I like everything about AC Milan, says Ekpo | Independent Newspapers Limited
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I like everything about AC Milan, says Ekpo

Posted: Apr 18, 2015 at 12:56 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Former Super Eagles’ midfielder, Friday Ekpo, finds it easy taking decision on what he wants, especially a club he wants to join during his active days as a player.

Friday Ekpo

Friday Ekpo

This also extends to the club he wants to support when supporting one European club became a fad. Hence his decision to support Serie A giants, AC Milan, was an easy one for him.

“I support AC Milan, I have been with AC Milan since the days of Franco Baresi, Paulo Maldini, Ruud Gullit and co. I like everything about them, even when the team is losing, I still support it. It is a matter of time and structure been put in place.”

Ekpo was one of the influential players in the domestic league in the late 80s and early 90s.

The midfielder won plenty of plaudits from the fans and made headlines after each game. His skills made him one of the most-sought after players in the country and it’s no surprise that he played for some of the biggest sides in the Nigerian league then, Abiola Babes, Leventis United and Iwuanyanwu Nationale.

The erstwhile Calabar Rovers play-maker was not happy over his club’s sloppy form in recent times and described it as a passing phase which is not peculiar AC Milan.

He insisted that great clubs do pass turbulent times which did not last, clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, Man-United, and Liverpool among others only resurrected recently and their fans are happy. According to Ekpo, AC Milan will survive to join the league of successful clubs again.

“Every good team in the world always passes through phases and AC Milan is not an exemption. Milan is struggling in the domestic and European scene; any team can beat AC Milan home and away because we don’t really look strong. But if the team gets its form, believe me it will be the team to beat.”

Ekpo caution fans that are harping on the club poor form of late, reminding them of the days gone by when club won all that is there to win in Europe.  He assured fans that Milan will bounce back to reckoning when the current sloppy performance becomes a thing of the past.

“In terms of trophies, AC Milan has won virtually everything and I must confess that I am impressed with my team irrespective of its present situation. If the board could appoint a good coach that understands the structure of the club, I bet you, no team will find it easy beating us again.”

He noted that the domestic league had suffered some financial neglect owing to government ownership, adding that by the time private firms shift their attention to club acquisition; things will begin to look good for Nigerian League.

Ekpo currently works with the Lagos State Government.

The first AC Milan headquarters was established at the ‘Fiaschetteria Toscana’ on Via Berchet in Milan, back in 1899.

From that moment on, the glorious history of Milan was born as the club went on to write its name in football’s record books to become one of the most famous and successful teams in the world.

The Rossoneri history is studded with legendary names of men who have made a major contribution to the club’s development, be they presidents, coaches or players. The first president was a British expatriate, Alfred Edwards, who oversaw the club’s first title a mere two years after its foundation. The president with the most victories is Silvio Berlusconi who has taken Milan to the pinnacle of the world game since taking control in 1986.

A great team needs a great coach and Milan has certainly had its fair share of the richest talent around. The likes of Gipo Viani, Nereo Rocco and Nils Liedholm were the early masters and they were followed by Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello who took tactics and team strategy to a new level, which heralded much of what we can term as the modern approach to the game. Along the way, each and every one of them also made sure their teams played spectacular football.

The ushering in of the Berlusconi era first saw Sacchi and then Capello win numerous trophies. Sacchi won back to back European Cups with a team considered to have been one of the greatest teams in history, also claiming a Serie A title, two Intercontinental and European Super Cups. Capello followed that with four league titles, one European Cup and one European Super Cup. Alberto Zaccheroni kept the rich tradition going as he led the team to a league title in his first year before Fatih Terim took over for a short time and then passed the reins on to Carlo Ancelotti whose management skills have brought Milan back to top spot in Italy and throughout Europe.