AC Milan has been waiting for this since 2011. But it's done: the club is back at the top of Italian football, with a 19th league title officially won on Sunday evening.
With a clear victory against Sassuolo (3-0), the Rossoneri put an end to the tremendous suspense that accompanied the championship this year: they concluded the sprint with 16 games without defeat in a row and are two points ahead of the Milanese rival, the 'Inter.
Rather than Juventus, sent back to its first season without a title for 11 years, than Inter, defending champion with the best squad on paper, or than Naples, still stuck in the Maradona era, it is therefore this Reborn Milan with a strong French accent (Giroud, Maignan, Hernandez, Kalulu among others) who won the day.
Zlatan already present in 2011
During the last title of Italian champion of the "Diavolo", the club still belonged to Silvio Berlusconi.
It was he who made it a giant of European football for 30 years (1986-2017), with stars, attacking play and titles galore.
But since then, the star of the Rossoneri had faded, the coaches had succeeded at a frenetic pace, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, present for the 2011 title, had probably not recognized the club when he returned in January 2020.
But Ibra flourished in a role of link between this great forgotten Milan and the new one who was looking for himself, by sheltering under his broad shoulders a new generation of players like Théo Hernandez, Rafael Leao or Sandro Tonali... He will have been the relay on the field and in the locker room of coach Stefano Pioli, who arrived on the bench without a record at the head of a team adrift in October 2019.
Ibrahimovic repeated day after day that Milan should aim for the title and nothing else.
No way for him to rejoice in the second place obtained last year.
And he ended up convincing everyone!
In addition to Ibra's weight, another experienced striker, Olivier Giroud, will have made a major contribution to the company with, in addition to his capital double on Sunday (for his 10th and 11th goals of the season in Serie A), his two goals in the derby in February (2-1).
Inter never recovered.
Finally, this triumph is also that of Paolo Maldini, hailed for his clever and visionary recruitment, focused on youth, in a role of sports director endorsed in June 2019 after the departure of Leonardo.
A club for sale
With this title, the club could change hands.
Elliott Management took over AC Milan in 2018 somewhat by chance, because its previous owner, Chinese businessman Li Yonghong, had been unable to repay a loan.
This American fund has never hidden the fact that its objective was a medium-term resale, once the accounts have been cleaned up and sports credibility has been regained, which will have been done in just four years.
The time could therefore have come for Elliott to make his investment grow (740 million euros since 2018, according to the Italian press) by selling this club, which has become attractive again.
The potential buyers are, according to several media, an investment fund based in Bahrain, Investcorp, but also the American investment fund RedBird Capital Partners.
All for an amount that would exceed one billion euros.
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