In the history of football clubs will have their highest moments, but will also have their lowest moments. At the moment AC Milan are probably suffering one of their lowest moments in modern football.
The once European giants, who were on top of world football as well as Italian football, are now struggling to make an impact in their own league, yet alone world football.
After last night's home 2-0 defeat to Palermo, Milan are currently 7th, with 16 points from their first 10 games. Now, this may not sound like a terrible start, but Milan are already nine points off league-leaders Juventus and their current crop of players doesn't exactly scream excitement.
Team changes (2005-now)
Lets look at the drastic change in Milan's appearance, and to help, I want to specifically look at their 2005 team. Below you can see an XI I have put together for AC Milan:
Dida, Cafu, Jaap Stam, Alessandro Nesta, Paolo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso, Kaka, Andriy Shevchenko, Hernan Crespo.
For you dedicated fans, you will probably be aware that this is the AC Milan team that took to the field in Istanbul to face Liverpool in the Champions League 2005 final. Now lets look at the team that was fielded last night against Palermo, and that can show how drastically things have changed at the San Siro, for AC Milan anyway.
Diego Lopez, Adil Rami, Alex, Mattia De Sciglio, Ignazio Abate, Nigel De Jong, Andrea Poli, Keisuke Honda, Riccardo Saponara, Jeremy Menez, Fernando Torres.
Now I know you are probably still thinking, that's not a bad team, but if you compare the two, would any player from the latter get into the first team?
Highs and lows
As mentioned in the first paragraph, every side has highs and lows. Look at Arsenal, who went nine years without a trophy after going unbeaten throughout a whole season. Another example can be found at Manchester United now. One of football's biggest ever clubs now finishing 7th in the Premier League.
However, with AC Milan, they have fallen from Champions League finals frequently, to 8th in Serie A (where they finished last season). The AC Milan team people are familiar with are no longer there, the name is still as big as ever, but the truth is, the team has fallen way down in footballing reputation.
Their last piece of silverware came back in the 2010/2011 season when they picked up the Serie A title, but since then, they have been finishing lower and lower in the table each season, resulting in no Champions League football.
AC Milan will forever be known as one of football's mega-elite clubs, but if they don't show any sign of improving in the next few years, their history could be the only thing keeping up their reputation.