AC Milan: the renaissance of a sleeping giant

AC Milan celebrated their 19th Scudetto last month and after an 11-year trophy drought.

Throughout the later half of the 20th century, AC Milan was a dominant force in global soccer, winning 18 Scudettos, seven Champions Leagues, and five Coppa Italias. On top of generating so much silverware, the Rossoneri have housed several of the game’s greatests with legends like Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Marco van Basten, Andrea Pirlo and Zlatan Ibrahimović all wearing the famed red and black.

Yet despite so much success for so long, the fairytale didn’t last as the club fell on hard times following the turn of the century. Following the revelation of the Calciopoli scandal, the match fixing of games by some of the biggest clubs in Italy, the club faced heavy punishment which it later appealed and reduced but not substantially enough to avoid its negative legacy.

For their role in the Calciopoli scandal, AC Milan faced a deduction of fifteen league points and was banned from participating in the 2006-07 UEFA Champions League. The club appealed and was able to gain back seven of those 15 lost points as well as play Champions League soccer in the 2006-07 season.

Despite escaping severe retribution, the club struggled to regain its place atop Italian and European soccer. This was in stark contrast to a club like Juventus who went on to win nine straight league titles in a row after being relegated to the 2nd division in Serie B.

“The club was forced to tighten its belt in the years after their last league title, the years between 2011-2017 saw no sign of success,” junior Raushan Oshan said.

Yet despite this stagnant period, the club was able to rebound with new ownership that introduced a new philosophy for running a major institution of the game. This transformation finally paid off with the Rossoneri lifting their nineteenth Scudetto last month.

“I believe that the club has to keep a consistent flow of cash coming and balance the signings with the departures,” junior Sebastiano Sani said.

The club has been able to attract established players like Ibrahimović and Leonardo Bonucci in recent years and built around them to form title charges.

Junior Kidus Gidey believes that in order to build in the future the club has to invest in its young players and make sure they keep them as they are sure to be world-beaters in the near future.

“Holding Theo Hernandez down to a long-term contract should be Milan’s priority as he is proving himself as the best left back in the world. [Rafa] Leao and [Fikayo] Tomori have been quite impressive as well,” Gidey said.

Perhaps now is the time AC Milan returns to its former glory. They have the management, the proper ownership, the funds and the right philosophy to propel the club back into a successful age full of silverware and greatness. While they may not reach the ridiculous heights they once did last century, they dominate European soccer once again.