Milan champions 2021-22: Djokovic's first Wimbledon title, the launch of Game of Thrones – how the world looked when Rossoneri last reigned

By Sports Desk May 22, 2022

Milan are top dogs in Italy for the first time in 11 years after holding off fierce rivals Inter to finish top of Serie A.

The Rossoneri finished the season with six wins in a row, and no defeat in 16, culminating in a 3-0 victory over Sassuolo on Sunday.

After falling just short in Stefano Pioli's first campaign at the helm when finishing second, Milan can finally celebrate a first Scudetto since 2010-11.

While it may only have been a little over a decade since Milan last reigned, a lot has changed both in a sporting and non-sporting sense.

Here, Stats Perform looks at how the world looked around the time of the club's most recent triumph in 2011.

 

First of many for Djokovic, McIlroy makes his mark

Novak Djokovic is favourite to win Wimbledon for a seventh time next month, though he was yet to claim his first crown at SW19 when Milan last lifted the Scudetto.

The Serbian went on to add the US Open to the Australian Open he also won that year, overtaking Rafael Nadal to become world number one in the process.

Tiger Woods was the highest-earning sportsman that year – some things never change – yet it was Rory McIlroy's name on everyone's lips after taking the world of golf by storm.

McIlroy carded a 69 in the final round to break the US Open scoring record with a 268 as he became the youngest winner of the tournament since Bobby Jones in 1923.

A number of major sporting events took place that year, with New Zealand beating France in the Rugby World Cup final and Japan triumphing in the women's football equivalent.

India saw off Sri Lanka to celebrate Cricket World Cup success on home soil, meanwhile, and Netherlands beat Cuba in the Baseball World Cup.

Deposed leaders fall

In the world of politics, hundreds were killed and thousands more injured during violent clashes in Egypt to protest against government corruption and poverty.

Fidel Castro resigned as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba after serving in the party for 45 years. He died in 2016 at the age of 90.

A 10-year search for Osama bin Laden came to an end when the al-Qaeda founder was killed by special forces in Pakistan.

Deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was captured and killed during the civil war, leading to widespread ramifications.

A year of world-shifting events culminated in the United States withdrawing its last troops from Iraq, eight years after the war had begun.


Winter is (almost) coming

Television has come a long way over the past decade, not least in terms of the countless streaming services and wide array of boxsets to appease anyone and everyone.

Back when Massimo Ambrosini lifted the Scudetto in 2011, arguably the most popular series of all time, Game of Thrones, was still midway through airing its first season.

Suits, Homeland and The Killing also premiered that year, while over in Italy, 48-year-old painter Fabrizio Vendramin (us neither) won the second season of Italia's Got Talent.

Beyond painters, erm, painting to an audience of millions, the big TV talking point that year was Charlie Sheen being fired from Two and a Half Men for "self-destructive conduct".

Relight My Fire

The importance of certain technology, not least smartphones, has only grown in the past 11 years.

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, played a huge part in that up until his untimely death at the age of 56 in October 2011 after battling pancreatic cancer.

One of the standout product launches of the year was Amazon's Kindle Fire, which undoubtedly helped chairman Jeff Bezos on his way to becoming the world's richest man.

Whether Milan's current crop can stand the test of time, unlike the Kindle, remains to be seen.

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    Paolo Maldini is glad that Milan can now "plan for the future" after confirming he has reached an agreement with the Serie A champions to stay on as technical director.

    Club legend Maldini was considered one of the main architects behind Milan's first Scudetto success in 11 years last season thanks to his work behind the scenes.

    He has held a boardroom position for the past four years, three of those in his current role, and helped sign the likes of Theo Hernandez, Rafael Leao and Mike Maignan.

    The 54-year-old was due to be out of contract come the end of Thursday, but he announced shortly ahead of that deal expiring that he will remain in the job.

    "Everything is sorted. We renewed at the last minute, but we did it," Maldini told reporters outside Milan's headquarters.

    "I am very happy to be here and ready to plan for the future, with even more victories. There's still time [this transfer window]. We started a bit late, but we'll recover lost time."

    Director of football Frederic Massara is also reported to have signed an extension to the contract that was due to expire on Thursday.

    According to reports from Italy, the delay in reaching an agreement with the pair was down to the lack of funds being made available for transfers this window.

    Milan have already missed out on Sven Botman to Newcastle United, while Paris Saint-Germain appear to have pipped the Rossoneri to fellow Lille player Renato Sanches.

    Stefano Pioli's men begin their 2022-23 Serie A campaign with a home match against Udinese on August 13. 

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    Paris Saint-Germain have completed the signing of midfielder Vitinha from Porto for a reported fee of €40million, marking their first new arrival of the transfer window.

    Barring the permanent capture of Nuno Mendes – who spent last season on loan in Paris – Vitinha is the club's first signing of a new era, with Christophe Galtier widely expected to succeed Mauricio Pochettino as head coach.

    Luis Campos, the hugely successful former Monaco and Lille sporting director, has already come in to drive PSG's transfer business – including this first buy.

    Vitinha has signed a five-year contract at the Parc des Princes.

    The 22-year-old Portugal international returned from a disappointing loan spell with Wolves to play a key part in Porto's Primeira Liga triumph last season, scoring two goals and providing three assists as the two-time European champions finished six points ahead of Sporting CP.

    PSG are set for a busy window, having already secured Kylian Mbappe to a lucrative new contract, having fended off Real Madrid's long-standing interest in the France forward.

    Further signings are expected in the French capital, with the club reported to have serious interest in Inter defender Milan Skriniar and Lille midfielder Renato Sanches.

    PSG begin the 2022-23 season in the Trophee des Champions against Nantes in Israel on July 31, before the Ligue 1 campaign commences the following week, with the defending champions on the road against Clermont.

  • Botman chose 'dream' Newcastle move over Milan transfer Botman chose 'dream' Newcastle move over Milan transfer

    Sven Botman considered Newcastle United "a little better" than Milan as he weighed up his transfer options, settling on a "dream" Premier League move.

    Lille defender Botman is expected to complete his move to Newcastle on Friday, with a deal in principle announced earlier this week.

    That reported £31.8million (€37m) agreement brought to an end a long-running saga, with the centre-back the subject of interest from both Newcastle and Milan.

    Botman discussed the merits of signing for both clubs following a January window in which neither could convince Lille to sell.

    Milan initially seemed favourites to finally land their man following the 2021-22 season, but they could not match Newcastle's offer.

    And Botman explained to De Telegraaf: "Newcastle's great project and the chance to play in the Premier League were two decisive aspects in making a decision.

    "Milan had also given me good feelings, but Newcastle more so; they seemed a little better.

    "I've been dreaming of the Premier League all my life and now this dream comes true."

    Botman revealed he was concerned after missing out on a January transfer, believing such opportunities "only pass once".

    But he was ultimately pleased to stick around, face Chelsea in the Champions League and depart Lille "in the right way", still joining Newcastle.

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