They say that “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” At AC Milan, I think they take that very literally. Recently, Milan have sought out players with “criminal” histories, bought them on the cheap, and then rehabilitated them into proper football stars. From Cassanate to nasty challenges to going AWOL, Milan don’t seem to worry about their past misbehaviors, and to look at them now, Scudetto winners with families in tow, it would be hard to pick them out of a lineup. So I opened up their records to refresh your memory of the “misfits” amongst us…
|The "rehabilitated" van Bommel and his son|
Kevin Prince Boateng while playing at Portsmouth in a cup semifinal match vs. Chelsea, he came in with a very nasty challenge on Michael Ballack, breaking the latter’s ankle and rendering him unable to play for his national team in the World Cup that year. Milan rescued him from the English press and other pro-Ballack media.
a serial football criminal for whom “Cassanate” were named for, his most recent episode involved refusing to attend a dinner with the owner of his then club Sampdoria, and also getting in a bit of a yelling match with him. Milan rescued Cassano from the villainous Garrone and returned him to match fitness after sitting out so long.
more of a mercenary and known for kicking teammates and opponents alike, Milan rescued Zlatan from a bad situation at Barcelona where he was at odds with coach Pep Guardiola to the point he threatened to harm him if he didn’t get transferred. Milan were happy to rescue the unhappy striker, despite having also played for Inter and Juventus.
While playing for Manchester City, Princess Robinho became very sad. The city was an awful place to live, she said. Staff and teammates were not BFF’s, she said. After forcing a loan deal to original club Santos in Brazil for the 2nd half of the 09-10 season, Milan rescued the princess on the final day of the summer transfer market.
Widely considered to be a “notoriously hard tackling competitor,” aka van Bommel the Punisher, he was a protagonist in both the “Battle of Nuremburg” vs. Portugal in the 2006 World Cup, as well as the knock-down, drag-out brawl that was the 2010 World Cup Final for the Netherlands. Milan rescued the captain of Bayern Munich as his fortunes there were quickly turning.
So now there are talks of rescuing Carlos Tevez, who is guilty of going AWOL from Manchester City as well as most recently refusing to play when asked to sub on. And this after notoriously crossing the Manchester line, coming straight to City from United and making zero friends along the way. Of course, Milan have stipulated that he must first pass a psychological test, so this conversation may not be relevant after that.
It is clear that he is a very, very talented player, I don’t think anyone can argue against that. The questions are: Can we rehabilitate one more misfit? Or will he upset the balance? Do we even need a striker, considering Cassano is already starting to train again and Pippo and El Shaarawy have seen such little time this season?
Shouldn’t we be shopping for a midfielder or a left back before we indulge in another striker? Is Berlusconi and his love of strikers behind this already? Will he pass his psychological test?
Can Milan keep Tevez happy and rehabilitate him like the others, or would even a loan deal be a headache in the making? How soon will he leave Milan for Inter, given his history?
Please feel free to leave your answers to these questions and your thoughts on the possible Tevez transfer in the comment section.
This post brought to you by the music of The Smiths “Meat is Murder” album