Meet the champions: AC Milan's Serie A title winners

New kings have been crowned in Italy, with the Rossoneri having clinched their 18th domestic title this weekend. takes a look at the title-winning squad one by one
It has been a long seven years if you're an AC Milan fan. While neighbours and bitter rivals Inter turned around their 'nearly men' reputation to become the dominant force in Italy for half a decade, the other side of the city has seen precious little to shout about domestically. But all that ended on Saturday as the Rossoneri picked up their 18th Serie A title by collecting the point they needed from their trip to Roma.

Though this may well not go down as the club's best ever squad, nor their greatest title triumph, there are certainly some new heroes to be celebrated by the club's fans. With names such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Antonio Cassano and Mark van Bommel having been added to established figures such as Alessandro Nesta, Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso and Clarence Seedorf, the squad at Milanello has shown enough style and substance to make them the worthy winners of the 2011 Scudetto.

Below we go through the new Campioni d'Italia one by one:


Games: 34

Clean sheets: 18

Average rating: 6.41

When Marco Amelia was brought in last summer many expected Abbiati to see much less first team football this term, but the 33-year-old has stood strong both in the face of the added competition and the pressure applied by opposition forwards. With a magnificent 17 clean sheets to boast about this term, Massimiliano Allegri will be in no rush to replace him during the next transfer window.
Others: Marco Amelia
Games: 3, Clean sheets: 1, Average: 6.00


Games: 27

Goals: 0

Average rating: 6.23

From a right-sided midfielder struggling to make the switch to the makeshift full-back role, Abate has come on in leaps and bounds this season. Whereas Milan struggled in both full-back slots last year the ex-Torino man has helped to tighten up the Rossoneri backline under the tutelage of Allegri and Mauro Tassotti. The shirt is surely his for next term too after his string of mature and confident displays.


Games: 22

Goals: 0

Average rating: 5.89

Antonini's was a position which Allegri identified early as one of weakness and he has seen his game-time reduced substantially since Gianluca Zambrotta returned from injury, though he has managed to stay ahead of Didac Vila in the pecking order since his January arrival. His performance level has not been high enough to suggest Milan won't again look to strengthen in the summer.

Games: 16

Goals: 0

Average rating: 5.88

The uncertain nature of Alessandro Nesta's long-term fitness and the question marks over Milan's full-backs was always going to mean the opportunity for Bonera to get some playing time at some point, and he was one of the club's most used players upto January. The arrival of Nicola Legrottaglie was deemed necessary due to the former Parma man's continued inability to nail down the first reserve slot and a departure this summer would not be a surprise.

Games: 26

Goals: 0

Average rating: 6.62

What can be said about Alessandro Nesta that hasn't already been said a thousand times? For a man who only two years ago was returning from major back surgery his renaissance has been exceptional. Even now he seems to be struggling with his body at times but he has learned how to adjust to his new more restricted capabilities and yet remains a defender of the highest calabre. Though he's said he wants to go out on a high, there's nothing to suggest his performance levels will drop any time soon.


Games: 31

Goals: 1

Average rating: 7.03

One of the club's best signings in recent times, the Brazilian has developed into a magnificent centre-half alongside the experienced Nesta but has also become a stand-out performer in his own right. He recently admitted to a lack of self-confidence upon arriving in Milan but now he has become the Rossoneri's rock and is arguably the only player in the entire squad over whose value and position in the club goes unquestioned. His ability to play at the top of his game week in, week out has been rare even among his championship-winning team-mates.


Games: 11

Goals: 0

 Average rating: 6.45

Very few people could believe what they were reading when the news came out that Milan had signed Mario Yepes from Chievo last summer but the Colombian has done a commendable job when called upon this season. His lack of pace was exposed by Aaron Lennon as Milan were knocked out of the Champions League by Tottenham, but the 35-year-old has done everything that could have been expected of him and more when it has come to league duties, and Allegri has become more and more convinced by his ability to contribute postively at the back.

Games: 14

 Goals: 0

 Average rating: 6.11

 With coach Allegri still looking for the right solution to his left-back headache, the return to form and fitness of Zambrotta has been of huge relief over the past six weeks. After picking up an injury at Bologna in December his season was feared over, but he returned against Inter last month and his experience and know-how have steadied the Milan ship. Amazingly, the champions had recorded 12 straight victories in his last 12 appearances before the title-clinching draw away to Roma.
Others: Marek Jankulovski
Games: 5, Goals: 0, Average: 5.83
  Nicola Legrottaglie
Games: 1, Goals: 0, Average: 6.00
  Massimo Oddo
Games: 7, Goals: 0, Average: 6.21
  Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Games: 5, Goals: 0, Average: 5.80


Games: 17

 Goals: 1

 Average rating: 6.47

Despite an injury-hit season, the club captain has continued to carry out his typically combative approach to matches on a consistent basis. His best performance of the season came in the narrow victory over Inter in November but he only returned last week after a three-month lay-off which coincided with Mark van Bommel's arrival and Clarence Seedorf's renaissance. His long-term usefulness to the club is starting to come under review but he continues to be committed to the last.


Games: 25

Goals: 3

Average rating: 6.44

Of all of Milan's summer signings, it's fair to say that Boateng was one of those least expected to shine. With much consternation over the exact terms of his arrival, few could have predicted the impact the Ghanaian has had at San Siro. His strong, dynamic approach is rare in Italy, making him a fearful opponent for many of Serie A's less adaptable midfielders, and his employment ahead of the three-man midfield of late has seen his performance level soar even higher. A full capture from co-owners Genoa this summer is a near-necessity after a magnificent debut season.

Games: 20

Goals: 2

Average rating: 6.23

Depite the neutral's view of Flamini not being of the most flattering nature, the former Arsenal man has been pretty vital to the Milan cause this season. With an almost unprecedented number of injuries to midfielders, the Rossoneri have relied more on Flamini than they'd have forecasted before the campaign kicked off. But they have rarely been let down by the Frenchman, with vital goals against Bari and, most notably, Bologna added to his list of achievements this term.

Games: 30

Goals: 1

Average rating: 6.48

While he may not have covered himself in glory on the European stage, Gattuso has been as vital as ever in Milan's successful Scudetto campaign. Having last summer enjoyed his first extended break since a serious knee injury, the Calabrian has hit the top of his game again for long spells this term and his dogged, battling style continues to be as crucial as it has been throughout his spell with the Via Turati club. It would take a brave man to predict an end to Gattuso's reign as the club's No.1 battling midfielder any time soon given his ability to keep bouncing back to top form.


Games: 16

 Goals: 1

 Average rating: 6.54

 For a number of years it has seemed impossible to even imagine a Milan midfield without Pirlo in it, but now it appears that that day is finally coming. That is not to take away from his performances before Christmas though, and his winning goal at Parma in October was the stuff of pure genius. Despite having only recently returned from injury after a four-month break he has more than earned a winner's medal. It is only fitting though that if he does depart he is doing so with the Scudetto in his hands.



Games: 28

Goals: 3

Average rating: 6.42

In January Seedorf appeared to be little more than a loose end in the Rossoneri's reign at the top of Serie A. Having been played as a left midfielder, right midfielder and trequartista, his display in the centre of the park against Udinese in week 19 was a personal nadir. But since then he has bounced back, and playing from the left of midfield alongside Van Bommel he has enjoyed a rejuvenation off the back of which Milan have collected the title with much more comfort than might otherwise have been achieved. Their style of play has also won more fans since Seedorf hit top form once more.


Games: 13

Goals: 0

Average rating: 6.58

Perhaps even before the injury suffered by Andrea Pirlo against Roma in December, what Milan were missing most was a player of real graft and determination in the central midfield spot. In Mark van Bommel the club picked up one of the leading exponents of the role in world football today. The opportunity for the wider midfielders to push forward with the assurance they're well covered on potential breaks has seen Milan excel at a time when they could easily have folded, and that owes much to the Dutchman's January arrival.

Urby Emanuelson
Games: 7, Goals: 0, Average: 6.00

Alexander Merkel
Games: 6, Goals: 0, Average: 6.33

Rodney Strasser
Games: 3, Goals: 1, Average: 6.25


Games: 16

 Goals: 4

 Average rating: 6.59

Signed for a cut-price fee after his much publicised falling out with Sampdoria president Riccardo Garrone, Cassano has had a telling impact on Milan's title push despite not being as regular a starter as he might have liked. One magnificent display against Parma aside, all of his better performances, and all of his goals, have come from the bench. That is not to say his signing hasn't contributed towards the title win though, as he influenced the collection of vital late points against the likes of Cagliari, Udinese and Bari among others.


Games: 29

Goals: 14

Average rating: 6.88

The Rossoneri would not have been crowned champions of Italy without him. His impact at San Siro was felt even before he'd donned the red and black shirt, and once he did take to the field it wasn't long before Allegri's side started collecting points and wins where in the past they'd have foundered. With 14 goals and countless assists and unselfish off-the-ball runs, the big Swede racked up more than enough credits for the Milan faithful to forgive him a couple of late-season transgressions. His display in the first win over Inter was one of the key moments in the club's season as he maintained his record of winning everywhere he goes; Ibra now has eight successive domestic titles to his name.

Games: 23

Goals: 14

Average rating: 6.50

When the Brazilian youngster was signed in the summer of 2007 it was in the hope that he would, sooner or later, be one of the key players in a title-winning Milan side. That hope came to fruition at the Olimpico this weekend despite Pato not being a part of things on the pitch. However, his 14 goals in only 22 games points to the fact that, even in those games in which he has underperformed, he has remained a deadly finisher. When his attitude and his ability to play with Ibrahimovic was questioned he went on to pummel Napoli with the help of the big Swede and then carry the side on his back in the derby demolition of Inter. His future at the club has often been questioned, but his value to Milan cannot be doubted.

Games: 32

Goals: 12

Average rating: 6.52

Many wondered how the former Manchester City man might fit in at Milan when he signed on the final day of the summer transfer window. With Ronaldinho already at the club and Clarence Seedorf also vying for the No.10 spot, it was believed that Robinho may be little more than a bit-part player. But he eventually became the catalyst behind the exit of the more vaunted R80 as his displays overshadowed the efforts of his countryman. He has continued to add vital contributions and equally important goals during the run-in, showing a reassuring calm when others have been on edge.


Games: 11

Goals: 0

Average rating: 6.55

He may have gone, but he cannot be forgotten. No, this wasn't the best spell of Ronaldinho's Milan experience, let alone his career as a whole, but his early-season form helped to get them off on the right foot. Before the rise to prominence of Robinho in October, Dinho turned on the style often enough to suggest he still had something to offer despite not being able to match his exhilarating display on opening night against Lecce. However, two months without a start leading up to the January transfer window was always going to mean an exit for the man who once ruled Europe.

Giacomo Beretta
Games: 1, Goals: 0, Average: 6.00

Marco Borriello
Games: 1, Goals: 0, Average: 5.00

Filippo Inzaghi
Games: 5, Goals: 2, Average: 6.50

Nnamdi Oduamadi
Games: 1, Goals: 0, Average: n/a

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