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Kappa's four seasons with AC Milan

How the Turin brand has dressed the best AC Milan of all time

Kappa's four seasons with AC Milan How the Turin brand has dressed the best AC Milan of all time

The glorious history of the Rossoneri is also the daughter of an aesthetic that has always accompanied the Milanese Devils. To make the red and black vertical stripes so iconic, AC Milan has relied on eight different technical sponsors from 1899 to today: Linea Milan, NR, Rolly Go, Gianni Rivera, Kappa, adidas, PUMA and Lotto are the brands that have contributed to the creation of a style that today is recognizable at all latitudes and longitudes and which unites 95 million fans all over the world. The historical eras of AC Milan are often associated with shirts that have entered the collective imagination of the fans as sacred relics and Patta has just revived one of these, reworking the away version of the 1988-89 season with Kappa.

Kappa was the kit supplier of the Rossoneri from 1986 to 1990, aesthetically accompanying the AC Milan of the Dutch, Arrigo Sacchi, the young Paolo Maldini and a back-to-back in the Champions League which is still considered one of the highest moments of the long AC Milan history. The Turin-based brand arrives as a technical sponsor after two turbulent years with Rolly Go and Gianni Rivera, however, collecting the innovations made by unknown brands such as those to follow. The 86-87 season is a moment of transition and reconstruction for AC Milan after a couple of years definitely under par. Kappa's debut at San Siro is not positive (Ascoli will win 0-1), but the summer signing session will bring talents such as Roberto Donadoni and Daniele Massaro to AC Milan who will join players like Baresi, Tassotti and the English duo Wilkins-Hateley.


But 1986 is remembered more for the managerial events than for the sporting trend (fifth place in Serie A and out of the second round in the Italian Cup). The appointment as new president of Silvio Berlusconi will be celebrated on 18 July at the Arena Civica, a historic moment that will open a new AC Milan era. Despite the blazon of a manager like Nils Liedholm, in the last five games he will be replaced by the deputy: Fabio Capello. The Kappa jerseys of that season will be very similar to those produced the previous year, with the implementation of the Rossoneri horizontal band on the away shirt already tested by Rolly Go in 1984 and a change of sponsor jersey that passes from "Fotorex U-Bix" to "Mediolanum".

Capello will score 8 points in his last five games but, despite winning the UEFA play-off against Sampdoria, he will not remain on the bench. Berlusconi's first summer transfer session (1987) which will prove to be stellar for Milan with signs of Gullit, Van Basten, Ancelotti and Arrigo Sacchi directly from the Parma Calcio. Sacchi's football revolution will lead Milan, 10 years later, to win the Scudetto in what will always be remembered as the head-to-head with Maradona and Careca's Napoli.


Access to the Champions League in the 1988-89 season will also bring the third Dutchman to Milan. Frank Rijkaard will complete an already excellent midfield and the defense will rise with blows given the exploits of Maldini and Costacurta. The path in the league is not perfect, unlike the European one that will bring AC Milan to the semifinals against Hugo Sánchez and Emilio Butragueño's Real Madrid. The return match will become one of the Rossoneri instant classics, almost more important than the 4-0 final win against Steaua Bucharest. Kappa will create a special jersey for the final in total white with the colors of Milan on the collar. It will become history, just like Sacchi's 11, which in 2007 was named the best team of all time by World Soccer.

Kappa's last season on AC Milan's shirts will be that of the European consecration of the Devils. The scudetto will not arrive - torn from Diego's Napoli who takes revenge on the 87-88 season - but another Champions League will arrive, the fourth in its history. From Steaua to Benfica, with Rijkaard's goal that gives a back-to-back that projects Milan into the legend of European football. In that season Kappa will propose the horizontal band on a white background, but only for league matches.



The story between Kappa and AC Milan lasted only four seasons, but it lasted over the years to push Patta - a brand that venerates and honors the heritage of the most iconic football shirts - to revive a piece of the Rossoneri's aesthetic history. In those years, Milan took home six titles (two Champions League, one Scudetto, one Intercontinental Cup, two Super Cups, one European and one Italian) opening one of the most incredible football and stylistic eras of all time. It will always be remembered as Sacchi's Milan, as the Milan of the three Dutchmen but it will also be Kappa's Milan - also thanks to Patta.