(AFP) – Jan 14, 2008
ROME (AFP) — AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti on Monday ruled out making a move for Barcelona superstar Ronaldinho after watching Brazilian strike pair Ronaldo and Pato destroy Napoli on Sunday.
Ronaldo scored a brace and Pato also got his name on the scoresheet on his debut as the European champions tore their visitors apart 5-2 to end their seven-match winless home league run since the start of the season.
After fielding his much vaunted Brazilian attacking triumverate Ka-Pa-Ro (Kaka, Pato and Ronaldo) for the first time, Ancelotti insisted that a fourth Brazilian forward would not be needed.
"No, Ronaldinho will not be joining us," he told Rai radio. "The club has invested heavily in this young boy (Pato) of great potential.
"We're also hoping Ronaldo will get fully fit again. Right now physically he's not even at 50 percent, but such is his immense talent that he manages to overcome that handicap."
Despite Ronaldo's rebirth, it was the performance of Pato that most pleased Ancelotti.
The 18-year-old seemed a little nervous in the opening exchanges, misplacing his first pass, while he missed two one-on-one chances within seconds of each other in the first half.
But he never let his head drop, grew into the game and put the seal on a fine debut with a goal 20 minutes from time. In truth, he could easily have scored a hat-trick.
Ancelotti compared Pato's introduction to Serie A with his own.
"I have to say I wasn't calm at all. I was worried and emotional. But in Pato I didn't see any of that," he said.
"It reminded me of sitting exams at school. If you're well prepared, you feel calm and serene.
"Pato has great ability, he knows exactly what he's capable of. Since I had a little less (ability), I was more uneasy."
Despite his dream start, Pato can still expect to spend some time on the bench, given Milan's attacking riches.
Veteran forward Filippo Inzaghi was injured while Italy international Alberto Gilardino spent the entire night on the bench.
But that won't always be the case, according to Ancelotti.
"It's the kind of squad that all big teams have. For the whole month of January we'll play practically every three days. Hence, it's important to rotate the players.
"It's not important how many games we play, simply the quality. We can't always expect Ronadlo to play.
"Gilardino has the right age, he's fresh and he'll be important in the coming games."
Ancelotti is also happy to have started breeding some young blood into the team, which has oft been accused of being too old.
"The base of the team has the right age, like (Alessandro) Nesta (Kakha) Kaladze, (Andrea) Pirlo, (Gennaro) Gattuso, who are all 28-29 (Nesta and Gattuso are actually over 30).
"They're players with lots of experience. We can add the youngsters, such as Pato and (Frenchman Yohann) Gourcuff.
"Next year we'll lose some important players (such as the retiring Paolo Maldini). But the skeleton will remain the same."
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