‘AC Milan are Barcelona’s biggest challengers – not Real Madrid’

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani believes the Serie A holders are not far behind Barcelona after their exploits in Europe

adriano galliani
Barcelona finished ahead of AC Milan in Champions League Group H Photo: kartellpeople, via Flickr

adriano galliani

AC Milan are close to competing on the same level as Champions League holders Barcelona, according to the Italian club’s vice-president.

The defending Serie A champions took on Barcelona in the Champions League group stage and managed a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou, before the Spanish side sealed a thrilling 3-2 victory at the San Siro in the return game.

And Adriano Galliani is convinced that Milan are the biggest challengers to Barcelona’s dominance of European football – not Real Madrid.

“We’re not far behind Barcelona,” Galliani told Gazzetta dello Sport. “It seems to me that the team that has given [Pep] Guardiola the most problems in this first part of the season wasn’t Real Madrid, but rather my AC Milan.

“[Milan coach Massimiliano] Allegri has done very well. He managed to immediately find the right affinity. I know many AC Milan players who were with me in the national team. We often talk and they all tell me positive things about Allegri.

“I don’t think it’s a problem for him to manage the big players that are at the club. A great atmosphere has been created between him and the dressing room.

“It’s true that the players who take to the pitch win the games with their class, but it’s the coach who creates the right conditions to send them onto the pitch with the right psychological harmony.”

Meanwhile, Galliani vowed Milan would continue their pursuit of wantaway Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez, despite the Premier League side rejecting a loan offer for the Argentina international from the Serie A giants.

“I promised Carlos Tevez that I would wait until the end, until the last day of the transfer market,” Galliani added.

“It all depends on the English. We made our offer, a cost-free loan with the right of purchase, and we’re not going to change it. They refused it, but wouldn’t be the first time that a club has done that only to come back after a month and accept it.”

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