AC Milan clinched a top four place and thus qualification to the UEFA Champions League for the first time in eight years last night. The last time Milan played in the competition was in the 2013/14 season when the likes of Kaka, Mario Balotelli, Keisuke Honda, Nigel de Jong and Philipe Mexes were in the squad. Milan were knocked out in the round of 16 by Atlético Madrid and got into the UCL through the play offs.
The return has delivered through a exceptional season led by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Franck Kessie, Simon Kjaer and Gianluigi Donnarumma who were standout performers this term. This will mark the first appearance in the competition for a number of youngsters in the squad especially primavera products Donnarumma and Calabria. It took the Rossoneri 79 points to get the job done including five game unbeaten run at the end where the Rossoneri did not concede a single goal.
Calcio Mercato are reporting that there is also a major financial gain as Milan will earn about 30 million euros just for making it into the competition and then could gain an additional 20 million based on their performances in the group stages and further. Milan will start off with 15 million euros as a participation bonus, 7.5 million as their distribution share and 7.5 million for getting second place in the league. This is compared to the 12 million earned in the Europa League this past season.