ARRIGO SACCHI AC MILAN: WHY THEY ARE SO GOOD ?

Arrigo Sachi AC Milan that had France Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Mauro Tassoti, Ruud Gullit, Marco Van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and many more is a team that had called as one of the best club team ever. However, this formidable team may not be built or written in the history book if AC Milan Silvio Berlusconi had listened to the players and sacked Arrigo Sacchi. Sacchi had a hard time implementing his idea to the players as he is not a former player and if not for Silvio Berlusconi backing, Sacchi would not have survived in the job. From a turbulent start, Arrigo Sacchi had created a team that is unlike others in Italian football and why his team is still remembered even after so long.

A Classic Italian Team in Lineup

One of the key aspects of Arrigo Sachhi AC Milan is they had a team that is balanced in every department. The forward line they had Ruud Gullit and Marco Van Basten who is both efficient and clinical and they defensive line that is a classic Italian style where all four Baresi, Maldini, Tassotti, and Costacurta had a great understanding between each other and in the end, they had deemed as one of the best back four ever in the footballing world.

Inspiration from Total Football.

The AC Milan Dutch trio from the right Ruud Gullit, Marco Van Basten, and Frank Rijkaard

Arrigo Sacchi is a great admirer of the Rinus Michel Total Football style where everyone is comfortable on the table and able to play in any position. Arrigo Sachhi is an Italian by birth, but his style of play is not a typical Italian style. In Arrigo Sachi, they are no libero which is a norm in Italian football, and they will attack continuously and do not intend to sit on the lead as most of the Italian team whether the club team or international team does. He also dislikes man-marking and makes his team playing a high pressing game in order to stop the opponent’s counterattack. Sacchi wants his team to dominate the game and this is precisely what they did which is different from any Italian team during this time.

Inspiration for the managers who is not a football player.

Before Arrigo Sachi, the football manager is usually former players as they are trusted more as they had played the game and are deemed to have a better knowledge of the game. However, Sacchi changed it completely which the quotes “ I have never known you need to be a horse fist in order to be a jockey” and throw out any skeptics on the non-football player become a football manager. His style and radical shift from the trusted Italian catenaccio style and made AC Milan as a dominant and successful team in space of just 3 years had become an inspiration for the modern manager who is not football player like Jose Mourinho, Mauricio Sarri, Andre Villas-Boas, Leonardo Jardim, Carlos Alberto Perreira and many other. Sacchi had broken the glass ceiling implemented for the non football player to become a manager.

Shadow Football Training Method.

A Real Madrid scout had been tasked to spy on AC Milan training and had come back to report saying “ I don’t know what they are doing “. When AC Milan meet Real Madrid in the second leg of UCL in 1988, Real Madrid had given a trashing of 5-0 where AC Milan had outplayed and dominated Madrid in the field for 90 minutes all due to shadow football training. Sacchi will instruct his player to imagine where the ball is and making the movement accordingly which can be deemed like something that is ridiculous as the player will run like a headless chicken without the ball but when comes to the playing field Sacchi shadow football training did work in a perfect way that led AC Milan to destroy and dominate their opponent.

Full Domination in Europe and International

Since the Inter Milan had won the Intercontinental Cup twice in a row in 1964 and 1965, no European team had won the Intercontinental Cup twice and similarly since Nottingham Forest won the UCL trophy twice in a row in 1979 and 1980, no team had been able to win 2 consecutive times until Arrigo Sacchi AC Milan did it in 1988 and 1989. They also become the first team since Inter Milan in 1965 to lift the Intercontinental Cup twice. This had put AC Milan at the top of the world which is a remarkable achievement where 8 years before they were relegated to Serie B.

Transforming Italian Club Football Playing Style.

Arrigo Sacchi had transformed AC Milan from playing a defensive style football to a non-Italian attacking football where he wants a team to dominate and score as much goal as possible. What is more, remarkable this transformation was implemented during Serie A had been hailed as the best league in the world as most of the best player of that time played in Serie A. Maradona, Zico, Platini, Andreas Brehme, and many more players had played in Serie A and AC Milan had successfully implemented this style of play in Italian football where apart from AC Milan, most of the team is playing a catenaccio style football.

Since Arrigo Sachhi AC Milan, no team had been able to emulate their achievement in winning the UCL and Intercontinental Cup twice until Real Madrid broke the duck in 2016 and 2017 where they had achieved the same feat as Arrigo Sacchi AC Milan. Since Arrigo Sacchi AC Milan, they are no team had been able to be so revered until Guardiola Barcelona comes.

Arrigo Sachi AC Milan had been an inspiration for the managers like Jurgen Klopp who publicly said that Sacchi AC Milan is his inspiration, Pep Guardiola, Marcelo Bielsa, and many others. The achievement is more remarkable considering that the team is managed by a non-football player who intended to play an attacking style of football that is not the nature of Italian football during that period hence making them a team is so revered even until today.

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