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By ESPN Staff

AC Milan - Squad Profiles

Dida (goalkeeper)
Born:: 07.10.73
Nationality: Brazilian

Dida's Milan career seemed effectively over after a horrific mistake gifted Leeds United a winner in a Champions League tie at Elland Road in September 1999.

He was sent on loan to Corinthians in his homeland and then Swiss side Lugano. But last summer, he was back at Milan as the understudy to Abbiati and when the latter was injured in pre-season, he deputised so capably that he became the number one. Non-playing member of Brazil's World Cup-winning squad in 2002.


Group A: Barcelona | Bayer Leverkusen | Inter Milan | Newcastle
Group B: Ajax Amsterdam | Arsenal | AS Roma | Valencia
Group C: AC Milan | Borussia Dortmund | L Moscow | Real Madrid
Group D: Basle | Deportivo | Juventus | Manchester Utd

Christian Abbiati (goalkeeper)
Born:: 08.07.77
Nationality: Italian

Abbiati

His country's third-choice keeper at Euro 2000 and World Cup 2002, he has been relegated to the Milan bench as a result of the renaissance of Dida.

Exploded on the Serie A scene in the 1998-99 season, beginning the campaign as an unknown and ending it with a League title.

He may have a long wait for a first team chance at the San Siro and a move seems likely unless than changes in the near future.

Jose Chamot (defender)
Born:: 17.05.69
Nationality: Argentine

Uncompromising, highly-experienced centre-back or full-back who is confined to a back-up role these days.

Joined Milan in 1999 from Atletico Madrid and has also played for Rosario Central, Pisa, Foggia and Lazio.

With forty-two caps for Argentina, there are few more experienced battlers in this Champions League and he is the sort of cog that allows the stars in the team to sparkle.

Alessandro Costacurta (defender)
Born: 24.04.66
Nationality: Italian

Along with Paolo Maldini, veteran central defender 'Billy' is the one surviving member of the great Milan side of the late 80s and early 90s.

Last summer it looked as though he was on his way to Parma, that his 15-year association with the club was coming to an end, but at the eleventh-hour, the Milan management offered him a contract extension.

A great source of know-how on the bench, he is always useful being sent on to do a job late in a game.

Thomas Helveg (defender)
Born:: 24.06.71
Nationality: Danish

While he has had some injury problems this term, Helveg still has much to offer, especially his solid tackling, good support play and crossing ability.

A regular for Denmark at the last World Cup, he has over 70 international caps to his credit and has rarely had a bad day for club or country. He is the sort of consistent performer any manager wants in his side.

Kakha Kaladze (defender)
Born:: 27.02.78
Nationality: Georgian

Though he has experience as a central defender and in midfield, coach Carlo Ancelotti prefers him at left-back, where he has been performing well this season.

Joined Milan from Kyiv Dynamo in early 2001 and he has been a useful squad man ever since. Kaladze began his career at Dinamo Tbilisi and has proved he has the class to fit into the tough world of Serie A.

Martin Laursen (defender)
Born:: 26.07.77
Nationality: Danish

The arrival of Italian international centre-back Alessando Nesta has pushed him down the pecking order and reports suggest Milan may be tempted to sell the Dame.

Nevertheless, he is a fine young stopper, a good marker, strong in the air and a dangerous customer when he goes up for corners.

Signed in the summer of 2001, he has only been a bit-part players in his year and a half at the San Siro.

Paolo Maldini (defender)
Born:: 26.06.68
Nationality: Italian

Announced his retirement from the Italian national team after World Cup 2002, calling time on a wonderful international career in which he won 124 caps and skippered them with his customary style.

His natural habitat used to be the left-back spot but he is now playing in central defence, where he is forging an excellent partnership with Nesta. Made his Serie A debut for Milan aged just 16 in 1985 and widely regarded as the best full-back to have played the game.

Alessandro Nesta (defender)
Born:: 19.03.76
Nationality: Italian

Nesta

Outstanding central defender, who left Lazio for Milan this summer in a £20 million deal, thus putting an end to weeks of speculation that he was headed for Juventus or Inter.

A heady mixture of the elegant and the steely, he spent nine seasons at the heart of the Lazio back-line and probably would never have departed the Eternal City if the club had not been hit by a cash crisis.

Had a decent World Cup during the summer, but there is no doubting the quality of this powerful performer.

Dario Simic (defender)
Born:: 12.11.75
Nationality: Croat

A defender of the tough-tackling and totally committed variety, he has been a central defensive marker for most of his career.

But after leaving Inter for their arch-rivals Milan in the close season, Ancelotti opted to switch him to right-back as a replacement for the injured Helveg and it has worked out well.

Played a role in Croatia's World Cup campaign during the summer, but he wasn't as prominent as he would have liked in the tournament.

Massimo Ambrosini (midfielder)
Born:: 29.05.77
Nationality: Italian

All-action midfielder who has suffered more than his fair share of injuries in recent years and is now finding the competition stiff for places in the Milan engine room.

A full Italian international, he combines ball-winning ability, never-say-die spirit and energetic thrusts into opposition territory.

Not one of the stars of this team, he was sent off against Lazio in a Serie A game earlier this season. Signed from Vicenza in 1998.

Gennaro Gatuso (midfielder)
Born:: 09.01.78
Nationality: Italian

Gritty little midfield battler and a big crowd favourite at the San Siro. Gatuso used to be employed in central midfield but this season he is to be found on the right-side.

With Milan since 1999, he has also worn the colours of Perugia and Salernitana in Italy, as well as Glasgow Rangers from 1997 to 1998.

A regular in the starting line-up for this club, he has also made his mark at international level and played in last summer's World Cup finals.

Andrea Pirlo (midfielder)
Born:: 19.05.79
Nationality: Italian

A revelation for Milan this term in a deep-lying midfield role, he is the organiser-in chief of their approach play, rarely wasting a pass and playing with an abundance of guile and vision.

A former star of the Italian Under 21s and often compared to Roberto Baggio, he is at last fulfilling his huge potential.

Ex-Brescia, Inter and Reggina, Pirlo gets on the wrong side of referees from time to time and was sent off against Chievo in Serie A earlier this season.

Rui Costa (midfielder)
Born:: 29.03.72
Nationality: Portuguese

Rui Costa

One of the most talented players to emerge from Portugal in recent years, Costa is a high-class playmaker and devastating dribbler.

Moved to Milan from Fiorentina at the start of last season for £28 million but experienced a nightmare first season at his new club, suffering a string of injuries and generally failing to convince when on the pitch.

Back to his imperious best this term, he was in good form during the first phase of the Champions League.

Clarence Seedorf (midfielder)
Born:: 01.04.76
Nationality: Dutch

A versatile, skilful and experienced midfielder who can play out wide or through the middle, he joined Milan from Inter this summer in a swap deal which saw Italian international wing-back Francisco Coco go in the opposite direction.

Has already won two Champions League Finals, first with Ajax in 1995 and Real Madrid in 1998. Scored a fine goal in Milan's impressive 4-0 away with at Deportivo in the first phase of this competition.

Serginho (midfielder)
Born:: 27.06.71
Nationality: Brazilian

Left-sided midfielder with pace to burn, exceptional dribbling and crossing ability. However, he can be erratic and his form has been up and down in the last year.

Joined Milan from Brazilian side Sao Paulo in 1999 and recently made waves in his homeland by refusing a call-up to the national team.

He can also slot into a defensive berth when required and scored against Bayern Munich during the first phase of the Champions League.

Filippo Inzaghi (forward)
Born:: 09.08.73
Nationality: Italian

Inzaghi

This classic goal poacher has been Milan's in-form player this season, tucking away chance after chance at home and in Europe. Renowned for his sharpness in the box, he moved to Milan in a £26 million deal from Juventus in the summer of 2001.

Nicknamed 'Pippo', he is the elder brother of Lazio striker, Simone.

After a tough World Cup during the summer, this gifted forward has proved his worth in the Champions League with a stunning eight goals in the first phase, including a great hat-trick against Deportivo.

Rivaldo (forward)
Born:: 19.04.72
Nationality: Brazilian

When his contract was cancelled by Barcelona this summer, Milan could not resist the temptation to buy the multi-talented attacking midfielder or front runner on a free transfer, though Rivaldo will cost them £3 million a year in wages.

Arguably Brazil's best player at World Cup 2002, scoring five goals and turning on the magic throughout, he is a master of his art.

Rivaldo has produced moments of brilliance for his new club, but the Champions League has yet to see the best of the great Rivaldo this season.

Andrii Shevchenko (forward)
Born:: 29.09.76
Nationality: Ukrainian

Some are tipping the ex-Kyiv Dynamo marksman extraordinaire to move on soon.

After recovering from a summer knee operation, he has not started as often as he would like and should he become available there will be plenty of takers for his speed of the mark, awareness and rare finishing ability.

Joined Milan from Kyiv in 1999 and scored goals a plenty in his first couple of seasons. The stunning form of Pippo Inzaghi means first team chances may be limited for Shevchenko.

Jon Dahl Tomasson (forward)
Born:: 29.08.76
Nationality: Danish

Forget his mediocre displays at Newcastle United in the 1997-98 campaign as this striker has more than proved himself in the years since.

At his next club, Feyenoord, he improved dramatically and after underlining his growing reputation with four goals at World Cup 2002, Milan were more than happy to take him on a Bosman free in the close season.

A composed taker of chances and at his best operating behind the strikers. Scored against Deportivo in the first phase of the Champions League.