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MN: From protests to praise

Stefano Pioli has been on quite the journey as Milan manager so far and it took its biggest step on Sunday with the Scudetto win.

MilanNews recall how back on 9 October 2019 the Rossoneri announced that Pioli was the man chosen to replace Marco Giampaolo, and his time at the club did not start in the best way.

First the hashtag #PioliOut circulated on social media, then Zvonimir Boban left due to a disagreement with CEO Ivan Gazidis and it became apparent it was over the Ralf Rangnick saga, who was lined up to replace Pioli.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return in January 2020 brought enthusiasm back and while Covid came along to slow what the team were building, it actually served as a time to work on the ideas but also the unity of the group. An amazing post-lockdown run was enough to earn a contract renewal and fend off the Rangnick rumours.

Over the last couple of seasons the former Inter, Lazio and Fiorentina boss has had to deal with a number of different injury crises and this campaign there have been some terrible refereeing decisions, but at the age of almost 57 he has his first trophy as a club.

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After a total of 767 games in charge (136 of which are with Milan), Pioli can finally hoist a major honour above his head, and the fans too can celebrate with him after 11 years of suffering. Pioli is a coach who entered the history of Milan from the back door, but now he seems irreplaceable.

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