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The former Rossoneri legend told Goal Singapore that the club was short of quality players to compete with the best in Europe

By Bhas Kunju & Ahmad Khan

Former AC Milan forward Daniele Massaro was in Singapore this week for the official launch of the Milan Soccer School in Singapore.

Focussing on an all-rounded development of the students, the school is the fifth in East Asia, and has been operational since December.

Goal Singapore met up with Massaro who is currently the Public Relations Manager for the Rossoneri, in an exclusive interview at his hotel prior to the press conference announcing the launch of the school.

Despite winning the 1982 World Cup at the age of 21, Massaro never featured for the team in the competition although he was a key member of the 1994 World Cup runners-up, playing every game, including the final where he was one of three players to miss a penalty in the deciding shootout.

The 52-year-old, however, listed his brace against Barcelona in the 1994 Uefa Champions League final, as one of the top moments from his career.

"Winning my first Italian championship, the first Champions League, the first trophy in Tokyo {with Shimizu S-Pulse in the J-League); many many memories," he stated.

"The best is the two goals I scored in the Champions League against Barcelona. Tell me, how many players score two goals in the Champions League final? It made me very happy because there so many top players and I'm no top player, but I played for 10 years with AC Milan and I'm very happy to have scored in the Champions League."

When asked about his beloved Milan's current run of poor form, Massaro was frank in his opinion.
He recalled having won everything during his decade-long spell at the club, and even when the club faced problems, a top three finish in the league was always secured. The tenure of Carlos Ancelotti and Massimiliano Allegri also saw success he recalled.

"Now for the last two years, entering the Champions League has been very tough," he lamented.

"We started very badly in the league, and we changed the coach after 17 to 18 games. We tried with Clarence Seedorf [as manager] but the problem when you start the season very badly, is it becomes very difficult."

Apart from injuries to key players like Robinho, Stephan El Sharaawy and Giampaolo Pazzini curtailing Milan's season, Massaro pointed out that the club was badly in need of top players to compete with the best.

"The problem is if you don’t have top players, not only one or two, to win you need a whole team, a big group to try to win the Italian championship and to continue in the Champions League [will be difficult]," he told Goal. "AC Milan need new players for the top level."

Massaro, however, refused to be drawn into contemplating the future of Clarence Seedorf who took over AC Milan mid-season and has been able to steady the club of late. The former Dutch international retired from playing football while at Botafogo in Brazil, to take up the vacant managerial position at Milan following the sacking of Allegri.

"I never played with him (Seedorf), but I know him very well; it’s a new experience, a change in mentality, because one day you're playing on the pitch, and the next you're a coach" Massaro said. "It is completely different. Just taking over in the middle of the season, yes he is doing ok, but he has many responsibilities. I don’t know if it's best or not that next season [he stays as manager] because it’s not my decision."