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Franco Baresi
Gender Male
Ethnic Italian
Job Italian Footballer
  AC Milan captain
Desc The Italian icon was a warrior, an excellent tackler and powerful battler who defied his 5’9 frame. He combined tenacity with elegance, vision, athleticism, immense positional sense and a brilliant reading of the game with outstanding leadership and professionalism. He played his entire 20-year career with the Rossoneri, lifting six Scudettos in the famous red and black shirt, as well as captaining Milan to three European Cups. Won a 1982 World Cup-winners medal with the Azzurri, with whom he finished third in 1990 and second in 1994


Org Italy National Team
Club as Player AC Milan

2010 11 25 Retrieve

[Legendary Milan defender Franco Baresi can’t imagine the Rossoneri without Alessandro Nesta] I can’t imagine Milan without Nesta. He is getting older, but I think Milan will take into account his importance to the team. Alessandro can still give so much to football. He is a player of high standards and I don’t think he will seek other accommodations. Anything is possible, the club will assess the situation. I repeat - I cannot see Milan without Nesta.

2016 09 03 Retrieve

[AC Milan legend Franco Baresi talks about how Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Light compare to the leading lights of his era] It is difficult to make comparisons. I like Van Dijk and De Ligt, they are both very strong and very athletic. Liverpool have grown hugely as a team recently and a lot of that is thanks to Van Dijk

2016 10 28 Retrieve

[The final, at a packed Camp Nou, against a very useful Steaua Bucharest side] When we went out for the warm-up, we saw the huge numbers of supporters on the terraces. And we understood that there was no way we could go home without the trophy

[For Baresi, he couldn’t quite believe how things had changed in a few short years] We used to look around and sometimes marvel. With the arrival of Berlusconi, things really changed at the club. When he told us we would go on to be the best club in the world we were all sceptical. But within a couple of years we’d won everything with an amazing style of football

2018 07 04 Retrieve

[Franco Baresi on Paolo Maldini] Paolo was very young, so I tried to give him some advice. But he needed very little; he was already a great player

2019 02 14 Retrieve

[Franco Baresi says he enjoy High-scoring, high-octane matches. For example, he particularly enjoyed last September’s absorbing Uefa Champions League clash between Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain, when the sides traded heavy blows before the English club finally triumphed 3-2] A spectacular match. I like to watch teams where there is a confrontation; I love open matches where anything can happen at any time. [laugh] I’m not Italian. But I think they should be afraid of playing against me as well

There was more offside when I played. There are still great defenders, and perhaps there is a better organisation also. You always have to be very attentive, so you have to focus a lot, always on guard for the whole 90 minutes. And you have to have very talented colleagues, of course

I’m proud to say that I played with extraordinary and talented players. We had Sacchi, and I also played with three very talented Dutch players. That for me was the real and biggest Milan. I’d find it extremely difficult again to find three Dutch players playing together with their qualities and their skills, and to have them together again with another group of very talented Italian players. So the combination of these players made the team what it was: an unforgettable one

[Baresi talks about current AC Milan. Manager Gennaro Gattuso has found his groove, while recent recruits in Krzysztof Piatek and Lucas Paqueta have excelled almost immediately] The team is growing a lot. In January, a lot of talented players arrived and so we have more trust. We must manage to keep this level of excellence because we have to reach our targets. Our objectives today must be to get back into the Champions League

Gattuso’s doing a pretty good job right now. It always depends on the results the coach gets. When you’re the coach of such an important football team, it’s an honour, but it’s also a burden. He certainly has a lot of qualities; he just needs time. Only time will tell

[Baresi on Juventus’ domestic dominance] It’s true that Juve is the protagonist today, there’s no doubt about that. Milan and Inter made some mistakes in the past; they didn’t invest a lot. And of course Juve took advantage of this situation. But I still think that the Italian championship needs Milan and Inter to raise the bar and make the competition even more interesting

[Baresi on Real Madrid’s European dominance] There is going to be more balance in the next few years because it’s true that there is a lot of competition. Real Madrid lost something when they lost Ronaldo. And I think, because they have won so many matches, they are no longer hungry

[Baresi on The Italy national team] After the great disappointment we had in not qualifying for the last World Cup, our national team is getting better and better. We were not ready for the generation change, so we had a lot of talented players who were at the end of their careers and we weren’t able to replace them. Now we have a lot of gifted young players, who are growing little by little. [Manager Roberto] Mancini is doing whatever he can to make this possible

2019 05 04 Retrieve

[Franco Baresi says he believes in the new ownership and the club will become great again under them] One step at a time. First let’s think about beating Bologna, because we have to run on ourselves and if we win the games that remain the fourth place it is still possible

Milan has the good fortune to have a large audience that has never abandoned us. I am convinced that with this new ownership, the fans will return to see a great Milan again. And one who has been two years in B says it, but then he won everything. Because the light always comes back after dark. Just be patient, as Liedholm would say

2020 02 05 Retrieve

[Chris Smalling dubbed Smalldinis as Italian legends Baresi explain why Man Utd defender is shining for Roma] At Milan, I was a team-mate of Ray Wilkins and Mark Hateley but I think it is easier when you come to this country and are playing in midfield or attack. Smalling’s not my favourite defender in Serie A but I like his determination to try to improve.

Before he came, I didn’t know too much about Smalling. I was not sure an English defender could get used to Italian football as it is so different to the Premier League. Smalling’s attitude and approach has been good. But I think we have to wait until the end of the season to make any judgements