Associazione Calcio Milan, popularly referred to as either Milan or AC Milan, was founded in 1899 by British ex-pats Herbert Kilpin and Alfred Edwards. It was originally formed as a football and cricket club and the retention of the club's name, 'Milan', rather than the Italian 'Milano', is in reference to these British origins.
Since the formation of Serie A in 1929, the club has spent just two seasons outside of the top flight of Italian football, both in the 1980s. The club's most successful period coincided with the Milan careers of the Dutch trio of Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit. Milan is also known for being owned by Silvio Berlusconi, who served as the Italian Prime Minister on three occasions.
AC Milan are recognised as Europe's most successful team in international competitions, winning 7 European Cups, 3 Intercontinental Cups, 5 UEFA Super Cups, 2 UEFA Cup Winners' Cups and 1 FIFA Club World Cup. In addition, domestically, the team has won 18 league titles and 5 Coppa Italia trophies.
Throughout history, Milan has housed some of football's greatest talents, including Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm in the 1950s, Gianni Rivera in the 1960s and 70s, Marco Van Basten and Ruud Gullit in the 1980s and 90s and Andriy Shevchenko and Kaka moving into the 21st century. However, the two biggest club legends are undoubtedly the Italian defenders Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini. Baresi won six Serie A titles and three European Cups with the club, while Maldini racked up a staggering seven Serie A titles and five European Cups.
The club plays its home matches at one of Europe's most famous stadiums, the San Siro, which is known officially as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Milan share the ground with their nearest rivals, Internazionale. At present, the capacity of the stadium is 80,018, although in the past it has accommodated up to 100,000 supporters.