Arrigo Sacchi is number 2 in 90min’s Top 50 Great Managers of All Time series. Follow the rest of the series over the course of the next week.
Arrigo Sacchi is the second best manager in football history.
It’s high praise; but deserved praise.
For Arrigo Sacchi is the man who moulded the greatest club football team of all time (no, not that Barcelona team, get a grip): AC Milan’s late 80s, early 90s hyper mega super team.
The club football equivalent of Brazil’s 1970 team that went on to win every club competition in the world twice.
And here are the best players from that team, and a few other pretty good wee teams that Sacchi managed over the course of his near 20 year career.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Giovanni Galli: He wasn’t Dino Zoff or Gianluigi Buffon so is somewhat forgotten by many, but Galli was an incredible goalkeeper. Quick off his line and commanding of his penalty box, to put in the kid’s lingo, he was a real fly goalkeeper, dude.
Mauro Tassotti: At least a 7/10 week in, week out, Tassotti was a proper Sacchi player: capable of anything and had lungs like Mo Farah.
Franco Baresi: 20 years at AC Milan. 20. THAT’S how good Franco Baresi was.
Alessandro Costacurta: 21 years at AC Milan. 21. THAT’S how good Alessandro Costacurta was (he wasn’t better than Baresi though, but still).
Paolo Maldini: You know the drill – it’s a Top 50 Greatest Managers of All Time rule that if a manager managed Paolo Maldini, then Paolo Maldini makes it into said manager’s all-time best XI.
Frank Rijkaard: A great manager, and an even better player. Frank Rijkaard was one of the three Dutch dynamos who arrived in Milan in the late 80s and proceeded to win absolutely everything.
Carlo Ancelotti: A great manager, and maybe not an even better player, but a bloody good one. The future AC Milan boss enjoyed an incredible spell at the club as a player, scoring THAT goal against Real Madrid in the 5-0 European Cup semi final thumping.
Roberto Donadoni: Not a great manager, but an incredible footballer. Donadoni was one of the most technically gifted players at AC Milan during the golden era; which says it all really.
Ruud Gullit: Not a great manager either, but a near perfect footballer. He won the Ballon d’Or, scored a million goals and was basically Frank Lampard multiplied by 1,000,000,000,000,000.
Roberto Baggio: Without Il Divin Codino, Arrigo Sacchi wouldn’t have a FIFA World Cup runners-up medal in his trophy cabinet. Because: a) he single handedly dragged the team to the final and b) well…you know.
Marco van Basten: If you haven’t seen Marco van Basten play, go on YouTube or Footballia or Daily Motion or wherever and watch him play. It’s a special sight. In every conceivable way, Van Basten was the perfect number nine. Unbelievable.