Former Lazio and AC Milan great Alessandro Nesta is confident that the Rossoneri can start a new era of dominance in Italian football.
The 46-year-old spent a decade with the Italian giants, winning two Serie A titles as well as two Champions League trophies with Il Diavolo, and he had formed a great partnership in defence with the legendary Paolo Maldini, who is now a director at the club.
Nesta spoke to Il Corriere della Sera about the current AC Milan side, and their chances of winning back-to-back league titles, as well as getting a second gold star on their jersey for winning 20 Scudetti.
“Milan can begin a new era,” Nesta said.
“Last year they won by surprise but with merit and now they can repeat it. I was more sceptical last year, but with the players, personality, and experience, the second star is within reach.
“The squad is growing and the others are in trouble. I imagine a head-to-head battle with Napoli. They are the teams with the clearest ideas: the board, coach, players. There is precise planning.”
AC Milan are equal fourth with Lazio on 14 points and they are three points behind Napoli and Atalanta, who both share top spot in the Serie A table.
Nesta wishes Tomori and Kalulu were Italian
AC Milan placed an emphasis on recruiting young players to the club under the stewardship of the Elliott Management Corporation, and the Rossoneri have reaped the rewards, winning their first Serie A title in 11 years.
Two defenders that made outstanding contributions to the scudetto triumph were 24-year-old England international Fikayo Tomori and 22-year-old Frenchman Pierre Kalulu. Both defenders have impressed Nesta, so much so, that he expressed his wishes that they were eligible to play for Italy.
“They are modern, they have courage, play high up the pitch, and they are not afraid of one-on-ones,” he said.
“Sure, if they were Italian, it would be better for the national team, but this is not the case.”
Nesta defends the departed Romagnoli
Alessio Romagnoli spent seven seasons at AC Milan, but he eventually found playing time under coach Stefano Pioli limited due to injuries as well as the emergence of Tomori and Kalulu.
Despite this, Nesta believes that Romagnoli made the right choice to join Lazio on a free transfer because he is joining the club he supported as a boy, and he has a coach like Maurizio Sarri, who can utilise the experienced centre-back.
“In any case, he played at a high level at Milan for several years,” Nesta said.
“Then new defenders arrived and he played less there. He made a choice of heart, he returned home, to an important club, with a coach who makes his teams play good football. For me, he did well.”