AC Milan is among the Italian clubs with the most called-up players in this year’s World Cup. With the group stage already coming to an end, many fans are curious to know how the Rossoneri players performed with their respective countries.
Argentina – Lucas Biglia
Lucas Biglia came close to missing the 2018 World cup when he got injured during the last days of Serie A, but the Argentine midfielder was lucky enough to recover just in time to make it into the Argentina squad.
After a less than satisfying performance against Iceland, the 32-year-old midfielder has not been in the starting eleven since. The lack of playing time could also be due to a slight injury Biglia sustained in the first game which influenced the coach’s decision to take him off the pitch at the second half.
Colombia – Christian Zapata & Carlos Bacca
Carlos Bacca is set to come back to Milan after his loan at Sevilla has ended, with the Spanish club not showing interest in redeeming the Colombian striker.
The31-year-old poacher did not start against Japan but came on the pitch in the 70th minute, bringing no significant impact to the game that his national team ended up losing. He was given another chance against Poland in the 78th minute but failed to impress and was snubbed by the coach against Senegal.
Christian Zapata, despite his decent season at Milan, did not get a single minute in this competition and was forced to watch all the games from the bench as he was mostly a spectator in his team’s success in the group stage.
Croatia – Nikola Kalinic & Ivan Strinic
Nikola Kalinic has made quite the impression at the World Cup, unfortunately not for the right reasons. The centre-forward was sent home after just one game after refusing to be subbed on against Nigeria. Kalinic adds another failure to his already horrible season with Milan (5 goals in 27 appearances).
Ivan Strinic, newly signed from Sampdoria, was one the best performers in the Croatia national team during the group stage. The 30-year-old left back played the first to games from start, while he was rested in the last game, which didn’t have any meaning. He was even named WhoScored Man of the match for his performance against Nigeria. The Rossoneri should be happy to know Ivan Strinic will be in Gattuso’s squad next season.
Portugal – Andre Silva
Andre Silva had a difficult season at Milan, scoring only two league goals in 24 appearances. However, the Portuguese striker was still given a chance with the national team, coming on as a substitute against Spain and playing 90 minutes against Iran.
The 22-year-old prospect unfortunately did nothing that would erase his complicated season, with zero goals and no assists in 100 minutes played, the Rossoneri are probably not reassured as the club is still trying to figure out whether to keep him for the upcoming season or sell him to another club.
Switzerland – Ricardo Rodriguez
Ricardo Rodriguez is probably the brightest Milan player at the World Cup. It can be noted that the Swiss’ season at Milan had its ups and downs but he obviously came out of it stronger than ever as he has proved to be one of Switzerland’s strongest player.
Just like Ivan Strinic, Ricardo Rodriguez has played all of the games with his national team and was well rated for his performances. despite not scoring or assisting, the 25 year-old left back helped Switzerland establish a strong back line and qualify for the next round.
Spain – Pepe Reina
Freshly signed from Napoli, Pepe Reina has not had the privilege to play in the World Cup yet as Coach Fernando Hierro prefers David De gea to guard the goal. However, with Spain still in the competition, it is still possible to see the 35 year-old goalkeeper make an appearance in the upcoming games.
With the exception of Nikola Kalinic, it appears the Milan players will stay in Russia a little longer as all of their teams have qualified for the second round of the World Cup.
So far, only Ricardo Rodriguez and Ivan Strinic have made an impact in their respective teams, the rest will have to step up a little bit to have the chance to leave an impression in this competition before coming back in Milano and start preparing for the upcoming season.