Inter cannot rely on building an attack with Romelu Lukaku, Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martinez as that would expose Simone Inzaghi's side in defence.

That is the message from Milan legend Arrigo Sacchi, who compared the strategy to the plans of Real Madrid in the early 2000s when they assembled a team of attacking superstars.

The Los Blancos star-studded line-up included the likes of David Beckham, Ronaldo Nazario, Raul, Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane, but they went six straight seasons without winning a Champions League knockout tie between 2004 and 2010.

Inter are looking to knock fierce rivals Milan off the Serie A summit, with Inzaghi attempting to bring Lukaku back on loan from Chelsea, while Dybala seems set to join the Nerazzurri on a free transfer.

Lukaku fired Inter to Scudetto glory in 2020-21 and across his two-year spell, no Nerazzurri player scored more goals (64), provided more assists (17) or created as many chances (133) in all competitions.

Martinez was comfortably Inter's top Serie A scorer in the 2021-22 campaign, with his 21 goals eight ahead of nearest challenger Edin Dzeko, while Dybala scored the most league goals for Juventus (10).

Combining the trio may lead to additional firepower for Inzaghi, but Sacchi insists Inter must focus on balance as opposed to attacking riches.

"You don't make teams with statues," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I was at Real Madrid as director of football [in 2004-05] and they asked me to coach. Do you know what the attack was?

"Beckham, Raul, Ronaldo, Zidane, Figo. On the bench, we had [Fernando] Morientes and [Michael] Owen. It wasn't a team, it was a film but it lacked the plot.

"So I thanked the president but said no. To protect the defence we would have needed two defensive players with bullet-proof vests. Teams always need balance."

Sacchi also believes Lukaku, Martinez and Dybala would be unwilling to do the defensive work to help those behind them.

"You need a full team who are always active – in attack and in defence. You need to move, take part in the action, play together," he added.

"Then you can consider winning the ball back quickly when the opposition has it. If you give up three players to the opposition, it means there are only eight in defence rather than 11.

"The willingness and physical characteristics of the player are fundamental. I don't believe, but I could be wrong, that Lukaku, Martinez and Dybala have these qualities."

Arrigo Sacchi labelled Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid as "boring" and says the Spanish club should have spent money on changing their style of play.

Atleti have become famed for their organised, defensive set-ups in their 11 years under Simeone, and those tactics were again on show in Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Manchester City.

Simeone's team failed to muster a single shot in the Champions League quarter-final first leg, making them the first side to do so in the competition since APOEL against Real Madrid in March 2012.

Indeed, since such data was first recorded from 2003-04, there have been only four instances of a side failing to register at least one shot in a single match.

Simeone's tactics have led to plenty of success over the past decade, however, with Atleti winning eight trophies – including last season's LaLiga – while also reaching the Champions League final twice.

While Sacchi respects what the Argentine has achieved, the coaching legend cannot get on board with Atleti's style of play.

"Simeone has achieved many results in recent years," Sacchi, who coached Atleti for a brief spell in 1998-99, told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"There is no doubt that his experience as a player in Italy has influenced him as a coach.

"First of all, don't concede goals and then let's see what happens, let's rely on the talent of some individuals and hope for the best.

"It's true that Atletico have quality elements, but instead of buying players and spending a lot of money, they should have spent the money on changing their style.

"Let's face it: this way of playing is boring for the audience. The fans ask for beauty, they ask for emotions. What emotion can there be in a long ball?"

Atleti have averaged 50 per cent possession in LaLiga this season, which is outside the top 40 among teams across Europe's top five leagues.

For comparison, Man City lead that metric with 68 per cent of the ball per game on average in the Premier League, followed by Atleti's domestic rivals Barcelona (65 per cent).

Atleti's 11,033 successful passes in the Spanish top flight this season, meanwhile, is only the eighth-most, placing them behind the likes of Real Sociedad (11,204) and Celta Vigo (11,653).

Despite his reservations regarding the way Atleti are coached, Sacchi acknowledged that Simeone's men still have a good chance of overcoming City in next week's return fixture on home soil.

"We must be honest, the tie between the Spaniards and City is still open. Anything could happen in the second leg," he said.

"Atletico didn't have a single shot on goal, that's true, but it's not like City had a lot. Apart from [Kevin] De Bruyne's goal, which was beautiful in its build-up and execution, I don't remember many scoring chances.

"It was a challenge for them so it wasn't fun. Atletico didn't want to play football, but City had a duty to do something more to overcome the wall."

Arrigo Sacchi says Gianluigi Donnarumma made a mistake by turning his back on Milan to join Paris Saint-Germain, criticising him for "choosing the money".

Donnarumma left Milan after being lured to PSG on a five-year deal last July after his contract with the Serie A giants expired.

The Italy goalkeeper's start to life in France has not gone to plan, as he has only made 18 appearances for the Ligue 1 leaders.

Donnarumma was at fault for the first of three Karim Benzema goals as Real Madrid fought back from two goals down to knock PSG out of the Champions League with a dramatic 3-2 aggregate win on Wednesday.

Former Rossoneri and Italy head coach Sacchi believes Donnarumma should have stayed at Milan.

"He made a mistake in choosing the money," Sacchi told the Corriere della Sera. 

"I also told his father and mother, last summer, here in Milano Marittima. Stay at Milan not so much for gratitude, but because it was the ideal place to grow.

"Never leave the places where you feel good. But he remains a great champion, I have known him since he was little more than a child, in the youth national teams."

PSG's latest quest for Champions League glory ended at the round-of-16 stage and it came as no surprise to Sacchi.

He added: "It is not a project. As George Bernard Shaw said, football is the art of compressing universal history in 90 minutes. In football, as in life, talent is not enough. 

"Money is not enough. It is the group that wins, never the individual. The game and the organisation are like the plot for a writer and the score for a musician. 

"The secret of everything is ideas. Anytime, anywhere. And I see few ideas at PSG."

Arrigo Sacchi is not surprised Gianluigi Donnarumma was jeered on his return to San Siro after suggesting the Italy goalkeeper "betrayed" Milan by joining Paris Saint-Germain.

Donnarumma arrived at the Ligue 1 giants on a free transfer in July after reaching the end of his Milan contract and failing to agree fresh terms with his boyhood club.

The 22-year-old made 251 appearances for Milan between emerging through their youth ranks in 2015 at the age of 16 and departing for PSG three months ago.

Donnarumma's reluctance to sign a new deal at San Siro, thus meaning Milan received no transfer fee, angered some supporters of his former club.

A section of Milan fans inside San Siro made that frustration known when whistling the young keeper every time he touched the ball for Italy in last week's Nations League semi-final loss to Spain.

Azzurri head coach Roberto Mancini criticised the supporters who booed their former hero, but Milan great Sacchi can understand the reaction.

"I have never jeered anyone in my life, but at times people do go looking for these insults," he said at the Festival dello Sport event in Trento.

"Evidently, there was a betrayal. In football and in everyday life, betrayal has to be repaid in kind. So let's not be shocked by a few jeers."

 

Despite his young age, Donnarumma has already appeared 218 times in Serie A and Ligue 1 combined since making his Milan debut in October 2015.

Only Samir Handanovic (219) and Inaki Williams (220) have featured more regularly in Europe's top five leagues across that period.

Donnarumma has kept 72 clean sheets in those 218 league games and has a save percentage of 72.72.

Eleven others to have played at least 100 times in that timeframe rank higher in that metric than Donnarumma, with Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak (78.87) leading the way.

He earned his 38th cap for Italy in Sunday's 2-1 win over Belgium as the Azzurri finished third in the Nations League.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.