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IT STARTS...

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The fifteenth straight Champions League appearance has begun with a victory for the Rossoneri. Milan are starting this CL hoping to win their sixth cup in the fifteen year span, here is an overview of past performances:

1988-89: MILAN EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS
1989-90: MILAN EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS
1990-91: Milan to Quarter-finals
1992-93: MILAN IN FINAL
1993-94: MILAN EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS
1994-95: MILAN IN FINAL
1996-97: Milan to the first group stage
1999-00: Milan to the first group stage
2000-01: Milan to the second group stage
2002-03: MILAN EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS
2003-04: Milan to Quarter-finals
2004-05: MILAN IN FINAL
2005-06: Milan in Semifinal
2006-07: MILAN EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS
2007-08: Pending

The first group game for the defending champs was against Benfica of Portugal, new home of Rui Costa. The Rossoneri played to a 2-1 victory with Pirlo and Inzaghi bulging the ol’onion bag. Inzaghi has now scored 60 International Cup goals, and 31 for Milan. He is only six away from taking the Rossoneri record away from Sheva, I would expect Pippo to eclipse this mark sometime this season. As for Pirlo he continues his run of fantastic play and I have begun taking votes on his most underrated player in the world status. He was instrumental in the WC06 for the Azzuri, and is easily slated as the creative engine for the European Champions. Kaka may win the golden ball, but without Pirlo that most likely would not have happened.

The other group game saw Shaktar drop Celtic 2-nil. That leaves Shaktar and Milan at the top table in the infant stages of the tournament. I have never been one to get to worried about the group stage but a win is a win and you cannot advance without them.