Bienvenue

Milan players who competed at the Euro tournament will train for the first time this season at Milanello. That includes the return of Kjaer and Rebić as well as the first time in training for Giroud and Maignan. Half a world away, Kessié and Kalulu are competing for their national teams at the Tokyo Olympics. The rest of the squad faced Serie C side Modena in a friendly on Saturday. So today is either about: that was... something, see you again soon, welcome back, or Bienvenue.


Benvenuto a Milanello

With Serie A kicking of in four weeks and a few more friendlies on the horizon, Pioli will be grateful, I'm sure to see Rebić and Kjaer return to training. In response to questions about Kjaer inheriting the captaincy, he insisted that Romagnoli will still be the captain. But he also said that together, they would establish vice-captains. That left much speculation about the Danish defender being one of them after his life-saving heroics while playing for Denmark.

Everyone will be excited to welcome the two latest French players to the squad. Giroud is a 34 year-old veteran striker who is tried and true, and an out and out striker like we have needed for so long. He was brought in with much effort and minimal cost to address the issues we had last season with Ibrahimovic missing over half of the matches. Fans have been looking forward to his arrival almost as much as the media has written about it all calendar year.


Not sure if guilty or bystander, but 7 goals is a lot to concede in 2 matches.

Maignan was infamously brought in to replace the wantaway Donnarumma. As the Goalkeeper of the Year in Ligue 1 this past season, he should be quite a good signing. Watching Gigio Donnarumma be the first goalkeeper to ever win the Player of the Tournament at the UEFA Euro 2020 means that he will have some very large shoes to fill, both literally and metaphorically. But if you've watched his Instagram feed recently, you'll see he's pretty badass in his own right.

The rest of the squad played a friendly at Milanello on Saturday, winning 5-0 to Serie C side Modena. All of the goals came in the first half, when Pioli put his best available eleven on the pitch. It was clearly very hot and late in the afternoon, but aside from the performances of a few starters and some pretty goals, Milan really should have done better. Particularly in the second half, when Pioli tried gradually easing in more of the young or bench players rather than throwing them all on at halftime. Oh, and we saw the first of Ballo-Touré. He may need to toughen up a bit and look to the ref for calls a lot less in Italy.


Always listen to the President

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Kessié is impressing for Côte d'Ivoire, scoring the winner in their first match against Saudi Arabia. However, Sunday saw them draw against Brazil, with both teams finishing on ten men. Brazil are the reigning Olympic champions, but next up, Côte d'Ivoire will face Germany on Wednesday. They currently sit in second in Group D, just behind Brazil on goal differential. A good set of results on Wednesday could see them advance.

Kalulu has played both matches so far for France. Their first was a brutal 4-1 loss to Mexico. They redeemed themselves against South Africa, coming from behind three times to win 4-3 on Sunday. But that means they have conceded seven goals, more than any other men's team in the tournament. They will face Japan on Wednesday, and will need a lot of goals and probably a miracle to pull ahead of Japan and Mexico and out of their current third place standing in Group A to advance.


Oops times 7...

Both Olympic athletes are reported to return to Milan immediately after the games end on August 8th, just two very short weeks before the season starts. So if you think that it's all transfer rumors and armchair coaches arguing about potential starting elevens right now, think again. There is some football being played, a couple of heroes returning, and a couple of shiny new players to watch both highlight and training videos of. Bienvenue.


This post inspired by the music of Cake's "Short Skirt/Long Jacket"


Our next match is a friendly
Nice vs. Milan
Saturday, July 31 • 20:30 CEST (3:30pm EDT)


Bienvenue Bienvenue Reviewed by Elaine on 11:45 PM Rating: 5
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