This is my AC Milan XI, I have included players that I personally saw and the players I did not see I have included from what their statistics say about them, what I heard about them, and their effect to the club.
Dida was a ‘Beast’ standing at 1.96m and strikers knew they had a problem to deal with when facing him. Dida won the Champions League twice in 2003 and 2007, with the former coming after he saved three penalties in a shoot-out against Juventus F.C. He is also the first two-time winner of the FIFA Club World Cup, the inaugural winner of the FIFPro Goalkeeper of the Year award, and a five-time nominee of the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper award. In 2003, Dida became the first Brazilian keeper to be shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or, with a second nomination in 2005.
On the international level, Dida earned 91 caps in eleven years for the Brazilian national team, including the most appearances in FIFA Confederations Cup history (22)
SW- Franco Baresi
Even you’re not an AC Milan fan you have surely heard of Franco Baresi. Baresi was voted AC Milan Player of the Century and is widely regarded as one of the finest defenders of all time. He played 719 games, scoring 33 goals. With Milan, Baresi won 6 Scudetti and 3 European Cups. When he hung up his boots, the Rossoneri retired his iconic No. 6 shirt.
He spent all 25 seasons of his career at the club, before retiring at the age of 41 in 2009, becoming a symbol and a legend of the club. During that period, he won the Champions League 5 times, as well as 7 Serie A titles, 1 Coppa Italia, 5 Supercoppa Italiana, 5 European Super Cups, and 2 Intercontinental Cups. He played for 14 years for the Italian national team with 126 caps and 4 World Cup participations. Scary Statistics!
If you check AC Milan’s most capped players, guess who will be number 1? Paolo Maldini!
PS: – The second most capped player for AC Milan is Franco Baresi, also included in XI.
His number “3” shirt is also retired like Franco Baresi’s.
DF- Thiago Silva
This might be surprising inclusion as he only played for AC Milan from 2009 but he is arguably the strongest defender now.
Here is a small quote from Ibrahimovic to back up my case:
“In my defence I have the best defender in the world, and his name is Thiago Silva. Maybe he is not so well-known yet, but trust me … I have played with many defenders, like Thuram, Cannavaro, Pique, Puyol, I have played with many fantastic central defenders, but this player is like all of them put together. He’s compact, he has everything a defender should have, and he’s mentally strong, and now he’s becoming a leader for the team. Players look up to him and he has to take a lot of responsibility, and I think that has made him even better. But not many look at him because, I don’t know, because he’s Brazilian and they’re not known for having good defenders or whatever, but he’s the best defender in the world.”
Please remind yourself this is coming from a person that rarely says any good thing about a person.
In a short time, Thiago Silva was captain of the team against Chievo in 2011. Many didn’t have this honor.
DF – Nesta
Nesta is considered by many as one of the best centre backs to have ever played the game, he is a 4 time member of the annual UEFA Team of the Year. Currently at the age of 36, he plays with more passion than players that are 10 years younger. He won 2 Serie A titles, 1 Coppa Italia, 2 Supercoppa Italiana, 2 UEFA Champions League, 2 UEFA Super Cup, and 1 FIFA Club World Cup.
As mentioned earlier he is a 4 time member of the annual UEFA Team of the Year but not only that, also a 4 time Serie A Defender of the Year.
MF – Kaka
Kaka was giving us mouthwatering performances every time he stepped on the pitch. On 13 January 2009, that Manchester City made a bid for Kaká for over £100 million and AC Milan rejected the bid just to show you how important he was to the team. But after Milan had economic problems they were forced to sell him for €65 million.
In Milan, he did not win many titles, just one of each, Serie A, Supercoppa Italiana, UEFA Champions League (remember the 3 goals against Manchester United?) , UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup. But as an individual he has won 30 titles. This is not including the World cup he won in 2002.
In 269 appearances for Milan, he scored scored 95 goals and assisted in 46.
MF – Gianni Rivera
Everywhere I read about AC Milan I see his name Gianni Rivera. He played for AC Milan for 19 years, being ranked number 4 in the most capped players. He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers.
After his retirement in 1979, Milan went into a period of decline, during which it was involved in the 1980 Totonero scandal and relegated to Serie B as punishment, for the first time in its history.
MF – Nils Liedholm
A magnificent passer of the ball, it is said that Liedholm went two seasons without misplacing a pass. When he finally did give the ball away he received a five-minute standing ovation from the San Siro crowd. At the end of the 20th century Liedholm was voted the best Swedish player of the millennium by the readers of Swedens largest newspaper Aftonbladet. Liedholm was also one of the first players to realise the importance of fitness to a good performance.
Consequently, he put in many more hours of training than other players, saying himself that he did the 100 metres, 3000 metres, javelin, shot put and high jump twice a week.His club career would continue until he was almost 40. Liedholm is part of Sweden’s historical “Gre-No-Li” trio of along with Gunnar Gren and Gunnar Nordahl.
He won four Scudetti at the club and later coached them and Roma to the Serie A title.
In just 2 seasons, you can notice Ibrahimovic ‘s instrumental influence for AC Milan. He carries the attack by himself with the poor performances of Robinho and Cassano’s heart problems. In only 78 matches for AC Milan, he scored 51 and assisted in 27, winning 1 Serie A and 1 Supercoppa Italiana so far.
But give him 5 more seasons in AC Milan and I assure you he will remembered as one of the best ever strikers to play for AC Milan.
FW – Marco Van Basten
I was thinking about writing “no comment” and that would be enough.
Marco Van Basten is regarded as one of the complete forwards of all time and has scored 277 goals in a high-profile career, which ended in 1995, at the age of 29 as a result of an injury suffered two years earlier.
FW – Gunnar Nordahl
Published with permission from O-Posts.