At a ceremony today at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke officially presented a badge to AC Milan's CEO Adriano Galliani to honour their club's victory at the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup. This new badge will also be provided to the winning club of all future editions of the competition. Milan will wear the badge on their jerseys throughout 2008 until the new FIFA Club World champion is crowned in December this year.
With the club world champion badge, FIFA intends to honour the titleholder and the future winners of its prestigious club event. "The new badge is taking up and extending the existing tradition of displaying stars above team crests that, albeit not official, have become part and parcel of the history of the game," said FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke. "FIFA will also honour the three previous winners of the FIFA Club World Cup from Brazil - Corinthians, Sao Paulo FC and Sport Club Internacional - with a similar distinction."
"AC Milan are very proud to be the first club to display this badge on their jerseys," commented AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani. "The history of our club is closely linked to international club competitions such as the former Intercontinental Cup and now the FIFA Club World Cup. Our triumph in Japan is considered to be a special milestone by our club and our fans."
AC Milan and Brazil star Kaka, also voted best player at the FCWC 2007, hailed the initiative as "a great idea. The symbol will remind everyone that we're the club world champions and that, until next December, no-one can take that title from us. It would be fantastic to win the Champions League again so that we can have a chance to defend this emblem."
The new badge acknowledges the achievement of winning the FIFA Club World Cup, a competition that brings together the top club team from each confederation. The winning club may display the badge on their jerseys for one year, right up until the final whistle of the next FIFA Club World Cup. The badge features an image of the trophy and the text "AC Milan Champions 2007".
In association football, some national and club sides include one or more stars as part of (or beside) the crest on their shirt to represent important trophies that the team has previously won.
According to various football history sources, the first team to adopt a star was Juventus in Italy, who added a star above their crest in 1958 to represent their tenth Serie A title. This was an extension of the convention by which the reigning champions are entitled to display the scudetto on their shirts for the following season. The star was later formally adopted as a symbol for ten titles. Besides Juventus, AC Milan and their city rivals Internazionale are also allowed to use such a star.
In national team football, Brazil currently display five stars, one for each FIFA World Cup victory in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Brazil placed three stars above their crest after winning their third FIFA World Cup™ in 1970. Italy did likewise in 1982 and today have four. All world champions have since followed suit. Uruguay display four stars due to their triumphs in the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Football Tournaments, which they regard as equivalent to their subsequent FIFA World Cup wins, as there was no FIFA World Cup competition at the time.