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Rossoneri Advent Calendar Day 16: Marco van Basten and the Magic Touch

31 Days Remembering Players From Milan’s Past, Each Date Will Feature A Player Who Donned The Jersey Number.

FZ SerieAHistory

Marco van Basten joined AC Milan in 1987 as part of Silvio Berlusconi major renaissance project for the Rossoneri. The Netherlands international had impressed at Ajax and now had the opportunity to impress in Italy. He would win 3 Scudetti, 2 European Cups and 2 InterContinental Cups as well as 3 Ballon d’Ors. He was also a core part of the Dutch team that won the country's only national title winning the 1988 Euros.

Soccer - European Cup - Final - AC Milan v Benfica - Praterstadion Photo by Neal Simpson/EMPICS via Getty Images

Van Basten was a revolutionary striker for Milan and his clinical finishing carried Milan through one of the most dominant periods of the clubs decorated history. Van Basten was the Capocannoniere twice and helped Milan conquer the world in his 8 seasons with the club. Van Basten knew how to play for the team and this was part of the reason he was so adorned as a striker, in the 1990 European Cup final against Benfica van Basten provided the assist for Frank Rijkaard to score the winning goal in 1-0 showdown. Van Basten was unfortunate to have such a promising career cut short through repetitive injuries on his ankle that forced him to retire from football in 1995 at the age of 28. Fabio Capello famously recalled “Marco was the greatest striker I ever coached. His early retirement was a mortal misfortune for him, for football, and for Milan.”

Achievements with Milan

  • Serie A: 1987–88, 1991–92, 1992–93
  • European Cup/UEFA Champions League: 1988–89, 1989–90
  • Supercoppa Italiana: 1988, 1992
  • European Supercup: 1989
  • Intercontinental Cup: 1989, 1990

Top Highlight

Van Basten scored 90 goals for Milan in the league and helped the Rossoneri lift three Scudetti and it's hard to pick a favourite. Perhaps his best highlight was his brace in the 1989 European Cup final and the assist in the 1989 final leading to two trophies for the club. Watch some of his highlights here or below.