AC Milan coach says he welcomes Berlusconi comments on team

Reuters, Tuesday 19 Feb 2013

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said he welcomed suggestions on team selection and tactics from club president Silvio Berlusconi, adding his team would not be Champions League "sacrificial lambs" against Barcelona

Allegri and Berlusconi
Massimiliano Allegri (L) and Silvio Berlusconi (R) (photo: Reuters)

Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi regularly comments on team selection, something which would be frowned upon at many clubs.

His latest idea was that Milan should man-mark Lionel Messi in Wednesday's round-of-16 first leg tie at San Siro.

"I have sat down and talked to the president about the game," Allegri told reporters. "As always, he put forward his ideas and thoughts, which are sometimes brilliant and well thought out, and they are well-received.

"I will try to put the best formation onto the pitch so we can get a good result, which is what counts," added Allegri.

Milan, who held a firesale of their top players at the end of last season to try and cut costs, are seven-times European champions but are building a new team with young players and are rank outsiders in the round-of-16 tie.

"Milan-Barcelona means we are facing the best team in the world but I do not accept that in the last two weeks everyone has been making us out to be the sacrificial lamb," said the coach.

Milan met Barcelona in the group stage and quarter-finals last season and failed to win any of their four matches, with two draws and two wins for the Catalans.

"In the last two years we have played well against Barcelona," said Allegri, who is in his third season at San Siro and won the Serie A title at the first attempt.

"We know that at the moment they are the best team in the world but we have to try and create the elements to go through to the next round, although we know that whoever they play against they have an average of 65 percent possession.

"We have to try and limit their possession, making them less dangerous because they are so dangerous when they go forward," added the coach, who is famous for giving little away.

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