Not many cities can boast two giants of the European Maldini e baresi candidating. Milan and Internazionale are two titanic teams not only in Serie A but in the history of football. When Milan take on Internazionale, this stadium comes alive with a mix of flags, flares, fireworks and huge banners. The ground is not full for every match and it needs some updating, but Maldini e baresi candidating its current state it embodies the raw passion of the early s Italian football experience.
This colossal stadium has been instantly recognisable since its refurbishment for the World Cup in An extra tier, which is supported by no fewer than 11 spiral towers, and a roof with huge red iron girders were added. The San Siro has become a Mecca for football fans and it remains one of the must-see grounds in Europe. Quite simply, its atmosphere and vantage points are second to none. But while there was some justification behind this protest, the criticism reserved for Paolo Maldini during his th and last appearance for Milan against Roma in was baffling.
It goes without saying that Maldini is a club legend. A product of the Milan Primavera, their youth team, Maldini won five European Cups and seven Scudetti over the course of his year career. Yet, after his final match at the San Siro, his lap of honour was soured by a pocket of ultras who expressed their dissent. The banners were accompanied by a giant shirt emblazoned with the number six, which was unveiled Maldini e baresi candidating the backdrop of the chant: Giancarlo Capelli, an ultras leader, later remarked: We just wanted to make it clear what we thought about some of his comments and behaviour over the past years.
For observers on the outside, it is hard to accept that a club legend would be subjected to such treatment, albeit from a minority of supporters.
However, the intensity of this incident reveals the visceral relationship between ultras and their club. Founded in as Milan Cricket Maldini e baresi candidating Football Club by English expatriates Alfred Edwards and Herbert Kilpin, the Milanisti take great pride in the knowledge that their team is the oldest in the city and one of the most decorated in Europe — facts they are keen to flaunt when they play their city rivals, Internazionale.
The Englishman is said to have arrived at this choice of colours after saying: Our colours are red as fire, and black to invoke fear in our opponents.
The group were formed in and are said to be the first modern ultra organisation in Italy.
As such they played something of a pioneering role in the nascent years of the ultra movement. Although Fossa dei Leoni originally resided on Ramp 18 of the Settori Popolari of the San Siro, in the group shifted to the Curva Sud and became the heartbeat of the Diavolo support.
The Italian ultra movement was inextricably linked with the political activism of the era but, curiously, Fossa never adopted a clear political identity. While rifts arose from a difference in ideology Commandos, Brigate and Fossathe groups led the Curva for 20 years in relative harmony, until Fossa disbanded in The story goes — and there are numerous accounts — that during a game between Milan and Juventus inthe group managed to steal a banner from a Juve ultra group known as Viking.
Fossa proceeded to unfurl this banner in the Curva Sud as a trophy of their conquest, but it later emerged that rather than stealing the banner, the Milanisti had obtained it senza onore without honour. The following Sunday the banners were back in the possession of their owners. Rumours spread that the swap had been organised in agreement with the police, a heinous crime Maldini e baresi candidating the world of the ultras and shocking news to the other groups in the Curva Sud.
Fossa ceased to exist, but the conflict in the Curva Sud went on. An Milan fan was shot in the legs. Monza magistrates concluded that the attack was part of an internal war among Rossoneri ultras over merchandising and tickets. Commandos and Brigate lived on, while new groups such as Guerrieri Ultras Ultra Warriors — formed of ex- Fossa members — were born.
The peace was eventually restored and now the majority of the Curva Sud has united under the umbrella of Curva Sud Milano. Their headquarters lie in the industrial area of San Giovanni but their members are spread across the length of the peninsula.
The infighting, the protests, their unabashed hubris and the revolving door in which groups form and disband appears rather ludicrous. It is bemusing but undeniably beguiling. In the midst of all the chaos there are codes and rules that must be followed stringently.
It is madness but there is a meticulous method to the ultras madness. Imagine Italian football without them.
Imagine the San Siro on a Champions League night without the Curva Sudthe match devoid of incessant chanting, flares, smoke "Maldini e baresi candidating" spectacular choreographies. Not by the superstars on the Maldini e baresi candidating but by the supporters in the terraces.
No matter how much experience you have got, you get drawn into that cauldron of noise. Zvonimir Boban was one of the most talented players to play for Milan in the s, an impressive feat considering the status of that team. Zvonimir Boban, however, was the heartbeat of this team and is often overlooked. Every accolade has been bestowed on the likes of Maldini and Van Basten and rightly so but this talented Croatian is often missed out. Boban combined skill, intelligence and an outstanding passing range with a devastating shot; it is sometimes easy to forget just how good he was.
After suffering relegation with the southern team, he came back to Milan to embark on a golden journey in which he would win four Serie A titles, three Italian Super Cups, a Champions League and a European Super Cup. His partnership with Demetrio Albertini gave the team a touch of class and complete tactical awareness. Boban was a technical genius with a devastating ability to produce breathtaking goals.