Centro Sportivo Milanello is more than just a training ground.
It was opened in 1963, and signified a historic moment in not just AC Milan’s history, or Italian football history, but world football history.
The first sporting facility dedicated solely to association football, Milanello set a new standard in terms of architecture and logistics.
A state-of-the-art training centre
Fittingly placed high on a hill towering 300 metres above the town of Carnego in the province of Varese, Milanello is only 50km away from the city of Milan. The brainchild of Andrea Rizzoli (AC Milan president 1954-1963), it has long been considered a destination for coaches from around the world who want to gain professional experience by attending AC Milan training sessions.
Milanello was further improved under the stewardship of Silvio Berlusconi, who upgraded the facility to make sure it could live up to its full potential, with the smallest details taken care of.
La Gabbia (The Cage)
This included installing new pitches such as 'La Gabbia' (‘The Cage’), which was made famous by legendary Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi who used it to help usher in a new tactical era of Italian football.
In The Cage, because the playing field is surrounded by a 2,30 metre high wall topped with fencing, play never stops. With the ball always in motion, players are trained to move quickly without a let up in the game.
In addition to The Cage, there are six regular pitches measuring 35m x 30m and two synthetic grass pitches 42m x 24m in size. There’s also a 1,200m path running through a wooded area at various altitudes, which is used for running and biking (ideal for injured players working on their recovery).
A look around the players’ recreation room
Developing the off-pitch facilities
But many of the most recent changes are off the pitch. A few years ago, over 3,000 metres of cabling was installed to connect Milan TV cameras to strategic points around the facility.
The Club’s in-house TV channel broadcasts all that happens at the training ground to the Rossoneri fans. Milanello also has a media room with an audio mixer and a lighting system to host live TV broadcasts, press conferences and other media engagements.
The centre's main building has two floors and a basement. It hosts the offices, the players’ rooms, a TV room, a pool room, a bar, a kitchen, two dining rooms, the press room, the laundry facilities and the medical centre.
The guest quarters are located next to the main building, where a few players from the Youth Department also live. These youngsters, coming from various parts of Italy and from abroad too, go to school like normal teenagers and in the afternoons attend their training sessions on the field.
Have you watched Forza Skrillan?
Franco Baresi and Daniele Massaro go head-to-head in Skrill’s latest reality show.
Watch them lead their opposing teams in an exciting five-a-side competition, filmed at Milanello.