So here’s our attempt at combining the greatest ever Milan and Inter players to produce the greatest combined Milan XI of all-time. We’ve gone for quite an attacking lineup. Why? All will become clear soon enough…
This group of players aren’t just some of the greatest to have played for their respective Milan clubs – they are some of the most revered in the sport’s history:
GK – Walter Zenga (Inter)
? – Happy birthday to Walter Zenga. One of the World’s great keepers, winning the IFFHS award 3 times. Inter legend, playing for the Nerazzurri from 1982 to 1994. pic.twitter.com/esQ43CLTad
— Culture of Football Classics (@CFclassics) April 28, 2020
We start with the man between the sticks, and Inter’s legendary keeper Zenga gets the nod. An illustrious 16-year career yielded over 300 appearances, and the Italian shot-stopper is regarded as one of the world’s finest ever keepers.
Zenga reached the peak of his powers in 1989 as he was crowned the IFFHS Best Goalkeeper in the World for three consecutive years. He was named Serie A’s Footballer of the Year in 1987, UEFA’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 1990, and played a huge part in Inter’s success during that era.
Honorary Mention: Sebastiano Rossi (ACMilan)
RB – Javier Zanetti (Inter)
He remains Inter’s record appearance maker, and it’s unlikely his remarkable tally of 858 games for I Nerazzurri will ever be surpassed.
Zanetti was at Inter for 19 years, winning 16 trophies with 15 of those as captain. Five Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias and a Champions League medal to name but a few of his achievements.
CB – Franco Baresi (AC Milan)
Mr. Sweeper – Baresi spent 20 years at the heart of Milan’s defence. He was their captain for 15 of those, and remains one of the game’s greatest ever defenders.
His role in Milan’s success cannot be underestimated: under his captaincy, the team won six Serie A titles along with a remarkable three Champions League titles. No wonder his iconic No.6 shirt was retired.
CB – Giuseppe Bergomi (Inter)
Inter’s Giuseppe Bergomi was, until Zanetti overtook him, the club’s record appearance maker, and their long-term captain.
756 Inter appearances only yielded six trophies, but this is perhaps more an indication of AC Milan’s dominance during the period. Bergomi remains one of Italy’s finest ever defenders, and that’s why he partners Baresi in the centre of our defence.
LB – Paolo Maldini (AC Milan)
It just gets better and better doesn’t it? Maldini is without a shadow of a doubt one of football’s greatest ever players.
‘Il Capitano’ set a ridiculous number of records during his remarkable 25-year playing career. He won 25 trophies with Milan, which included five, yes five Champions League victories, and seven Serie A titles.
Subsequently, his iconic No. 3 shirt was retired in Maldini’s honour. Fair enough really after his club-record 902 appearances.
CM – Clarence Seedorf (Inter, AC Milan)
AC Milan benefitted from Seedorf’s supreme skillset most. It’s often forgotten he played for Ajax, Real Madrid and then Inter before joining Milan in 2002.
A decade and 431 appearances later, the Dutchman had won two Champions League medals, two Scudetti and a Coppa Italia. Seedorf is most certainly one of the modern Milanese greats…
Honorary Mention: Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan)
CAM – Gianni Rivera (AC Milan)
Italy and AC Milan’s ‘Golden Boy’, the 1969 Ballon d’Or winner Gianni Rivera was best known for his exploits from an attacking-midfield role.
Rivera racked up 658 Milan appearances during his 19-year career. He picked up three Serie A titles, five Coppa Italia wins and four European trophies. To cap it all off, Rivera was officially named Milan’s Player of the 20th Century in 1999.
CAM – Kaká (AC Milan)
Farewell, Kaká ?
? Champions League ??
? Liga ??
? Serie A ??
? World Cup ??
? Ballon d’Or ??
? World Player of the Year ??#UCL pic.twitter.com/94YJjWCxzY
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 18, 2017
Kaká arrived at Milan in 2003, then an exciting young Brazilian attacker, and he went on spearhead the club’s subsequent success of the early 2000s. There were an unending number of excellent goals, assists, and match-winning performances on the very biggest of occasions.
He played a pivotal role in Milan’s 2004 Serie A triumph, as well as their 2007 Champions League win. He was largely recognised as the world’s greatest player at the time, and in 2007 claimed pretty much every individual award out there: the Ballon d’Or, the FIFA World Player of the Year, and the FIFPro World Player of the Year to name but a few.
ST – Ronaldo (Inter, AC Milan)
You can’t leave El Fenomeno out of the recking can you? He joined inter in 1997, and was crowned Serie A’s Footballer of the Year after finishing his inaugural campaign with 25 goals.
And, testament to the player Ronaldo was, he had already been crowned winner of the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year after just several months at San Siro.
His unprecedented talents make him impossible to exclude.
ST – Marco van Basten (AC Milan)
Three-time Ballon d’Or winner, FIFA World Player of the Year, the end of the 1980s and start of the 1990s belonged to Van Basten. He was the undisputed number one footballer in Europe.
He managed 125 goals in just 201 appearances for Milan, and unfortunately for him and the club injury curtailed a career that could have perhaps got even better.
ST – Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan)
He played 322 games for Milan, scoring 175 goals.
No one has scored more Milan derby goals than him.
He was part of one of the greatest teams ever assembled.
He’s a Ballon d’Or winner.
Happy birthday, Andriy Shevchenko. pic.twitter.com/SKFGbAS5iG
— bet365 (@bet365) September 29, 2019
We aren’t talking about the Shevchenko we all saw at Chelsea. At Milan, the Ukrainian was the world’s deadliest marksman.
175 goals, 296 appearances, winner of the 2004 Ballon d’Or, Shevchenko quite literally fired Milan to their Champions League and Serie A successes of 2003 and 2004.
His 14 goals in the Derby della Madonnina make him the all-time top scorer in the fixture, which seems a perfect place to finish the combined Milan XI.
Honorary Mention: Mario Corso (Inter)