Brera Football Club was founded in 2000 by the young publisher and journalist Alessandro Aleotti. Taken over the league rights of Atletico Milan, Brera starts off its first championship in Serie D (4th level). The novelty of a third Milanese team located in the heart of the city in the district of artists, the reopening of the historical Arena Civica and the appointing of Walter Zenga as first team coach immediately made Brera a media event. Social projects have had great prominence and importance in the black and green history, first of all the “Free Opera” (2003-2004 season), as well as extra-football projects, such as participation in the film about football “the thirteenth man” with Gianfelice Facchetti (2007 – 2008) and, last but not least, the multi-ethnic imprint in building up the rosters of the various seasons (a Junior team entirely made up of non-EU boys in 2001 – 2002). Over the years the Brera has also differentiated itself in the way it approaches amateur football, from the making of documentary “films” (“until the last ball” in 2004 – 2005 “promoted in promotion” in 2007 – 2008, “a fun season ”2005 – 2006), up to the decision to face a season, that of 2013 – 2014, without training (hence the President’s book “Never a training, only talent “) in full “always winning ” mood. Below you can learn more about each sports season.
In the first sporting season, 2000/2001, the modest championship run of the first team (relegated to Eccellenza) is counterbalanced by the splendid ride of the National Juniores, which came one step away from the National final, having proclaimed itself Lombard champion of the category.
In view of the 2001/2002 sports season, the Neroverde front office decides to radically change its philosophy. To face the new league, a team is set up made up of young people who do not have their only source of income in football. In short, amateurs in the proper sense of the word. The results can be considered positive. Brera, practicing a decidedly pleasant football for the category, achieves an honorable third place. Off the pitch, attention to social issues pushes the company to collaborate with the Cuorum agency in order to guarantee, in the most critical moment experienced by the Afghan refugees in Pakistan, the maximum visibility of Intersos: a non-profit organization for aid emergency and first rehabilitation. The Intersos brand, which appeared at the end of November on the Brera shirts, is joined in March with that of the “City of Cosenza”. The sponsorship, financed by entrepreneurs and commercial operators from Cosenza, is intended to symbolically overturn the cliché of welfare which from the rich north heads towards an apathetic and unproductive south. But the real novelty of the season is represented by the participation in a federal championship of a junior team entirely made up of non-EU boys regularly resident in our country. Aleotti’s commitment to the integration of immigrants, which began in 1999 with the MilanoMondo project, met with the applause of Giuliano Milesi, President of the Lombardy Regional Committee, who decided, exceptionally, to grant an exemption for the registerment of foreign footballers. The enthusiasm of the players, belonging to 13 different ethnic communities, overcomes the inevitable difficulties of language, culture and religion. Only the serious injuries occurred to three of the best members of the team prevent the multi-ethnic team from fighting all the way for the first place in the group. This project was also subject of a literary and theatrical storytelling activity by Brera F.C. in collaboration with the cultural association Comuna Baires. The new course of the Brera also involves the youngest. With the declared aim of favoring the formation of good sportsmen and excellent citizens, the neroverde club launches in its second year of life a 1989-90 rookie team and a 1991-92 Under 10.
In its third season, 2002/2003, the team’s slogan becomes “More art less fashion”, to support the campaign promoted by the historical local of Brera, “Le Trottoir”. On the other hand, good cultural intentions do not find effective feedback on the ground. The team comes eleventh in its second championship of Eccellenza. The only truly “artistic” effort offered by the Brera boys is a provocative sexy calendar, promoted by the club to dilute the behavioral excesses present even among amateurs. The greatest satisfactions come once again from the Regional Juniores who set themselves up in their own group, conquering 74 points out of the 90 available, reaching the semifinals after overcoming Cernusco and Corsico in the second phase. To prevent the boys of Mr. Pelusi from fighting in the final for the Lombard category title is the solid Union Cairate. Always active outside the pitch, the company launches MondoBrera: a project with strong roots in the territory achieved through a partnership established with eleven sports clubs from Milan. The project, which provides for organizational, technical and financial support to affiliated clubs by the neroverde association, is aimed at creating a youth sector through a pre-emption right that at the end of the season Brera will be able to exercise on the over 2000 young players of these clubs.
In its fourth sporting season, 2003/2004, the Brera develops two important projects. The first refers to the creation of a first team made up entirely of Italian-Argentine players. This initiative, deriving from the collaboration with Eurobaires and the prestigious Argentine club River Plate, made the team very competitive as a result of which, in fact, comes the first place in the first half of the season. Organizational disagreements with the partners, however, produce the early closure of the project and therefore, deprived of the best players, Brera eventually ends up in the third place, narrowly failing to return to Serie D. Similarly the junior team side, after closing on top of the league in the first round, after being deprived of its best elements (to replace the Argentine first team players) grasps a final fifth place. On the other hand, the “beyond football” project of the season proved to be totally positive: FreeOpera Brera, a team entirely composed of inmates from the Opera prison and managed by Brera F.C, competing in the Terza Categoria championship. In addition to an extraordinary success in terms of media visibility and consensus for the initiative, FreeOpera achieved the historic result of winning the league and getting promoted to Seconda Categoria.
In the 2004/2005 season, Brera “delegated” the management of the FreeOpera team to the Opera Prison and focused on an important audiovisual project: the making of the documentary film “Fino all’ultimo pallone” (Up to the last ball). This is a visual story of the First Team’s sporting season which, although it ended with the relegation to the Promotion, offered a real insight into amateur football. The documentary was very successful and shown at the main sports film festivals. Said of the relegation of the First team, the Junior side championship run successfully ended avoiding relegation. Worth noting is the launch of a relationship with China through the participation of Brera Juniores (together with Inter, Milan and the under 19 Chinese national team) in the first edition (held in Milan) of the Marco Polo Cup which will be repeated in China in the coming years.
In the 2005/06 season, together with a good Regional Juniores championship ride, unfortunately also comes the relegation of the Brera First Team, which goes from Promotion to Prima Categoria. Despite the negative year in terms of results, the overall climate was fun, as represented in the film “Una stagione divertente” (A fun season) that you can find on the website. But after 2 years of relegations, the time has come to shift gear also in terms of sporting results.
The seventh season of Brera, the 2006/2007 one, is instead characterized by a historic victory in the playoffs that bring the First Team back to Promozione. After a regular season closed in fifth place, the Brera wins the two head-to-head games in the playoffs against Bresso and Solaro, grabbing a magical leap in category. The satisfaction is even greater, if we consider that the First Team was made up entirely of Milanese and Italo-Argentinian boys aged only 18/20. This adventure was also caught in a beautiful documentary, entitled “Promossi in Promozione” (Promoted in Promozione). This year is also characterized by the launch of an important social football project with the historic Milanese institution of I Martinitt. The Brera has created and managed a team made up entirely of disadvantaged minors, housed in the Martinitt family-communities. This team has achieved, in addition to an honorable seventh place in the CSI championship, above all the important goal of integrating the boys participating in the project with each other and with the outer world. For this project (and for the other social projects that over the years the Brera has carried out among immigrants and in the Opera Prisonhouse), in June 2007 the Brera was awarded at the Scala in Milan with the prestigious special recognition of the “Milan production” award of the Chamber of Commerce. In this positive year, the young Brera Juniores team also had a good championship, missing the playoffs by one point.
The eighth season, the 2007/2008 one, had an important novelty: the debut in 5-a-side football which resulted in immediate promotion to Serie C2. The 11-a-side football season still saw the presence of Italian-Argentine players which determined a final tenth place, a satisfying result for a newly promoted team. Also noteworthy is the definitive renunciation to organizing a Junior 11-a-side football formation, to direct efforts on the First 11-a-side and 5-a-side football team, and on our non-competitive football school which continued its impetuous growth in terms of participating children. Other activities included the continuation of the management of the Martinitt team and, above all, the restructuring of the ancient Martinitt field in via Pitteri which became the official headquarters of the Brera training. Last but not least, a nice extra-football initiative: the participation of Brera in the football-themed film “Il tredicesimo uomo” (the thirteenth man) with Gianfelice Facchetti (son of Giacinto Facchetti, former captain of Inter Milan), which tells a football story involving Brera football team (in the cinematic fiction, competing in Serie C, may it bring luck…) where the protagonist Facchetti is the goalkeeper of the team.
The 2008/2009 season was characterized by an innovative project: “il Brera dei Tifosi” (Brera belongs to the supporters), that is the attempt to involve the fans in the direct management of the team. Although the project was well communicated and more than 400 subscriptions were collected immediately, the mechanism did not work also because the team faced a very tough relegation and came last. However, the 5-a-side football team faced the C2 championship with ease, reaching a mid-table placement. Lastly, the club organized the “Campioni di Milano” tournament for 32 teams from the city of Milan.
In the 2009/2010 season, on the tenth anniversary, Brera further enhanced the production of audiovisuals both through the extended highlights of all the games and by retelling the history of the club with documentary clips (on the Brera channel you can find all the videos). The tenth anniversary was the last year of consecutive presence of the First Team in the amateur categories, ending the championship in eighth place of its Prima Categoria group. Considering the experience in traditional football momentarily depleted, Brera sought new and innovative football activities.
2011 is the year of the Viareggio tournament: through the collaboration with the Gabonese team “Emergence” of the Grimaldi brothers, Brera participated in the prestigious youth tournament with a group of young African footballers with the name “Brera Emergence Gabon”, obtaining one win and two defeats. In the two-year period 2010-2012, Brera maintained and strengthened its original non-competitive football school project at the Arena Civica in Milan.
Then, from September 2012, the first team also returned “on track” starting “from the bottom” (Seconda Categoria) and inaugurating a new phase characterized by a strong effort to involve the public (all matches at the Arena were free) and the attempt to create a perception of an original and innovative model of amateur football club. The experience in Seconda Categoria ended a step away from promotion to the higher category, with the elimination in the playoffs.
In the 2013/2014 season, the Brera decided to compete in Seconda Categoria with a team oriented towards a pure Sunday fun that does not carry out any training during the week, supported by the powerful and incessant cheering of the “Blocco Ultras” fan group. Brera’s attention to a more exquisitely competitive football project was achieved through the management of Brescia Calcio’s Berretti squad and the technical collaboration (on this and other projects) of the unforgettable No.10 of Inter Milan Evaristo Beccalossi. After this season which, in the second half, gave us so many satisfactions (the team, without ever training, amounted the same points as the first in the table) that we felt to remember this year forever in a dedicated book entitled “Mai un allenamento, solo il talento” (Never a training, only the talent), Brera was prepared for a winning season.
The 2014/2015 season, in fact, was characterized by a neat victory in the championship (3 matches in advance) which brought Brera back to Prima Categoria. An important event was also the return to the bench of Andrea Mazza (who had already coached Brescia’s Berretti the previous year) with whom an important harmony developed that led him to manage the team in the 2015/2016 season as well.
A season that saw Brera return to Prima Categoria, faced essentially with a squad very similar to the previous year. A sort of continuity to the motto “never a training, only talent” that led the team, “trained” (maximum once a week) by Andrea Mazza, to a hard-fought but indeed fun salvation. This season also saw the birth of the Romani People Football Team project, a selection of Roma and Sinti people who, under our management and with the collaboration of Upre Roma (in particular Dijana Pavlovic, Vice President of the association), made a very powel statement – especially from a social point of view – through a friendly game played at the Arena against the selection of Padania – historically the team managed by the far-right party Lega Nord.
The 2016/2017 season saw a double leap forward and a return to the past with important prospects for the future. The acquisition of the title of Eccellenza (from Gessate), the return of the Juniores team (in the Regional “A” championship) and, in order not to miss anything, the 5-a-side football team (C2). This season brought the Brera back even more in the spotlight thanks to the appointing as head coach of a histrionic character like Enzo Gambaro, former AC Milan and Napoli defender. The approach to the new category, however, was tougher than expected and, despite Andrea Mazza’s return to the bench, relegation eventually was reached through the defeat in the play-out against Union Villa Cassano. On the other side, a positive note came from the junior team, which, built from scratch, managed to maintain the highest regional category, besting in the play-outs phase the sides of Real Milano.
The 2017/2018 season saw the fascinating return on the Brera bench of veteran Andrea Valle, assisted by a large staff of young and well-prepared guys. The peculiarity of this season was the unification in a single squad of First Team and Juniores. The element that stands out most in the eyes of the group of players is certainly represented by the presence of 15 different nationalities among the members of the squad and the staff. This multi-ethnic characteristic has made the championship runs pleasant and “always winning”, although the First Team unfortunately faced another relegation on the last match, while the regional juniores “A”, managed in the second part of the season from ds Pardeo, successfully avoided relegation once again through the playout phase.
The 2018/2019 season began with big news: the launch of a women’s team that had the intention of making it clear how football can also be “dyed pink”, being entirely managed by a female staff, led by coach Isabella Bandini. Unfortunately, this attempt failed to materialize in a real championship, but in the future the project will definitely become reality – as all Brera’s good ideas do. On the male side, the First team and the Juniores have continued the policy of having squads that represent the global dimension of the city of Milan, integrating players who come from more than 20 different countries. Both teams were initially entrusted to the technical guidance of Marco Resca, who was succeeded – in the last part of the season – by Amedeo Mangone, professional coach and former Italian champion with AS Roma in 2000 (the year in which Brera was founded). The two teams had uneventful championship runs, finishing eleventh (the first team) and sixth (the juniors).
The 2019/2020 season was certainly characterized by a historic step for our club: the creation of the Brera Football Village, which will increasingly become the home of the “Neroverdi”. On the football front, the main novelty is a great return: Marco Nichetti, undoubtedly one of the most representative characters in the history of Brera, is back on our bench, assisted by a large staff made up of assistants Tommaso Bassani, Davide La Rosa and Gianfranco Cotrina. The regional junior, side on the other hand, was entrusted to the young coach Dario Selli. At the peak of a troubled season, the Covid 19 health emergency led to the suspension of the championships and the blocking of relegations, ensuring the salvation of both of our teams in their respective categories.
The 2020-21 season marks the return of the Brera to the historic home of the Arena Civica. The first team will be led on the bench by Amedeo Mangone, returning to the neroverde club after two intense months in the 2018-19 season.
CHAIRMAN - ALESSANDRO ALEOTTI
CLUB MANAGER - LEONARDO ALEOTTI