History of AC Milan
This is the history of Associazione Calcio Milan, also known outside of Italy as AC Milan.
Beginnings and early split
It all started on December 13, 1899 as the Milan Foot-Ball and Cricket Club in a winery in Via Berchet by a dozen men. Shropshire-born businessman and British vice-consul Alfred Edwards was elected as its first president.
On its first team, Nottingham native Herbert Kilpin served as its playing-manager, and eventually became its second club captain after David Allison. It was Kilpin who gave birth to its iconic Rossoneri.
He stated: “We will be a team of devils. Our colors will be red like fire and black like the fear we will invoke in our opponents.”
In just two years since their foundation, Milan won their first Italian title, and added two more in 1906 and 1907. However, disagreements over signing foreign players caused a schism within the club.
As such, Football Club Internacionales was born and adopted the color blue, and the Derby began in Milan.
Long drought and the San Siro
While AC Milan became irrelevant since the split, its bitter and younger rivals from Inter continue to shine, winning five Scudetti and a Coppa Italia in a 44-year span.
And worse the Mussolini regime imposed its repressive language policy that purged its English-rooted name; hence it was named Associazione Calcio Milano for the meantime. However, it quietly brought back its Anglicized name of Milan in the last part, and that name remains today.
However, there was a silver lining in this, as they opened the San Siro stadium in 1926, with then chairman Piero Pirelli funding the construction out of his own pocket.
Return to Glory with Gre-No-Li
Milan’s resurgence came after the war, and it was ironically that that their second golden era came with a trio of Swedish attackers: Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Niels Liedholm. They came to Milan on the back of their Olympic triumph in 1948 and made an almost immediate impact.
With either one of them in the first team, they won four Scudetti, with Nordahl being the club’s leading goal scorer with 210 in 257 appearances, and subsequently won five Capocannionieri as the top-scorer on five separate seasons.
Rocco, Cesare and Rivera
The Rossoneri continued to contend in the sixties and seventies but found its quest for silverware hampered by a revived Inter, in which their Derby became more intense.
Managed by Nereo Rocco on three separate occasions, the squad was led by Cesare Maldini and Gianni Rivera in that period, during which Rocco became known for his rivalry with Inter’s Helenio Herrera.
With either Rocco, Maldini and Rivera in the squad, Milan a pair of European Cups, a pair of Cup Winners’ Cups and four Coppa Italias to go with three Scudetti from 1962 to 1979.
The years after Rivera retired saw the Rossoneri drop in form, with their first of two relegations to Serie B being caused by the Totonero scandal that hit them hard in the first half of the 1980s, sending them closer to bankruptcy.
However, media magnate Silvio Berlusconi bought the club just in time in the middle of 1985-86 season, and with that the radicalization of Milan took place.
With that, Milan was never scared to take risks, with players such as Van Basten and Maldini shone under Sacchi, Cappello and Ancelotti
Their major haul included eight Scudetti and five European Cups, and Milan became synonymous with modern football that meant success and serious business along the way.
After Berlusconi: 2010s-Present
AC Milan went on a rollercoaster decade, in which the club’s ownership changed hands from Berlusconi to Li Yonghong and then to Elliott Management, all in the space of two years.
2018-19 proved to be a low point for Milan, with their fifth-place finish deemed useless after UEFA hit them with a ban on Europe owing to Financial Fair Play violations. However, they recovered since and three years later, they won the Serie A after an eleven-year wait, after a final day win over Sassuolo.
The Scudetto success of Milan saw Redbird acquire the club from Elliott, with the deal expected to be completed by September.