The AC Milan Story in 10 Iconic Matches

Matteo Bonetti@@TheCalcioGuyContributor IOctober 10, 2013

The AC Milan Story in 10 Iconic Matches

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    There have been a countless amount of memorable matches in AC Milan's history, which spans more than a century.

    Apart from all the heated derbies, the hoisted trophies and the emotions created lies a intertwined story that shows just how important the club of Milan is for football as a whole.

    Without further ado, here are 10 of the most important matches in Milan's history:

1963: Milan vs. Benfica

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    Photo Credit: Attacking Soccer

    Milan won their first-ever European Cup in the 1962-63 season when they faced Portuguese giants Benfica at the old Wembley Stadium in London, England.

    Milan won 2-1 thanks to Jose Altafini's brace which negated Eusebio's lone goal for Benfica.

1973: Milan vs. Leeds United

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    Photo Credit: Serie A-ddicted

    On May 16, 1973, a Milan side led by the legendary coach Nereo Rocco beat Leeds United to win the now-defunct Coppa delle Coppe (Cup Winners Cup) in Thessaloniki, Greece.

    The match came less than a week before the famous Fatal Verona loss where Milan gave up their Scudetto.

1973: FatalVerona

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    Only a match away from winning their 10th Scudetto, a Milan side that had just won the Coppa delle Coppe against Leeds United faced Hellas Verona and lost 5-3 at the Stadio Bentegodi.

    This infamous game left Milan waiting for the star that is emblazoned on the kit every 10 Scudetti.

    The match is still referred to when the two sides meet to this day.

1980: Totonero and Serie B

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    Photo Credit: AP

    While this slide doesn't list any particular match, it involves the dark period in the early 1980s when Milan were involved in the infamous Totonero scandal that sent them to Serie B for the first time in their history.

    The scandal involved members of the team paying players and coaches to fix the outcome of certain matches.

    Needless to say, Milan achieved promotion back to Serie A the following season. Sadly enough, Milan were relegated yet again to the second division the following year when they finished third from bottom in the table.

1989: Milan vs. Steaua

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    Photo Credit: AC Milan

    Milan beat Romanian side Steaua Bucharest 4-0 in the 1989 European Cup final, a game that ended up being an all-Dutch affair. 

    All four goals came courtesy of braces from former Ballon D'Or winners Ruud Gullit and Marco Van Basten.

1994: Milan vs. Barcelona

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    Perhaps the greatest single match in Milan's history, the 4-0 drubbing of giants Barcelona in the 1994 Champions League final was seen as not only a terrific match but an incredible upset as Milan were missing a few of their most important players.

    Marco Van Basten was out with injury, while legendary defenders Franco Baresi and Alessandro Costacurta were suspended.

    What ensued was a football masterclass at the hands of the highly skilful Dejan Savicevic and a brace from speedy striker Daniele Massaro. 

2001: Inter vs. Milan

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    Photo Credit: ANSA

    It's the only domestic match on this list—and for a big reason. Milan hold the record for the biggest Derby Della Madonnina win in their history when they thrashed Inter 6-0 in 2001.

    A surprise brace from seldom-used striker Gianni Comandini sent Milanisti into a frenzied state and gave them bragging rights to last a lifetime.

2003: Milan vs. Juventus

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    In what was to be their sixth Champions League victory, it was an all-Italian affair which brought Milan to the 2003 European final.

    After beating bitter rivals Inter in the semi-finals, Milan would face another Italian team in the final.

    Goalless after 120 minutes, the tie between Milan and Juventus climaxed in a dramatic penalty shootout that was ended by Andriy Shevchenko's cool finish into the side-netting.

2005: Milan vs. Liverpool

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    It's the match most Milanisti won't dare talk about. The 2005 Champions League final between Milan and Liverpool featured one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.

    By the end of the first half, Milan were leading the English side 3-0 and starting to celebrate already. But in a six-minute stretch at the start of the second half, Liverpool tied the match 3-3 and went on to beat the Italians on penalties.

    The lasting image many have of the penalty shootout is that of Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek and his unconventional movement before the Milan players took their kicks.

2007: Milan vs. Liverpool

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Revenge couldn't possibly have been sweeter for Milan in this match as they faced the team that had beaten them in the most excruciating of circumstances only two years earlier. 

    The tale would be different this time around, the Rossoneri winning 2-1 thanks to a Filippo Inzaghi brace.

    This was Milan's seventh Champions League trophy—and the last one they have won so far in their storied history.