Italy midfielder Riccardo Montolivo, since sustaining a nasty injury last June, has been sorely missed, especially by AC Milan, the club he captains. His absence was also felt by Italy in the World Cup.
During the disappointing World Cup campaign in Brazil, Italy had to deal with fluctuations and injuries in the midfield, including Daniele De Rossi and Marco Verratti. The team had to make do with players of the likes of Marco Parolo and Thiago Motta, in positions that would surely have been occupied by the more creative and dependable Montolivo. After all, Montolivo was the one who had launched the Pirlo-like long ball in the Euro 2012 semi-final against Germany, which Mario Balotelli turned into a memorable strike. The Italy squad lacked these skills, especially with Andrea Pirlo reaching the twilight of his career.
AC Milan have had a mixed start to the season, scoring 11 goals and conceding 9 in 5 Serie A matches so far. They have often looked dismal and disoriented in midfield. The much-anticipated recovery and return of Montolivo would fill the void in Milan’s midfield. Captain Montolivo is required in the Milan lineup to provide leadership, strengthen the squad, and put in some much-needed creativity.