Kilpin and Edwards side (1901)
It could be argued that Milan is a club that has been defined by trios.
The club hit its peak under the reign of the demonstratively powerful Silvio Berlusconi and the iconic Dutch trio of Gullit, Rijkaard and Van Basten, figureheads of the imperious side that graced the hallowed turf of the San Siro in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The club’s European pedigree, however, was built on foundations laid way back to the 50’s and with the side led by the legendary forward line of Gre-No-Li. While the great Milan side spearheaded by the legendary trio of Swedes couldn’t dislodge the Real Madrid of Di Stefano and Puskas on the European stage, their period of domestic dominance set Milan up to claim their first European title in 1962. A feat they would repeat no less than six times in the next four decades.
While Milan’s iconic sides have come and gone, the legendary arena that has borne witness to some of the greatest nights in European football history has remained for close to 100 years.
Given the side's history it is perhaps fitting that the San Siro itself would have had something of a trio of identities, and a trio of architects who have stamped their own identity upon the iconic stadium.
The original San Siro
Architects: Alberto Cugini, Ulisse Stacchini (1926)
The original San Siro was the brainchild of Milan chairman Piero Pirelli, who had pushed hard for the construction of a new stadium in the early 20’s. Crucially he viewed the stadium as to be solely for footballing use, and at a time when most stadia in Italy incorporated a running track he did away with this convention. It’s an innovation that has certainly aged well. When first constructed the San Siro bore an almost English style four stand design and a capacity of 35,000 with a single covered stand.
As a side note, it’s fitting that the first game ever played at the ground was between Milan and great rivals and future co-tenants Inter Milan.