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Sunday, December 30, 2012
Maldini: Milan magic has been lost

ESPN staff

Former AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini has condemned the club's current state, claiming "the magic was lost" when the Rossoneri's rich history became less significant.

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Maldini, 44, spent 25 seasons at Milan, winning the Champions League five times and claiming seven Serie A titles during his successful career.

But Massimiliano Allegri's men currently sit in seventh-place after a stuttered start to the season and Maldini believes Milan have lost their prestige over the last year.

"I was fortunate enough to be with Milan for 25 splendid years. When I arrived, I found a great foundation to build a great club," Maldini told La Repubblica. "President Silvio Berlusconi came and taught us to think big, also of course with his investments.

"Arrigo Sacchi followed and we had the mentality that we'd become the symbol of a style of football. It was something magical. Slowly, the magic was lost and Milan transformed into an absolutely normal club.

"That's because Milan stopped transmitting that message and those who had written the history of the club stopped teaching their knowledge to the next generation. There is nobody in the current Milan setup who wrote history, other than those in marginal roles."

A number of changes in the summer forced Milan to focus on a long-term plan, although Maldini insists they are not on the right path.

"It is difficult to evaluate the planning of this Milan side, as over the summer they released 12 players of great character and still didn't expect a difficult start to the season," Maldini said. "In all honesty, I can't see what their plans are. Choosing certain players, even if they are on free transfers, looks a world away from a specific plan."

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