Over the past month, we curated an Advent Calendar of AC Milan players who wore shirts with numbers corresponding to each date for the month of December. Here is a summary of the Advent Squad and a look at a potential starting eleven. If you missed any of the articles, following the links attached to the jersey numbers below.
GK: Sebastiano Rossi
A true leader and humble servant of the jersey. Rossi played for Milan for 21 years and picked up 12 trophies where he stood guard over some of the historic defensive performances ever in European football including the season where Milan conceded only 15 goals in the Scudetto run.
The Brazil veteran joined Milan at 33 after winning the FIFA World Cup and went on to achieve his dream of lifting a Champions League trophy. His dominance as a right back despite his age was a testament to his legendary status as one of the finest wing backs to ever play the game.
RCB: Franco Baresi
One of the most timeless defenders in football, his ability to motivate and command the field will go down in history as one of the greatest displays of leadership on the field. He led the time from Serie B back to the Serie A and to European Championships. Baresi helped mould Paolo Maldini and always brought out the best in those around him.
LCB: Alessando Nesta
Nesta was the king of the last ditch tackle and would always give attackers a false sense of success before nailing them at the perfect moment. Nesta was the classy centre-back constant as Milan stormed Europe in the early 2000s and his influence allowed the team to flourish ahead knowing he was a rock.
LB: Paolo Maldini
The Eternal Captain of AC Milan. Maldini was a generational talent and he did his father proud. His emergence in the squad at such a young age allowed him to dominate his defensive spot and cement himself as the Captain from early on thus guiding Milan through numerous ups and downs over a distinguished 25 year career.
CDM: Andrea Pirlo
Pirlo was truly a midfield maestro, his touch on the ball, his unprecedented vision and his undoubted composure made him the total package. Despite his lack of pace, he controlled the centre of the park unlike any other player has been able to and his pinpoint accuracy contributed to Milan's incredible European campaigns.
RCM: Ruud Gullit
The representation of total football, Gullit began as a sweeper with Milan but finished off as an attacking midfielder scoring and assisting in European finals. Gullit's ability to overpower the opposition with his physicality and quick thinking made him a force to reckon with throughout his career when Milan won back to back European Cups.
LCM: Clarence Seedorf
Another Dutch midfielder who changed the game, Seedorf was a pioneer of a new breed of box to box midfielders who were not just physically dominant but technically gifted. Seedorf's cannon of right leg and his machine of a body made him a true inspiration for midfielders as he changed the game and redefined the role of a modern midfielder.
Kaka was mesmerising to watch, his movement on the ball and ability to combine flair with force was revolutionary at the trequartista position and his ability to carry runs on his own made him unstoppable. Kaka led Milan to the Champions League title and won the Ballon d’Or for his outstanding displays.
ST: Marco van Basten
Van Basten's tale with Milan is a bittersweet memory especially one with unfulfilled potential. Injuries ended his career prematurely but despite missing out on so much he is still one of the most prolific strikers in the club's history and one of the fiercest attackers ever to wear the red and black jersey for his sheer clinical finishing.
ST: Andriy Shevchenko
A maverick attacker, Shevchenko had the ability to flip a game on its head and was a game changer throughout his time with Milan. The Ukraine international was a sublime striker with a graceful touch on the ball and deadly strike that led Milan to beat Juventus in the 2003 Champions League final as well as domestic titles.