10 Best AC Milan Players in History
Who are the best AC Milan players of all time? The Rossoneri are one of the most glorious clubs in world football and these are the ten best players to ever play for the club.
10. Clarence Seedorf
A highly decorated midfielder, Seedorf played a significant role in Milan’s success during the 2000s. A magician from midfield, Seedorf’s impact is proven by the fact he’s the only player in history to win the Champions League with three different clubs.
In 10 years at Milan he was able to dominate in arguably the most talent-filled era in Serie A history and as one of the greatest midfielders of his generation. Ultimately he would play in 432 total appearances for the club and scored 62 goals.
One of the most flamboyant players in history, Ronaldinho was the greatest player of the 2000s and joined Milan from Barcelona in 2008. Ronaldinho is in the conversation for the most technically gifted player of all time with his skillful ball control and dribbling ability helped him become one of the most difficult players to defend.
Able to create and score goals from nothing, he was also a set piece genius and could score from range. It only took him three seasons to become one of the best AC Milan players of all time despite only winning a single Serie A title in 2011.
There’s a case that Alessandro Nesta is the greatest centre-back in history thanks to his physicality and ability to be at the right place at the right time. He’s the sort of player that no attacker wanted to face and after arriving from Lazio in 2002, went on to play in 10 seasons where he made 326 total appearances.
Nesta won the Champions League and Serie A twice before a move to Major League Soccer. Among the greatest tacklers of all time, he displayed a level of acrobatic and elegance about his game that we haven’t seen from a centre-back since retiring from the game in 2014.
Before Andrea Pirlo’s controversial exit to Juventus, he tore it up at Milan across a 10-year span which saw him win both Serie A and the Champions League twice. From midfield he was a visionary, able to control and hit passes that were seemingly impossible and before anybody could actually see it as a possibility.
After 401 games and 41 goals, Pirlo became a free agent in 2011 and joined rivals Juventus, as Milan weren’t willing to sign him beyond a one-year contract.
6. Ruud Gullit
Gullit is one of the best AC Milan players in history, arriving from PSV in 1987 where he won the Ballon d’Or in his first season. In seven seasons at the club he had a profound impact helping guide the side to three Serie A titles.
Gullit became an icon in world football and was a complete player. He was versatility personified, able to play anywhere on the pitch and help his team either offensively or defensively. Typically deployed as an attacking midfielder where he was most effective, but he also played upfront, on the wing and even as a sweeper.
5. Andriy Shevchenko
Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko in his prime was one of the most lethal strikers in the world after joining Milan from Dynamo Kyiv in 1999. He won the Champions League in 2003 and the Serie A the following season, the same year he won the Ballon d’Or.
While at the club Shevchenko scored 173 goals in 296 appearances thanks to his physical stature, excellent finishing ability and his positional awareness.
4. Marco van Basten
Dutch legend Marco Van Basten was an incredible striker with exceptional technical ability and an eye for goal. One of the best strikers of his generation, he scored with spectacular strikes, vicious volleys and impeccable headers.
His time at Milan was marked by numerous stunning goals and individual awards. After moving from Ajax to Milan in 1987, he went on to win the Ballon d'Or three times in 1988, 1989 and 1992. In 205 appearances for the club across eight seasons, van Basten scored 129 goals and is one of the best AC Milan players of all time.
A key figure in Milan’s success in the mid-2000s, Kaká’s pace, dribbling, and creativity made him one of the best midfielders of his generation. At the height of his game he was the best in the world and during his first stint at the club he beat both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the 2007 Ballon d’Or.
Kaka could split open any defence with his explosive runs during his prime. Able to score and assist with finesse, he made 307 appearances and scored 104 goals for Milan.
2. Franco Baresi
Another defensive great that Rossoneri has produced is Franco Baresi. One of the greatest ever defenders, Baresi is our second best AC Milan player of all time and he spent his entire 20-year career at the club. An exceptional tackler, he played most of his career as a sweeper.
Baresi played the game at a level ahead of everyone else on the pitch both tactically, physically and ability wise. A true leader, he was the clubs captain for 15 years.
1. Paolo Maldini
Paolo Maldini is the best AC Milan player of all time and an icon, spending his entire 25-year career at the club. He won 26 major trophies including seven Serie A and five Champions League titles, and his duels with the greatest Juventus player of all time Alessandro Del Piero was arguably the pinnacle of Serie A football.
Primarily a left back and considered by many to be the best in history at the position, Maldini shifted to a centre-back role toward the latter part of his career. He appeared in 902 games as the heartbeat of Milan, and played with a level of elegance and defensive ability that has given him immortal status.