Thursday, October 4, 2012

AC Milan in 2002/03 UEFA Champions League (Road to Victory)

A manager like Carlo Ancelotti, former AC Milan player between 1987 and 1992, the first man in football history to win the Champions Cup both as player and manager with the same team.
A team full of champions: a goalkeeper at his peak (Dida), a strong defense (Maldini, Nesta, Serginho), classy midfielders (Seedorf, Rui Costa, Pirlo) and 4 legendary goalscorers (Inzaghi, Shevchenko, Rivaldo and Tomasson).
After the preliminary round against Slovan Liberec, AC Milan dominated the first 4 match days of Group G, by winning in La Coruna and Munich, 12 points in 4 wonderful games. In the 2nd Group Stage the same score, by reaching the qualification only in 4 matches, with two wins against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. 3-2 in the last minute against Ajax in quarter finals, drammatic battle with Internazionale ("The Derby of Milan") in semifinals. In Manchester (28 May 2003), the first historical italian final of UEFA Champions League, ended to penalties against Juventus FC. Dida saved 3 times, then Shevchenko scored the final penalty kick. 7th Champions Cup for AC Milan, 9 years after the triumph of Athens against Cruyiff's Barcelona. Paolo Maldini lifted up the cup 40 years later then his father Cesare, captain of AC Milan in 1963.

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