The Italians like their football teams akin to their food: Rich, exciting and strong with a blend of history and that is exactly why AC Milan have managed to stay at the top their game even after 116 years. AC Milan celebrates their 116th birthday today, club with pure emotions which not only are followed extensively in Italy but all across the globe.
Funnily enough, the club was not founded by Italians but Englishmen of sorts in 1899, namely Alfred Edwards and Herbert Kilpin. Their first headquarters were established at the ‘Fiaschetteria Toscana’ on Via Berchet in Milan, back in 1899 and from that moment on the magnificent history of Milan took shape and went on to become one of the most celebrated clubs of the world as they won every trophy, every game along with hearts under the sun. After the club was founded, they were unstoppable-winning almost every title they challenged. Their first title win was in 1901 and then there was no turning back, it was only an upward challenge and no downward spiral for the Rossoneris, at least for the next 10 years.
In 1908, when Inter Milan came in to existence, the roots of AC Milan took an unexpected turn and they did not win a single title challenge until 1950. As the 1950s unfolded, The Red and Blacks saw the most successful run of domestic performances winning the Scudetto a whopping 5 times and made it’s international mark by winning the Continental Cup beating SL Benfica in 1963 and finishing the first milestone of winning their tenth league title in 1979. In 1980, however, the club was involved in the Totonero Scandal which saw them move down to Serie B as punishment but that did not crumple the spirits of the Rossaneris as they came back stronger as ever.
The Italian Devils saw the most fruitful era of their club when Arrigo Sacchi took over as their manager and brought the likes of Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard who together almost always set the field on fire with the goals they showered upon. The dutch triumvirate ran rampant on their opponents taking AC Milans to new heights in terms of attacking and complimented the other Italian internationals like Paolo Maldini, Roberto Donadoni, Alessandro Costacurta and many more.
The football they played was melodious and elegant with a hint of tease, watching a game was almost like a Victorian love story that started out slow but unfolded so quickly you’re stuck catching for a breath. They brought it all to the club and gave it all in exchange with nothing to ask for in return. They won their first Scudetto in 9 years in 1988 and went onto win their first European Cup in two decades and as if this was not enough, they won their league title, too making them the only team to win back-to-back European Cups!
The Capello era entailed a lot of success, too with the team winning three consecutive league titles in 1992, 1993 and 1994. Players like Jean-Pierre Papin, Marco Simone, Enzo Gambaro and many more made sure that the club remains at the very top and oh, they did. The club reached the finals of the Champion’s League twice back to back and won in a memorable match against Barcelona where they beat the Spanish giants 4-0.
Milan’s next run of success came with the signing of former player Carlos Ancelotti as their manager in 2001. They won their 6th European Cup in 2003 by beating league challengers Juventus on penalties, easily one of the matches no one would want to miss. Another blow to the club hit during the Calciopoli Scandal where 5 clubs were accused of match fixing and saw a reduction 8 points of AC Milan’s position setting them back pretty further. This was no reason for the Casciavits to back down as returned with a bang.
In total, they have won 18 Serie A titles, 5 Coppa Italia titles, 7 UCL titles and 5 Super Cup challenges. These numbers are historical in nature; they speak of great experience and wisdom in the way the team has been brought out and their legendary style of play. To cut the story short, AC Milan has played an imperative role in shaping the football word as it is today. Its contribution to the game we call football is not only commendable but also glorious. A total of 116 years of existence in the most handsome manner; only best wishes are in order.