AC Milan Greatest XI V Barcelona Greatest XI as chosen by fans of the two clubs.
AC Milan by Salvatore Landolina
GK- Fabio Cudicini
The father of Tottenham shot-stopper Carlo helped Milan win their second European Cup in 1969, and their first Intercontinental Cup the same year. He also won a Scudetto, Cup Winners Cup and Coppa Italia in his 183 games for the club. 7.
RB- Marcos Evangelista de Morais (Cafu)
Nicknamed the ‘pendolino’ for the speed and power at which he blitzed down the flanks. He arrived at Milan a World Cup winner twice with Brazil 1994 and 2002, and he won the Champions League with the Rossoneri in 2007 against Liverpool in Athens, as well as the FIFA World Cup that year. 8.
CB- Alessandro Costacurta
Alongside Franco Baresi, Costacurta is arguably Milan’s greatest ever centre-back. He won five European Cups, seven Scudetti, two Intercontinental Cups and a hoard of other trophies in a 20-year career at San Siro. 10.
CB- Franco Baresi
Milan retired the number six jersey when Baresi hang up his boots in October 1997 after two decades at the club. A legend in his own right and one of the greatest defenders the world has seen. He captained the team to great success including three European Cups, two Intercontinental Cups, six Scudetti, three European SuperCups and many others. 10.
LB- Paolo Maldini
Perhaps the greatest defender of all time in the history of world football – the model footballer in every sense. 26 trophies in 25 years at Milanello says it all, among those were five European Cups and as many Intercontinental Cups as well as seven Scudetti. 10.
RM- Dejan Savicevic
The Montenegrin winger will best be remembered for his stunning lob over Barcelona goalkeeper Andoni Zubizaretta in the 1994 Champions League final as Milan bashed the favourites 4-0 in Athens. A classy midfielder who also won three Italian titles and a European SuperCup. 7.
CM- Gianni Rivera
Played under the legendary coach Nereo Rocco and alongside Giovanni Trapattoni to help Milan win their first European Cup at Wembley in 1963 against Eusebio’s Benfica. He repeated the feat in 1969 with another European Cup. He became the first Italian to win the Ballon D’Or whilst playing for the Rossoneri. 8.
CM- Frank Rijkaard
A versatile midfielder who played alongside Ruud Gullit and Marco Van Basten, Rijkaard was part of the team who won back-to-back European Cups in 1989 and 1990 when he scored the only goal of the game against Benfica. 9.
The world stood up and took note of Kaka when his three goals against Manchester United over both legs of the 2007 semi-final saw Cristiano Ronaldo live in the shadows. Kaka was Milan’s passport to the Athens final where he helped his team exact revenge over Liverpool for the heartbreak of Istanbul two years earlier. He also won the FIFA Club World Cup. That stellar season rewarded him with both the Ballon D’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards – simply sensational. 9
CF- Ruud Gullit
The Dutchman had it all when he arrived at Milan for the 1987/88 season as the world’s most expensive player and Ballon D’or Winner. He proved his worth on the pitch with force and effect and scored twice in the 1989 European Cup final in a 4-0 win over Steaua Bucharest. Won it again the following year. 9.
ST- Marco Van Basten
One of the greatest strikers of all time and the most complete. Van Basten had everything in his locker and his quality helped Milan conquer the European Cup three times. He also won two Intercontinental Cups and four Serie A titles among other trophies. Three Ballon D’Or’s during his time at San Siro pay homage to a true great. Sadly his high-profile career was curtailed by an ankle injury which forced his retirement at just 30 in 1995. 10.
Manager- Carlo Ancelotti
Nils Liedholm, Fabio Capello, Nereo Rocco and Arrigo Sacchi could have made this list, but Ancelotti is, perhaps, Milan’s best-ever coach. He won 17 trophies as a player and manager at the club. As a coach he won the Champions League twice in 2003 and 2007 having already conquered the European Cup as a player in 1989, and then 1990. Led Milan to the 2007 Club World Cup. Delivered the Scudetto in 2004 after a five-year drought. 9.
Total Score: 107
BARCELONA by Stoichkov's left foot
GK: Andoni Zubizarreta - The Basque goalkeeper spent eight years at the Camp Nou, and was the number one when Barcelona won their first ever European Cup in 1992. 8
RB: Carles Puyol – The leader and Captain of the current Barcelona side, his wholehearted commitment and strength is invaluable and an inspiration to his team mates. The Catalan hero is 34 but few would bet against him lifting even more trophies before he retires. 8
CB: Miguel Angel Nadal – Nadal like Puyol was as tough as they come hence his nickname ‘The Beast’. Played just under 500 games for Barcelona and would certainly relish the opportunity of looking after the flair players. 8
CB: Ronald Koeman – Prior to the recent triumphs in 2006 and 2009, Barcelona’s finest achievement was on a balmy night at Wembley in 1992 when they finally got their hands on the European Cup. It was the Dutchman who scored the only goal of the game with a trademark free-kick. Added craft to Nadal’s guile in the heart of defence. 9
LB: Sergi Barjuan – The attacking full-back was a regular for nearly a decade winning three La Liga medals in the process. 7
RM: Johann Cruyff – In his first season led Barcelona to their first league title since 1960 , scoring in the famous 5-0 victory over their arch enemy at the Bernabeau along the way. That, aside from a Copa Del Rey triumph in 1978, was the only honour he won at Barca, but his spell as player saw him win the hearts of the Barca faithful. 10
LM: Lionel Messi – Finally a true heir to Diego Maradona’s throne, a genius number 10. Only 25 but has done so much already – unbelievable. 10
CM: DiegoMaradona – Diego’s time at Barcelona may well have been brief, but then the best ever player to play the game is an automatic choice in any side. 10
CM: MichaelLaudrup – The conductor of the dream team managed by Johan Cruyff in the early 90s. Would create something out of nothing and feed the likes of Stoichkov and Romario, the latter calling him the best player he ever played with. He was so good he can just, but only just, be excused for moving to Real Madrid 9
ST: Ronaldo – Sadly now known as the ‘fat Ronaldo’. ‘El Fenomeno’ is a more appropriate moniker and whilst he only spent one season at the Camp Nou it was an unbelievable season for the lightning quick goal machine. 10
CF: Romario – Recently described himself as the best ever Brazilian player with the exception of Pele. Whilst Garrincha or Zico may not agree, the diminutive and temperamental striker could certainly stake a claim. One-on-one he’s had few peers.9
Manager: Cruyff (player-manager) – The former player returned to the Nou Camp in 1988 and built a side that would become known as the ‘Dream Team’. Led them to four straight titles, but more importantly masterminded the clubs first ever European Cup win. 9
Total Score: 107
Final Scores 107 - 107
A frustrating, but probably fair draw for two of the greatest club sides in history... here's how we reckon it would've gone down:
AC Milan 6- Van Basten 3 (1,13,90), Gullit (47) Kaka (83) Maldini (75)
Barcelona 6 - Maradona (7) Cruyff (20) Romario (42) Ronaldo (53) Messi (86) (Koeman 90+4)
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