It has been 11 years since AC Milan won their last Serie A title, but they need only draw at Sassuolo on Sunday to take home a Scudetto which has been elusive for far too long for a club of their grandeur.
The day has been a long time coming for Milan fans, with the club last winning the title under Massimiliano Allegri in 2010-11, before suffering a spectacular fall from grace.
Just four years after their 18th Serie A triumph, the seven-time European Cup winners finished 10th in the standings, spending an incredible seven seasons outside the top four of the Italian top flight between 2014 and 2020.
Their decline was not helped by matters off the pitch, with various changes in ownership after former Italy prime minister Silvio Berlusconi relinquished control.
After Allegri’s departure in 2014, no fewer than six permanent coaches in five years tried and failed to turn things around, before Stefano Pioli came in to steady the ship.
Progress under Pioli has been gradual, building to this weekend’s moment of truth.
Milan hold a two-point lead over Inter Milan going into the final round of Serie A fixtures. Given they have a better head-to-head record over their bitter rivals, one point is all they need for a 19th top-flight title.
“What the team is doing from a mental point of view it is incredible,” Pioli said after last weekend’s win over Atalanta.
Should Milan slip up against mid-table Sassuolo on Sunday, champions Inter know victory at home to Sampdoria will see them sneak over the line, led by a manager Simone Inzaghi who has sprung a final-day surprise before.