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Rossoneri Advent Calendar Day 25: Daniele Bonera and the Banter Defending

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

(From R to L) AC Milan’s defender Giusep Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images

Daniele Bonera joined AC Milan from Parma in 2006 and went on to spend 9 years with the Rossoneri as a defensive utility player especially as a right back and a centre-back supplementing the depth of the squad. Bonera also represented Italy during his time in Milan and would go on to lift a Scudetto and a Champions League with the club.

AC Milan’s defender Daniele Bonera (top Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images

Bonera joined Milan as a right back but struggled to establish himself at the position and Milan purchased Massimo Oddo from Lazio after just six months who went on to dominate the position including starting for Milan in the Champions League final. Bonera was shifted to centre-back to partner with Alessandro Nesta, Kakha Kaladhze and Alessandro Costacrta due to the numerous injuries sustained in his opening two seasons by him and his defensive counterparts. Bonera never really established himself as a starter with Milan but managed to be a key defensive utility player as Milan won the Scudetto in 2010-11 and continued to plug the gaps in the defence until he exited the club in 2015. Bonera was a strong presence in the locker room despite not being the best defender on the squad and provided lots of anxiety with his terrible tackles and numerous bookings toward the end.

Achievements with Milan

  • Serie A: 2010–11
  • UEFA Champions League: 2006–07
  • Supercoppa Italiana: 2011
  • UEFA Super Cup: 2007
  • FIFA Club World Cup: 2007

Top Highlight

Daniele Bonera is often remembered for his clumsiness and his collection of red cards but the defender did make some critical saves over the years. One in particular was during the 2007-08 season when Milan faced Cagliari away from home and were tied 1-1 in the second half. Cagliari's Aquafresca dribbled past everyone including the keeper and had placed the ball on course for the empty net before a covering Bonera tracked back and made an interception to save the game and help Milan pick up three points in a tough season. Watch the last ditch clearance here or below.