MN: The ‘Fonseca paradox’ – why Milan would be bucking a trend by hiring him

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan fans are expecting to see some summer business from the club that makes it clear they want to steal the Scudetto from Inter and get a second star while going further in Europe, and Paulo Fonseca’s name has generated a mixed reaction.

As MilanNews writes, Fonseca is yet to really announce himself with a big trophy in a ‘top five’ European league, yet the Rossoneri’s history shows us that they have never been a club to choose names already consecrated among the best.

The nine titles won in Fonseca’s career speak for him: three league and cup doubles in Ukraine from 2017 to 2019 with Shakhtar Donetsk, a Ukrainian Super Cup in 2017 and before that a Taça do Portugal with Braga in 2015 and a Portuguese Super Cup in 2013 at the helm of Porto.

Comparing these results with the coaches chosen over the last 50 years we see that only one coach did better and it has an asterisk because it was Fabio Capello, who was returning to the club having been there previously.

Indeed Capello was a home-grown coach, launched first as a caretaker until the end of the 1986-87 season having been the Primavera coach and recalled as main coach in the summer of 1991, after a period as manager in the Polisportiva Mediolanum.

Looking at the complete picture, the most successful coaches in the history of Milan are Nereo Rocco, Arrigo Sacchi and Nils Liedholm. All these ended up returning to the club after a successful first spell, which is when they actually racked up their trophies.

Limiting the discussion to coaches who did one spell only at Milan, Fatih Terim arrived with some silverware to his name although almost all in Turkish territory. He lasted a short period, as did Oscar Tabarez who had won both nationally and internationally in South America.

The list from the 1990s onwards also consists of the likes of Alberto Zaccheroni, Max Allegri, Leonardo, Clarence Seedorf, Pippo Inzaghi, Genaro Gattuso, Marco Giampaolo and of course Stefano Pioli. All arrived never having won a major honour.

In short, a look at Fonseca’s CV might not excite Milan fans, but it certainly has more volume to it than the youth coach Capello or indeed the shoe salesman Sacchi, and they went on to do alright.

Tags AC Milan Paulo Fonseca


  1. Your effort to sugarcoat this is touching. But still feels like sugarcoating. I am not sure many will be convinced.
    The problem is that nothing at all points to the direction that Fonseca is a better choice than most of the reported and available options. It’s likely “he won’t be a disaster” – how comforting – but none can justify this choice over (almost) all the others (including Lopertegui who was almost signed).

  2. It is impossible to choose a coach that will satisfy all the fans. It is clear that we needed a change after Pioli (a worn-out process). Whether it’s Fonseca (or someone else), I hope he does a good job and is given the tools to develop a competitive team.
    Forza Milan

  3. Anyone that has see the type of football and results he achieved at Shakhtar should at least give this guy a season or two. I just wish we had done it last season, as the current one aside from qualifying for CL was sa waste

  4. Too many speculation and arguments surround him. Because Milan’s management is so so so so long to declare who is the next coach.

    So, if really Fonseca the next coach, he just have to prove it, that he is good coach, and can boost Milan more than Pioli.

    But if he can’t, then I will would see Premier League than Milan

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