AC Milan is not just Silvio Berlusconi. They won much before he owned the club, and they suffered quite a bit, too, going 10 years at one point without a championship. They spent the money on Jose Altafini from Brazil and Juan Alberto Schiaffino, the stuff of legend in Uruguay, who were on the same attack.
And they made their own: Before Paolo Maldini was Gianni Rivera, who played with Milan for nearly two decades, and before Rivera was Gunnar Nordahl, the first of the Swedish trio "Gre-No-Li" to arrive in Milan the 1950s.
But Berlusconi turned Milan into something else: the winningest club in the world, a commercial enterprise beyond the shores of Italy, a global phenomenon with fans sprawling from Indonesia to the Middle East. With such lavish goals came huge expenses, and he bought players that thrived and others that did not.
It was a retirement home for some—think the midfielder Emerson—and for others it was a brief stop before a successful career elsewhere. There were great things coming out of Milan, but also great failures and experiments gone wrong.
Here are the 11 players to wear the red and black who only truly achieved the best with another club.