5 Reasons why AC Milan are the sleeping giants of Europe

Just what exactly is going on at AC Milan these days? It seems like a lifetime ago that Gullit, Van Basten and Rijkaard were the linchpins behind Milan’s dominance in Europe in the late 1980s with back to back European Cup triumphs.


Arguably the most outstanding team performance in a European final took place on 18th May 1994 in Athens, when a largely under strength Fabio Capello-led side destroyed Barcelona 4-0 and played what many believed to be football as close to perfection as possible. Another Champions League win came in 2003 at the expensive of the old enemy Juventus but it has been a downhill slalom ever since then. It has reached a new low point 11 games into the current Serie A season, with the Rossonieri finding themselves a massive 19 points behind leaders Roma in 12th place, with just 12 points and five league defeats already. Perhaps the reasons why could be:


            1. Lack of Resources


The Premier League is considered to be the most exciting league in the world but enjoys much greater funding and investment than Serie A, with higher player salaries, bigger audiences and television coverage around the globe. Milan are no longer able to entice the top players in Europe to the San Siro as they don’t have the buying power of Chelsea, Manchester City or even Paris Saint-Germain, and have been reduced to buying players who are coming towards the latter years of their playing careers such as Robinho and Kaka.


2. Scandals and Corruption


The notable scandals with stories of corruption and match-fixing have blotted the copybook of Serie A around the world, with a negative impact on the reputation of the clubs leading to reduced attendances and numerous clubs being sanctioned for various charges. This has resulted in Milan’s attempts to land the cream of European football being thwarted.


3. Silvio Berlusconi


The controversial chairman and politician has been dogged by allegations of corruption and infamous bunga bunga parties.  He has also had a very topsy-turvy relationship with managers over the years.


4. Youth System


With the exception of El Sharawaay and Christian Abate, there are little or no signs of any future stars emerging from the youth system at Milan. For many years, Milan relied heavily on ageing players with experience such as Costacurta, Maldini, Nesta, Cafu, and Inzaghi, rather than nurturing and developing the young talent at their disposal.


5. Over-expectation


The Rossonieri fans have become accustomed to silverware gracing the trophy room, but recent seasons have seen the supporters starved of success. Milan have been heavily influenced by supporters impatience and frustration and have had a tendency to axe managers after short unsuccessful spells with the blessing of the Milanese faithful. Perhaps there is a need for fans to be more patient and allow the current boss to develop the team, improve, and eventually success may follow.