Don’t You Wish This Was About Montoleader?

I’ve been waiting for the right time to pop up with some new writing, and I think we’ve found the right occasion. Every time I was going to talk about how pleased I was with a transfer, or a potential exit (Montoleader) – something paused me. It’s an incomplete picture, this Milan side, and it didn’t seem prudent of me to hop in and speculate midway through the project.

What would I say? It’s going well. I like the signings? You’ve read this dozens of other places. There’s no new insight. I don’t have anything you would take away from reading this that you couldn’t surmise on your own, or have someone spoon feed you on the latest “how the tactics shift” piece with each new arrival. That being said, who doesn’t read those?

Today is different because Gigio Donnarumma decided not to renew his contract expiring at the end of this coming season, and is by all reports, heading to Real Madrid. The formula for how this will go is yet to be defined, but the premise seems clear – Madrid pay a transfer fee and get him now, or he spends a year in the stands as Milan utilize a player with a future at the club. If I were to speculate, I’d say he leaves for a transfer fee that is flipped to reinforce another part of the squad, but that’s really not of importance for this piece.

I’m not going to go (too far) in the direction of “so what does this mean for football as a whole?” because you can think about that and come to the conclusions after not too long. There’s a reason there’s a reverance for Del Piero, Totti, Zanetti, and Maldini – and it’s not just because they were all quality players. They were all apart of the same moment in time, and whether or not you think that exists today probably shouldn’t be decided based on any one individual example.

We could talk about the fact that Donnarumma hired Mino Raiola, and you can almost certainly guess what that means. The thing is, with regards to Milan, that hasn’t been the case until now. Bonaventura renewed before meeting the new owners. Abate has been at the club, minus some loan spells, since he was a kid.

There are 3 camps for who is to blame: Raiola, Raiola & Donnarumma, or football as a whole has just changed. Firstly, Raiola doesn’t just whisk Donnarumma out on a magic carpet if he doesn’t want to leave, which makes the GQ interview about getting a house downtown seem all the more bizarre. You don’t leave Milan unless there’s a specific club in mind – so Mino has already had contacts with Real Madrid. At what point did Donnarumma come to the decision to leave? Before or after the Juventus match?

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I, like everyone else, did stupid shit I regretted later as an adult when I was 18, and I’m sure he’ll regret how this exit was managed in the end, but it’s hard to see how this could have been done amicably. Surely there could have been a smoother touch applied to the proceedings.

Milan have won with some truly terrible goalkeepers before, and I’m sure they will in the future. If Donnarumma doesn’t want to be here, that’s fine, see you later. You have to choose to stay with one club and it’s a decision that comes back almost every year, ask Maldini, ask Pirlo, ask Totti.

I know it hurts to lose a player who kissed the badge, who seemed to love the club, who you thought would be here for the rest of his career. Things aren’t always what you thought they were, and in sports, where your lifetime earnings is compressed into such a short window that can be over at any moment, I can’t fault someone for doing what they think is best for them. I understand it and I can respect the decision. It’s just that those players don’t often write history at a club like Milan, and Donnarumma will have to start from scratch somewhere else. Milan’s story continues with Donnarumma as a small bright spot during a dark era.

Forza Milan

About Pete Acquaviva

Pete writes about Milan on this blog. Occasionally other things. You would know which of them it is if you've gotten this far.

2 Thoughts on “Don’t You Wish This Was About Montoleader?

  1. Gupta Gautama on June 15, 2017 at 3:48 PM said:

    Were you conflicted while writing this? I mean, you seemed poise and not at all upset. Or maybe the anger has settled that’s why you could write this. Nevertheless, it’s always nice to read yours, Pete.

    • Pete Acquaviva on June 15, 2017 at 5:58 PM said:

      I was upset for a little while, but in the end – like the last bit talks about – it’s back in context

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