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Betting on AC Milan is a bit like betting on royalty. Although they have had a lean period, AC Milan is by far one of the most successful Italian clubs. One of the best European clubs even. We dive into the history, and statistics of AC Milan!
History AC Milan
AC Milan can still narrowly claim to have been founded in the 19th century. Because on 16 December 1899, it was Englishman Herbert Kilpin who founded the Milan Foot-Ball and Cricket Club. Kilpin had played at Internazionale Torino from 1891-1899. At Milan, he focused on the club’s football branch. Because of Kilpin, the club still uses the English spelling of Milan, as opposed to the Italian spelling Milano.
Kilpin himself still played and was soon successful with Milan. In 1901, the club became Italian champions with him. In doing so, it broke the dominance of Genoa, who were the champion for the previous three years. From 1902-1904, Genoa became champions again and, in 1905, Juventus. In 1906 and 1907, it was Milan again. It also won a number of tournaments prior to the outbreak of World War 1.
Grey years, Internazionale and return to the top
A year after the third national title, there were internal conflicts at the club over foreign purchases. This led to the creation of FC Internazionale Milano, which eventually became a major rival. After this, Milan failed to win a prize for over 40 years, except for two minor tournaments during World War I. The club always continued to play at the highest level. During the Fascist era, Milan was forced to adopt the Italian name Associazione Calcio Milano. After World War 2, AC Milano became AC Milan again, in honour of its English founder.
Only in the 1950s did Milan return to the top. That was mainly thanks to the Swedish trio Gre-No-Li. Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm had won gold with Sweden at the 1948 Olympics. They then came to AC Milan and with them the club finished second in 1950, became champions in 1951 and again in 1952. Nordahl in particular scored wildly, with 210 goals in 257 games.
With Nordahl and Liedholm, Milan also won the Scudetto in 1955, and with only Liedhol they won it in 1957 and 1959. In addition, AC Milan also won the Copa Latina in 1951 and 1956, a tournament for clubs from Spain, Portugal, Italy and France. In 1958, AC Milan lost the final of the European Cup I (predecessor of the Champions League) to Real Madrid.
European success with Gianni Rivera, José Altafini and Nereo Rocco
In the 1960s, AC Milan continued their successes. José Altafini had joined the club in 1958, Gianni Rivera in 1960. Rivera in particular became a legend, as he would remain an AC Milan player for 19 years. Altafini became club top scorer six years in a row and with him and Rivera, AC Milan won the national title in 1962, and the European Cup I a year later against defending champion Benfica. Nereo Rocco was the celebrated coach.
Rocco then left the club, but returned in 1967. Immediately he won more wonderful prizes with AC Milan and with Gianni Rivera, among others. In 1968, Milan won the European Cup Winners’ Cup and the Italian national title. In 1969, the European Cup for Nations Champions in the final against Ajax and the Intercontinental Cup (World Cup for Clubs). This was followed by the Coppa Italia twice in the early 1970s and again the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Tenth Scudetto, Serie B, Silvio Berlusconi
AC Milan continued to seek their tenth national title, which would mean a star on the shirt. In 1971, 1972 and 1973, the club finished second each time under Nereo Rocco. Only in 1979 would the tenth Scudetto become a reality. A year later, however, AC Milan turned out to be involved in ‘Totonero’, a bribery scandal in Italian football. The club was relegated to Serie B. Milan immediately won the title there, but were relegated again the following season. In 1983, Milan won Serie B again and then stayed in Serie A.
A new wind blew at AC Milan on 20 February 1986, when entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi bought the club. Shortly after the debut of a young Paolo Maldini, he brought in coach Arrigo Sacchi and Italian internationals Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Donadoni and Giovanni Galli.
In 1988, AC Milan won the Scudetto at the expense of Diego Maradona’s Napoli. A year later, the Rossoneri’s European hegemony also began. AC Milan won the European Cup I two years in a row, as well as the Intercontinental Cup and UEFA Super Cup. Between 1992 and 1994 under coach Fabio Capello, they also won three league titles in a row and the Champions League again in 1994.
AC Milan would go on to win the Italian title in 1996 and 1999, new European success followed in the 2000s. That was mainly due to players like Andriy Shevchenko, Kaká, Filippo Inzaghi, Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo. In 2003, 2005 and 2007, they reached the Champions League final, winning it in 2003 and 2007. The 2005 loss was a bizarre game against Liverpool. The successful coach at the time was former player Carlo Ancelotti.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and lesser successes
After the UEFA Super Cup and the World Cup for Clubs in 2008, AC Milan’s trophy cabinet would not be replenished often. In 2010, the club brought in Zlatan Ibrahimovic on loan from FC Barcelona and did become national champions in 2010-11. What followed was another grey period. Milan were eliminated in the eighth final of the Champions League four times in a row.
Between 2012 and 2022, the club only won the Supercoppa Italiana twice and often finished only in the sub-top of Serie A. With the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the recruitment of Olivier Giroud, among others, AC Milan is back at the Italian top. In 2021, the club finished second in Serie A, followed by the championship in 2022.
Rivals of AC Milan
AC Milan’s most obvious rival is, of course, city rival Internazionale. That club emerged from AC Milan back in 1908. Both clubs have 19 national titles, but are far behind Juventus with 36. The rivalry with Juventus is mainly because both clubs are the most successful in Italy. AS Roma and Napoli are also seen as rivals of AC Milan. In European football, AC Milan most often played against FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Ajax (two finals), Celtics, Manchester United, FC Porto and Bayern Munich.
AC Milan club icons
The very first club icon is of course Herbert Kilpin, founder and three-time national champion. The next heyday came in the 1950s with the Swedish trio Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm. Not to be disregarded are Lorenzo Buffon, a nephew of Gianluigi’s grandfather and player from 1949-1959. There’s Cesare Maldini, player from 1954-1966 and, of course, father of that other Maldini. The 1960s also saw the arrival of superstar coach Nereo Rocco, who managed the likes of Gianni Rivera, José Altafini, Pierino Prati and Angelo Anquilletti.
In the 1980s, a new AC Milan was built under the leadership of Silvio Berlusconi, who would remain president for some 20 years. Franco Baresi (1977-1997) made his debut a little earlier, but many more top players followed in the 1980s. Record-holder Paolo Maldini (902 games in 24 years), Alessandro Costacurta, Mauro Tassotti, Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard. Gullit also won the Golden Ball as an AC Milan player, Van Basten even three times.
In the last 25 years, fans further particularly enjoyed George Weah, Massimo Ambrosini, Kaká, Andriy Shevchenko, Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf, Filippo Inzaghi, Andrea Pirlo, Alessandro Nesta, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Retrospective AC Milan season 2021/2022
The 2021/2022 season was when AC Milan finally returned to the top of Serie A. The club maintained a minimal lead of two points over arch-rival Internazionale. Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leão scored 14 goals, Zlatan Ibrahimovic eight, and Franck Kessié seven. In the Champions League, AC Milan finished last in the group. That is not surprising considering the gruelling talent of the group, with Liverpool, Atlético Madrid and FC Porto.
Outlook AC Milan season 2022/2023
AC Milan hope to compete for the Scudetto again this season. In doing so, they will have to deal with clubs like Napoli, Juventus, Internazionale, and Lazio. Maybe the club can even win the Coppa Italia again for the first time in 20 years. In the Champions League, AC Milan finished second in a group with Chelsea, Red Bull Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb. So on the European scale, the club is still plenty active. In betting on football, you can still bet on plenty of AC Milan matches this season: Serie A, Coppa Italia, and the Champions League!
AC Milan’s home stadium is San Siro, also known as Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. It is shared with Inter Milan and is one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world.
AC Milan’s team colors are red and black. They are commonly known as the “Rossoneri,” which translates to “Red and Blacks.”
AC Milan’s most successful period in European competitions was during the late 1980s and early 1990s. They won the European Cup (now known as the UEFA Champions League) in 1989, 1990, 1994, and 2003.
The “Milan Derby” refers to the matches between AC Milan and their city rivals, Inter Milan. These matches are intense and passionate, showcasing the rivalry between the two prominent Milanese clubs.
AC Milan has been home to many legendary players, including Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Marco van Basten, George Weah, Kaka, and Andriy Shevchenko.