Saturday, June 18, 2016

Where Are They Now? Part VI


In an astonishing turn of events, this sometimes factual, randomly entertaining series is in its sixth incarnation. I will let you be the judge of whether it is due to the popularity of the concept or the utter and complete lack of actual news at Milan these days. The series attempts to track the interesting lives of former Milan players, when they played for Milan, and if their lives are not interesting, then they inexplicably become a little more interesting here. It’s the magic of the interwebs.

If you are new to this series, you will absolutely not want to miss Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V, just for the Roman numerals in the titles alone. But don’t forget to read the infamous sixth verson of “Where are they now?” below…

"You told me I'd be coaching, not modeling"

Jakob “Jaap” Stam (2004-06)
The towering and imposing former defender was just named as the manager of Reading in the English Championship. Upon retiring, he worked for Manchester United as a scout, then went on to work as an assistant manager to various Dutch clubs, including a year at Ajax. He also regularly participates in Soccer Aid matches, diffusing rumors that he is in fact the Boogeyman.

Antonio Nocerino (2011-2016)
Since terminating his contract with Milan in February to join MLS side Orlando City, Nocerino has divided his time between stalking teammate and former Milan legend Kak√° and taking the fam to Disney World. Thus far, he has only made six appearances for the Lions, because he keeps going camping instead of turning up at Camping World Stadium, where the team play. The €500.000 man is still rocking the beard, learning English, and haunting Zamparini’s dreams.

Fulvio Collovati (1976-1982)
Collovati was a Milan youth product, a brilliant defender who transitioned to the senior team in 1976. He was one of the few who stuck with Milan when they were relegated in 1980, but when they were relegated again in 1982, he bailed. For Inter. Not coincidentally, after winning Scudetti in both Serie A and Serie B, a Mitropa Cup, the Coppa Italia as well as the 1982 World Cup while at Milan, he never won anything again at Inter or at any of his other clubs. That’s what happens to traitors who go the wrong way across the Milan divide. And now he is dead to me.

"See that sparkle on the horizon? That's my Ballon d'Or. If you want one, you're going to have to step it up."

Andriy Shevchenko (1999-2005 and 2008-2009)
The man who won everything with Milan, including the Ballon d’Or, the lottery, and my heart (okay, maybe only two of the three,) is a legend in club history. He still holds Milan and Serie A scoring records, and is on all of the top 100 footballers of all time lists… or at least all of the ones that matter. He was also one of the first to prove that once you’ve left the red and black, you can’t go back, breaking the hearts of Milan fans everywhere. But after shacking up with some American model, having four kids (the first of whom has a godfather named Silvio Berlusconi,) he tried his hand at politics in his home country. More recently, he was named assistant coach of the Ukrainian national team. His golden touch has not transformed the team yet, however, as Ukraine did not manage to get past the group stage at this year’s Euros.

Aldo Boffi (1936-1945)
Boffi was a Milan legend in his own right. In his 163 appearances for Milan, he scored 109 goals. He was also the Serie A top scorer in three different years: in 1939, 1940, and 1942, with 19, 24, and 22 goals respectively. He is still the fifth best all time scorer for Milan. While sadly, he passed in 1987, it is said that Alessandro Matri visits his resting place regularly, hoping some of his Milan goal scoring prowess will somehow posthumously transfer to him before the €11m man’s contract runs out.

109 goals, even when Serie A took a break for WWII. Amazing.

Fernando Torres (2014-2015)
Torres will be remembered by Milan fans, not for his singular Milan goal, but rather for being the reason Cerci came to Milan. While so many fans clamored for this to happen, they have long since recognized the error of their ways. I can’t imagine the laugh Torres had watching Cerci in a Milan shirt. Meanwhile, Torres was recently back at the San Siro, playing in the Champions League final vs. Real Madrid. Remember the Champions League? Yeah. And while Atleti lost on penalties, he probably still has a better Tolkien tattoo than you.

Valter Birsa (2013-2015)
Dubbed by someone (who has carefully creeped back into anonymity) as the “Slovenian Messi,” Birsa simply could not be contained by the Milan crest. His awesomeness is now allowed to fly freely with the Flying Donkeys of Chievo, where he scored as many goals this season as he did in 80 appearances for Slovenia (six.) However he will always maintain the title of the first Slovenian player to play for AC Milan, so that’s something.

Exactly like Messi.

Giovanni “Gianni” Rivera (1960-1979)
Despite playing 501 amazing appearances for Milan, Rivera tipped his hometown club Alessandria to win the hotly contested Coppa Italia semi-final on the easy road to the final this season. The legendary Milan playmaker had played a season for Alessandria before Milan, but obviously, if he lives there, he’s going to go with getting home safely. He should have stuck with Milan, though. After he retired from football, he actually served as vice president of Milan until Silvio Berlusconi bought the club. Instead, he chose a less crooked path of politics. Since 2013, he has been president of the technical sector for the FIGC. However you may know him best from FIFA 14 and 15’s Classic XI. And yes, at 72, he’s probably more creative and also faster than some of our current midfielders.

Urby Emanuelson (2011-2014)
Allegri’s favorite “he can play anywhere” player is proving his versatility once again. In January, his versatility landed at Hellas Verona. And it’s great that he can play anywhere, because after playing at Ajax, Milan, Fulham, Roma, and in Serie A with Verona, the club were relegated, so unless his agent has some magic tricks, Urby will now be playing in Serie B. It may or may not be true that Allegri is looking to sign him for Juventus, as he needs someone who can play as left back, midfielder, right winger, and mascot.

Adil Rami (2014-2015)
Adil Rami played in the Europa League final this season. And won. He is also currently in his home country of France representing his national team at the Euros. He is the man they called Shrek for his impressive belching abilities, and the man who welcomes attention as a sex symbol for both men and women. This man, who was a fan favorite at Milan also left the club on his own terms, getting out before things got worse. Someone should give his agent a raise, because he is definitely moving onwards and upwards from the disaster that is Milan these days.

Adil "My Girlfriend is Way Hotter Than Yours" Rami

Walter De Vecchi (1973-1974 and 1978-1981)
The midfelder who made a total of 94 appearances for Milan with some loan spells in between is now a coach of Milan’s youth teams. He first coached the Allievi Nazionali in their 1994-95 season, winning their league that season with a young Massimo Maccarone in the squad. Having nowhere to go but down, he tried his hand with the Primavera the next season, then tried some senior teams in lower divisions without any real luck. He came back to coaching Milan youth teams in 2003, and served as the Giovanissimi Nazionali (U15) coach since 2012. Of course, with Brocchi’s moronic decision to take on the senior side for the last six games of the season, all of the youth coaches bumped up a division at the end of the year, so he is now with the Allievi Lega Pro (U17.) However it is of note that he would have coached both of the Maldini boys, which might just be his best claim to fame.

Francesco Acerbi (2012-2013)
After conquering cancer not just once, but twice, Acerbi also fought convention. They say if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. But after an unsuccessful six months with the club of his heart, AC Milan, Acerbi now plies his version of defending at Sassuolo, aka the Milan killers. It seems his mantra is "if you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em." He has also been capped exactly twice for Italy by both Prandelli and Conte in their “take average players to matches” programs. But seriously, the man beat cancer twice. Can someone give him a trophy already?


This post inspired by the music of Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries”