Mar 24, 2009


Ac Milan was founded as a cricket club in 1899 by British expatriates Alfred Edwards and Herbert Kilpin, who came from the British city of Nottingham. In honor of its origins, the club has retained the English spelling of its city's name, instead of changing it to the Italian Milano (though it was forced to do it during the fascist regime, like Genoa and Internazionale); it should be noted that the Italian pronunciation is actually MEE-lan, coming from the local dialect. Milan won their first Italian championship title in 1901, and then again in 1906 and 1907.
In 1908 the club experienced a split caused by internal disagreements over the signing of foreign players, which led to the forming of another Milan-based team, Internazionale. Following these events, Milan did not manage to win a single domestic title until 1950-51. In 1963 they ensured their first continental title, winning European Cup beating Benfica in the final. This success was repeated in 1969, and followed by an Intercontinental Cup title the same year. Following retirement of Gianni Rivera, Milan started a declining period, during which they were involved in the 1980 Totonero scandal and were relegated to Serie B as punishment, for the first time in their history. The scandal was centred on a betting syndicate paying players and officials to fix the outcome of matches. Milan quickly returned back to Serie A, but returned to Serie B only one year later as they ended in the relegation zone their 1981-82 Serie A campaign.
In 1986, entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi acquired the club, and immediately invested a lot of money in the team, appointing rising coach Arrigo Sacchi at the helm of the rossoneri and signing a Dutch trio of Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard. This was the beginning of the most successful time in the club's history, as AC Milan won seven domestic titles, five UEFA Champions League trophies, and three Intercontinental Cups.
More recently, Milan were involved in the 2006 Serie A scandal where five teams were accused of fixing matches by selecting favourable referees. Milan were initially punished with a 15 point deduction and consequently did not qualify for the UEFA Champions League. An appeal saw their penalty reduced to 8 points and allowed to retain their 2006-07 Champions League participation, where they won the competition.
Club statistics and records
Paolo Maldini presently holds both records for number of total and Serie A appearances for Milan with a total of 1000 games played in total, and 600 in the Serie A (as of May 14, 2007, not including playoff matches), the latter being also an all-time Serie A record.
Milan's all time top goalscorer is a Swede, Gunnar Nordahl who, in 268 games, managed to score 221 goals. Andriy Shevchenko is in second place with 173 goals in 298 games for the club, and is the highest scoring present squad member, followed by Filippo Inzaghi, who has scored 101 goals in 220 games.
The club hold the unique record of having gone a whole season without losing a game during the 1991-92 season. In total, that unbeaten streak lasted 58 games, starting with a 0-0 draw with Parma on May 26, 1991 and ironically ending with a 1-0 loss at home to Parma on March 21, 1993. This unbeaten streak is a Serie A record and is the 3rd longest unbeaten run in top flight European football. It comes in behind Steaua Bucure┼čti's record of 104 unbeaten games and Celtic who went 68 games unbeaten.
Currently, Milan along with Boca Juniors of Argentina, have the most FIFA recognised international club titles in the world.[17] Milan is also the number two team in Europe in line with UEFA Co-Efficient ranking system. This allows Milan to be in the number one spot for all European draws, which allows Milan to avoid other highly rated European teams in UEFA competitions
The team's current stadium is the 80,018 seat San Siro, officially known as Stadio Giuseppe Meazza after the former player who represented both Milan and Internazionale. The name San Siro is taken from the district where it's located. The stadium is shared with Internazionale, the other major football club in Milan. The stadium is well known for its fantastic atmosphere due to the closeness of the stands to the pitch. There is the frequent use of flares by the fans which often cause trouble.
On December 19, 2005, Milan vice-president and executive director Adriano Galliani announced that the team is seriously working to move out from San Siro. He said that Milan's new stadium will be largely based on the Veltins-Arena and following the standards of football stadiums in the United States, Germany and Spain. It will likely be a stadium for football purposes only (with no athletics track). The new stadium is supposed to be named after a sponsor.[21] It remains to see if this plan will proceed or if this is just a ploy to force the owners (Comune di Milano) to sell the stadium to Milan for a nominal fee so as to proceed with extensive renovations. Rumours have also surfaced of Internazionale's intention to also build a new stadium which may also affect this decision.
Milan is one of the most supported football clubs in Italy, according to an August 2007 research by Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Historically, Milan was supported by the city's working-class and trade unionists,[23] a section of whom were migrants from Southern Italy. On the other hand, crosstown rivals Internazionale were mainly supported by the more prosperous and typically Milanese middle-class.[23] One of the oldest ultras groups in all of Italian football, Fossa dei Leoni, originated in Milan.[24] Currently the main ultras group is Brigate Rossonere and has been since the mid-1970s. Politically, Milan ultras have never had any particular preference,[24] but the media have traditionally associated them with the left-wing, until recent times under Berlusconi's presidency where they are considered somewhat right-wing.[26]
Genoa fans consider Milan a hated rival after Genoa fan Vincenzo Spagnolo was tragically stabbed to death by a Milan supporter in January 1995.] Milan's main rivalry, though, is with intracity neighbor Inter; both clubs meet in the widely-anticipated Derby della Madonnina twice every Serie A season. The name of the derby refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose statue atop the Milan Cathedral is one of the city's main attractions. The match usually creates a lively atmosphere, with numerous (often humorous or offensive) banners unfolded before the match. Flares are commonly present, but they also led to the abandonment of the second leg of the 2004-05 Champions League quarterfinal matchup between Milan and Inter on April 12, 2005, after a flare thrown from the crowd by an Inter supporter struck Milan keeper Dida on the shoulder.
Milan is one of the most successful clubs in Italy, having won a total of 29 trophies, and the most winning team in the world for international competitions won together with Boca Juniors. with a record of 14 European trophies and 4 World titles. Milan have earned the distinction of being allowed to wear a star on their shirt representing the fact that they have won more than 10 scudetti. Added to this Milan are allowed to wear the UEFA Badge of Honour on their shirt during Champions League matches as they have won more than 5 European Cups
According to The Football Money League published by consultants Deloitte, in the season 2005–06, Milan was the fifth highest earning football club in the world with an estimated revenue of €233.7 million.[31] Currently the club are also ranked as the 6th richest football club in the world by Forbes magazine, making them the richest in Italian football.
The Austrian on-line betting company are currently Milan's main shirt sponsors after signing a 4 year deal at the start of the 2006–07 season.[33] Previous to this deal, the German car manufacturer, Opel had sponsored Milan for 12 seasons. For most of them, Opel was displayed on the front of the shirt, but in the 2003–04 and the 2005–06 seasons respectively, Meriva and Zafira (two cars from their range) were displayed.
The current shirts are supplied by German sportswear manufacturer Adidas, whose deal runs to the end of the 2017–18 season.[34] The deal makes Adidas the official manufacturer of all kits, training equipment and replica outfits. Prior to Adidas, the Italian sports company, Lotto produced Milan's sportswear.
On the 14th of January, 2008, AC Milan and Adidas renewed the sponsorship contract until 30th of June, 2018. According to the new contract, Adidas will be responsible for 3 separate areas of sponsorship: the sponsorship on the shirt, the merchandising and the distribution of all non-football related Milan products. [35]
AC Milan also sponsors the Scuderia Playteam in the new Superleague Formula race car series where teams are sponsored by football clubs. Robert Doornbos, formerly driving for Minardi and Red Bull Racing in the Formula One World Championship, will drive for AC Milan. Doornbos won his first race for the team at N├╝rburgring, Germany.


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