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Rossoneri Advent Calendar Day 2: Cafu and the Champions League Dream

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

Messina v AC Milan Photo by Newpress/Getty Images

Cafu is today's pick, the Brazil Captain joined AC Milan and embraced his number 2 coming off a huge summer when he led his national side to the 2002 World Cup. Cafu joined Milan with one goal in mind, to win the only trophy that had eluded him, the UEFA Champions League. Shockingly, the right back joined Milan in 2003 when he was 33 years old and would go on to hold down a starting spot for 5 seasons until his retirement.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - AC Milan v Liverpool - Olympic Stadium Photo by Adam Davy - PA Images via Getty Images

Cafu arrived at Milan a legend having won Two World Cups, Two Copa America's, a Scudetto with AS Roma and Two Copa Libertadores with Sao Paulo. When he joined the club, he was supporting Billy Costacurta who had attempted to retire after the 2001-02 season. Cafu's discipline and humility made his a true leader for Milan but his ability to sprint down the line, overlap with ease and put in searing crosses into the box made his a Milan legend and a terror to all who faced him. He rounded out a solid defence that would guide Milan to the league title in his first season where the Rossoneri were eleven points clear at the top. Cafu had a horrid experience in the UCL as he featured in the nightmarish loss against Liverpool in 2005 but managed to realise his dream as part of the team to lift the trophy in 2007 .

Achievements with Milan

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

Top Highlight

Perhaps one of the best memories of Cafu was his performances in the two legs against Manchester United on the way to the 2005 Champions League final. A calm and composed Cafu toyed with a young Cristiano Ronaldo all game and even provoked an angry reaction from the Portugal youngster, bearing in mind that Cafu kept pace with a young Ronaldo when he was 35 years old. Cafu even managed to assist Hernan Crespo's winner at home. Watch the highlights here or below.