Thursday, July 21, 2011

Milanello: Training Grounds of Champions

I have a dream that sadly does not involve any kind of world peace or other altruistic endeavors. It’s not that those things wouldn’t be absolutely lovely, too, but this dream is far more self-centered. My dream is to one day visit and tour Milanello. Until such time, I thought I’d give you a little blind photo tour. Please keep your seatbelts fastened and keep your hands and feet in the vehicle at all  times. 


Nestled in the mountains about 50 km outside of Milan is the domicile of the Gods. Okay, it’s not necessarily a domicile, it’s more of a state of the art training facility. And technically, they are really only Gods to Milan fans, to the rest of the world, they are merely Serie A Champions for 2010-11. Still, it’s pretty amazing, and stylish, too. It has even been used by the FIGC for training for the Italian National Team before big tournaments.


Obviously, we think of being outside and on the pitch when we think football. Well Milanello has 6 pitches, plus a synthetic pitch, a covered synthetic pitch, and “the cage,” a small outdoor pitch with a high wall surrounding it. Milanello also has the added bonus of being tucked up away off the beaten path, so the players can enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings as they train. In fact, there is also a 1200 m path that goes through the woods which the players can run and bike on.


There is also a newer, relatively modern fixture that has been installed at Milanello. In fact, many say its installation was vital to winning the Scudetto this past season.


But inside Milanello is a little more mysterious. The main building has two stories and a basement and features the offices, press room, meeting room, players’ rooms, a kitchen, two dining rooms, a TV room, a bar, and the laundry. There are also guest quarters located in a separate building which house the youth team players.

Another separate building features two very important areas. Of course there is the gym. (How else do you think Pato got so ripped?)




Then there are the dressing rooms, as photographed and tweeted last week by Urby Emanuelson. (You can follow Urby on Twitter @Urby28) Note that there is a lot of red and white d├ęcor going on indoors.



But don't believe everything you hear. Lest you think it’s all work and no play, they even have state of the art relaxation techniques, too.


Don’t just take my word for it, though. Here’s a past player’s tour that might give you a little better feel for the intriguing Milanello:


Milanello in its current form is another gift of owner Silvio Berlusconi to AC Milan. It was originally built in 1963, but when Berlusconi bought the club he had it completely renovated and did all he could to ensure it was a stylish, state of the art training facility for his future champions. From the distinctive red and white decor down to the roses planted outside, he wanted to be certain that he left his personal touch on Milanello.


So, has anyone actually been to Milanello? Been inside? Also, if you have more pictures of the inside, feel free to post them, I would love to see them.


This concludes our blind-leading-the-blind tour of Milanello. Thank you for joining us, please watch your step and have a nice day.



This post compiled under the musical influence of The Smiths “The Queen is Dead” album.