Milani with Inter Milan in the 1963–64 season
|Date of birth||14 May 1934|
|Place of birth||Desio, Italy|
|Date of death||25 November 2014(aged 80)|
|Place of death||Milan, Italy|
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Aurelio Milani (14 May 1934 – 25 November 2014) was an Italian footballer who played as a striker. Milani played for several different Italian clubs in Serie A and Serie B, winning the top scorer award in both divisions. In total, he collected 157 appearances in Serie A, scoring 62 goals, and 100 appearances in Serie B, scoring 54 goals. Milani is mostly remembered for his two seasons spent with Internazionale's Grande Inter side under manager Helenio Herrera. He was part of their European Cup victory in 1964, and with Inter, he also won the 1964–65 Serie A title, and the 1964 Intercontinental Cup. He also represented the Italian national side on one occasion.
A powerful player, Milani was a fast, strong, hard-working, and traditional centre-forward. He excelled in the air due to his heading accuracy, and he also possessed a powerful and accurate shot, which allowed him to be a prolific goalscorer throughout his career. He was also a generous team player, who was capable of playing with his back to goal, holding up the ball, and laying it off for team-mates, providing them with assists.
Milani began his career playing for the Aurora Desio youth side at the beginning of the 1950s, before being scouted by Atalanta, who loaned him to Fanfulla during the 1953–54 Serie B season and the 1954–55 Serie C season. Simmenthal's Monza purchased him, which allowed him to play in Serie B again. With the club, he scored 37 times over two Serie B seasons, winning the Serie B top scorer award during the 1955–56 Serie B season. His impressive performances caught the eye of the Triestina management, and during the following season, Milani scored 17 goals in 30 Serie B appearances for the Friuli club.
Serie A debut
The following season, Milani made his Serie A debut with Sampdoria during the 1958–59 Serie A season, on 21 September 1958 in a 1–0 defeat against Lazio, in Rome. He formed a formidable attacking trio with Mora and Cucchiaroni throughout his first season, scoring 13 goals. During the 1959–60 Serie A season, however, he was injured to his leg in a match against Bologna, which prevented him from playing for a lengthy period.
Emergence in Serie A
Nereo Rocco took Milani to Padova, and the Italian striker formed a notable attacking partnership with Crippa, scoring 18 goals. In the summer of 1961, the president of Fiorentina, Longinotti, acquired Milani to strengthen his front-line, which featured the likes of Gianfranco Petris and Hamrin, who helped the team to capture the 1960–61 European Cup Winners' Cup and the Coppa Italia. In his first full season with the club, Milani initially went scoreless in Serie A for the first five matches, but on the sixth match-day of the 1961–62 Serie A season, on 24 September 1961, Milani scored two goals in a 5–2 home win over Udinese. This match is also remembered as being the debut of the legendary Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff, therefore the first two goals that he conceded in his career were scored by Milani. With 22 goals, Milani finished the Serie A campaign as the joint Serie A topscorer, alongside Scudetto winner José Altafini, helping Fiorentina to a third-place finish in the league. Milani also helped Fiorentina to another European Cup Winners' Cup final that season.
Inter and later career
After a negative 1962–63 season, in which he managed to score only a single goal in 18 Serie A appearances for Fiorentina, Milani was purchased by Inter, becoming a member of what would later be known as Helenio Herrera's "Grande Inter" side. Milani had a successful season with the Milanese club, scoring 7 goals in 18 Serie A appearances, helping Inter to a second-place finish in Serie A, narrowly missing out on the title after a losing a playoff match against the eventual 1964 Serie A champions, Bologna, who were tied on points with Inter for first place after the season's conclusion. Milani also won the 1963–64 European Cup with Inter that season, and he scored a goal in the 1964 European Cup final against Real Madrid. The following season, he followed up this triumph by winning the 1964 Intercontinental Cup with Inter against Copa Libertadores winners Independiente. During the winter of 1964, however, Milani was seriously injured in a European Cup match against Dynamo Bucarest, after getting kneed in the back. As a result of the collision, one of his vertebrae was displaced, thus ending his career prematurely. During his second season at Inter, he was still able to win a second European Cup, and the Serie A title, despite only playing in 11 matches, also reaching the Coppa Italia final with Inter.
Milani did attempt to temporarily return to football during the 1966–67 season, playing for Verbania in the lower Italian divisions, in Serie C, for a single season, scoring 1 goal in 8 appearances, before officially retiring.
Milani only earned a single cap for the Italy national football team throughout his career. This occurred on 10 May 1964, in a 3–1 away defeat to Switzerland in an international friendly in Losanna.
- In 1965, Milani did not take part in any European Cup matches with Inter, due to an injury sustained at the end of the first half of the season, although he was listed as part of their European roster that season as they went on to win the trophy
- "Morto Milani, attaccante della Grande Inter di Herrera" (in Italian). La Stampa. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- "Italy - International Matches 1960-1969". RSSSF. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- "GdS – L'Inter piange Aurelio Milani, uomo della Grande Inter" (in Italian). SpazioInter.it. 26 November 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- "CALCIO ITALIANO IN LUTTO: E' MORTO AURELIO MILANI CENTRAVANTI DELLA GRANDE INTER DI H.H." zonacalciofaidate.it (in Italian). Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- "Aurelio Milani, morto il centravanti storico della Grande Inter" (in Italian). Il Fatto Quotidiano. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Inter: morto Aurelio Milani, il bomber di due Coppe Campioni" (in Italian). Il Corriere della Sera. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Corriere dello Sport 1961 - 42 - Fascicolo: 227" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 14 April 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- "Nazionale in cifre: Milani, Aurelio". figc.it (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- "Il Museo Viola ricorda Milani: bomber e una Coppa delle Coppe sfiorata" (in Italian). ViolaNews.com. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Italy – Serie B Top Scorers". rsssf.com. RSSSF. Archived from the original on 18 March 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
- Roberto Di Maggio; Igor Kramarsic; Alberto Novello (11 June 2015). "Italy - Serie A Top Scorers". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 31 October 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- Statistics at FIGC.it
| Serie A Top Scorer (Shared with José Altafini)