The Top 10 AC Milan players of all time – who are they?
Italian giants AC Milan are considered one of the greatest football clubs on the planet. The Rossoneri are going through some difficult times in the last decade, but their achievements speak for themselves. Milan has won the Champions League seven times in their history (the second-best achievement of all time after Real Madrid). They have also triumphed in the Serie A 18 times (the third-best achievement after Juventus and Inter Milan).
Among the club’s honours, we can also add Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana, Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
AC Milan was founded in 1899 by an English citizen. The club’s most successful era happened when the Rossoneri were owned by the former Prime minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi. The famous politician decided to step down in 2017 when it became too difficult for him to invest enough in the club’s success.
Some really significant players have won AC Milan’s shirt through the years. Today we will try to pick the best 10 of them. Let’s go!
A Ballon d’Or winner in 2007, Kaka made the best performances of his career with AC Milan’s shirt. He had two stints at the San Siro, and arguably his first one between 2003 and 2009 was the most impressive. When in his prime, Kaka was almost unplayable. He was an incredibly gifted midfielder who could dribble past the opposition and score beautiful goals from mid-range. His fantastic solo goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford remains one of his best efforts. He helped the Rossoneri win the Serie A in 2004 and the Champions League in 2007. His career went downhill after leaving Milan for Real Madrid, so maybe he still regrets leaving Italy.
Letting Andrea Pirlo leave for Juventus in 2011 is probably one of AC Milan’s stupidest decisions in this century. The influential midfielder spent 10 seasons at the San Siro, and he was absolutely instrumental for AC Milan in two successful Champions League campaigns. Probably the best deep-lying playmaker of his generation, Pirlo had a stunning passing ability and an impressive vision for the game. In 2006 he won the World Cup with Italy, which made his career even more staggering. Now Pirlo is still one of the best Milan players of the last few decades.
In 1999 AC Milan paid $25 million for a young Ukrainian striker named Andriy Shevchenko, which turned to be an excellent decision. Called “Sheva” by the fans, Shevchenko turned into AC Milan’s best striker since the legendary Marco van Basten. The Ukrainian was a complete player who scored 173 goals for the club before leaving for Chelsea. Just like Kaka, his career worsened since leaving the Rossoneri, and that’s probably a thing he still regrets. But he remains one of the best Milan players.
We turn our attention to the cult hero Ruud Gullit, one of the magnificent Dutch trio that succeeded at the San Siro. An attacking midfielder with an entertaining style of play, Gullit quickly became a fan favorite. With the Rossoneri, the Dutch legend won the Serie A three times and triumphed twice with the European Cup. His crazy style electrified the crowd whenever AC Milan was playing.
AC Milan is a club of many legendary defenders, and arguably Alessandro Costacurta is one of them. Here we talk about a player who made more than 660 appearances for the club – the third-best achievement in Milan’s history. Although one could say he was always in the shadow of Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini, Costacurta was one of Rossoneri’s most consistent performers. He won Serie A seven times and triumphed five times with the European Cup – that’s something awe-inspiring.
A striker from Sweden, Gunnar Nordahl will always remain a special figure for all AC Milan fans. The Scandinavian played for the club between 1949 and 1956, and he’s the club’s best scorer ever with 221 goals on his account. He won the Serie A just twice with the team, but his performances made him one of Rossoneri’s historical players. Now, Nordahl still holds the record of the best goals per appearance rates in Italian football. He’s also the player who became the Serie A top scorer for the most times in history – 5. One of the most respected Milan players.
One of the most impressive midfielders in the history of Italian football, Gianni Rivera spent 19 seasons with Rossoneri and scored 165 goals for the club. Except for one season with Alessandria, Rivera spent his whole career with AC Milan. He won the European Cup twice while also helped the team to win the Serie A on three different occasions. In 13 of his 19 seasons with AC Milan, he was the captain of the team.
Marco van Basten
Although he’s not even in the Top 5 of the players with the most goals for the club (he’s 7th), Marco van Basten is undoubtedly one of the most impressive strikers the fans have ever seen. Sadly he had to end his career at just 28-years of age because of severe ankle injuries. Before this, Van Basten was one of the most phenomenal strikers the world has ever seen. The combination between physical abilities and natural talent made him one of the most impressive players of his generation. Van Basten scored 124 goals for AC Milan, and he helped the club win two Serie A titles and two European Cup.
Franco Baresi’s career at AC Milan was an incredible journey. From playing at the Serie B with the club, Baresi walked the way to six Serie A titles and three European Cups. Captaining the Rossoneri for 15 years, Baresi will always be remembered as one of the best and most intelligent defenders in history. He was not a physical beast, but he knew how to use his intellect which helped him become probably the best sweeper the game has ever seen.
Why Paolo Maldini? Let’s say it like this: 902 games played, seven Serie A titles, five European Cups, and five European Super Cups. AC Milan never had a more successful player than Maldini – the legendary number 3 who spent 25 seasons with the Rossoneri. Playing as a left-back and a centre-back, Maldini did so great that AC Milan even retired his №3 shirt. Years after his retirement from football, Paolo Maldini is still considered the greatest defender in the history of football. And one of the Milan players who represent this club.
Honorable Mention: Jose Altafini
Spending seven terrific seasons with AC Milan’s shirt, Jose Altafini proved to be one of the best strikers of his generation. He won the Serie A twice – in 1959 and 1962, while one of his most significant achievements was winning the European Cup in 1963. He scored both goals against Benfica in the final and became the hero. The Brazilian-Italian managed to achieve 161 goals for the club, which put him in 4th place in the Rossoneri’s all-time rankings. And here’s a curious fact about him – people who love video games know him from his job as a commentator in the famous Pro Evolution Soccer franchise.
Honorable Mention: Cesare Maldini
Father of Paolo, Cesare Maldini is another one of AC Milan’s many legendary defenders. He spent more than a decade with the Rossoneri’s shirt, playing for the club between 1954 and 1966. He helped Milan win the Serie A four times, while in 1963, he also triumphed in the European Cup. An elegant defender, just like his son Paolo, Cesare Maldini was brilliant in reading the game, too.
Who is AC Milan all time top scorer?
Gunnar Nordahl holds the record for most goals scored in AC Milan’s shirt in all competitions – 221. He also scored the most goals in a single season for the Rossoneri – 38 during the 1950/51 campaign.
Who are the most famous AC Milan players?
Players like Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Kaka, and Marco van Basten are among the most popular in AC Milan’s history.
Which player scored the most hat-tricks for AC Milan?
Once again, Gunnar Nordahl wins the prize here. The legendary Swede scored a stunning 18 hat-tricks while playing for the Italian club.
Which player scored the most international goals for AC Milan?
The answer is Filippo Inzaghi. Super Pippo scored 43 times in international games during his spell at the San Siro, including twice in the 2007 Champions League final.
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