World Football: The Rebirth Of AC Milan
The biggest Italian club, AC Milan is finally getting back on the winning track. After amazing 2007 year for this club (when they won three trophies: the UEFA Champions League, European Super cup and FIFA Club World Cup), everyone thought how Milan is going to conquer Italy this time.
But they were wrong. Why? First of all AC Milan did terrible transfer campaign in summer of 2007. They brought old midfielder Emerson, who rarely played in Real Madrid and great young prospect was brought from Brazilian side, Internacional, his name is Alexandre Pato, the youngster will later show to the world why Milan payed 22 million € for him. Every normal person will describe this transfers as poor transfer campaign. Anyway, AC Milan president Berlusconi and vice-president Galliani will start show with their pathetic comments how AC Milan is the most successful club in te world and how their team doesn't need new players.
In season 2007-2008, Arsenal will kick out AC Milan from the Champions League and Milan will, after long years, go back to the UEFA Cup after finishing 5th in the Serie A. Once again, AC Milan board will say that this season was very successful because the club managed to win two trophies. Maybe they were right....
Can AC Milan be great once again?
Next summer 2008, we saw AC Milan president Berlusconi finally opening his checkbook. Milan bought Marco Borrielo (best goalscorer in Serie A last season) from Genoa for 10 million €, a great signing was made when they brought Mathieu Flamini for free. But, the biggest stars of this transfer campaign were definitely the Brazilian maestro Ronaldinho, who was brought from Barcelona for 21 million € and big return of one of the biggest AC Milan legends, Andriy Schevchenko, who came back to Milano on loan from Chelsea. Other big transfer was return of great Italian full back, Gianluca Zambrotta, who came from Barcelona for 8.5 million €. Other notable transfers or returns to Milan squad were: Christian Abbiati, Luca Antonini, Ignazio Abate, Philipe Senderos and great Uruguay prospects Mathias Cardacio and Tabare Viudez. Milan also did a stupid move by giving up on Yoann Gourcuff who was loaned to French side Bordeaux with premission to buy the young player for 15 million €. In the winter they will also add David Beckham to their squad. He came from Los Angeles Galaxy on loan so he can prove to Fabio Capello that he is capable of playing for the England national team.
In UEFA Cup, AC Milan does decent job in their group along Wolfsburg, Portsmouth, Heerenveen and Braga by ending up on second place. But, in round of 32 they were kicked out by Werder Bremen because of they away goal rules. AC Milan obviously didn't take this competetion seriously. In Serie A, Milan will do a decent score, by winning 74 points and securing Champions League spot again. This season was one to forget as soon as possible.
Summer 2009, the biggest changes occured in the club. We won't see Paolo Maldini anymore who is probably the biggest AC Milan captain along with Franco Baresi. Paolo retired after amazing 24 years in AC Milan. Probably the best defender we ever saw! Other big change occured when Carlo Ancelotti, who is definitely one of the most successful Milan coaches, terminated contract with AC Milan and went to new destination in Chelsea FC. Probably the most shocking thing for every AC Milan happened when they sold their biggest star and their best player, Kaka to Real Madrid, who were ready to make new Galacticos. Another punch was made to the fans when Bordeaux decided to buy Gourcuf for 15 million €.
AC Milan received 80 million € from Kaka and Gourcuf. The Milan board announced that Milan is in big finance crisis so they had to sell Kaka while others claimed that Kaka betrayed them. True, Kaka gave a lot of promises to fans how he is going to be AC Milan captain and legend, but that won't happen. From this money, Milan is going to buy Thiago Silva from Fluminese for 10 million € and Klaas Jan Huntelaar for 15 million € from Real Madrid. Milan also brought Oguchi Onyewu for free, while Storari, Oddo and Abate were brought back from their loan spells and Milan again bring back on loan David Beckham along with Mancini from Inter. Also, big Milan legend, Leonardo was announced to be the coach of AC Milan. He wanted to add dangerous Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano, but the board brought him Huntelaar who was most of the time benched and didn't get a lot of chances to prove his great goal scoring ability.
In Serie A, Milan ended up again on the 3th place with 70 points. They had a lot of chances to end up on the first place, but injuries of their key players definitely stoped them. The Champions League brought us a great group. In the same group we saw two the most successful Champions League clubs. Real Madrid with 9 titles and AC Milan with 7 titles. Milan fans will surely remember the epic victory 2-3 on Santiago Bernabeu, but they ended up on the second place. That place brought them Manchester United, the club that never kicked AC Milan out of the Champions League. This time, they finally did it. They totally destroyed Milan and specially in the second match on the Old Trafford, when they won 4-0. Wayne Rooney was unstoppable.
Summer of 2010 once again brought big changes in Milan. Leonardo, the Milan coach, didn't had the same vision as Milan president Berlusconi and it resulted by Leonardo getting fired. Massimiliano Allegri was brought to take control of Milan. He had very decent results with minor club, Cagliari. He impreseed a lot of people with his approach to the game. The transfer campaign started like some nightmare. Milan brough Mario Yepes, the 34 years old defender, on free and decent Greek potential Sokratis Papastathopoulos for 3 million € from Genoa. Marco Amelia also came on loan from Genoa. AC Milan fans couldn't believe what was happening with their club this summer. After 2 really frustrating years for this great club, Milan president finally noticed that the squad needs some new great stars.
First, on August 18th, Milan announced great Ghana player, Kevin Prince Boateng, who was brought on co-ownership deal from Genoa. After that, probably the best move happened in this transfer window, when Galiani showed his amazing abilities. Mr Galiani somehow convinced Barcelona to give them Zlatan Ibrahimović on loan with the option fully purchase him for only 24 million €. Milan got a true winner on this one. On the last day of the transfer window, Milan brough speedy Brazilian maestro Robinho from Manchester City for 18 million €. Berlusconi finally brought smile on AC Milan fans and everybody suddenly became very optimistic for this Milan although Milan was still pretty poor in defense.
For now in this 2010-2011 season, Milan is doing a great job. They are marching straight to the 18th Serie A title. Zlatan Ibrahimović and Robinho created unstoppable attacking duo while Nesta and Thiago Silva manage to create on of the best defenesive duo. Ambrosini looks like a real captain on the field. For now, they are alone on the top of the league. Copa Italia is about to start again, the competetion that Milan didn't take seriously in the past years. In the Champions League, they manage to get in the next round and they wait England newbies, Tottenham Hotspurs. This winter, Milan also brought a great Italian virtuoso Antonio Cassano for free from Sampdoria. In the match he made instant impact by assisting for the winning goal against Cagliari.
Everything looks great, but Milan should not celebrate so soon because they need to take seriously every next match in order to claim Serie A title again after long seven years. Maybe they should also try to strengthen their defense because whenever they miss Thiago Silva or Nesta, their defense doesn't have so much confidence and looks prety shaky. Also, a great full back should arrive in the club soon. Thanks to president Berlusconi and vice president Galiani, AC Milan is finally back where they belong and that is the top!
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