Real Madrid v AC Milan : Built-In Rivalry


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The traveling squad of Italian Serie A side AC MILAN gather for a little team talk during a training session on Monday at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in the capital city of Spain. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP)
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Two of Europe’s most powerful as well as prestigous clubs will clash on Tuesday as Spanish La Liga club REAL MADRID host Italian Serie A side AC MILAN at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Group G of the UEFA Champions League.

It is unfortunate that Brazil World Cup star KAKA is out for Real Madrid as a result of knee surgery in early August. The 28-year-old offensive-minded midfielder, of course, competed six seasons for AC Milan, scoring 70 goals in 193 Serie A contests with another 24 goals from 63 games in Europe before his move to Spain in the summer of 2009. Reportedly, the signing of Kaka set Real Madrid back 64.0 million Euros.

Real Madrid’s new manager, JOSE MOURINHO, is, naturally, no stranger to the AC Milan team having worked two years with cross-town rival Inter Milan in the Italian Alps.

Meanwhile, several of AC Milan’s players are quite familiar with playing important football matches at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in the capital city of Spain.

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Brazil World Cup striker ROBINHO (70) of AC Milan, who came on as a second half substitute, dribbles around the full-stretch challenge of Chievo Verona goalkeeper STEFANO SORRENTINO (28) at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza this past Saturday. (Luca Bruno/AP)
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AC Milan’s 34-year-old veteran midfielder CLARENCE SEEDORF spent a little over three years in Spain with Real Madrid; the former Holland international appeared 121 times and scored 15 goals in La Liga for Los Blancos before transferring to Inter Milan for roughly 23.0 million Euros during the 1999-2000 season.

Brazil World Cup striker ROBINHO, a recent big-money acquisition of AC Milan from English club Manchester City has played for Real Madrid more recently; the 26-year-old appeared in 101 La Liga games (25 goals) and 21 more matches in Europe (5 goals) over three seasons before moving to the Premier League in a deal worth a reported 42.5 million Euros on the first day of September in 2008.

Other AC Milan players are rather used to rivalry matches with Real Madrid at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, as well.

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Chievo Verona goalkeeper STEFANO SORRENTINO (28) can only stare as the Brazil World Cup striker ROBINHO (70), AC Milan’s purchase of 18.0 million Euros from English side Manchester City this August, successfully negotiates the last hurdle at the San Siro in the Italian Alps. (Paolo Bona/Reuters)
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2002 and 2006 Brazil World Cup midfielder RONALDINHO was employed by Real Madrid’s arch-enemy in the Spanish Primera Division, FC Barcelona, for five seasons until his transfer to AC Milan in the summer of 2008.

2006 and 2010 Italy World Cup defender GIANLUCA ZAMBROTTA wore the shirt of FC Barcelona for two years until leaving for AC Milan the same off-season as Ronaldinho.

Sweden international striker ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC is on loan to AC Milan for this season from FC Barcelona.

And then there is Italy international goalkeeper CHRISTIAN ABBIATI, who was out on loan from AC Milan to Real Madrid’s intra-city rival, Atletico Madrid, for the 2007-08 campaign.

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Brazil World Cup striker ROBINHO (70) scores his first career goal for AC Milan in the 90th minute of the Serie A match against Chievo Verona the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in the Italian Alps last Saturday. (Luca Bruno/AP)

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