Milan have won the award as Serie A Team of the Season, with director Paolo Maldini explaining it is ‘an honour to represent this great club,’ even if he suffers more in the stands than he did on the pitch.
The Rossoneri upset the odds to take the Scudetto last term, ending an 11-year wait for the title and pipping city rivals Inter to the post in the final round of the season.
Stefano Pioli was named Coach of the Season, Mike Maignan Best Goalkeeper and Milan got the Team of the Season award at tonight’s Gran Gala del Calcio, the Italian version of the PFA Awards.
Director Maldini went to accept this award on stage and continues to embody the Milan image worldwide.
“It is an honour for me to represent this great club, which wrote football history and helped many players to flourish. It is a club of value and of values,” said Maldini, whose father Cesare also lifted the European Cup as captain before him.
“Both as player and director, football is about passion and that is the basis of our success. We make decisions every day and know we are responsible for the future of these lads. At times we forget that they are still lads, and I know more than most because my son was in the squad, as well as remembering what it was like being a 20-year-old in Serie A.
“I am fortunate enough to watch all the training sessions, along with (fellow director Frederic) Massara and we keep an eye on what is needed, try to intervene daily in the right way. No two days are identical, that’s the joy of our profession.”
However, when asked if he suffered more as a player or a director, there was no comparison.
“It’s much worse suffering behind a desk, at least on the field you get to run around and let that energy out.”
Theo Hernandez also won the award for Serie A Goal of the Season thanks to his coast-to-coast run against Atalanta.