Tassotti leaves AC Milan after 36 years

Coach Mauro Tassotti has said goodbye to the Rossoneri faithful following the termination of his contract, which brought an end to his 36-year spell at AC Milan.

Tassotti's contract along with Andrea Maldera's was terminated by mutual consent this week and the former defender, who debuted for Milan in 1980, has revealed that he is set to serve as Andriy Shevchenko's second-in-charge at the Ukraine national team.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport in an exclusive interview, the 56-year-old spoke on what made him decide to join Shevchenko in Ukraine, as well as what went through his mind upon the termination of his contract at Milan

"Shevchenko’s call? It’s not something that just happened. I carefully weighed it up, digesting everything first.

"And I’d like to stress that for the moment the only thing I signed is my contract termination. However, the door should be open this week.

"When he proposed to me this possibility he left with me a sense of gratification. His respect was a great pleasure, and he’s very enthusiastic and geared up. But I must also say it’s a very intriguing project. To work towards World Cup qualification is something only done every four years. It’s something that intrigues me a lot as I’ve only worked at club level up to this point.

"What went through my mind when I terminated with Milan? I felt both strange and upset. The sadness came to me because it was 36 unforgettable years [at Milan]. I had Adriano Galliani in front of me saying, ‘If you're happy, then so are we.’ I knew in my heart I wanted to return to the pitch and I knew that they wouldn't have prevented me from doing so even though I have a year left on my contract. If there were tears? I was very close but I managed to restrain myself.

"Berlusconi said he wants a young-Italian Milan? If you create a young team it’s difficult to fight for the three first places. It must be a mix. But they did welcome Calabria, Donnarumma and Locatelli. Milan has a great youth sector. And also Romagnoli can play a part for the next ten years. Milan without Berlusconi? I don’t think there’s a better President, I love him. But the years have passed for everyone and it is inevitable that at some point you need to make certain choices.

"The fact that I’m going to be an assistant again and if someday I’ll be a head coach? If it’s to happen, I’ll take it into consideration. Even at a lower level. For me to coach is enough," he said.