Ranking as a child, history as a big one: Milan's run-up to the top of Europe

“We will be back to greatness slowly also in the international field”, assured Baresi. The distance from the top teams in the Champions League is still considerable, but the Rossoneri’s project is ambitious

“It’s time to leave Bruges to continue my growth in a bigger club,” said long-time AC Milan goalkeeper Noa Lang recently. Paradoxically, if he were to rely on the Uefa ranking to choose the new team, Milan would not be a possible destination for the Dutchman: the Belgian Nerazzurri – for which the highly courted De Ketelaere is also registered – have a score of 38,500, the Devil is a share 38,000. It is a fact that leaves the time it finds, with all evidence: Milan’s ranking is so low because it has re-tasted Europe that only recently counts, there is no comparison with the history (albeit very respectable) of a club. like Bruges. But it gives the idea of ​​how long the climb that the Italian champions must make to return permanently to the continental nobility.

First band

“We will return to greatness slowly also in the international field”, said Franco Baresi, Milan legend and today ‘club ambassador’ yesterday. Words that emanate a more than understandable trust, after the championship feat accomplished by Stefano Pioli and his men. The key, however, is not to neglect that “slowly”. Because it will take time to reach the level of the top teams in the Champions League. Having triumphed in Serie A, Milan in the 2022-23 group stage draw will have a seat in the first pot together with Real Madrid, Manchester City, Bayern, Psg, Porto, Ajax and Eintracht Frankfurt. Curiously, however, waiting for the 2 teams that will arrive from the League Path and the 4 that will join the Champions Path, at the moment the Rossoneri have the penultimate ranking of the qualifiers in the groups. Only Celtic are down with 33,000, a long way from Bayern leading with 138,000.

Path

Leaving aside the coefficients, Milan have nothing to envy to their Champions rivals from a historical point of view (only Real Madrid has raised the cup several times), but they have a long way to go both in terms of sport and economics. The difference in stadium revenues with English clubs, with Barça or Madrid is not the only aspect to keep an eye on: the total turnover of Milan is growing but remains far from the levels of clubs such as Manchester City or PSG, who never sat on the throne of Europe. In a similar scenario, the distance cannot be bridged by resorting to heavy market strikes: RedBird intends to continue on the sustainable model of Elliott management – which not surprisingly has remained as a partner of the new owners – and therefore Pioli will receive reinforcements, yes, but without endanger accounts and balance sheets. Instead, it is the overall project that convinces. And to give hope. A continuous ascent, step by step. Slowly, as Baresi warns. And not having to face a group with Liverpool, Atletico and Porto anymore – as happened in the return season in the Champions League – will help improve results on the pitch, making qualifying for the knockout stage a less difficult goal to hit.

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