AC Milan

M ilan is internationally most successful among Italian football clubs with seven victories in European Cup and UEFA Champions League on top. The abbreviation AC stands for Associazione Calcio, that in English could be translated to "kicking club".

Basic facts

Founded: 1899
Country: Italy
City: Milan

Home grounds

Campo di Viale Lombardia (1920-1926)
San Siro (1926-)

Main Trophies

Serie A: 18
European Cup/Champions League: 7
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 2
UEFA Cup: 5

Prominent players

Gunnar Nordahl, Nils Liedholm, Gunnar Gren, Gianni Rivera, Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Franco Baresi, Marco Simone, Massimo Ambrosini, Marcel Desailly, Dejan Savićević, Zvonimir Boban, Filippo Inzaghi, George Weah, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Kaká, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Nesta, Andriy Shevchenko

Club records

Most played games: Paolo Maldini (902)
Top goalscorer: Gunnar Nordahl (221)

A.C. Milan team
Milan team and the president and vice-president in 1901.

History

Not that many people know that one of the most famous Italian symbols like AC Milan was actually founded by two English expatriates, Herbert Kilpin and Alfred Edwards. The exact date was 13 December 1899. From the start, the club was partly a football and partly a cricket club, but pretty soon football became predominant. As a football club AC Milan quickly established itself by winning their first Scudetto two years later, and then followed it up by another two in 1906 and 1907.

After a split in the club which led to the founding of their arch-rivals Inter, however, Milan had to wait for over 40 years for their next title. It came in 1951, on the back of the famous Swedish trio known as Gre-No-Li: Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl (still the club's top goalscorer with 221 goals) and Nils Liedholm. The following 20 years were much kinder to the Italian powerhouse, which won seven more Scudettos, two European Cups (the European Cup victory in 1963 was the first for an Italian team in the competition) and two Cup Winners' Cups, as well as four Coppa Italia trophies.

Match-fixing scandal

What followed was a period of decline. After the Totonero match-fixing scandal in 1980, players and officials had bet on games, Milan was one of the team punished and demoted to the second division (the president Felice Colombo was banned from the game for life). Even though they returned to Serie A the very next year, they were relegated again in 1982. They managed to claw their way back to the top division, but the club soon found itself on the brink of bankruptcy, before it was taken over by Silvio Berlusconi in 1986.

The greatest team in the history

Berlusconi's appointment saw Milan return to their paths of glory. Helmed by the talented young coach Arigo Sacchi, AC Milan quickly became a force of nature, winning their eleventh Scudetto in 1988 and two European Cups in the two years that followed. The performance in the 1988-89 edition was extra impressive with 5-0 against Real Madrid in the semi-final and then 4-0 in the final against Steaua București. The glorious Milan team, led by the Dutch trio of Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Marco Van Basten, has been voted as the greatest team in the history of football.

Milan line up 1989
Milan line up 1989 European Cup final v. Steaua București (1-0)
The club's dominance continued into the 90s. This period saw "Gli Invicibili", as the club's new nickname were, add five additional Scudettos to its tally, as well as another Champions League trophy with a memorable 4-0 rout over Barcelona in the final. The Dutch stars was gone, but other stars like Marcel Desailly, Dejan Savićević and Zvonimir Boban had replaced them.

AC Milan were less successful in the new century due to Inter's dominance, but the club still managed to win two more Scudettos, two Champions Leagues and their fifth Coppa Italia title. The Derby della Madonnina or the Deby di Milano between Milan and Inter is often fierce competitions. The statistics is very close between the teams and in 2016 Inter had the lead with 77 won games against 75 won Milan games. Some of the most prominent players of "I Rossoneri", one of the club's nicknames, in the new millennium have been Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Kaká, Alessandro Nesta and Andriy Shevchenko.

Ultras

In January 29, 1995, a tragic event happened that overshadow the team ’s performance. A Genoa fan was stabbed to death outside the Genoa stadium by Milan ultras. Milan has through the years had different ultra groups whereas the c group called Fossa dei Leoni being most known.

By Martin Wahl

Logo

AC Milan logoThe logo has the initials “ACM” (standing for AC Milan) on the top and the number 1898 (the year of establishment) on the bottom. In the center the logo is vertically divided by two flags. To the left is a flag with the team’s red and black color and to the right with a red cross. This is the cross of St. Ambrose's, a patron saint of the city of Milan.

References:
Club Soccer 101: The Essential Guide to the Stars, Stats, and Stories of 101 of the Greatest Teams in the World by Luke Dempsey
http://www.123football.com/clubs/italy/milan/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.C._Milan
Image source:
Sam Winchester