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Soccer players never get tired of playing the game.

That’s what this page is all about.

Where your FIRST TOUCH SOCCER book ends, the FREE KICK page begins.

It’s a chance for you to learn more about Milan … and for me to talk about some of the great stories I couldn’t squeeze into the book.

Scroll down to get the latest news … and to learn more about European soccer. And check out some of the cool collectibles I have in my home.

If you have any questions about my work, please EMAIL me and I’ll be happy to answer them.

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Team Spirit Extras

Gennaro Gattuso
Photo courtesy of Soccer.RU

 

What’s up with A.C. Milan

May 24, 2017: Gennaro Gattuso, a defensive star for the club from 1999 to 2012, returned to Milan to manage the youth team. He’ll teach the young players his specialty—winning close balls and making life difficult for high-scoring stars.

     
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Team Spirit Extras

Serie A, B & C Soccer Album
© Panini

 

A.C. Milan plays in Serie A, Italy’s top pro soccer league. There are 20 clubs in Serie A. Each plays 39 games—one home and one away against the other 19 clubs. The first-place finisher is awarded the Coppa Campioni d’Italia (Italian Champion Cup). The teams with the poorest records are moved down (“relegated”) to Serie B each season. The best teams from Serie B move up to replace them.


Each season, more than 70 teams compete for the Coppa Italia (Italy Cup). The tournament begins in August and ends in May. A.C. Milan has won the Cup five times. In 2016, the club reached the final, but lost to Juventus 1–0 in extra time.

 

     
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Team Spirit Extras

Gunnar Nordhal
© The Sun/News Group Newspapers Ltd.

 

Team Spirit Extras

Filippo Inzaghi
© Panini

 

Team Spirit Extras

Kaka sticker
© Rafo d.o.o.

 

More treasures from the author’s collection!


Gunnar Nordhal — Forward
1949–1956
Swedish striker Gunnar Nordhal was one of Europe’s top scorers in the 1950s. His 210 goals in 257 matches is still a club record. He was the top scorer in Serie A five years in a row.


Juan Alberto Schiaffino — Forward
1954–1960
Juan Alberto Schiaffino led AC Milan to three league titles in his six seasons with the club. He was not a flashy player, just excellent at every part of the game.


Franco Baresi — Defense
1977–1997
Franco Baresi played more than 700 games for AC Milan and was club captain for 15 seasons. He led the team’s famous defense during European Cup championships in 1989, 1990, and 1994. Baresi had both stamina and style, and could join the attack when needed.


Ruud Gullit — Midfielder
1987–1994
Ruud Gullit was smart, fast, and powerful. He and Marco van Basten gave the club an awesome one-two punch. He could (and did) play almost every position on the field. Gullit looked like an NFL linebacker compared to other European players, but was amazingly smooth and graceful.


Andry Shevchenko — Forward
1996–2006 & 2008–2009
Andry Shevchenko’s 175 goals rank second all-time among AC Milan’s scorers. He made the winning penalty kick in the 2003 Champions League final against Italian rival Juventus. Shevchenko had a quick, powerful shot and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.


Filippo Inzaghi — Forward
2001–2012
Filippo Inghazi was one of the world’s top strikers when he played for AC Milan. He helped the club win two European championships and was the star of the 2007 Champions League final with two goals against Liverpool.


Kaka — Midfielder
2003–2009 & 2013–2014
In the years before Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo became soccer’s top scorers, Kaka (Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite) claimed that honor. He scored 77 goals in 223 matches for AC Milan.

     
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Team Spirit Extras

Renzo Bruni
Black Book Archives

 

 

Did You Know?

• Fans sometimes call Milan fans the “Rossoneri” which is Italian for Red-Black.

• The club is known as Milan instead of Milano, which is the city’s actual name. This is because the club’s founders were English. Milan is the city’s name in English.

• In 1949–50, Milan set a team record with 118 goals in 38 games. Gunnar Nordhal and Renzo Burini combined for 57 goals between them.

• In 1985, Paolo Maldini became the club’s youngest player ever. He played his first game at the age of 16.

• In 1991–92, Milan went through an entire season without losing a match. In all, the club went undefeated in 58 games between 1991 and 1993.

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