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Pioli vows to never forget Milan faithful after Rossoneri farewell

SoccerNews in Serie A 26 May 2024

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Stefano Pioli vowed to never forget the Milan supporters after signing off from his Rossoneri tenure with a disappointing 3-3 draw with Salernitana on Saturday.

Pioli has the fourth-most Serie A wins of any Milan manager (108), behind Carlo Ancelotti (163), Nereo Rocco (120) and Fabio Capello (110).

Yet the Italian leaves after a five-year spell in Milan, having suffered a frustrating season and finishing second behind city rivals Inter.

“We lost together, we suffered together, we won and rejoiced together… You have an energy that we tried to put on the field,” Pioli said as he thanked the fans during his speech on the pitch after the game.

“You put a fire in my heart and it will always remain lit. I will not forget you.”

Pioli led the Rossoneri to their first league title in over a decade in 2022 but they have struggled to challenge since and are 18 points behind Inter, who visit Verona for their final game on Sunday.

The seven-time European champions bowed out of the Champions League in the group stage earlier this season before getting knocked out of the Europa League by Roma in the quarter-finals.

“I experienced emotions thanks to our fans that don’t happen often in the career of a coach,” Pioli added to DAZN.

“They filled my heart with joy and gratification. I can only be proud of what we did together, to be forever in the history books of such a prestigious club.

“This experience took me to this moment and I want to keep building, if I get the possibility, something special.

“I am very demanding with myself, I leave my comfort zone. I know what to ask from the club and players, I know what it takes to raise the level again. That is the joy of this profession.

“We were the youngest squad to win the Scudetto and I watched these lads become men. I can say that I have the ambition to try to repeat something special.”

As for his future, Pioli hinted that the Premier League could be an option if the opportunity arises.

“I am studying English, it might be the right time,” he continued. “We’ll see over the next 10-15 days, which could be decisive, but I don’t feel the pressure to choose anything in particular.

“I realised that I am very resilient and tenacious. This is part of the growth process for a coach.

“I don’t like coaches who talk too much, above all those who are not working now or worked in the past and talk a lot. They’ve all been through the same things we have, they know judgment could be more balanced.”

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