Ancelotti feels Ronaldo loss
Carlo Ancelotti concedes he must shelve his squad rotation against Fiorentina with the news that Ronaldo will be out for at least a fortnight.
“This injury does irritate me a little,” confessed the Milan Coach. “It’s a shame as he was on good form, now he must sit out some crucial games. I hope he can play again this season, even if he will be out for at least 15 days, as a muscular problem needs time to heal.”
Il Fenomeno pulled up during training with a thigh strain and, although more tests are needed, he will be sidelined for between two and four weeks.
With Paolo Maldini injured and Alberto Gilardino suspended, this means Ancelotti cannot rotate the squad the way he wanted to against Fiorentina on Sunday.
“The tactical system we use without Ronaldo will depend on the individual games and how we want to play. I don’t think we will modify our approach, though.”
Pippo Inzaghi is expected to start, just as he did in the midweek 3-0 Champions League demolition of Manchester United.
“Gennaro Gattuso picked up a knock he has not yet fully recovered from. It’s difficult to get him fit for Sunday, but not impossible. It will be either Ricardo Oliveira or Inzaghi upfront, not both together.”
So Kaka is confirmed in his new position as a support striker with Clarence Seedorf as Trequartista in Serie A as well as Europe.
“Tomorrow’s match is decisive to secure fourth place and the sooner we do that, the better we can prepare for the Final in Athens,” said Ancelotti.
“Fiorentina have had a great season and without the Calciopoli penalty we have more or less the same number of points. They are to consider a remarkable squad with real potential upfront, but after Manchester I saw confidence in my players.”
The Viola are weakened by the absence of Luca Toni, who has not even made the trip to San Siro due to an ankle injury.
“Giampaolo Pazzini is one of the quality youngsters coming through and is proving his worth as a top striker.”
Inevitably, the Rossoneri’s attention is already creeping towards Athens, where they will face Liverpool in a repeat of the 2005 Champions League Final, lost on penalties after leading 3-0.
“In 2005 we arrived at the final stages of the season completely drained, but this year we have improved our fitness levels at the right time,” explained the boss.
“What happened in Istanbul was a unique event, it never happened before and never will again. I don’t just remember the 3-3 result, but also the performance in which Milan dominated for 114 of the 120 minutes.”
Milan have struggled in Serie A though and rivals Inter stoked the fire by pointing out they won both the derbies 4-3 and 2-1.
“So? I’d say it was about time, because if you look at the statistics then in the last few years we had always won. Inter had to get a look in eventually,” smiled Ancelotti.The official club website joined in by listing the recent record, including three derbies won in 2004-05 between Serie A and the Champions League quarter-finals.