Stefano Pioli hit out at Milan critics and reminded them how things improved since he took over five years ago. ‘People act like second place is suddenly shoddy.’

The coach is under contract until June 2025, but it has been known for months now that he will be fired at the end of the season.

This search for a successor drags on through the media and is on the front pages every day, but Pioli is frustrated at his treatment.

“It was a good season, we were the best of the ‘normal’ teams behind an Inter side who did something extraordinary,” Pioli told DAZN.

“Our regrets are in the Champions League and Europa League, but that’s what those tournaments are like, if you don’t take your chance in that moment, you can go out.

“Just look at Borussia Dortmund, who finished 25 points behind Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, yet will play in the Champions League Final.”

The Pioli era at Milan

Pioli was hired in October 2019 and took them to an entirely unexpected Scudetto in 2022, where he was also named Coach of the Year.

Last season he took the Rossoneri to the Champions League semi-final, losing to rivals Inter, and this term already has second place locked down in Serie A.

“Over these years, we raised everyone’s expectations and now people act like second place is suddenly shoddy. You know full well that is not the case. Only one team can win.”

While he would seem to be on the way out, Pioli did get a tattoo of the Scudetto symbol on his arm.

“This remains. Honestly, I wanted to wait until next week to sum up the experience, but I think I can say one thing. I evaluate my work based on what condition I find a team in and then again when I leave.

“I arrived with Milan in one situation and I leave – if I leave – with Milan in quite another. The rest is just lots of talk and not much content.”

In his four full seasons at the club, Pioli’s Serie A finishes were two second places, one Scudetto and fourth in 2022-23.

Before he took charge, the last time they managed second place was in 2011-12 and their most recent title was in 2010-11.

2 thought on “Pioli highlights he ‘raised expectations’ at Milan”
  1. Commendable if viewed against our last decade of performamces. And we will be eternally greatful for the scudetto and UCL participation Mr P.

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