AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti refused to be downhearted despite Sunday’s loss to Serie A leaders Internazionale, a result which leaves them closer to the relegation zone than a European qualifying berth.
Milan are a massive 25 points behind their city rivals, but can point to both the Champions League and Club World Cup titles as the fruits of a successful year.
“We are world champions and we played up to that reputation,” said Ancelotti. “No defeat can take the smile away from my face and cancel this state of bliss.
“Our first objective for 2008 will be to get as many points as possible and try to reach the second round of the Champions League in a better position in the league.”
Milan were greeted by a guard of honour from their rivals, something which delighted Ancelotti.
He added on the club’s official website: “Of course it’s a disappointing defeat. It came in particular circumstances, with many unfavourable episodes.
“The Inter players did very well, they also honoured our World Cup victory in a very original and unexpected way.
“We are a more agile, more technical team compared to Inter. We tried to win the game with those qualities.”
Esteban Cambiasso’s winner came courtesy of a mistake from Milan goalkeeper Dida, but Ancelotti was not in the mood to hand out blame.
“Regarding the Dida episode, it can happen that a goalkeeper makes a mistake,” he said.
“I don’t like to put all the responsibility on a single player. We still have complete faith in him.”