Giants of Soccer: AC Milan

AC Milan are known as the "Rossoneri", which means "Red and Blacks". Keep reading to discover more about them.
Giants of Soccer: AC Milan

Last update: 23 June, 2020

Associazione Calcio Milan, better known as AC Milan, is one of the biggest teams in the Italian soccer league. It was founded in 1899 as a soccer and cricket club. In this article, we’ll tell you all about the ‘Rossoneri’.

Foundation and beginnings

Although AC Milan is seen as something quintessentially Italian, it was actually founded by two Englishmen, Alfred Edwards and Herbert Kilpin. On December 13, 1899, they decided to create the Milan Cricket and Football Club, as reported by the famous newspaper La Gazzetta Dello Sport.

The colors chosen for the team were red and black, which, according to their founding documents, represented fire and the fear they would instill in their opponents. Although you might think that Milan was linked to high society, the truth is that it’s always been associated with workers and unionists. Furthermore, they had a rule against signing foreign players.

Milan’s first match was in April 1900, where they lost 3-0 against Torinese. But they didn’t lose hope, and that same month they won their first trophy, the King’s Medal. The following year, they won their first Italian championship.

In 1908, during a board meeting, the board discussed the issue of the inclusion of foreign players in the team. Since they failed to reach an agreement, 43 members resigned and formed Inter Milan This team was more relatable to the city’s upper class.

AC Milan in 1951.
1951 AC Milan. Image: Twitter @acmilan

The inter-war period in Italy (1919-1946) was catastrophic for soccer. Although there were matches, attendances weren’t as high as in previous years. Still, 1926 would be an important year for Milan (and for Inter Milan) with the building of the San Siro Stadium, inspired by the architecture of English stadiums.

In 1938, the club changed its name to Milano. This was because its British origins didn’t sit well with the ideology of the fascist members. When the Second World War ended, the team readopted its original ‘Milan’ name but kept the initials A.C. (Associazione Calcio) that remain to the present day.

The fifties and the resurgence of AC Milan

With the war over, AC Milan began to win championships again. In the 1950s, they won four Serie A titles (1950-1951, 1954-1955, 1956-1957, and 1958-1959) and thus began a run of national trophies, reaching a total of 18 (the last one in 2010-2011).

During the 70s, Milan would dominate the Italian Cup (winning in 1971-1972, 1972-1973, and 1976-1977). In total, they now have five of these trophies. To complete their national record, the Rossoneri also have seven Italian Super Cups and two Serie B Championships.

Internationally, Milan has won seven European Cups (today Champions League), five European Super Cups, three Intercontinental Cups, two European Cups, two Latin European Cups, and one Club World Cup.

Montolivo playing for AC Milan.

In total, this gives AC Milan a total haul of 52 trophies. So far, the only missing trophy is the UEFA Cup, now called the UEFA Europa League.

The San Siro, a shared stadium

One of the things that grab most people’s attention about AC Milan is that they share their stadium with their rival, Inter Milan. The Stadio Giuseppe Meazza —also called the San Siro— is used by both teams when they play at home.

The San Siro stadium.

The stadium was inaugurated in 1926 and its construction was spearheaded by the AC Milan president, Piero Pirelli. The first match played there was, incidentally, between AC Milan and FC Internazionale. This is now known as the Derby Della Madonnina in honor of the Virgin of the Milan Cathedral.

In 1935, Milan ceded it to the municipal government and, since 1947, Inter Milan have also been tenants. In 1980, the San Siro was renamed the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, in honor of the former player of both clubs and two-time world champion with the Italian National Team.

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