Inter a week later.
Dida pleased with Milan legacy
Having won seven major honours in a Milan shirt, as well as the 2002 World Cup while staring in Serie A, the 49-year-old reflected on his time between the Rossoneri goalposts, when amongst the best goalkeepers in world football and whether the pressure at the Stadio San Siro ever became too much.
“I have had a wonderful career at Milan,” stated Dida. “I’ve done a lot and I’m very satisfied [with my achievements]. To do this profession, we have to have a lot of courage and madness to face down the attacker and throw ourselves [at their feet], but it was something I liked to do.”
“It is hard to say if I experienced many difficult moments, but I was always focused. If it happened, I always continued positively to help the team. I always wanted to give 100 percent.”