What a year it’s been for the women of AC Milan. They began the year midway through their debut season in Serie A Femminile as trail blazers who were at the forefront of something special, as they were the players who held the distinction of being a part of the first ever women’s team for AC Milan.
They ended the season in third place, just one point off of second and more importantly, a place in next season’s Champions League. However, none of this discounts the positive impact they’ve made upon the landscape of Italian football, and for football in general.
The women of Milan not only made their impact domestically, but on the international stage as well, as quite a few of them were the protagonists during the recent Women’s World Cup in France. In particular, Valentina Giacinti played a pivotal role for Italy during the summer tournament, most notably during the Italy vs Australia game where she won the decisive free kick that was taken by her fellow Valentina (Cernoia) and headed home by Barbara Bonansea.
The rest, as they say, is history.
And let’s not forget that awesome goal she scored against China as well, which also led to her being crowned the Player of The Match for her stellar display. It was truly a laud worthy performance, and one that makes us very proud to call her ours and more specifically, our captain.
Former Milan player Thaisa was also the first player for the Milan women to have the distinction of scoring a goal in the prestigious tournament. (The fact of which, makes her decision to leave the club feel like even more of a loss, as her absence in the middle of the park has truly been felt.)
However, despite the departures of Thaisa and a few other high profile players over the summer, Milan have managed to recover from the upheaval rather well, and are currently in contention for a Champions League spot for this season.
Only time will tell if they will continue their good momentum into the New Year, and here’s to hoping that they will.
Other great things of note:
- The Milan women not only have a great record on the pitch, but they ended the year fiscally solvent as well. Granted, it’s a lot cheaper to run a women’s team in Italy than it is a men’s team (as the generous estimate is that the budget for the Milan women is around €800,000 per annum, just like it is for Fiorentina and Juve), but the fact that they’ve ended the year with a positive balance sheet, shows just what a well run entity that they are. Now, if they could only impart some of that energy upon the men.
- Milan is the only team in Italy that at the moment, pays pensions for their women’s team. It’s a remarkable thing to consider, and it is worth celebrating as well. And hopefully, they won’t be the only team paying pensions for their players in the near future. The Italian senate recently passed an amendment to the Budget Act of 2020 that will allow the amateur athletes of Italy to become professionals, which includes the women of Serie A Femminile. The amendment will come into effect on the first of January, 2020. However, the amendment will not automatically make the women professionals, as it will be up to the individual federations to decide whether or not to grant their athletes that status. In other words, it will now be up to the FIGC to decide whether or not to allow the women to become professionals. Meaning? This is all in their hands, as the ball is now in their court. Let’s just hope they don’t throw it out of bounds, and will actually do the right thing for once.
- Milan have recently completed all of their transfers for the winter mercato. So far, the only signing they’ve made is Pamela Begič, the former Florida Gator who will bring much needed versatility and height to Milan’s midfield, as they make their way through the long Serie A season. However, Pamela may not be Milan’s only signing of the winter mercato. Though the mercato was rather short (it closed on December 23rd, after all), Milan are in the hunt for another midfielder, albeit one from across the Mediterranean, and not the Atlantic. The rumors are that they are currently scouting a player from PSG Féminine. Not much is known about the said player, but it is almost certain that more details about them will emerge within the upcoming days, including clarification of whether or not the player will be a reinforcement for the winter window, or one for the summer.
- Edit: Turns out the midfielder was Annahita Zamanian, who was also being scouted by Juventus. In the end, she signed with them. Not a huge loss though as she’s only a prospect, and there’s plenty more fish in the sea.
This Will Be Our Year, Took A Long Time To Come
And what exactly will the New Year have in store for our women? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. For now, let’s just be grateful that we have a Milan side that is not only financially solvent, but who can also beat the likes of Inter (three times, within the span of two years!), and who is currently going head to head with Juve for first place.
I mean, when’s the last time you’ve been able to say that? (Well, at least about the men, of course.)
The Milan Women give their all for a shirt, and play in a way that restores pride and honor to the badge. They are also gracious, kind, humble and courteous, and conduct themselves in a way that makes you proud to be their fans.
The Milanisti don’t have much to celebrate nowadays, but we should all be grateful that the Milan women are around to provide an illuminating source of light that has pierced through this bleak, and suffocating darkness.
Long may they reign, and long may they continue to grow. and to make us proud.
Happy New Year, Milanisti.