It took Milan forty-four years to win another Italian championship. The team that won the 1950–1951 championship was coached by Hungarian Lajos Czeizler and featured three Swedish forwards: Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl, and Nils Liedholm (the “Gre-No-Li” magic trio).
In the following years, Milan (whose full name, after the war, was changed to Milan Associazione Calcio, or Milan AC) hired incredible champions such as Uruguayan Juan Alberto Schiaffino and Brazilian José Altafini, as well as a charismatic trainer, Nereo Rocco. In 1963, Milan AC became the first Italian team to win the European Champions Cup (now Champions League).
The second Champions Cup arrived in 1969 when Nereo Rocco returned as the team’s coach after a short hiatus. That year, a Milan player, forward Gianni Rivera, became the first Italian recipient of the famous Ballon d’Or trophy, which is awarded to the best European football player.
Because of financial difficulties and some scandals related to sports betting, the 1970s were not very good years for Milan AC. The club even risked bankruptcy before being bought by entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi, who would step into politics many years later. Berlusconi invested in young trainer Arrigo Sacchi and in the Dutch champions Ruud Gullit and Marco Van Basten (followed by Frank Rijkaard). That was the beginning of an incredible era. Not long after the Berlusconi purchase, Milan, led by captain Franco Baresi, won two Champions Leagues and two Intercontinental Cups.
Milan was again the protagonist in 1994, when, under coach Fabio Capello, it won both the Italian championship and the European Champions League. It also won the 2003 and 2007 Champions League titles. With seven Champions League titles, Milan AC is second only to Real Madrid (which has ten).
Famous foreign champions who have recently played for Milan are:
- Kaká (real name: Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, from Brazil, 307 matches between 2003 and 2009, plus a season in 2013-2014)
- Clarence Seedorf (from the Netherlands, 432 matches from 2002 to 2012)
- Ronaldinho (real name: Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, from Brazil, 95 matches from 2008 to 2011)
- David Beckham (from the UK, 33 matches from 2009 to 2010)
- Andriy Shevchenko (from Ukraine, 322 matches from 1999 to 2006)
- Dida (real name: Nelson de Jesus Silva, from Brazil, 302 matches from 2002 to 2010)
- Leonardo (real name: Leonardo Nascimento de Araújo, from Brazil, 124 matches from 1997 to 2003)
- Cafu (real name: Marcos Evangelista de Moraes, 166 matches from 2003 to 2008)
- George Weah (from Liberia, 147 matches from 1995 to 2000)
The Derby Della Madonnina
The football match between Inter and Milan is called the “Derby della Madonnina” as both teams are based in Milan: one of Milan’s symbols is a gold statue of the Virgin on top of the Duomo of Milan (the “Madonnina”).
It can be difficult to find good tickets to the “Derby.” BV Events will be happy to provide you with the best tickets to matches featuring Juventus FC, AC Milan, and FC Inter, as well as the “Derby della Madonnina”!