Where are they now? AC Milan’s 2003-04 Serie A winning squad

Where are they now? AC Milan’s 2003-04 Serie A winning squad

It’s not too long ago when AC Milan were one of the best teams in Europe.

Between 2003 and 2007, Carlo Ancelotti’s Milan won two Champions League titles and should have won a third when they inexplicably let a 3-0 lead slip against Liverpool in 2005.

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Somewhat surprisingly, they only lifted one Serie A title during those vintage years as the likes of Juventus and Inter made the Italian top-flight much more competitive than it currently is.

Nevertheless, in that title-winning campaign, Milan were a cut above the rest, finishing 11 points clear of second-placed Roma after losing just twice all season.

So, with this in mind, we decided to cast our eye over what happened to the rest of that squad…

Dida

Position: Goalkeeper

Age: 44

03-04 league apps: 32

Major honours: 21

Dida

Despite the close attentions of Christian Abbiati, Dida was comfortably the club’s No.1 for the majority of his ten years at the club, missing just two league games in the 2003-04 season.

Upon leaving Milan in 2010, the former Brazil international spent two years in the football wilderness before returning home to play for Portuguesa, Gremio and Internacional, where he retired in 2015 after winning the Campeonato Gaúcho.

Cafu

Position: Right-back

Age: 47

03-04 league apps: 28 (one goal)

Major honours: 18

Cafu

The 2003-04 campaign was Cafu’s first at the San Siro after he ended a six-year association with Roma by moving to Milan as a free agent.

Cafu spent the final five seasons of his career with the club, winning the second Scudetto of his career in 2004 as well as the Champions League three years later.

Alessandro Nesta

Position: Centre-back

Age: 41

03-04 league apps: 26

Major honours: 12

Nesta

One the most elegant defenders of his generation, Alessandro Nesta made a big-money move to Milan from boyhood club Lazio in 2002, lifting the Champions League in his first season and Serie A in his second.

In total, he made 326 appearances in all competitions for the club before moving to Montreal Impact in the MLS and then briefly Chennaiyin in India. He now manages Miami FC, the team owned by his former teammate Paolo Maldini.

Alessandro Costacurta

Position: Centre-back

Age: 51

03-04 league apps: 22

Major honours: 15

Costacurta

Alessandro Costacurta spent over two decades in the Milan first team, making just shy of 700 appearances for the club before eventually retiring in 2007.

The following season Costacurta was Milan’s technical director before he embarked on a short-lived managerial stint with Mantova the following year. Since retiring he has also commentated for Sky Calcio.

Paolo Maldini

Position: Left-back

Age: 49

03-04 league apps: 30

Major honours: 16

Maldini

The most decorated player in Milan’s history, Maldini was still a vital member of the club’s defence in 2003-04 despite making his debut nearly two decades before as a teenager.

Maldini finally brought the most glittering of careers to an end in 2009 after making an incredible 902 appearances for Milan and a further 126 for Italy. Intriguingly he is now the co-owner of Miami FC, a position he has held since 2015.

Gennaro Gattuso

Position: Central midfield

Age: 39

03-04 league apps: 33 (one goal)

Major honours: 7

Gattuso

Not as technically gifted as those around him but no less important. Gennaro Gattuso was a key cog in Milan’s team for 13 seasons, bringing tenacity and energy to a technically perfect midfield.

He eventually bowed out of Milan in 2012 to join Sion in the Swiss Super League where he spent a season before being appointed as their manager. After just 12 games in charge of them, he moved on to Palermo and OFI Crete in Greece before returning to Italy to manage Pisa.

Now he’s manager of the Milan Primavera side.

Andrea Pirlo

Position: Central midfield

Age: 38

03-04 league apps: 32 (six goals)

Major honours: 13

Pirlo

Milan’s playmaker-in-chief in the golden days, Andrea Pirlo was inexplicably let go on a free transfer after Milan’s Serie A success in 2011.

Pirlo is still going strong with New York City in the MLS, who he joined after four trophy-laden years in Turin with Juventus.

Clarence Seedorf

Position: Central midfield

Age: 41

03-04 league apps: 29 (three goals)

Major honours: 14

Seedorf

The first man to win the Champions League with three different clubs (Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan x2), the Dutchman was a master technician capable of fulfilling multiple roles in midfield.

After swapping the blue half of Milan for the red in 2002, Seedorf spent a decade in the first team before making the unusual move to Brazil to play for Botafogo. In 2014, he returned to AC Milan as a manager but lasted only five months.

Recently he was linked with the managerial post at English League One side Oldham Athletic.

Kaká

Position: Attacking midfield

Age: 35

03-04 league apps: 30 (10 goals)

Major honours: 9

Kaka

Deployed at the tip of the diamond by Ancelotti, Kaká developed into not only the finest playmaker in the world but the best player in the world, winning the Ballon d’Or in 2007, the last time someone other than Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi won the award.

Such was his brilliance in Milan, Kaká made the move to Real Madrid but his progress was hampered at the Bernabeu due to a series of injuries. He had short stints at his former clubs Milan and Sao Paulo before joining Orlando City in the MLS.

Filippo Inzaghi

Position: Striker

Age: 44

03-04 league apps: 14 (three goals)

Major honours: 9

Inzaghi

Although he was one of the most predatory finishers in the game during his career, Filippo Inzaghi suffered an injury-hit campaign in 2013-14, featuring just 14 times in the league.

Inzaghi spent 11 seasons with Milan and like many of his colleagues retired at the club in 2012. After a year getting his coaching badges, Inzaghi managed Milan’s Primavera team before taking on the top job in 2014 as Seedorf’s successor, lasting for one season.

Andriy Shevchenko

Position: Striker

Age: 41

03-04 league apps: 32 (24 goals)

Major honours: 13

Andriy Shevchenko

Undoubtedly the true star of the Milan team in 2003-04, Andriy Shevchenko fired his side to the title courtesy of scoring 24 goals in the league and his efforts were rewarded with a Ballon d’Or prize in 2004.

He moved to Chelsea in 2006 but after struggling badly for two years returned to Milan where he failed to have the same impact as he did during his first spell. A stint at Dynamo Kiev followed and he brought the curtain down on his career with Ukraine at Euro 2012 before embarking on a career in politics and is the current manager of his national team.

Subs:

Kakha Kaladze

Position: Left-back

Age: 39

03-04 league apps: 6

Major honours: 19

Kaladze

An unheralded member of Milan’s all-conquering side, Kakha Kaladze’s contributions in the 2003-04 campaign were heavily restricted by injury problems.

He spent nine years with the club before moving to Genoa where he played for two seasons before retiring in 2012. Since then, his life has been extremely colourful; he owns an investment company called Kala Capital and is also Georgia’s Deputy Prime Minister.

Serginho

Position: Left-back

Age: 46

03-04 league apps: 20

Major honours: 8

Serginho

Another long-serving player who ended his career with Milan was the left-sided full-back Serginho, who made 20 Serie A appearances in the Scudetto-winning season.

Unlike some of his more decorated teammates, Serginho was handed a job at the club straight after retirement, becoming their South American scout.

Massimo Ambrosini

Position: Central midfield

Age: 40

03-04 league apps: 20 (one goal)

Major honours: 8

Ambrosini

Given the plethora of midfield talent at Milan, Massimo Ambrosini’s displays largely went under the radar, but the fact that he made 489 appearances for the club and captained them on numerous occasions speaks volumes for his own ability.

Surprisingly allowed to leave ahead of the 2013-14 season, Ambrosini pitched up at Fiorentina where he spent a single season before calling it a day. He now commentates for Sky Sports in Italy.

Rui Costa

Position: Attacking midfield

Age: 45

2003-04 league appearances: 28

Major honours: 7

Rui Costa

After years of starring for Fiorentina alongside the equally talented Gabriel Batistuta, Rui Costa finally opted to leave, joining AC Milan for a then club-record £30m fee.

Costa spent four productive seasons with the Rossoneri before returning to his first club Benfica, where he stayed on in as director of football after lacing up his boots for the last time.

Jon Dahl Tomasson

Position: Striker

Age: 41

03-04 league apps: 26 (12 goals)

Major honours: 5

Tomasson

Aside from a disappointing season at Newcastle, Jon Dahl Tomasson was a reliable source of goals wherever he played and he was an excellent option off the bench for Milan during his three years at he club.

Despite playing second fiddle to Inzaghi and Shevchenko, Tomasson still netted 12 Serie A goals in 2003-04. In 2011, he retired from the game with Feyenoord but stayed in the Netherlands to manage Excelsior and then Vitesse before joining Denmark as an assistant in 2016.