Thursday, November 29, 2018

AC Milan Foreign Players All-Time Team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

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 started his senior club career in Brazil in the early 1990s with Vitória before moving to Cruzeiro and Corinthians. 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.  He was capped 91 times.

GK: Mike Maignan (France)
Maignan came through the youth teams at PSG, where he often served as an unused substitute. In 2015 he joined Lille and became their first-choice in 2017. He was voted Ligue 1's goalkeeper of the year in 2018–19, and won the league title in 2020–21. He then moved to AC Milan.  He was named Serie A Best Goalkeeper in 2022. In 2022, he picked up his cap for France.  Since Hugo Lloris' retirement in 2023, he has been France's starting goalkeeper.

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. He was capped once in 2009.

RB: Cafu (Brazil

Cafu is the all-time cap record holder for Brazil with 142 caps between 1990 and 2006.  He is the only man to play in three World Cup finals, winning it in 1994 and 2002.  He was the captain of the 2002 team.  With Sao Paulo, he won two Copa Libertadores in 1992 and 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 also played for AS Roma. Palmeiras, etc.  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.  In 2020, he moved to Chelsea. 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 World Cup 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.  He also played for Nantes and Chelsea.  He ended his career in Qatar.

CB/DM: Victor Benitez  (Peru)
Victor Benitez only played 11 games for Peru between 1957 and 1959.  He was a part of the team that beat England in 1959. He was largely known for his career playing club football in Italy.   He started with Alianza Lima.  He then played for Boca Juniors between 1960 and 192 before heading to play in Europe.  In Europe, he played for A.C. Milan, Messina, Roma, Venezia, and Inter Milan. In 1963, he won the European Cup with AC Milan. 

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, unfortunately 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.  He finished 3rd in the Ballon D'or in 1962.
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.  He is one of Georgia's greatest players.

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 played 49 times for Croatia. 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 a single Champions League title there and then, two more with AC Milan.  He later played for Inter Milan.  He was a key player for the Dutch national team.  For the Netherlands, He had 87 caps between 1994 and 2008.
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.
George Weah
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: 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: 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: Andrei Shevchenko (Ukraine)
Shevchenko 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 later played for Chelsea. He won 111 caps and scored 48 goals for the Ukraine.  He led Ukraine to qualify for the World Cup Finals in 2006, where they reached the quarterfinal. 

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.  

Honorable Mention

Zelijko Kalac (Australia), Hoberlin Hood (England),  Leonardo (Brazil), Serginho (Brazil), Theo Hernández (France), Marek Jankulovski (Czech Republic), Jaap Stam (Netherlands), Cristián Zapata (Colombia), Fikayo Tomori (England), Philippe Mexès (France
), Robinho (Brazil), Luther Blissett (England), Oliver Bierhoff (Germany), Ray Wilkins (England), Kurt Hamrin (Sweden), Jon Dahl Tomasson (Denmark), Zlatan Ibrahimović' (Sweden), Mark Hateley (England), Olivier Giroud (France), Amarildo (Brazil), Rafael Leão (Portugal).

Squad Explanation
-- I did a review of this team on June 2024.
-- 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 boasts two legendary trios that have left an indelible mark on the club's history.  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.    
The Three Dutchmen
-- Almost all 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. 
-- As of 2024, 25 Argentine players had played for AC Milan.   This Argentine contingent stands as the second-largest foreign group at the club, surpassed only by the Brazilian players.  Unfortunately, none of them had a starring role.  I found it odd.  Hernan Crespo was only on loan here for a season while Fernando Redondo's career in Milan was limited by injuries.  It is often overlooked or forgotten that Roberto Ayala and Jose Chamot had stints at AC Milan. 
-- Not many foreign goalkeepers ever played for AC Milan. Dida was the only foreign goalkeeper who became a long-time starting goalkeeper.  He was the only non-Italian goalkeeper on the honorable mention list of my AC Milan All-Time team.   
-- Diego Lopez actually started for them in his first season, but manager Siniša Mihajlović dropped him in favour of 16-year-old Gianluigi Donnarumma in the second season.  Nevertheless, he was still a starter, much is better than most of the other candidates.  
-- In 2024, I replaced Zelijko Kalac with Mike Maignan.  Since 2021, Maignan has already been a starter while winning the Serie A title in 2022.  He also won the prestigious Serie A Best Goalkeeper award for the 2021-22 season. Additionally, he was also named in the Serie A Team of the Year for both the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons.  Kalac was a long time backup for the team.  Except for a single season, he seldom played.
Mike Maignan
-- Hoberlin Hood of England was their first ever goalkeeper.  Jen Lehmann only spent a few months in Milan and played a few games.
-- Thiago Silva and Marcel Desailly were obvious choices for center backs.  Thiago Silva was named twice on the UEFA Team of the Year as a Milan player.  In the 1993-1994 season, Desailly was a big part of AC Milan's defensive unit that went undefeated, conceding a remarkable total of only 15 goals. They also won the Champions' League with a convincing victory over Barcelona.  However, he mainly played as a defensive midfielder, but I needed him to play as a defender on this team.
-- Jaap Stam only spent a season and half in Milan.  He only had one good season in Milan.  Roberto Ayala's career in Milan was uneventful. 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.  In 2024, I made the decision to replace Kilpin with Víctor Benítez who was part of the 1963 European Cup winning team. Benítez had already established himself as a true icon during his illustrious career with Boca Juniors. While I am not well-versed in his time at Milan, I relied on his reputation elsewhere to make the choice. Additionally, I felt that Kilpin's amateur status didn't match the caliber of a club like Milan
-- Kilpin 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,winning 3 national titles.
-- Both Karl-Heinz Schnellinger  and Frank Rijkaard could also play as the centrebacks so the position would be well-covered. So I only included three centerbacks on this team.  I left off Cristián Zapata and Fikayo Tomori.  Roque Junior was mainly a backup.
-- Cafu was selected for my All-Time AC Milan team.  He is one of the greatest ever rightback in history. Then, I took Tomas Helveg (Denmark). He was a starter for most of his career in Milan,  
-- For the left side, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger also belonged to my All-Time AC Milan team.  He was almost undisputed, but the younger fans might have rated Kakha Kaladze higher.  Kaladze succeeded Maldini as Milan's starting left-back, which was a very hard act to follow.  I also placed Serginho, Theo Hernández and Marek Jankulovski on honorable mentions.
Kakha Kaladze
-- For the deep defensive position, I first took Frank Rijkaard and Marco Desailly.  Frank Rijkaard played a crucial role in the team's success during the late 1980s and early 1990s. As a defensive midfielder, he played a vital part in Milan's triumphs, including winning back-to-back European Cups.  Marcel Desailly, on the other hand, joined Milan in 1993 and became an integral part of the team's defense.  Both were two of the greatest defensive midfielders ever played in the game. Ideally, this team needed another extra defensive midfielder.  Ray Wilkins who played as a regista in Italy could have been an excellent choice, but I ultimately opted to choose players from different positions.  Wilkins' years in Milan occurred during a period when AC Milan faced financial difficulties, with the club being on the verge of bankruptcy before its rescue through Silvio Berlusconi's purchase. He played for just one season under Berlusconi's ownership and missed out on the subsequent glamorous periods that followed after his departure.  He went "trophyless" in Milan.  My alternative selections were Rui Costa and George Weah, who were legendary players.  
-- Zvonimir Boban and Dejan Savicevic were instrumental in AC Milan's victory in the 1994 Champions' League. In the momentous Final, Milan positioned Boban on the left side of midfield while Roberto Donadoni occupied the right. Savicevic, on the other hand, took up a prominent position at the forefront alongside Daniele Massaro. This tactical arrangement resulted in a resounding 4-0 triumph over Barcelona's "Dream" team.  Savicevic's performance in the Final was considered to be one of the greatest individual performances in the history of the tournament.   Despite his exceptional talent, he remained underrated, primarily due to his inability to participate in a significant international tournament during his prime due to the ban on Yugoslavia. This unfortunate circumstance resulted in him being overlooked as one of the all-time greats of the game.   One can't help but speculate about the immense potential that would have unfolded if Yugoslavia, with Boban and Savicevic in their lineup, had participated in the 1994 World Cup FinalsYugoslavia, with Boban and Savicevic in their lineup, had participated in the 1994 World Cup Finals just a month after the Champions League Final.
Zvonimir Boban 
-- Rui Costa's peak was with Fiorentina.  In Milan, he had some struggles with injuries and later, sidelined by the arrival of Kaka. However, when he played, he was still one of the best playmakers in that era.  He also helped Milan to win 2003 Champions' league.
-- Kaka's outstanding performances in the 2006-2007 Champions' League led to him winning the prestigious Ballon d'Or award.   Nils Liedholm carried the team in one of their most successful domestic periods.  Ruud Gullit could also be considered as an attack midfielder.  So this team is overloaded with five attacking midfielders.
-- Dejan Savicevic and Rudd Guilt also operated on the right.  So I did not need a true winger.  I left Kurt Hamrin whom I considered to be a Fiorentina All-Timer off the team.
-- Rafael Leão won the Serie A of the Year in 2022, but he still has a long way before he would be considered. Ronaldinho was a shadow of himself during of his time in Milan, but he did have a single good season.  Leonaldo played on the left in Milan, but he was a playmaker.  Instead, I selected Clarence Seedorf. He was a big part of that "Diamond" midfield formation under Carlos Ancelotti that also included Gattuso, Pirlo, and Kaká.  He also played 10 seasons in Milan winning two Champions League titles.  
-- Jose Altafini is the joint-fourth highest scorer in history of Serie A, with 216 goals, sharing this position with Giuseppe Meazza. He also holds the distinction of being the fifth-youngest player in Serie A history to reach 100 goals, accomplishing this milestone at the age of 24 years and 239 days.   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 Nordahl held the prestigious title of AC Milan's all-time leading scorer. Gunnar Gren was left off my AC Milan All-Time team.  So I have to select him over here. He was the third member of the renowned "Gre-No-Li" trio. 
-- During his time at AC Milan, Marco van Basten achieved numerous individual awards. He won the Ballon d'Or award in 1988, 1989, and 1992.  In addition, he was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1992.  His teammate Ruud Guilt also needed no introduction.  He was named World Soccer Player of the Year twice, and the 1989 award was related to his performance in Milan. 
-- Andriy Shevchenko, also enjoyed a remarkable career and garnered numerous individual accolades during his time in Milan. In 2004, he was honored with Ballon d'Or award. In Serie A, he was recognized as the Foreign Footballer of the Year in 2000. He also clinched the Serie A top scorer title in the 1999-2000 season with 24 goals and repeated the feat in the 2003-04 season.
Andriy Shevchenko
-- George Weah became the first and only African player to win the Ballon d'Or, the Onze d'Or, and the FIFA World Player of the Year accolades while he was a Milan player. However, it is important to note that his remarkable accomplishments were primarily attributed to his exceptional performances during his previous tenure at PSG. Nevertheless, Weah was one of the best players in the world while in Milan.
-- Zlatan Ibrahimović played two seasons before leaving for PSG in 2012.  He returned in 2020.  He won two league titles and finished as the league top scorer once while in Milan.  But the players selected were more decorated.   
-- AC Milan made a surprising move in 1983 by acquiring Luther Blissett.  However, his performance at the Italian club did not match his previous success in England, falling short of expectations.  Speculation arose suggesting that A.C. Milan had mistaken him for his Watford teammate John Barnes, but this story has been refuted by Italian sources.  However, he became a cult figure. The name Luther Blissett took on the role of a pseudonym.  It emerged as a collective alias used by activists and artists in the late 1990s. It allowed multiple individuals to collaborate anonymously, challenging traditional notions of authorship and individuality.  I gave him an honorable mention because of his cultural impact.

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.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

AC Milan All-Time Greatest Team for Italian players

Gianni Rivera, the Maldini's and Baresi

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 Foreign Player Team
AC Milan

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for AC Milan s Italian 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 combined with the backbone of the Italian national team to form one of the greatest club sides in history. The team was still full of Italian players such as Franc Baresi, Paulo Maldini,  Sebastiano Rossi, Mauro Tassotti, etc.  

GK: Lorenzo Buffon
Lorenzo Buffon was one of the best keepers in the 1950's and early 1960's.  He helped AC Milan to reach the Final of the 1958 European Cup Final.  He also played for Genoa C.F.C. (1959–60), F.C. Internazionale Milano (1960–63), and ACF Fiorentina (1963–64). His cousin is Gianluigi Buffon's Grandfather.  He had 15 caps and went to the 1962 World Cup Finals. He is also remembered for his marriage to the late Italian actress and television personality Edy Campagnoli.
Lorenzo Buffon
GK: Sebastiano Rossi  
During a 21-year professional career, Rossi appeared in 346 Serie A games, most notably representing A.C. Milan (12 seasons) with which he won 12 major titles, including the 1994 Champions League.   Rossi held the record for the longest streak without conceding a goal in Serie A history. In an 11-match span, he kept a clean sheet for 929 consecutive minutes.  He was never capped by Italy. 

GK: Fabio Cudicini 
Cudicini played Udinese, Roma, AC Milan and Brescia.  He was remembered for his two stints with AC Milan.  Between 1967 and 1972, he played for AC Milan. He helped Milan to win the 1969 European Cup.  Before Milan, he won the Inter-Cities Fair Cup with Roma.  His son is Carlo Cudicini. He was uncapped because he was playing the same generation with Dino Zoff, Lozenzo Buffon and Enrico Albertosi 

RB: Mauro Tassotti 
After making his Serie A debut with Lazio, Mauro Tassotti went on to play with Milan for 17 years. He won 17 major titles with Milan, including five Serie A championships and three UEFA Champions League tournaments, reaching five finals in total.  He was a part of both Arrigo Sacchi's and Fabio Capello's AC Milan.  He also went to the WC in 1994, where Italy came second.

RB: Angelo Anquilletti 
Anquiletti started his career with Solbiatese during the 1964–65 season. He later played with Atalanta. From 1966 to 1977 played for A.C. Milan, where he achieved notable success, forming an impressive defensive unit nicknamed the Maginot Line. He was notably part of their European Cup victory in 1969. He ended his career with Monza. He played twice for Italy in 1969. He was part of Italy's UEFA Euro 1968 squad that won the tournament on home soil. 
Angelo Anquilletti 
RB/SW: Cesare Maldini  
Cesare Maldini spent 12 seasons with AC Milan.  He was the captain of the 1963 European Cup winning team.  He also played for Torino. He also played for Triestina and Torino. He picked up 14 caps for Italy between 1960 and 1963. He went to the 1962 World Cup Finals. After retirement, he became a successful coach. His son is Paolo Maldini.

CB: Alessandro Nesta 
Nesta is considered one of the best defender of his generation.  He was the Serie A defender of the Year for 4 times. He started his career with Lazio.  Later, he played with AC Milan where he won two Champions' league.  He earned 78 caps.   He played on the 2006 World Cup winning team, but injured in the third game of the tournament.  He also went to 1998 and 2002 World Cup Finals as well as the European Championship in 1996, 2000 and 2004.

CB: Alessandro Costacurta 
Alessandro Costacurta was Baresi's partner at central defense for both club and country. He was a part of 5 Champions' League winning team for AC Milan.  However, he only played 59 times for Italy because largely of injuries. He went to two World Cup Finals (in 1994 and 1998), as well as a European Championship in 1996. With Italy, he managed to reach the 1994 World Cup Final, which was lost against Brazil on penalties.

SW: Franco Baresi 
Franco Baresi was considered Italy's greatest libero.  He was capped 82 times between 1982 and 1994.  He led the Azzurri to the semifinal of the World Cup in 1990 and then, the Final in 1994.  However, he missed most of the tournament in 1994 through an injury, playing in the Final.  He was a part of the 1982 World Cup winning team, but he did not play a single match.  He was a one club man with AC Milan.  He is their captain for 15 years, where he won three European Cups and 6 Serie A titles. 

Franco Baresi 
CB/LB: Paolo Maldini 
Maldini was considered the greatest leftback of all-time.  He won 26 trophies in his 25 year career with AC Milan, including 5 Champions' league trophies. With Italy, Maldini took part in three European Championships, and four World Cups. Although he did not win a tournament with Italy, he reached the finals of the 1994 World Cup and Euro 2000, and the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup and Euro 1988. He was capped 126 times for Italy.  

CB/LB: Renzo De Vecchi 
De Vecchi was probably the first star player in Italian football.  His nickname was "The Son of God".  He started his career with Milan.  He later moved to Genoa in 1913, winning three Italian League titles with the club. Between 1927 and 1929, he worked as a player-manager for them. He was the youngest ever national team player for Italy, representing Italy at the 1920 and 1924 Summer Olympic Games.  In total, he had 43 caps for Italy between 1910 and 1925. 

DM/CM: Massimo Ambrosini 
At club level, he is mostly known for his successful time at A.C. Milan, where he spent eighteen years of his career, winning several titles, and even captained the side from 2009 to 2013, following the retirement of Paolo Maldini. Ambrosini retired from professional football in 2014, after a season with Fiorentina. At international level, he represented Italy at the 2000 Summer Olympics, and in two UEFA European Championships, winning a runners-up medal at UEFA Euro 2000.

DM:  Romeo Benetti
At international level, Benetti represented the Italy national football team on 55 occasions between 1971 and 1980, and took part at the 1974 and 1978 FIFA World Cups, as well as UEFA Euro 1980, achieving fourth-place finishes in the latter two tournaments. He is best remembered for his 5 seasons with AC Milan, winning a Cup Winners' Cup.  He also played for Juventus, Sampdoria, AS Roma, etc.  He won an UEFA Cup with Juventus.

DM: Gennaro Gattuso
Gennaro Gattuso was a highly regarded destroyer in his prime. He spent 13 years with AC Milan, forming a famous partnership with Andreas Pirlo. At the club level, he also played for Rangers, Perugia and Sion. He won two Champions' League with the club.  For the Azzurri, he earned 73 caps between 2000 and 2010.  He went to three World Cup Finals, winning the 2006 World Cup Finals, playing along side Pirlo again.
Gennaro Gattuso
CM: Demetrio Albertini 
Demetrio Albertini was the deep-lying playmaker of the great AC Milan team of the 1990's.  He won 5 league titles in the 1990's and the Champions' League title in 1994. At the end of his career, he played for Atletico Madrid, Lazio and Barcelona. At the international level, he played for his country 79 times.  He went to the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, Euro 96, and Euro 2000. He was voted into the team of tournament at Euro 2000.

CM: Carlo Ancelotti 
Carlo Ancelotti began his career with Parma, but he made his name with AS Roma. He won the Serie A title in 1982-1983 and 4 Italian Cup's.  In 1987, he joined the great AC Milan and became a part of the team that won two European Cup.  He was capped 26 times between 1981 and 1991.  He narrowly missed the World Cup Finals in 1982, but went to the World Cup Finals in 1986 and 1990.

CM: Andrea Pirlo 
Pirlo started as an attack midfielder with Inter Milan without success before becoming a regista.  He redefined the regista role in the modern game.  He had 116 caps.  He won the World Cup in 2006 and took Italy to the Final of Euro 2012.  For his club career, he was known for his career with AC Milan.  He played over 280 matches for them, winning two Champions' League titles.  He switched to Juventus late in his career.  

RW: Pietro Arcari
Pietro Arcari played in the 1930s for A.C. Milan, and Genoa. A prolific goalscorer, known for his speed and ability in the air, he played 256 matches in Serie A, scoring 80 goals. He never played for Italy, but was selected to the 1934 World Cup Finals, where Italy won the Cup on home soil.  He never appeared in any match.  He is one of only four players in Italy's history to become World champion while never being capped

LW: Roberto Donadoni 
Roberto Donadoni was one of Italy's greatest wingers.  He was a vital part of AC Milan's squad under both Sacchi and Capello, winning six Serie A titles, three European Cups, four Italian Supercups, three European Super Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups during his time at Milan. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1990 and 1994. At the end of his career, he played briefly in MLS and Saudi Arabia.
Roberto Donadoni 
FW/RW: Renzo Burini
Burini played for 12 seasons (330 games, 123 goals) in the Italian Serie A for A.C. Milan and S.S. Lazio. He is remembered by Lazio fans for his contribution to winning the first major trophy for the club, the Coppa Italia in 1958. He made his debut for Italy in 1951 against Portugal and scored on his debut. He was a member of the team which took part at the 1948 Summer Olympics.

AM: Gianni Rivera 
Gianni Rivera was Italy's "Golden Boy"of the 1960's and perhaps their best player of his generation.  He won the Ballon d'Or in 1969.  He led AC Milan to win two European Cups in 1963 and 1969. He was capped 63 times, scoring 15 goals, at four World Cup Finals (1962, 1966, 1970, and 1974). Rivera is remembered for scoring the decisive goal in Italy's extra-time win over West Germany in the semi-final of Mexico 1970.  Italy reached the Final of that World Cup Final before losing Pele's Brazil.
Gianni Rivera 
LW/LB: Alberico Evani
Evani started his career with AC Milan, where he spent the majority of his playing career, winning several trophies during his 13 seasons at the club, including, three Serie A titles and two European Cups; he later also played for Sampdoria, Reggiana, and Carrarese. At international level, he represented Italy at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where they reached the final. In total, he had 15 caps between 1991 and 1994.  

AM/FW: Roberto Baggio 
Robert Baggio was the icon of the 1990's.  He was the World Player of the Year, the Ballon d'Or winner and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1993.  He led Italy to reach the semifinal at 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy and then, to a second place four years later in the USA.  For club football, he started his career with Fiorentina.  He became the most expensive player in the world when he joined Juventus.  He also played for AC Milan, Bologna, Inter Milan and Brescia.
Roberto Baggio 
ST: Aldo Boffi
Aldo Boffi began his club football with Seregno.  He became a star with AC Milan.  During the 1938–39 season, he was joint-capcannonieri (top scorer) in Serie A, along with Ettore Puricelli of Bologna, with 19 goals; he managed the same feat in the 1939–40 and 1941–42 Serie A seasons, with 24 and 22 goals respectively. He played briefly with Atalanta before going back to Seregno. He was capped twice for Italy in 138 and 1939.

ST: Filippo Inzaghi 
Inzaghi is one of the most prolific goalscorers of all time, fifth in Italy, with 313 goals scored in official matches. He is currently the fourth-highest goal scorer in European club competitions with 70 goals.  With AC Milan, he won  two UEFA Champions League titles (2003, 2007).  he made his national team debut in 1997.  He also played for Juventus before joining AC Milan. For the national team, he was capped 57 times scoring 25 goals. He went to all major tournaments from 1998 to 2006.  He won the World Cup in 2006, but only played in one match.
Filippo Inzaghi 
Honorable Mention
Giovanni Galli, Enrico Albertosi, Christian Abbiati, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Giorgio Ghezzi, Giovanni Rossetti, Fulvio Collovati, Dario Copiani , Giuseppe Sabadini, Giovanni Trapattoni. Filippo Galli, Roberto Rosato, Marco Sala, Ignazio Abate, Christian Panucci, Luigi Radice, Aldo Maldera, Omero Tognon, Pietro Lana, Aldo Cevenini, Giovanni Lodetti, Giuseppe Antonini,  Alberto Bigon, Renzo Burini, Carlo Annovazzi, Angelo Sormani, Marco Simeone, Pietro Paolo Virdis, Giuseppe Santagostino, Pierino Prati, Daniele Massaro, Alberto Gilardino.

Squad Explanation
-- I did a review of this team on June 2024 after I redid my AC Milan.
-- Twelve players on this team also belonged to my all-time team for AC Milan.   That included all three goalkeepers, namely Fabio Cudicini, Sebastiano Rossi and Lorenzo Buffon.  So the section on goalkeepers were copy and pasta from my All-AC Milan team.  Only two of my defenders (both fullbacks) are not on that team.  The defenders on the AC Milan All-Time team are Franco Baresi, Paulo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Alessandro Nesta, Cesare Maldini and Mauro Tassotti. However, only three attackers (Andreas Pirlo, Gianni Rivera and Roberto Donadoni) were selected onto that team.
-- AC Milan dominated the domestic league in the 1950's.  I took Juan Lorenzo Buffon and Renzo Burini.  The "Gre-No-Li" trio of Swedem was the famous players on the team. 
-- Four players won the Ballon d'or as a Milan player. Gianni Rivera  who won the award in 1969 was the only Italian.
-- AC Milan first won two European Cup in the 1960's. Gianni Rivera and Fabio Cudicini were on both winning teams. Cesare Maldini captained the 1962 team.  
-- AC Milan went undefeated in the 1993-1994 season, allowing a remarkable tally of merely 15 goals. The defensive prowess showcased by Milan during that year is widely recognized as unparalleled in the annals of football history.  I selected all of the main defensive players from the team.  Sebastiano Rossi, Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta and Mauro Tassotti.  Demetrio Albertini, Carlos Albertini and Roberto Donadoni were also from that team.
-- The back-to-back European Cup team in the late 1980's consisted of a similar defensive line. Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi and Alessandro Costacurta also played in that era.  Roberto Donadoni and Alberico Evani also belonged to this team.
 -- Paolo Maldini would win two more Champions' league in the 2000's.  Andrea Pirlo, Alessandro Nesta, Massimo Ambrosini, Filippo Inzaghi and Gennaro Gattuso came from that generation.
-- I went with two old-timers: Lorenzo Buffon and Fabio Cudicini. Lorenzo Buffon is often listed as AC Milan's greatest goalkeeper. He won four scudetti in 1950's. Please do not confuse him with Gianluigi Buffon.  The two Buffons are actually related. Lorenzo was a cousin of Gianluigi's grandfather. Although Fabio Cudicini never represented the Italy national football team, he is widely recognized as one of Italy's all-time greats in that position. He is primarily remembered for his remarkable and influential tenure at A.C. Milan. Notably, he played a pivotal role in their triumphant victory in the 1969 European Cup Final, along with numerous other domestic, European, and international honors.  
Fabio Cudicini 
-- Similarly, Sebastiano Rossi, despite receiving two call-ups, never made an appearance for the national team. However, he played a crucial role as a vital player in Fabio Capello's "Invincibles" team, which remained undefeated and won the Champions League. He once held the league record for the longest streak without conceding a goal (929 minutes). He currently holds the Serie A record for fewest goals conceded in a single 34-game season (11). He spent over a decade with the club, while his peak years spanned approximately six seasons, a duration similar to that of Gianluigi Donnarumma, making Donnarumma a possible candidate for the team.  In 2015, Gianluigi Donnarumma became the second-youngest goalkeeper ever to debut in Serie A, aged 16 years and 242 days.  By the time he departed for PSG, he has spent 6 seasons in Milan. He might have been a better goalkeeper, but he only made honorable mention because he was less decorated than Cudicini and Rossi.  So I went with Rossi as the third goalkeeper.
-- Albertosi Enrico was old when he joined Milan.  His best years were behind him. Dida actually deserved to be on the team.   He had won a Champions League with the club. He also played over 300 games for the club. Christian Abbiati made more appearance for Milan than any other goalkeeper in history. Giorgio Ghezzi became the first Italian goalkeeper to win the European Cup when AC Milan beat Benfica in the Final. Giovanni Galli started in both of the club's back-to-back European Cup victories in 1989 and 1990.  They made honorable mentions.
-- In the 1993-94 season, Milan accomplished an extraordinary feat by securing their third consecutive Serie A title, conceding a remarkable total of only 15 goals. They also won the Champions' League that season with a convincing victory over Barcelona. Their defense during this era is widely regarded as the best in the history of the game. Individually, Paulo Maldini is known as the greatest ever leftback , while Franco Baresi is recognized as one of the finest liberos ever to grace the sport. Alessandro Costacurta primarily played as a center back but exhibited versatility across the entire defensive line.  Mauro Tassotti might not be the greatest rightback ever.  But he had a long service to the club. He spent 17 seasons during Milan's greatest eras.
Paolo Madlini
-- Alessandro Nesta was another undisputed choice for a central defender.   Then, I selected Cesare Maldini because he was the captain who brought home the first European Cup. The other three central defenders were set before I began.  Roberto Rosato was probably the best central defender not selected.  He was born on the same day as his team-mate Gianni Rivera, where they were known as "twins". Giovanni Trapattoni and Filippo Galli also made honorable mentions.
-- So I was left with two spots for the fullback position from each side. Angelo Anquilletti edged out Marco Sala, Filippo Galli and Christian Panucci for the rightback position. Panucci is more famous than Anquilletti because he was a relatively current player, but he only played briefly with Milan.  Angelo Anquilletti spent 11 seasons in Milan. Ignazio Abate was another candidate. The second leftback spot went to Renzo De Vecchi. He made his debut with AC Milan as 15 years old. He was given the nickname "Il Figlio di Dio" (The Son of God) by the Milan fans but was best remembered with his career in Genoa.  Nevertheless, I still took him.  He was one of the first star players on the team. Luigi Radice and Aldo Maldera were other notable leftbacks.
-- Gianluca Zambrotta played here at the end of his career.  
-- Andreas Pirlo is one of the most underrated players in history.  He was critical to the successes of AC Milan.  His departure to Juventus changed the balance of power in Serie A.  And I have to reunite him with Gennaro Gattuso.  Their complimentary playing styles allowed them to control the midfield effectively. Pirlo's ability to find pockets of space and distribute the ball seamlessly was supported by Gattuso's relentless energy and defensive work rate. 
-- Massimo Ambrosini also spent 18 years with the club. He was also their captain at one point.  I selected him because of his longevity.  Demetrio Albertini won five league titles and two UEFA Champions League titles with the club.  Carlos Ancelotti was a box-to-box midfielder.  The team might need his type of player. He was the unsung hero of the team during the late 1980's.  Last but not least, I also took Romeo Benetti whom I considered to be one of Italy's greatest defensive midfielders.
Carlos Ancelotti
-- I have too many midfielders.  I have no space for Giovanni Trapattoni, Omero Tognon, Giovanni Lodetti and Giuseppe Antonini. I opted for the younger players who have more name recognition.
-- Gianni Rivera also won the Ballon d'Or in 1969.  He led AC Milan to win two European Cups in 1963 and 1969.   He was Italy's "Golden Boy" in the 1960's and perhaps, AC Milan's greatest Italian player.  I needed an offensive midfielder to backup Gianni Rivera.  Roberto Baggio is probably Italy's greatest Trequartista, but his career with AC Milan was uneventful.  While he won a Serie A title in his first season, he had a series of disagreement with different managers in his second season.  His playing time was limited as a result.  I selected him because he was simply Baggio. AC Milan also did not have enough Italian Trequartista. Alberto Bigon was my alternative.
-- The wide position on the right is a concern. Pietro Arcari was the first player I selected.  He played in the 1934 World Cup Finals, but never played in an official game. Then, I chose Renzo Burini over Carlo Annovazzi, Angelo Sormani and Marco Simeone.  I am unfamilar with either player.
-- Being a major contributor to AC Milan's greatest era in history, Roberto Donadoni was an undisputed selection on the left.  He also played on the right.  Alberico Evani played 393 official matches for Milan. He won 3 Serie A titles, 2 UEFA Champions League titles and 2 Intercontinental Cup titles.  He played as a leftback until the emerge of Paulo Maldini, where he was transformed into a left winger.  He scored the winning goal in the 1989 Intercontinental Cup.
-- José Altafini played for Brazil and Juan Alberto Schiaffino for Uruguay before they played for Italy.  I considered them "foreigners".
-- I do not know much about Pietro Lana and Aldo Cevenini. So I went for strikers with the younger strikers.
-- Filippo Inzaghi is the All-time Milan's top goal scorer in Europe. He is also spent over 10 seasons in Milan.  He also won many trophies including the 2007 UEFA Champions League where he won the Man of the Match in the Final.  Aldo Boffi was an important goal scorer for AC Milan.  He was the league top scorer three times.  He is the fifth All-Time leading scorer for the club.  Gianni Rivera was the only non-Italian ahead of him.
Aldo Boffi
-- In 2024, I dropped both Giuseppe Santagostino and Pierino Prati for other players from different positions.  The team already had Filippo Inzaghi, Aldo Boffi, Renzo Burini and Roberto Baggio.
-- Giuseppe Santagostino was born in 1901 in Milan. From 1921 to 1933, he played over 200 games for AC Milan. He ranks eighth in A.C. Milan's all-time goalscorers list. He also scored the first ever goal in the San Siro in a derby against Inter Milan in 1926. He was never capped by Italy. After Milan, he played for Catanzaro and Atalanta. Also known as "Pierino the pest",  Prati is mostly remembered for his successful stint with AC Milan, forming an excellent partnership with Gianni Rivera. He was also notably part of their European Cup victory in 1969. He is the last man to have scored a hat-trick in the Champions League/European Cup Final.  He was capped 14 times.  He won the 1968 European Championship on home soil. He also went to the 1970 World Cup.
-- Daniele Massaro probably should belong to this team. He had a decorated career with the club, but his career was overshadowed by his strike partners.  I only put him on honorable mention.

I opted for a formation similar to the Christrmas tree formation used by Carlos Ancelotti.  So I decided to start himself on the team.