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AC Milan (1988–1993)

His five seasons at Milan made him a legend. It was coach Arrigo Sacchi who saw Rijkaard as playing a pivotal role at Milan and transformed the central defender into a world class holding midfielder, where the Dutchman's aggressive and firm style would go on to influence the likes of Patrick Vieira to replicate in future years. Playing alongside fellow country-men Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit, Rijkaard won the European Cup twice (in 1989 against Steaua Bucharest and 1990, against Benfica) and the domestic Serie A championship twice. He was also believed to have apologized to Cruijff while at Milan.

Rijkaard's temperament though, was still in question, as became evident when he spat multiple times on Rudi Völler during the 1990 FIFA World Cup, which the Dutch entered as favourites. The Netherlands went on to lose the match, in a tournament that was marred by a pre-tournament coach change and an underperforming squad. Rijkaard's spitting on Rudi Völler earned him the media nickname of "the llama", and for Völler accusations of racism.

 
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