AC Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini believes the criticism directed at his stuttering side will only serve as extra motivation with the Rossoneri looking to break out of their slump at home to FC Zürich in Group C.
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It is not easy to replace the legendary Paolo Maldini as captain of AC Milan, but Massimo Ambrosini is determined to rise to the challenge. The Rossoneri were held to a goalless draw by AS Bari on Sunday and the 32-year-old has called on his side to put that disappointment behind them against FC Zürich in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. "We want to show everybody that this team, these players, can still do well and achieve something important," he said.
The former Italian international, who returned against Bari after a knee injury, led the seven-times European champions to a 2-1 victory in their first Group C match at Olympique de Marseille a fortnight ago. Now he is intent on taking another three points to help restore the smile to fans' faces. "Of course when the results are not good everybody is disappointed and the supporters start complaining, it's normal," the midfielder added, "and when things do not work everybody looks for the reason. Some say it's because of the age of the players, or because some players play too much. But the criticism just provides us with extra motivation."
'Keep on fighting'
The hosts will be without injured striker Marco Borriello, but with Filippo Inzaghi waiting in the wings Ambrosini does not consider that a problem. Inzaghi scored both Milan goals against Marseille and at 36 is still a key figure for the Rossoneri. "We don't feel old at all," Ambrosini said. "We don't think we have already achieved our goals and we'll keep on fighting. I think we have already shown that this season, if not all the time."
The Rossoneri have collected just eight points from their first six Serie A games and are eleventh in the table, but there is nothing like the UEFA Champions League to raise spirits at San Siro. "Milan players were questioned ten years ago, everybody complained about them then and then most of them went on to win everything a player can win, especially in Europe," Ambrosini said. "I remember that people said the same things about Juventus not so long ago, and now we can see the good things they're doing. We want to do the same."