Coppa Italia: Juventus vs. AC Milan: Best Combined 11

One of Italian football’s best rivalries resumes in the Coppa Italia this week, but who makes it into our combined 11?

Gigi Buffon – Goalkeeper

The current Juventus goalkeeper joined the club in 2001 and his spell in Turin has been glittered with success. He’s won a staggering nine Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia’s and has also played in two Champions League finals. His opposite number Gianluigi Donnarumma is likely to fill Buffon’s gloves when he finally retires.

Alessandro Costacurta – Right Back

Costacurta made over 650 appearances for Milan, the third highest in the club’s history. With seven Serie A and five Champions League triumphs to his name, it’s impossible to leave him out of a combined 11.

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Alessandro Nesta – Centre Back

Nesta was a proven world class defender when he joined Milan from Lazio in 2002. He played in 48 matches in his first season which ended with winning the Champions League final. The following season, he won his second Scudetto title, before going on to win the 2006 World Cup with Italy. He lifted another Champions League title in 2007 and rounded off his time at the San Siro with another Scudetto in 2011.

Franco Baresi – Centre Back

Baresi spent his entire career playing for AC Milan, making over 700 appearances before retiring in 1997. His number six shirt was retired by the club, reinforcing how much of a hero he was for the Rossoneri.

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Paolo Maldini – Left Back

Maldini is arguably AC Milan’s greatest ever player. In a career spanning over a quarter of a century, the defender went on to become Milan’s highest appearance maker and was a serial trophy-winner. Like Baresi, his shirt was also retired, but he has stated that if either of his sons turn professional, then they can wear his number.

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Pavel Nedved – Midfield

It was a bold decision to sell Zinedine Zidane, but replacing him with Pavel Nedved was a stroke of genius. The Czech star became a legend to supporters, sticking with the club after relegation and he’s still at the club as a director.

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Andrea Pirlo – Midfield

Pirlo was a key member of the Milan midfield for a decade, making over 400 appearances for the side, winning two Serie A titles and two Champions League triumphs. However, Milan let him go and he later joined Juventus, where he added a further two league triumphs to his trophy collection.

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Frank Rijkaard – Midfield

Rijkaard joined a growing Dutch contingent in Milan in the late 1980s as they became the best club in world football. In his five years in the Milan midfield, Rijkaard played 200 matches and won Serie A and the European Cup twice.

Zinedine Zidane – Midfield

Zidane was named FIFA World Player of the Year twice in his spell at Juventus and he eventually departed for a world record transfer fee to Real Madrid. He made over 150 appearances and won two Serie A titles in his time in Turin.

Marco Van Basten – Striker

At his peak, Van Basten was arguably the best player in the world. He won three Serie A titles with Milan and won the Ballon d’Or three times in 1988, 1989 and 1992. He was also top goalscorer in his team’s European Cup victory in 1989 and scored a brace in the final against Steaua Bucharest.

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Alessandro Del Piero – Striker

Del Piero is considered to be Juventus’ greatest ever striker. He made 500 appearances for the club, over 19 years and terrorised defences. He was considerably underrated outside Italy, but he remains one of their greatest ever players.

Words by @dominictrant