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Rossoneri Advent Calendar Day 17: Dario Simic and the Rotation Cycle

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

From L to R: AC Milan’s Kakai, Dario Sim Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images

Dario Simic played for AC Milan between 2002 and 2008, the Croatia international joined a stacked roster of tough right backs and fought for his place for six years. He was part of incredible squads that won two Champions Leagues, one Scudetto and one Coppa Italia. Simic was a consummate professional and was a key starter and support player when Milan had Champions League winning seasons.

Juventus French forward David Trezeguet Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP via Getty Images

The defender joined the Rossoneri from Inter Milan after the 2001-02 season in a swap deal to supplement the inadequate Thomas Helveg, Roque Junior and Jose Chamot who were struggling to dominate the position and fighting for paying time with Costacurta. The Croatian was a revelation in his first season as he immediately took the starting spot and feature 19 times for the Rossoneri. He was particularly impressive in the Champions League as helped Milan keep 5 out of eight clean sheets in the second group stage and the quarter finals before being omitted from the semis and the finals against Inter Milan and Juventus respectively. Simic may not be the most memorable player in red and black but he played an important role as a quality depth player for six years at the highest level and he was always decent and ready when called upon. In the 2006-07 season when Milan took the Champions League by storm, he was the main rotation player at right back and featured 22 times especially in the league to allow Ancelotti's rotation system to deliver results. Over his years with Milan, he had to compete for playing time with Cafu and Massimo Oddo.

Achievements with Milan

  • Serie A: 2003–04
  • UEFA Champions League: 2002–03, 2006–07
  • Coppa Italia: 2003
  • Supercoppa Italiana: 2004
  • UEFA Super Cup: 2003
  • FIFA Club World Cup: 2007

Top Highlight

Simic featured as a majorly defensive right back and did so when the competition was tough. In his first season with Milan, he managed to score his only goal for the club against Modena. A striking header from a corner kick to polish his impressive first season. Watch the highlight of his goal here or below.