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Ronaldinho Sparks Milan Resurgence

Posted by David Schiavone Thursday, August 27, 2021

As AC Milan took to the field against Siena, many including myself were waiting for the wheels to fall off the Rossoneri bandwagon. In the run up to the new season Milan managed a magnificent run of seven games without victory, until solace came in the form of the Trofeo Berlusconi, a victory over Juventus was much enjoyed.

Thus, it seemed Milan were doomed to another season of underachievement, players left, notably Kaka and Gourcuff. Paolo Maldini retired, Carlo Ancelotti moved on, so a new dawn is certainly on the horizon and it falls on the shoulders of rookie coach Leonardo to resurrect the failing Milan giants.

Going into the opening fixture with Siena, Milan were given a relatively straight forward task of beating a team that will almost certainly be battling against relegation in the coming season. Leonardo started Ronaldinho as a trequartista playing behind Pato and Marco Borriello. Thiago Silva made his Serie A debut alongside the returning Alessandro Nesta.

During the match Ronaldinho’s passing was sublime, his eye for the killer pass has not gone, as shown by his involvement in Milan’s two goals, he revelled in having the freedom to demonstrate his limitless technical attributes. One negative would be his lack of movement, he is still overweight, but after promising his teammates he will be a ‘better professional’ I’m sure he can and will return to something like full fitness.

Pato was another of the star performers on the night, bagging a brace, whilst also getting under the skin of the Robur, leading to a final whistle fracas apparently due to his ‘lack of respect’, this according to Siena Captain Simone Vergassola. This apart, Pato demonstrated ability beyond his years, he has pace, samba skills and an eye for goal, plus the added incentive of a place in Dunga’s 2010 World Cup squad, a fantastic season will surely be had by the Duck.

Thiago Silva and Nesta were both solid against Siena. Silva showing his cool head and passing ability from the back, Nesta his organisation and reading of the game, this could be key to Milan's season. If both stay fit - when I say ‘both’, I mean Nesta - then a very fruitful partnership could well develop.

Another thing I noticed was the fight and drive within the side, they played a faster game then the Milan of last year, they also chased and hassled more than in previous years, something that was extremely refreshing to see.

Marco Storari in the Milan goal is a weak point for me, arguably at fault for Ghezzal’s equaliser, he is not the quality Milan require between the sticks, though a more accomplished goalkeeper than Nelson Dida. Zambrotta’s legs have gone, and Gattuso seems a shadow of his former self and Jankulovski, for all his endeavour going forward, is very much a liability defensively.

With Klaas-Jan Huntelaar brought in and the possibility of a full-back on the horizon, I have become more of an optimist regarding Milan’s prospects this season, I may be a bit hasty after only one game, but there is definitely a good amount of ability and drive within the team, lets just hope injuries do not ruin the party.


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