Milan Tarnishing Their Honourable Image One Legend At A Time

Another one bites the dust, and this time it was the Rossoneri's 2007 UEFA Champions League hero, Pippo Inzaghi, that was shown the door. For the stern fan, it is a bitter pill to swallow... Many can recall that night in Athens like it was yesterday... Arms wide open, hands flapping, and his head shaking out of pure elation, SuperPippo used all his powers to hand Milan their seventh European crown.

It was a result that went straight into the history books. Not only did it crown Carlo Ancelotti's side as the second most successful club in the competition, but it meant that Milan extracted the 2005 final revenge on Liverpool all while putting the Diavoli en-route to becoming the most successful club in the world.

Italian football fans around the world were to become all too familiar with that title, as Adriano Galliani sang that song in an attempt to hide the brewing blemishes beneath the surface.

What made that final even more special, was that it saw Paolo Maldini lift the trophy for the fifth time in his career, and it was to be the last major trophy he lifted in the Milan jersey (not many count the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup).

Sadly, when Maldini hung up his boots two years later, few were to anticipate the ultimate betrayal he was about to receive...

After dedicating 24 loyal, magical and trophy-laden years to Milan, many were expecting to have him immediately deployed into Rossoneri management at the club's headquarters of Milanello. However, that was not the case.

Six years have passed since the famous No.3 jersey was retired, and the club finds itself in a rotten state...

The lack of investment by Silvio Berlusconi has seen the club fail to qualify for Europe for two years running, and management has started to knock its legends off the archived shelves one-by-one. Maldini was the first and he certainly hasn’t been the last.

In an interview with Jamie Carragher in the Daily Mail, 'il Capitano' spoke about the situation at the club.

"I still go to most of the Milan games with my friends. I love football. But I’m probably not going to work with Milan. But a chance to work again with Milan? For me it would be giving back something," he said.

"When I see it (like it is now), I feel sad. We built with other great players something unique and they didn’t realise the importance of the men and the people.

"Only Franco Baresi works there now. No other former players. That is sad.”

Maldini along with the likes of Mauro Tassotti, and in recent times Pippo Inzaghi, Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo were all founding members of certain chapters in the club's sparkling history.

Today, outside of the celebrations they shared in the red and black colours, these four veterans have been one more common dominator - they are broken legends.

Pirlo was next after Maldini. While it cannot be denied that his decisive form at the club had started to fade, Max Allegri's insistence to play him out of his preferred position above the defence resulted in the 30-year-old being handed a one-year extension.

To offer a player, who had spent a decade serving the club, a third of what arch-rivals Juventus were putting on a silver platter is almost embarrassing to the say the least... With that, both player and club parted ways. Milan's parting gift to Pirlo? A pen.

“As a leaving present, I’d have expected something a little more. Ten years at Milan, finished, just like that," he wrote in his book, 'I think, therefore I play’.

“Milan is a little world apart. One that gave much more than it took and, without a shadow of a doubt, stirred strong feelings in me. Sometimes it was dejection mixed with sadness, other times raw emotion. At any rate, it taught me a valuable life lesson: it’s good to cry.”

Crying is the exact act Milanisti have become all too familiar with of late. On top of Maldini's exit two years prior, the unnecessarily loss of their deep-lying playmaker, was simply a slap in the face...

They say the devil feels no pain, but this Diavolo certainly felt the pain as Milan's demise slowly began.

Trouble only really began midway through Allegri's third stint at Milan, but the killing off of the legends came full-throttle when his dismissal in January 2014 saw Clarence Seedorf brought in.

The Dutchman, with no previous coaching experience, who gave ten exquisite years to the club, dropped everything at Botafogo to help revive the club.

He did what he could, and despite not qualifying for Europe, there were more positive results to the negatives (11 wins out of 19 games). But the fall-out between players like Riccardo Montolivo and management; saw ‘Willy Wonka’ dismissed after just five months.

“Seedorf has been dismissed,” read the first part of the statement, before a quick conclusion appointed his successor as the man he provided so many assists for during their time on the field together.

“Inzaghi has been appointed as first-team coach, and is under contract until 30 June 2016.”

A decade of love and joy between the two was shattered by two simple sentences. Not even a thank you was scribbled onto the club’s official site, and exactly 12 months later the same twisted fate was handed to another legend.

With management failing to hand Inzaghi an adequate amount of funds to invest in the team, the former youth coach was set-up to fail. He may have made some questionable on-field decisions, but it is no excuse to the way management also sent him packing.

Not even his superpowers saved him for this heartless statement: “AC Milan communicate that Filippo Inzaghi has been discharged of his responsibilities as first team coach. The club thank him for his work.”

Even with the cold good-bye, Inzaghi wrote a heartfelt and emotional letter to the club he adored so much.

Inzaghi’s sacking came just days after Mauro Tassotti ended his 35-year relationship with the club. After having spent years playing second-fiddle on the bench, the 55-year-old and Milan also cut ties with each other. Embarrassingly, he didn’t even get a goodbye.

It seems almost unbelievable that a club, which spent years building a strong family-like unit, broke ties with so many of its legends in such quick succession.

To this day Galliani still sings the same song about being ‘the most successful club in the world’, but they have forgotten that these players were the ones that wrote Rossonero history.

It is no wonder why Maldini said: “Milan have a great tradition and they completely let it go. So the new generation, they do not understand. There is all that history of the club but now it is different."


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