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Best AC Milan players of all time

Tuesday27 October 2020 | 16:30
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AC Milan are the fourth most successful club in the world in terms of the number of international titles. Read on to learn more about the best A.C Milan players of all time.

Founded in 1899,

AC Milan

Club, or Milan for short, is a professional football club located in Milan, Italy.

Milan, one of the most prestigious Italian clubs, is the fourth most successful club in the world and, with a total of 18 trophies, is the most successful European team after

Real Madrid

.

AC Milan is higher than its both rivals,

Inter Milan

and

Juventus

.

In the following article, we will briefly review the honors of AC Milan club. Then we will present a list of greatest AC Milan players of all time, and share the personal and professional backgrounds of each of these best AC Milan players ever.

Best AC Milan players of all time

Before we get into the list of best AC Milan footballers of all time, we will have a brief overview of the history and honors of AC Milan Club.

History and honors of AC Milan

An Englishman established a football club in the city of Milan in 1899. It was originally known as the Milan Football and Cricket Club, but that name changed to Associazione Calcio Milan, or AC Milan for short.

A.C Milan are among the best football clubs in Italy that’s why they are able to persuade world-class players to join their ranks.

A.C Milan or simply Milan is a professional football club in Milan, Italy, founded in 1899. The club is one of the wealthiest ones in world football.

The followings are some of the best AC Milan players of all time:

Through the years, Milan have always had superstars in their team; however, some are considered the greatest of their generation. Find out about the

best AC Milan footballers of all time

.

Sebastiano Rossi

  • Full name: Sebastiano Rossi

  • Date of birth: 20 July 1964 (age 57)

  • Place of birth: Cesena, Italy

  • Height: 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)

  • Position(s): Goalkeeper

Sebastiano Rossi, born 20 July 1964, is an Italian retired footballer who played as a goalkeeper. Rossi made his senior debut with

A.C. Forli

in the Serie C, in 1982-83 at the age of 18.

Sebastiano returned to his hometown's club, A.C. Cesena for the 1986-87 campaign, the club which he was joined in 1979.

The club promoted to

Serie A

and Rossi was the first goalkeeper of the team in following three top division seasons.

After three seasons playing in the Serie A, Rossi was noticed by big clubs of Italy and it was A.C. Milan which he chose to join.

Rossi joined the Rossoneri in 1990, the club that dominated Italian football for much of the 1990s.

He became the Milan's undisputed first-choice goalkeeper after a brief time. In those years Milan's defensive line had great players which all of them are among the

best AC Milan players of all time

.

Rossi was part of a defensive line that included, Mauro Tassotti, Alessandro Costacurta, Franco Baressi and Paolo Maldini, regarded as one of the greatest defensive units of all time.

Rossi played for Milan 12 seasons, from 1990 to 2002 and in these years he achieved many trophies. He became the champion of Italy five times and won UEFA Champions League in the 1993-94 season.

Sebastinao Rossi was a tall and physically strong goalkeeper who was known for his confidence as well as his ability to come off his line.

As one of the best AC Milan footballers of all time, Rossi held the record for the longest streak without conceding a goal in Serie A history. In an 11-match span, from 12 December 1993 to 27 February 1994, he kept a clean sheet for 929 consecutive minutes.

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This incredible record shows he deserves to be among the all-time greatest AC Milan players.

Kaka

  • Full name: Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite

  • Date of birth: 22 April 1982 (age 39)

  • Place of birth: Gama, Federal District, Brazil

  • Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)

  • Playing position(s): Attacking midfielder

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, born 22 April 1982, commonly known as Kaká or Ricardo Kaká, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder.

He's regarded as one of the

best players in AC Milan history

, and is known for his goal-scoring and great dribbling talents.

Kaka made his professional debut at age 18 at

São Paulo

in Brazil in 2001. He made his senior side debut on 1 February 2001 and scored 12 goals in 27 appearances.

Kaká made a total of 58 appearances for São Paulo, scoring 23 times. His great performance attracted attention from European clubs.

In 2003 he joined the European champions, Italian club A.C. Milan for a fee of €8.5 million. In a brief time he earned his place at the starting lineup as the attacking midfield playmaker.

In his first season playing for Milan he managed to score ten goals in 30 appearances, and also provided several important assists. Due to his performances in his debut season, in 2004, Kaká was named Serie A Footballer of the Year.

In the 2004-05 season Kaká played a pivotal role in Milan's Champions League campaign. He led the team to the final match of the tournament and they had to face against

Liverpool

.

In a wonderful match which is regarded as one of the best matches in UCL's history, Milan won the first half with three goals which Kaka made two assists but in the second half the game changed and Liverpool made it equal. Finally Liverpool won the match at the penalty kicks.

In six seasons playing for Milan, Kaka played 270 matches and scored 95 goals before leaving the club in 2009 and joining Spanish club Real Madrid.

He returned to Italy to play for Milan in 2013-14 season and scored 9 goals in that season to be one of the players who have scored more than 100 goals for the club.

Kaka became the best player of the world with A.C. Milan and his great performance for the club shows he's definitely one of the best Milan players of all time.

He won Serie A in 2003-04 season and won the UCL Title in 2006-07 season with Milan and also won the Ballon d'Or in 2007.

Andrea Pirlo

  • Full name: Andrea Pirlo

  • Date of birth: 19 May 1979 (age 42)

  • Place of birth: Flero, Italy

  • Height: 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)

  • Playing position(s): Midfielder

Andrea Pirlo, born 19 May 1979, is an Italian professional football coach and former player who is the head coach of Serie A club Juventus.

Considered to be one of the greatest playmakers of all time, Pirlo was renowned for his vision, technique, creativity, passing, and free-kick ability.

He's also considered as one of the best AC Milan players of all time. Pirlo began his club career in 1995 as an attacking midfielder with hometown club

Brescia

, winning the

Serie B

title in 1997.

In the next year he signed for Inter Milan but limited game time and loans away from the club saw him sold to cross-city rivals Milan in 2001.

In Milan Pirlo turned to a world-class deep-lying playmaker, and won two Scudetto titles, two UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups, a FIFA Club World Cup, a Coppa Italia, and a Supercoppa Italiana.

Pirlo joined to Milan on 30 June 2001, the last day of 2000–01 financial year. He made big strides in developing into a world class player, and one of the best deep-lying playmakers and set-piece specialists in the world at A.C. Milan, in particular under manager Carlo Ancelotti.

In ten seasons playing for A.C. Milan, Pirlo participated in 401 appearances and managed to score 41 goals which most of them were scored from free kicks.

Pirlo became the champion of Italy and won the UCL title two times with the club, he was always one of the key players of the team.

His great performance on the pitch made him one of the

best footballers in the history of AC Milan

.

Ruud Gullit

  • Full name: Ruud Gullit

  • Date of birth: 1 September 1962 (age 59)

  • Place of birth: Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • Height: 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)

  • Playing position(s): Midfielder / Forward

Ruud Gullit, born1 September 1962, is a Dutch football manager and former footballer who played professionally in the 1980s and 1990s as an attacking midfielder or forward.

He's widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, and also one of the

best AC Milan players of all time

.

Gullit joined to HFC Harrlem in 1978 to start his professional career under Barry Hughes at just 16 years old and became the youngest player in history of Eredivisie at the time.

From 1978 to 1987 Gullit made his mark in Dutch football and became one of the best players in the world. He won Dutch footballer of the year award twice and also won the Dutch golden shoe award.

After brilliant show that he did in his country it was time for him to move to a bigger club. In 1987 he moved from PSV to Milan for a world record transfer fee.

He became part of a Dutch trio at Milan which included Marco Van Basten and Frank Rijkaard. From 1987 to 1994 Gullit spent seven seasons of his career in Milan which were his best years as a player.

In A.C. Milan, Gullit played 171 matches during seven seasons and managed to score 56 goals. He won Serie A, three times in 1987, 1991 and 1992 and also became champion of European Cup with Milan two times in 1988 and 1989.

He's regarded as one the

greatest AC Milan players of all time

. He won the Ballon d'Or award in 1987 as a player of Milan.

Gullit was capable of aiding his team offensively as well as defensively due to his ball-winning abilities, and physical qualities.

Alessandro Costacurta

  • Full name: Alessandro Costacurta

  • Date of birth: 24 April 1966 (age 55)

  • Place of birth: Jerago con Orago, Italy

  • Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)

  • Playing position(s): Centre-back

Alessandro Costacurta, born 24 April 1966, is an Italian football pundit, manager and a former professional defender, who usually played as a center back. He is truly among the best AC Milan players of all time.

Costacurta made his first Serie A appearance on 25 October 1987 against Hellas Verona. In his first year he played only 8 matches due to the presence of the more experienced Filippo Galli in his position.

He spent his entire football career as a player in A.C. Milan and won many trophies with the club.

Costacurta was a part of one of the greatest defense lines in Serie A and European football during the late 1980s and 1990s, alongside Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini and Mauro Tassotti.

He is regarded by many players and managers as one of the greatest defenders in history of football.

Costacurta was a complete defender who was also gifted with good crossing ability, as well as a solid technique and first touch.

He was a defender with fast reactions who was known in particular for his exceptional tactical intelligence as well as his timing and strong, precise tackling ability.

He was also effective in the air, and had an outstanding ability to read the game, despite his lack of notable pace, physical strength or athletic attributes.

In 21 seasons playing for Milan, he participated in 663 matches and scored three goals. In 2007 he scored a goal from penalty spot at the age of 41 to become the oldest goalscorer in Serie A.

Costacurta is one of the best footballers in the history of AC Milan and he's also one of the players with most championship winnings.

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He won Serie A title 7 times during his career and also won the UEFA Champions League 5 times with the club which is a great record.

Andriy Shevchenko

  • Full name: Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko

  • Date of birth: 29 September 1976 (age 45)

  • Place of birth: Dvirkivshchyna, Ukrainian

  • Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)

  • Playing position(s): Striker

Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko, born 29 September 1976, is a Ukrainian former professional football player, former politician, and current football manager. Shevchenko is one of the best players in AC Milan history.

On 5 May 1993, he started out his professional career at age 16 in Dynamo-2 Kyiv. He played 9 seasons in Dynamo and in this years he won Ukrainian premier league title for five times and his great talent was revealed to everyone.

In 1999, Shevchenko joined Italian club A.C. Milan for a then-record transfer fee of $25 million.

In his debut season in Milan he managed to score 24 goals in 32 league matches. He became the main forward of the team from his first season in Milan.

Shevchenko continued his captivating show in Serie A and Champions League but his team failed at winning even a single trophy.

In 2001 Italian manager, Carlo Ancelotti appointed as the headcoach of Milan and this was the start of a great era for the club.

In 2002-03 A.C. Milan had a great season. The manager Ancelotti made a great team with great players in all positions at the pitch.

Milan reached to final match of Coppa Italia tournaments and faced against strong opponet,

A.S. Roma

. In the end Milan won 6-3 on agreegate to become champions.

But this wasn't their only championship in that season. In UCL tournament Milan reached to final match after beating strong rivals

Ajax

in quarter-finals and Internazionale in semi-finals.

Milan had to face another strong Italian club Juventus, in the final match. The match ended with no goals in 120 minutes and in penalties it was Milan whom won the match and Shevchenko scored the last penalty.

In the 2003-04 season Milan won the Serie A title after five years and Shevchenko named the top scorer of league with 24 goals.

In eight seasons playing for Milan he scored 175 goals in all competisions to be the second most prolific player in the history of the club.

He's regarded as one of the

best AC Milan players ever

and one of the best forwards in the history of football.

Gianni Rivera

  • Full name: Gianni Rivera

  • Date of birth: 18 August 1943 (age 78)

  • Place of birth: Alessandria, Italy

  • Height: 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)

  • Playing position(s): Forward / attacking midfielder

Giovanni "Gianni" Rivera, born 18 August 1943, in Alessandria, is an Italian politician and former footballer who played as a midfielder. He is one of the all-time greatest AC Milan players.

He played 20 seasons for A.C. Milan after beginning his career with hometown club Alessandria in 1959.

He joined to Milan in 1960 and his Milan debut on 18 September 1960, in a 3–5 away win over his former club Alessandria in the Coppa Italia, under manager Giuseppe Viani, who later gave Rivera his famed nickname the Golden Boy.

About his play style, he played mostly as attacking midfielder. He was a great playmaker who was technically gifted.

Rivera was highly regarded for his outstanding ball control and excellent technique, as well as his quick feet, acceleration over short distances, agility, and balance on the ball, which allowed him to change direction quickly, and dribble past players with ease.

During 20 years playing for Milan he won Serie A title three times and also won European Cup two times with the club.

In 1969, he won the Ballon d'Or award to become the best player in the world. He is regarded by many as one of the best AC Milan players of all time and one of the best offensive midfielders in history of football.

Marco Van Basten

  • Full name: Marcel van Basten

  • Date of birth: 31 October 1964 (age 57)

  • Place of birth: Utrecht, Netherlands

  • Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)

  • Playing position(s): Striker

Marcel "Marco" van Basten, born 31 October 1964, is a Dutch football manager and former professional player, who played as a striker. He's regarded as one of the best Milan players ever.

In 1981 Ajax signed young Marco when he was 16 years old. He played his first match on 3 April 1982 and scored a debut goal.

In first season playing for Ajax he scored nine goals in 20 league matches.

From 1983 to 1987 Van Basten became one of the best forwards in the world and scored 152 goals in 172 matches which is a remarkable record.

As one of the

best AC Milan players of all time

, he won the European Golden Boot award in 1985-86 season with scoring 37 goals in 26 league matches.

During 8 seasons playing in Milan, Marco won the Ballon d'Or award three times in 1988, 1989 and 1992. He also won FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1992.

Van Basten was known for his close ball control, attacking intelligence and spectacular strikes and volleys.

He managed to score 125 goals in 201 matches for A.C. Milan and won Serie A title four times in 1987, 1991, 1992 and 1993.

He also won UEFA Champions League title three times with the club in 1988, 1989 and 1993 season.

Unfortunately this great player had to hang his shoes too early due to his ankle injury. He retired at the age of 30.

Gunnar Nordahl

  • Full name: Nils Gunnar Nordahl

  • Date of birth: 19 October 1921

  • Place of birth: Hornefors, Sweden

  • Date of death: 15 September 1995 (aged 73)

  • Place of death: Alghero, Italy

  • Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)

  • Playing position(s): Striker

Nils Gunnar Nordahl, 19 October 1921 – 15 September 1995, was a Swedish football player. A- Physically strong striker who was a goal poacher.

Nordahl is best known for his spell at Milan from 1949 to 1956. He's considered to be one of the greatest strikers in football history and also one of the greatest AC Milan players of all time.

In 1937 He started out his professional career in Swedish club Hörnefors IF. From 1937 to 1949 Nordahl scored 149 goals in 172 matches for Swedish clubs.

On 22 January 1949 Nordahl transferred to A.C. Milan. In seasons playing with Milan he won Serie A title twice and set great records.

As one of the best AC Milan players of all time, Nordahl scored 210 goals for Milan in 257 League matches to become the Milan’s all-time record goal-scorer.

He is the third highest Serie A goal scorer of all time with 225 goals only behind Silvio Piola and Francesco Totti.

He still holds the record for goals per appearance in Serie A ever with 0.77 goals/match. He became the Serie A top-scorer five times which is more than any other player in the history of the Italian Championship.

Franco Baresi

  • Full name: Franchino Baresi

  • Date of birth: 8 May 1960 (age 61)

  • Place of birth: Travagliato, Italy

  • Height: 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)

  • Playing position(s): Defender

Franchino Baresi, born 8 May 1960, is an Italian football youth team coach and a former player and manager.

He played as a central defender or a sweeper and spent his entire 20-year career with A.C. Milan, and captained the club for 15 years.

He's considered as one of the best defenders of all-time and also one of the greatest players in the history of Milan.

Baresi made his Serie A debut at age 17 on 23 April 1978. In 1982 Baresi was appointed Milan's captain, at age 22, and would hold this position for much of his time at the club, becoming a symbol and a leader for the team.

During the end of the 1980s Baresi was the heart of one of the greatest defense lines in the history of football along-side Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Mauro Tassotti.

In 1987 with joining the Dutch trio, Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard to the club Milan won the Scudetto title and it was start of a great era in the club.

Baresi captained the club in back to back UCL title winnings in 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons and he named the Ballon d'Or award runner-up behind his team mate Marco Van Basten in 1989.

He was a complete defender who was gifted with outstanding physical and mental attributes, such as pace, strength and stamina.

Baresi was known for being a strong and accurate tackler, who was very good at winning back possession, and at anticipating and intercepting plays.

During 20 seasons playing with Milan he won 6 Scudetto and three UEFA Champions League titles.

He was named the A.C. Milan player of the century in 1999 and the club retired Baresi's shirt number 6, after his final season at Milan in 1997.

Paolo Maldini

  • Full name: Paolo Cesare Maldini

  • Date of birth: 26 June 1968 (age 53)

  • Place of birth: Milan, Italy

  • Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)

  • Playing position(s): Defender

  • Current team: Milan (technical director)

Paolo Cesare Maldini, born 26 June 1968, is an Italian former professional footballer who played as a left back and central defender for A.C. Milan and the Italy national team. He is definitely among the best AC Milan players of all time.

He's mostly considered to be one of the greatest ever defenders, with many considering him to be the best ever, and as one of the greatest players of all time.

He was nicknamed ''The Captain'' because of captaining Milan and Italy for many years. Maldini is originally a Milan youth squad product, Maldini also went on to play his entire club career with the Milan senior side.

He made his league debut for Milan on 20 January 1985 at age 16, he was handed the number 3 shirt, which had previously also belonged to his father, Cesare.

As one of the best AC Milan players ever, Maldini was known for his technical ability, sliding tackles, stamina and fast energetic forward runs as a left-back or wing-back.

He was also known for his strength, tackling and man-marking, as well as his tactical knowledge. Maldini had a long and successful professional career with A.C. Milan. He played 25 seasons with Milan.

He played 902 matches for Milan in all competitions. During 25 seasons he won Serie A title 7 times and also won UEFA Champions League title 5 times.

He holds many great records for Milan; he's the youngest first-team player, he holds the record for most appearances in all competitions with 902 appearances.

He's the Second player with most Serie A appearances (647) and is the Longest-serving player for Milan with 24 years and 132 days playing for the club, and many other records which make him a club legend.

Following his retirement after the 2008–09 season, Milan retired his number 3 shirt.

 

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source: SportMob