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Angel Hristov December 13, 2023 3 min read
AC Milan’s Manager Was Unaware of Tonali’s Gambling Problems
Pioli expressed confidence that Tonali would be able to overcome his addiction
Stefano Pioli, a former soccer defender and the current manager of AC Milan, claims he had been unaware of Sandro Tonali’s gambling problem when trading him to Newcastle United. For reference, Tonali was recently involved in a sports betting scandal and banned from competing for several months.
Tonali joined Newcastle earlier this year following a £55 million transaction. While he played with the club for a short while, taking part in a dozen games, he is currently unable to compete because of his ban, presenting challenges to his team.
Pioli was asked if he was aware of Tonali’s gambling problems at a recent press conference at St James’ Park. The manager denied being aware of Tonali’s gambling problems, instead describing him as someone who was “very polite, respected and respectful to others.”
While Pioli said that he often feels like he has “an open relationship” with the players, he said that he doesn’t inquire about their personal lives and only talks to them about soccer.
Newcastle United Did Not Make a Mistake Taking Tonali, Pioli Says
The manager further discussed Tonali’s gambling problems, expressing his confidence that the player would be able to overcome his addiction. Pioli described the young athlete as a great soccer player with many qualities.
We’re close to Sandro. When he was with us, he was a really cheerful, positive young man, close to the team, popular, very important to the team’s rise, applied himself, worked hard, very willing to help the team.Stefano Pioli, manager, AC Milan
The manager added that he regrets to see Tonali falling into such a “delicate situation” and added that the rest of AC Milan supports him and wishes him a better future.
Pioli also pointed out that Newcastle United will not regret picking Tonali up. While he admitted that the player’s gambling problems are an unexpected caveat, he said that Tonali’s skill in soccer will surely make up for the difficulties he has caused to his current team.
Ibrahimovic Joins AC Milan as Adviser
In the meantime, Pioli and AC Milan have welcomed Zlatan Ibrahimovic back. Now a senior adviser to the club, the former player will leverage his spectacular career and profound experience to support the team.
During the conference, Pioli praised Ibrahimovic as a determined and intelligent individual who is now taking the next step in his career.
In the meantime, AC Milan is set to face Newcastle United later today. Pioli said that his team remains bullish on winning the game, despite the significant challenge posed by the Magpies.