Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Matthew Coccoluto On May - 20 - 2012

The End of an Era: Changing of the Guard for AC Milan

The 2011/2012 season marks the end of a large chapter in AC Milan history. As the season ends so do the contracts of several veteran players and the I Rossoneri faithful will waive goodbye to the latest legends to depart. Included in this group of departing veterans are Clarence Seedorf, Alessandro Nesta, Filippo Inzaghi, and Gennaro Gattuso. While others are departing as well, these four stand above for their many years of service to the Milan side, and truly mark a changing of the guard.

For over a decade, Pippo Inzaghi has dawned the red and black and for most of that time he has been a prolific goal scorer. His records speak for themselves. Pippo is in the top 20 all time goal scorers in Serie A, he holds the record for most hat-tricks in Serie A, he was the first person to score two, and then three, hat-tricks in the Champions League, and most impressively he is second on the all-time goals scored in the Champions League behind Raul with 70. His style of striker is well-known for flirting with the offside position, which once led Sir Alex Ferguson to say, “That lad must have been born offside.’ He may be best remembered for his outstanding performance in the 2007 Champions League final where his brace earned Milan their seventh title in a 2-1 win over Liverpool. A goal scorer like Pippo will live on in the memories of the San Siro forever.

Gennaro Gattuso was more than just a great player; he changed perception of a country. For years Gattuso played in the midfield with a toughness that is typically unseen in Italy. Renowned journalist Simon Kuper summed it up best when describing how, during the World Cup in 2006, Gattuso yelled at Marco Materazzi for conceding a corner. In the mind of Gattuso, corners were unacceptable. Gattuso wanted his teammates to play perfect and anything less should be sub-satisfactory. A tough midfield general, players like Gattuso are a rare commodity on the peninsula.

For Clarence Seedorf, his departure from Milan essentially ends one of the most glorious club careers amongst active players. Although he will continue to play outside of Europe, his time in Europe’s top leagues is over. He is most known for winning 4 Champions Leagues with 3 different teams (Ajax, Real Madrid, and Milan), the first person to achieve such feat. He also collected 5 league titles amongst the 3 teams as well as a number of domestic cup wins. Even in his later years he still showed a lot of that same spark and finesse that made him such a great player.

Of these legends leaving the club, one name stands out amongst them. The departure of Alessandro Nesta is the most significant. For years the partnership of Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta granted Milan one of the stingiest defenses ever seen. There is no amount of praise possible to give Nesta that can do justice to his greatness. He is a reminder of when Serie A controlled the European scene and Milan were one of the most dominant teams in Europe. Even this year Nesta was able to show everyone the same skill that made him great when he was asked to shut down Lionel Messi. It appears that more people idolize the dribblers and goal scorers these days, but Nesta is a relic of the days when a perfect tackle was as beautiful as a great free kick.

Along with these four, Mark Van Bommel and Gianluca Zambrotta will also be departing Milan. Although their contribution to the Rossoneri history books isn’t as great as the others they still deserve the mention. It is truly the end of a large chapter in Milan history but as one ends, a new one begins. It is yet to be seen who will carry the torch, but it is certain that someone will. It is with great sadness, regardless of club allegiance, that we say goodbye to these gladiators of the pitch.

Matthew Coccoluto

Originally from Boston now in LA. I work in production but football is my passion. I bleed black and white. Proud member of the Juventus Fan Club of Southern California. Forza Juve, Sempre Sara.

More Posts - Twitter

Comments are closed.

Featured Skills Video

    Write for Serie A Weekly!

    contribute Send us a timely, compelling post and we'll consider it for publishing on the site with mention of your name and social-media link.

    Click here to contact us.


Serie A Weekly recognises all copyrights contained. Where possible we acknowledge the copyright holder. If you own copyright to an image and object to its presence, contact the blog immediately using the "contact us" link at the top of this page. This blog is not responsible for the content of third party sites.