Why AC Milan is Among the Most Iconic Football Teams in History
14.11 || webmaster
If you ask any football fan to mention the best European teams of all time, AC Milan will undoubtedly feature on the list. Regarded by many as one of the teams that have changed the global footballing landscape, AC Milan still stirs up nostalgia in the hearts of football fans, its current woes notwithstanding.
Fans still have fond memories of the world-beaters who proudly wore the white, red, and black jersey from the late 80s to the 2000s. It is the impressive work ethic and relentless personalities of these stars that transformed the Rossoneri into one of the greatest football clubs in modern history. Be it Carlo Ancelotti, Ruud Gullit, or Marco van Basten, AC Milan always had some of the most renowned footballing names in its ranks.
A Legacy of Unearthing Rare Gems
Before the Galactico wave swept through football, AC Milan was known for signing relatively unknown players from lower leagues and transforming them into world-class players. Think of Gullit, Van Basten, and Frank Rijkaard. The Dutch trio was plucked from relative anonymity in the late 80s, with many questioning the teamís decision to place its faith in relatively unknown and inexperienced players.
These fears proved to be unfounded because the three helped the team win its first European Cup in two decades as well as the Italian Cup during their first two seasons in Milan. Their success was the advent of the golden age for the team and helped position Milan as a force to reckon with in European football.
What made the Rossoneri stand out from the rest of the pack was its flair for slick and eye-catching football, something that always kept fans on their feet each matchday. Everyone who wore the famous jersey was a match-winner for both club and country. If Lottoland calculated the odds of winning a World Cup by a national team back in the day, the victorious side would undoubtedly have a Rossoneri player.
At a time when teams focused on the physical side of the game, AC Milan became renowned for its tactical ingenuity. Under Arrigo Sacchi in particular, the team was not only eager to win every week but also to play spectacular football. He was a master tactician and astute motivator who built a team of incredibly hungry and talented players.
Sachi imparted a game-changing philosophy in them with an emphasis on collective intelligence and positional awareness. Soon, the Rossoneri became known for both individual skill and creativity, and a collective zeal to win.
Setting the Bar High
As a show of its dominance in Europe, AC Milan participated in six Champions League seasons between 1989 and 1995. During this period of dominance, Milan won the competition thrice, reached the finals five times, and the semi-final six teams. No other side has had such unprecedented success ever since.
Besides the Rossoneriís Europen dominance, the team also exceeded expectations in domestic competition. After winning the domestic league in 1988, Milan experienced a slight slump in the next couple of years.
During this time, domestic rivals Napoli and Inter Milan featuring the likes of Maradona and Klinsmann excelled in the Serie A. However, their success was short-lived, with the Rossoneri bouncing back to win back-to-back Serie A titles between 1992 and 1994.
What Made the Rossoneri Tick?
Milanís dominance during its golden age is probably the reason why many fans consider it an all-time great. Nonetheless, what many fail to understand is that dominance isnít the only aspect of greatness. In recent history, many sides have been dominant. Often, such dominance comes in leagues and competitions featuring one or two strong teams, and relatively weaker ones.
In this regard, the likes of Juventus and PSG teams of recent years spring to mind. AC Milanís dominance was balanced with quality. The team had a radical, innovative, and practical approach to football. It also participated in competitions featuring teams that were equally strong, if not better.
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