AC Milan vs AS Roma Betting Odds - Sunday 28th, June 2020

What if... One-club men lived forever

The year is 2017. Top scientists have finally cracked the ability to stop ageing, and the world rejoices. The discovery prompts an immediate FIFA investigation into exactly what this means for world football from now on. How will the careers come and go when every team can just preserve their best stars? How will the next Messi break through? The Qatar FA suggest restricting it to only Qatari players, a motion that's only narrowly defeated. In unrelated news, a bunch of mysterious Qatari bank accounts are seized the day before the vote. Eventually, a compromise is decided upon between. Only those players who’ve proven themselves to be in it for the sport, and their team, can use it. The players who have stuck with their team through thick and thin, who’ve turned down bigger money offers to stay where they are. One-Club Men. However, should their loyalty ever waiver, and they choose to leave, those players will lose their right to an everlasting career, and have to face the advance years once again. Who will remain loyal the longest? Who will ride out the lowest of lows to stay at their lifelong club?
Unfortunately for those of you hoping I’ve found a secret miracle, that’s just the best nonsense I could come up with to frame this scenario. In less dramatic terms, using FM 2017, I'm going to select 50 one-club men from the top 5 leagues and de-age them to around 22. Every 5 years I'll de-age them down to 22 again, unless they abandon their loyalty. I'll also be adjusting everyone's contract to expire in 2020 to make it equal, and undoing international retirements where necessary. Nothing overly complicated, but I’m expecting this one to run a long long time if I’m going to have everyone leave, so I’m good with it not being too complicated.
Reddit side note! It's me again. Some may remember my experiments from ages ago. I'm back and writing again, but as you can probably tell, with a new name and website. If you want to see this post with much better formatting, all the images, and everyone's profile at the end, go here to read it in full: link You can stay here if you prefer though!
So who actually qualifies for this? I've restricted it to players from the Top 5 leagues of England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France, and only included those that have been at their clubs the longest. As well as the genuine candidates like Messi and Totti, loaned out players like Lahm qualify, as do those like Iniesta who haven't left in FM 2017, and even those that have left in-game, but are known for their careers at one club. Buffon is a good example of the latter. I've included a link to an image with all 5 players here: link
With all this loyalty around, I wanted to mix it up a bit by adding in one final player. Someone completely opposite to everyone picked so far, the anti-one-club man, the journeyman of all journeymen. And after some research, I came up with the perfect candidate. Sebastián Abreu, a man who in his career has played at an impressive 29 different teams in 11 different countries, setting a Guinness world record along the way. Abreu will receive the same treatment as the loyal players, except it won’t stop when he moves team. I want him to move around more, spread his wings, see how many teams he can collect over an illustrious career.
That’s enough explaining for now. Should be pretty clear what’s going on, just a bunch of footballers never getting old. Time to get things rolling and see who eliminates themselves. Who can stick it out the longest, who will become THE one-club man?

2016/17

With our younger one club men unleashed on the world, many of them attract instant attention from new clubs. For a while it stays quiet and looks like the first transfer window may pass without incident. Only a few loans crop up... until Javi López because the first man to fall. With Espanyol not meeting his standards, he makes a £2.4M trip down the coast to join Valencia. He proves to be the only summer casualty by the time the window slams shut.
January brings the winter window, and the Premier League clubs start to sniff around, ready to throw bags of cash at unsuspecting players. It doesn’t take long before the next two players are reeled in by money and lose their eternal youth. First Marcel Schmelzer in a £20.5M move to Liverpool, followed by Bruno joining moneybags Man City. By the end of the window, Nacho also heads to the north of England, joining rivals Man United. I’m not sure if any of them have realised how damn cold it is up there. That window swiftly ends, settling the bottom 4 finishers in the competition.
Returning to the world of actual football results briefly, and there aren’t many shocks to be seen. Man City finish 6th, Everton get relegated and Borussia Mönchengladbach reach the Champions League Semi-Finals. A few players see their team relegated, as Werder Bremen, Caen and Freiburg go down, so there could be a few casualties once that disappointment has set in. But all in all, the footballing world has coped just fine.
Loyal Players Remaining: 46
Abreu Club Count: 23 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: None

2017/18

With everyone’s transfer budgets warmed up, it doesn’t take long for the action to get back underway. The previous season has barely finished before Chris Solly trades in his morals for a Premier League move to Norwich. Sergio Álvarez joins him in England, making the slightly odd move to Bournemouth before a big £52M move sees Koke trade loyalty for a big move to Man City. That’s the most surprising move so far, as I expected many of the players at top clubs to stick around. The final two transfers of the window take us to sunny Spain, where both Xabi Prieto and Mario become massive glory hunters, trading in their life long clubs for Atletico Madrid and Barcelona respectively. Javi López, having left Espanyol to join Valencia last year, immediately realises his mistake and rejoins Espanyol. It’s too little too late though, his status as a one-club man is already ruined.
The winter window comes and goes without even a hint of action, so things may already be starting to quieten down. Over in Brazil, Sebastián Abreu has his contract with Bangu come to an end after a good season but fails to attract any new suitors before the European season ends.
Around the world, things keep ticking on relatively normally. Watford take a surprising FA Cup win despite finishing rock bottom of the league, meaning they’ll have European nights alongside their Championship campaign. The loyalty of Seube, Höfler and Bargfrede is rewarded, as Caen, Bremen and Freiburg are immediately promoted back to the top tier. Las Palmas head in the opposite direction, which causes David García to hand in an immediate transfer request. The Spaniard could very well be the next player to go.
Loyal Players Remaining: 41
Abreu Club Count: 23 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Watford (FA Cup)

2018/19

My suggestion that things may be quietening down is immediately disproved by the biggest move so far. Bayern Munich legend Philipp Lahm makes a huge £82M transfer to Manchester City, throwing away all he’d built up at Bayern so far. But it doesn't end there, as 2 more huge transfers are finalised right after. First Claudio Marchisio drops Juventus, clearly not happy with them losing the title to AC Milan, and moves to Real Madrid. Then Daniele De Rossi trades in Roma for Barcelona. Whilst both have moved in real life, I didn’t expect either to fall so early in this, being icons at such huge clubs. A little later, David García makes his predicted move away from relegated Las Palmas, opting to stay in Spain with Osasuna. And then on the final day of the window, one last move. David Zurutuza decides the Premier League is more to his taste and joins Noble at West Ham. Javi López continues his tour of Spain, realising rejoining Espanyol doesn’t earn him back everlasting youth, and so heads to Sevilla instead. Currently, he’s moved around more than the specific journeyman player I chose to actually move around. Talking of, Abreu does find a new contract, heading back to Uruguay to join River Plate Montevideo.
The winter transfer window is again mostly quiet, with very little potential action. There are still some transfers though, as Robin Knoche becomes the 15th person out, heading to Borussia Dortmund. Then a legend moves on, as Iker Casillas decides that barely getting any game time behind Keylor Navas isn’t worth it, and so joins Monaco for a mere £11M. I guess you can't escape the real world after all.
The summer of 2018 means a World Cup, a tournament which regularly creates bizarre results in Football Manager. This year is no exception, as the likes of Italy, Belgium and Argentina fall in the group stages, before South Korea beat both Germany and France in the knockouts. The final between Brazil and Croatia proves 100% less heartbreaking than the real 2018 final for the Croatians, as they become champions of the world. In domestic football, Man United take all the English trophies on offer in a Quadruple, whilst Freiburg find themselves relegated yet again, as do Montpellier.
Loyal Players Remaining: 34
Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Croatia (World Cup)

2019/20

Another season, another transfer window, another set of swirling rumours around our one-club men. Borussia Dortmund manage to steal away another of our competitors from a German rival, taking Timo Horn early in the window. Having been relegated yet again last season, Nicolas Höfler decides enough is enough and leaves Freiburg for Hertha Berlin. Over in Italy, and Chievo Legend Sergio Pellissier finally caves, leaving his relegation-threatened lifelong team for European battlers Fiorentina. But that's all the entertainment I can offer, no big signings this time around I’m afraid. Let's go see what Javi López is up to instead. His merry-go-round of clubs continues yet again, moving over to Deportivo de La Coruña in the latest of his ever-decreasing value of transfers.
January retains its typical bleak and dull atmosphere, with no sign of action whatsoever until the final day of the window. Hugo Mallo decides to try and add to his trophy cabinet and heads to Man United. Not the worst career move to throw away eternal life for considering their dominance right now. And with his departure, the total number of players that we've lost hits a nice round 20.
In the Premier League, Man United claim their 4th title in a row, exerting total dominance over everyone. But where one dominance rises, another falls, with Dortmund claiming the Bundesliga to knock Bayern off their perch. The shock of the season comes in the Coupe de France, where 3rd tier LB Châteauroux knock out Lyon, Auxerre and PSG before falling to Caen in the semi-finals. With Monaco having fallen to 4th tier SA Spinalien, Caen beat an easier opposition of RC Lens in the final, leading to Seube lifting the teams first-ever Coupe de France. Not bad for a player I expected to never lift a trophy. On a less joyous note, Höfler having left relegated Freiburg, sees his new team Hertha relegated immediately too. It seems there is no escaping the 2. Bundesliga!
On the record front, Gianluigi Buffon sets a huge benchmark, breaking the 200 cap mark for Italy. With no-one else close to him, he’ll stay the leader for a long time. Messi also breaks a boundary, climbing through 400 league goals during his career at Barcelona. Like Buffon, he’s way clear of any competitor, and unless a miracle happens that sees him abandon Barcelona, I can’t see anyone catching him soon.
Loyal Players Remaining: 30
Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Caen (Coupe de France)

2020/21

2020 arrives, and with it, two important points arrive too. Firstly, everyone gets de-aged for the first time in this experiment. The 20 that have left get to watch from a distance thinking about what could have been. Second, the initial contracts are set to expire, so anyone that hasn’t re-signed will out the door. Which is exactly what happens to Víctor Valdés. Having barely appeared for Barcelona since his return, he leaves the club on a free and heads to the southern French coast to join Marseille. A day later and someone else leaves France, as Romain Danzé who decides one de-ageing is enough and moves to Schalke. Tony Hibbert also struggled for games at Everton despite his new youthful look, and so he walks out the door. He opts for Aston Villa, who to my great surprise have sunk to a mid-table League 1 team. Feeling left out, Spain joins in, with Oier Sanjurjo departing Osasuna and moving to Villarreal. The window is then capped by a bizarre final free transfer. Despite appearing regularly, Xavi isn’t offered a new contract by Barcelona. Man City can’t quite believe their luck and snap up the Spanish wizard a few days before the window shuts.
Winter brings with it just one transfer in its usual action-heavy way. Roberto Torres leaves Osasuna, making a £35.5M switch to Atletico. I’m not sure whether Atletico thought they were getting a different de-aged Torres because that can only be described as an overpayment. Either way, that means we've now lost over half the competitors.
Euro 2020 passes, and Croatia prove their World Cup victory was no fluke, becoming both champions of the World, and champions of Europe. On the Continental front, things have been fairly predictable so far, at least until this years Europa League. Hoffenheim escape a tough group and go all the way to win the entire thing. Not bad for a team that barely qualified in the first place. Oh, and Messi wins a little thing called the Ballon d’Or for the 10th time. I think he’s only just getting started.
Loyal Players Remaining: 24
Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Hoffenheim (Europa League)

2021/22

The 21/22 season begins with two transfers on the first day. Loïc Perrin makes his way to the Premier League to join Leicester. But that's a minor splash compared to the other move, as after 768 appearances and 302 goals, Francesco Totti leaves Roma. It seems wrong to see it, but he’ll now be wearing a Man United kit. Dortmund continue their run of stealing loyalty, this time bringing Tony Jantschke into the fold. Another contract is run to the end, forcing Álex Bergantiños out of Deportivo without much choice, before being picked up by Cagliari. Mikel González opts to end his time at Real Sociedad, joining Pellissier over at Fiorentina. And as August comes to a close, it looks like Totti may be the only big departure. That is until Gianluigi Buffon decides to call time on his Juventus career. It’s an odd move, with the legend going sorta sideways from a regular starting Juventus spot to Bayern Munich. But there’s no going back now, as his 636 league appearance career with the Italians comes to a close. Two legends down in one window.
No season is complete without a single winter signing to warrant an entire separate paragraph, and this season is no different. Sergi Roberto moves away from Barcelona, in a £24M move to French giants PSG. A good way to guarantee yourself plenty of titles I guess. Abreu also makes a winter move, adding Guarani in the Brasilian second tier to his collection.
Roberto’s decision proves to be a good one, as PSG go on to claim their 10th one in a row. Not many surprises elsewhere, although Real Oviedo get close to pulling off a shock in the Copa del Rey. The second tier team beat Osasuna, Barcelona and Sevilla on the way to the final, but ultimately Real Madrid prove a step too far. Elsewhere everything is won by a team you’d probably expect. Exciting stuff.
Loyal Players Remaining: 17
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: None

2022/23

With the pool of players rapidly decreasing, very few of the crew are even wanted by other clubs anymore. Perhaps deterred by their steadfast loyalty? A few moves do still happen though, so we’re not dead yet. Firstly Anthony Lopes gets fed up of PSG dominating his league and moves to AC Milan for a better shot at a trophy. It’s not long before that story is forgotten, as the biggest transfer fee in the competition so far is dropped. Andrés Iniesta is stolen away from Barcelona, in a huge £86M move to Man United. The midfield maestro fell 2 appearances short of 600 league games for Barcelona, but with his new £300K per-week contract it’s not hard to guess why. That proves to be all the action for the summer window, with no-one willing to top that huge move.
After half a season of hearing their noisy neighbours gloating about their star signing, Man City snap. And if there’s one thing City are good at, it’s splashing the cash. In probably the easiest negotiation over fee Barcelona has ever had, Sergio Busquets makes a £95M move to the sky blues. Yeh, that’ll show United. Once again no-one wants to get in the middle of the awkward Manchester squabble, and the winter transfer closes with a whimper.
The second World Cup of this experiment comes and goes. This time all the giants make it safely through the Group Stages, but it’s Africa that really excels. Morocco make the knockouts, Egypt battle through to the Quarter Finals, but Nigeria come out best. They beat South Korea and Argentina before falling valiantly to France in the Semi-Finals. A 1-0 victory of Italy does see them finish in an impressive 3rd place, becoming the first African team to finish in the top 3 of the World Cup. France win the title on penalties after a deceivingly action-filled 0-0 draw with Spain. The domestic scene follows that with a similar lack of real shocks. In the Carabao Cup, Bournemouth beat Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United on the way to lifting the trophy. But it’s the lesser Cup, so outside of Bournemouth no-one really cares. PSG finally have their grip on the Ligue 1 broken, as Casillas leads Monaco to a fantastic title. Otherwise, all the league titles and cups fall to teams you’d expect them too. Another thrilling year.
Loyal Players Remaining: 14
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Bournemouth (Carabao Cup)

2023/24

Literally nothing happens. Thomas Kessler decides that no team can ignore his existence for 20 seasons in a row and get away with it, leaving Köln to join Trabzonspor. So as I said, literally nothing happens. Even Javi López moving to yet another club would be more interesting than that.
The same applies to the footballing season. Asides from Casillas captaining Monaco to a Champions League title, or Atletico winning the title again, exactly 10 years after their last win, everything is frustratingly normal. And even those two events are hardly shocks.
Before I start to lose hope, there are a few interesting moves over the last few years from the losing group that are worth highlighting. First season mover Bruno didn’t make the impact he hoped and found himself moving to the lovely Stoke. Robin Knoche barely received any playtime at Dortmund and found himself cast out to Dinamo Zagreb. Even in League 1, Tony Hibbert could barely get any game time at Villa and so moved on the Scunthorpe in League 2. But the winner of the oddest move has to be Zurutuza, who somehow manage to pull off a move to Liverpool after West Ham found themselves relegated, only make a few disappointing performances, before being released on a free to join Al-Arabi in Qatar. Not quite the career he was anticipating when joining the Premier League I bet.
Loyal Players Remaining: 13
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: None

2024/25

The summer transfer window arrives for another season, and with it finally comes a huge deal! Javi López has found yet another club! Hooray! As for actual competitors, absolutely no movement whatsoever. Even from Abreu, who’s been at Guarani for 2.5 years now. Manceau, Lewington and Seube complain to their managers about playing time or relegation, but none of them actually make a move anywhere. So our final 13 will add another 5 years onto their career length.
There are some fun statistics from our 51 worth mentioning at this point. Buffon leads the way with both total league appearances (935) and international caps (259). His caps are at a point where they’re too high for the game to display, as the value is stored as an unsigned 8-bit integer, and so has rolled over to just show 3. Most appearances for a single club goes to Dean Lewington however, who thanks to being a regular sits at 857 league appearances for the MK Dons (or 889 if you include Wimbledon). In the goals department, the winner is obvious. With almost 500 league goals, 100 international goals and 14 Ballon d’Or awards, Messi sits on top of everyone. On the international scene, he’s run close by Müller and the fast-approaching Kane, but for league goals, it’s not even close.
2024 brings with it a Euro tournament, which doesn’t provide much in the way of surprises, but brings with it some exciting high scoring matches. All ending in a 4-3 victory for a Thomas Müller led Germany over neighbours Netherlands. Which I’m sure went down very well. The domestic scene decides to spring a few shocks though. In Serie A, Roma claim an impressive title thanks to main striker Iheanacho, their first since 2001. The German and French cups provide surprise winners, in the form of Hertha Berlin and Dijon. Both cap an impressive run by beating their respective league winners, Bayern and Monaco. Even the continental tournaments turn up too. First Monaco cement their place as a top power in football by winning their second Champions League in a row. That coming a week after the best win there could possibly be. Tottenham win the Europa League! Screw the other stuff, that last part is all I need!
Loyal Players Remaining: 13
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Dijon (Coupe de France), Hertha Berlin (DFB Pokal)

At this point though it’s fair to say that the competition results are more interesting than the movements of the players. Which is the perfect signal that things need to speed up a little bit. So from now on, updates will be every 5 years, which lines up perfectly with player age resets, letting us see who has made it to the next checkpoint.

2025-2030

Another round of de-ageing hits, and you’d think that would incite some interest in our final 13. Instead, it’s a ghost town. We do have an immediate dropout though, as Nicolas Seube finally gets fed up with his lack of playtime at Caen and heads for Panionios in Greece. A year later the situation is repeated. I’m not entirely sure what his unhappiness was about, but Iker Muniain decides he’s had enough of Athletic Club and moves to Hamburger SV. At least he left on exactly 100 goals for Athletic though, a nice round number. With 11 left, a standoff to reach the top 10 ensues. For 3 years no-one budges in their show of loyalty, until in 2029… Dean Lewington leaves for Derby County on a free. It’s a huge move, with Lewington becoming the first man to break through 1000 league appearances for a single club before leaving. But he’s moved on now, and it won’t be long before that record is broken. That move means we’re left with our final 10 contestants. Terry, Iraola, Messi, Susaeta, Noble, Jourdren, Müller, Kane, Manceau and Bargfrede have secured a top 10 spot, and now all that’s left to do is fight it out for number 1.
Over in Brazil, our anti-one-club man continues his journey, although it remains in Brazil for the moment. Only 2 clubs are added to his count, with a long stay at Atletico Goianiense followed by a £2M move to top tier Coritiba. I’m kind of hoping he starts to make enough waves in the Brazilian league to move to Europe and add some new countries to his history.
Those that fell before the first de-ageing are retiring, finishing off their magnificent, or in some cases very un-magnificent, careers (as losers). Javi López finishes his fine anti-loyalty tour around Spain with 7 transfers to his name. Schmelzer, Nacho, Solly, Álvarez, Koke, Mario, Prieto, Marchisio, De Rossi, David García, Zurutuza, Knoche, Höfler, Pellissier, Mallo, Horn and Hibbert end their careers. Many, such as Nacho, Horn and De Rossi stay just as committed to their new clubs as they did their old, finishing out their careers after just a single transfer. Of the pensioners, Sergio Pellissier manages to rack up the most career league appearances and goals, at 894 and 246, although that’s largely thanks to a huge head start. De Rossi dominates on the international scene, earning a whopping 197 caps over his 30-year career. Naturally, all those records will be blown out the water once the next group start retiring, but it’s nice to have some benchmarks.
Around the world, plenty has gone on worth hearing about. The Netherlands claim their first-ever World Cup win, beating Brazil in the final, whilst in the Euro’s Germany win their second tournament in a row. The Gold Cup throws up a few interesting results too, as first, the Mexico B team win it, with their A team tied up in the Confederations Cup. Then 4 years later Canada take the title, only the second time in their history. Over in Italy, Lazio find themselves relegated as the league starts to shake itself up a bit. But other than that, domestic football remains relatively unspectacular. Oh except… TOTTENHAM WINNING THE LEAGUE. Didn’t even have to reset it and we won it before Arsenal did. North London is very much Lilywhite now, suck it Gooners!
Loyal Players Remaining: 10
Abreu Club Count: 27 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Tottenham (Premier League)

2030-2035

Another 5 years pass and to start with it looks like the top 10 are going to hold firm. Eventually though, the temptation of money proves too much for one man. That man is Geoffrey Jourdren who trades in his starting slot at Montpellier for a cosy backup contract at PSG. Then comes… dead silence. Not even a rumour, or an unhappy player. No-one even hints at leaving for the next 4 years, which means we end the period with nine players on the books. The real waiting game has begun. Even our journeyman Abreu is moving in a very slow way, as a five year Coritiba stint finishes with a free transfer to Red Bull Brasil. I think my hopes for a European move have died.
At least there are a lot of retirements to run through. Bruno, Lahm, Casillas, Valdés, Danzé, Oier, Xavi, Torres, Perrin, Jantschke, Bergantiños, González, Roberto, Iniesta and Busquets hang up their playing boots. That does leave us without some noted legends, with Lahm, Casillas, Iniesta and Busquets reaching 200 caps for their country. You’d think Spain would have won more with that golden generation. Casillas and Xavi also both hit 1000 league appearances thanks to a strong head start before the experiment. But it’s Andrés Iniesta who is the most loyal of the bunch, racking up nearly 600 appearances for his original club before departing.
Five years leaves plenty of time for interesting results once again. England take a World Cup win, which is always a sign of the apocalypse, only made more bizarre by Scotland making the semi-finals in the same competition. Portugal take the other title in that period, whilst the Euros also see a surprise winner in Switzerland. France provides the biggest shock at club level, as Lille come from nowhere to win Ligue 1, and then immediately revert back to mid-table once again. Otherwise, the time belongs to Manchester City. The oil bar… sky blues take 4 out of 5 titles in both the Premier League and Champions League, with all that cash flinging finally paying off.
Loyal Players Remaining: 9
Abreu Club Count: 28 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: England (World Cup), Lille (Ligue 1)

2035-40

With just nine players left, once again we get a transfer fairly early on in the period. Early as in the first transfer window, which makes me wonder why they waited so long. Anyway, Mark Noble has had his patience tested by West Ham’s yoyoing between the Premier League and Championship a bit too much and finally caves. He makes a £20M move to Burnley, who… are doing the exact same thing. Not sure that was the brightest idea. Like the previous 5 years though, one transfer is all we get. None of the others move, despite some pretty heavy unhappiness from Bargfrede and Manceau. Abreu keeps up his trail, running out his contract with Red Bull Brasil and opting for Chapecoense to reach 29 clubs in his career.
With very few moving recently, that also means less and less are retiring, as just 7 ex-competitors leave the game. Totti, Buffon, Lopes, Kessler, Seube, Muniain and Lewington call time on their football life. The fact they all stuck with it for so long means there’s so impressive stats between them. Totti racked up 1154 league appearances, with 768 at Roma. Dean Lewington, after leaving MK Dons with 1003 appearances finished with a total of 1287. Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon finished with a whopping 1307 league appearances, but perhaps more impressively, 334 international caps. But the single most surprising statistic goes to Thomas Kessler. Despite barely playing in Germany he manages to notch a grand total of 7 goals after his move to Turkey. Maybe if he’d been a striker he’d have actually played at Koln. Oh and Seube ends his career Greek. Because why not.
As per every time, a quick look around the world’s results is needed. Spain win back the World Cup titles, whilst Italy take a Euro win. Argentina, Mexico and Australia claim all their continents international trophies in the window, so no massive surprises there. The domestic world isn’t exactly littered with shocks either. Brescia win a Coppa Italia, and Nîmes Olympique grab 4 top 5 finishes in a row in France, but there’s not really much to shout about. I think it’s best to just get on with the next de-ageing.
Loyal Players Remaining: 8
Abreu Club Count: 29 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Brescia (Coppa Italia)

2040-45

Down to 8 now, so it’s getting tougher. And a lot slower, so slow in fact that not a single transfer in our group happens in five years. For a moment I was excited to see Manceau at Recreativo de Huelva, but that was just a loan. So I was back to being crushed. On the plus side, Abreu makes some huge steps. He adds not just 1, but 2 new countries to his history! The first is Portugal, in a huge step up to join Braga. As usual, it’s just until his contract ends, before he moves on to Frankfurt in the Bundesliga. He’s hardly setting Europe alight but I don’t care, he’s actually moving!
There’s only one retiree to talk about too, as pretty much everyone has already gone. Geoffrey Jourdren finishes up with 925 total league appearances. It probably could have been a bit more, if he’d not spent 10 years of his career being a backup at PSG and Bayern. On a far more interesting note, Terry breaks through 1500 career league appearances. Kane also hits 256 international goals, which results in the number resetting to 0 just like caps. So the game has him on 96 caps with 11 goals, when the actual numbers are a stunning 352 caps with 267 goals.
Having seen my disappointment last time around, the world decides to liven things up. Denmark become both Champions of the World and Champions of Europe in 2042 and 2040, although they lose the European title to Germany 4 years later. At the continental level, the Champions League stays on track, but the Europa League brings some bizarre winners into the mix. Nîmes Olympique, Real Sociedad, Leicester and Bristol City all win a trophy. It seems Mark Noble finally made a right move transferring to Bristol City, as the club is now a strong top 6 Premier League side. Manceau wins a Coupe de France at Angers, but it’s still Nîmes making waves, forming a big three with PSG and Monaco. It may not be long before either Nîmes or Bristol City win their league, which is not something I expected to be saying.
Loyal Players Remaining: 8
Abreu Club Count: 31 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Nîmes Olympique/Bristol City (Europa League), Angers (Coupe de France)

2045-50

2045 kicks off and once again Manceau deceives me. This time it’s a loan spell in Denmark with Brøndby that had me thinking he was gone. Well you know what they say, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice… I’m probably gonna fall for it. It looks like there’s going to be no moves whatsoever once again, until June 2047 arrives and I notice a contract is set to expire. Imagine my shock when Lionel Messi is not offered a contract by Barcelona and is let go. It’s made doubly worse by the fact that of all teams to pick him up, it's Atletico Madrid. Apparently, 37 Ballon d’Or awards aren’t good enough for Barcelona anymore. I don’t even care that nothing else happens. That’s enough to stun me.
Over in the retirement home, Mark Noble moves into a room. After an up and down career, the Englishman did manage some silverware with Bristol City and ended his career with 1317 league appearances. He even earned not just 1, but 90 England caps across his 44-year career.
Around the world, interesting results are still cropping up. England grab their third World Cup win beating Colombia, whilst Honduras win their first-ever Gold Cup. Much to my bitter disappointment, Arsenal win 4 of the 5 Champions Leagues on offer, as well as 3 Premier League titles. Chelsea have a period of bottom 10 finishes which deeply upsets Terry, whilst over in France, Chamois Niortais begin to try and join the top 3. Don’t worry I’ve never heard of them either.
Loyal Players Remaining: 7
Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Honduras (Gold Cup)

2050-55

With the world still reeling at the fact the Messi has moved from Barcelona, everyone kinda forgets to make any moves. In fact, Messi is the first person to move yet again, leaving Atletico in a very cheap 34.5M move to Man City. Which is more in line with where I originally expected him to go. Abreu finishes one contract, at Hapoel Be’er Sheva, and moves onto the next, but it’s with Monterrey so doesn’t count. Sebastian, it has to be new clubs. John Terry is starting to get frustrated with a Chelsea team that has really fallen from grace. The Londoners barely survive relegation in 2052/53, so Terry may be the next to go. Or maybe I know nothing and it’s completely random.
No-one retires this year, so let’s take a brief look at some statistics of our remaining 7 + Messi. All our players have now reached 1000 appearances, with Bargfrede in last at 1173. Messi has crossed 1000 league goals, now a full 300 clear of the chasing pack of Abreu and Kane. On the international level, Thomas Müller becomes the first player to need a rollover of caps twice, moving on to a massive 524 international caps. But it’s Kane who still leads the international goal stat, nearly breaking 350, a full 50 ahead of the German.
Müller does, however, grab a World Cup win for Germany so I’m sure he won’t be too upset. At least until they’re deposed by Holland 4 years later. On the continental level, Bristol City win another Europa League title beating previous champions Espanyol. Middlesbrough also nearly earn a trophy, having joined Bristol as a top 6 team. But the winner of the biggest shock, although I did say this might happen, goes to Chamois Niortais, who topple the dominance of PSG and Monaco to capture a miraculous Ligue 1 title in the last season of the period.
Loyal Players Remaining: 7
Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Chamois Niortais (Ligue 1), Bristol City/Espanyol (Europa League)

2055-60

The summer window of 2055 opens and as I warned may happen, there’s an almost immediate transfer. Fed up with Chelsea’s mediocre finishes, John Terry decides to move on. Unfortunately for Chelsea fans, Arsenal is his next club, which I’m sure will cause a few shudders. A year later and another move comes around, once again due to unhappiness over the club’s performance. Surprisingly it's Thomas Müller,who's annoyed by the fact that Bayern haven’t won a Bundesliga title since 2048, and so runs down his contract. Leverkusen almost earn his signature, but eventually its the glory of PSG that proves too much to resist. But we’re not done there! Another player runs down their contract, opting to move to Vitoria de Setubal in Portugal. Vincent Manceau finally makes a real move rather than constantly faking me out. So with another 3 players down, we’re left with our final 4. The race for the top 3 is hotting up now!
We do have a retirement this time thanks to the transfer window livening up. The world's best-ever player, Lionel Messi, retires from football. He ends up on a total of 1858 league appearances, scoring a massive 1068 goals in this time. 1430 appearances and 895 goals of those belonging to his 45-year career at Barcelona. On the international scene, he earned an impressive 505 caps and 276 goals. But it’s the awards where he shines. 279 individual awards, 82 team titles, 22 league titles, 6 Champions League titles, 45 Ballon d’Or awards. What makes it even crazier is 41 of those Ballon d’Or awards were in a row, as he earned every single one from 2015 to 2056. I don’t think I’ll see another player like that crop up in any save, truly the world’s best player.
Looking out on the world, I can say that it’s a Chamois Niortais player that breaks Messi’s streak, as the French team claim another two Ligue 1 titles. It’s hard to say they’re a “surprise winner” at this point. Bristol City finally make the full step up to join the big guns, winning 3 Carabao Cups, 1 FA Cup, 2 Premier League titles and even a Champions League trophy. If any Bristol City fans want this save to give themselves hope over the future, I can send it over. Internationally it's the era of Portugal, as they claim both the Euro and World Cup trophies.
Loyal Players Remaining: 4
Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Bristol City (Premier League/Champions League), Lyon (Relegation)

With so few players left, now is probably a good time to speed it up once again. The final four will be tough to budge, so how about we move to 10-year intervals to try and cut down on dead years. And I'll be moving to the comments, because I've hit reddits character limit.
submitted by whatif_gaming to footballmanagergames [link] [comments]

Test post please ignore

The year is 2017. Top scientists have finally cracked the ability to stop ageing, and the world rejoices. The discovery prompts an immediate FIFA investigation into exactly what this means for world football from now on. How will the careers come and go when every team can just preserve their best stars? How will the next Messi break through? The Qatar FA suggest restricting it to only Qatari players, a motion that's only narrowly defeated. In unrelated news, a bunch of mysterious Qatari bank accounts are seized the day before the vote. Eventually, a compromise is decided upon between. Only those players who’ve proven themselves to be in it for the sport, and their team, can use it. The players who have stuck with their team through thick and thin, who’ve turned down bigger money offers to stay where they are. One-Club Men. However, should their loyalty ever waiver, and they choose to leave, those players will lose their right to an everlasting career, and have to face the advance years once again. Who will remain loyal the longest? Who will ride out the lowest of lows to stay at their lifelong club?
Unfortunately for those of you hoping I’ve found a secret miracle, that’s just the best nonsense I could come up with to frame this scenario. In less dramatic terms, using FM 2017, I'm going to select 50 one-club men from the top 5 leagues and de-age them to around 22. Every 5 years I'll de-age them down to 22 again, unless they abandon their loyalty. I'll also be adjusting everyone's contract to expire in 2020 to make it equal, and undoing international retirements where necessary. Nothing overly complicated, but I’m expecting this one to run a long long time if I’m going to have everyone leave, so I’m good with it not being too complicated.
Reddit side note! It's me again. Some may remember my experiments from ages ago. I'm back and writing again, but as you can probably tell, with a new name and website. If you want to see this post with much better formatting, all the images, and everyone's profile at the end, go here to read it in full: link You can stay here if you prefer though!
So who actually qualifies for this? I've restricted it to players from the Top 5 leagues of England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France, and only included those that have been at their clubs the longest. As well as the genuine candidates like Messi and Totti, loaned out players like Lahm qualify, as do those like Iniesta who haven't left in FM 2017, and even those that have left in-game, but are known for their careers at one club. Buffon is a good example of the latter. I've included a link to an image with all 5 players here: link
With all this loyalty around, I wanted to mix it up a bit by adding in one final player. Someone completely opposite to everyone picked so far, the anti-one-club man, the journeyman of all journeymen. And after some research, I came up with the perfect candidate. Sebastián Abreu, a man who in his career has played at an impressive 29 different teams in 11 different countries, setting a Guinness world record along the way. Abreu will receive the same treatment as the loyal players, except it won’t stop when he moves team. I want him to move around more, spread his wings, see how many teams he can collect over an illustrious career.
That’s enough explaining for now. Should be pretty clear what’s going on, just a bunch of footballers never getting old. Time to get things rolling and see who eliminates themselves. Who can stick it out the longest, who will become THE one-club man?

2016/17

With our younger one club men unleashed on the world, many of them attract instant attention from new clubs. For a while it stays quiet and looks like the first transfer window may pass without incident. Only a few loans crop up... until Javi López because the first man to fall. With Espanyol not meeting his standards, he makes a £2.4M trip down the coast to join Valencia. He proves to be the only summer casualty by the time the window slams shut.
January brings the winter window, and the Premier League clubs start to sniff around, ready to throw bags of cash at unsuspecting players. It doesn’t take long before the next two players are reeled in by money and lose their eternal youth. First Marcel Schmelzer in a £20.5M move to Liverpool, followed by Bruno joining moneybags Man City. By the end of the window, Nacho also heads to the north of England, joining rivals Man United. I’m not sure if any of them have realised how damn cold it is up there. That window swiftly ends, settling the bottom 4 finishers in the competition.
Returning to the world of actual football results briefly, and there aren’t many shocks to be seen. Man City finish 6th, Everton get relegated and Borussia Mönchengladbach reach the Champions League Semi-Finals. A few players see their team relegated, as Werder Bremen, Caen and Freiburg go down, so there could be a few casualties once that disappointment has set in. But all in all, the footballing world has coped just fine.
Loyal Players Remaining: 46
Abreu Club Count: 23 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: None

2017/18

With everyone’s transfer budgets warmed up, it doesn’t take long for the action to get back underway. The previous season has barely finished before Chris Solly trades in his morals for a Premier League move to Norwich. Sergio Álvarez joins him in England, making the slightly odd move to Bournemouth before a big £52M move sees Koke trade loyalty for a big move to Man City. That’s the most surprising move so far, as I expected many of the players at top clubs to stick around. The final two transfers of the window take us to sunny Spain, where both Xabi Prieto and Mario become massive glory hunters, trading in their life long clubs for Atletico Madrid and Barcelona respectively. Javi López, having left Espanyol to join Valencia last year, immediately realises his mistake and rejoins Espanyol. It’s too little too late though, his status as a one-club man is already ruined.
The winter window comes and goes without even a hint of action, so things may already be starting to quieten down. Over in Brazil, Sebastián Abreu has his contract with Bangu come to an end after a good season but fails to attract any new suitors before the European season ends.
Around the world, things keep ticking on relatively normally. Watford take a surprising FA Cup win despite finishing rock bottom of the league, meaning they’ll have European nights alongside their Championship campaign. The loyalty of Seube, Höfler and Bargfrede is rewarded, as Caen, Bremen and Freiburg are immediately promoted back to the top tier. Las Palmas head in the opposite direction, which causes David García to hand in an immediate transfer request. The Spaniard could very well be the next player to go.
Loyal Players Remaining: 41
Abreu Club Count: 23 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Watford (FA Cup)

2018/19

My suggestion that things may be quietening down is immediately disproved by the biggest move so far. Bayern Munich legend Philipp Lahm makes a huge £82M transfer to Manchester City, throwing away all he’d built up at Bayern so far. But it doesn't end there, as 2 more huge transfers are finalised right after. First Claudio Marchisio drops Juventus, clearly not happy with them losing the title to AC Milan, and moves to Real Madrid. Then Daniele De Rossi trades in Roma for Barcelona. Whilst both have moved in real life, I didn’t expect either to fall so early in this, being icons at such huge clubs. A little later, David García makes his predicted move away from relegated Las Palmas, opting to stay in Spain with Osasuna. And then on the final day of the window, one last move. David Zurutuza decides the Premier League is more to his taste and joins Noble at West Ham. Javi López continues his tour of Spain, realising rejoining Espanyol doesn’t earn him back everlasting youth, and so heads to Sevilla instead. Currently, he’s moved around more than the specific journeyman player I chose to actually move around. Talking of, Abreu does find a new contract, heading back to Uruguay to join River Plate Montevideo.
The winter transfer window is again mostly quiet, with very little potential action. There are still some transfers though, as Robin Knoche becomes the 15th person out, heading to Borussia Dortmund. Then a legend moves on, as Iker Casillas decides that barely getting any game time behind Keylor Navas isn’t worth it, and so joins Monaco for a mere £11M. I guess you can't escape the real world after all.
The summer of 2018 means a World Cup, a tournament which regularly creates bizarre results in Football Manager. This year is no exception, as the likes of Italy, Belgium and Argentina fall in the group stages, before South Korea beat both Germany and France in the knockouts. The final between Brazil and Croatia proves 100% less heartbreaking than the real 2018 final for the Croatians, as they become champions of the world. In domestic football, Man United take all the English trophies on offer in a Quadruple, whilst Freiburg find themselves relegated yet again, as do Montpellier.
Loyal Players Remaining: 34
Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Croatia (World Cup)

2019/20

Another season, another transfer window, another set of swirling rumours around our one-club men. Borussia Dortmund manage to steal away another of our competitors from a German rival, taking Timo Horn early in the window. Having been relegated yet again last season, Nicolas Höfler decides enough is enough and leaves Freiburg for Hertha Berlin. Over in Italy, and Chievo Legend Sergio Pellissier finally caves, leaving his relegation-threatened lifelong team for European battlers Fiorentina. But that's all the entertainment I can offer, no big signings this time around I’m afraid. Let's go see what Javi López is up to instead. His merry-go-round of clubs continues yet again, moving over to Deportivo de La Coruña in the latest of his ever-decreasing value of transfers.
January retains its typical bleak and dull atmosphere, with no sign of action whatsoever until the final day of the window. Hugo Mallo decides to try and add to his trophy cabinet and heads to Man United. Not the worst career move to throw away eternal life for considering their dominance right now. And with his departure, the total number of players that we've lost hits a nice round 20.
In the Premier League, Man United claim their 4th title in a row, exerting total dominance over everyone. But where one dominance rises, another falls, with Dortmund claiming the Bundesliga to knock Bayern off their perch. The shock of the season comes in the Coupe de France, where 3rd tier LB Châteauroux knock out Lyon, Auxerre and PSG before falling to Caen in the semi-finals. With Monaco having fallen to 4th tier SA Spinalien, Caen beat an easier opposition of RC Lens in the final, leading to Seube lifting the teams first-ever Coupe de France. Not bad for a player I expected to never lift a trophy. On a less joyous note, Höfler having left relegated Freiburg, sees his new team Hertha relegated immediately too. It seems there is no escaping the 2. Bundesliga!
On the record front, Gianluigi Buffon sets a huge benchmark, breaking the 200 cap mark for Italy. With no-one else close to him, he’ll stay the leader for a long time. Messi also breaks a boundary, climbing through 400 league goals during his career at Barcelona. Like Buffon, he’s way clear of any competitor, and unless a miracle happens that sees him abandon Barcelona, I can’t see anyone catching him soon.
Loyal Players Remaining: 30
Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Caen (Coupe de France)

2020/21

2020 arrives, and with it, two important points arrive too. Firstly, everyone gets de-aged for the first time in this experiment. The 20 that have left get to watch from a distance thinking about what could have been. Second, the initial contracts are set to expire, so anyone that hasn’t re-signed will out the door. Which is exactly what happens to Víctor Valdés. Having barely appeared for Barcelona since his return, he leaves the club on a free and heads to the southern French coast to join Marseille. A day later and someone else leaves France, as Romain Danzé who decides one de-ageing is enough and moves to Schalke. Tony Hibbert also struggled for games at Everton despite his new youthful look, and so he walks out the door. He opts for Aston Villa, who to my great surprise have sunk to a mid-table League 1 team. Feeling left out, Spain joins in, with Oier Sanjurjo departing Osasuna and moving to Villarreal. The window is then capped by a bizarre final free transfer. Despite appearing regularly, Xavi isn’t offered a new contract by Barcelona. Man City can’t quite believe their luck and snap up the Spanish wizard a few days before the window shuts.
Winter brings with it just one transfer in its usual action-heavy way. Roberto Torres leaves Osasuna, making a £35.5M switch to Atletico. I’m not sure whether Atletico thought they were getting a different de-aged Torres because that can only be described as an overpayment. Either way, that means we've now lost over half the competitors.
Euro 2020 passes, and Croatia prove their World Cup victory was no fluke, becoming both champions of the World, and champions of Europe. On the Continental front, things have been fairly predictable so far, at least until this years Europa League. Hoffenheim escape a tough group and go all the way to win the entire thing. Not bad for a team that barely qualified in the first place. Oh, and Messi wins a little thing called the Ballon d’Or for the 10th time. I think he’s only just getting started.
Loyal Players Remaining: 24
Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Hoffenheim (Europa League)

2021/22

The 21/22 season begins with two transfers on the first day. Loïc Perrin makes his way to the Premier League to join Leicester. But that's a minor splash compared to the other move, as after 768 appearances and 302 goals, Francesco Totti leaves Roma. It seems wrong to see it, but he’ll now be wearing a Man United kit. Dortmund continue their run of stealing loyalty, this time bringing Tony Jantschke into the fold. Another contract is run to the end, forcing Álex Bergantiños out of Deportivo without much choice, before being picked up by Cagliari. Mikel González opts to end his time at Real Sociedad, joining Pellissier over at Fiorentina. And as August comes to a close, it looks like Totti may be the only big departure. That is until Gianluigi Buffon decides to call time on his Juventus career. It’s an odd move, with the legend going sorta sideways from a regular starting Juventus spot to Bayern Munich. But there’s no going back now, as his 636 league appearance career with the Italians comes to a close. Two legends down in one window.
No season is complete without a single winter signing to warrant an entire separate paragraph, and this season is no different. Sergi Roberto moves away from Barcelona, in a £24M move to French giants PSG. A good way to guarantee yourself plenty of titles I guess. Abreu also makes a winter move, adding Guarani in the Brasilian second tier to his collection.
Roberto’s decision proves to be a good one, as PSG go on to claim their 10th one in a row. Not many surprises elsewhere, although Real Oviedo get close to pulling off a shock in the Copa del Rey. The second tier team beat Osasuna, Barcelona and Sevilla on the way to the final, but ultimately Real Madrid prove a step too far. Elsewhere everything is won by a team you’d probably expect. Exciting stuff.
Loyal Players Remaining: 17
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: None

2022/23

With the pool of players rapidly decreasing, very few of the crew are even wanted by other clubs anymore. Perhaps deterred by their steadfast loyalty? A few moves do still happen though, so we’re not dead yet. Firstly Anthony Lopes gets fed up of PSG dominating his league and moves to AC Milan for a better shot at a trophy. It’s not long before that story is forgotten, as the biggest transfer fee in the competition so far is dropped. Andrés Iniesta is stolen away from Barcelona, in a huge £86M move to Man United. The midfield maestro fell 2 appearances short of 600 league games for Barcelona, but with his new £300K per-week contract it’s not hard to guess why. That proves to be all the action for the summer window, with no-one willing to top that huge move.
After half a season of hearing their noisy neighbours gloating about their star signing, Man City snap. And if there’s one thing City are good at, it’s splashing the cash. In probably the easiest negotiation over fee Barcelona has ever had, Sergio Busquets makes a £95M move to the sky blues. Yeh, that’ll show United. Once again no-one wants to get in the middle of the awkward Manchester squabble, and the winter transfer closes with a whimper.
The second World Cup of this experiment comes and goes. This time all the giants make it safely through the Group Stages, but it’s Africa that really excels. Morocco make the knockouts, Egypt battle through to the Quarter Finals, but Nigeria come out best. They beat South Korea and Argentina before falling valiantly to France in the Semi-Finals. A 1-0 victory of Italy does see them finish in an impressive 3rd place, becoming the first African team to finish in the top 3 of the World Cup. France win the title on penalties after a deceivingly action-filled 0-0 draw with Spain. The domestic scene follows that with a similar lack of real shocks. In the Carabao Cup, Bournemouth beat Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United on the way to lifting the trophy. But it’s the lesser Cup, so outside of Bournemouth no-one really cares. PSG finally have their grip on the Ligue 1 broken, as Casillas leads Monaco to a fantastic title. Otherwise, all the league titles and cups fall to teams you’d expect them too. Another thrilling year.
Loyal Players Remaining: 14
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Bournemouth (Carabao Cup)

2023/24

Literally nothing happens. Thomas Kessler decides that no team can ignore his existence for 20 seasons in a row and get away with it, leaving Köln to join Trabzonspor. So as I said, literally nothing happens. Even Javi López moving to yet another club would be more interesting than that.
The same applies to the footballing season. Asides from Casillas captaining Monaco to a Champions League title, or Atletico winning the title again, exactly 10 years after their last win, everything is frustratingly normal. And even those two events are hardly shocks.
Before I start to lose hope, there are a few interesting moves over the last few years from the losing group that are worth highlighting. First season mover Bruno didn’t make the impact he hoped and found himself moving to the lovely Stoke. Robin Knoche barely received any playtime at Dortmund and found himself cast out to Dinamo Zagreb. Even in League 1, Tony Hibbert could barely get any game time at Villa and so moved on the Scunthorpe in League 2. But the winner of the oddest move has to be Zurutuza, who somehow manage to pull off a move to Liverpool after West Ham found themselves relegated, only make a few disappointing performances, before being released on a free to join Al-Arabi in Qatar. Not quite the career he was anticipating when joining the Premier League I bet.
Loyal Players Remaining: 13
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: None

2024/25

The summer transfer window arrives for another season, and with it finally comes a huge deal! Javi López has found yet another club! Hooray! As for actual competitors, absolutely no movement whatsoever. Even from Abreu, who’s been at Guarani for 2.5 years now. Manceau, Lewington and Seube complain to their managers about playing time or relegation, but none of them actually make a move anywhere. So our final 13 will add another 5 years onto their career length.
There are some fun statistics from our 51 worth mentioning at this point. Buffon leads the way with both total league appearances (935) and international caps (259). His caps are at a point where they’re too high for the game to display, as the value is stored as an unsigned 8-bit integer, and so has rolled over to just show 3. Most appearances for a single club goes to Dean Lewington however, who thanks to being a regular sits at 857 league appearances for the MK Dons (or 889 if you include Wimbledon). In the goals department, the winner is obvious. With almost 500 league goals, 100 international goals and 14 Ballon d’Or awards, Messi sits on top of everyone. On the international scene, he’s run close by Müller and the fast-approaching Kane, but for league goals, it’s not even close.
2024 brings with it a Euro tournament, which doesn’t provide much in the way of surprises, but brings with it some exciting high scoring matches. All ending in a 4-3 victory for a Thomas Müller led Germany over neighbours Netherlands. Which I’m sure went down very well. The domestic scene decides to spring a few shocks though. In Serie A, Roma claim an impressive title thanks to main striker Iheanacho, their first since 2001. The German and French cups provide surprise winners, in the form of Hertha Berlin and Dijon. Both cap an impressive run by beating their respective league winners, Bayern and Monaco. Even the continental tournaments turn up too. First Monaco cement their place as a top power in football by winning their second Champions League in a row. That coming a week after the best win there could possibly be. Tottenham win the Europa League! Screw the other stuff, that last part is all I need!
Loyal Players Remaining: 13
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Dijon (Coupe de France), Hertha Berlin (DFB Pokal)

At this point though it’s fair to say that the competition results are more interesting than the movements of the players. Which is the perfect signal that things need to speed up a little bit. So from now on, updates will be every 5 years, which lines up perfectly with player age resets, letting us see who has made it to the next checkpoint.

2025-2030

Another round of de-ageing hits, and you’d think that would incite some interest in our final 13. Instead, it’s a ghost town. We do have an immediate dropout though, as Nicolas Seube finally gets fed up with his lack of playtime at Caen and heads for Panionios in Greece. A year later the situation is repeated. I’m not entirely sure what his unhappiness was about, but Iker Muniain decides he’s had enough of Athletic Club and moves to Hamburger SV. At least he left on exactly 100 goals for Athletic though, a nice round number. With 11 left, a standoff to reach the top 10 ensues. For 3 years no-one budges in their show of loyalty, until in 2029… Dean Lewington leaves for Derby County on a free. It’s a huge move, with Lewington becoming the first man to break through 1000 league appearances for a single club before leaving. But he’s moved on now, and it won’t be long before that record is broken. That move means we’re left with our final 10 contestants. Terry, Iraola, Messi, Susaeta, Noble, Jourdren, Müller, Kane, Manceau and Bargfrede have secured a top 10 spot, and now all that’s left to do is fight it out for number 1.
Over in Brazil, our anti-one-club man continues his journey, although it remains in Brazil for the moment. Only 2 clubs are added to his count, with a long stay at Atletico Goianiense followed by a £2M move to top tier Coritiba. I’m kind of hoping he starts to make enough waves in the Brazilian league to move to Europe and add some new countries to his history.
Those that fell before the first de-ageing are retiring, finishing off their magnificent, or in some cases very un-magnificent, careers (as losers). Javi López finishes his fine anti-loyalty tour around Spain with 7 transfers to his name. Schmelzer, Nacho, Solly, Álvarez, Koke, Mario, Prieto, Marchisio, De Rossi, David García, Zurutuza, Knoche, Höfler, Pellissier, Mallo, Horn and Hibbert end their careers. Many, such as Nacho, Horn and De Rossi stay just as committed to their new clubs as they did their old, finishing out their careers after just a single transfer. Of the pensioners, Sergio Pellissier manages to rack up the most career league appearances and goals, at 894 and 246, although that’s largely thanks to a huge head start. De Rossi dominates on the international scene, earning a whopping 197 caps over his 30-year career. Naturally, all those records will be blown out the water once the next group start retiring, but it’s nice to have some benchmarks.
Around the world, plenty has gone on worth hearing about. The Netherlands claim their first-ever World Cup win, beating Brazil in the final, whilst in the Euro’s Germany win their second tournament in a row. The Gold Cup throws up a few interesting results too, as first, the Mexico B team win it, with their A team tied up in the Confederations Cup. Then 4 years later Canada take the title, only the second time in their history. Over in Italy, Lazio find themselves relegated as the league starts to shake itself up a bit. But other than that, domestic football remains relatively unspectacular. Oh except… TOTTENHAM WINNING THE LEAGUE. Didn’t even have to reset it and we won it before Arsenal did. North London is very much Lilywhite now, suck it Gooners!
Loyal Players Remaining: 10
Abreu Club Count: 27 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Tottenham (Premier League)

2030-2035

Another 5 years pass and to start with it looks like the top 10 are going to hold firm. Eventually though, the temptation of money proves too much for one man. That man is Geoffrey Jourdren who trades in his starting slot at Montpellier for a cosy backup contract at PSG. Then comes… dead silence. Not even a rumour, or an unhappy player. No-one even hints at leaving for the next 4 years, which means we end the period with nine players on the books. The real waiting game has begun. Even our journeyman Abreu is moving in a very slow way, as a five year Coritiba stint finishes with a free transfer to Red Bull Brasil. I think my hopes for a European move have died.
At least there are a lot of retirements to run through. Bruno, Lahm, Casillas, Valdés, Danzé, Oier, Xavi, Torres, Perrin, Jantschke, Bergantiños, González, Roberto, Iniesta and Busquets hang up their playing boots. That does leave us without some noted legends, with Lahm, Casillas, Iniesta and Busquets reaching 200 caps for their country. You’d think Spain would have won more with that golden generation. Casillas and Xavi also both hit 1000 league appearances thanks to a strong head start before the experiment. But it’s Andrés Iniesta who is the most loyal of the bunch, racking up nearly 600 appearances for his original club before departing.
Five years leaves plenty of time for interesting results once again. England take a World Cup win, which is always a sign of the apocalypse, only made more bizarre by Scotland making the semi-finals in the same competition. Portugal take the other title in that period, whilst the Euros also see a surprise winner in Switzerland. France provides the biggest shock at club level, as Lille come from nowhere to win Ligue 1, and then immediately revert back to mid-table once again. Otherwise, the time belongs to Manchester City. The oil bar… sky blues take 4 out of 5 titles in both the Premier League and Champions League, with all that cash flinging finally paying off.
Loyal Players Remaining: 9
Abreu Club Count: 28 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: England (World Cup), Lille (Ligue 1)

2035-40

With just nine players left, once again we get a transfer fairly early on in the period. Early as in the first transfer window, which makes me wonder why they waited so long. Anyway, Mark Noble has had his patience tested by West Ham’s yoyoing between the Premier League and Championship a bit too much and finally caves. He makes a £20M move to Burnley, who… are doing the exact same thing. Not sure that was the brightest idea. Like the previous 5 years though, one transfer is all we get. None of the others move, despite some pretty heavy unhappiness from Bargfrede and Manceau. Abreu keeps up his trail, running out his contract with Red Bull Brasil and opting for Chapecoense to reach 29 clubs in his career.
With very few moving recently, that also means less and less are retiring, as just 7 ex-competitors leave the game. Totti, Buffon, Lopes, Kessler, Seube, Muniain and Lewington call time on their football life. The fact they all stuck with it for so long means there’s so impressive stats between them. Totti racked up 1154 league appearances, with 768 at Roma. Dean Lewington, after leaving MK Dons with 1003 appearances finished with a total of 1287. Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon finished with a whopping 1307 league appearances, but perhaps more impressively, 334 international caps. But the single most surprising statistic goes to Thomas Kessler. Despite barely playing in Germany he manages to notch a grand total of 7 goals after his move to Turkey. Maybe if he’d been a striker he’d have actually played at Koln. Oh and Seube ends his career Greek. Because why not.
As per every time, a quick look around the world’s results is needed. Spain win back the World Cup titles, whilst Italy take a Euro win. Argentina, Mexico and Australia claim all their continents international trophies in the window, so no massive surprises there. The domestic world isn’t exactly littered with shocks either. Brescia win a Coppa Italia, and Nîmes Olympique grab 4 top 5 finishes in a row in France, but there’s not really much to shout about. I think it’s best to just get on with the next de-ageing.
Loyal Players Remaining: 8
Abreu Club Count: 29 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Brescia (Coppa Italia)

2040-45

Down to 8 now, so it’s getting tougher. And a lot slower, so slow in fact that not a single transfer in our group happens in five years. For a moment I was excited to see Manceau at Recreativo de Huelva, but that was just a loan. So I was back to being crushed. On the plus side, Abreu makes some huge steps. He adds not just 1, but 2 new countries to his history! The first is Portugal, in a huge step up to join Braga. As usual, it’s just until his contract ends, before he moves on to Frankfurt in the Bundesliga. He’s hardly setting Europe alight but I don’t care, he’s actually moving!
There’s only one retiree to talk about too, as pretty much everyone has already gone. Geoffrey Jourdren finishes up with 925 total league appearances. It probably could have been a bit more, if he’d not spent 10 years of his career being a backup at PSG and Bayern. On a far more interesting note, Terry breaks through 1500 career league appearances. Kane also hits 256 international goals, which results in the number resetting to 0 just like caps. So the game has him on 96 caps with 11 goals, when the actual numbers are a stunning 352 caps with 267 goals.
Having seen my disappointment last time around, the world decides to liven things up. Denmark become both Champions of the World and Champions of Europe in 2042 and 2040, although they lose the European title to Germany 4 years later. At the continental level, the Champions League stays on track, but the Europa League brings some bizarre winners into the mix. Nîmes Olympique, Real Sociedad, Leicester and Bristol City all win a trophy. It seems Mark Noble finally made a right move transferring to Bristol City, as the club is now a strong top 6 Premier League side. Manceau wins a Coupe de France at Angers, but it’s still Nîmes making waves, forming a big three with PSG and Monaco. It may not be long before either Nîmes or Bristol City win their league, which is not something I expected to be saying.
Loyal Players Remaining: 8
Abreu Club Count: 31 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Nîmes Olympique/Bristol City (Europa League), Angers (Coupe de France)

2045-50

2045 kicks off and once again Manceau deceives me. This time it’s a loan spell in Denmark with Brøndby that had me thinking he was gone. Well you know what they say, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice… I’m probably gonna fall for it. It looks like there’s going to be no moves whatsoever once again, until June 2047 arrives and I notice a contract is set to expire. Imagine my shock when Lionel Messi is not offered a contract by Barcelona and is let go. It’s made doubly worse by the fact that of all teams to pick him up, it's Atletico Madrid. Apparently, 37 Ballon d’Or awards aren’t good enough for Barcelona anymore. I don’t even care that nothing else happens. That’s enough to stun me.
Over in the retirement home, Mark Noble moves into a room. After an up and down career, the Englishman did manage some silverware with Bristol City and ended his career with 1317 league appearances. He even earned not just 1, but 90 England caps across his 44-year career.
Around the world, interesting results are still cropping up. England grab their third World Cup win beating Colombia, whilst Honduras win their first-ever Gold Cup. Much to my bitter disappointment, Arsenal win 4 of the 5 Champions Leagues on offer, as well as 3 Premier League titles. Chelsea have a period of bottom 10 finishes which deeply upsets Terry, whilst over in France, Chamois Niortais begin to try and join the top 3. Don’t worry I’ve never heard of them either.
Loyal Players Remaining: 7
Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Honduras (Gold Cup)

2050-55

With the world still reeling at the fact the Messi has moved from Barcelona, everyone kinda forgets to make any moves. In fact, Messi is the first person to move yet again, leaving Atletico in a very cheap 34.5M move to Man City. Which is more in line with where I originally expected him to go. Abreu finishes one contract, at Hapoel Be’er Sheva, and moves onto the next, but it’s with Monterrey so doesn’t count. Sebastian, it has to be new clubs. John Terry is starting to get frustrated with a Chelsea team that has really fallen from grace. The Londoners barely survive relegation in 2052/53, so Terry may be the next to go. Or maybe I know nothing and it’s completely random.
No-one retires this year, so let’s take a brief look at some statistics of our remaining 7 + Messi. All our players have now reached 1000 appearances, with Bargfrede in last at 1173. Messi has crossed 1000 league goals, now a full 300 clear of the chasing pack of Abreu and Kane. On the international level, Thomas Müller becomes the first player to need a rollover of caps twice, moving on to a massive 524 international caps. But it’s Kane who still leads the international goal stat, nearly breaking 350, a full 50 ahead of the German.
Müller does, however, grab a World Cup win for Germany so I’m sure he won’t be too upset. At least until they’re deposed by Holland 4 years later. On the continental level, Bristol City win another Europa League title beating previous champions Espanyol. Middlesbrough also nearly earn a trophy, having joined Bristol as a top 6 team. But the winner of the biggest shock, although I did say this might happen, goes to Chamois Niortais, who topple the dominance of PSG and Monaco to capture a miraculous Ligue 1 title in the last season of the period.
Loyal Players Remaining: 7
Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Chamois Niortais (Ligue 1), Bristol City/Espanyol (Europa League)

2055-60

The summer window of 2055 opens and as I warned may happen, there’s an almost immediate transfer. Fed up with Chelsea’s mediocre finishes, John Terry decides to move on. Unfortunately for Chelsea fans, Arsenal is his next club, which I’m sure will cause a few shudders. A year later and another move comes around, once again due to unhappiness over the club’s performance. Surprisingly it's Thomas Müller,who's annoyed by the fact that Bayern haven’t won a Bundesliga title since 2048, and so runs down his contract. Leverkusen almost earn his signature, but eventually its the glory of PSG that proves too much to resist. But we’re not done there! Another player runs down their contract, opting to move to Vitoria de Setubal in Portugal. Vincent Manceau finally makes a real move rather than constantly faking me out. So with another 3 players down, we’re left with our final 4. The race for the top 3 is hotting up now!
We do have a retirement this time thanks to the transfer window livening up. The world's best-ever player, Lionel Messi, retires from football. He ends up on a total of 1858 league appearances, scoring a massive 1068 goals in this time. 1430 appearances and 895 goals of those belonging to his 45-year career at Barcelona. On the international scene, he earned an impressive 505 caps and 276 goals. But it’s the awards where he shines. 279 individual awards, 82 team titles, 22 league titles, 6 Champions League titles, 45 Ballon d’Or awards. What makes it even crazier is 41 of those Ballon d’Or awards were in a row, as he earned every single one from 2015 to 2056. I don’t think I’ll see another player like that crop up in any save, truly the world’s best player.
Looking out on the world, I can say that it’s a Chamois Niortais player that breaks Messi’s streak, as the French team claim another two Ligue 1 titles. It’s hard to say they’re a “surprise winner” at this point. Bristol City finally make the full step up to join the big guns, winning 3 Carabao Cups, 1 FA Cup, 2 Premier League titles and even a Champions League trophy. If any Bristol City fans want this save to give themselves hope over the future, I can send it over. Internationally it's the era of Portugal, as they claim both the Euro and World Cup trophies.
Loyal Players Remaining: 4
Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Bristol City (Premier League/Champions League), Lyon (Relegation)

With so few players left, now is probably a good time to speed it up once again. The final four will be tough to budge, so how about we move to 10-year intervals to try and cut down on dead years. And I'll be moving to the comments, because I've hit reddits character limit.
submitted by sonnorcteer to mscalstest [link] [comments]

120 years of AC Milan - a history of red and black football: the lowest of lows and the highest of highs (1980-1989)

The 70s ended in a dreamlike way for the Rossoneri, who in 1979, had conquered their long awaited 10th Scudetto. The departure of coach Liedholm to Roma, Rivera’s retirement and Nereo Rocco’s death have left a sour taste in the mouths of the Milan fans. The Scudetto win gives the fans the hope that the dark tunnel is finally over, however, they could never imagine was coming up…In fact, the 80s will mostly be remembered as a decade of great difficulties. Despite all, the Phoenix called AC Milan will find a way to surge again like it always did.
At the end of the 70s, the president of AC Milan is still Felice Colombo, a president who was more loved by the players and not so much by the fans. In his Milan side, future pillars like the young Franco Baresi will grow. He arrives at the club when he was 14, at the age of 17 he debuts for the club (23th of April 1978, Verona 1-2 Milan), with the nickname ‘Piscinin’ (the short one in Milanese).
Franco Baresi: <>
Alberigo Evani: <>
For the 1979/1980 season, Colombo hires as coach Massimo Giacomini, who instantly had to face difficulties because of the short squad. No notable transfers were made, with Colombo intervening only for a few backup players on the market. The 1979/1980 squad is mostly unchanged compared to the Scudetto winner squad. The results are not disappointing, but the difficulties are still to arrive.
23rd March 1980: at the end of the Serie A matchday, the camions from the Financial Guard (a militarized police force belonging to the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance) enter the pitch. 11 players, 9 from Serie A (Albertosi and Morini from Milan) and 2 from Serie B, and Milan president Felice Colombo have been arrested. This is the start of the Totonero scandal. The accuses are heavy, according to the judges, some players are available to fix the matches in order to bet on them. All started with the denouncement made by 2 bookmakers. Milan are heavily involved in this: Milan – Lazio 2-1 in 1979/1980 was considered a fixed match. The process starts immediately and at least 5 clubs are involved. However, Milan and Lazio will pay the biggest price: relegation to Serie B for the 1980/1981 season.
The Serie B inferno of Milan finishes after a single season, played with the same squad of the 1979/1980 season. In 1981/1982, Milan will play in Serie A. For this season, the management decides to appoint Gigi Radice as coach. From Ascoli, Adelio Moro joins the Rossoneri, while Joe Jordan left Manchester United behind to join the club. The 1981/1982 season is also the first in the club history with a main kit sponsor: Pooh Jeans. In the first 12 matches, Radice’s team won only 6 points.
There is tension in the locker room between the coach and the squad and on top of this, a new management is on the horizon: Felice Colombo sells the club to Giusy Farina, former Vicenza president. Farina’s first move is to fire Gigi Radice and to bring in Italo Galbiati. Milan is in the relegation zone, but thanks to the players and fans, the Rossoneri manage to win a few points and to keep the relegation avoidance dream alive. In the last matchday of the 1981/82 Serie A season, Milan plays against Cesena, while Genoa plays against Napoli.
On the 16th of May 1982, 4 days after the Rossoneri won the Mitropa Cup against Vltkovice (3-0). In 90 mins, the Rossoneri away at Cesena managed to turn around a 2-0 deficit in a 2-3 win, giving false hope to its fans. In Napoli – Genoa, five minutes before the end (the second half had started with a delay), the hosts were sure of a UEFA Cup place even if the game ended in a draw (on par points with Inter, but better H2H record). Genoa on the other hand, were directly fighting against relegation and against Milan. However, Luciano Castellini, Napoli goalkeeper, makes a horrendous mistake 5 minutes before the final whistle, which enables Genoa to equalise (2-2), meaning Milan were relegated, this time on the pitch.
As if things were not complicated enough, the 0-0 between Cagliari and Fiorentina, with the Sardinians in the same relegation fight as Milan, and with the Viola contending the Scudetto against Juventus. Around the 60th minute, Fiorentina have a goal called off by Maurizio Mattei for a dubious foul on Cagliari’s goalie. With Genoa’s defeat and/or Cagliari, Milan would have been safe thanks to the better record in direct matches against both clubs. Back then, the play-out was only used to assign the league winner, while for all other relevant places different criteria were used.
In the 1981/1982, Milan have scored only 21 goals in 30 matches, a negative record in the history of the club, conceded 31 goals, managing to win only 7 matches, draw 10 and lose 13. 15 matches saw Milan unable to score, also down to Joe Jordan’s abysmal form (2 goals in 22 apps). The top scorer of the team is Roberto Antonelli, scoring 4 in 24 matches. Milan was also defeated in both Derbies with Inter (0-1 and 1-2) and against Juventus (0-1, 2-3, with Galderisi and Virdis deciding the games, both were to become Milan players in the future).
For the 1982/1983 season, Farina is trying to keep the morale of the fans high and builds a squad capable of playing spectacular football in Serie B. The new coach is Ilario Castagner. Novellino, Maldera, Antonelli, Buriani leave the club, as well as fresh World Champion Fulvio Collovati, who goes to Inter. In exchange for Collovati, Inter sends 3 players on loan: Canuti, Pasinato, Serena. Franco Baresi, 22 years old, decides to remain with the Rossoneri and is made captain. Mauro Tassotti and Alberigo Evani also decided to stay.
The fanbase understood the delicate moment of the club and Sunday after Sunday, they support and fill up the San Siro (35k on average). Milan triumphantly march back to the Serie A, winning 19 games, drawing 16 and losing only 3 matches, finishing the season with 54 points, 8 more than runners-up Lazio. The Rossoneri scored 77 goals and conceded 36. The 3 defeats of the season came against Cavese at home (draw away), Como and Perugia.
Back in Serie A, the management decides to reinforce the squad, however, some of the transfers like Luther Blissett, will prove to be flops.
Ilario Castagner, Milan coach: <>
Luther Blissett returns to England after his Italian adventure with 30 apps and only 5 goals scored for AC Milan, 8th in the league. By the end of the season, coach Castagner was also sent home by Farina, as the president was convinced the coach had an agreement with Inter for the next season. His replacement is Nils Liedholm, who always responded to the call-up of Milan in its delicate moments. After years of darkness, it’s again a Nils Liedholm return to give hope to Milan and its lovers.
For the 1984/1985 season, the management tries to reinforce the squad even further by bringing in Agostino di Bartolomei, Giuliano Terraneo and Pietro Paolo Virdis. Once again, the foreign transfers come from England: Ray Wilkins and Mark Hateley. The results are improving, proof being the 5th place in the league and the Coppa Italia final lost against Sampdoria. On the 20th of January 1985, in a cold away match at Udinese, 16 year old Paolo Maldini makes his absolute debut for Milan, replacing the injured Sergio Battistini.
The 1984/1985 season brings a great surprise in the Italian football, with Hellas winning the league, 4 points above Torino. After 5 years, Milan returns to play in Europe. The club meant to disappear until Farina is slowly getting back on its feet and starts to dream again. However, these dreams were soon destroyed by a 2-1 home defeat against Waregem, with the fans invading the central tribune and contesting the reign of Farina as president.
The problems were not over for Farina, a few days after the Waregem game, FIGC discovers a series of financial irregularities. Milan risk again as the president did not pay income taxes and Farina resigns. Milan enters a new phase of stall. In order to save the club, a strong, committed entrepreneur was needed. However, no one was willing to enter in such a project and the presidency is given to Rosario Lo Verde. While the negotiations regarding Milan's future continue, 1982 World Cup winner Paolo Rossi joins the club.
Meanwhile, the rumour about Silvio Berlusconi buying AC Milan is becoming more intense. At the first meeting with the Milanista management, Berlusconi presents himself with Adriano Galliani, Fedele Confalonieri and Paolo Berlusconi. The negotiations are long and difficult and go until March 1986, when on the 20th, the big announcement is made: Silvio Berlusconi buys AC Milan from Giusy Farina.
Adriano Galliani: <>.
In that season, Milan did not manage European qualification and was in serious economic trouble, despite its significant brand in Italy. At the end of the season 1986/1987, which saw Milan finish 5th in the league, Berlusconi fires coach Nils Liedholm and interim Fabio Capello and among the general consternation, brings Arrigo Sacchi on Milan's bench. Sacchi, one season earlier, had beaten Milan twice with his Parma team. Sacchi speaks a new language for the Italian football vocabulary, using words like 'pressing', 'offside', 'zone'.
Adriano Galliani: <>
Sacchi's impact with the squad is devastating, with the coach being younger than some of the squad. Omnipresent in any occasion, Sacchi tries to transfer his philosophy to all his players.
Mauro Tassotti: <>
Berlusconi makes his moves on the mercato, looking in the Netherlands. His first acquisition from abroad is a giant with dreadlocks, powerful, strong and innovative player: Ruud Gullit. Born in the Netherlands as a libero, Sacchi transformed him into a striker, therefore exploiting his imponent physique. Brought by Berlusconi for 13 bilion Italian liras, the 1987 Ballon d’Or’s transfer was a record at that time.
Sacchi: <>
Besides Gullit, two other fantastic Dutch players were brought in by the new management: striker Marco van Basten. While Gullit was the main star transfer of the summer, Van Basten, called the Swan of Utrecht was brought for a less considerable sum: 1.8 billion lire. The third Dutchman joining Berlusconi's new Milan is central defender (later morphed into midfielder by Sacchi) is Frank Rijkaard, one season later in 1988.
Van Basten was first noticed in Italy during a friendly tournament organized by Inter.
Sandro Mazzola: <<An indoor tournament which saw Milan, Inter, Ajax and a Greek team. Cruyff told me that he will bring a 15 year old who sometimes gets minutes in the first team. Also, he told me this kid will be the Cruyff of the 80s, that kid was Marco Van Basten. We had insantly understood we were in front of a fuoriclasse.>>
In the final hours of the mercato, Sacchi and Berlusconi make the last intervention on the market: to cement the midfield, Carlo Ancelotti is bought from Roma.
Carlo Ancelotti: <>
Arrigo Sacchi: <>
Arrigo Sacchi: <>
The fans understand this might be the moment to change page: as it did not happen for years, Milan beats any record of season ticket holders, Sunday after Sunday 65k fans show up at San Siro and help the players towards their objectives. With the new and young squad, enriched by the transfers of the 3 Dutchmen, Angelo Colombo and Carlo Ancelotti, Sacchi can fight for the Scudetto against holders Napoli in the season 1987/88. The season starts with a 3-1 away win at Pisa, where Van Basten scored a penalty on his debut. This is followed by a defeat against Sporting Gijon in Spain in the UEFA Cup, which made Berlusconi grow some doubts over Sacchi. However, in the 2nd leg played at Via del Mare in Lecce, the Rossoneri win 3-0. In the 5th matchday, against Sampdoria, Van Basten gets injured which will keep him out until April. However, the final rush sees van Basten recover to help his teammates in the match of the 1st of May 1988, away at Napoli, with Milan being behind of the Partenopei by 1 point. The game is epic, San Paolo was boiling.
In the 36th minute, Virdis manages to sneak the ball past the Napoli goalkeeper, giving Milan a precious lead. Maradona equalises from a free-kick in the last minute of the first half.
Sacchi: <>
In the second half, Napoli are pushed into their box by Milan, giving the impression to have renounced fighting. Virdis scores the 2-1 for Milan in the 68th minute, then Van Basten makes it 3-1 8 minutes later and Careca closes the gap in the 78th minute. Two draws against Juventus and Como give the Rossoneri the 11th Scudetto of their history.
Galliani: <>
  • Serie A 1987/1988 winners (4-4-2): Giovanni Galli; Mauro Tassotti, Filippo Galli, Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini; Roberto Donadoni, Angelo Colombo, Carlo Ancelotti, Alberigo Evani; Pietro Paolo Virdis, Ruud Gullit.
  • Bench: Daniele Massaro, Mario Bortolazzi, Roberto Mussi, Marco van Basten, Alessandro Costacurta, Walter Bianchi, Rufo Emiliano Verga, Massimiliano Capellini, Graziano Mannari.
  • Coach: Arrigo Sacchi
Milan is back to being a stellar team, the best in Italy and ready to show its worth in Europe as well. The city of Milan went crazy. But now, the objective is of a totally different magnitude: after having proven their value in Italy, the Rossoneri were now looking to become the best of Europe. The Fusignano Prophet, Arrigo Sacchi must prove that his revolutionary ideas are applicable in continental cups as well and Milan must continue winning.
Mauro Tassotti: <>
The path of the 1988/1989 European Cup starts against the Bulgarian team Vitosha Sofia. After the 2-0 registered away, the Rossoneri win 5-2 at San Siro, on the 6th of October 1988. It’s a spectacular team with Van Basten shining (he had scored 4 in that game).
Marco van Basten: <>
Alberigo Evani: <>
Therefore, the fan favorite is now the Utrecht Swan, Marco van Basten, who at the end of 1988, receives the Ballon d’Or from France Football. The first of his career, the first of the three which he will have won in the 5 years.
In the second round of the European Cup, Sacchi’s Milan play against the strong Yugoslavian team of Crvena Zvezda. After the 1-1 in San Siro, the Rossoneri fly to Belgrade at the Marakana, packed with 120 000 people in the stands, under an incredible fog.
Arrigo Sacchi: <>
The Rossoneri struggle to get on the rhythm of Red Star, in the second half, a Dejan Savicevic goal freezes the hopes of Milan. The match does not go beyond a 1-0 scoreline, but the fog was so thick that when the referee expels Virdis for a foul, no one from the 2 benches realises this had happened. The match is suspended and the two teams will play against each other the following day at 13:00.
Arrigo Sacchi: <>
Milan wins after a penalty shoot-out (5-3, 1-1 after 120 mins) thanks to the final penalty of the new Dutchman, Frank Rijkaard. With Gullit and van Basten in attack and Rijkaard in the midfield, the trifecta is now complete. Forty years after, Milan are reaching for eternal glory thanks to another trio, from the Swedish GreNoLi to the flying Dutchmen.
After kicking out Werder Bremen, Milan are now playing against Real Madrid, famous for their Quinta del Buitre, the 5 stars of Real Madrid: Butragueno, Sanchis, Vazquez, Michel and Pardeza.
Alberigo Evani: <>
The second leg, 19th of April 1989, Milan were going to write one of the most beautiful pages in the club’s history. For the first time, an Italian team was capable to dominate Real Madrid from start to finish, to hurt them and to scare them. Sacchi’s machine wins 5-0 against the Blancos, thanks to goals from Ancelotti, Rijkaard, Gullit, van Basten and Donadoni.
Arrigo Sacchi: <>
Thanks to this 5-0 win, Milan is now in the Olympus of the greats. In that win, Sacchi gave a young Alessandro Costacurta his debut as a central defender, moving Rijkaard up the pitch and put Ancelotti, the most hard working and humble, on the left wing. With this trashing win, Real Madrid symbolically give Milan the recognition of the best team in the world.
Berlusconi: <> Milan are now in the European Cup final which they will have to play against the Romanian team of Steaua Bucharest, at Camp Nou, in Barcelona.
Arrigo Sacchi: <>
The final is epic, on the 24th of May 1986, 80 thousand Rossoneri leave Milan and follow the team to Barcelona. Never ever in the history of football such an exodus was seen.
Arrigo Sacchi: <<The most emotional moment in my life, just like for the players, was seeing all those away fans with us, gathering 80 000 fans with us was spectacular.>>
Galliani: <<A Camp Nou completely in Rossonero, because Steaua could not buy tickets because of serious problems in Romania. There were people in Barcelona who arrived without a match ticket just to live and breath the atmosphere. I remember the night before the final that the fans carried me on their backs on the Ramblas, that was a truly unforgettable emotion.>>
LINE-UPS
  • MILAN (4-4-2): Giovanni Galli; Mauro Tassotti, Franco Baresi ©, Alessandro Costacurta, Paolo Maldini; Angelo Colombo, Frank Rijkaard, Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Donadoni; Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten.
  • Bench: Davide Pinato, Filippo Galli, Roberto Mussi, Alberigo Evani, Pietro Paolo Virdis.
  • Coach: Arrigo Sacchi
  • Steaua (4-4-2): Silviu Lung; Dan Petrescu, Stefan Iovan, Adrian Bumbescu, Nicolae Ungureanu; Daniel Minea, Tudorel Stoica ©, Gheorghe Hagi, Iosif Rotariu; Marius Lacatus, Victor Piturca.
  • Bench: Gheorghe Liliac, Petre Bunaciu, Gavril Balint, Lucian Balan, Adrian Negrau.
  • Coach: Anghel Iordanescu.
Steaua were one of the big teams of Europe in the late 80s, winning the European Cup in 1986 against Barcelona on Spanish soil and reaching the semi-finals in 1988. But not even the genius of Hagi, the grit of Lacatus or the tactical prowess of the Romanians could not stop Sacchi’s football machine led by the 3 Dutchmen. Once again, AC Milan break the paradigms of Italian football and show to the world that beautiful football can also be efficient.
Sacchi in his book ‘Calcio Totale’ tells us how before the game he read an excerpt from a Gianni Brera article saying: <>
The first reply came from Ruud Gullit: <>
Sacchi: <>
And so it was, Milan asphalted Steaua from the first until the last minute, winning 4-0 thanks to 2 goals from Van Basten (18’, 38’) and Gullit (28’, 46’)., winning their 3rd European Cup and the first in the Berlusconi era.
The appointments of this Milan start chaining with a straining consistency. In November 1989, Milan returns to Camp Nou, where earlier that year the team was crowned European champions, to play the European Super Cup final against the local team, FC Barcelona.
Adriano Galliani: <>
The first leg finished 1-1, with van Basten scoring for the Rossoneri. On the 7th of December, the second leg takes place at San Siro. The game was not charming, but it ends with the 1-0 victory thanks to a goal from Evani. Milan win the European Super Cup.
Mauro Tassotti: <>
In December 1989, France Football awards Dutch forward Marco van Basten the second Ballon d’Or. In that edition of the Ballon d’Or, the entire podium was once again formed only by AC Milan players, as van Basten was followed by Baresi and Rijkaard in the standings this time.
10 days later, the Rossoneri fly to Tokyo to play the Intercontinental Cup final against Atletico National Medellin from Colombia, winners of the 1989 Libertadores.
Daniele Massaro: <>
Mauro Tassotti: <>
The game was completely dull, with the South Americans sitting back trying to fend off all the Milan attacks. Their plans are undone in the 118th minute when Van Basten earns a free-kick on the outside of the box. Donadoni goes to kick it, but Alberigo Evani asks him to do so.
Alberigo Evani: <>
The shot was perfect and the ball went past Higuita. Milan are 1-0 up with one minute to go from the Intercontinental Cup final in Tokyo.
Adriano Galliani: <>
Arrigo Sacchi: <>
This was the third international trophy won by AC Milan in 1989, Milan were on the top of the world...
submitted by Alessio_Romagnoli13 to ACMilan [link] [comments]

120 years of AC Milan - a history of red and black football: one last spark, the end of the Berlusconi era and the provincialization (2009-2019) - part 1

In January 2009, Milan are third after having lost precious points away at Juventus and Palermo, with a 9 point gap between leaders Inter, but only 3 points behind Juventus. In the UEFA Cup, Milan beat Zurich in the first round (4-1 agg.) and finished first and unbeaten in Group E, against Heerenveen, Portsmouth and Braga.
Moreover, the winter mercato brings a big name signing: David Beckham joins on loan from LA Galaxy. However, this is not enough to prevent the team went into a crisis of results despite the many goals scored by young Alexandre Pato: The double draw with Werder Bremen, the future finalist of the tournament, ousted the Rossoneri from the UEFA Cup already in the last 16 - although unbeaten in the tournament - for the first time in its history, AC Milan were forced out of a European competition after two draws (1-1 in Bremen, 2-2 in Milan), due to the rule of goals away from home. The UEFA Cup thus remains the only official competition in which the club has participated that failed to win. For the fourth time in as many appearances in this tournament under Berlusconi's management, AC Milan was eliminated from the losing finalist club and for the first time in its history was ousted from a European competition for the away goals rule.
In the league, meanwhile, the home draw against Reggina last in the standings and the defeats in the derby against Inter (2-1) and away against Sampdoria push AC Milan, at the beginning of March, to twelve points away from the leaders of the tournament and to lose much of the advantage accumulated over the other contenders in third place, the last valid for direct entry to the Champions League the following year.
The team then recovered and won 23 points out of the 27 available, seven wins and two draws obtained thanks also to Inzaghi's scoring streak, finding itself four rounds away from the end of the championship, second to seven points from Inter (who will win the Scudetto two matchdays later), and four points ahead of Juventus before the home match, which was then tied 1-1. In the following games AC Milan lost 1-2 at Udine, a match that mathematically handed the Scudetto to Inter two matchdays in advance. The 3-2 defeat at home with Roma ended a series of nine consecutive useful results (seven wins and two draws. On the last day, with a victory in the away match in Florence, get their third place in the standings at 74 points (due to the results of the direct clashes with Juventus, which ended on equal points), a victory that allows the Rossoneri to directly access the Champions League 2009-2010 group stage.
Paolo Maldini retires from football after winning the Milan 7 Scudetti, 1 Coppa Italia, 5 Italian Super Cups, 5 Champions League, 5 UEFA Super Cups, 2 Intercontinental Cups and one World Cup for clubs. The match played at Franchi is the last official match of Paolo Maldini, who retires after 25 seasons and 902 appearances (club record), and the last with Ancelotti on the Rossoneri bench after eight years. The match against the Tuscans saw the return to the pitch of the injured Alessandro Nesta, making his debut in the 2008-2009 league. As happened in honour of Franco Baresi in 1997, the number 3 jersey, worn for years by Maldini, was retired. The captain's armband is passed to Massimo Ambrosini, the player with the most seasons in red and black from the entire squad.
In the league, AC Milan can boast the best attack with Inter (70 goals) and the second best defence in the tournament (35 goals conceded), the team's most prolific scorer is Kaká (16 goals), while Pato is the best scorer of the season with 18 goals between Serie A and the UEFA Cup. A.C. Milan is the league's most watched team in its stadium, with an average of 59,731 fans per match.
In the 2009/2010 season, for the succession of Ancelotti the club decided to bet on the former Rossoneri player and manager Leonardo, at the first experience on the bench, while a few days later Kaká, after six seasons with Milan, was sold to Real Madrid for 65 million euros. The sale was made in order to balance the club's balance sheet. This decision aroused widespread disagreement among the fans.
The club decided not to reinvest the sum collected for the sale of Kaká, and allocated it to the heal the books of the club. The Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and the defender Oguchi Onyewu (who, after an injury, will give up on the wage as Redondo did a few years before) and the co-ownership of the full-back Ignazio Abate is solved. Andriy Shevchenko returned to Chelsea after a season in which he scored two goals (in the Coppa Italia and UEFA), while Yoann Gourcuff was sold definitively to Bordeaux.
In the first game of the season, Milan beat Siena 2-1 away but the following week they collapsed against Inter in the Milan derby, losing 0-4 (a defeat margin that hadn't occurred in 35 years). In the following five games, AC Milan only got one win, 3 draws and 2 defeats: as a result, the team was heavily criticised. A.C. Milan then managed to recover thanks in part to the tactical breakthrough that took place on the eighth day of the match against Roma, consisting of a three-foward line-up (Ronaldinho, Borriello, Pato) in front of the trequartista Seedorf. The team was thus able to enter the fight at the top of the championship and, in mid-March, it moved to a point of detachment from Inter, the leader. From that moment on the Rossoneri team, without the injured Nesta, Beckham and Pato, lost ground and missed out on the Nerazzurri at Milan-Napoli (1-1).
The match against Roma was followed by 8 matches without losing, in addition, thanks to the victory over Catania, AC Milan climb above Roma in the standings, coming in 2nd place, behind Inter. On day 16 the Rossoneri were defeated 2-0 at home by Palermo in the last match of 2009. AC Milan then bid farewell to 2010 with an overwhelming 5-2 over Genoa, after which they defeated Juventus 3-0 in Turin. winning for the second time in Turin since the turn of the millennium. The Rossoneri are therefore considered as the most suited opponents to compete against Inter for the Scudetto, but in the second derby of the season the Nerazzurri rivals win 2-0. After 2 draws, with Livorno and Bologna, AC Milan return to victory with Udinese, and in the following 4 games they get 3 wins and a draw, bringing themselves down to -1 from Inter, thus rekindling Scudetto hopes. The draw against Napoli, followed by 3 defeats, 2 victories and 2 draws, also thanks to the good performances of Roma and Inter, however, definitively distances the Rossoneri from the Scudetto dream; AC Milan finish the championship in third place, winning the direct qualification to the Champions League 2010-2011.
Leonardo, at the end of the campaign, decided to leave AC Milan. During the last match of the championship (won 3-0 against Juventus), the fans gave him a warm round of applause. In the following season Leonardo moved on to coach Inter, a situation that hadn't happened since 1984, when Ilario Castagner went to coach the Nerazzurri in the season after he was firedfrom AC Milan.
In the Champions League, the Rossoneri were drawn in group C with Real Madrid, Marseille and Zurich. On their return to the Champions League, AC Milan beat Marseille in France 2-1 with a brace by Filippo Inzaghi, but in the following match they suffered a home defeat by Zurich, who won 1-0 in Milan. Milan then won a historic 3-2 victory over Real Madrid : the Rossoneri had never beaten Real at the Bernabéu. This result was followed by 3 draws, all 1-1.
After passing the group phase (finished 2nd), AC Milan qualified for the eighth finals in which they faced the English champions of Manchester United. The first match, which took place in Milan, closed 3-2 in favour of the English. In the return match in Manchester, after a decent start, the team collapsed and ended up losing 4-0. Milan, who conceded 7 goals in a two-legged match in European competitions, equaled their previous negative record, established in the eighth finals of the 1959-1960 Champions Cup, when they lost 0-2 at home and 1-5 away against Barcelona.
After the third place achieved in the 2009-10 championship, Milan changes coach: to replace the resigning Leonardo, is called the former Cagliari coach Massimiliano Allegri. As far as the squad is concerned, the Rossoneri management is called to face numerous departures: in fact, the forwards Huntelaar and Borriello, the goalkeeper Dida, the defenders Kaladze and Favalli (who announced his retirement) leave the club. To make up for the absences, Amelia, Yepes and Papastathopoulos are brought in. The most important arrivals are concentrated, however, in the market closing: for the midfield Kevin-Prince Boateng is brought while for the offensive department the reinforcements are Zlatan Ibrahimović from Barcelona and Robinho from Manchester City, operations that cost the club 42 million euros in total.
Milan make their league debut with a clear 4-0 victory against Lecce, a match in which Inzaghi scored his 122nd goal for the Rossoneri. On the second matcday,on the field of the newly promoted Cesena, absent in the top tier since 1991, Milan lose 2-0. On their debut in the group stage of the Champions League, a brace by Ibrahimović was worth the victory against Auxerre. Another goal by the Swede means, moreover, the return to winning ways in the league in the match against Genoa: the victory against the Ligurians is followed by another 3 wins, while in Europe the Devil draws against Ajax and is then defeated by Real Madrid. In the return match against Blancos, Allegri's team are behind at half-time but then manage to comeback with two goals by Inzaghi: in extra-time, however, the Spaniards find the final 2-2.
In the next round of the Serie A, AC Milan obtained a success that - in the end - will prove to be fundamental: the 2-3 obtained in Bari coincides with Allegri's tactical innovation that will be a turning point. Moving from the initial 4-3-3 to 4-3-1-2 in which the center line is mainly composed of midfielders: a solid defense and the muscular midfield represent the strengths of the line-up, which also includes a trequartista (Seedorf or Boateng) to support Ibrahimović and Robinho.The team thus finds the right tactical balance, obtaining the solitary command (which will no longer be lost until the end of the tournament) in November. The adoption of this module leads to the progressive exclusion of Ronaldinho, who will be sold out in the winter market.
The Rossoneri therefore pass the group stage of the highest European competition, entering the eighth finals. The calendar year was concluded by a defeat against Roma, caused by the net of the former Borriello. The team from Milan still won the winter title, closing the first leg with a 4 point lead over Napoli. The January window then saw the club make further signings to make up for the numerous injuries that hit the midfield, such as Antonio Cassano, Mark van Bommel or Urby Emanuelson.
The Champions League knockout draw pitted the Devil against Tottenham, who came out on top in the first leg with Crouch's goal. After the final whistle, Gattuso was involved in a physical clash with Joe Jordan (opposing vice coach and, moreover, former Milan player): UEFA severely punished the fact, disqualifying the midfielder for 5 games.
In Serie A, the victory in the direct clash with the Neapolitans was decisive: the 3-0 sent Napoli down to -6. In Europe, however, the team could not overturn the disadvantage: the return match with the Spurs ends 0-0, which caused the elimination from the tournament.
Another false step was recorded on March 19, 2011, when Allegri's men were mocked by Palermo: the defeat with the Sicilians allowed Inter to close the gap. The Madonnina's Derby, played in the following round, gave the decisive turning point: the 3-0 achieved by the Rossoneri brings the margin over their rivals back to 5 points. Another victory, with the same result, at Sampdoria's expense, allows to increase the gap to 8 points; it follows the first leg of the Italian Cup semifinals, in which Milan is forced by Palermo to draw.
The decisive step towards the Scudetto is moved at the beginning of May, with the 0-0 at Roma, assures the first place 2 matchdays before the end of the season. The possibility to win Coppa Italia vanished, after a 4-3 aggregate loss against Palermo. In Serie A, the Rossoneri finish the tournament on 82 points. This is the 18th Scudetto for the club, won 7 years after the last one.
The main operations of the 2012 summer market session concern the recruitment of defenders Philippe Mexès and Taye Taiwo (both at parameter zero), 19-year-old forward Stephan El Shaarawy and midfielders Alberto Aquilani (on loan) and Antonio Nocerino. Among the players leaving AC Milan, in addition to Andrea Pirlo (released), are defenders Marek Jankulovski, Nicola Legrottaglie and Massimo Oddo and midfielder Alexander Merkel. Mattia De Sciglio joined the first team this season.
The Rossoneri won the sixth Italian Super Cup in their history on the following 6 August in Beijing with a 2-1 win against Inter, thanks to goals from Zlatan Ibrahimović and Kevin-Prince Boateng. After this triumph, AC Milan once again became the team to hold the record for success in this competition. The start of the championship, which began with a 2-2 draw at San Siro against Lazio is underpar just like in the previous season, and only at the end of October, despite some direct clashes lost, the team saw the top of the standings again. The Rossoneri won in fact only one of the first five matches, being defeated also in Turin by Juventus, future winner of the tournament. In the meantime in the Champions League AC Milan won the qualification to the round of 16 with two rounds ahead, finishing 2nd in group H behind Barcelona (with whom they lost 3-2 at home and tied 2-2 at Camp Nou) and ahead of Viktoria Plzeň and BATE Borisov both beaten 2-0 at San Siro.
Until the Christmas break, Milan chain 12 consecutive useful results (10 wins and 2 draws) between the 7th and 17th day, including the victory in Lecce where, under three goals in the first half, he manages to overturn the result winning 4-3, and the subsequent recovery of the first round, which enable to reach Juventus at the top of the standings. The stay at the top of the standings in cohabitation with the Turin team lasted only for two days as, in the 18th round played on January 15, 2012, the Rossoneri lost the derby to Inter 0-1 (first defeat of the season at home) while the Bianconeri drew at the Juventus Stadium with Cagliari and separated AC Milan by one point.On the following 22nd January, with a 3-0 win at home against Novara, the Rossoneri finished the first half of the season in 2nd place with 12 wins, 4 draws and 3 defeats, scoring 40 goals and suffering 17. In the winter market the team was strengthened mainly with the grafts of Sulley Muntari, Maxi López and Djamel Mesbah.
On the following 22nd January, with a 3-0 win at home against Novara, the Rossoneri finished in 2nd place in the first half of the season with 12 wins, 4 draws and 3 defeats, scoring 40 goals and suffering 17. In the winter market the team was strengthened mainly with the grafts of Sulley Muntari, Maxi López and Djamel Mesbah.
On February 15, 2012 AC Milan played in San Siro the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Arsenal, winning the match 4-0 thanks to Kevin-Prince Boateng's goal, Robinho's one-two and a penalty kick by Zlatan Ibrahimović. In the return match played the following 6 March at Emirates Stadium in London, the Rossoneri were defeated 3-0, but due to the result of the first leg they qualified for the quarter-finals of the competition, where they will meet FC Barcelona. After the 0-0 draw at San Siro, the Rossoneri are defeated 3-1 in Barcelona, resulting in the elimination from the competition.
Meanwhile, in Italy, the long-distance duel with the Old Lady continues. In the second half of the season, the Rossoneri collect 3 victories in 5 games losing against Lazio and drawing against Napoli but thanks to 3 draws made by Juventus, AC Milan arrives on the eve of the direct clash on equal points with them. The direct clash of the 25th day ends 1-1: on 1-0 for the Rossoneri a ghost goal was not validated to the newly-acquired Muntari, for this reason the match will unleash a lot of controversy. Despite the draw in the clash at the top, AC Milan manages to take the lead in the following day and extend to + 4 in the matchday after when the Bianconeri are stopped by two draws.
In a crucial moment of the season, AC Milan lost one of its defensive pillars, Thiago Silva, due to injury, and it suffers its absence also because of the problems that afflict other pillars of the Rossoneri (in particular the continuous muscular problems of Pato and Boateng, Gattuso's optic nerve problems and Cassano's heart disease). A draw with Catania and a defeat with Fiorentina send Juventus back on top. In the following two matchdays the gap between the two teams remains unchanged with Juventus 1 point ahead of AC Milan, thanks to the victories of both teams with Lazio and Cesena and with Chievo and Genoa respectively. The turning point came on 22 April 2012 when, due to the Rossoneri's home draw against Bologna and the Bianconeri's subsequent victory over Roma, the team from Turin took a 3-point lead; the Bianconeri's draw at Juventus Stadium against Lecce was worthless, as the Milanese defeat 4-2 in the derby on the following day mathematically handed the Scudetto to the Bianconeri.
On the 13th of May 2012, on the last day (home win against Novara 2-1) the fans say goodbye to important players of past seasons such as Gattuso, Filippo Inzaghi, Nesta, Seedorf, Zambrotta, van Bommel, the first four after thirteen, eleven and ten (both) years of career in AC Milan, with Inzaghi at the 300th game with the Rossoneri jersey greeting his audience with a decisive goal.
In the league, Milan won 80 points, 2 less than the previous year, thanks to 24 wins (this season's Serie A record), 8 draws and 6 defeats, with 74 goals scored (this season's Serie A record) and 33 conceded, with a total of 30 wins, 13 draws and 10 defeats, with 100 goals scored (the third best season of the Berlusconi era in this respect) and 54 conceded. The Rossoneri Zlatan Ibrahimović also won the title of top scorer in Serie A with 28 goals scored (the first player to win it with two different teams), although for the first time since he was in Italy he failed to celebrate his national title. Behind him, one of the best Rossoneri scorers is Antonio Nocerino with 11 goals.
The main incoming football deals of the 2012 summer are goalkeeper Gabriel, defenders Francesco Acerbi and Cristián Zapata, midfielders Kévin Constant, Nigel de Jong, Riccardo Montolivo and Bakaye Traoré and strikers Bojan Krkić, M'Baye Niang and Giampaolo Pazzini. Genoa also resolved the participation of Stephan El Shaarawy, who became the exclusive property of the Rossoneri club.
Allegri's team, after losing other important players such as Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Antonio Cassano (the first two sold to Paris Saint-Germain for budgetary reasons, which causes bad moods among some fans who come to ask for reimbursement of season tickets already taken out, while the third at Inter), in the start of the season struggled to find useful results, losing in his championship debut at San Siro against Sampdoria 1-0, and drawing 0-0 in the first match of the Champions League group stage against Anderlecht.
AC Milan wins only 7 points in the first 8 games, this is the worst start of the season from 1941-1942 to date and reaches the third last place in the standings. After some swinging results, except for a string of five consecutive useful results (4 wins and 1 draw) between the 13th and 17th day of the season, with a 1-0 win against Juventus in the middle. The Rossoneri finished the first half of the season in 7th place with 30 points (-9 from 3rd place), thanks to 9 wins, 3 draws and 7 defeats, with 36 goals scored and 26 conceded. In this team, strongly revolutionized in terms of roster, it's the young El Shaarawy who leads the league table of Serie A scorers from the first days until the beginning of January, when he is overtaken by Cavani. In the Champions League, Milan managed to pass the round as the 2nd place in their group one round early, also thanks to the external victory in the 5th day on the field of Anderlecht (3-1), placing themselves behind the debutant Málaga with whom they drew and and lost. In the eighth final, the draw balls of Nyon reserves Barcelona for the Devil.
In the January market, Milan sold Pato after 5 seasons, some of which were characterized by continuous injuries. Emanuelson (on loan), Acerbi and Mesbah also left the club: the latter was included in an operation that brought Cristian Zaccardo into the rossonero. Three days after the negotiations closed, from Manchester City, Mario Balotelli arrived and made his debut five days later at the San Siro, scoring two goals against Udinese.
After eliminating Reggina at home, the Milan play against Juventus in the next Coppa Italia round. In the match in Turin, AC Milan lost to the Bianconeri 2-1, after goals from Stephan El Shaarawy and Sebastian Giovinco in the first half and Mirko Vučinić in extra time, leaving the competition.
After the home victory over Parma and the simultaneous defeats of Inter and Lazio, Milan reach the 3rd place in the standings, (since the previous year the third place was granting for the qualification to the preliminary round of the Champions League 2013-2014). Balotelli's contribution is fundamental, scoring 12 times in 13 games.
In the Champions League, after the 2-0 first leg in San Siro against Barcelona, the Rossoneri came out of the competition due to a 4-0 defeat at Camp Nou in the return match. It was the fourth elimination in the Champions League round of 16 in AC Milan's last five appearances, and the fifth time in the last six editions of the European Cups that the Rossoneri were ousted in the first knockout round.
On 21 April 2013, with a 1-0 defeat against Juventus, AC Milan interrupted a series of 14 consecutive results (9 wins and 5 draws, the last defeat on 22 December 2012 against Roma),
On the following 5 May, thanks to a 1-0 home win against Torino on the 35th day, AC Milan went up to +4 on the 4th place occupied by the Viola, defeated at the Franchi against Roma (0-1). In the following two rounds Fiorentina chewed the Rossoneri 2 points, thanks to two victories with Siena and Palermo with AC Milan winning 0-4 against Pescara but drawing 0-0 at home against Roma. The Diavolo managed to maintain the gap on the last day of the season, with AC Milan coming back from the win in Siena against the Bianconeri (1-2) and the Viola in Pescara (1-5). Milan, then, entered the Champions League preliminaries for the 2013/2014 season.
In addition to Ambrosini, the club does not renew the contracts of Yepes and Flamini, sendsTraoré on loan, does not redeem Bojan and exchanges Antonini for the genoan Valter Birsa. In addition, Andrea Poli, Alessandro Matri and Kaká: the Brazilian midfielder returns to AC Milan after four years.
After finishing 3rd in the previous league, the Milanese team is busy in the Champions League play-offs against the Dutch team PSV Eindhoven.The first leg of the match takes place on 20 August 2013 at Philips Stadion and ends with a score of 1-1. In the meantime AC Milan started the league with a defeat, the one arrived on the Hellas Verona field 2-1: Luca Toni, who scored two goals on a header, replied to Andrea Poli. The match is also the 4,000th official match played by the Rossoneri.On August 28th the Milan club qualified for the group stage of the Champions League, beating PSV 3-0 at the San Siro thanks to brace by Kevin-Prince Boateng, who was sold in the last days of the transfer window. In the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, Milan will play against Celtic, Ajax and Barcelona.
On September 1, 2013 comes the first victory in the league, at San Siro against Cagliari 3-1. It is the third time under Allegri that AC Milan lose in the first two matches of this season and it is the first time since the end of the 1930s (1938 and 1939) that they lose the first league match twice in a row.
A.C. Milan, riddled with injuries in the first half of the season, with 9 points (the result of 2 wins, 3 draws and 1 defeat), entered the Champions League round of 16 as runners-up from the group stage. In particular the Rossoneri passed the round thanks to a double victory with Celtic, one draw and one defeat with Barcelona (seventh and eighth match with the Catalans in two years) and two draws with Ajax. The opponents drawn in Nyon on 16 December 2013 for the round of 16 are the Spanish side of Atlético Madrid, a team never previously faced by AC Milan in UEFA club competitions.
On December 19, 2013, the Board of Directors of Milan, which met at the new registered office of the club, located in Via Aldo Rossi, 8 Milan, unanimously approved the new organizational structure of the company, which provides for the division of the company's functions/directions into two areas, the first relating to technical and sporting activities, which continues to answer to Adriano Galliani as vice president and CEO, the second, which includes all company functions/directions not related to the first, which responds to the new vice president and CEO Barbara Berlusconi. This was followed on 31 December by the resignation of sports director Ariedo Braida, who left the club after 28 years. On 6 January against Atalanta, Kaká scored his 100th goal in the Rossoneri jersey, while Allegri celebrated his 100th victory in Serie A. Milan finished their first half of the Serie A season with 22 points, finishing 11th. Because of these results, and in particular the 4-3 defeat on 12 January 2014 against Sassuolo, the club decided to dismiss coach Massimiliano Allegri.
With Tassotti on the bench, on 15 January AC Milan overcame the eighth round of the Coppa Italia, beating La Spezia 3-1 at San Siro.The following day the club announced the name of the new coach, Dutchman Clarence Seedorf, already a Rossoneri player and until that moment, playing for Botafogo. Seedorf's AC Milan made their debut with a league victory over Verona.
The return round continues with alternating results and the team is unable to move up from the lower-middle zones of the standings. Milan were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia at the hands of Udinese, who had eliminated Inter in the previous round, winning at the San Siro 2-1. In the Champions League too, the Rossoneri team did not pass the round (for the fourth time in the last five appearances), being defeated by Atlético Madrid both in the first leg at the San Siro 0-1 and in the return leg at the Calderón 4-1 (goal scored by Kaka). In the next match, lost 4-2 at San Siro against Parma, the team was contested by the fans. Later the club, thanks to 5 consecutive victories between the end of March and April and a derby victory,almost three years after its last success against Inter, ended the championship in eighth place on 57 points, and remained out of UEFA competitions after fifteen consecutive seasons in Europe (record number of consecutive European cup appearances in the club's history). On May 19, "Casa Milan", the new headquarters of the Rossoneri is inaugurated in Via Aldo Rossi.
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[Pre Match Thread] - Bayern München vs Juventus - [Champions League - Round of 16 - Leg 2]

F.C. Bayern München vs. Juventus F.C.
Competition : Champions League - Round of 16 – Leg 2
Aggregate Score - Bayern München 2 - 2 Juventus (Leg 1)
Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Date: Wednesday, 16 March
Kick-off : 19:45 GMT | 20:45 CET | 14:45 Central USA
Referee : J. Eriksson
Assistants : M. Klasenius, D. Wärnmark
Fourth official : M. Culum
F.C. Bayern München
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Line Up – Neuer, Benatia, Ribéry, Lewandowski, Costa, Alonso, Lahm, Vidal, Müller, Alaba, Kimmich
Substitutes - Ulreich, Thiago, Rafinha, Bernat, Götze, Rode, Coman
Sidelined – Boateng (adductors), Badstuber (ankle), Robben (cold)
Form Guide
All competitions - D W L D W
Champions League - L W W W D
Weekend Result - Bayern 5-0 Bremen (Thiago Alcántara 9 90, Müller 31 65, Lewandowski 86) - Kingsley Coman set up two for Thiago Alcántara and the first of two for Thomas Müller, with Robert Lewandowski – on as substitute – scoring Bayern's fourth as they ended a two-game wait for a Bundesliga win.
Pre-Match Press Conference Statements
We have to accept the result of the first leg. I would have preferred 5-0 but now we have to deal with it. Juventus are Juventus, with their own special spirit. The situation is the same as ever: Juve will be very strong opponents.
I know the Italian mentality, it has won them so many trophies. They wait for their moment. They know how to defend and how to score goals. After the first game, my appreciation and respect for Juve is even greater.
Juve can defend with ten men, with concentration and focus. I don't like this style of play, but I am impressed by the way they do it. They can also keep the ball with players like Paul Pogba, and they can attack. Juve can always score goals. We really will need to be at our best to win. We're all looking forward to this 'final'.
Josep Guardiola
Juventus F.C.
Manager: Massimiliano Allegri
Line Up– Buffon, Alex Sandro, Barzagli, Bonucci, Lichtsteiner, Evra, Khedira, Pogba, Hernanes, Morata, Cuadrado
Substitutes - Neto, Rugani, Asamoah, Sturaro, Pereyra, Zaza, Mandžukić
Sidelined – Cáceres (Achilles), Marchisio (calf), Dybala (calf), Chiellini (calf)
Form Guide
All competitions - D W W W W
Champions League - D D W L D
Weekend Result - Juventus 1-0 Sassuolo (Dybala 36) - Dybala's 14th league goal of the season proved enough as Juventus saw out the match to become the first team in history to keep ten consecutive Serie A clean sheets.
Pre-Match Press Conference Statements
We have to play a perfect game tomorrow. If we are not able to do so, it will be very difficult. We know Bayern are a team that normally take control of the game, 60 to 70% of the time.
Of course it is a pity that we have some injury problems. But we cannot risk anything with those lads, there are many other, very important, games for us in Serie A and the Coppa Italia.
Mandžukić is an extraordinary player. We will decide tomorrow if he will play or not. He trained well, but we do not know yet if he is going to play from the start. There are two players missing – this is not a drama, but of course it is sad. A drama for me is something else in life ...
It is possible Bayern are underestimating Juventus. But I don't think so, they have lots of respect for us, as we do have for them. We have to be very careful and try to be the better team tomorrow. It is as simple as that.
Massimiliano Allegri
HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL TIME
F.C. Bayern München vs Juventus F.C.
4 WINS 3
2 DRAWS 2
13 GOALS 8
ODDS
Book Bayern DRAW Juventus
William Hill 0.4 3.4 7.5
Bet 365 0.4 4 8
Bwin 1.4 4.6 8.5
Tipico 1.4 4.7 8.0
MATCH STATS
Bayern München
  • Bayern were in unstoppable form at home in the group stage, winning their three games against GNK Dinamo Zagreb, Arsenal FC and Olympiacos FC with an aggregate score of 14-1.
  • They have won their last three home matches against Italian opponents including a 2-0 success against AS Roma in last season's group stage. Their overall home record against Serie A sides is W9 D5 L5.
  • Bayern last lost a two-legged European tie against German opposition when going down on away goals to FC Internazionale Milano (1-0 a, 2-3 h) in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League.
  • Their overall record in knockout ties against Italian sides is W4 L6.
  • Bayern lost the 2010 UEFA Champions League final against Inter (0-2) in Madrid.
  • Bayern have won all but two of the 20 UEFA ties in which they drew the first leg away from home, the exceptions being against Liverpool FC in the 1980/81 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-finals (0-0 away, 1-1 home) and AC Milan in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals (2-2 away, 0-2 home).
Juventus
  • The Bianconeri had mixed fortunes on the road in the group stage, winning at Manchester City FC (2-1), drawing at VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach (1-1) and losing at Sevilla FC (0-1).
  • Massimiliano Allegri's side beat Borussia Dortmund home (2-1) and away (3-0) in last season's round of 16. Their overall away record against Bundesliga clubs is W9 D6 L8.
  • Juve's record in two-legged ties against German sides is W13 L3.
  • Juventus have lost two European Cup finals against German sides – against Hamburger SV (0-1) in 1983 and Dortmund (1-3) in 1997. They beat Dortmund 6-1 on aggregate in the 1993 UEFA Cup final.
  • Juve have won all but one of the seven UEFA competition ties in which they drew the home first leg, including the last six. The sole exception is the first, against Wolverhampton Wanderers FC in the 1971/72 UEFA Cup quarter-finals, when a 1-1 home draw preceded a 2-1 away loss.
  • The Italian side have won both UEFA competition ties where the home first leg finished 2-2; against Borussia Dortmund in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup semi-finals (2-1 away) and Djurgårdens IF in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round (4-1 away).
RESULTS REQUIRED TO QUALIFY
F.C. Bayern München
  • Draw 0 - 0
  • Draw 1 - 1
  • Win 1 - 0, or by greater margin
Juventus F.C.
  • Draw 3 - 3
  • Win 3 - 4, or by greater margin
EXTRA TIME / PENALTIES
  • Draw 2 - 2 (EDIT 93' - OF COURSE IT HAD TO BE THIS!)
I will be updating the information regarding line ups etc. as it emerges
EDIT: Line Ups are out!
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AC MILAN vs NAPOLI - Serie A Italy 2020 - Full HD - pes 2020

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