Milan Primavera: Inheriting Milan's DNA

On Tuesday, Ignazio Abate and our Milan Primavera made history by progressing to the UEFA Youth League semifinals.  They defeated Atlético Madrid's Juvenil A side 2-0, which was ironically managed by a former Milan player as well. This is the first Milan side to make it to the semifinals, and only the third Italian side to ever do so. With the senior side moving on to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, it seems that the younger players are learning what it is like to truly be Milan players. With the help of past Milan players, our young players are inheriting Milan's DNA.

The Primavera side celebrate qualifying for the semifinal

Tuesday, Abate faced former teammate Fernando Torres, who is managing the Atléti youth side. Torres briefly played for Milan while Abate was still playing, and in fact, Abate assisted Torres' only Serie A goal during his stint at the club. Both players have gone on to managerial careers, and both of their youth teams play excellent football. 

Torres and Abate, former teammates, now opposition managers

Abate has not had the greatest success in the Primavera 1 league this year, as they have struggled near the bottom of the table and currently sit in 13th place of 18 teams. However, in his first season as manager of the Primavera, he has managed to get them to the semifinals of the UEFA Youth League. As someone who played in the Champions League, he has managed to inspire them and cultivate the heritage of European competition within these young players.

But there is more behind their success than just Abate's wisdom and experience. After the match, Abate spoke about Maldini's confidence when he was first hired. Maldini told the former fullback to believe, and that this team could fit perfectly in this competition. Maldini told him, "Trains only pass once, and you have to catch them." Just like he has with the rest of the club, Maldini's influence has filtered down into the youth sector as well.

Maldini's influence and Milan DNA extends throughout the entire club

The Primavera train at Milanello alongside the first team, and are influenced by watching champions like Ibrahimović train every day. The first team's success in the Champions League is a testament to the Milan DNA. Particularly when you compare their results of late in Serie A compared to their results in Europe. Even when they are struggling in the league, they manage to show up in the Champions League. Abate pointed out that it can be difficult to throw yourself back into the league after competing in Europe, and while he was speaking about his Primavera side, he likely was also referring to his experiences as a player in the first team, which could explain a lot about this season.

Inheriting Milan's DNA

Now that there are people who have lived the Milan experience as players who are leading and guiding the club, the Milan DNA is returning. Abate warned that his players are not necessarily ready for the first team, that they need to grow. But it is clear that things are improving throughout the club, and the youth sector is no exception. The Primavera are inheriting Milan's DNA.

Milan Primavera will face Hajduk Split in the semifinal in Nyon on April 21st.

The draw for the Champions League quarterfinals takes place on Friday, March 17th at 12:00pm CET (7am EDT in the U.S.)

This post inspired by the music of Muse's "Endlessly"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 27
Udinese vs. Milan
Saturday, March 18, 2023 • 20:45 CET (3:45pm EST*)
*Note the time difference due to Daylight Savings Time in the U.S.

Milan Primavera: Inheriting Milan's DNA Milan Primavera: Inheriting Milan's DNA Reviewed by Elaine on 12:59 AM Rating: 5
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