|Kaká, Clarence Seedorf, Andriy Shevchenko & Cafu|
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
AC Milan All-Time Team Under Silvio Berlusconi
AC Milan Brazilian Best XI
AC Milan All-Time Team
AC Milan All-Time Italian Team
AC Milan All-Time Foreign Player Team
This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for AC Milan's foreign players. The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.
Nicknamed "I Rossoneri", AC Milan is the second most successful club after Real Madrid in Europe. At the time of writing, they have won the Euorpean Cup/Champions' league 7 times. They have a strong team in the 1960's, winning the 1963 and 1969. After many years of failure in the 1970's and early 1980's, Silvio Berlusconi bought the club in 1986. He turned the club into a dynasty. The Dutch trio of Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard was credited for the successes of that era. Later, Dejan Savicevic and Kaka helped the club to win the European Cup/Champions' League. Other notable foreign influence on the club incliuded the "Gre-No-Li" line consisted that consisted of Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm.
GK: Dida (Brazil)
Didi was mainly remembered for his 8 seasons with AC Milan. He was the hero of the 2003 Champions' League Final when he helped Milan to win the penalty shootout against Juventus. He became the first Brazilian keeper to be nominated for Ballon d' Or that year. He went to three World Cup Finals and started in 2006 for the Seleção.
GK Zeljko Kalac (Australia)
Kalac made his name with Sydney United. He moved to Europe in 1995. He played in England, holland and Italy. He was the backup keeper for AC Milan as they won the Champions' League in 2006-2007. He spent most of his career between Bosnich and Schwarzer, but still earned 54 caps for Socceroos. He played against Croata at the WC Finals in 2006.
GK: Diego Lopez (Spain)
Lopez started from Real Madrid, but made his name first with Villareal and Sevilla. In January, 2013, he rejoined Real Madrid after Iker Casillas suffered a serious injury. He quickly established as the starter. He maintained his starting status the following year, despite the return of Casillas. He won Copa Del Rey that season as the starter while backing up Casillas in the Champions' League as Real Madrid won it. Capped once in 2009.
Cafu is the all-time cap record holder for Brazil with 142 caps. He is the only man to play in three WC finals, winning it in 1994 and 2002. He was the captain of the 2002 team. With Sao Paulo, he won two Copa Libertadores: 1992, 1993. In Europe, he won a Cup Winners Cup with Real Zaragoza, and he also won a singe Champions League with AC Milan in 2006. He was South American Player of the Year in 1994.
The most prominent period of his career was his five years with AC Milan, with whom he won the 1999 Serie A championship and 2003 UEFA Champions League tournament. He was named 1994 Danish Player of the Year. He has participated in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 European Championship and the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cup tournaments. He also played for Udinese, Inter Milan, Norwich City and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
CB: Thiago Silva (Brazil)
Thiago Silva became the most expensive defender in history when he moved from Milan to Paris St. Germain. In Brazil, he played for Juventude and Fluminense, helping Fluminense to the Final of Copa Libertadores in 2008. For the national team, he was the captain of Brazil ill-fated team in World Cup 2014, but did not play against Germany in the semifinal. He was an unused sub at the WC Finals in 2010.
CB/DM: Marcel Desailly (France)
Marcel Desailly was considered to be one of the greatest defensive players during the 1990's. He played 116 times for France, winning the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000. He was the first player to win the European Cup in consecutive seasons with different clubs, when he won it with Marseille in 1993 and AC Milan the following year.
CB: Herbert Kilpin (England)
Killeen came to Italy from England in 1891 to work for Edoardo Bosio, an Italian-Swiss textile merchant. Bosio founded Internazionale Torino, believed to be the first Italian football club. Kilpin played for the team, becoming the first-ever Englishman to play football abroad. In 1898, he moved to Milan and became one of the founding members of AC Milan. Her spent 9 seasons with the club as a player,w inning 3 national titles.
CB/LB: Karl-Heinz Schnellinger (West Germany)
In his prime, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger was considered one of the best leftbacks in the world. He participated in 4 World Cup Finals, unfortunaitely sandwiched between West Germany's two World Cup winning tournaments. He was remembered one of the first German to star in Italy's Serie A. He had a remarkable stint with AC Milan and AS Roma. He won the European Cup in 1969 with AC Milan. At home, he played with Koln.
Kakha Kaladze started with Dinamo Tbilisi in Georgia. He was also a part of Dynmamo Kyiv that dominated the domestic league and reached the semifinal of the Champions' league in the 1990's with Andriy Shevchenko. He also played for AC Milan, where he won two Champions' League in 2003 and 2007. He was Georgian Player of the Year for 5 times. He played 83 timed for Georgia.
CM: Frank Rijkaard (Holland)
Frank Rijkaard was one of Holland's most important player. Capped 73 times. He won the 1988 European Championship in West Germany. He notably played for Ajax and AC Milan. He spent 5 seasons with AC Milan when Milan was considered the greatest club team in the world, winning two European Cup. In 1995, he led a young Ajax team to their famous Champions' League victory. That team is also considered one of the greatest club sides ever.
AM/CM: Zvonimir Boban (Croatia)
Zvonimir Boban was the captain of the national team that finished third at the World Cup in 1998. He was also an important player of the highly talented Yugoslavia under-20 team that won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship. He was also remembered for his career with AC Milan with whom he won four Serie A and one UEFA Champions League titles. He also played Bari and Celta Vigo at the club level.
CM/LM: Clarence Seedorf (Holland)
Seedorf is the first player to win three Champion League titles with 3 different clubs. He was a member of the Golden Generation from Ajax that won Champions League in 1995. In 1996, he moved to Real Madrid, where he quickly established himself as a star. He would win two Champions League title there. He later played for both AC Milan and Inter Milan. He was a key player for the Dutch national team.
Dejan Savicevic was a part of the Red Star Belgrade team that won the 1990–91 European Cup before joining A.C. Milan in 1992. With Milan, he won three Serie A titles and the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League. His international career was limited due to sanction placed on his country. He did not play in a major tournaments at the peak of his career. However, he represented Yugoslavia at the 1990 and 1998 World Cups. He had over 50 caps.
AM: Ruud Gullit (Holland)
Gullit was the iconic captain of Holland 1988. In 1987, he moved from PSV Eindhoven to A.C. Milan for a world record transfer fee. He was an important player for AC Milan during the 1980's where they won two straight European Cups. He was the European Footballer of the Year in 1987 and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989. He spent one season with Sampdoria winning the Italian Cup in 1994.
AM: Rui Costa (Portugal)
Rui Costa was one of the best players in the 1990's Portugal's Golden Generation. He was a part of the team that won the 1991 U-20 World Cup. He starred for Benfica, Florentina and AC Milan. He won a Champions' League title with AC Milan in the 2003-2004 season. He earned 94 caps fpr Portugal. He represented the country in three UEFA European Championships and one World Cup. He led Portugal to the Final of European Championship at home, scoring a screamer against England.
AM/CM: Kaka (Brazil)
Kaka started his career with Sao Paulo in Brazil before moving to AC Milan in 2003. He was the star player who helped Milan to win the Champions' League in 2007 and he himself won he Ballon d'or the same year. In 2009, he left Milan for Real Madrid. For Brazil, he was capped 92 times between 2002 and 2016. He was a young and seldom used player at the World Cup Finals in 2002. He was a key player after the World Cup Finals in 2002.
Nicknamed Il Barone (The Baron), Nils Liedholm is probably one of Sweden's greatest players. He played for AC Milan between 1949 and 1961. He also won the Latin Cup in 1951 and 1956 and was captain of Milan in the 1958 European Cup Final that lost against Real Madrid. He was a part of the famous "Gre-No-Li" line for both club and country. He won a Gold Medal at the 1948 Olympics and helped Sweden to finish second at the World Cup Finals in 1958.
SS: Juan Schiaffino (Uruguay)
At international level, Juan Schiaffino won the 1950 FIFA World Cup with the Uruguayan national team, and also took part at the 1954 FIFA World Cup; he later also represented the Italy national football team. He was considered one of the greatest Uruguayan players in history. For club level, he played in Uruguay for Penarol and in Italy with Milan and Roma.
FW: George Weah (Liberia)
In terms of individual awards, no African player wins more awards than him. He was was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or in 1995. He won African Footballer of the Year: 1989, 1994, 1995. He was voted African Player of the Century in 1996. He had great careers with AC Milan where he won two Serie A titles. He also played for Monaco, PSG, Chelsea, etc. In 2017, Weah was elected as the President of Liberia.
FW: Gunnar Gren (Sweden)
Gunnar Gren was part of the famous "Gre-No-Li" trio of forwards at AC Milan and the Swedish national team during the 1950's. He won a Gold Medal at the 1948 Olympics and helped Sweden to finish second at the World Cup finals in 1958. He is considered one of the greatest footballers for both Sweden and AC Milan. In Sweden, he played for IFK Gothenburg, AC Fiorentina, Genoa, and Örgryte IS.
ST: Jose Altafini (Brazil)
In Brazil, Jose Altafini was known as Mazzola because of his resemblance with Italian attacking midfielder Valentino Mazzola. He started to use his real name Jose Altafini after he joined AC Milan in 1958. In the 1963 European Cup Final, he scored two goals to secure Milan's first European triumph He is the current 4th top-scorer in Italy's Serie A history. For the national team, he was the original starter on the 1958 World Cup team, but was replaced in the semifinal and the Final.
|Jose Altafini (R)|
He is probably one of both Sweden and AC Milan's greatest players. He is played with Gunnar Gren and Nils Liedholm to form the renowned Gre-No-Li line at AC Milan. He was Serie A top scorer for 5 times. He is the all-time leading scorer at Milan. He won the Gold Medal at the 1948 Olympics, but was not selected for the WC in 1950. He played two years with Roma before retiring. His brother Bertil and Knut also played for Sweden.
ST: Andrei Shevchenko (Ukraine)
He is considered one of the greatest Ukrainian player in history. He won the Ballon D'Or in 2004 and came 3rd on the World Player of the Year. He started his career with Dynamo Kyiv. He was best remembered for his stint with AC Milan, winning the Champions' League in 2003. He won 111 caps and scored 48 goals for the Ukraine. He led Ukraine to qualify for the World Cup Finals in 2006.
ST: Marco Van Basten (Holland)
Marco Van Basten was probably the second best Dutch player and among the best striker in football's history. He won the Ballon d'Or three times. He led Oranje to the victory at the European Championship 1988 scoring 5 goals at the tournament. It was Holland's first victory in a major tournament. His goal in the Final is considered one of the best in history of the tournament. He started his career with Ajax. He also won two European Cups with AC Milan, a club side that was considered the best ever.
|The Three Dutchmen|
Leonardo, Serginho, Marek Jankulovski, Oliver Bierhoff, Ray Wilkins, Jon Dahl Tomasson, Zlatan Ibrahimović', Cristián Zapata.
-- Thirteen players on this team were selected by my AC Milan all-time team. Almost all of them are offensive players. Only Cafu and Karl-Heinz Schnellinger were foreign defensive players on my all-time AC Milan team.
-- The left back position is very strong with Schnellinger and Kaladze. Leonardo, Serginho and Marek Jankulovski are very strong candidates too.
-- Two group of trios were the obvious choices. The "Gre-No-Li" line consisted of three Swedes: Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm. In the late 1980's, the three Dutchmen were also obvious choices.
-- Cristián Zapata would have been my 4th centerback. Because Schnellinger and Rijkaard can play in the center, I decided to take one less centerbacks. Instead, I selected the best remaining player. It was between Rui Costa and Leonardo. Although the team has too many attacking midfielders, I still take Rui Costa. He contributed to the Champions League victory.
-- Herbert Kilpin was one of AC Milan's founders and an important player at the beginning of the club. He was selected for his historical roles for the club.
-- Not many foreign goalkeepers ever played for AC Milan. Dida is the only foreign goalkeeper who became a long-time starting goalkeeper. Zeljko Kalac and Jen Lehmann only played a few games. Diego Lopez actually started for them. Hoberlin Hood of England was their first ever goalkeeper. In the end, I took Zeljko Kalac because he was a long time backup for the team.
-- For the offence, it is similar to my all-time team for AC Milan. Almost every offensive players from that team are foreigners. I only needed to find replacement for Gianni Rivera and Andreas Pirlo. George Weah, Gunner Gren and Rui Costa were considered. In the end, I took Gunnar Gren and Clarence Seedorf.
-- Clarence Seedorf can also play in on the left side as well as dropping deep.
-- Due to Yugoslavia's international ban, Dejan Savicevic and Zvonimir Boban never had much chance to play international football in their prime. Dejan Savicevic made a statement at the 1994 European Cup Final as AC Milan destroyed Johan Cruyff's Dream Team.
-- Serginho and Marek Jankulovski all played on the left side. Karl-Heinz Schnellinger is a lock on that side of the field. The other spot goes to Kakha Kaladze.
-- Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and David Beckham played in the end of their careers. They were never seriously considered.
-- Zlatan Ibrahimović's stay was very brief. He is up against Van Basten, Shevchenko and Jose Altafini for a spot.
-- Jose Altafini was the first foreign star player for AC Milan.
Ruud Gullit has played on the right side earlier in his career. So he needed to adjust his game (which he is very versatile). Kaka also played on the right side for Brazil, but I started him in the middle. Liedholm also played on the left side, but the role and formation was different in his in era.