Catenaccio or The Chain is a tactical system in football with a strong emphasis on defence. In Italian, catenaccio means "door-bolt", which implies a organised and effective backline defence focused on nullifying opponents' attacks and preventing goal-scoring opportunities. Italian Catenaccio was influenced by the verrou system invented by Austrian coach Karl Rappan; as coach of Switzerland in the 1930s and 1940s, Rappan played a defensive sweeper called the verrouilleur, positioned just ahead of the goalkeeper. Rappan's verrou system, proposed in 1932, when he was coach of Servette, was implemented with four fixed defenders, playing a strict man-to-man marking system, plus a playmaker in the middle of the field who played the ball together with two midfield wings. In the 1950s, Nereo Rocco's Padova pioneered catenaccio in Italy where it would be used again by the Internazionale team of the early 1960s. Rocco's tactic referred to as the real Catenaccio, was shown first in 1947 with Triestina: the most common mode of operation was a 1–3–3–3 formation with a defensive team approach.
With catenaccio, Triestina finished the Serie A tournament in a surprising second place. Some variations include 1 -- 4 -- 4 -- 1 -- 4 -- 3 -- 2 formations; the key innovation of Catenaccio was the introduction of the role of a libero defender called "sweeper", positioned behind a line of three defenders. The sweeper's role was to recover loose balls, nullify the opponent's striker and double-mark when necessary. Another important innovation was the counter-attack based on long passes from the defence. In Helenio Herrera's version in the 1960s, four man-marking defenders were assigned to the opposing attackers while an extra player, the sweeper, would pick up any loose ball that escaped the coverage of the defenders; the emphasis of this system in Italian football spawned the rise of many top Italian defenders who became known for their hard-tackling and ruthless defending. However, despite the defensive connotations, Herrera claimed shortly before his death that the system was more attacking than people remembered, saying'the problem is that most of the people who copied me copied me wrongly.
They forgot to include the attacking principles. I had Picchi as a sweeper, but I had Facchetti, the first full back to score as many goals as a forward.' Indeed, although his Grande Inter side were known for their defensive strength, they were renowned for their ability to score goals with few touches from fast, sudden counter-attacks, due to Herrera's innovative use of attacking, overlapping full-backs. Total Football, invented by Rinus Michels in the 1970s, exposed weaknesses in Herrera's version of Catenaccio. In Total Football, no player is fixed in his nominal role. Man-marking alone was insufficient to cope with this fluid system. Coaches began to create a new tactical system man-marking with zonal defense. In 1972, Michels' Ajax defeated Inter 2–0 in the European Cup final and Dutch newspapers announced the "destruction of Catenaccio" at the hands of Total Football. In 1973, Ajax defeated Cesare Maldini's Milan 6–0 for the European Super Cup in a match in which the defensive Milan system was unable to stop Ajax.
Pure Catenaccio is used in modern football tactics. Two major characteristics of this style – the man-to-man marking and the libero position – are rarely employed. Defensive structures with little attacking intent are arbitrarily labelled as Catenaccio, but this deviates from the original design of the system. Catenaccio is used infrequently by Italian Serie A teams, who instead prefer to apply balanced tactics and formations using the 5–3–2 or 3–5–2 system; the Italian national football team with manager Cesare Prandelli used the 3–5–2 in their first clashes of UEFA Euro 2012 Group C and switched to their'standard' 4–4–2 diamond formation for the UEFA Euro 2012 final. Italy's previous coaches, Cesare Maldini and Giovanni Trapattoni, used elements of catenaccio at international level, both failed to reach the top. Italy, under Maldini, lost on penalties at the 1998 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals, while Trapattoni lost early in the second round at 2002 FIFA World Cup and lost at the UEFA Euro 2004 during the first round.
However, Catenaccio has had its share of success stories. Trapattoni himself employed it in securing a Portuguese Liga title with Benfica in 2005. German coach Otto Rehhagel used a defensive approach for his Greece side in UEFA Euro 2004, going on to win the tournament despite Greece being considered as underdogs prior to the tournament. Dino Zoff put Catenaccio to good use for Italy, securing a place in the UEFA Euro 2000 final, which Italy only lost on the golden goal rule to France. Azeglio Vicini led Italy to the 1990 FIFA World Cup semifinal thanks to small wins in five hard-fought defensive games in which Italy produced little but risked less, totaling only 7 goals for and none against. Italy would lose a tight semifinal to Argentina, due in no small part to a similar strategy from Carlos Bilardo, who went on to lose the final to a much more offensive-minded Germany led by Franz Beckenbauer; when Italy was reduced to 10 men in the 50th minute of the 2006 FIFA World Cup 2nd round match against Australia, coach Marcello Lippi changed the Italians' formation to a defensive orientation which caused the British newspaper The Guardian to note that "the timidity of Italy's approach had made it seem that Helenio Herrera, the high priest of Catenaccio
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saint Paul is the capital and second-most populous city of the U. S. state of Minnesota. As of 2017, the city's estimated population was 309,180. Saint Paul is the county seat of Ramsey County, the smallest and most densely populated county in Minnesota; the city lies on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city. Known as the "Twin Cities", the two form the core of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with about 3.6 million residents. Founded near historic Native American settlements as a trading and transportation center, the city rose to prominence when it was named the capital of the Minnesota Territory in 1849; the Dakota name for Saint Paul is "Imnizaska". Though Minneapolis is better-known nationally, Saint Paul contains the state government and other important institutions. Regionally, the city is known for the Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild, for the Science Museum of Minnesota.
As a business hub of the Upper Midwest, it is the headquarters of companies such as Ecolab. Saint Paul, along with its twin city, Minneapolis, is known for its high literacy rate; the settlement began at present-day Lambert's Landing, but was known as Pig's Eye after Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant established a popular tavern there. When Lucien Galtier, the first Catholic pastor of the region, established the Log Chapel of Saint Paul, he made it known that the settlement was now to be called by that name, as "Saint Paul as applied to a town or city was well appropriated, this monosyllable is short, sounds good, it is understood by all Christian denominations". Burial mounds in present-day Indian Mounds Park suggest that the area was inhabited by the Hopewell Native Americans about two thousand years ago. From the early 17th century until 1837, the Mdewakanton Dakota, a tribe of the Sioux, lived near the mounds after fleeing their ancestral home of Mille Lacs Lake from advancing Ojibwe, they called the area I-mni-za ska dan for its exposed white sandstone cliffs.
In the Menominee language it is called Sāēnepān-Menīkān, which means "ribbon, silk or satin village", suggesting its role in trade throughout the region after the introduction of European goods. Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, US Army officer Zebulon Pike negotiated 100,000 acres of land from the local Dakota tribes in 1805 to establish a fort; the negotiated territory was located on both banks of the Mississippi River, starting from Saint Anthony Falls in present-day Minneapolis, to its confluence with the Saint Croix River. Fort Snelling was built on the territory in 1819 at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, which formed a natural barrier to both Native American nations; the 1837 Treaty with the Sioux ceded all local tribal land east of the Mississippi to the U. S. Government. Taoyateduta moved his band at Kaposia across the river to the south. Fur traders and missionaries came to the area for the fort's protection. Many of the settlers were French-Canadians. However, as a whiskey trade flourished, military officers banned settlers from the fort-controlled lands.
Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant, a retired fur trader-turned-bootlegger who irritated officials, set up his tavern, the Pig's Eye, near present-day Lambert's Landing. By the early 1840s, the community had become important as a trading center and a destination for settlers heading west. Locals called Pig's Eye Landing after Parrant's popular tavern. In 1841, Father Lucien Galtier was sent to minister to the Catholic French Canadians and established a chapel, named for his favorite saint, Paul the Apostle, on the bluffs above Lambert's Landing. Galtier intended for the settlement to adopt the name Saint Paul in honor of the new chapel. In 1847, a New York educator named Harriet Bishop moved to the area and opened the city's first school; the Minnesota Territory was formalized in Saint Paul named as its capital. In 1857, the territorial legislature voted to move the capital to Saint Peter. However, Joe Rolette, a territorial legislator, stole the physical text of the approved bill and went into hiding, thus preventing the move.
On May 11, 1858, Minnesota was admitted to the union as the thirty-second state, with Saint Paul as the capital. That year, more than 1,000 steamboats were in service at Saint Paul, making the city a gateway for settlers to the Minnesota frontier or Dakota Territory. Natural geography was a primary reason; the area was the last accessible point to unload boats coming upriver due to the Mississippi River Valley's stone bluffs. During this period, Saint Paul was called "The Last City of the East." Industrialist James J. Hill constructed and expanded his network of railways into the Great Northern Railway and Northern Pacific Railway, which were headquartered in Saint Paul. Today they are collectively part of the BNSF Railway. On August 20, 1904, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes damaged hundreds of downtown buildings, causing USD $1.78 million in damages to the city and ripping spans from the High Bridge. In the 1960s, during urban renewal, Saint Paul razed western neighborhoods close to downtown.
The city contended with the creation of the interstate freeway system in a built landscape. From 1959 to 1961, the western Rondo Neighborhood was demolished by the construction of Interstate 94, which brought attention to racial segregation and unequal housing in northern cities; the annual
Football Club Internazionale Milano referred to as Internazionale or Inter and colloquially known as Inter Milan outside Italy, is an Italian professional football club based in Milan, Lombardy. Inter is the only Italian club to have never been relegated from the top flight. Inter has won 30 domestic trophies on par with its local rivals A. C. Milan, including 18 league titles, 7 Coppa Italia and 5 Supercoppa Italiana. From 2006 to 2010, the club won five successive league titles, equalling the all-time record at that time, they have won the Champions League three times: two back-to-back in 1964 and 1965 and another in 2010. Their latest win completed an unprecedented Italian seasonal treble, with Inter winning the Coppa Italia and the Scudetto the same year; the club has won three UEFA Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup. Inter's home games are played at the San Siro stadium known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Shared with rival A. C. Milan, the stadium is the largest in Italian football with a capacity of 80,018.
The local team A. C. Milan are considered among their biggest rivals, matches between the two teams, known as the Derby della Madonnina, are one of the most followed derbies in football; as of 2010, Inter is the second-most supported team in Italy, the sixth most-supported team in Europe. The club is one of the most valuable in Italian and world football, it was a founding member of the now-defunct G-14 group of Europe's leading football clubs. The club was founded on 9 March 1908 as Football Club Internazionale, following the schism with the Milan Cricket and Football Club; the name of the club derives from the wish of its founding members to accept foreign players as well as Italians. The club won its first championship in 1910 and its second in 1920; the captain and coach of the first championship winning team was Virgilio Fossati, killed in battle while serving in the Italian army during World War I. In 1922, Inter remained in the top league after winning two play-offs. Six years during the Fascist era, the club was forced to merge with the Unione Sportiva Milanese and was renamed Società Sportiva Ambrosiana.
The team wore white jerseys during this time with a red cross emblazoned on it. The jersey's design was inspired by the coat of arms of the city of Milan. In 1929, club chairman Oreste Simonotti changed the club's name to Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana, however supporters continued to call the team Inter, in 1931 new chairman Pozzani caved in to shareholder pressure and changed the name to Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana-Inter, their first Coppa Italia was won in 1938–39, led by the iconic Giuseppe Meazza, after whom the San Siro stadium is named. A fifth championship followed despite Meazza incurring an injury. After the end of World War II the club regained its original name, winning its sixth championship in 1953 and its seventh in 1954. In 1960, manager Helenio Herrera joined Inter from Barcelona, bringing with him his midfield general Luis Suárez, who won the European Footballer of the Year in the same year for his role in Barcelona's La Liga/Fairs Cup double, he would transform Inter into one of the greatest teams in Europe.
He modified a 5–3–2 tactic known as the "Verrou" which created greater flexibility for counterattacks. The catenaccio system was invented by Karl Rappan. Rappan's original system was implemented with four fixed defenders, playing a strict man-to-man marking system, plus a playmaker in the middle of the field who plays the ball together with two midfield wings. Herrera would modify it by adding a fifth defender, the sweeper or libero behind the two centre backs; the sweeper or libero who acted as the free man would deal with any attackers who went through the two centre backs. Inter finished third in the Serie A in his first season, second the next year and first in his third season. Followed a back-to-back European Cup victory in 1964 and 1965, earning him the title "il Mago"; the core of Herrera's team were the attacking fullbacks Tarcisio Burgnich and Giacinto Facchetti, Armando Picchi the sweeper, Suárez the playmaker, Jair the winger, Mario Corso the left midfielder, Sandro Mazzola, who played on the inside-right.
In 1964, Inter reached the European Cup Final by beating Borussia Dortmund in the semi-final and Partizan in the quarter-final. In the final, they met a team that had reached seven out of the nine finals to date. Mazzola scored two goals in a 3–1 victory, the team won the Intercontinental Cup against Independiente. A year Inter repeated the feat by beating two-time winner Benfica in the final held at home, from a Jair goal, again beat Independiente in the Intercontinental Cup. In 1967, with Jair gone and Suárez injured, Inter lost the European Cup Final 2–1 to Celtic. During that year the club changed its name to Football Club Internazionale Milano. Following the golden era of the 1960s, Inter managed to win their eleventh league title in 1971 and their twelfth in 1980. Inter were defeated for the second time in five years in the final of the European Cup, going down 0–2 to Johan Cruyff's Ajax in 1972. During the 1970s and the 1980s, Inter added two to its Coppa Italia tally, in 1977–78 and 1981–82.
Led by the German duo of Andreas Brehme and Lothar Matthäus, Argentine Ramón Díaz, Inter captured the 1989 Serie A championship. Inter were unable to defend their title despite adding fellow German Jürgen Klinsmann to the squad and winning their first Supercoppa Italiana at the start of the season; the 1990s was a period of disappointment. While their great rivals Milan and Juventus were achieving success both domestically and in Europe, Inter
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders: centre-back, full-back, wing-back; the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations. A centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, tries to prevent opposing players centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, intercepting passes, contesting headers and marking forwards to discourage the opposing team from passing to them. With the ball, centre-backs are expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defender's goal. Due to the many skills centre-backs are required to possess in the modern game, many successful contemporary central-defensive partnerships have involved pairing a more physical defender with a defender, quicker, more comfortable in possession and capable of playing the ball out from the back.
During normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. However, when their team takes a corner kick or other set pieces, centre-backs may move forward to the opponents' penalty area. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions; some centre-backs have been known for their direct free kicks and powerful shots from distance. Brazilian defenders David Luiz and Naldo have been known for using the cannonball free kick method, which relies more on power than placement. In the modern game, most teams employ three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper; the 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs. There are two main defensive strategies used by centre-backs: the zonal defence, where each centre-back covers a specific area of the pitch; the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who "sweeps up" the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is rather more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents.
Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as libero. Though sweepers may be expected to build counter-attacking moves, as such require better ball control and passing ability than typical centre-backs, their talents are confined to the defensive realm. For example, the catenaccio system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s, employed a purely defensive sweeper who only "roamed" around the back line; the more modern libero possesses the defensive qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become more popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack; this variation on the position requires great fitness. While seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack; some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles.
If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery and run back into their position. In modern football, its usage has been restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position; the position is most believed to have been pioneered by Franz Beckenbauer, Gaetano Scirea, Elías Figueroa, although they were not the first players to play this position. Earlier proponents included Alexandru Apolzan, Ivano Blason, Velibor Vasović, Ján Popluhár. Other defenders who have been described as sweepers include Bobby Moore, Franco Baresi, Ronald Koeman, Fernando Hierro, Matthias Sammer, Aldair, due to their ball skills and long passing ability. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a respected and demanding position. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greece's manager, during UEFA Euro 2004. Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greece's sweeper to great success, as Greece became European champions.
Although this position has become obsolete in modern football formations, due to the use of zonal marking and the offside trap, certain players such as Daniele De Rossi:, Leonardo Bonucci, Javi Martínez and David Luiz have played a similar role as a ball-playing central defender in a 3–5–2 or 3–4–3 formation. Some goalkeepers, who are comfortable leaving their goalmouth to intercept and clear through balls, who participate more in play, such as René Higuita, Manuel Neuer, Edwin van der Sar, Fabien Barthez, Hugo Lloris, among others, have been referred to as sweep
Diego Armando Maradona is an Argentine retired professional footballer and current manager of Mexican second division club Dorados. Many in the sport, including football writers and fans, regard him as the greatest football player of all time, he was joint FIFA Player of the 20th Century with Pelé. Maradona's vision, ball control and dribbling skills was combined with his small stature, giving him a low center of gravity which allowed him to maneuver better than most other football players, his presence and leadership on the field had a great effect on his team's general performance, while he would be singled out by the opposition. A precocious talent, Maradona was given the nickname "El Pibe de Oro", a name that stuck with him throughout his career. An advanced playmaker who operated in the classic number 10 position, Maradona was the first player in football history to set the world record transfer fee twice, first when he transferred to Barcelona for a world record £5 million, second, when he transferred to Napoli for another record fee £6.9 million.
He played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Napoli and Newell's Old Boys during his club career, is most famous for his time at Napoli and Barcelona where he won numerous accolades. In his international career with Argentina, he scored 34 goals. Maradona played in four FIFA World Cups, including the 1986 World Cup in Mexico where he captained Argentina and led them to victory over West Germany in the final, won the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player. In the 1986 World Cup quarter final, he scored both goals in a 2–1 victory over England that entered football history for two different reasons; the first goal was an unpenalized handling foul known as the "Hand of God", while the second goal followed a 60 m dribble past five England players, voted "Goal of the Century" by FIFA.com voters in 2002. Maradona became coach of Argentina in November 2008, he was in charge of the team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa before leaving at the end of the tournament. He coached Dubai-based club Al Wasl in the UAE Pro-League for the 2011–12 season.
In 2017, Maradona became the coach of Fujairah before leaving at the end of the season. In May 2018, Maradona was announced as the new chairman of Belarusian club Dynamo Brest, he was presented by the club to start his duties in July. In September 2018 Maradona was appointed coach of Mexican club Dorados. Diego Armando Maradona was born on 30 October 1960, at the Policlínico Evita Hospital in Lanús, Buenos Aires Province, but raised in Villa Fiorito, a shantytown on the southern outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to a poor family that had moved from Corrientes Province, he was the first son after three daughters. He has two younger brothers, Hugo and Raúl, both of whom were professional football players, he was the fifth child and first son of Diego Maradona "Chitoro" and Dalma Salvadora Franco'Doña Tota'. Maradona's parents were both born and brought up in the town of Esquina in the north-east province of Corrientes Province, living only two hundred metres from each other on the banks of the Corriente River.
In 1950, they settled in Buenos Aires. At age eight, Maradona was spotted by a talent scout while he was playing in his neighbourhood club Estrella Roja, he became a staple of the junior team of Buenos Aires's Argentinos Juniors. As a 12-year-old ball boy, he amused spectators by showing his wizardry with the ball during the halftime intermissions of first division games, he named Brazilian playmaker Rivelino and Manchester United winger George Best among his inspirations growing up. On 20 October 1976, Maradona made his professional debut for Argentinos Juniors, 10 days before his 16th birthday, he entered to the pitch wearing the number 16 jersey, after the game said, "That day I felt I had held the sky in my hands." Maradona scored his first goal in the Primera División against Marplatense team San Lorenzo on 14 November 1976, two weeks after turning 16. Maradona spent five years at Argentinos Juniors, from 1976 to 1981, scoring 115 goals in 167 appearances before his US$4 million transfer to Boca Juniors.
Maradona received offers to join other clubs, including River Plate who offered to make him the club's best paid player. Maradona expressed his will to be transferred to Boca Juniors, the team he always wanted to play for. Maradona signed a contract with Boca Juniors on 20 February 1981, he made his debut two days against Talleres de Córdoba, scoring twice in the club's 4–1 win. On 10 April, Maradona played his first Superclásico against River Plate at La Bombonera stadium. Boca defeated River 3–0 with Maradona scoring a goal after dribbling past Alberto Tarantini and Fillol. Despite the distrustful relationship between Maradona and Boca Juniors manager, Silvio Marzolini, Boca had a successful season, winning the league title after securing a point against Racing Club; that would be the only title won by Maradona in the Argentine domestic league. After the 1982 World Cup, in June, Maradona was transferred to Barcelona in Spain for a world record fee of £5 million. In 1983, under coach César Luis Menotti and Maradona won the Copa del Rey, beating Real Madrid, the Spanish Super Cup, beating Athletic Bilbao.
On 26 June 1983, Barcelona defeated Real Madrid on the road in one of the world's biggest club games, El Clásico, a match where Maradona scored and became the first Barcelona player to be applaud
Associazione Calcio Milan referred to as A. C. Milan or Milan, is a professional football club in Milan, founded in 1899; the club has spent its entire history, with the exception of the 1980–81 and 1982–83 seasons, in the top flight of Italian football, known as Serie A since 1929–30. A. C. Milan's 18 FIFA and UEFA trophies is the fourth highest out of any club, the most out of any Italian club. Milan has won a joint record three Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup, seven European Cup/Champions League titles, the UEFA Super Cup a joint record five times and the Cup Winners' Cup twice. With 18 league titles, Milan is the joint-second most successful club in Serie A, along with local rivals Internazionale and behind Juventus, they have won the Coppa Italia five times, the Supercoppa Italiana seven. Milan's home games are played at San Siro known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; the stadium, shared with city rivals Internazionale, is the largest in Italian football, with a total capacity of 80,018.
Inter are considered their biggest rivals, matches between the two teams are called Derby della Madonnina, one of the most followed derbies in football. The club is one of the wealthiest in Italian and world football, it was a founding member of the now-defunct G-14 group of Europe's leading football clubs as well as its replacement, the European Club Association. A. C. Milan was founded as Milan Foot-Ball and Cricket Club in 1899 by English expatriates Alfred Edwards and Herbert Kilpin. Although the club itself claims 16 December of that year as its foundation date, historical evidence show that the club was founded on 13 December. In honour of its English origins, the club has retained the English spelling of the city's name, as opposed to the Italian spelling Milano, which it was forced to bear under the fascist regime. Milan won its first Italian championship in 1901 and a further two in succession in 1906 and 1907. In 1908, Milan experienced a split caused by internal disagreements over the signing of foreign players, which led to the forming of another Milan-based team, F.
C. Internazionale Milano. Following these events, Milan did not manage to win a single domestic title until 1950–51; the 1950s saw the club return to the top of Italian football, headed by the famous Gre-No-Li Swedish trio Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm. This was one of the club's most successful periods domestically, with the Scudetto going to Milan in 1951, 1955, 1957, 1959 and 1962. In 1963, Milan won its first continental title by beating Benfica in the final of the European Cup; this success was repeated in 1969, with a 4–1 win over Ajax in the final, followed by the Intercontinental Cup title the same year. During this period Milan won its first Coppa Italia, with victory over Padova in the 1967 final, two European Cup Winners' Cups: in 1967–68 and 1972–73. Milan won a tenth league title in 1979, but after the retirement of Gianni Rivera in the same year, the team went into a period of decline; the club was involved in the 1980 Totonero scandal and as punishment was relegated to Serie B for the first time in its history.
The scandal was centred around a betting syndicate paying players and officials to fix the outcome of matches. Milan achieved promotion back to Serie A at the first attempt, winning the 1980–81 Serie B title, but were again relegated a year as the team ended its 1981–82 campaign in third-last place. In 1983, Milan won the Serie B title for the second time in three seasons to return to Serie A, where they achieved a sixth-place finish in 1983–84. On 20 February 1986, entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi acquired the club and saved it from bankruptcy after investing vast amounts of money, appointing rising manager Arrigo Sacchi at the helm of the Rossoneri and signing Dutch internationals Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard; the Dutch trio added an attacking impetus to the team, complemented the club's Italian internationals Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta and Roberto Donadoni. Under Sacchi, Milan won its first Scudetto in nine years in the 1987–88 season; the following year, the club won its first European Cup in two decades, beating Romanian club Steaua București 4–0 in the final.
Milan retained their title with a 1–0 win over Benfica a year and was the last team to win back-to-back European Cups until Real Madrid's win in 2017. The Milan team of 1989–90, nicknamed the "Immortals" in the Italian media, has been voted the best club side of all time in a global poll of experts conducted by World Soccer magazine. After Sacchi left Milan in 1991, he was replaced by the club's former player Fabio Capello whose team won three consecutive Serie A titles between 1992 and 1994, a spell which included a 58-match unbeaten run in Serie A, back-to-back UEFA Champions League final appearances in 1993, 1994 and 1995. A year after losing 1–0 to Marseille in the 1993 Champions League final, Capello's team reached its peak in one of Milan's most memorable matches of all time, the famous 4–0 win over Barcelona in the 1994 Champions League final. Capello's side went on to win the 1995–96 league title before he left to coach Real Madrid in 1996. In 1998–99, after a two-year period of decline, Milan lifted its 16th championship in the club's centenary season.
Milan's next period of success came under Carlo Ancelotti. After his appointment in November 2001, Ancelotti took Milan to the 2003 Champions League final, where they defeated Juventus on penalties to win the club's sixth European Cup; the team won the Scudetto in 2003–04 before reaching the 2005 Champions