Milan’s Paolo Maldini has revealed that he is finding derby preparation “stressful” compared to when he was a player.
Maldini is preparing for his third Derby della Madonnina as a member of the Rossoneri’s board, and he admits it is a far cry from when he captained the club as a player.
“It’s always a great thrill, but I must say that, thank God, the importance of this derby isn’t greater than the importance of winning something this season,” the 51-year-old told Milan TV.
“In other cities, the derby is even more important because the two teams involved have never reached higher objectives than a single match.
“I’ve played in a lot of them, I think more than 50, and they were all a bit different. I didn’t play the first ones at 100 percent because the tension, at 16, 17 or 18, is rather difficult to manage.
“They were more difficult than those I played at 35, 36 years old. In all these derbies, there were various emotions, but perhaps the most exciting of all were the Champions League ones: to win a semi-final played over six days, qualify for the Final and then win the cup…
“They were probably the most intense ones. The difference between playing in one and experiencing it as a director is huge.
“You don’t play the game. Therefore, you don’t prepare to play it but rather to watch it.
“In terms of stress, watching the game has much more of an effect than playing it. At least by playing it, you can vent your instincts, fears and concerns.”
— AC Milan (@acmilan) September 13, 2019