Milan face Dortmund at San Siro on Tuesday night in one of the most attractive fifth-round games in the Champions League group stage.
Associazione Calcio Milan, known commonly as AC Milan, are one of the most successful clubs in the history of Italian and European soccer.
The Rossoneri (The Red and Blacks) were founded in 1899 and they play in the San Siro stadium, which they share with fierce local rivals Inter Milan.
They have won Serie A 19 times, the last title coming in the 2021/22 season. They are now level with great local rivals Inter Milan as the second most successful club in the Italian top flight. However, both are some way behind Juventus, who have 36 league titles.
Foundation and early history
Milan were immediately successful and won their first titles in 1901, 1906 and 1907. In 1908, an internal disagreement over foreign players led to a split which resulted in the formation of Inter Milan. Inter were founded as a club with ambitions to sign international players as well as Italians.
Out of respect for their English roots, AC Milan kept the English spelling of Milan in their name. However, the fascist government forced the club to use the name Italian Milano when they were the ruling party in Italy.
AC Milan and the European Cup
Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello years
Under Sacchi, Milan won the top flight title in 1987/88 for the first time in nine years. They won the European Cup the following year by beating Steaua Bucharest 4-0 in the final. In 1990, they defended their European prize by beating Benfica 1-0 in a repeat of the 1962 final.
Carlo Ancelotti era
In 2005, Milan infamously lost the UEFA Champions League final to Liverpool on penalties after squandering a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 in regulation time. However, the Rossoneri gained revenge in 2007 as they met Liverpool again in the final and beat them 2-1 with Filippo Inzaghi scoring twice.
AC Milan's decline and recovery
Since Ancelotti departed AC Milan for Chelsea in 2009, the Rossoneri have struggled to replicate their success under him.
They did manage to win the 2010/11 Serie A title under Max Allegri, but after key players Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic departed for Paris Saint-Germain, they were never quite able to rebuild.
Milan's financial management and recruitment policy in the post-Ancelotti years at times left a lot to be desired. The club missed out on European competitions due to violating Financial Fair Play. Milan's decline was also accelerated by the dominance of Antonio Conte's Juventus.
Despite years of failing to mount a strong title challenge, 10th place in the 2014/15 campaign their lowest ebb, the club's fortunes were about to change.
Former Inter manager Stefano Pioli was brought in as a short-term manager in October 2019, but was rewarded with a new two-year deal after guiding the club, which now included the recently returned Zlatan Ibrahimovic, to a high-scoring sixth-placed finish.
In 2021/22, Pioli went one better by delivering AC Milan's 19th Scudetto, the club's first title since 2011.
The 2022/23 season was disappointing in the league as AC Milan finished in fourth place, 20 points behind runaway winners Napoli. In the Champions League, they reached the semi-finals before being knocked out by bitter local rivals Inter Milan. They also finished runners-up in the Supercoppa Italiana, again losing to Inter.
Derby della Madonnina and other rivals
The derby between the two sides is called the Derby della Madonnina after the statue of the Virgin Mary which sits on top of the Milan Cathedral. Since 1929 in Serie A, Inter have won 71 matches against Milan, compared to the Rossoneri's 54.
AC Milan's finances
Elliott Management Corporation were AC Milan's majority owners before the summer of 2022. The hedge fund took control of AC Milan in 2018 after a turbulent spell under the ownership of Li Yonghong, who bought the club from Silvio Berlusconi with the help of Elliott.
While Elliott Management Corporation still retain a minority stake, AC Milan were acquired by RedBird Capital Partners in a $1.3billion deal in the summer of 2022.
The club's 2021/22 financial statement reports a 14% revenue increase to €297.7million compared to the year before. They had a positive EBITDA of €29.3million and a net debt of €28.4million. There was also a "further reduction in losses (€30million, improvement of over 30% compared with the previous financial year)".
Forbes reports AC Milan had a team value of $1.404billion (€1.3billion) in May 2023, with revenue of $299million (€265million) and an operating income of $11million (€10million).