AC MILAN

AC Milan 1994 - Motta No.2 Tassotti

One of the most glorious footballers of the last half-century and one of the sport’s great what-if stories.
"He remains the best striker of all time in my opinion," His manager at Milan Arrigo Sacchi once said of the Dutchman. "No other forward has worked as hard for the team as Marco did at Milan. Above all, however, I remember him for his elegance, his grace and his incredible ability."

In the 1990 European Cup final Milan beat Benfica with van Basten assisting Rijkaard with the only goal of the game to retain the trophy.

The Rossoneri of 1990, nicknamed the "Immortals" in the Italian media, has since been voted the best club side of all time in a global poll of experts conducted by World Soccer magazine.  In purely statistical terms, Marco van Basten’s career was fruitful by anyone’s standards.  The 'Swan of Utrecht' scored 301 goals and won two European Cups, 14 domestic trophies and three Ballon d’Ors. But these numbers are rendered doubly impressive due to how tragically truncated his time as a footballer was – he played his last game at the age of 28.

Equally comfortable off either foot, Van Basten could hit fizzing raspers and deft curlers, long-rangers and one-on-one finishes, free-kicks, penalties and headers.  In the spirit of the Dutch footballing culture that he sprung from, Van Basten was staggeringly multi-talented, perhaps the most complete striker in history.

Arrigo Sacchi arrived to manage Milan in 1986 and along with the celebrity signings of Gullit, Rijkaard and van Basten, he also entrusted the left-back slot to a local, 17-year-old boy - Paolo Maldini.

Partnering Maldini were probably three of the greatest defenders in the world at the time. Tassotti, Costacurta and captain Baresi formed probably the strongest defensive unit the world has seen to date.

 

Maldini was the Milan and Italy captain for many years and was considered a leader by fellow footballers, leading to the nickname "Il Capitano" (the Captain). 
Obviously with such a lengthy career Maldini holds the records for most appearances in Serie A, with 647, and in UEFA Club competitions, with 174. He is also the record appearance holder for Milan, with 902 appearances in all competitions.

Maldini was the Milan and Italy captain for many years and was considered a leader by fellow footballers, leading to the nickname "Il Capitano" (the Captain). 
Obviously with such a lengthy career Maldini holds the records for most appearances in Serie A, with 647, and in UEFA Club competitions, with 174. He is also the record appearance holder for Milan, with 902 appearances in all competitions.

Described by British broadsheet as having been "a stylish player of faultless pedigree" Frank Rijkaard was a complete and consistent midfielder throughout his career at Ajax and Milan.
Praised by pundits for his physical and athletic attributes and regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders of his generation, Rijkaard won back to back European Cups with Milan, scoring the only goal against Benfica in 1990.

Montenegrin legend Dejan Savicevic played for six seasons at the San Siro winning three Scudetto's and the 1994 European Cup, in which he scored an unforgettable lob to cap a magnificent performance against Barcelona.

The following year he sat out the final, despite having scored the goals that knocked PSG out in the semi's, as Fabio Capello's very negative and defense-minded Milan created few opportunities and ultimately lost to Ajax 1–0.

A global poll of experts conducted by World Soccer magazine recently voted the 1989 Milan team as the best club side ever, and the European cup final of that year was a stroll for the Rossoneri.
The Italians, as used to be their tradition in finals, played the game without a shirt sponsor, and two goals apiece for Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit without reply was more than enough to see off the Romanians Steaua Bucharest.

As good as that Milan side was it was van Basten's legend that truly endured, fans believing they will never see his like again and it was lamented that football had “lost its Leonardo da Vinci” the day van Basten retired due to injury.
Fabio Capello remarked "Marco was the greatest striker I ever coached. His early retirement was a mortal misfortune for him, for football, and for Milan"

Roberto Donadoni started his career with Atalanta in 1982 and transferred to AC Milan in 1986 to became a mainstay in the team for a decade.
A complete winger, known for his pace, stamina, offensive capabilities, distribution, and technique, he was a pillar of a side that became the powerhouse in World football.

Donadoni was a vital part of Milan's squad under both Sacchi and Capello, and his trophy haul was more than impressive, winning six Serie A titles, three European Cups, four Italian Supercups, three European Super Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups.

Donadoni was never a person who stood in the middle of the attention and this could be the reason he isnt more revered. 
Nevertheless, Milan would never have been the team it was without his outstanding gameplay. It was a pleasure to watch him feinting and dancing with the ball and making a fool of his adversaries. But he would work as hard tracking back as we would going forward which made his name one of the first on the teamsheet.

He spent two seasons in the USA where he played for the New York Metrostars, but in 1997 with Milan lacking some firepower he was called back by Capello. He stayed another two years wearing the Rossoneri jersey before heading to Saudi Arabia where he played for Al-Ittihad.

One of the most prolific goalscorers of all time, Filippo 'Pippo' Inzaghi is the fifth highest goalscorer in Italian football, with 313 goals scored in official matches.
He is currently the second all time goal scorer in European club competitions with 70 goals, only beaten by Raúl's 77 goals. He is also Milan's top international goal scorer in the club's history with 43 goals. He also holds the record for most hat-tricks in Serie A.

 

After moving to Milan from Juventus in 2001, he was able to forge a strong goal scoring partnership with Andriy Shevchenko, and he soon racked up an impressive trophy count with the Rossoneri, among them the 2003 Champions League (in which Milan defeated his previous team in the final on penalties), along with the 2003 Coppa Italia and the 2004 Scudetto.

His greatness has divided opinion, but like Gerd Muller and Gary Lineker before him, he came alive in the box and was always in the right place at the right time. The penalty-area poacher supreme.

The Croatian Zvonimir Boban arrived at A.C. Milan in 1991 from Dinamo Zagreb and was an intregal part of the Rossoneri's dominance home and abroad in the nineties.

Playing alongside some of the greatest players of all time, Boban complimented Ruud Gullit in the centre of midfield. His great technical skills and tactical awareness allowed him to cover all roles in the midfield, such was the case in one of Milan's most glorious games, the 1994 Champions League final against Barcelona - Boban was used on the left side of midfield, with Donadoni on the opposite flank.

The final was one of the greatest of all time. It was Milan vs Barca. Capello vs Cruyff. Barcelona and their ‘dream team’ featured Guardiola, Koeman, Stoichkov and Romario, they were expected to easily defeat the Milan squad that featured youngsters Panucci and also Desailly infront of the back four. This was Boban’s finest hour as he helped Milan to a staggering 4-0 victory.

Playing 251 games for AC during nine seasons and scoring 30 goals, Boban is fondly remembered by the Milanese who consider that nineties team the best they have ever seen.

Silvio Berlusconi signed Ruud Gullit for A.C. Milan in 1987, paying the then world record transfer fee of £6 million, as a replacement for Ray Wilkins. Among his teammates at the club were compatriots Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard.
Gullit's exploits with first PSV Eindhoven and then Milan helped him win the European Footballer of the Year award in 1987 which he dedicated to Nelson Mandela.

At PSV Gullit was used first as a sweeper and then moved forward, and thereafter could adapt to any position on the pitch. He was one of the most unpredictable of Sacchi's side, capable of incredible actions, supported by his powerful physique. Strong in the air and on the ground, he had fantastic skills and technique. 

During his first year as a Rossoneri, Gullit won a League Title. Despite meniscus and knee injuries hampering him over the following seasons his trophy haul was impressive - he won another two Scudetto's, two Champions League's and two World Club Cups.
Gullit was omitted from the 1993 Champions League final squad due to the 3-foreigner rule employed at that time, which culminated in a move to Sampdoria.

Montenegrin Dejan Savicevic was one of the most popular foreigners to have played for Milan. His tactical knowledge and peerless game play made Savicevic one of the most talented number 10s in Rossoneri history. He came to A.C. Milan during the 1992/93 season and under the guiding hand of Fabio Capello soon became a regular starter. 

One of his greatest performances was in the Champions League final against Barcelona in 1994. First he made the assist for Massaro’s goal, then he scored the third with a lob from outside of the penalty area: an authentic masterpiece.

Alessandro Costacurta spent some twenty years at Milan, and playing alongside Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini and Mauro Tassotti, formed one of the meanest defences in Serie A and Europe during the 90's. He was mainly a central defender, but could also play on the right flank if necessary.

Affectionally known to fans as "Billy", he won the Scudetto seven times with Milan, and the European Cup five times in 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003 and 2007. He became the oldest footballer ever to play in the Champions League, against AEK Athens in November 2006, at 40 years and 211 days.

Arguable the greatest goal scorer the game has ever seen, Marco van Basten had everything. Quick powerful, two footed with tremendous close control and supreme in the air, the 'Swan o Utrecht' was the complete striker. Signed in 1987 from Ajax, he scored 90 goals ub 147 games for 'il diavolo'

Joined by countrymen Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit, van Basten sparked the Italian club to multiple domestic League titles and Cup victories. He was named the Ballon d'Or winner in 1989 and 1990 as Milan won back to back European Cup titles.

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