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A.C. Milan

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Full name Associazione Calcio Milan S.p.A.[1]

Nickname(s) I Rossoneri (The Red and Blacks)

Il Diavolo (The Devil)

Founded 13 December 1899; 120 years ago, as Milan Foot-Ball and Cricket Club

Ground San Siro

Capacity 80,018

Owner Elliot Advisors (UK) Ltd. (99.93%)[2][3]

Small shareholders (0.07%)[4]

Chairman Paolo Scaroni

Manager Stefano Pioli

League Serie A

2018–19 Serie A, 5th of 20

A.C. Milan's 18 FIFA and UEFA trophies is the fourth highest out of any club (joint with Boca Juniors), and the most out of any Italian club.[7][8][9][10] Milan has won a joint record three Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup,[10] seven European Cup/Champions League titles (Italian record),[10] the UEFA Super Cup a joint record five times and the Cup Winners' Cup twice.[10] With 18 league titles, Milan is also the joint-second most successful club in Serie A, along with local rivals Internazionale and behind Juventus (35 league titles).[11] They have also won the Coppa Italia five times, and the Supercoppa Italiana seven.[10]

Milan's home games are played at San Siro, also known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. The stadium, which is shared with city rivals Internazionale, is the largest in Italian football, with a total capacity of 80,018.[12] Inter are considered their biggest rivals, and matches between the two teams are called Derby della Madonnina, which is one of the most followed derbies in football.[13]

The club is one of the wealthiest in Italian and world football.[14] It was a founding member of the now-defunct G-14 group of Europe's leading football clubs as well as its replacement, the European Club Association.[15]

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Main article: History of A.C. Milan


Herbert Kilpin, the club's first captain and one of its founding members


A.C. Milan in 1901

"Saremo una squadra di diavoli. I nostri colori saranno il rosso come il fuoco e il nero come la paura che incuteremo agli avversari."

— 1899, Herbert Kilpin[16][17]

"We will be a team of devils. Our colours will be red like fire and black like the fear we will invoke in our opponents."

— 1899, Herbert Kilpin

A.C. Milan was founded as Milan Foot-Ball and Cricket Club in 1899 by English expatriates Alfred Edwards and Herbert Kilpin.[6] Although the club itself claims 16 December of that year as its foundation date, historical evidence show that the club was actually founded on 13 December.[18] In honour of its English origins, the club has retained the English spelling of the city's name, as opposed to the Italian spelling Milano, which it was forced to bear under the fascist regime. Milan won its first Italian championship in 1901 and a further two in succession in 1906 and 1907.[5]


A.C. Milan celebrating after winning the European Cup Winners' Cup final in 1968

In 1908, Milan experienced a split caused by internal disagreements over the signing of foreign players, which led to the forming of another Milan-based team, F.C. Internazionale Milano.[19] Following these events, Milan did not manage to win a single domestic title until 1950–51.[10] The 1950s saw the club return to the top of Italian football, headed by the famous Gre-No-LiSwedish trio Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm. This was one of the club's most successful periods domestically, with the Scudetto going to Milan in 1951, 1955, 1957, 1959 and 1962.[10] In 1963, Milan won its first continental title by beating Benfica in the final of the European Cup.[20][21] This success was repeated in 1969, with a 4–1 win over Ajax in the final, which was followed by the Intercontinental Cup title the same year.[10] During this period Milan also won its first Coppa Italia, with victory over Padova in the 1967 final, and two European Cup Winners' Cups: in 1967–68 and 1972–73.[10]

Milan won a tenth league title in 1979, but after the retirement of Gianni Rivera in the same year, the team went into a period of decline. The club was involved in the 1980 Totonero scandal and as punishment was relegated to Serie B for the first time in its history.[22] The scandal was centred around a betting syndicate paying players and officials to fix the outcome of matches.[22] Milan achieved promotion back to Serie A at the first attempt, winning the 1980–81 Serie B title,[10] but were again relegated a year later as the team ended its 1981–82 campaign in third-last place. In 1983, Milan won the Serie B title for the second time in three seasons to return to Serie A,[10] where they achieved a sixth-place finish in 1983–84.


Tassotti (left) holds the UEFA Champions League trophy along with manager Fabio Capello, following Milan's victory in the 1993–94 edition of the tournament

On 20 February 1986, entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi (who owns Fininvest and Mediaset) acquired the club and saved it from bankruptcy after investing vast amounts of money,[5] appointing rising manager Arrigo Sacchi at the helm of the Rossoneri and signing Dutch internationals Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard.[5] The Dutch trio added an attacking impetus to the team, and complemented the club's Italian internationals Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta and Roberto Donadoni. Under Sacchi, Milan won its first Scudetto in nine years in the 1987–88 season. The following year, the club won its first European Cup in two decades, beating Romanian club Steaua București 4–0 in the final. Milan retained their title with a 1–0 win over Benfica a year later and was the last team to win back-to-back European Cups until Real Madrid's win in 2017.[23] The Milan team of 1989–90, nicknamed the "Immortals" in the Italian media,[24] has been voted the best club side of all time in a global poll of experts conducted by World Soccer magazine.[25]

After Sacchi left Milan in 1991, he was replaced by the club's former player Fabio Capello whose team won three consecutive Serie A titles between 1992 and 1994, a spell which included a 58-match unbeaten run in Serie A (which earned the team the label "the Invincibles"),[24][26][27] and back-to-back UEFA Champions League final appearances in 1993, 1994 and 1995. A year after losing 1–0 to Marseille in the 1993 Champions League final, Capello's team reached its peak in one of Milan's most memorable matches of all time, the famous 4–0 win over Barcelona in the 1994 Champions League final.[26] Capello's side went on to win the 1995–96 league title before he left to manage Real Madrid in 1996.[26] In 1998–99, after a two-year period of decline, Milan lifted its 16th championship in the club's centenary season.


Milan captain Paolo Maldini lifting the European Cup after they won the 2002–03 UEFA Champions League


Milan celebrates winning the Champions League of season 2006–07

Milan's next period of success came under another former player, Carlo Ancelotti. After his appointment in November 2001, Ancelotti took Milan to the 2003 Champions League final, where they defeated Juventus on penalties to win the club's sixth European Cup.[28] The team then won the Scudetto in 2003–04 before reaching the 2005 Champions League final, where they were beaten by Liverpool on penalties despite leading 3–0 at half-time.[28] Two years later, the two teams met again in the 2007 Champions League final, with Milan winning 2–1 to lift the title for a seventh time.[28][29] The team then won its first FIFA Club World Cup in December 2007.[30] In 2009, after becoming Milan's second longest serving manager with 420 matches overseen,[30] Ancelotti left the club to take over as manager at Chelsea.

During this period, the club was involved in the Calciopoli scandal, where five teams were accused of fixing matches by selecting favourable referees.[31] A police inquiry excluded any involvement of Milan managers,[32] but the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) unilaterally decided that it had sufficient evidence to charge Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani. As a result, Milan was initially punished with a 15-point deduction and was banned from the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League. An appeal saw that penalty reduced to eight points,[33] which allowed the club to retain its Champions League participation.

Following the aftermath of Calciopoli, local rivals Internazionale dominated Serie A, winning four Scudetti. However, with the help a strong squad boasting players such as Zlatan Ibrahimović, Robinho and Alexandre Pato joining many of the veterans of the club's mid-decade European successes, Milan recaptured the Scudetto in the 2010–11 Serie A season, their first since the 2003–04 season, and 18th overall.[34][35]

However, after the Scudetto the club declined in performance. It saw the club fail to qualify to European competitions for a few years. Fininvest, the holding company of the club also signed a preliminary agreement with Bee Taechaubol to sell 48% stake of the club for €480 million in 2015,[36] after a net loss of €91.3 million in 2014 financial year and subsequent financial contribution from Fininvest.[37] However, the deal collapsed. On 5 August 2016, a new preliminary agreement was signed with a Chinese investment management company Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing Co., which Fininvest sold 99.93% stake of Milan for about €520 million, plus the refurbishment of the club financial debt of €220 million.[38] On 13 April 2017, the deal was completed and Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux became the new direct parent company of the club.[39] In order to finalize the deal, American hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation provided Li with a loan of €303M (€180M to complete the payment to Fininvest and €123M issued directly to the club).[40][41] On 10 July 2018, Li failed to keep up with his loan repayment plan, neglecting to deposit a €32-million installment on time in order to refinance the €303-million loan debt owed to the American hedge fund. As a result, In July 2018, chairman Li Yonghong's investment vehicle Rossoneri Champion Inv. Lux. was removed as the shareholder of Rossoneri Sport Inv. Lux., the direct parent company of the club, making the investment vehicle majority controlled by Elliott Management Corporation the sole shareholder of Rossoneri Sport Inv. Lux.[42][43][44][45]

Milan qualified for the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League group stage as the sixth-placed team of the 2017–18 Serie A, but were originally banned by UEFA from European competition due to violations of Financial Fair Play regulations for failure to break-even.[46] Milan appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and was overturned on 20 July 2018.[47][48][49] On 28 June 2019, Milan was excluded from the Europa League for violating Financial Fair Play regulations for the years 2014–2017 and 2015–2018.[50]

Colours and badge


The coat of arms of the city of Milan was the club badge of the first decades.

Red and black are the colours which have represented the club throughout its entire history. They were chosen to represent the players' fiery ardor (red) and the opponents' fear to challenge the team (black). Rossoneri, the team's widely used nickname, literally means "the red & blacks" in Italian, in reference to the colours of the stripes on its jersey.[51]

Another nickname derived from the club's colours is the Devil. An image of a red devil was used as Milan's logo at one point with a Golden Star for Sport Excellence located next to it.[52] As is customary in Italian football, the star above the logo was awarded to the club after winning 10 league titles, in 1979. For many years, Milan's badge was simply the Flag of Milan, which was originally the flag of Saint Ambrose.[52] The modern badge used today represents the club colours and the flag of the Comune di Milano, with the acronym ACM at the top and the foundation year (1899) at the bottom.[52]

White shorts and black socks are usually worn as part of the home strip. Milan's away strip has always been completely white.[53] It is considered by both the fans and the club to be a lucky strip in Champions League finals, due to the fact that Milan has won six finals out of eight in an all white strip (losing only to Ajax in 1995 and Liverpool in 2005), and only won one out of three in the home strip. The third strip, which is rarely used, changes yearly, being mostly black with red trimmings in recent seasons.

Source: opera.com
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