Today we’re wishing a happy 43rd birthday to former Milan and Italy midfielder Massimo Ambrosini!
‘Ambro’ may have averaged just 28 games in each of his 17 seasons at San Siro, but he was a complete central midfielder in his prime, dominating the middle of the park with his presence and prowess.
Born on May 29, 1977 in Pesaro, he began his career with Cesena, breaking into their first team aged just 17.
Twenty-five Serie B appearances were all that Milan needed to gauge his potential, and they paid the Seahorses €2m to sign him in the summer of 1995.
Ambrosini had to bide his time before breaking into the Rossoneri’s plans, first helping Vicenza reach the Cup Winners’ Cup semi-finals during a loan spell in 1997-98.
He returned to Milan for the 98-99 season and played 26 times as they won the Scudetto.
Injuries and increased competition for places began to take their toll from 00-01 onwards, but he still formed part of squads that won another Serie A title and the Champions League in 2003.
Ambrosini finally regained his starting spot midway through 2006-07, making 12 appearances in the Champions League en route to the Diavolo’s seventh European Cup success.
He eventually replaced Paolo Maldini as the side’s captain in 2009 and contributed to another Scudetto two years later.
His 18-year association with Milan came to an end in 2013 and he spent one season with Fiorentina before finally hanging up his boots.
Ambrosini was also an Italy international but managed just 35 caps and was overlooked for the 2006 World Cup conquest, although he was one of the Azzurri’s Euro 2000 finalists and did win a recall for Euro 2008.
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