After eleven months of waiting for the sale of the club and three frantic months of new ownership and incredible transfers, Milan will embark on their new adventure on the pitch. Not just paperwork and purchases, the actual football that we’ve all been dreaming off. Will we get the football of our dreams? Highly unlikely that it will be anything close to what we want, considering they’ve only been training together for six days. And some of the players who had national team duty haven’t even joined the squad yet. But every journey has a beginning, and for Milan’s return to beautiful football, let’s hope that journey begins in Lugano.

Ready to take the first step towards playing like Milan again

The team travel tonight to Lugano, Switzerland, to face the Swiss Super League’s FC Lugano. The team have not always been in the Swiss first tier league, and in fact, they were just promoted again two years ago. They finished third last year, though, and are thus going to be competing in the Europa League just like Milan. Also notable, they were coached by the Czech smoking and coaching legend, Zdenek Zeman. They also currently have a Mihajlovic in their squad, one Dragan Mihajlovic, so they have that level of awesome going for them. However, they haven’t won the Swiss Super League since the 1948-49 season, so they still have work to do. Even more importantly, though, they knocked Inter out of the UEFA Cup in the 1995-96 season, so they have my full respect for that.

But enough about them. How about Milan? That’s my favorite subject to talk about lately. Although we won’t see quite all of them tonight, Milan have brought in Kessie, Rodriguez, Musacchio, Andre Silva, Calhanoglu, Conti, and for laughs, Borini. Revolutionizing a squad that was almost literally held together with duct tape the past few years, now Milan have players that people have heard of and want to watch.

The winemaker looks out upon his vineyard

Speaking of watching, gone are the days of following some account to hear how the friendly went or maybe searching for illegal streams if it was televised. The new management are going to embark on the football part of their journey with… what is it called? Oh yeah, technology. They are very social media savvy, and so the game will be broadcast via Milan TV, their Facebook page, and also via Weibo for our growing Chinese fans:

Finally management that understand if you are going to invest in a product, you might want to make that product available to your customers. Imagine that? You won’t have to, because tonight, it will finally be a reality. I can’t wait to see what they do longterm to bring the football to the fans.

So tonight we get to see some of our new players. And unfortunately some of our old, too. For example, as of this writing, we literally have one goalkeeper, Storari. Antonio Donnarumma is taking his medicals as I type and Gigio Donnarumma is spending his last precious hours with his girlfriend on a much needed holiday in Ibiza. Both are expected to sign contracts tomorrow. I assume Montella will pack a Primavera keeper in his bags just in case, or maybe since it’s just a friendly, our new Team Manager, Abbiati (who is actually six months younger than Storari,) can suit up. Conti and Silva are still on vacation after their respective national team duties, and I think they may join the squad tomorrow or soon thereafter. But Bonaventura and Abate are back from their injuries, and it will be exciting to see the players who travel to Switzerland.

Someone else is excited, too

One thing is for sure, if Raduno was a Starting Point for the team, tonight, the guys officially embark on their football journey. Even if it is just a friendly. The lineups and new purchases may show How Far We’ve Come, even if the football is likely to still be shaky. Despite the eternally inexplicable presence of Montolivo, our midfield should look significantly better. And certainly the fans are more excited than we’ve been in years. So it is with captivated hearts that we look to the trip to Lugano as the first stop on a journey of dreams. Dreams that are more likely to come true than any that we’ve had in some time. Time to begin, to embark.

This post inspired by the music of Blink 182’s “First Date”

Lugano vs. Milan
Tuesday, July 11 • 19:00 CEST (1pm EDT)
This match will be broadcast on Milan TV, the AC Milan Facebook page, and via Weibo


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