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Address: Via Filippo Turati, 3 - 20121 Italy
Phone: +39 026 2281
Fax: +39 026 598 876
Official URL: http://www.acmilan.com
Chairman: Silvio Berlusconi
Club Director: Ariedo Braida
Stadium: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza - Milano
AC Milan was formed as the Milan Football and Cricket Club in 1899 by an Englishman named Alfred Edwards. The official colours chosen for the team were red-and-black, and under the captaincy of Herbert Kilpin, the Rossoneri captured three Scudetti, in 1901, 1906 and 1907.
In 1908 their was a split within the club as a group of Italian and Swiss members were unhappy about the domination of Italians in the Milan squad, and created their own team Internazionale. Inter was open to foreigners, hence its name, and this was the beginning of a fierce Milan-Inter rivalry that is still present today.
The Dark Years - Part One
After their Scudetto success in 1907, Milan then went more than 40 years without winning another league title. During this time the best performances were two third place finishes.
The inter-war years are recognised as one of two dark periods for Milan, the other being during the early 1980s when the club was twice relegated to Serie B.
In 1938 Benito Mussolin’s fascist regime gave the club a new name, Associazione Calcio Milano. After World War Two, the last letter was dropped off Milano, to create the name that is present today, Associazione Calcio Milan.
Milan have probably produced four great teams during their history. The first was during the 1950s when the Swedish trio of Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm starred for the club.
These three greats helped lead Milan to their next four Scudetti, in 1951, 1955, 1957 and 1959 and the Italian media took the first part from each of their surnames to form the contraction of Gre-No-Li.
Nordahl is the all-time top scorer for Milan, having scored an incredible 221 goals in 268 appearances between 1949 and 1956. Gren was a tremendous roaming midfielder who provided the bulk of the passes for Nordahl to score from and was particularly influential in the 1951 league triumph.
Liedholm was also a midfielder and was the leader of this great team for 12 seasons until he retired at the age of 39. One of the most legendary stories in football says that Liedholm once went two years without misplacing pass. When he finally gave the ball away he immediately received a standing ovation that lasted five minutes.
He would later Coach Milan to the Serie A title in 1979, and he also assembled a wonderful Scudetto-winning Roma side in 1983.
The Rocco Years
Nereo Rocco bossed Milan from 1961-63 and 1967-73. An innovative Coach, who is famous for being one of the first proponents of the Catenaccio tactic, Rocco led Milan to two Scudetti in 1962 and 1968, two Champions League titles in 1963 and 1969, and an Intercontinental crown in 1969.
There were a plethora of legendary players during his era. Jose Altafini scored 120 goals in 205 appearances for the Rossoneri and is regarded by many as the greatest Brazilian ever to play in Serie A.
The original Golden Boy, Gianni Rivera, was at Milan for an incredible 19 years and his magnificent display in the 4-1 European Cup Final victory over Ajax in 1969 helped him win the Ballon d’Or in that year.
Other greats include Giovanni Trapattoni, who Pele once said was the most difficult defender he had ever played against, the German Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, and another Brazilian, Angelo Sormani.
The Dark Years - Part Two
Milan continued to be successful until the mid-70s, winning a European Cup Winners Cup and three Coppa Italias.
However what they really wanted was their 10th Scudetto and they had to endure over a decade of misery before finally obtaining the first star on the red-and-black jersey in 1979. The legendary Rivera retired after this triumph but bad things were just around the corner.
In 1980 Milan were relegated to Serie B as a result of the Totonero betting scandal. Although the Rossoneri gained immediate promotion, they would then have to suffer the humiliation of being relegated once again in 1982, after a disastrous season.
In 1986 a Milanese entrepreneur and politician, Silvio Berlusconi bought the club and would create one of the greatest sides in European football history. Berlusconi brought a rising coach Arrigo Sacchi, three Dutchmen Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard and a young Italian star, Roberto Donadoni.
Under Sacchi, Milan won two Champions League titles in 1989 and 1990, a Scudetto in 1988 and two Intercontinental crowns. The Rossoneri back-line consisting of Paolo Maldini, Mauro Tassotti, Franco Baresi, and Alessandro Costacurta is widely considered to be the best club defence of all time.
Sacchi left in 1992 and would go on to take over the reigns for the Italian national team. He was replaced at Milan by Fabio Capello, who would lead the club to four Scudetti in five years.
He added another Champions League title in 1994 after famously demolishing Barcelona 4-0 in the final. He was also unlucky to twice be a runner-up in the competition, as the Rossoneri confirmed themselves as the top-club side in Europe in the early 1990s.
After this wonderful success, Capello left to boss Real Madrid and a succession of Coaches took over without much joy. These included Oscar Tabarez, Sacchi (a second time), Capello (a second time), Alberto Zaccheroni and Fatih Terim.
Zaccheroni did win the Scudetto in 1999 after a great run towards the end of the season, but it was clear that this Milan team was not the great one it had been at the beginning of the decade.
This changed when Carlo Ancelotti took over in 2001. A former player at the club during the Sacchi years, Ancelotti led the club to incredible success in Europe. Between 2003 and 2007, Milan won the Champions League twice, and reached the final, semi-final and quarter-final on one occasion each.
Boasting the likes of Kaka, Andrea Pirlo and Andrei Shevchenko, the Rossoneri delighted European football audiences, and they also captured the Scudetto in 2004.
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