AC Milan was one of the clubs where injuries always have been a headache for the manager and a nightmare for the players. It used to be a regular thing inside the Milan camp in the past. Even the fittest player used to suffer an injury. This used to happen at the beginning of the first decade of the 21st century. This crisis pushed AC Milan to build a new system that helped the players prevent injuries and extend the footballers’ playing careers. It was the foundation to AC Milan’s success in the 2000s.
The system the Rossoneri used was called the ‘Milan Lab’. It helped the team to be on the top for several seasons, and it was also a reason for Milan’s downfall after 2010.
Milan Lab is a high-tech interdisciplinary scientific research centre owned by AC Milan. The Laboratory is located within the Milanello Sports Centre and has been operating since March 2002.
Milan Lab, the famous medical and research centre in Milanello, was since 2002 the leading medical centre for sports in Europe, a key of a club that reached two Champions League trophies with a team of 30-years-old who run like 20. In those years, Maldini, Seedorf, Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho and Cafu have said a fine word about Milan Lab, its approach changed professional sports medicine, but today its efficiency seems to be lost.
Milan Lab was founded in Milanello in 2002 by Adriano Galliani and Jean Pierre Meerseeman. The doctor decided to adopt a scientific method already experimented by the medic Anatoly Zeletsov, who in the ’80s invented a strict plan to improve the performance of Dynamo Kyiv’s players and the Ukraine team dominated the Sovietic Championship for a decade. Milan Lab Philosophy took Zeletsov quantity aspects, mixing it with a holistic approach to medicine who based all the care on the welfare of the nervous system and neurology.
The main reason why they started the Milan Lab in 2002 was because of an injury that happened to their new signing, Fernando Redondo, who came from Real Madrid. At that time, he was one of the best midfielders in business. But after moving to Milan, he was injured due to a knee problem.
Milan was disappointed in his injury as they spent a lot of money to sign him. So, they decided to change the approach, and it was the stepping stone to the Milan Lab. One of the most famous examples is about Clarence Seedorf, cured by Meerseeman from a persistent groin problem, just removing wisdom teeth.
The Lab helped Milan to become the best team in Europe. In 2007 the club reached its 3rd Champions League final in 5 years with an average team of 34 years old, the highest ever for a winning club.
But after 2010, their crisis started. They fired Meerseeman, and they were not able to find a replacement. The 15 injuries that happened to Alexander Pato, who was seen as the future star in football, was just a start. Milan Lab was unsuccessful in recovering him from the injuries. 2012 was the worst year for Milan Lab. There were 307 injuries in 38 matches, and it was the fall of the renowned ‘Milan Lab’.