AC Milan coach Filippo Inzaghi tells UEFA.com how the experience of the UEFA Youth League is helping his players "develop further" and why he is constantly learning on the job.
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A two-time UEFA Champions League winner with AC Milan, Filippo Inzaghi knows what it takes to reach the summit of the European game. Having retired in 2012, the former Italy striker is now attempting to guide a new generation of Rossoneri players to the top as coach of the club's UEFA Youth League squad.
"It is as new to me as it is to my players," Inzaghi told UEFA.com of the inaugural competition. "I have only been on the bench as coach for a short time and facing different coaches and different playing styles means always adapting, even if, above all, I look at my lads and try to make them play well."
Inzaghi's charges have taken six points from three outings in a group containing AFC Ajax, Celtic FC and FC Barcelona. Hailing the tournament a "great idea" for up-and-coming players, the ex-Parma FC, Atalanta BC and Juventus forward also regards the competition as a useful learning curve for rookie coaches.
"The lads are very proud to play matches like this, and they develop further," said the 40-year-old, second behind Raul González on the all-time UEFA club competition goalscoring list. "You travel to splendid places and face big teams.
"These matches are a reason for me to change my way of thinking; I need to improve and develop further. So this competition is certainly a very important experience for us coaches too."
On Tuesday, Milan renew acquaintances with Group H leaders Barcelona, the Catalan selection having triumphed 6-2 when the sides met in San Giovanni last week. "We knew we were playing against one of the strongest teams in Europe," explained Inzaghi. "They have the best ball possession and they know how to play football, but I have to say they were clinical – every time they took a shot on goal they scored."
For more from Inzaghi and to see highlights of Milan's match against Barcelona, click the video player above.