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Rossoneri Nation Squads: AC Milan Top XI of the Rest of Europe Internationals

Our new series! A look at the best possible starting XI’s of AC Milan players based on their nationalities.

For the final edition of 'Rossoneri Nation Squads’ we take a look at the Top AC Milan squad from the Rest of Europe. This squad excludes Italy, the Netherlands, France and Eastern Europe. The best contribution has certainly been from strikers such as Ibrahimovic, Bierhoff and Tomasson who were vital to winning titles. I chose a 4-4-2 to accommodate the for the wingbacks and attacking midfielders to support to imposing in the box strikers. The players on this squad won 4 Supercoppas, 3 European Super Cups, the 2003 Coppa Italia, the 1994, 2003 and 2007 Champions Leagues and the 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2011 Serie A titles.

GK: Diego Lopez (2014-17) [37 Appearances] - Spain

Diego Lopez joined Milan at a time of goalkeeping chaos as the ageing Abbiati was struggling to command his area like he used to. Lopez was falling out of favour at Madrid and joined on a bosman, in his first year at the club he demonstrated his world star capability but his errors coupled with the defences flaws made for a disastrous season. In 28 games, Lopez only managed 5 clean sheets but did receive a pretty ridiculous red card against Empoli. The veteran just struggled to adapt to the Italian league but he did open up the opportunity for Gianluigi Donnarumma to break through.

RB: Dario Simic (2002-08) [129 Appearances] - Croatia

Simic had the potential to be a regular starter for Milan after his solid performances in his first season at the club where he was switched from CB to RB by Ancelotti. But despite his strong showing in the season where Milan lifted the Champions League he lost his starting spot to experienced Cafu in his second season. Simic was strong and quick but most importantly was an imposing presence on the flank but this still wasn’t enough to dislodge newcomer Cafu from the starting XI. Simic would go on to be a key depth player for 6 seasons with the Rossoneri.

CB: Martin Laursen (2001-04) [82 Appearances] - Denmark

Laursen joined Milan to add depth to the centre back position in the 2001/02 season, he was a solid defender in his first year where he featured regularly and demonstrated his strength and intelligence in halting the opposition. He opened up his Milan stint in style scoring twice in his first three games against Lazio and Fiorentina. Laursen was also instrumental in the 2002/03 Coppa Italia campaign where Milan won the title as he played 90 minutes in all but one game throughout the campaign. Unfortunately for Laursen, the arrival of Nesta and subsequently Stam limited his playing time and forced him out of the club.

CB: Ricardo Rodriguez (2017-2019) [93 Appearances] - Switzerland

Rodriguez may not be a flashy name and a lot of Rossoneri might not think of him fondly after Theo broke onto the scene, however, most are forgetting the dire situation at LB before his arrival. Rodriguez solidified the defence and was an important part of the Milan squad that managed to break back into European competitions. His ability to break lines with his passing was a huge bonus to his teammates and his good crossing ability allowed him to get the ball into dangerous situations. The left back played just about every single game in his first two seasons making an immense contribution to Gennaro Gattuso’s side.

LB: Marek Jankulovski (2005-11) [158 Appearances] - Czech Republic

Jankulovski’s time at Milan was rather was one of ups and downs. At his best, he was a constant assault on Milan’s opposition from the left back position, charging up and down the field contributing equally between the attacking and defensive phases of the game. At his worst, he struggled to keep pace due to a number of injuries that took their toll on his legs. The Czech was undoubtedly a key part of the side that lifted the 2007 Champions League as his performances as the undisputed LB starter that season with Maldini and Nesta as CBs set up a strong defensive unit that only conceded goals in 6/13 games in the campaign as he featured in all.

RM: Zvonimir Boban (1992-01) [251 Appearances] - Croatia

Zorro. Boban’s nickname was an apt shorthand for his style given his use of ‘fakes’ and ‘dodges’ similar to rugby to ease past his opponents. His versatility and high work rate allowed him to feature across a range of attacking positions where he played as a playmaker. Boban’s stunning finishing with strong curling shots were lethal and allowed him to score 30 goals and provide 22 assists across his nine seasons where he managed to win 4 Serie A titles and Champions League title. Boban was an important part of Milan in the 1990s as the central creative force in the squad who preceded the roles of Rui Costa and Kaka.

CM: David Beckham (2008-10) [33 Appearances] - England

Beckham joined Milan in the winter of 2008/09 as a plot to get back in with his national team and Milan took the opportunity to make a huge commercial win. The Englishman was quickly integrated in Ancelotti’s highly attacking side alongside Pirlo, Ronaldinho, Seedorf and Kaka where Beckham’s intelligence made him a key cog in the midfield. His incredible ball control and passing elegance made him an amazing sight for Rossoneri fans but unfortunately the midfielder was devastated by an injury that sidelined him for majority of his second season and forced him to retire from his national side. It will always be admirable to remember that Beckham paid part of his wages out of pocket to extend his loan with the club for the second season to prove himself.

CM: Christian Ziege (1997-99) [47 Appearances] - Germany

Ziege joined Milan as an established defender from Bayern Munich in the 1997/98 season where he featured as a left back. At Milan, his role was alternated between left back and left midfield as required filling in for Maldini who moved to RB for spells of the 1997/98 season. Ziege was an important squad player across his two seasons at the club as he contributed to the effective rotation that helped Milan to the 1998/99 Scudetto. Ziege did have a poor defensive record at the club with 13 yellow cards in his two seasons. He was notorious for over-performing against Sampdoria where he scored in both games against them in his first season.

LM: Rui Costa (2001-06) [192 Appearances] - Portugal

Relative to other midfielders, Rui Costa has a short career with Milan spanning just five seasons after joining the club in the 2001/02 season following manager Fatih Terim from Fiorentina. Rui Costa was the successor for Boban as the Milan required some injection of life into the midfield. His playmaking ability and exceptional technical skills allowed him to earn the nickname ‘The Maestro’ for his ability to command and control Milan’s attack after a formidable partnership with Batistuta at Fiore, he developed a similar chemistry with Shevchenko at Milan that led the side to the 2003 Champions League title. He is one of Milan’s best assist providers in the history of the club with 46 in just 5 seasons.

SS: Jon Dahl Tomasson (2002-05) [114 Appearances] - Denmark

Tomasson in my memory will always be Milan’s ultimate supersub alongside Daniele Massaro. The Danish striker is often praised for his work ethic and his ability to keep his head down and focus but his his ability to poach was rather terrific. Tomasson despite his height and strength was often limber enough to poke home key goals. In his first season, he scored the crucial last minute winner against Ajax in the Champions League quarters on the way to the title. He also scored 3 goals in the Coppa Italia campaign where Milan lifted the trophy. His ability to score key goals cannot be understated as in the 2003/04 campaign where Milan lifted the Scudetto, Tomasson scored 12 goals as the support to Shevchenko.

ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2010-12, 2020-Present) [95 Appearances] - Sweden

Ibrahimovic is one of the most clinical forward Milan have had in their arsenal despite playing just two seasons with the club. His return to this season has resulted in a staggering improvement of the players on the squad. The big Swede led the line alongside Pato and Robinho in the 2010/11 season to carry Milan to their first Scudetto in 6 years scoring 14 goals and providing 12 assists whilst on loan. His second season was a marvel where he scored 28 goals across the season and finished as the Capocannoniere as Milan came in second. His strength, clinical finishing and hold up play are the traits that make him one of the most feared strikers in the world.

Honourable Mentions: Oliver Bierhoff for his individual contribution to the 1998/99 Scudetto title with 19 goals and 12 assists.

Team Strengths: Creative midfield, Strong and Tall attackers and intense wing backs.

Team Weaknesses: Error prone goalkeeper, Slow centre backs and lack of physicality in the midfield.

Team Rating: 8/10 for their time at Milan. 9/10 for their career peaks.


Rate the Rest of Europe Milan XI.

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