Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani claims this is the "most enjoyable" of their Champions League wins after the long and tortuous journey to Athens.
"It is an immense joy to have this trophy at the end of an extraordinary year. Of the five Champions League trophies we have won, I have to say this is perhaps the most enjoyable after everything we have been through."
The Rossoneri were originally excluded from the competition after the Calciopoli trial, but allowed back in via the preliminary round following an appeal. It was hastily arranged with just two weeks to prepare, but they made it all the way to the Final and beat Liverpool – the side they so unluckily lost out to in 2005.
"It is not elegant to talk of revenge after victory. Milan have eliminated two great sides like Bayern Munich and Manchester United, while tonight we got back some of the luck that abandoned us in Istanbul. Putting those two Finals together, I’d say the Rossoneri comfortably did more than Liverpool."
Galliani is famous for his wild celebrations in the stands and irrepressible passion he shows during games, so it is no surprise he couldn’t bear to watch after Dirk Kuyt’s 88th minute goal in the 2-1 victory.
"I left before the Final whistle to sit in the locker room, as I could not have lived through another equaliser! It would have haunted me for the rest of my days."
Milan now turn to the future and Galliani was eager to point out there would be no wholesale changes – starting from Coach Carlo Ancelotti. "There are no problems with Ancelotti and nobody will be leaving Milan. This is a family – it is not a cliché – because there are players who feel they belong to the club and that is one of our greatest strengths," said the transfer guru.
"I don’t know if we will bring in any more big names, if not then we can begin again from a side that is at the top of Europe. We have won more European trophies than any other club with 16 compared to Real Madrid’s 15. Now we will go to Tokyo for the Intercontinental Cup."
In 2003 Galliani admitted he had slept alongside the Champions League trophy after their win over Juventus. Would he do the same in Athens? "We have to work out who will sleep with the Cup tonight – the President or me!"
Source: C4 Football Italia