The Maldini Derby: A Family Affair

Today, Milan began their string of summer friendlies with a 6-0 win in the Maldini Derby. Daniel Maldini's Milan faced off against Christian Maldini's Serie B side Pro Sesto in a match behind closed doors at Milanello. As if that wasn't enough, simultaneously, Paolo Maldini was busy helping Pioli gather his family for the next season. Giroud was officially announced today, Brahim returned on loan just in time to sit next to our technical director to watch the match, and Ballo-Touré took his medicals. It was a very busy day, especially for the Maldini family.

An assist for the younger brother

The match was very much a preseason friendly, with Pioli starting his A team with his best players currently available: Tatarusanu; Gabbia, Tomori, Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez, Tonali, Bennacer; Castillejo, Daniel Maldini, Krunic; and Leao.

Bennacer opened the scoring after recovering from foot surgery

Although Daniel Maldini got the first shot off, it was wide. The goals in the first half were scored by Bennacer with an assist from Theo Hernandez, then Leao with an assist from Daniel Maldini, and finally Castillejo with an assist from Bennacer. I'm not gonna lie, it pulled at the heart strings to see Christian Maldini wearing his father's number 3, even if the jersey was the wrong colors.

Everything is better when Leao smiles

The second half, Pioli introduced a completely different lineup, made up of young players, including players back from loans or Primavera players. The lineup was Plizzari; Conti, Stanga, Caldara, Kerkez; Di Gesù, Pobega, Roback; Capone, Hauge; Colombo.

Capone had probably the most attempts, but all misses

Capone opened up the second half by missing a completely open goal, then proceeding to miss at least a half dozen shots throughout the half. The Primavera account announced his renewal until 2024 immediately after the match... maybe not the best timing. Hauge frustratingly did not get a goal, hitting the woodwork, sending in a corner for Roback that hit the woodwork... you get the idea. Roback was also unlucky, scoring a goal called back for offside.

Unlucky in this match, but Milan would be unlucky to lose him, too

Pobega was really great, and thought he had scored a goal from a rebound of a great shot, but it was credited as an own goal by Fasolini. Kerkez, the young Hungarian left back scored a brace in the final two minutes to finish the match at 6-0 Milan.

Would love for Pobega to stay, too

The Serie A calendar has been drawn, so we know the battles that we are facing. Milan have a tough start, and will face an even tougher start to the beginning of 2022, right when Kessie and Bennacer will likely be away on international duty playing in the Africa Cup of Nations. But maybe this family can repeat some of the magic of the last two seasons.

Kerkez truly emulating Theo with a brace in the final minutes

Milan have committed around €60 million so far in the mercato, with more reported to be on the way. The reinforcements are very encouraging as we head into our most exciting and challenging season in a long time. The best part is, we have the continuity of Pioli. Despite many exciting coaching changes in Serie A, he brings something to the table that no one else does: a true sense of family. With Maldini as our technical director as well, continuing the Milan and Maldini Dynasty, this season is kicking off to be a family affair.

This post inspired by the music of Muse's "Feeling Good"

Our next match is a friendly
Nice vs. Milan
Saturday, July 31 • 21:00 CEST (3pm EDT)

The Maldini Derby: A Family Affair The Maldini Derby: A Family Affair Reviewed by Elaine on 11:19 AM Rating: 5
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