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Rossoneri Advent Calendar Day 6: Franco Baresi and the Youthful Leadership

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

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - Olympique Marseille v AC Milan - Olympic Stadium, Munich Photo by Neal Simpson - PA Images via Getty Images

Franco Baresi is one of AC Milan's most historic players and is one of the eternal captains of the club. He played for the Rossoneri for 20 seasons of which he was the captain for 15. He won 6 Serie A titles and 3 European Titles as well as the 1982 World Cup with Italy. Baresi's iconic no.6 jersey was retired by the club when he retired and he was voted Milan's Best Player of the 20th Century.

Soccer - AC Milan vs Steaua Bucaresti Photo by Marc Francotte/TempSport/Corbis via Getty Images

Baresi won his first league title with Milan at just 18 years old but dark days followed as Milan were relegated to Serie B twice in the early 1980s, Baresi despite his huge stature as a top defender chose to stick with the club through the tough times and won the Serie B twice. He actually won the World Cup in 1982 but continued to play for AC Milan in the Serie B in 1982/83. Baresi became the Captain in 1982 at the tender age of 22 and with his loyal service would lead Milan out of the darkness into the club's best years quite literally going from Serie B to Italian and European Champions. Baresi led some of the best defences the world has ever seen in the the late 1980s and early 1990s and built Milan into a dynasty club. He was truly one of football's greatest leaders and he mentored another great Captain in Maldini.

Achievements with Milan

  • Serie A: 1978–79, 1987–88, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96
  • European Cup/Champions League: 1988–89, 1989–90, 1993–94
  • Serie B: 1980-81, 1982-83
  • Supercoppa Italiana: 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994
  • UEFA Super Cup: 1990, 1994
  • Intercontinental Cup: 1989, 1990

Top Highlight

One of the best memories of Baresi would have to be his defensive style, Baresi was truly a different breed playing as a sweeper. His job was essentially covering for everyone on the defence and being able to stand alone and hold off the opposition. It's hard to pin down a particular performance but his 1989-1990 season was pretty spectacular as he led Milan to their second consecutive European Cup, was the top scorer in the Coppa Italia and was the runner up for the 1989 Balon dÓr. Watch some of his highlights here or below.