Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Inter Milan All-Time Greatest Players for Italian players

Giuseppe Bergomi and Ricardo Ferri

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index. 

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Inter Milan's Italian players only.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

AC Milan All-Time Team
AC Milan All-Time Italian Team
AC Milan All-Time Foreign Player Team
Inter Milan All-Time Team 
Inter Milan All-Time Team for Foreign Players

Inter Milan won back-to-back European Cup in the early 1960's.  Led by Coach Helenio Herrera, the team was known as "La Grande Inter".  Herrera introduced a new tactics that would changed Italian football.  His method revolutionized the Italian "Catenaccio", a defensive tactics used by the Italians.   Under Herrera, Inter Milan played with hard-tackling defenders and overlapping fullbacks.  In 2009-2010, Inter Milan won the Champions League again under Jose Mourinho. 
Giacinto Facchetti and Sandro Mazzola
GK: Walter Zenga 
Zenga was considered one of Italy's greatest keepers.   He played 58 times for Italy, notably at the 1990 WC Finals in Italy. He had five clean sheet, a total of 518 minutes without conceding a goal, a record still standing in the WC Finals.  He played mainly for Inter Milan, but also with Sampdoria, Padova and New England Revolution in the MLS of the USA. He won two UEFA Cups with Inter Milan.

GK: Gianluca Pagliuca 
Gianluca Pagliuca made his name with Sampdoria, winning the league in 1990-1991 and reaching the European Cup's final in 1992.  In 1994, Inter Milan broke the world transfer record for a keeper to sign him.  While at Inter, he reached UEFA Cup Final twice, winning it in 1997-1998.  For the national team, he was the starting keeper at both USA 1994 and France 1998.  

GK: Giuliano Sarti 
Giuliano Sarti had done well in European football.  In 1960-61, he helped Fiorentina to win the Cup Winners' Cup.  In 1963, he joined Inter Milan and became the starting keeper of La Grande Inter under Helenio Herrera.  He won back-to-back European Cup with them in 1964 and 1965. He only had 8 caps with the Italian national team.

RB: Tarcisio Burgnich 
Throughout his career, Burgnich played for Udinese, Juventus, Palermo, Internazionale, and Napoli; although he won titles with both Juventus and Napoli, he is best known for his time with Inter Milan, where he was a member of manager Helenio Herrera's Grande Inter side.  He also participated and won the Euro 1968 with Italy. 

CB/RB:  Giuseppe Bergomi 
Giuseppe Bergomi was one of Inter Milan's greatest defender, winning one scudetto and three UEFA Cups with them.  He played his entire career with Inter Milan.  He held the record of most appearance in the UEFA Cup. At the international level, Bergomi was a part of the strong defensive units of the national team throughout 1980's.  He was capped 81 times between 1982 and 1998. He won the World Cup in 1982 and appeared in the 1986 and 1990 World Cup Finals. 
Giuseppe Bergomi 
CB/RB: Aristide Guarneri 
Guarnieri made his professional debut for Como in 1957, also playing for Internazionale, Bologna, Napoli, and ending his career with Cremonese 1973. He was part of Inter Milan's European Cup victories in 1964 and 1965 under manager Helenio Herrera.  Guarnieri obtained 21 caps for Italy between 1963–1968.  He was a part of the team that won the 1968 European Championship on home soil.

CB: Riccardo Ferri 
Riccardo Ferri spent most of his career with Inter Milan.  With them, he won two UEFA Cups in 1991 and 1994, and a Serie A title in 1989.  He had 45 caps.  He played at the 1988 European Championship and the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy. Between 1994 and 1996, he played with Sampdoria along side his former Inter Milan teammate Walter Zenga. 

CB: Giuseppe Baresi 
Giuseppe Baresi spent 16 seasons at Inter Milan while captaining the team from 1988 to 1992.  He won two league titles and the UEFA Cup in 1990-1991.  For the national team, he was a starter at the World Cup Finals in 1986. He was also at the European Championship in 1980, where he played alongside his younger brother Franco Baresi of AC Milan. It was the only tournament where both brothers attempted together.

SW: Armando Picchi 
Armando Picchi was the captain of La Garnde Inter.  The team was transformed when Helenio Herrera moved him to the libero position during the 1961-1962 season and a legendary team was born.  He was often credited of changing how the position was played. He was capped 12 times by the Azzurri, but he was left out of the 1966 World Cup team and an injury prevented him from playing at the European Championship of 1968, in which Italy won.
Armando Picchi 
LB: Giacinto Facchetti 
Until the emerge of Paolo Maldini, Giacinto Facchetti was considered to be Italy's greatest left back. He spent his entire career with Inter Milan from 1960 to 1978.  He was the star wingback of La Grande Inter where they won back-to-back European Cups in the 1960's.  He was capped 94 times for Italy. He was the captain of the nation team that won the European Championship in 1968 with Italy. He also played in 1966, 1970 and 1974 World Cup Finals.

LB: Luigi Allemandi 
Allemandi debuted in 1921 with A.C. Legnano. Later, he played with Juventus F.C., F.C. Internazionale Milano, A.S. Roma, S.S.C. Venezia and S.S. Lazio. However, the part of his career that stands out is the corruption scandal in the Torino–Juventus derby in 1927 that resulted in Torino being stripped of their title. He played 24 times for Italy winning g the 1934 World Cup.  He later served as Italy's captain between 1935 and 1936.

DM: Nicola Berti
Berti started his career as a seventeen-year-old with Parma under manager Arrigo Sacchi. After three seasons at Fiorentina he was signed by Internazionale in 1988 where he formed a notable midfield partnership with Lothar Matthäus, and was part of a team which won the 1988–89 record breaking Scudetto. He also won two UEFA Cups. At the international level, he earned 39 caps.  he appeared in both 1990 and 1994 World Cup Finals.
Nicola Berti
DM: Gabriele Oriali 
Gabriele Oriali was the starting defensive midfielder at the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain.  He also participated in Euro 1980. For Italy, he had 28 caps between 1978 and 1983. He was a great destroyer at his time.  He played mainly for Inter Milan, but also with Fiorentina. He won two scudettos and two Italian Cups with Inter Milan. 

CM/DM: Aldo Campatelli 
Born in Milan, Aldo Campatelli made his debut with Inter Milan at the age of 17 in 1939.  He played with them until 1950.  He won two Serie A titles with Inter Milan before the war as their captain.  From 1950 to 1953, he played with Bologna.    He was capped 7 times between 1939 and 1950, and a member of the 1950 World Cup team.

CM: Virgilio Fossati
Between 1910 and 1915, Fossati spent his entire career with Internazionale. He played 97 times for the club and scored 4 goals. Throughout his career, Fossati served as Inter and Italy's captain and also the first Inter player to play with the Italian national team. He served as Inter's coach between 1909 and 1915 while he was still a player.  He died in 1916 during the First World War during a battle.

AM/LM/CM: Evaristo Beccalossi 
Beccalossi started his football career with his hometown club Brescia in 1972, and later became a favorite of the Inter Milan fans, where he spent the majority of his career, from 1978–79 to 1983–84. Together with Alessandro Altobelli, Beccalossi formed one of the longest standing offensive partnerships of Serie A's recent history. They initially played together at Brescia and later became the teammates at Inter. He was uncapped.
Evaristo Beccalossi 
CM/AM: Sandro Mazzola 
Sandro Mazzola was a part of Inter Milan's "La Grande Inter".  He won four Serie A titles (1963, 1965, 1966 and 1971), two European Cups (1964 and 1965) and two Intercontinental Cups (1964 and 1965).  He won the Euro 1968 with the Azzurri and led them to the WC Finals in 1970.  During his career, he was known for sharing the starting position with AC Milan's Gianni Rivera on the national team. His father was Valentino Mazzola who died when Sandro was 7 years old.
Sandro Mazzola

FW/RW: Angelo Domenghini 
Domenghini began his career with Atalanta in 1960, winning the Coppa Italia in 1963. He then moved to Inter Milan in 1964, and was a member of Helenio Herrera's "Grande Inter".  He also later played for Cagliari, forming an attacking trio alongside Gigi Riva and Sergio Gori, as they went on to win the Serie A title. He was capped on 33 times for Italy. In the Euro 1968 final, he notably scored the equaliser against Yugoslavia, in which Italy won the title in the replay.  He also played in Mexico 1970.

LW: Mario Corso 
Mario Corso was one of the greatest Italian wingers of all-time.  Nicknamed "God's Left Foot", he was a part of La Grande Inter of the 1960's. Except for two seasons with Genoa at the end of his career, he played his entire career with Inter Milan. At the international level, he earned 23 caps for Italy, but was never selected for any major tournament.

FW: Luigi Cevenini
Luigi Cevenini's professional career lasted from 1911 to 1939.  He played for many clubs.  He played 190 times for Inter Milan and scored 156 goals, winning the Italian Prima Divisione title in 1920. From 1915 to 1929, he played 29 times for Italy.  His four brothers also played professional football.  His elder brother Aldo represented Italy 11 times.  To distinguish them, Aldo was known as Cevenini I, Mario as Cevenini II, Luigi as Cevenini III, Cesare as Cevenini IV and Carlo as Cevenini V.

FW: Giuseppe Meazza 
Giuseppe Meazza is one of Italy's greatest players. At the international level, he had 53 caps, scorimg 33 times. He led Italy winning two World Cups in 1934 and 1938.  He was probably the best player in the 1930's.  He was the best player at the 1934 World Cup Finals ands as captain in 1938. At the club level, he played mainly for Inter Milan in the 1930s, scoring 242 goals in 365 games for the club. He also played for AC Milan, Juventus, Varese, and Atalanta.  The home stadium for both AC Milan and Inter Milan in San Siro is named after him.
Giuseppe Meazza 

FW: Alessandro Altobelli 
Alessandro Altobelli played for Latina and Brescia before joining Inter Milan in 1977, where he became a star at the club.  He scored over 200 goals for them.  He also spent a season with Juventus in the 1988-1989 season before joining Brescia.  For the Italian national team, he had 61 caps. He was best-remembered for scoring a goal against West Germany at the World Cup Final in 1982. He also played in the 1986 World Cup Finals.

ST: Christian Vieri 
Christian Vieri was born in Italy, but grew up in Australia.  At the club level, he played for 12 clubs in his career.  He played in Italy, Spain and France. He was the Serie A Footballer of the Year in 1999. He became the most expensive player in the world when Inter Milan signed him from Lazio.  For the national team, he made his debut in 1997 and played in his last game in 2006.  He won the Silver in France 1998.  He missed out on the 2006 World Cup team, where Italy won the World Cup.
Christian Vieri 
ST: Benito Lorenzi
Throughout his career (1947–1960), Lorenzi played with Inter Milan, Alessandria, Empoli, Brescia and Varese. He won two back to back Italian league titles (in 1953 and 1954) with Inter, and scored 143 goals in 314 games in official matches. With the Italian national team, Lorenzi scored 4 goals in 14 appearances between 1949 and 1954. He participated in the 1950 and 1954 World Cups with Italy.

ST: Roberto Boninsegna 
Roberto Boninsegna was a key player as Italy reached the World Cup Final in 1970, scoring Italy's lone goal at the Final.  He also played in the World Cup Finals in 1974, but was overlooked for the European Championship in 1968. For his club career, his best years were with Inter Milan, where he won a single scudetto.  In 1976, he joined Juventus, winning two more scudetto, an Italian Cup and an UEFA Cup.  He was Serie A Top Scorer twice (1970–71, 1971–72).
Roberto Boinsegna

Honorable Mention
Gianfranco Bedin, Giampiero Marini, Mario Bertini, Francesco Toldo. Annibale Frossi, Gino Armano, Giiorgio Ghezzi, Graziano Bini, Attilio Giovannini, Marco Materazzi, Ivano Bordon, Giovanni Ferrari.

Squad Explanation
-- Only 9 foreign players are on my Inter Milan all-time team.  Here are the following 16 Italian players on that team: Roberto Boninsegna, Alessandro Altobelli, Giuseppe Meazza, Sandro Mazzola, Mario Corso, Walter Zenga, Gianluca Pagliuca, Giuliano Sarti, Gabriele Oriali, Aldo Campatelli, Tarcisio Burgnich, Giuseppe Bergomi, Giuseppe Baresi, Riccardo Ferri, Armando Picchi and Giacinto Facchetti.
-- The Italian players not on the all-time team included Angelo Domenghini, Aristide Guarneri, Christian Vieri, Luigi Allemandi, Benito Lorenzi, Nicola Berti, Evaristo Beccalossi and Luigi Cevenini.
-- San Siro is actually named the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium.  If Inter Milan's stadium is named after Giuseppe Meazza, he must be on this team.  He is still Inter Milan's all-time leading scorer.  Alessandro Altobelli is second.  
-- Inter Milan won back-to-back European Cup in the early 1960's with a team known as "Grande Inter".    Manager Helenio Herrera transferred the team into the best team in Europe.  He also created one of the best defensive club team in history. From that team, I selected Sandro Mazzola, Mario Corso, Aristide Guarneri, Angelo Domenghini, Giuliano Sarti, Tarcisio Burgnich, Armando Picchi and Giacinto Facchetti. 
-- Jose Mourinho did not start a single Italian player in the Final of 2010 UEFA Champions League Final.  Marco Materazzi came into the game at the 92nd minute.  No one on that team earned a spot.
-- Attilio De Maria and Antonio Angelillo were Argentinian players recruited to play for Italy.  All "oriundo" players who were capped first by a non-Italian national team are considered to be foreign players.
-- Brazilian Jair was on my Inter Milan All-Time team.  To fill his position on my Inter Milan All-Italian team, I took Angelo Domenghini who also shared the same spot with Jair as teammates on "La Grande Inter".
-- I feel that Francesco Toldo deserved to be one of three since I made the all-time team.  However, I decided not to change the original three keepers selected on my Inter Milan all-time team who are Italians.  The three keepers on this team are Walter Zenga, Gianluca Pagliuca and Giuliano Sarti.  Ivano Bordon also made honourable mention.
-- Walter Zenga won two UEFA Cups playing alongside with Nicola Berti, Giuseppe Bergomi and Riccardo Ferri.  Bergomi is a one club man.  Giuseppe Baresi was on the 1991 team.
-- Nicola Berti belonged to the glorious generations in the late 1980's and 1990's.  He formed a notable midfield partnership with Lothar Matthäus, and was part of a team which won the 1988–89 record breaking Scudetto.
-- Luigi Allemandi edged out Graziano Bini for the left back position.
-- Virgilio Fossati was added to the team, largely because he represented the early years of Inter Milan. He was the first ever Inter player capped by Italy.
-- Mario Bertini, Gianfranco Bedin, Giampiero Marini and Nicole Berti all played in similar position and roles. So I took Evaristo Beccalossi as one of two remaining midfield spots.  He was a playmaker.  Nicola Berti was chosen ahead of the other midfielders because his name was mentioned more than others on my research. He was probably better known because he was a modern player. The decision is very close.  
-- Evaristo Beccalossi was ignored by the Italian national team, but he was respected by Inter Milan.  I wanted to reunite him with Alessandro Altobelli.  The two started their partnership with Brescia Calcio before playing for Inter Milan.
-- For some strange reasons, Giovanni Ferrari's name was seldom mentioned.  So I only put him on honourable mention.
-- Christian Vieri has played about 13 clubs in his career.  He seldom stayed long in a club.  For Inter Milan, he scored 103 goals in 143 Serie A matches with Inter.  He won Serie A Italian Footballer of the Year in 2002.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Inter Milan Foreign Players All-Time Team

Milito, Zanetti and Cambiasso
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
AC Milan All-Time Team
AC Milan All-Time Italian Team
AC Milan All-Time Foreign Player Team
Inter Milan All-Time Team 
Inter Milan All-Time Team for Italian players
Juventes All-Time Team for Foreign Players

Inter Milan was founded on 9 March 1908 as Football Club Internazionale, following the schism with the Milan Cricket and Football Club (now A.C. Milan). The name of the club derives from the wish of its founding members to accept foreign players as well as Italians.  Since its beginning, the club was associated with international players.

Inter Milan won back-to-back European Cup in the early 1960's.  Led by Coach Helenio Herrera, the team was known as "La Grande Inter".  Herrera introduced a new tactics that would changed Italian football.  His method revolutionized the Italian "Catenaccio", a defensive tactics used by the Italians.   Under Herrera, Inter Milan played with hard-tackling defenders and overlapping fullbacks.  In 2009-2010, Inter Milan won the Champions League again under Jose Mourinho.

Giovanni Trapattoni and the German trinity
GK: Julio Cesar (Brazil)
Julio Cesar was awarded the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year title in both 2009 and 2010.  He won the Champions' League with Inter Milan in 2010.  He won 87 international caps for the Seleção between 2004 and 2014. He was selected for the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups, in addition to two Copa América tournaments. Unfortunately, he was remembered for a few poor performance for Brazil at the WC Finals.

GK: Sébastien Frey (France)
At the club level, Frey played for Internazionale, Verona, Parma, Fiorentina, Genoa and Bursaspor. His longest stints were with Parma and Fiorentina.  At the international level, he was considered one of the best French goalkeepers of his generation.  However, he was overlooked by manager Raymond Domenech.  He earned two caps between 2007 and 2008.  He was a backup player at the European Championship in 2008.

GK: Samir Handanović (Slovenia)
From 2004, Samir Handanović  was capped over 70 times for Slovenia.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2010.  For club football, he was best remembered as a top keeper in Serie A.  He was voted the best keeper for 2013 in Italy.   He is one of only three non-Italian keepers to be named Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year, winning the honor twice. He is nicknamed Batman due to his acrobatic saves.

RB: Javier Zanetti (Argentina)
Javier Zanetti was the starting rightback for Inter Milan for almost 20 years.  He served as their captain from 1999, earning him the nickname "Il Capitano" (The Captain).  He held all kind of appearance records in Italy.  He widely considered to be Argentina's best ever rightback.  He holds the record of the most capped player in the history of the Argentine national team and played in the 1996 Olympic tournament, five Copa América tournaments and two World Cups, in 1998 and 2002.
Javier Zanetti 
RB: Maicon (Brazil)
Maicon started his career with Cruzeiro before heading to Europe.  He first played for Monaco and then, joined Inter Milan in 2006.  At Inter Milan, he was widely considered to be the best rightback in the world. He won the Champions' League in 2010.  He later played for AS Roma. At the international level, he earned 76 caps for Brazil, appearing in the World Cup Finals in 2010 and 2014.

RB/CB:  Ivan Cordoba (Colombia)
Ivan Cordoba is one of Colombia's greatest defenders.  He earned over 70 caps for Colombia. He captained Colombia to win the 2001 Copa América competition, scoring the only goal in the final. Córdoba also played for his country in France 1998. He was one of the best defenders in Serie A during his time in Italy.  He spent 12 seasons with Inter Milan between 2000 and 2012, winning the Champions' League in 2010. He also played in Argentina and his native Colombia.

CB: Walter Samuel (Argentina)
Samuel began his career with Newell's Old Boys in 1996, moving to Boca Juniors year later.  In Europe, he played with Roma, Real Madrid and Inter Milan. With Inter Milan, he won five consecutive Serie A titles; he played a key role in the club's treble success in the 2009–10 season, partnering with Lúcio in defence under José Mourinho. At international level, he has over 50 caps for Argentina, representing his country at two World Cups.

CB: Lucio (Brazil)
Lucio was the star of the 2002 World Cup winning team. He earned 105 caps for Brazil.  At the club level, Lúcio began his professional career in 1998 with Sport Club Internacional.  He reached the Champions' League final with Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.  In 2004, he moved to Bayern Munich, where he won one German Cup and three Bundesliga titles. He also helped Inter Milan win the 2010 Champions League against his former club Bayern Munich in Final.  

CB/LB: Christian Chivu  (Romania)
Christian Chivu was most prominently played professionally for Ajax and Inter Milan. His honours at Inter included a treble of league, cup and the UEFA Champions League in 2010. Chivu's first professional clubs were FCM Reșița and FC Universitatea Craiova. He also played for Ajax and Roma before joining Inter Milan.  He earned 75 caps between 1999 and 2010, and was part of Romania's squads for UEFA European Championships in 2000 and 2008. 
Christian Chivu  

LB: Andreas Brehme (Germany)
Andreas Brehme is best remembered for his career with Kaiserslautern and Inter Milan.  He was the Serie A Foreign Player of the Year in 1989, in an era where the best players played in Italy.  He was an important player for West Germany in the 1990 WC Finals, where he scored the winning goal in the Final. He had 86 caps and attended the World Cup Finals of 1986 and 1994.

CM:  Lothar Matthaus (Germany)
Lothar Matthaus captained the West German national team in winning the World Cup in 1990.  He was the European Player of the Year and the first ever World Player of the year in 1990. He played in five FIFA World Cups (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998), a record for an outfield player, and holds the record for the most World Cup matches played by a single player (25 games). He also won the Euro 1980 in Italy, and played in the 1984, 1988, and 2000 European Championships.
Lothar Matthaus
CM: Esteban Cambiasso (Argentina)
Esteban Cambiasso has won 23 official titles, being the Argentine footballer with most honours in history. The majority of his titles were won during his ten seasons at Internazionale, including five Scudetti and the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League. He also played for River Plate, Independiente, Real Madrid, Leicester City and Olympiacos. Cambiasso won 52 caps for Argentina, and represented the country at the 2006 World Cup.

CM:  Luis Suarez Miramontes (Spain)
Luis Suarez Miramontes was considered to be Spain's greatest player until 1970's.  He won Ballon d'Or in 1960.  In 1964, he led La Roja in winning the European Championship.  For club football, he was a member of "Grande Inter" and won two consecutive European Cups with Inter Milan. He is also considered an all-time great with Barcelona, where he played with Ladislao Kubala, Zoltán Czibor, Sándor Kocsis, Ramallets and Evaristo.

RW: Jair da Costa (Brazil) 
Jair played with Portuguese before heading to Europe after the World Cup Finals in 1962.  In Europe, he was a part of La Grande Inter.  He also won 4 Serie A titles and 2 European Cup with Inter Milan.  He had one spell at Roma between two spells with Inter Milan. He returned to Brazil and played for Santos in 1972. His international career was limited by playing in the same position as Garrincha.  He was a non-playing memeber of the 1962 World Cup winning team.
RM/CM: Dejan Stanković (Serbia)
Stanković was the Serbian Player of the Year twice: 2006 and 2010. He began playing football for Red Star Belgrade before moving to Lazio in 1998.  From 2004 to 2013, he played for Inter Milan, where he won 5 league titles and one Champions League title.  At the international level, he became the first player to have represented three different national teams in the World Cup: FR Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro and Serbia.  He is Serbia's most capped player.

LW/FW: Istvan Nyers (Hungary)
Istvan Nyers was of the same age as the members of the Mighty Magyars, but he was not a member of them.  He was capped twice by Hungary between 1945 and 1946. Born in France of Hungarian immigrants, he moved back to Hungary and played for various numbers of clubs in Eastern Europe.   He joined Inter Milan in 1948, where he won two Serie A titles and finished as the top scorer of the league.

LW: Lennart Skoglund (Sweden)
Lennart Skoglund is regarded as one of Sweden's greatest players.  He played in Italy from 1950 to 1963.  His best stint was probably with Inter Milan.  He also played for  Hammarby IF, Sampdoria and Palermo.  He only had 11 caps because Sweden's ban on professional players. He was a star in the World Cup Finals in 1950, where Sweden finished 3rd behind Uruguay and Brazil.  He also played in 1958, where they finished 2nd.
Lennart Skoglund 
FW: Attilio Demaría (Argentina)
At international level, Demaría also represented Argentina in the 1930 World Cup and Italy in the 1934 World Cup, winning the latter edition of the competition. At the club level, he began with Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata. In 1931, he moved to play in Italy.  He played for Inter Milan between 1931 and 1943.  He also played for Estudiantil Porteño and Club Atlético Independiente in Argentina and Novara, Legnano and Cosenza in Italy.

AM: Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
Sneijder emerged from the Ajax Academy before making to the first team in 2002.  He moved to Real Madrid in 2007, where he won a La Liga title in 2006-2007.  He also won a Champions' League title with Inter Milan in 2009-2010.  At the time of writing, he has 114 caps for Netherlands.  He was the star player for Holland as they reached the Final of South Africa 2010. He won the Silver Ball.  He moved to Galatasaray in 2013.

FW:  Faas Wilkes (Netherlands)
Faas Wilkes was one of the first Dutch player to play aboard.  In 1949, he joined Inter Milan, where he had the best of his career.  He also had a great career with Valencia..  He was considered to Holland's best player until the emerge of the Golden Generation of the 1970's. He was capped 38 times scoring 35 goals.  He was banned from the national team between 1949 and 1955 because KNVB did not select professional players. He was Neterlands' all-time leading scorer until 1998.
Faas Wilkes 
CF: Antonio Angelillo (Argentina/Italy)
Antonio Angelillo was a member of the "Angeles With Dirty Faces" of Argentina. He moved  in 1957 to Italy after Argentina won the Copa America in 1957.  He scored 31 goals in 31 matches for Inter Milan in the 1958-59 season, the second highest record at the time. He also played with Roma, Genoa, Lecce and AC Milan.  He was with AC Milan when they won the European Cup, but he did not play. He earned 2 caps for Italy.

ST: Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany)
Klinsmann won the World Cup in 1990 and then, captained the 1996 European Championship winning team.  He played in all major international tournaments from 1988 until his retirement in 1998.  He had successful club spells with Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspurs. He was a popular player while in England, despite a lot of negative press at the time of his signing.  He won both the FWA Footballer of the Year and PFA Player of the Year in 1995.

ST: Diego Milito (Argentina)
Diego Milito began his club career with Racing Club in 1999.  He starred at both Genoa and Real Zaragoza. He is best remembered for playing with Inter Milan. He scored 32 goals in all competitions including two goals in the 2010 Champions League Final against Bayern Munich.  It was the club's 2009–10 treble-winning season. Milito earned 25 caps for Argentina. He represented his country in two Copa América, and at the 2010 World Cup Finals.
Diego Milito 
ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was born in  Sweden of Bosnian-Croat origin.  He won Sweden Player of the Year 11 times.  He was the Serie A Player of the Year for 5 times.   He played with Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris St.Germain and now, Manchester United.  He is currently the second-most decorated active footballer in the world, having won 32 trophies in his career. At the time of writing, he has over 116 caps.  He is the all-time leading scorer for Sweden.  

ST: Ronaldo (Brazil)
Ronaldo was widely considered among the greatest ever to have play the game.  He led Brazil to two World Cup Finals match, winning the one in 2002.  He scored 8 goals in 2002.  He was the winner of Ballon d'Or twice and the FIFA World Player of the Year three times.  He is the second top-scorer in World Cup history.  He played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, and for both AC Milan and Inter Milan. 

Honorable Mention
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Germany), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Adriano (Brazil), Youri Djorkaeff, Álvaro Recoba (Uruguay), Attilio Demaría (Argentina), Rubén Sosa (Uruguay), Mauro Icardi (Argentina), Hernan Crespo (Argentina), Ramon Diaz (Argentina).

Squad Explanation
-- The following players were also on my Inter Milan's all-time team: Javier Zanetti, Andreas Brehme, Lothar Matthaus, Luis Suarez Miramontes, Istvan Nyers, Lennart Skoglund, Wesley Sneijder, Jair de Costa and Antonio Angelillo.
-- Antonio Angelillo played for Argentina before switching to play for Italy.  I considered him to be a foreign player and eligible for this team.
-- Javier Zanetti (Argentina) is the all-time appearance leader for the club.  
-- Andreas Brehme won the Serie A Foreign Player of the Year in 1989, in an era where the best players played in Italy.  It was especially special that he was a fullback, a position rarely recognised by the awards.
-- I normally selected 8 defenders for most of my all-time teams.  For Inter Milan, I have 7 solid defenders, but the 8th one was difficult. Laurent Blanc and Daniel Passarella also played for them, but their careers here were almost forgotten. Yuto Nagatomo (Japan) had played over 200 times for the club. He was unsung hero for the club. However, Chivu could easily serve as the backup left back.  Let's say I could not drop Jurgen Klinsmann and Samuel Eto'o(see below). So I only took 7 defenders and gave the spot to an attacker.
-- Wesley Sneijder won the Champions' league for Nerazzurri as one of their best players.
-- For me, Ronaldo is not an automatic selection for this team.  However, he is one of the first four players selected to Inter Milan's Hall of Fame in 2018.  His performance in his first two seasons were that of one of the greatest ever seen in Italy.  Although I felt his career with Inter Milan was marked with injuries, he still made the team.
-- Zlatan Ibrahimović was also not an automatic selection in the beginning, but I realised that he was Serie A Footballer of the Year twice while playing for Inter Milan. He was the best player in Italy while playing for Inter Milan. Diego Milito also won the award in 2010.  
-- Diego Milito was Serie A Player of the Year in 2010. He also played 5 seasons with the club, which made him ahead of Jurgen Klinsmann and Samuel Eto'o.
-- The 25th spot was decided between Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany) and Attilio Demaría (Argentina).
--  In the end, Attilio Demaría (Argentina) made the team because he played for Inter Milan between 1931 and 1936.  I do not know much about him, but he was Inter Milan's oldest foreign player of note mentioned.  His name was also everywhere. He was also a pioneer with the club. He got one of the remaining two spots.
-- Klinsmann played one more season than Eto'o, but Eto'o won a Champions' League.  Their total goal tally was almost the same(but Eto'o had better goal/game ratio).  Klinsmann edged out Eto'o largely because of historical aspect.  He was a part of the German "trinity" in an era, where Italy was considered to be at its greatest.  The German trinity was a big part of Inter Milan. After careful study, I decided to take both of them and only selected 7 defenders, instead of 8.
-- Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's career with Inter Milan was marked by injuries. His goal tally was actually not bad, but I put him behind Demaria, Klinsmann and Etoo for the final two spots.
-- Mauro Icardi was playing in an era where Inter Milan was not so successful. He did not have the same international reputation of other players who had played for them.  Nevertheless, he had scored over 100 goals for them, which was an achievement hard to ignore.  I did not seriously consider him for the team, but he deserved a place on honourable mention based upon his goal output.  He was important to Inter Milan at his generation.
-- Inter Milan signed Rabah Madjer in 1988, but he failed the medical test.   So the club turned to Ramon Diaz. Diaz's career here was basically forgotten.  He won the scudetti here while scoring 15 goals.  However, the club brought in Klinsmann the following season and the club could only keep three foreigners at the time.  He left Inter Milan for AS Monaco after a single season. 


Thursday, November 29, 2018

AC Milan Foreign Players All-Time Team

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.

RB: Cafu (Brazil
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.  

RB: Thomas Helveg (Denmark)
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.
Karl-Heinz Schnellinger 
LB: Kakha Kaladze (Georgia)
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 (Netherlands)
Frank Rijkaard was one of Netherlands' 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 (Netherlands)
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.
Clarence Seedorf
AM: Dejan Savicevic (Montenegro)
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 (Netherlands)
Gullit was the iconic captain of Netherlands 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.
AM: Nils Liedholm (Sweden)
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.  

FWGeorge 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)
ST: Gunnar Nordahl (Sweden)
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  (Netherlands)
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 Netherlands' 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

Honorable Mention 
Leonardo, Serginho, Marek Jankulovski, Oliver Bierhoff, Ray Wilkins, Jon Dahl Tomasson, Zlatan Ibrahimović', Cristián Zapata.

Squad Explanation
-- Thirteen players on this team are also on my AC Milan all-time team.  Almost all of them are offensive players.  Only Cafu and Karl-Heinz Schnellinger were defensive players.  The thirteen players are Ruud Gullit, Marco Van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, Kaka, Marcel Desailly, Dejan Savicevic, Jose Altafini, Juan Schiaffino, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm. 
-- AC Milan has two group of iconic trios.  They are 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 Ruud Gullit, Marco Van Basten and Frank Rijkaard played for AC Milan.    
-- Not many foreign goalkeepers ever played for AC Milan. Dida was 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. 
-- Tiago Silva and Marcel Desailly were obvious choices for centerbacks.  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.  Karl-Heinz Schnellinger was also a sweeper.  He became my fourth centerback.
-- Cristián Zapata could have became my last defender. Because of the fact that Schnellinger and Rijkaard could play in the center, I decided to take one less defender.  Instead, I selected the best remaining player. It was between Rui Costa and Leonardo. Although the team had too many attacking midfielders, I still took Rui Costa.  He contributed to one of their Champions League victories.  
-- Since Karl-Heinz Schnellinger was also a leftback, I only selected 7 defenders.  Kakha Kaladze was my backup leftback.  Leonardo, Serginho and Marek Jankulovski are also very strong candidates too. Then, I took Tomas Helveg (Denmark) as Cafu's backup.
-- Almost every offensive players from my AC Milan All-Time team are foreigners. Nevertheless, I still have rooms to add more offensive players to this team. The new offensive players are Gunnar Gren, George Weah, Clarence Seedorf and Rui Costa. 
-- The team lacked a left-side midfielder.  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 did not have 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.  Yugoslavia was unable to participate in the 1994 World Cup Finals.  
-- Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and David Beckham played over here at the end of their careers.  They were never seriously considered. 
-- Zlatan Ibrahimović's stay was very brief here.  He is up against Van Basten, Shevchenko and Jose Altafini for a spot.
-- Jose Altafini was the first foreign star player for AC Milan.  In Brazil, he was also known as "Mazzola" because he resembled the Italian legend Valentino Mazzola.  Valentino Mazzola's son Sandro was playing with Inter Milan when Jose Altafini was playing with AC Milan.
-- Gunnar Gren was left off my AC Milan All-Time team.  So I have to select him over here.

Ruud Gullit has played on the right side earlier in his career. So he needed to adjust his game (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.