Pioli: ‘I would take the knee’

Milan coach Stefano Pioli says he would take the knee to support the Black Lives Matter movement and insists the Rossoneri ‘must not set limits for themselves.’

There was controversy during the Euros as only five Italian players took the knee before their game against Wales. The FIGC announced later that the Azzurri would kneel before the Belgium clash, out of respect for their opponents, but without sharing the BLM campaign.

“I would take the knee,” Pioli said in an interview with Il Fatto Quotidiano.

The Rossoneri have begun their pre-season at Milanello and will play in the Champions League for the first time in seven years.

“We must not set limits for ourselves, but it will be a difficult season because there will be seven teams fighting for the top four,” the coach said.

“Strangely, the spark between us was born in the Zoom meetings during the first lockdown.

“We took the time to get to know each other, we talked about our lives. Not just about football. That’s how this group was born.

“The group is crucial, Italy won the Euros because you could see the team spirit in their eyes. You don’t win with tactics, you win by putting the group ahead of yourself.

“Ibrahimovic has helped me a lot, he is an example in everything he does. He demands the best from himself and the others. Zlatan and Simon [Kjaer] have changed the team, not just technically, but especially in the moral sense.”

The Rossoneri announced their CEO Ivan Gazidis has been diagnosed with throat cancer and Pioli says everybody at Milan ‘supports him.’

“His strength is our strength, we are proud of being part of his family. He will recover and we are looking forward to having him with us,” Pioli said.