Wednesday, August 10, 2016

AC Milan All-time team

1969 European Cup

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

AC Milan is the second most successful club after Real Madrid in Europe.  At the time of writing, they have won the Euorpean Cup/Champions' league 7 times.  They have a strong team in the 1960's, winning the 1963 and 1969.  After many years of failure in the 1970's and early 1980's, Silvio Berlusconi bought the club in 1986. He turned the club into a dynasty.  The Dutch trio of Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard combined with the backbone of the Italian national team to form one of the greatest club sides in history.  


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GK: Lorenzo Buffon (Italy)  
Buffon was one of the best keepers in the 1950's and early 1960's.  He helped AC Milan to reach the Final of the 1958 European Cup Final.  Gianluigi Buffon's Garndfather is his cousin. 

GK: Sebastiano Rossi (Italy)  
Rossi spent 12 seasons in Milan, winning the 1994 Champions' league in convincingly fashion.  He was never capped by Italy.

GK: Fabio Cudicini (Italy)
He helped Milan to win the 1969 European Cup.  Before Milan, he played for Roma and Udinese.  He won the Inter-Cities Fair Cup with Roma.  His son is Carlo Cudicini.

RB: Mauro Tassotti (Italy)
He was a part of both Arrigo Sacchi's and Fabio Capello's AC Milan.  He won 17 major titles in 17 years.He went to the WC in 1994, where Italy came second.

RB: Cafu (Brazil
Cafu is the all-time cap record holder for Brazil.  He is the only man to play in three WC Finals, winning in 1994 and 2002.  He was the captain of the national team as they won the World Cup in 2002.  He played with Sao Paulo, Roma and AC Milan. He was South American Player of the Year in 1994.  

RB/SW: Cesare Maldini (Italy)
Cesare spent 12 seasons with AC Milan.  He was the captain of the 1963 European Cup winning team.  He picked up 14 caps for Italy.  After retirement, he became a successful coach.  his son is Paolo Maldini.

CB: Alessandro Nesta(Italy)
He is considered the best defender of his generation.  He was the Serie A defender of the Year for 4 times.  He played in the 2006 WC winning team, but injured in the third game of the tournament.  He won two Champions' league with AC Milan.  He started his career with Lazio and played with them.


Nesta

CB: Alessandro Costacurta (Italy)
He was Baresi's partner at central defense for both club and country. He was a long term serving member of AC Milan.  He was a part of 5 Champions' League winning team for AC Milan.  However, he only played 59 times for Italy because of injuries.

SW: Franco Baresi (Italy)
Baresi was considered Italy's greatest libero.  He was capped 82 times.  He led the Azzurri to the semifinal of the WC in 1990 and then, the Final in 1994.  However, he missed most of the tournament in 1994.  He was the captain of AC Milan for 15 years, where he won three European Cups and 6 Serie A titles. 

Franco Baresi
CB/LB: Paolo Maldini (Italy)
He was considered the greatest leftback of all-time.  He won 26 trophies in his 25 year career with AC Milan, including 5 Champions' league trophies. With the Azzurri, Maldini took part in three European Championships, and four World Cups. Although he did not win a tournament with the Italian National team, he reached the finals of the 1994 World Cup in the US and Euro 2000, and the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy and Euro 1988 in West Germany, and was elected into the all-star teams for each of these tournaments, in addition to the Euro 96 all-star team.  He was capped 126 times for Italy.  

Paolo Madlini

CB/LB: Karl-Heinz Schnellinger (West Germany)
In his prime, he was considered one of the best leftbacks in the world.  He participated in 4 World Cup Finals, unfortunaitely sandwiched between West Germany's two WC winning tournaments.  He was remembered one of the first German to star in Italy.  He had a remarkable stint with AC Milan and As Roma.  He won the European Cup in 1969.

CM: Frank Rijkaard (Holland)
Frank Rijkaard was one of Holland's most important player.  He won the 1988 European Championship in West Germany, and then, played 5 seasons with AC Milan when Milan was considered the greatest club team in the world.  In 1995, he led a young Ajax team to their famous Champions' League victory. 

CB/DM:  Marcel Desailly (France)
Marcel Desailly was considered to be one of the greatest defensive players during the 1990's.  He played 116 times for France, winning the WC in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000.  He was the first player to win the European Cup in consecutive seasons with different clubs, when he won it with Marseille in 1993 and AC Milan the following year.

CM: Andrea Pirlo (Italy)
Pirlo started as an attack midfielder with Inter Milan without success before becoming a regista.  He redefined the regista role in recent years.  He won the WC in 2006 and took Italy to the Final of Euro 2012.  He played over 280 matches for AC Milan, winning two Champions' League titles.  He switched to Juventus late in his career. 

Pirlo

LW: Roberto Donadoni (Italy)
Donadoni was one of Italy's greatest wingers.  He was a vital part of Milan's squad under both Sacchi and Capello, winning six Serie A titles, three European Cups, four Italian Supercups, three European Super Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups during his time at Milan. He went to the WC Finals in 1990 and 1994.

AM: Dejan Savicevic (Montenegro)
He was a part of the Red Star Belgrade team that won the 1990–91 European Cup before joining A.C. Milan in 1992. With Milan, he won three Serie A titles and the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League. He represented Yugoslavia at the 1990 and 1998 FIFA World Cups.

Dejan Savicevic

AM/CM: Kaka (Brazil)
Kaka started his career with Sao Paulo in Brazil before moving to AC Milan in 2003.  He was the star player who helped Milan to win the Champions' League in 2007 and he himself won he Ballon d'or the same year.  In 2009, he left Milan for Real Madrid.  For Brazil, he was capped 92 times.  He was a young and seldom used player at the WC in 2002.  He was a key player after the WC Finals in 2002.


Kaka

AM: Gianni Rivera (Italy)
Italy's "Golden Boy" of the 1960's.  He won the Ballon d'Or in 1969.  He led AC Milan to win two European Cups in 1963 and 1969. He was capped 63 times scoring 15 goals, at four World Cups (1962, 1966, 1970, and 1974). Rivera is remembered for scoring the decisive goal in Italy's extra-time win over West Germany in the semi-final of Mexico 1970.

Rivera the Golden Boy
AM: Nils Liedholm (Sweden)
In Italy, he was known as  Il Barone (The Baron).  He is probably one of both Sweden and AC Milan's greatest players.  He was part of the famous "Gre-No-Li" line for both club and country.  He won a Gold Medal at the 1948 Olympics and helped Sweden to finish second at the WC finals in 1958.

Gre-No-Li

SS:  Juan Schiaffino (Uruguay)
He was a key player in Uruguay's WC winning team in 1950.  He later played in Italy with Milan and Roma.  He was considered one of the greatest Uruguayan players in history.

AM: Ruud Gullit (Holland)
He was the iconic captain of Holland 1988.  In 1987,  he moved from PSV Eindhoven to A.C. Milan for a world record transfer fee.  He was an important player for AC Milan during the 1980's where they won two straight European Cups. He was the European Footballer of the Year in 1987 and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989.  He spent one season with Sampdoria winning the Italian Cup in 1994.

Gullit

ST: Jose Altafini (Brazil)
In Brazil, he was known as Mazzola because of his resemblance with  Italian attacking midfielder Valentino Mazzola.  He started to use his real name Jose Altafini after he joined AC Milan in 1958.  He is the current 4th top-scorer in Italy's Serie A history.For the national team, he was the original starter on the 1958 World Cup team, but was replaced in the semifinal and the final.

ST: Gunnar Nordahl (Sweden)
He is probably one of both Sweden and AC Milan's greatest players.  He is  played with Gunnar Gren and Nils Liedholm to form the renowned Gre-No-Li line at AC Milan.  He was Serie A top scorer for 5 times.  He is the all-time leading scorer at Milan.  He won the Gold Medal at the 1948 Olympics, but was not selected for the WC in 1950.  He played two years with Roma before retiring.  His brother Bertil and Knut also played for Sweden.

ST: Andrei Shevchenko (Ukraine)
He is considered one of the greatest Ukrainian player in history.  He won the Ballon D'Or in 2004 and came 3rd on the World Player of the Year.  He was best remembered for his stint with AC Milan, winning the Champions' League in 2003.  He won 111 caps and scored 48 goals for the Ukraine.

ST:  Marco Van Basten  (Holland)
He was probably the second best Dutch player and among the best striker in football's history.  He won the Ballon d'Or three times.  He led Oranje to the victory at Euro 1988 scoring 5 goals at the tournament.  He started his career with Ajax.  He also won two European Cups with AC Milan.  

Van Basten


Honorable Mention
Clarence Seedorf, Albertosi Enrico, Romeo Benetti, Giovanni Trapattoni, Demetrio Albertini, Zvonimir Boban, Gennaro Gattuso, Carlo Ancelotti, Gunnar Gren, Filippo Inzaghi, Dida, George Weah, Renzo De Vecchi 


Rijkaard, Van Basten and Gullit

Squad Explanation
-- Albertosi Enrico was old when he joined Milan.  His best years were behind him.
-- Gren was dropped because Milan has too, many great attackers.
-- Roberto Baggio's career with Milan was not as good as some of the players listed.
--  Rijkaard and Desailly were too good.  I have no space for Benetti and Gattuso.
-- I added Donadoni because I need a winger. 

Formation 
I opted for a formation sisimilar to the Christrmas tree formation used by Carlos Ancelotti.  I started Van Basten with Nordalh.  Shevchenko was the alternative.  I have to choose between Gullit and Savicevic for one of the attacking midfielder position. I chose Tassotti over Cafu because Tassotti was more "Milan" than Cafu.


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