AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has again backed the club's decision to axe a number of their veteran stars but told La Stampa that he wished he had those players "when they were seven years younger".
Milan have undergone a complete overhaul of their squad after a raft of retirements were followed by the sale of both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain.
While it may not be the most popular of policies in some circles, Allegri believes the revolution of an ageing squad was needed and, despite the loss of several key players, trust must be placed in those remaining at the club.
"We needed a generational change, which may not be nice but that is how life goes," Allegri said. "Carlo Ancelotti was fortunate to manage men like Gennaro Gattuso, Pippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Nesta and Clarence Seedorf at the peak of their careers. I would have liked them in my squad too, when they were seven years younger!
"It takes courage to make painful decisions like Milan have but to keep speaking about these champions is disrespectful to those players who have remained."
One player to remain with the Rossoneri is Kevin-Prince Boateng, who believes there is a strong spirit in the current set of players.
"I want to one day become one of the best players in the world," he said. "There is a great relationship within the squad - we are a united group. I am proud to wear this shirt and be a part of the club."
However, like Allegri, Boateng also said he wished he had been at the club when some of the star players were in their prime.
"I regret not joining the team earlier so I could have team-mates like Paolo Maldini and Ronaldo," Boateng, who joined the club in 2010, said. "They were the best in their positions."