Football

Paolo Maldini urges AC Milan to see out Serie A title bid

Milan technical director Paolo Maldini says he is proud of the Rossoneri's impressive season so far, but has urged the team not to let the chance of a first Serie A title since 2011 pass them by.

Milan technical director Paolo Maldini says he is “proud” of the Rossoneri’s impressive season so far, but has urged the team not to let the chance of a first Serie A title since 2011 pass them by.

Stefano Pioli’s men lead rivals Inter by two points at the Serie A summit after Sandro Tonali’s 92nd-minute winner secured a crucial 2-1 win at Lazio on Sunday, although the Nerazzurri have a game in hand.

Milan recently kept six consecutive league clean sheets to strengthen their Scudetto hopes, with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s opener at the Stadio Olimpico representing the first goal Pioli’s men had conceded in 568 minutes of league football.

Such impressive form has raised hopes of Milan winning their first Serie A title since 2010-11 this season, and Maldini is proud of the way they have proven their doubters wrong this campaign.

“As a Milanista, I am proud. Proud of the team, the staff, of the way we behaved, and for all the fans are giving us in this moment,” Maldini told the club’s official media channels.

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“When you have a season like this one, the objective is to do the best we can. With the great opportunity we have, we need to aim much higher.

“I remember at the start of the season some didn’t even consider us for the top four, but this something we have used as motivation.

“The numbers speak for themselves. We know that, to be here, to be one of the top two over the last two years, we need to keep hold of this spirit of sacrifice, I believe it is our most important characteristic.”

Having finished a distant second to runaway Scudetto winners Inter last season, Milan are hunting their 19th league title after going unbeaten in their last 12 Serie A matches.

Maldini – who won seven Serie A titles and an incredible five European Cup or Champions League trophies during his own glittering Rossoneri career – has called upon Pioli’s men to seize the opportunity to make history after over a decade without a title.

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“If we’ve gotten this far, it’s due to the fact we’ve always believed we could,” he added. “Even when we didn’t communicate it publicly, inside the group we’ve always believed it.

“And so it should be, because we can’t let it go by as an everyday thing. In the last 20 years, Milan has won two Scudetti. We’re talking about Milan!

“Winning this year would be an incredible result and when you’ve got a chance like this, you need to give it your all. Should things not work out, you know you did your very best.”

Milan’s next Serie A outings sees them host Fiorentina on Sunday, with each of their four remaining fixtures coming against top-half opponents.

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