CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2002/03

Old Trafford in Manchester, 28 May 2003

The Rossoneri's Champions League success was forged in an incredible summer. AC Milan's transfer dealings started with exchanges and little money spent: Tomasson came from Feyenoord when his contract expired and then there were the Coco-Seeforf and Umit-Šimić swaps. AC Milan believed that those deals combined with the team that finished the previous season well in fourth place, with Rui Costa and Inzaghi now settled in, was enough to improve the side. However, the transfer dealings didn’t end there: with an enthusiastic urge Adriano Galliani learned from Florentino Perez that Rivaldo was leaving Barcelona, so Silvio Berlusconi authorised the signing. What's more, a deal for Sandro Nesta seemed impossible but he managed to sign for the Rossoneri just before the market closed.

In the league, AC Milan topped the table at Christmas after the first round of fixtures, but in the second half of the season they dropped crucial points against the lesser sides and slipped to third place. Meanwhile in the Champions League, the Rossoneri played brilliantly in the group stage and then managed to eliminate Ajax in the quarter-final to set up a semi-final clash against Inter. AC Milan came out victorious after those two derby matches and then beat Juventus on penalties in the final at Old Trafford to win the Club's sixth European Cup. Delirium ensued in Manchester with Paolo Maldini lifting the cup under the English sky just as his father, Cesare, had done 40 years before at Wembley.

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