From rojiblanco to rossonero or vice versa. From Atlético to Milan or from San Siro to Vicente Calderón. Paulo Futre, Fernando Torres, Javi Moreno and José Mari, four footballers who wore the two shirts interpreting absolutely different scripts in the two clubs. Before the imminent duel of the Champions, they declare themselves devotees of Simeone’s team, but everyone remembers with a special fascination his time at the Milan club of the seven European Cups and, above all, for who his owner and president were when they played there , Silvio Berlusconi.
Paulo Futre, just one game. The Portuguese landed in Milanello in the 1995-96 season from Reggiana in exchange for five million euros. His stay was an ordeal. After three knee operations and nine months of recovery, he played the last match of the Championship against Cremonese with 28 on his back. It was the particular tribute of Fabio Capello and his companions. That afternoon they celebrated the league title. He played 79 minutes and was replaced by Roberto Baggio.
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From Lisbon, Paulo gets emotional when he remembers what happened that damn year. “When I arrived at Milanello, his Sports City, I thought I was in heaven. I’ve never seen anything like it. That club is from another planet in everything. I never saw a structure like it. There the player is ‘god’ and is treated as such. They have a person to assist you 24 hours a day. If you lose you have no excuses. They give you everything. Despite my injury, his behavior was spectacular. No doctor wanted to operate on me for the third time and they did everything possible to make it happen and took me to France. I wanted to reciprocate and that’s why I played that last game. After everything they had done for me, at least I wanted to defend that jersey one day. It’s my club in Italy ”.
Futre also has words of praise for his teammates and the coach. “The Capello thing was 10, he was always aware of me. I spent the day in Milanello trying to recover and I always had his support. When the last game, the captain, Franco Baresi mi said that the entire squad had decided that he should receive the title bonus as one more. They saw me suffer every day and treated me like the leader I had been at Atlético. I gave the two shirts from my only game to the doctor and the physio ”.
The great supporter of his signing was President Silvio Berlusconi. “I will never forget when I would come in the helicopter and land at the training grounds. It seemed that “God” is coming. He greeted the cook just like Capello or Baresi. The first day he told me that he had always wanted to hire me and that he had not been able to and that, although he knew that his knee was already bad, he did not want to miss the opportunity of having me, being so close, in the Reggiana ”.
Fernando Torres, three months. Hailing from Chelsea, the kid He came to Milan on loan for two seasons and lasted three months. He played ten games in Serie A 2014-15. The first against Juventus at San Siro (0-1) and the last against Inter. In January he returned to Atlético, but his mind retains his Milanese memories clear. “I went to Milan knowing that I was starting over from scratch. It is an incredible club, of a gigantic dimension. I had always been very fond of him because since I was a child I knew that he had taken an interest in me. Maybe that’s why when he came looking for me I decided quickly. We probably do not coincide in the best moment-time. Neither they nor I had patience. I always think that if I hadn’t gone to Milan, maybe I wouldn’t have returned to Atlético ”.
Fernando looks back. “The objective of that Milan 2014 was to return to Europe. A situation similar to now. I’m sure the great Milan will return because great players are always looking for great clubs and these are the ones with a great story to tell. If I speak of those three months, I cannot ignore the figure of the president. Beyond his arrival by helicopter, he is an incredible person. He would come and talk about football with everyone. I remember him giving me a few tips. Never had a leader given them to me. It was something new. I have never seen a manager who was so interested in the game, what happened on the field ”.
“All the players were going to train in Porsches.”
Javi Moreno, from Alavés to San Siro. 2001-02 season. With the endorsement of the UEFA Cup final played against Liverpool and his 28 goals, Milan launched their signing. He paid the 1500 million pesetas of his clause and Vice President Galliani proclaimed in his presentation as a new player rossonero that “Javi Moreno is a born scorer, a mix of Bonisegna and Gerd Muller”. One season lasted: 16 league games and two goals. Now, as a coach and waiting for a team, Javi recalls his Milan battles.
“That for me, coming from Vitoria, was another world. As a club it is the ‘milk‘. I’ve never been to one this big. Milanello is the most I’ve seen in my life. All the players were going to train in Porsches, Mercedes, Ferraris and in Versace and Armani clothes. And I arrived in my new Kelme tracksuit. The first thing I did was tell my wife that I was going to buy clothes. I played little and did not adapt. I had not gone there to that, but of course there were Shevchenko, Inzaghi, Rui Costa, Pirlo, who played midfielder, also José Mari, with whom we made our laughs. Despite everything I have a great memory. It was another football. More tactical, more physical. There was a lot of gym in those bodies. I wanted to go at Christmas, but Galliani didn’t let me. “
The bodyguards behind
The coach was Ancelotti and he also has words for Berlusconi. “With Carlo, well, very close. He talked a lot with those of us who played less and at least it was a consolation. The president caught my attention. Very polite Don Silvio, as everyone called him. He greeted us one by one with the two bodyguards behind him. The guys weren’t big or anything … and he was impassive shaking hands ”.
José Mari, the handicap of injuries. In the winter market of the 1999-00 season, Atlético transferred José Mari for 3,200 million pesetas. Round trip. After two and a half courses in Milan he returned to the Calderón. Along the way, 66 games, 11 goals and an enriching experience, as pointed out by the interested party from his native Seville. “I went as a child with just turned 21 years old to the best club in Europe and with the best players. In my career I have had few injuries, but it was right there where I had the two worst: pubis and knee. In spite of all my balance is positive because when I was good I played a lot. I have never seen a club as organized as that. We even had a driver for the family and the day I arrived they picked me up at the airstrip. Amazing. I had Zaccheroni as coaches, Paolo Maldini’s father, Therim and Ancelotti ”.
Possibly the figure that most impressed him was the owner-president. “When Berlusconi got off the helicopter it looked like the Tulip commercial. The world stopped. You saw him come down and in five minutes he was talking to us. He knew us all. It wasn’t there, but it was. He knew about our lives. Very attentive, very polite and from what he told us he looked like he was super-intelligent ”.