Previous
Leicester City
Manchester United
5
3
FT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
0
1
FT
Game Details
Everton
Crystal Palace
2
3
FT
Game Details
Manchester City
Chelsea
1
1
FT
Game Details
Levante
Barcelona
0
5
FT
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Bayer Leverkusen
4
1
FT
Game Details
Toronto FC
Chivas USA
3
0
FT
Game Details
Leicester City
Manchester United
5
3
FT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
0
1
FT
Game Details
Everton
Crystal Palace
2
3
FT
Game Details
Manchester City
Chelsea
1
1
FT
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Almeria
1
2
FT
Game Details
Villarreal
Rayo Vallecano
4
2
FT
Game Details
Cordoba
Sevilla FC
1
3
FT
Game Details
Levante
Barcelona
0
5
FT
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Bayer Leverkusen
4
1
FT
Game Details
FC Cologne
Borussia Monchengladbach
0
0
FT
Game Details
Chievo Verona
Parma
2
3
FT
Game Details
AS Roma
Cagliari
2
0
FT
Game Details
Genoa
Lazio
1
0
FT
Game Details
Sassuolo
Sampdoria
0
0
FT
Game Details
Atalanta
Fiorentina
0
1
FT
Game Details
Udinese
Napoli
1
0
FT
Game Details
Palermo
Internazionale
1
1
FT
Game Details
Torino
Hellas Verona
0
1
FT
Game Details
Lille
Montpellier
0
0
FT
Game Details
AS Monaco
Guingamp
1
0
FT
Game Details
Lens
St Etienne
0
1
FT
Game Details
Paris Saint-Germain
Lyon
1
1
FT
Game Details
Dundee
Dundee United
1
4
FT
Game Details
Celtic
Motherwell
1
1
FT
Game Details
Osasuna
Mallorca
6
4
FT
Game Details
Girona
Real Betis
1
3
FT
Game Details
Leganes
Racing Santander
2
2
FT
Game Details
Real Valladolid
Tenerife
2
1
FT
Game Details
Albacete
Numancia
0
1
FT
Game Details
FC Union Berlin
RB Leipzig
2
1
FT
Game Details
Fortuna Düsseldorf
Heidenheimer SB
3
2
FT
Game Details
Karlsruhe
Nurnberg
3
0
FT
Game Details
SC Heracles Almelo
Twente Enschede
1
4
FT
Game Details
AZ Alkmaar
PEC Zwolle
1
0
FT
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Ajax Amsterdam
0
1
FT
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
Cambuur Leeuwarden
4
0
FT
Game Details
FC Utrecht
FC Groningen
1
0
FT
Game Details
Belenenses
Maritimo
1
0
FT
Game Details
Rio Ave
Arouca
1
2
FT
Game Details
Benfica
Moreirense
3
1
FT
Game Details
Gil Vicente
Sporting Lisbon
0
4
FT
Game Details
FC Porto
Boavista
0
0
FT
Game Details
CSKA Moscow
Lokomotiv Moscow
1
0
FT
Game Details
Kasimpasa
Karabukspor
2
1
FT
Game Details
Sivasspor
Konyaspor
0
0
FT
Game Details
Eskisehirspor K
Genclerbirligi
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Fenerbahce
Gaziantepspor
1
0
FT
Game Details
Asteras Tripoli
Kalloni AEL
1
0
FT
Game Details
Kerkyra
Giannina
2
0
FT
Game Details
Niki Volos
Ergotelis
1
4
FT
Game Details
Panthrakikos
Panionios
1
0
FT
Game Details
Platanias
Panathinaikos
2
3
FT
Game Details
Waasland-Beveren
Standard Liege
0
2
FT
Game Details
Club Brugge
KV Kortrijk
5
0
FT
Game Details
KSC Lokeren
KV Mechelen
3
2
FT
Game Details
SV Salzburg
Austria Vienna
2
3
FT
Game Details
Odense BK
Sonderjyske
1
1
FT
Game Details
FC Copenhagen
Brøndby
1
0
FT
Game Details
FC Nordsjaelland
FC Midtjylland
2
1
FT
Game Details
AIK
Halmstad
0
1
FT
Game Details
Kalmar FF
Djurgarden
0
4
FT
Game Details
Mjallby
Elfsborg
1
0
FT
Game Details
Malmo FF
Helsingborg
1
1
FT
Game Details
IFK
Gefle IF
Postp
Game Details
Viking FK
IK Start
0
1
FT
Game Details
SK Brann
Sandnes Ulf
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Aalesund
Stabaek
3
0
FT
Game Details
Lillestrom
Odd Grenland
2
0
FT
Game Details
Sarpsborg FK
Sogndal
3
1
FT
Game Details
Haugesund
Rosenborg
2
1
FT
Game Details
Toronto FC
Chivas USA
3
0
FT
Game Details
Toluca
Monterrey
1
0
FT
Game Details
Guadalajara
Queretaro
1
4
FT
Game Details
FC Edmonton
Tampa Bay Rowdies
1
0
FT
Game Details
Rosario Central
Arsenal de Sarandí
3
1
FT
Game Details
Banfield
Boca Juniors
1
1
FT
Game Details
River Plate
Independiente
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Boca Unidos
Aldosivi
1
0
FT
Game Details
All Boys
Temperley
0
0
FT
Game Details
Crucero del Norte
Sarmiento de Junín
0
0
FT
Game Details
Atlético Tucumán
Sp. Belgrano
3
0
LIVE 61'
Game Details
Instituto de Córdoba
Nueva Chicago
0
2
LIVE 60'
Game Details
Corinthians
São Paulo
3
2
FT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Atlético MG
2
3
FT
Game Details
EC Vitória
Bahia
2
1
FT
Game Details
Flamengo
Fluminense FC
1
1
FT
Game Details
Sport
Coritiba FBC
1
0
FT
Game Details
Goiás EC
Palmeiras
6
0
FT
Game Details
Gremio
Chapecoense AF
1
0
FT
Game Details
Santos FC
Figueirense FC
3
1
FT
Game Details
Racing (U)
Tacuarembó FC
1
0
FT
Game Details
Danubio F.C.
Rentistas
0
3
FT
Game Details
Defensor Sporting
Juventud
2
0
FT
Game Details
Wanderers
Rampla Juniors
0
1
FT
Game Details
Atenas
Nacional
0
0
FT
Game Details
Alianza Petrolera
Aguilas Doradas
1
0
FT
Game Details
Envigado
Independiente Santa Fe
2
2
FT
Game Details
Uniautonoma
Atlético Nacional
0
3
FT
Game Details
Deportivo Cali
Fortaleza CE
0
0
LIVE 1'
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
Inti Gas Deportes
0
0
FT
Game Details
Los Caimanes
Melgar
0
3
FT
Game Details
Alianza Lima
San Martin
2
1
FT
Game Details
Rubio Ñú
Olimpia
0
2
FT
Game Details
Sol de América
Nacional
1
0
FT
Game Details
Libertad
12 de Octubre
10:45 PM GMT
Game Details
El Nacional
Liga de Loja
1
1
FT
Game Details
Olmedo
LDU Quito
1
1
FT
Game Details
Club Deportivo Cuenca
Barcelona
0
2
FT
Game Details
Emelec
Mushuc Runa
0
0
FT
Game Details
Llaneros
Carabobo
0
0
FT
Game Details
Atlético Venezuela
Deportivo Petare
0
0
FT
Game Details
Portuguesa
Deportivo Anzoategui
0
0
FT
Game Details
Trujillanos
Estudiantes de Mérida
0
0
FT
Game Details
Aragua
Zamora
0
0
FT
Game Details
Deportivo Táchira
Tucanes
0
0
FT
Game Details
Mineros
Deportivo La Guaira
0
0
FT
Game Details
Sport Boys Warnes
Bolívar
0
0
FT
Game Details
Universitario de Pando
San José
0
0
FT
Game Details
Real Potosí
Wilstermann
0
0
FT
Game Details
Oriente Petrolero
Nacional Potosí
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

50-50 Challenge: AC Milan vs. Juventus

Preview 2 days ago
Read

Midfield impresses in opening-day win

AS Roma Sep 1, 2014
Read
 Posted by James Horncastle
Aug 19, 2014

Franco Baresi: The comeback captain

The ESPN FC crew weigh in on the career of AC Milan legend Franco Baresi.

Who is the greatest captain of all-time? From Aug. 18-29, ESPN FC will reveal its 10-man shortlist of the finest skippers to have graced the game, before conducting a vote for the winner. The result will be revealed on Sept. 1.


Franco Baresi reached down to touch his right knee. It hadn't felt the same since he had stretched to make a clearance seconds earlier. As he walked, a sharp pain shot through his leg, making him limp. The Italy No. 6 didn't want to go off. Italy had lost their opening game of USA '94 to a looping strike from Republic of Ireland's cartwheeling Ray Houghton. Now in their next game, things threatened to get worse.

- Tony Adams: The resilient winner

The Azzurri looked to be on the brink. They were down to 10 men against Norway. Goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca had been shown a red card for handling outside his area. Roberto Baggio was substituted for Luca Marchegiani, and at the beginning of the second half, with the score still 0-0, their captain was left with no option but to hobble to the sideline and then to the treatment room. From there, Baresi must have heard the noise of Giants Stadium as Dino Baggio nodded home the only goal of the game. Italy's World Cup wasn't over yet. But unfortunately it looked like it was for Baresi.

Franco Baresi

Teams captained: AC Milan, Italy.

Trophies won: Trophies won: Serie A (six times), European Cup (1989, 1990, 1994), UEFA Super Cup (1989, 1990, 1994), Intercontinental Cup (1989, 1990), 1982 World Cup.

He had torn his meniscus. All that was left for him to do, it seemed, was salute his teammates and fly back home to Milan. But he couldn't do it. At 34, Baresi didn't believe he had another World Cup in him. He knew his own body and he would -- as it turned out -- retire a year before France '98. "There was an awareness that there wouldn't be another chance," he told Guerin Sportivo. It burned. Baresi had been a member of Italy's World Cup-winning squad in 1982, but as a relative youngster he hadn't played a single minute.

One final opportunity was open to him to be a protagonist. Baresi didn't intend to close it off. "I wanted to be with the team," he said. And so Italy's captain immediately went under the knife, then straight into his rehabilitation. "Frankly, I didn't believe I would make it back, but the more Italy progressed the more I intensified the work. It came to me automatically. There was no timetable, nor were there any expectations on anyone's part."

Overcoming the odds is a trait of Baresi's. Told by Inter after failing a trial to come back in a year when he had filled out a bit, he was clearly not destined to follow his older brother Beppe. Instead, he declined their advice and tried out with the club of his heart, AC Milan, where he'd earn a contract; debut at 17 alongside his idol, the great Gianni Rivera; be part of the team that won a historic 10th scudetto, commemorated with a prestigious star; captain it at 22; twice go down to Serie B; resist offers from Dino Viola's Roma and Paolo Mantovani's Samp; come back up; and lead Milan from the bottom to the top of the world.

All-time greatest captains

Tony Adams - Aug. 18
Franco Baresi - Aug. 19
Franz Beckenbauer - Aug. 20
Francisco Gento - Aug. 21
Steven Gerrard - Aug. 22
Roy Keane - Aug. 25
Bobby Moore - Aug. 26
Carles Puyol - Aug. 27
Obdulio Varela - Aug. 28
Dino Zoff - Aug. 29


Vote: Aug. 29
Result: Sept. 1

The papers took to calling him "Kaiser Franz." His position as a libero of course had something to do with it. But so did a Derby della Madonnina between the Milan degli Olandesi (the Dutch) and the Inter dei Tedeschi (the Germans) on Nov. 19, 1989. Marco van Basten, Diego Fuser and Daniele Massaro all scored in a 3-0 win. Yet the hero was Baresi when it materialised that he had played most of the second half with a broken arm after a kick from Jurgen Klinsmann. This here was his equivalent of Franz Beckenbauer's "sling game" -- when the West Germany captain had played in the "Game of the Century," a 4-3 semifinal defeat to Italy at the 1970 World Cup -- with a dislocated shoulder.

Characters like that have the fortitude to go beyond the pain barrier, to believe the impossible is nothing. Still it was a surprise that when the day of the final arrived in '94, Italy were there and Baresi was too. He had recovered in only 25 days. "It was an incredible situation," Baresi recalled. "The knee was clinically healed. By operating so soon we had avoided any muscle loss. But I had only done a little running. I had never trained with the team." It didn't matter. Italy were in desperate need of him.

For one thing, Alessandro "Billy" Costacurta and Mauro Tassotti were suspended. And in addition to that their inspiration, Roberto Baggio, was practically playing on one leg: it was the one that had endured multiple knee surgeries too. How would Baresi's hold together? "The first intervention I made was important. It would give me the right reassurances. From then onwards my thoughts were no longer about the knee, but only Romario and Bebeto."

He played as if he were in peak form. In Baresi's own opinion, it was his best performance for the national team. What a time to give it and in what condition too. He led as only he knew how. "You have it in your DNA. I felt I had things inside me to give and transmit. I did it my way, through work, through facts and through setting an example. I always spoke little." After all, his actions were so much louder.

Italy's national teams of the 1980s and '90s were always in good hands with Franco Baresi on the pitch.
Italy's national teams of the 1980s and '90s were always in good hands with Franco Baresi on the pitch.

No sooner did a gap appear than Baresi with his intuition and acceleration made it disappear. He anticipated and read the play so well he finished sentences for Brazil's strikers. Then he imposed himself. He stepped out from the back with his shirt out -- a tribute to Ruud Krol -- played it out and followed the play.

Watch it back. Baresi gives a master class of the sort he had given for Italy coach Arrigo Sacchi when they were winning the European Cup in back-to-back seasons at Milan. Of course, few remember his performance over 120 minutes. They instead remember the penalty shootout after extra time. They remember Baresi, Daniele Massaro and Roberto Baggio all missing from the spot, the Brazil bench rushing onto the pitch victorious, the dedications to the late Formula One driver and national hero Ayrton Senna.

It was one of those things. Of the 33 goals Baresi scored in his career, 21 had been penalties. He'd even managed a hat trick of them in a Coppa Italia tie against Messina in 1990. Tired and hurting, the decision to change his mind at the last second also contributed to his effort going over the bar. It was Baresi's penultimate appearance for his country. He represented Italy for the last time against Slovenia that September. Then the armband he'd worn with such honour was passed to Paolo Maldini, just as it would be at Milan in 1997.

While tied around Baresi's rossonero biceps, it had lifted five of the six scudetti he'd won, three European Cups, two Intercontinental trophies, three European Super Cups and four Italian ones. Milan retired his No. 6 shirt with him 17 years ago. The ultras made it into a huge banner. It still hangs in the Curva Sud at San Siro. To them and everyone connected with Milan, Baresi remains long after his final game, affectionately known simply as "il Capitano." The greatest in their history.

James Horncastle

James Horncastle is a European Football writer who contributes to ESPN, BBC Sport, Guardian Football Weekly, FourFourTwo and The Blizzard. You can follow him on twitter @JamesHorncastle

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.