- Paolo Maldini has hit out at his old club AC Milan after he was sacked in June
- The former technical director added the reasons for sacking him were ‘weak’
- We expected perfection from VAR – we haven’t got it: Listen to It’s All Kicking Off
Paolo Maldini has spoken out for the first time since AC Milan fired him as their technical director, claiming that their reasons for sacking him ‘were a little weak’ before adding his former side ‘have no real respect for the club’s identity’.
A legend of the club, Maldini won three Champions League titles with the Rossoneri as a player, during a 24-year career at the club in which he made 901 appearances and scored 33 goals.
After hanging up his boots, the 55-year-old had taken up an executive role at the club, before being appointed as their technical director in 2019, but his position came under scrutiny in the past 18 months, after several signings had failed to perform.
Mail Sport understands that the former defender had a tense conversation with the club’s owner Gerry Cardinale before he was dismissed, with Maldini now opening up on those conversations in an interview with La Repubblica.
‘Cardinale told me and [Ricky] Massara (Milan’s former sporting director) that we were fired,’ Maldini said to the Italian outlet.
Paolo Maldini has spoken out for the first time on AC Milan’s decision to sack him as a technical director
Gerry Cardinal, Milan’s owner, decided to dismiss the Milan legend earlier this summer, with Maldini claiming his motives for the sacking ‘were a little bit weak’
A legend of the club, Maldini won three Champions Leagues with AC Milan in a 24-year career in which he went on to become the club’s leading appearance maker
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‘I asked him why and he told me I had a bad relationship with [the CEO Giorgio] Furlani. So I said: ‘Did I ever call you to complain about him?’ I never did.
‘In a year I had only one chat with him [Cardinale] and got four messages. He said we should trust each other. I trusted him. We all know how that went.
‘I believe that the decision to fire Massara and me had been made many months before. And in hindsight I am forced to reconsider the relationship with some people who worked with me and who certainly, I find it difficult to imagine otherwise, were already aware of that decision.’
Milan reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2023 but were beaten by city rivals Inter 3-0 on aggregated.
But despite not reaching the final, Malidini claimed their European cup run helped generate £60million for the football club and added that his side had exceeded what was expected of them.
‘We went far beyond the sporting result, it was impossible to accuse me of not having achieved our objectives,’ he added.
His sacking came after he and Massara were recognised for their achievements winning the sporting director of the year award at the 2022 Globe Soccer Awards.
Maldini gave an insight into his former side’s endeavours to sign Lionel Messi, claiming it was a ‘feasible operation’
Maldini (R) has now given an indication of where his future lies, with the former AC Milan defender open to a move to Saudi Arabia
Maldini has previously spoken on his attempts to lure Lionel Messi to the club and again confirmed that his side had thought about bringing the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner to the Serie A.
He claimed that it was a ‘feasible operation’ and was ‘worth it’ but admitted that they missed out to Paris Saint-Germain who had got to the Argentina star first.
As for his next position, while he is a co-owner at Miami FC, the Milan legend has flatly ruled out a move to another Italian side, but indicated he could be interested in a move to Saudi Arabia.
‘For my job, the alternatives to Milan are very limited. I could never go to another Italian team, possibly I would only evaluate the offer of a high-level foreign team. I like winning and building. [Saudi] Arabia could be a stimulating option, who knows.’