Krzysztof Piatek can 'continue this story' of superstar strikers at AC Milan, says Franco Baresi

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Prolific winter arrival Krzysztof Piatek has all that it takes to join the list of legends at AC Milan and “continue this famous story of important strikers”, according to club icon Franco Baresi.

Piatek, 23, has struck four goals in four appearances for the Rossoneri since last month’s €35 million move from Genoa. These exploits – along with Brazil playmaker Lucas Paqueta’s similarly seamless start – have ramped up the feel-good factor at fallen giants determined to win a return to the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2013/14.

Speaking to Sport360 at GEMS International School Al Khail ahead of this weekend’s AC Milan Academy Dubai Champions Cup, Baresi believed the predatory Poland striker has the potential to follow in the footsteps of legends such as Marco van Basten and fire Milan toward fresh glory.

“I believe a big club should always have great strikers and in the history of our club we have had great strikers like Van Basten, [George] Weah, [Andriy] Shevchenko,” said the 58-year-old one-club man who won 17 major honours with the Rossoneri from 1977-97 and is widely considered one of football’s great defenders.

“Now Piatek has arrived and I think he will bring a lot of satisfaction to the club. This is because he is young, plus he has already demonstrated quality and an eye for goal.

“So, we hope that he can continue this famous story of important strikers at Milan.”

Resurgent Milan sit in the fourth – and final – qualifying spot at present thanks to a run of one loss in their last 11 top-flight run-outs. Gennaro Gattuso’s men, however, face a stern test of their credentials on Saturday at fifth-placed Atalanta.

In the UAE on the same weekend, more than 600 boys and girls, aged between eight and 14-years old, from 17 academies across Dubai will play as 56 teams in the second edition of the AC Milan Academy Dubai Champions Cup.

Milan’s historical captain and brand ambassador, Baresi, attended the launch event at Roberto’s DIFC earlier on Thursday. On Wednesday, he also passed on advice to scores of budding youngsters.

The tournament will be held on Friday and Saturday at the AC Milan Academy Dubai headquarters at GEMS International School Al Khail. The two-day sporting event will involve hundreds of young footballers, along with their families.

AC Milan Academy Dubai was launched in February 2016 and offers training sessions following the AC Milan Method. In addition to technical aspects relating to football, experts train and support the athletes in learning healthy nutrition, which is essential for their well-being, both physically and mentally.

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