Throwback Thursday: AC Milan's star-studded class of 2005
How old were you in 2005 and do you remember AC Milan's legendary team that started the Champions League final?
Brazilian goalkeeper Dida was renowned as a specialist penalty saver and shot-stopping expert He also had impressive reflexes for a man so big. At its core, this was a quintessentially Italian team captained by the legendary and versatile one-club man, Paolo Maldini, who was helped out in defence by the talented ball-playing centre back Alessandro Nesta. Uncompromising tough-tacklers Jaap Stam and Brazilian legend Cafu completed an imposing back five.
Speaking of uncompromising, Gennaro Gattuso (Milan's current manager) took no prisoners in midfield alongside the elegant playmaking of Andrea Pirlo, the box-to-box all-round playing style of Clarence Seedorf and the silk, finesse, subtlety and power of Kaka.
All of them supported two goal machines in the shape of lethal finisher Andriy Shevchenko and the composed, tenacious Argentine Hernan Crespo.
However, somehow this team went down to Liverpool in the Champions League final of 2005. It will go down as one of greatest football matches ever played, and this AC Milan vintage was one of the most talented sides ever to lose a big final. They led 3-0 at halftime but, staggeringly, lost on penalties as Liverpool staged an epic fightback in Istanbul.
The current crop of AC Milan players is next in Serie A action this coming Monday, away to Genoa.