AC Milan owner Gerry Cardinale reportedly considered bringing Novak Djokovic as the team's mental coach, a move that would saw the world No. 1 give Milan players motivational speeches.
Milan, one of the most accomplished Italian football teams, is also one of the teams with the richest history in European football. In 2022, Milan won its 19th title but they failed to go back-to-back after finishing fourth in Serie A last season. Through the first 23 games of this season, Milan holds the third position with 49 points - eight points behind top-placed Inter.
Djokovic, a record 24-time Grand Slam champion, is a big football fan and he has never hidden his love for his favorite team, Milan. After Milan didn't make the best possible start to the 2023/24 season, team owner Cardinale started preparing how to approach Djokovic and present him his offer because he thought that move could help his team improve in the mental aspect.
All of that was happening three months ago, but according to La Repubblica, the Milan owner decided against going that route and the two sides never started talking about the possibility of collaborating in that way.
Djokovic on his love for Milan
Over the years, Djokovic several times spoke very openly about his love for Milan.
"I’m a big fan of Milan and I’ll always be. For me, football is second only [to] tennis. My father was a professional footballer, and at home, we always watch the Rossoneri’s games with great interest." Djokovic said in 2014.
In 2020, Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to Milan and played there until his retirement in 2023. With Ibrahimovic, Djokovic has always had a good relationship and the Serbian tennis star was thrilled when the former Swedish football star decided to return to Milan.
"I am friends with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. We often talked about my situation in Australia. He also supported me publicly, which I really appreciate. I'm a Milan fan and we hope to win the Scudetto this year," Djokovic said in 2022.