AC Milan youngster Sandro Tonali has received great praise so far in his time at Milan. He has become an important piece in Pioli’s chessboard, as well as a fan favourite, with Pioli remarking that “in Italy, I don’t know how many young players are at that level, or who play with so much continuity, and now finally with so much clarity and quality”.
The 21-year-old playmaker joined his boyhood club on a permanent deal last season from Brescia. Despite only being at the start of his career, Tonali is already making a name for himself at the club, as both a talented player and a symbol for AC Milan.
With Tonali being dubbed one of the most promising talents in Italian football for the most part of his short career, there has been a lot of expectation on the young Italian’s shoulders. But former World Cup winner Franco Baresi is a big fan.
He told Skrill: “In recent months, the player that has impressed me the most for his growth and personality is Sandro Tonali.
“He is a young guy who is imposing himself, and I’m really happy because he’s a great lad too.”
The former Italy captain won 18 trophies during his time at the San Siro.
In his new book, Liberi di sognare (Free to Dream), Baresi has outlined his journey from a young 12-year-old boy joining AC Milan’s youth team to becoming one of the most coveted and influential figures in the club’s history.
He said: “Writing this book at 60 years of age and going back over my whole life, I tell the story of how I achieved so many things amid difficulties and adversity.
“It was emotional for me, and I hope for those who read it, it can be an inspiration to them.”
Known as one of the greatest players to grace a black and red shirt, if not the football pitch in general, he was awarded the prestigious Ambrogino d’Oro in 2021 – the highest honour given by the municipality of Milan.
Baresi said: “It surprised me when I saw that I was nominated and I was so happy and proud when I received the award because it means a lot.
“Doing something good for the city has made me very proud.”