Wednesday May 8 2019
Happy Birthday, Franco Baresi!

Today is the 59th birthday of Milan legend Franco Baresi, one of the greatest defenders of all time.

Born in Travagliato on May 8, 1960; Baresi joined the Rossoneri youth system at the age of 12 - having been rejected by city rivals Inter.

The centre-back made his debut at the age of 17 on April 23, 1978 and became a fixture in the starting XI in the following campaign.

That season brought a first Scudetto, but the Diavolo were relegated to Serie B in 1980 as part of the Totonero match fixing scandal.

Baresi stayed and helped win immediate promotion, but the Rossoneri went straight back down.

Despite being a member of the Italy squad which won the World Cup in the summer of 1982, Baresi once again went with the club to Serie B and helped them to win promotion.

His loyalty would be rewarded, as he went on to form one of the greatest backlines of all time alongside Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta and Mauro Tassotti.

Protected by that defence, Milan would win five Scudetti and three European Cups, as well as lifting the Intercontinental Cup twice.

Baresi and his teammates set an Italian record of 58 games unbeaten, a run which included the entirety of the 1991-92 season.

During the 1993-94 campaign, that famous backline allowed the opposition just 15 goals in 34 games as the Rossoneri won the Scudetto.

Baresi retired at the age of 37 following the 1996-97 season, passing the captaincy over to Maldini.

After 719 appearances, all for Milan, the club retired his number 6 shirt and in 1999 he was voted the club’s player of the century.

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