AC Milan right to celebrate Europa League qualification - Nesta

Former AC Milan defender Alessandro Nesta says the club were right to celebrate qualifying for the Europa League next season, even if it would have been seen as a failure when he played for the club.

Milan will return to Europe after an absence of three seasons in July, when they will enter the third qualifying round of the Europa League. There were scenes of celebration when they beat Bologna to seal sixth last weekend, although this has been criticised by some fans.

Times have changed from when Nesta was part of the perennial Champions League challengers, though, and the current coach of Miami FC says the Europa League is a competition worth celebrating.

"I'm on the side of those who celebrated," Nesta told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "It's the right thing to do when you reach an objective, and Milan reached theirs. Obviously compared to my playing days, the objectives have dropped massively, but this is where Milan are now.

"So with that in mind, it's an important step and a big achievement. Besides, I'm sure that Inter would bite your hand off to be in Milan's position now.

"People have got to stop thinking about [Silvio] Berlusconi's Milan because that Milan doesn't exist anymore. You've got to be humble and show that when you go to play a qualifier in some obscure part of Europe at the end of July."

Milan need to get through two qualifying rounds to reach the group stage, but Nesta says it is an important part of the club's development, even if he is still a little concerned by the club's new owners.

"This has got to be seen as a starting point," he said. "They have got to move up a gear compared to the past, but I am a little perplexed that it seems like Inter's owners are doing that bit more.

"It's definitely going to be hard to get Milan back into the Champions League and they are going to have to spend a lot of money to succeed."

Nesta would be willing to lend a hand, although he is focusing on winning the North American Soccer League with Miami before contemplating a move back to Italy.

"I really miss playing a lot, but I desperately wanted to be a coach," he said. "I'm working 12 hours a day and, for me, this is the only way to stay involved in football.

"I'm not the kind of person to sit behind a desk. You can never say never, though, and it's not like I can stay in Miami for the rest of my life -- my ambition is also to give it a go in Italy, when the time is right.

"I miss everything about Milan, especially Milanello [the club's training centre] with all its personalities: the caretaker, the groundsmen, the drivers. They were spectacular people. Being at Milanello was better than being in a five-star hotel."