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Associazione Calcio Milan commonly referred to as A.C. Milan or simply Milan, is a professional Italian football club based in Milan, Lombardy, that plays in Serie A. Milan was founded in 1899 by English lace-maker Herbert Kilpin and businessman Alfred Edwards among others.The club has spent its entire history, with the exception of the 1980–81 and 1982–83 seasons, in the top flight of Italian football, known as Serie A since 1929–30.
With 18 officially recognised UEFA and FIFA titles, they are the fourth most successful club in the world in terms of number of international titles, together with Boca Juniors and Real Madrid, and behind Al Ahly with twenty titles.Milan has won a joint record of three Intercontinental Cups and one of its successor, the FIFA Club World Cup. Milan have also won the European Cup/Champions League on seven occasions, second only to Real Madrid.They have also won the UEFA Super Cup a joint record five times and the Cup Winners' Cup twice. Milan has won every major competition in which it has competed, with the exception of the Europa League (in this competition they have lost two semi-finals in 1972 and in 2002). Domestically, with 18 league titles Milan is the joint-second most successful club in Serie A behind Juventus (33 titles), along with local rivals Inter. They have also won the Coppa Italia five times, as well as seven Supercoppa Italiana triumphs.
Milan's home games are played at San Siro, also known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. The stadium, which is shared with long-lasting city rivals Internazionale, is the largest in Italian football, with a total capacity of 80,018. Inter are considered their biggest rivals, and matches between the two teams are called Derby della Madonnina, which is one of the most followed derbies in football. As of 2010, Milan is the third most supported team in Italy, and the seventh most supported team in Europe, ahead of any other Italian team.
The former owner of the club was former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. who owned the club for 31 years The club is one of the wealthiest and most valuable in Italian and world football. It was a founding member of the now-defunct G-14 group of Europe's leading football clubs as well as its replacement, the European Club Association.
Supporters and rivalries
Milan is one of the best supported football clubs in Italy, according to research conducted by Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Historically, Milan was supported by the city's working-class and trade unionists. On the other hand, crosstown rivals Internazionale were mainly supported by the more prosperous and typically Milanese middle-class. One of the oldest ultras groups in all of Italian football, Fossa dei Leoni, originated in Milan. Currently, the main ultras group within the support base is Brigate Rossonere. Politically, Milan ultras have never had any particular preference, but the media traditionally associated them with the left-wing, until Berlusconi's presidency somewhat altered that view.
According to a study from 2010, Milan is the most supported Italian team in Europe and seventh overall, with over 18.4 million fans. AC Milan had the ninth highest average attendance of European football clubs during the 2010–11 season, behind Borussia Dortmund, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Schalke, Arsenal, and Hamburg.
Genoa fans consider Milan a hated rival after Genoa fan, Vincenzo Spagnolo was stabbed to death by a Milan supporter in January 1995. However, Milan's main rivalry is with neighbour club, Internazionale; both clubs meet in the widely anticipated Derby della Madonnina twice every Serie A season. The name of the derby refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose statue atop the Milan Cathedral is one of the city's main attractions. The match usually creates a lively atmosphere, with numerous (often humorous or offensive) banners unfolded before the start of the game. Flares are commonly present and contribute to the spectacle but they have occasionally led to problems, including the abandonment of the second leg of the 2004–05 Champions League quarterfinal match between Milan and Inter on 12 April 2005, after a flare thrown from the crowd by an Inter supporter struck Milan keeper Dida on the shoulder.