MILAN – This is what Milan great Gianni Rivera had to say to the club’s in-house TV station at the launch of his autobiography yesterday:
“The longest spell of my playing career was spent at Milan so it was only normal to choose red and black as the colours for the book. Alessandria gave a good account of themselves the other night and I don’t think they could have done any more. Milan weren’t as lively as Alessandria but the technical ability was far superior. We never used to celebrate and the reason why Balotelli doesn’t is something you have to ask him. The derby is the most important match of the season for teams from the same city and the match is always special regardless of the positions in the table. There will be a lot of tension which will also be passed on from the fans and it will be unpredictable.
“If they decided against retiring the Brazil no. 10 jersey then it shows there’s no need to retire numbers. Shirts shouldn’t be retired. Having said that, with the numbers nowadays going from 1-99 it can be done and even a goalkeeper can now wear the no. 10. Things have changed. At youth level, victories are thought of as more important than the players’ growth and they prefer to use players who are physically strong, ignoring the technical aspect. Sometimes they focus more on the image rather than the playing side but this is the way it is today and things were different in our days. Donnarumma appeared fairly calm to me, it’s important that he transmits a sense of calm to his team-mates. He has the characteristics to become a top-level goalkeeper and he has to keep doing what he has been doing.”