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Europe's Ten Best Football Clubs

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AC MILAN:

ac_milan.jpgAssociazione Calcio Milan is an Italian football club founded in 1899. Interestingly, the club was first founded as a cricket club by British expatriates, switching to football a few years later. Milan have won the Italian first division title 17 times which leaves them 2nd in the list of highest number of title wins in Italy and they are 7 time European champions. In addition, they have also won the Coppa Italia 5 times. Milan's home ground is the San Siro, which is officially named Stadio Guiseppe Meazza.

Currently, Carlo Ancelotti is the head coach of Milan and he has been there since 2001. The Present FIFA World player of the year, Kaka also plays for AC Milan. The Milan derby which is contested between AC M ilan and their rivals Inter Milan is one of the most fiercely contested rivalries in European football.

MOST APPEARANCES - Paolo Maldini (874)
TOP GOALSCORER - Gunner Nordahl (221)

OTHER FAMOUS PLAYERS: Marco Van Basten, George Weah, Giovanni Trapattoni, Mauro Tassotti, Clarence Seedorf, Rui Costa, Gianni Rivera, Frank Rijkaard, Andrea Pirlo, Alessandro Nesta, Nils Liedholm, Kaka, Ruud Gullit, Roberto Donadoni, Alessandro Costacurta, Cafu, Franco Baresi, Demetrio Albertini, Ronaldinho, Andriy Shevchenko

Famous Quotes and trivia:

1. "When people think of Italy, after the mafia and pizza, they think of AC Milan" AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi.


ARSENAL:

arsenal.jpgArsenal football club are based in north London and play their home games at the newly constructed Emirates Stadium. When they were founded in 1886 they were known as Dial Square. The 13 league titles and 10 FA cups that Arsenal have won till date makes them the third most successful club in England. Arsenal are one of very few football clubs around Europe which is not financed by debt. They made an operating profit of £36.7 million in the year ending 31st May 2008.

Arsenal are currently managed by Frenchman Arsene Wenger who as been at the club for 12 years now. Wenger is also Arsenal's most successful manager ever with 3 premier league titles and 4 FA cups under his belt. Traditionally, Arsenal's biggest rivals have been neighbours Tottenham Hotspur and the 2 clubs regularly contest the North London derby.

Arsenal are nicknamed as the Gunners and their fans are referred to as the Gooners. They currently hold the record for the most number of consecutive seasons in the top flight of European football, never having been relegated to a lower division in their history.

MOST APPEARANCES- David O'Leary (722)
TOP GOALSCORER- Thierry Henry (226)

OTHER FAMOUS PLAYERS: Cliff Bastin, George Armstrong, George Graham, Pat Rice, Liam Brady, Frank Stapleton, Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Paul Merson, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, David Seaman, Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Viera, Robert Pires, Sol Campbell, Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Petit.

Famous Quotes and trivia:

1. "I would love this place to be my garden" Theirry Henry on Arsenal's old stadium Highbury.
2. "At some clubs success is accidental. At Arsenal it is compulsory" Arsene Wenger


BARCELONA:

barcelona.jpgBarcelona, popularly known as Barca was founded in 1899 by a group of men led by Joan Gamper. In their illustrious history, Barca hove won 18 La Liga (Spanish league), 24 Copa Del Rey and 2 UEFA Champions league titles. Real Madrid are considered to be Barcelona's biggest rivals and games between the two are called El Clasico because of their huge magnitude and importance.

Barcelona play their home games at the Camp Nou (Catalan for "new field"), which has a capacity of 98772, making it the largest stadium in Europe and the 10th largest in the world.

Former Barca legend, midfielder Josep Guardiola has taken over the reigns this season at Barcelona after Dutchman Frank Rijkaard parted company with the club.

MOST APPEARANCES: Migueli (548)
TOP GOALSCORER: Cesar Rodriguez (235)

OTHER FAMOUS PLAYERS: Josep Escola, Mariano Martin, Antoni Ramallets, Juan Manuel Asensi, Johan Cruyff, Hans Krankl, Bernd Schuster, Diego Maradona, Ronald Koeman, Josep Guardiola, Hristo Stoichkov, Romario, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Carlos Puyol, Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o

Famous Quotes and trivia:

1. "I would like to be a basketball coach. Then I would be able to ask for timeouts and to change players every two minutes" Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola.
2. It is estimated that about 25% of the Spanish population are Barcelona supporters.
3. "Catalonia is a country and FC Barcelona is their army" Former Barca manager Sir Bobby Robson.


BAYERN MUNICH:

bayern_munich.jpgBayern is the most well known German football club. They are based in Munich in the Bavaria region of Germany. The club came into being in 1900 courtesy of 11 football players led by Franz John. They have won more trophies than any other German club with 20 Bundesliga titles, 14 German cups and 4 Champions league titles.

Presently, Bayern's home is the futuristic Allianz Arena where they shifted in 2005 after 33 years at the Olympic stadium of Munich.

They are managed by former Bayern player and German national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann who took over from Ottmar Hitzfeld at the beginning of this season. Their chairman is German world cup winner and former captain Franz Beckenbauer

MOST APPEARANCES: Sepp Maier (536)
TOP GOALSCORER: Gerd Muller (365)

OTHER FAMOUS PLAYERS: Franz Beckenbauer, Paul Breitner, Uli Hoenes, Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck, Klaus Augenthaler, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Roland Wohlfarth, Stefan Effenberg, Lothar Matthaus, Giovane Elber, Bixente Lizarazu, Mehmet Scholl, Oliver Kahn, Owen Hargreaves, Lucatoni, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose, Frank Ribery, Philipp Lahm


Famous quotes and Trivia:

1. During the 1960's and 70's Sepp Maier, Gerd Muller and Franz Beckenbauer were the mainstays of the Bayern team and were collectively referred to as the axis.
2. In the 1980's Paul Breitner and Karl-Heinz Rumminegge were the most influential players in the Bayern Munich squad and the fans collectively termed them as FC Breitnigge.


CHELSEA:

chelsea.jpgChelsea are a premier league club based in West London. Although, historically they are not a very successful club, in recent times they have become a force to be reckoned with in European football because of the money pumped in the club by Russian oil magnate Roman Abramovich. Their list of trophies includes 3 English league titles, 4 FA cups and 4 league cups.

The Blues, as they are more fondly known were established in 1905 and since then they have played their home games at the Stamford Bridge stadium.

Jose Mourinho has been Chelsea's most successful manager with 2 premier league titles in his 3 years in-charge of the club. Presently the club is managed by Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari who guided the Brazilian national team to World cup glory in 2002.

MOST APPEARANCES: Ron Harris (795)
TOP GOALSCORER: Bobby Tambling (202)

OTHER FAMOUS PLAYERS: George Hilsdon, Jackie Crawford, Ken Armstrong, Roy Bentley, Peter Bonetti, Terry Venables, George Graham, Peter Osgood, Kerry Dixon, Mark Hughes, Dan Petrescu, Gianfranco Zola, John Terry, Marcel Desailly, Frank Lampard, Claude Makelele, Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack, Deco, Joe Cole.


Famous Quotes and trivia:

1. "If Roman Abramovich helped me out in training we would be bottom of the league and if I had to work in his world of big business, we would be bankrupt" former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
2. "I'm not a defender of old or new football managers. I believe in good ones and bad ones, those that achieve success and those that don't. Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm a European champion and I think I'm the special one" Mourinho in his first press conference as Chelsea manager.
3. Chelsea hold the record for most number of points in a premier league season (95), the fewest goals conceded in a league season (15), the most consecutive clean sheets during a league season (10) and the highest number of victories in a premier league season (29) and all of these came in the 2004-05 season.


INTERNAZIONALE:

inter_milan.jpgInternazionale, more familiarly known as Inter Milan or Inter is an Italian football club based in Milan, Lombardy and it was founded in 1908. Inter is the only Italian club to have spent its entire history in the top tier of Italian football. Inter have won the Serie A, that is the Italian first division title 16 times and on the European front they have 2 European Cup (Champions league) and 3 UEFA cup titles to their name. Recent years have been highly successful for Inter as they have won the Serie A for the last 3 years running.

The San Siro is Inter's home which they share with city rivals AC Milan and it is the largest football stadium in Italy.

The club is currently managed by the very outspoken Jose Mourinho, who took over from Roberto Mancini 4 months back.

MOST APPEARANCES: Guiseppe Bergomi (758)
TOP GOALSCORER: Guiseppe Meazza (288)

OTHER FAMOUS PLAYERS: Alessandro Altobelli, Guiseppe Baresi, Nicola Berti, Christian Vieri, Gabriel Batistuta, Hernan Crespo, Javier Zanetti, Adriano, Ronaldo, Paul Ince, Jurgen Klinsmann, Lothar Matthaus, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Dennis Bergkamp, Edgar Davids, Luis Figo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Famous quotes and trivia:

1. Inter has 2 nicknames. One of them is Nerazzuri (the black-blues) and the other is La Beneamata (the cherished).
2. Inter hold the record for the most number of points in a Serie A season (97), most wins in a season (30), and the most consecutive league wins (17) all of which came in the 2006-07 season.

JUVENTUS:

juventus.gifJuventus is a Turin based football club and it is historically the most successful club in Italian football history with 27 Scudetto (Italian league) titles. They have also reached 7 Champions league finals, winning 2 and loosing the other 5. Juve were relegated for the first time in their history in 2006 because of their part in the Calciopoli match fixing scandal and they were stripped of the league title than they had won in the 2005-06 season.

Juventus have many nicknames like the Old Lady, I Bianconeri (black and whites) and the zebras.

The Stadio Olimpico di Torino is the temporary home of Juventus because the stadium which the club owns, Stadio Delle Alpi is undergoing extensive renovation and will be ready for use again only in 2011.

Currently they are coached by Claudio Ranieri who is in his 2nd season in-charge of the club.

MOST APPEARANCES: Alessandro Del Piero (560)
TOP GOALSCORER: Alessandro Del Piero (247)

OTHER FAMOUS PLAYERS: Roberto Baggio, Giampiero Boniperti, Liam Brady, Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Fabio Capello, Antonio Conte, Edgar Davids, Didier Deschamps, Guiseppe Furino, Claudio Gentile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Filippo Inzaghi, Michael Laudrup, Pavel Nedved, Michel Platini, Paolo Rossi, Gaetano Scirea, Marco Tardelli, Lilian Thuram, David Trezeguet, Gianluca Vialli, Gianluca Zambrotta, Zinedine Zidane, Dino Zoff

Famous quotes and trivia:

1. "I began by playing for the biggest club in the Lorraine region, went on to the biggest club in France and ended up with the biggest in the world" Michel Platini, former French footballer. About his career at AS Nancy, Saint-Étienne and Juventus.
2. Juventus originally played in pink shirts, but in 1903 a friend of an English team member shipped them black and white shirts from England because he was a Nottingham County fan and Juventus have worn those colours ever since considering them to be more aggressive and powerful.


LIVERPOOL:

liverpool.jpgLiverpool is the most successful English club till date both domestically and on the European front. They have won 18 league titles and 5 Champions league titles. But the last of the league titles was won in 1990 and since then the club has been on a barren spell.

Historically, Bob Paisley is Liverpool's most successful manager in terms of the number of trophies won, but a large section of Liverpool fans consider Bill Shankly to be the greatest manager Liverpool has seen.

Since their formation, Anfield has been Liverpool's home ground. Liverpool's supporters are knows as the Kopites after the name of the stand at Anfield called the Kop.

As of now, Spaniard Rafael Benitez is the manager of Liverpool since the start of the 2004-05 season when he took over from Gerard Houllier.

MOST APPEARANCES: Ian Callaghan (857)
TOP GOALSCORER: Ian Rush (356)

OTHER FAMOUS PLAYERS: Elisha Scott, Gordon Hodgson, Ron Yeats, Roger Hunt, Alan Hansen, Kenny Dalglish, Steve Mcmanaman, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Fernando Torres, Tommy Smith, Ray Clemence, Emlyn Hughes, Ian St.John, John Toshack, Kevin Keegan, Graeme Souness, Phil Neal, Jan Molby, John Barnes,

Famous quotes and trivia:

1. "Liverpool are magic, Everton are tragic" Former captain Emlyn Hughes referring to Liverpool's local rivals Everton.
2. "There are those who say maybe I should forget about football. Maybe I should forget about breathing." Gerard Houllier, former Liverpool manager.
3. Liverpool have won the English league cup (Carling cup) 7 times which is more than any other club.

MANCHESTER UNITED:

man_u.jpgManchester United is an English football club which is ranked as the richest and most valuable football club in the world, with a value of 897 million. In the last 20 years Manchester United has been the most successful English club with 10 premier league and 2 Champions league titles under manager Alex Ferguson. Overall they have won 17 league titles and 3 Champions leagues.

The club is based at the Old Trafford stadium in Greater Manchester and it is the biggest club football stadium in Britain.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been at Manchester United since November 1986 which makes him the longest serving current manager in English football. Ferguson also holds the record for winning manager of the year the most number of times in British football history.

MOST APPEARANCES: Ryan Giggs (765)
TOP GOALSCORER: Bobby Charlton (249)

OTHER FAMOUS PLAYERS: Jack Rowley, Duncan Edwards, Bobby Charlton, Nobby Stiles, Denis Law, George Best, Bryan Robson, Mark Hughes, Brian Mcclair, Steve Bruce, Paul Ince, Ryan Giggs, Peter Schmeichel, Gary Neville, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Jaap Stam, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, Carlos Tevez.

Famous quotes and trivia:

1. Manchester United's sponsorship deal with AIG is the largest sponsorship deal in English history, worth 56.5 million over 4 years.
2. "He's so greedy for success that when his grandkids beat him at cards, he sends them to bed without any supper" Former Manchester United defender Gary Pallister on Alex Ferguson.


REAL MADRID:

real_madrid_crest.jpgReal Madrid are the most successful football club in the world with more Spanish league and European cup titles than any other club. Since their formation in 1902, Real Madrid have won the Spanish league 31 times and the Champions League 9 times. They have also been victorious in 17 Copa del Rey's and 2 UEFA cups. They were voted by FIFA as the most successful club of the 20th century.

Real play their home games at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid and their biggest rivals are considered to be Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Normally, no manager survives for a long duration at Real Madrid because of the pressure and demands for instant success. The present boss is Bernd Schuster who won the league with Real last season. Real Madrid are nicknamed as Los Blancos (the whites).

MOST APPEARANCES: Manuel Sanchez Hontiyuelo (710)
TOP GOALSCORER: Alfredo Di Stefano (307)

OTHER FAMOUS PLAYERS: Miguel Munoz, Alfredo Di Stefano, Francisco Gento, Ferenc Puskas, Amancio, Juanito, Manuel Sanchis, Hugo Sanchez, Fernando Hierro, Raul Gonzalez, Roberto Carlos, Clarence Seedorf, Fernando Morientes, Iker Casillas, Claude Makelele, Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, David Beckham, Michael Owen, Robinho, Sergio Ramos.

Famous quotes and trivia:

1. The Santiago Bernabeu has played host to 3 Champions league finals (1957, 1969 and 1980) and is scheduled to host the 2010 final as well. It was also the site of the 1982 World Cup final.