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Showing posts from 2019

ICC Tournament: Bayern Munich-AC Milan Preview: Freunde

Milan are playing their first official, televised friendly of the season as they open their International Champions Cup by facing our old friends, Bayern Munich. It almost seems like a summer tradition, as we have often faced one another in the Audi Cup each summer. But this year, we meet in the United States. Freunde.

Can You Buy a Champions League Trophy?

I don’t know anyone who would argue that money is a necessary commodity if a team is going to win the Champions League. In fact, I think most people would assume that only the richest clubs can actually win the Champions League. It takes money to buy the best players, and only the teams with the best players can win, right? So can you buy a Champions League trophy? Perhaps you should ask Juventus.

Theo Hernández: Pedigree

It’s not unheard of for a player to have other family members who play or have played football, but it’s also not that common. However, one of our new signings has the unusual distinction of not only being a second generation footballer, but also having a sibling who currently plays. Not only that, but all three of them are defenders. Additionally, he comes to us from the only club to have won more Champions League titles than Milan. That is quite the football pedigree.

Podcast: Press Start

With the start of a new season this time around, there is so much news to discuss. New directors, a new coach, new players and the potential of a new stadium are just a few of the things that made Raduno, or rally, more exciting this year. This season proves to be an exciting ride, and if you blink, you might miss it. So hold onto your new jerseys and press start.

Poll: Current Mood

So much has happened in the last few weeks. Milan chose to give up the Europa League for a season to rectify their FFP violations. Milan got new directors, a new coach, and a couple of new players. Montolivo and others left the club, seriously diminishing our wage bill. Plans for a new stadium were announced. But most importantly, the legend that is Daniele Bonerahas returned as an assistant coach. After so many changes, what is your current mood?

A New Stadium?

Yesterday, both Milan and Inter announced that they had filed the official “Technical and Economic Feasibility Study” for a new stadium as well as a surrounding urban district for sports, entertainment and shopping. Both clubs have been working together on these plans for some time now, and it remains to be seen whether or not the city of Milano being awarded joint-host of the 2026 Winter Olympics will impact these plans. For fans, though, this step made the whole idea a lot more tangible.

Raduno 2019

Today is the day. The day that optimism runs the highest amongst fans, possibly to a delusional level. Despite the fact that the mercato has only just begun, all of the players have a clean slate for this season, and this might be the one day per year that most fans will not give players hate. Well, that may be delusionally optimistic, too. But still. With our new management, a new coach, and a couple of shiny new players, it’s time for Raduno 2019.

Badass Women

Footballers are amazing. They perform amazing feats of beauty and athleticism that defy gravity and imagination. And they do it while wearing only a tiny pair of shinguards to protect themselves, and they also do it for 90 minutes straight. But if you think that football is only for men, you might actually be a dinosaur. Because the rest of the world is finally starting to realize that the football realm is populated with some badass women.

Far From Home

Milan seem to have been turned over into the proper hands now to get us back home where we belong: the Champions League. And while the previous owners that we trusted did more harm than good, we have learned from their mistakes and gone to battle with UEFA. Despite taking a big hit in abstaining from the Europa League next season, we’ve shown ourselves to be older and wiser. However, we are still far from home.

Grazie Zapata

Now that Zapata’s contract with Milan is officially up, he has signed to play with Genoa next season. I am really happy that he found a club so quickly, and I am sure that he will be a blessing to them. There was a time that his inconsistency was so maddening that I probably wished that he would just leave the club. But now that he is gone, I find myself looking back with gratitude.

Podcast: Montolivo Out

New directors, a new coach, and the mercato ready to open, yet the biggest news is that Milan gave up the Europa League to clear our FFP violations. Yet even more important than all of that is that Montolivo, the parasitical innacurate passing tattle-tell wall-ducking player who usurped the captaincy and got coaches fired is finally leaving the club. To prepare to celebrate the best thing that has happened at Milan in seven years, I give you Montolivo Out.

FFP: Bullet Dodged

I know we as Milan fans are supposed to be sorrowful and mourning our exit of the Europa League for next season. Certainly, UEFA’s statement was nothing short of harshly punitive and malicious. But while UEFA thinks they “won” the FFP battle that they waged unfairly, compared to other clubs, Milan just got four years worth of FFP violations wiped clean just for stepping out of a competition we did not want or need to be in. Bullet dodged.

The Donnarumma Cycle

Wash, rinse, repeat. Rumor, abuse, repeat. The media, Mirabelli, and Raiola created a vicious cycle two years ago that still has immediate emotional impact on fans. In fact, many fans still believe that Gigio Donnarumma is a mercenary, a traitor, and worse. None of which is true, of course. Fans who have any brain cells realize that he has proven his loyalty to the crest over and over these past two years, and even well before that. However the rotten seeds were planted, and all anyone has to do on social media is say “Donnarumma” as we head into a transfer market, and people go insane with all kinds of misinformation… again. You may as well call it “The Donnarumma Cycle.”

Who in the World is Ricky Massara?

Milan announced last week that they hired their second choice Sporting Director, Frederic Massara. While he had been rumored to be chosen after their first choice decided to stay at Lazio, the reaction from fans was not very passionate. That is likely because most of us have no idea who he is.

Podcast: Truth and Rumors

The transfer window hasn’t even officially opened yet, but with no Milan football, it’s like a petri dish of infectious rumors right now. Mixed in for good measure is a little truth. Some truths are more desirable than others, too. But whether you prefer to know the truth or love to cling to the rumors, this podcast will have something for everyone. Because it’s that time of the year.

Marco Giampaolo: Not Exactly

Have you ever gone shopping for a pair of jeans, and they didn’t have exactly what you wanted? You tried on a bunch of other kinds of jeans that you thought you might like, but they didn’t work, either. After exhausting all of your options at this store, you decided to buy the jeans that were the lesser of all evils instead of trying to go to another store. Were they the jeans you wanted? Not exactly. But they were jeans. And they were new. A lot of Milan fans feel similarly about Giampaolo. Is he the coach we wanted? Not exactly. But he is a coach. And he is new.

Past and Future

It is finally official, the dream of so many Milan fans for so long. Paolo Maldini has been appointed as Technical Director of AC Milan. Along with him, Zvonimir Boban has been appointed as Chief Football Officer. They are both a part of Milan’s storied past, winning so many trophies for the club. Most importantly, they know what it means to be Milan. To wear the shirt, represent the crest, and to bleed red and black. They are legends of Milan’s past, and now they are the hope of Milan’s future.

Just Another Milan Monday

If the media were clever enough to count, I believe they would be making predictions for the scores of every single Serie A game next season. Oh, wait, that’s the betting sites. But it certainly doesn’t stop them from predicting what our new coach will wear and who his driver will be, even though we don’t actually have a new coach. Or even a sporting director. Milan are once again trapped in stasis until so many things click into place. So while the rumors are entertaining (read: ridiculous) to read, it’s really just another Milan Monday.


UEFA is a Four-Letter Word

This week, UEFA pulled the “Go ask your mother” move… again. After re-ruling in January, then Milan trying to talk some sense into them, they further delayed their new ruling until that one was decided in the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It seems they can’t rule properly on their own Financial Fair Play guidelines to save their lives, but are becoming experts at inhibiting Milan’s ability to rebuild and progress. They have literally put the four-letter words into FFP.

Times Like These

Another summer and another long list of things Milan have to wait for before we can move forward - the CAS, UEFA, Maldini, and a new coach, amongst other things. So much frustration once again for a fan base that has had to wait year after year and then wait some more. And yet, amidst my frustration, I found a new perspective in my own life this week as I found myself sitting in the Intensive Care Unit of our hospital with my son. As the long and frightening hours passed and I watched him bravely fight, I decided to try a little experiment and reach out for support to a place that normally is filled with hate: Twitter. And to my surprise, I found an outpouring of love that was overwhelming and wholly unexpected. A Milan family that reached out from literally every corner of the world, and extended to other fan bases, too. An outpouring of love that was truly moving, especially in times like these.

Podcast: Season Review

After the heartbreak of finishing only one point shy of Champions League qualification hit like a punch to the stomach on the final matchday, Milan face even more big changes. With the resignation of our Sporting Director, Leonardo, and coach Gattuso rescinding his contract, and UEFA still delaying their FFP rulings yet again, it feels like just another poor Milan season. But we found plenty to talk about while rating the players and more to make this season not just another Year Zero.

End of an Era

While everyone anxiously awaits a decision from Paolo Maldini as to whether or not he will accept the offer to be Milan’s next Technical Director, there is a lot for us to think about, too. Just a few days ago, Abate, Gattuso, and Leonardo were all at Milan. Now, none of them are. Their careers and fates all intertwined in some very interesting ways, and now they all left together. They also represent an end of an era. Not only because of their history together, but because as they leave, Milan is making some big changes to modernize the club and become FFP compliant. Even more than those three leaving, all of these changes represent the end of an era.

Grazie Gattuso

Despite the toughest of criticism toward our now former coach, Rino Gattuso left Milan with dignity and a respect that most other coaches will never receive. Like his playing career, he chose to leave Milan on his own terms, for the good of the team. And he walked away from the money, too, leaving his salary that would have been owed him behind. Because for him, it was never about money or fame. It was always about Milan. And when he had given all that he had and it still wasn’t enough, he stepped down. For Milan.

Next

As of this writing, the reports from most sources say that Leonardo will resign today, and that Gattuso will mutually rescind his contract. Two massive moves in a club that desperately needs consistency. Yet if they are both true, they are likely steps in the right direction. And while everyone is talking about what’s next, it’s important to look at why they are leaving, too.

SPAL 2, Milan 3: Never Enough

Milan’s season was such a season of change after so many years of decline. Maldini came back, and at times, it seemed that his return alone would be enough. But it wasn’t. Despite his leadership, despite improving the squad, despite the passion of all of the players and the fans, we fell one point short of returning to the Champions League this season. One point. It just seems like no matter how hard we try to claw our way back, it is never enough.

SPAL vs. Milan: Milan DNA

Will the outcomes of all of the matches resurrect our Champions League dreams?

SPAL vs. Milan: One Match to Rule Them All

Milan fans have become almost obsessed with returning to the Champions League. Although to be fair, their obsession is nothing on comparison to Juventus’ obsession with trying to win the Champions League. That obsession truly is more like the one ring, it has consumed and nearly destroyed them. No, Milan’s obsession with returning is a lot more like Frodo Baggins wanting to return home to the Shire after carrying the ring and seeing too much. We are a team that has traveled too far from home and are now ready to go back home. Only we have not escaped Mordor just yet. Not only does at least one more team need to drop points, but we face a worthy opponent in the eleventh place SPAL. As we discussed on the latest podcast, Milan have no choice but to win. This is one match to rule them all (or at least hopefully qualify for Champions League next season.)

Podcast: Fingers Crossed

Milan have left everything to the last matchday, and have given control of our European fate to rival clubs. Not that Milan fans needed any more anxiety in our lives, but it’s not particularly surprising, either. So while we are waiting for the final match, we talked about everything Milan, looking back and trying not to think too hard about the future, keeping our fingers crossed.