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The Archive

January 2010

Leonardo: 'It's a tough week'
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo admits “this was not an easy week” after one point from three games, while Marco Borriello is in hospital.

Milan lost the derby and Wednesday's Coppa Italia quarter-final with Udinese before today's 1-1 draw with relegation strugglers Livorno.

“This was not an easy week, but they were three different situations. Winning with Inter could've changed the course of the campaign.

“Then we went out of the Coppa Italia, while today all we were missing was that finishing touch.

“We needed a good performance. It wasn't great against Livorno, but nor was it awful. We didn't take the chances we created against a very defensive side.”

The Rossoneri also had penalty appeals for Cristiano Lucarelli's push on Thiago Silva.

“It was a spot-kick, but if we had been more efficient in front of goal then we wouldn't be here talking about these incidents,” mused Leonardo.

Borriello went off at half-time after a clash of heads and was sent to hospital for tests, as he was feeling dizzy.

“We just wanted to make sure he had the all-clear and it was a precautionary measure,” explained Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

Serie A: AC Milan 1:1 Livorno - match report
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ambrosini 44 (M), Lucarelli 53 (L)

Cristiano Lucarelli extended Milan's crisis and allowed Roma to catch them in joint second place.

It was a very tense week for both teams, as the Rossoneri lost two on the trot between the derby and Coppa Italia quarter-final to Udinese. Livorno Coach Serse Cosmi resigned after a blazing row with President Aldo Spinelli, but was asked to stay on. Milan have lost just three of their last 20 official games and, curiously, failed to score in any of those defeats.

Alessandro Nesta, Alexandre Pato, Massimo Oddo and Oguchi Onyewu were sidelined, while Mozart and goalkeeper Alfonso De Lucia sat out Livorno bans. Andrea Pirlo and Nelson Dida picked up injuries before kick-off, so Christian Abbiati had his first Serie A start in 10 months. This was the 36th top flight meeting between the clubs and the only Tuscan victory at San Siro was in 1941-42.

Francesco Benussi needed two touches to get a Ronaldinho free kick under control right on the line. Marco Borriello had penalty appeals for a tussle with Nico Pulzetti.

David Beckham's free kick flashed across the face of goal, then the England midfielder aimed a weak effort straight at the goalkeeper.

Milan were pushing, but also unlucky, as Ronaldinho's screamer from the edge of the box cracked against the base of the upright to ricochet back out. Moments later Thiago Silva from distance tested Francesco Benussi.

Clarence Seedorf drilled wide, but Romano Perticone turned his volley over the bar at the other end.

It was a Livorno howler that handed Milan their opener on the stroke of half-time. Benussi horribly fumbled Beckham's cross and pushed it into the path of Massimo Ambrosini, who fired in from nine yards.

Benussi smothered an audacious Beckham backheel flick. Marco Borriello got a knock to the head and in the second half made way for Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who immediately stung Benussi's gloves.

Instead, Livorno equalised at San Siro with veteran Cristiano Lucarelli. He was kept in play by Thiago Silva when redirecting Claudio Bellucci's wayward shot from the edge of the box, prodding it past Abbiati from six yards.

Huntelaar couldn't make the most of an Ignazio Abate volleyed assist, as he pushed the ball on to the side-netting under pressure from Benussi.

On 66 minutes Ignazio Abate's strike was deflected round the post and from the resulting corner Benussi did very well to palm a soaring Ambrosini header off the line with one strong hand.

Huntelaar should've restored Milan's lead when clear on goal from six yards, but he incredibly ballooned over. Ronaldinho, Seedorf and Huntelaar combined until Beckham's angled drive was charged down by defenders.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Thiago Silva, Favalli, Antonini; Flamini (Inzaghi 77), Ambrosini; Beckham, Seedorf, Ronaldinho, Borriello (Huntelaar 46)

Livorno: Benussi; Perticone, Rivas, Knezevic; Raimondi, Pulzetti (Marchini 68), Pieri, Filippini, Bergvold; (Moro 60) Lucarelli, Bellucci (Tavano 72)

Ref: Trefoloni

Highlights on Free Soccer Highlights.

Leonardo reboots AC Milan
30.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo tells Milan they have to “rediscover our sense of identity and style of football” after two consecutive defeats.

The Rossoneri were the form team in Serie A up until last week, when they lost 2-0 to nine-man Inter and 1-0 to Udinese in the Coppa Italia quarter-final.

“I am not worried and try to remain logical in my analysis,” said the Coach ahead of a meeting with Livorno.

“If I think about the season that those who faced Udinese have had, I cannot condemn them. Many were tired and are even more so now. I need some fitness tests on Gianluca Zambrotta and Andrea Pirlo.

“I looked in everyone’s eyes after the defeat to Udinese and I saw the right reaction. There’s no point denying the derby loss was irritating, but being professionals we all know that we need to immediately react in a certain way.

“Inter are very strong and lead the table, but it’s our objective to take them step of the way.”

The derby was also controversial after Inter’s furious and barely disguised accusations of favouritism from the referee.

“I think there is a lot of talk, but many know the truth at the centre of it all,” mused Leonardo.

“It’s not up to me to say it. Eventually the truth will out and I don’t want to re-light the touch paper of this argument.”

Moratti makes peace with AC Milan
30.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter President Massimo Moratti has put aside his differences with Milan after last week's derby.

The Nerazzurri alleged that the so-called Palazzo is doing everything to stop them from winning a fifth consecutive Scudetto.

Inter had two men sent off and conceded a penalty, but still managed to beat Milan 2-0 and go nine points clear at the top of Serie A.

“There isn't any argument. They are the facts of the last derby. After all, the derby went how it went and that's it, enough is enough,” Moratti said.

“You can remain angry or not. But I believe that, as humans, we should be able to overcome these things.”

Moratti then apologised for the insults some Milan directors received during Sunday's match.

“I am sorry for what happened in the stands, but as for the rest I believe it is the story of Inter-Milan, Inter-Juve and Juve-Milan.”

Galliani: 'I won't speak of Inter'
28.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says he is sick and tired of the polemic after last week's derby and won't speak about Inter.

Jose Mourinho and Massimo Moratti implied that someone is trying to prevent Inter from winning the Scudetto after their 2-0 victory over Milan, which was achieved despite having to play most of the game with only 10 men.

“I have nothing to say. I will only speak about technical things like my friend Leonardo. What I think I keep to myself,” Galliani said.

“I don't have any desire to speak about things that regard another team from Milan.”

Galliani then turned his attention to last night's disappointing 1-0 defeat to Udinese in the Coppa Italy.

“Sure, when you lose it's always disappointing and embittering. We went into the game in a very good moment. We did very well for a long time. Now we have had three difficult days.

“However, I believe that those three days are over,” he explained.

Finally, Galliani said he was confident Klaas-Jan Huntelaar would remain at the club until the end of the season.

“Huntelaar has to resign himself and be calm because Milan aren't selling him. No one has come to me with any offers,” Galliani concluded.

Pato: 'I'll be there against United'
28.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato has promised to be fit in time for February's all-important Champions League clash with Manchester United.

The 20-year-old has just returned from Brazil where he received treatment for a muscle injury.

Speaking to Italia 7 Gold at Milan's Malpensa airport, Pato said: “I feel good and I will certainly be there against Manchester United on February 16.

“I watched the derby on TV. We lost. But the season isn't over. There are still many games left.”

Pato then tried to encourage his team-mates after last night's 1-0 defeat at home to Udinese knocked Milan out of the Coppa Italia.

“We made a lot of hard work with Udinese, especially in the build up play. We allowed Di Biasi's side to counter attack on numerous occasions.

“We had players on the pitch who were coming back after a long time out, others who usually play a little less than the regulars, but in spite of this our performance was below our potential.

“We shouldn't make a drama after two consecutive defeats. If we analyse the two games, it's clear they were both different, in different competitions.

“Now we have to recharge our batteries with calm, but I believe that by the end of the day we'll be feeling positive,” Pato concluded.

Moratti snipes at silent AC Milan
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter President Massimo Moratti isn’t surprised by Milan’s silence. “What could they say after the derby?”

While the Nerazzurri have been fined and deferred to the disciplinary commission for openly accusing the referee of favouring the other team, the Rossoneri have largely refused to respond.

It’s reported today that Milan are furious with the tone of these comments and “will not forget,” according to an unnamed source.

“I think it’s only normal after Sunday’s game, as they too were disappointed,” said Moratti of Inter’s 2-0 victory.

“When you are disappointed, you don’t feel like saying anything. I understand that. What could they say after that derby?

“I don’t want to further stir up trouble and I can’t say I’m surprised that Jose Mourinho and general manager Ernesto Paolillo were deferred to the disciplinary commission.

“In terms of football, I say the derby is closed. Now everything is clear, even reading the newspapers and everyone can take whatever judgment they want from these events.

“We put a stop to the derby debate here. For the rest, there is the hope that everything can be normal and we can go forward in fairness

“We believe that and truly hope that every team can be allowed to do its best.”

AC Milan derby for Hernanes
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan and Inter are battling it out to sign highly rated Sao Paulo youngster Hernanes, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The 23-year-old is ready to move to Europe and has let it be known that he will raise his voice if Sao Paulo reject any reasonable offers for him like they have done in the past from Barcelona, CSKA Moscow and Hamburg.

Hernanes has been compared with former Milan midfielder Ricky Kaka, but he often plays in a role just in front of the defence like Andrea Pirlo.

Milan were strongly linked with him last summer, but had already filled their quota of non-EU players.

Inter are also in the market for a midfielder capable of taking the creative burden off Wesley Sneijder.

However, they are likely to face competition from Barcelona, Lyon and even Fiorentina who have good contacts in Brazil.

Hernanes is currently being valued at around €14m.

AC Milan ask for Nene
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has asked Cagliari for Brazilian striker Nene as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's career at the club looks likely to end.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Tottenham are extremely keen to sign Huntelaar after missing out on Ruud van Nistelrooy who joined Hamburg last week.

The Rossoneri hope to attract a bid worth around €15m for Huntelaar who has struggled to make an impact since his transfer from Real Madrid in the summer, scoring three goals in 12 appearances.

Leonardo would like an immediate replacement and has set his sights on Nene, the 26-year-old who has scored six goals in six starts for Cagliari in his first year in Serie A.

Galliani had apparently reached a verbal agreement to sign Nene earlier this month, but when he called Cagliari President Massimo Cellino yesterday to discuss the player's future his offer was turned down.

Cellino feels he can no longer deprive his Coach of Nene especially in light of Joaquin Larrivey's suspension this weekend.

Coppa Italia: AC Milan 0:1 Udinese - match report
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Inler 55 (U)

A disappointing Milan lost the Coppa Italia quarter-final 1-0 at home to Udinese, who go through to face Roma.

The Rossoneri fielded a revamped side for this quarter-final with Christian Abbiati, Daniele Bonera and Gianluca Zambrotta returning from long injury lay-offs. Both teams were coming off disappointing Serie A defeats at the weekend and needed a boost.

Gokhan Inler had two early efforts from distance, one over and the other smothered by Abbiati, while Pippo Inzaghi had penalty appeals for Andrea Coda's clumsy tackle.

Overall Udinese were more dangerous and had a great chance when Alexis Sanchez pulled back from the byline for the unmarked Antonio Di Natale, but Abbiati got his fingertips to it at the near post.

From the resulting corner Udinese shot themselves in the foot, as Antonio Floro Flores kicked the ball off teammate Cristian Zapata's head. The Friulani continued to push with Abbiati flapping a Pasquale cross-shot out from under the bar.

On 24 minutes Sanchez muscled Luca Antonini out of the way to go one-on-one with Abbiati, but his angled drive thumped the upright of an open goal.

Milan finally got a shot on target at the 27th minute when Marek Jankulovski unleashed a snapshot from distance that Samir Handanovic flew to palm away.

Another sudden rocket from 25 metres, this time off the foot of Mathieu Flamini, forced Handanovic to leap again with a one-handed save.

Abbiati blocked Di Natale's half-volley and used his legs to parry a Floro Flores strike at the near post.

In the second half a David Di Gennaro slide-rule pass released Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, but Handanovic did just enough to close him down from six yards.

Udinese finally broke through when they pounced on a defensive error. Sanchez dispossessed Antonini in the box and pulled back for Inler's snooker shot into the far bottom corner of the net.

On the counter Di Natale flashed a shot across the face of goal and Floro Flores drilled wide after shrugging aside Bonera.

Zambrotta dribbled past three players down the right channel, but his angled drive was charged down.

Milan had more of the ball in this second half but, much like the derby defeat on Sunday, struggled to actually create scoring opportunities against an organised Udinese and were too slow in moving the ball around .

At the 90th minute they had a chance when Jankulovski chested down on the edge of the box and hit the half-volley across the face of goal. However, Udinese also had a shot in stoppages with Abbiati scrambling at Inler's feet.

Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Bonera, Kaladze, Antonini; Flamini, Gattuso (Verdi 70), Jankulovski; Di Gennaro (Pirlo 53); Huntelaar (Borriello 60), Inzaghi

Udinese: Handanovic; Isla, Coda, Zapata, Pasquale; D'Agostino (Lodi 70), Inler, Sammarco; Sanchez, Floro Flores (Pepe 78), Di Natale (Zimling 89)

Ref: Gervasoni

Leonardo moves on from derby
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo glossed over the derby controversy and prepared a revolutionised Coppa Italia line-up.

Inter continue to rage over referee Gianluca Rocchi’s decisions in Sunday’s 2-0 result with both Jose Mourinho and general manager Ernesto Paolillo deferred to the disciplinary commission.

“I am relaxed and have nothing to say. I only focus on what happens on the field,” assured the Milan Coach.

“I don’t think there is a conspiracy. There’s always going to be controversy, so it’s pointless adding any more to the mix.

“What remains is the disappointment over the defeat, especially as it came in the derby, but so far this season we’ve many reasons to be positive.

“Inter have been dominant for five years now and strengthened the squad even further, that is beyond dispute. But we remain competitive and are second in the table.”

The Rossoneri are also in the Coppa Italia quarter-final against Udinese.

“It is an important tournament and of course we all want to make it to the Final in Rome. We’ll make changes, but go out there to give our best.

“We studied Udinese and they make very few changes from Serie A to Coppa Italia, approaching the games the same way.

“I need to evaluate the fitness of some players, as Gianluca Zambrotta and Clarence Seedorf are returning from long-term injuries, while Luca Antonini hit his head on Sunday and Ignazio Abate has flu.”

Leonardo hinted that Christian Abbiati will make his comeback after knee surgery, while Pippo Inzaghi also gets a rare run-out.

“In my position I cannot think of making favours, I have to focus on the good of the team and how to win.

“Abbiati has been out for many months and worked very hard. The performance will speak for him.”

Ronaldinho, David Beckham, Nelson Dida, Alexandre Pato, Alessandro Nesta and Seedorf are out of the squad.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Roma, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, De Vito, Favalli, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Borriello, Di Gennaro, Huntelaar, Inzaghi, Verdi, Zigoni

There is no conspiracy, says Leonardo
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Leonardo has rejected Inter's claims that Sunday's derby was in some way fixed.

Inter won comfortably 2-0 with just nine-men after Wesley Sneijder and Lucio were sent off.

Jose Mourinho alleged that the so-called Palazzo was doing everything to stop Inter winning a fifth consecutive Scudetto.

Inter President Massimo Moratti stood by his Coach, telling the Press that he had seen 'ugly signs' leading up to the game, and that 'a strong wind was blowing against us'.

Speaking on satirical TV show Striscia la Notizia, Leonardo said: “Inter have won things for four or five years. I don't believe that there is a plot.

“As for Sneijder's sending off, certain episodes influence the result of a game and not the winning or losing of a Scudetto”

Milan are back in action tomorrow night when they face Udinese in the Coppa Italia Quarter-Finals.

They currently lie second in Serie A, nine points adrift of Inter with a game in hand.

Zanetti: Scudetto still open
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter captain Javier Zanetti has claimed the race for the title is still open although he admits the Nerazzurri gave a great display against Milan.

The Argentine revealed that this was for him one of the best and most tense derbies in recent years.

“Inter's win last night was a great sign. We proved all our strength but it is not over yet,” noted Zanetti.

“We are really happy. It was so important to win for us and we did it with great personality and with only 10 men.

“From the very start we showed our will to win this game. Milan played their game and tried to dictate the tempo. But they found a tough rival.

“But there are many games left and Milan will not give in. And there are other teams too…”

After the game, Inter complained about the referee and his decisions.

“We don't think there is a conspiracy against us but we are only asking officials to keep their eyes open, especially considering what happened in the latest weeks.

“It is right that we speak our minds,” he concluded.

Sacchi hails Inter
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arrigo Sacchi was suitably impressed by the way the Inter performed in last night's derby match with Milan.

The Coach from Cesenatico hailed the Nerazzurri as he thought they proved all their strength against a good side.

“Inter gave a great display of strength,” confessed Sacchi.

“They practically killed Milan from all points of view. They were better technically, physically, mentally and tactically.”

Sacchi has little hope the Rossoneri have a chance to fight for the Scudetto.

“I doesn't matter whether Alessandro Nesta was there or not, that didn't make the difference.

“Even if the Rossoneri had had Diego Maradona on the pitch last night there would have been little they could do.

“Inter fully deserved to win, they were by far the best team at San Siro.”

Everton consider Huntelaar bid
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Everton are the latest club to be linked with Milan's out-of-favour Holland international Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, according to the Mirror.

The 26-year-old former Ajax and Real Madrid striker has struggled to make an impact since his arrival at San Siro in the summer.

He has made just five starting appearances under Leonardo, scoring three goals - two of which came against Catania and another from the penalty spot.

Huntelaar told the Dutch Telegraaf last week that he is prepared to leave Milan, but only on loan so he can win a place in Holland's World Cup squad and show the Rossoneri's directors that he is still a quality player.

Everton currently lie 10th in the Premier League and have scored 10 fewer goals than Liverpool, the lowest scoring member of the top six.

Louis Saha has accounted for a nearly a third of their goals this season but his injury history means the Toffees can't depend on him alone.

Huntelaar is a prodigious goal scorer in spite of his record in 2009-10. He scored 33 goals in 34 games for Ajax two years ago and was close to averaging a goal every other game in his short time at Real Madrid.

We're disappointed, says Beckham
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder David Beckham says his team-mates are disappointed after last night's 2-0 defeat to Inter in the Derby della Madonnina.

The Rossoneri lost 2-0 and couldn't even get back into the game when Wesley Sneijder and Lucio were sent off.

“We played against a very strong team. We didn't exploit the numerical superiority well, but at times it's more difficult to score with 11 than 10 men,” Beckham said.

“We are very sorry for the defeat, but it's not the end of the world. There are still many games to play and we have some objectives to realise,” he concluded.

Milan currently lie second in Serie A, nine points adrift of Inter albeit with a game in hand.

The Rossoneri are back in action in the Coppa Italia in midweek when they face Udinese.

Leonardo: 'We were too slow'
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo praised Inter, felt Milan didn't move the ball quickly enough and insisted “this changes nothing.”

The Rossoneri played against 10 men for over an hour, but could not break down their city rivals.

“The start was very positive for Inter and they scored an early goal, though obviously the game changed after the red card for Wesley Sneijder.

“In matches like this the little details can be decisive and we did not make the most of the situation.

“Inter have this remarkable strength on the counter-attack and they did it brilliantly tonight. We pinned them back, but the Nerazzurri defended en masse and our possession was a bit too slow.

“We struggled to find the key to unlock them and we tried to spread the play, but Inter closed up tight.”

This extends the gap at the top of the table to nine points, even if Milan have a game in hand to be played in Florence next month.

“Everyone knew Inter were strong, I don't think one match can decide what we can do. The team is maintaining its quality and found an Inter side fired up, who played far better than in recent weeks,” continued Leonardo.

“In the second half we created a lot of pressure, but not finding that goal and then conceding on a free kick made it all the more difficult for us.

“We have always said we're taking it one game at a time and not setting particular objectives. We are second and a game in hand, we are in a very positive position and have the Champions League to look forward to.

“This defeat doesn't change anything for us. This is another stepping stone and one that can teach us a great deal. It must be said that Inter played extremely well tonight, the whole team raised its game.

“We were convinced that we were in good shape, but not that we were favourites.”

Serie A: Internazionale 2:0 AC Milan - march report
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Milito 10 (I), Pandev 66 (I)

Despite Wesley Sneijder's dismissal in the first half-hour, Inter defeated Milan 2-0 with Diego Milito and Goran Pandev, as Ronaldinho's penalty was saved. It extends their lead at the top to nine points, even though the Rossoneri have a game in hand.

This was a head-to-head between the top two teams, city rivals and two opposing philosophies of football. Leonardo's entertainers were the form side going in, having won three on the trot with 12 goals scored and two conceded. The Nerazzurri had recently stuttered to results against Siena and Bari thanks to late comebacks.

Earlier this season Inter triumphed 4-0 after Gennaro Gattuso's dismissal, but the derby hasn't ended in a draw since October 2004, followed by six wins apiece. As for the 'away' game, Milan had lost four on the bounce and last shared the spoils in a 2-2 result in March 1999, when Leonardo scored.

Samuel Eto'o is still on Africa Cup of Nations duty, while Cristian Chivu and Dejan Stankovic were injured. The Rossoneri missed Alexandre Pato, Massimo Oddo, Gianluca Zambrotta and Alessandro Nesta failed a last-minute fitness test, so Giuseppe Favalli was in central defence.

Wesley Sneijder was a risk with flu, but he showed he was feeling good with a stunning half-volley from 25 metres that clipped the top of the far post just two minutes in.

It was fiery from the start, as David Beckham went into the boook for bringing down Esteban Cambiasso less than three minutes after kick-off. Soon after Goran Pandev's shot was charged down outside the area and turned into an assist for Sneijder, but Nelson Dida parried with his trailing foot from close range.

The Nerazzurri had the better chances early on and broke through with Diego Milito. Ignazio Abate did not deal with a Pandev ball over the top, so Milito smashed an angled drive into the far bottom corner.

Inter went on another counter with Pandev spreading it down the right flank for Milito and Dida beat away the shot at the near post.

Both Marco Borriello and Massimo Ambrosini hesitated and let a promising move go to waste, then an acrobatic clearance prevented Borriello finishing off a fine team move.

Lucio was booked for simulation in midfield after he fell very late from an Ambrosini challenge and Sneijder sarcastically applauded the referee and insulted him for a good 15 seconds, earning himself a red card. It was a very controversial incident overall, as Lucio stumbled and a booking was rather harsh, but it should be noted Sneijder had hurled abuse at the official moments earlier when the referee got in his way.

The tension exploded, as Favalli was booked for going through the back of Milito and Abate wasted a good chance by scuffing his shot. Ronaldinho's attempted overhead kick was intercepted, he claimed by Douglas Maicon's hand, but the referee waved play on.

Muntari was booked for hacking down Gattuso and Andrea Pirlo's resulting free kick was deflected over the bar. Pandev fell under pressure from Abate, but the referee waved away pealty appeals, which to be fair were from Milito and not the Macedonian, as contact was minimal.

Pirlo drilled over from distance, but 10-man Inter held on to their lead going into the break. Clarence Seedorf replaced Gattuso for the second half and almost immediately they nearly equalised, as Seedorf nodded Beckham's corner on to Julio Cesar's legs. The move continued and Ronaldinho volleyed just wide.

Pirlo and Antonini combined for Walter Samuel to charge down Borriello's shot, as the Nerazzurri were now pinned back into their own half. Lucio did just enough to block Thiago Silva's header from a Beckham cross.

On the counter Milito was eventually too tired to trouble Dida. At the other end Julio Cesar was uncertain on Borriello's head and flapped it out for a corner when it was probably going wide anyway. He was more secure on another Borriello header, then at the end of a well-worked move the Italian nodded Beckham's cross over from six yards.

However, under siege Inter had the best chance to make it 2-0! On 62 minutes Milito went on the counter from a Milan corner and timed his pass perfectly for Pandev to spring the offside trap, but the ex-Lazio striker hit the outside of the post one-on-one with Dida.

Favalli risked a second booking for his challenge on Maicon, but the referee noticed that he pulled out of the tackle. From that same free kick, Pandev curled a free kick in at the near post to double Inter's lead right when they were struggling. Replays suggest Dida could've got to it, but was unsighted by the wall. Pandev's substitution with Thiago Motta was delayed so that he could take that set play.

Antonini clattered head-first into an advertising board and made way for Marek Jankulovski, as Milan continued to dominate without being able to make a dent in the defence.

Leonardo had to gamble and opted for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in place of Ambrosini, effectively a 4-2-4 system. Balotelli came on for an exhausted Milito and he flashed a deflected shot across the face of goal after Javier Zanetti won back the ball.

Ronaldinho ballooned over on the volley from the edge of the box after a defensive header to intercept Borriello. It was a siege with crosses raining in that the Inter defence dealt with brilliantly.

From a corner Pirlo also blasted wide under pressure from Samuel, as once again Milan did everything right until they got into the box. When they did have a great chance at the 90th with a Seedorf ball over the top for Huntelaar's volley, Julio Cesar blocked with his legs.

The move continued and Lucio parried a shot with his arm, leading to a penalty and second yellow card. Ronaldinho stepped up, but Julio Cesar rescued nine-man Inter by saving the spot-kick low to his right!

In fact, it was nearly 3-0 when Maicon dispossessed Jankulovski to test Dida from close range.

Inter: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Santon; Zanetti, Cambiasso, Muntari (Cordoba 87); Sneijder, Milito (Balotelli 80), Pandev (Thiago Motta 67)

Milan: Dida; Abate, Thiago Silva, Favalli, Antonini (Jankulovski 76); Gattuso (Seedorf 46), Pirlo, Ambrosini (Huntelaar 80); Beckham, Borriello, Ronaldinho

Ref: Rocchi

Sent off: Sneijder 27 (I), Lucio 91 (I)

Missed penalty: Ronaldinho 92 (M)

Highlights here.

Not looking good for Nesta
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The latest reports from the Milanello training ground suggest Alessandro Nesta won’t be able to start the derby.

Nesta has been struggling with a left thigh problem that he sustained in last week’s 4-0 win over Siena.

Leonardo declared he would leave the decision until the last minute, but it’s reported that this morning’s run-out was not as pain-free as he would’ve hoped.

It looks increasingly likely that Nesta will not be in the line-up at San Siro this evening, so Giuseppe Favalli or Kakha Kaladze are set to take over.

This means that Thiago Silva is the only first-choice defender playing, as Gianluca Zambrotta and Massimo Oddo are also injured.

Leonardo stands up for Balotelli
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Leonardo weighed in on the Mario Balotelli racism problems. “Italy is not ready for diversity.”

“I pay close attention to his story, as it’s the kind of experience that improves you,” said Leonardo.

Inter striker Balotelli is the son of Ghanaian immigrants who was adopted by a family in Brescia at the age of two.

“I think Italy is not ready for diversity yet. It isn’t easy for Balotelli to grow up in a society like this.

“I admire him very much and do not see the ‘villain.’ I see a lad who made it in complicated circumstances.”

Balotelli has repeatedly been the subject of racist chants by Juventus supporters, who claim ‘A black man cannot be Italian.’

However, the 19-year-old is also bitterly criticised for his arrogant attitude and baiting of opponents.

“He is the product of the environment he was placed in,” continued Leonardo.

“Without understanding his past, it’s difficult to work out his present.

“He’ll never be a Lord and his story must act as a lesson for everyone, as Italy will experience more and more of them as time goes by.

“Italy never colonized anywhere and so they struggle to understand these issues all the way.”

Ronaldo: 'I'll be supporting Milan!'
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldo has played on both sides of San Siro, but reveals he will be cheering on the Rossoneri tonight.

“Many years have passed now from my rapport with Inter, although I retain great affection for those club colours,” said the Brazilian.

“I was at Milan more recently and found a unique atmosphere there, had an incredible rapport and got to know the club so well.

“The Milan atmosphere is unique and different to all other clubs, so I will be cheering on the Rossoneri.

“I wish Leonardo all the best, he is doing very well for his first job as a Coach. I am also very happy for Ronaldinho, who has rediscovered the joy of football. He is an incredible talent.

“In any case, I salute both sets of fans, who with their passion have always made me feel loved.”

Ronaldo is now back home with Corinthians and is keeping an eye on both his former clubs.

He famously scored a goal for Milan in the derby, but when Inter fought back to win, President Massimo Moratti made a lewd gesture in response.

“Moratti has always been very kind with me. Obviously he is the President of Inter and if I score a goal against them, as I did, and then the team wins, he is bound to react.

“He is a fan and simply in love with football, so he needs to let that out.

“I must say that when I was at Inter, the Milan fans still respected me. Admittedly when I switched sides the Nerazzurri supporters felt betrayed, but they still kept that respect.”

Galliani: 'Inter are the favourites'
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani remains superstitious and insists Inter “are absolutely the favourites” for the derby.

The Rossoneri are arguably on better form, although they are trailing the leaders by six points with a game in hand.

“As Jose Mourinho says, the team with the most points is the strongest,” smiled Galliani.

“Inter are ahead of us and therefore they are absolutely the favourites for the derby.

“We are not 'enemies' of anyone. Sport is based on healthy rivalry, we are Milan and they are Inter. We remain on friendly terms.”

The big question mark hangs over Alessandro Nesta, who will require a last-minute fitness test for his muscular problem.

“Nesta was called up for the game, although it's not certain whether he'll actually play or not.

“I am neither confident nor pessimistic. I'm not a medic, but if you ask me what kind of atmosphere there is at the training ground, I'll say they're positive.

“I saw the team train well and we'll see how it goes.”

Leo expects 'extraordinary' derby
24.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo expects the derby to be “extraordinary, the kind that leaves a mark, both good and bad,” but leaves it to the last minute for Alessandro Nesta.

“Tomorrow night’s game will be extraordinary, you just need to see the expectation around a match like this,” said the Rossoneri boss.

“It’ll be watched live all over the world, including in Brazil, where they are big Milan fans.”

Nesta continues to struggle with a thigh problem and remains a major doubt to play on Sunday.

“Nesta trained during the week with a series of special exercises. We need to see and calmly evaluate the situation without anxiety. We’ll take advantage of all the time at our disposal.”

There is a six-point gap at the top, although Milan have a game in hand, but any result is open to Leonardo.

“I don’t think it will be decisive, as there is a long way to the end of the season and we can’t make realistic calculations until we play that game with Fiorentina.

“It’s still very important for a thousand different reasons. It is the kind of game that leaves a mark, both good and bad.

“I cannot think of what the result might be tomorrow. I have never started a match with anything less than victory in mind.”

It is particularly important for Leo to shake off the memories of his only previous derby as a Coach, when his men lost 4-0 back in August.

“If we hadn’t gone through that difficult moment at the start, then we would not be the team we are today. All things that happen, positive or negative, teach you something.

“I have no regrets and no remorse. In fact, I don’t think that was our worst performance of the season, as in the first half-hour we played better than we had done in other occasions.”

The Brazilian has become known for his humility in dealing with the media and provides a stark contrast to Jose Mourinho.

“Up close we look quite different. Mourinho has his way of working, has proved he is a winning Coach and as a person is interesting, funny and intelligent.

“I, on the other hand, am still at the start of my experience and admire many things about him. As a Coach he has brought new things to Italian football, both in terms of character and tactics. I have great respect for Mourinho and he knows that.”

Borriello's message to Lippi
23.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Borriello looks ahead to the derby and potentially the World Cup. “If I deserve it, Marcello Lippi won’t leave me behind.”

The Milan striker has struggled with injury in recent years, but proved sensational this season with a series of spectacular goals.

He has three Azzurri caps under his belt, all earned in early 2008 under Roberto Donadoni.

“If I deserve it, then don’t worry, Lippi won’t leave me behind. He is a competent Coach who knows what is good for his team,” Borriello told Tuttosport.

The Italy Coach paid a visit to Milan’s training ground this week and spoke to the hopefuls for the tournament in South Africa.

“I did not have lunch with him like other Azzurri, but in the locker room he told me: ‘Good lad, keep going like that.’”

Both Borriello and Alberto Gilardino face competition for places from Amauri, the Juventus striker who should get Italian citizenship in March.

“I understand the feelings of an Italian who has always dreamed of the Azzurri jersey only to see it whipped out from under him by someone born in Brazil.”

Borriello has another chance to impress Lippi on Sunday night in the Milan derby and it’s no coincidence his team’s upswing in form started when he recovered from injury.

“Thankfully since I’ve been in the squad we have got back to winning ways. Last season under Carlo Ancelotti I also played regularly when I was fit.

“I remember the last game I played before the injury was at Lecce and Milan were top of the table.”

Alexandre Pato is out injured for tomorrow’s game, but Borriello does not consider it to be too much of a setback.

“Without taking anything away from Pato, I must say David Beckham has brought the right balance both in defence and attack. We are very dangerous with his crosses.

“Ronaldinho can become stronger than he was at Barcelona and he brings so much joy. Maybe last year he was overshadowed by Kaka.

“On Sunday we will discover our true worth. Inter are a big test, we are curious and want to put ourselves in the spotlight.”

Ronaldinho demands concentration
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan star Ronaldinho insists his team-mates must remain concentrated for 90 minutes if they are to beat Inter on Sunday.

It's a vital game for the Rossoneri that some feel they have to win if they are to eventually overhaul Inter in the title race.

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Ronaldinho said: “I am happy for the moment that I am passing but even more so for what the team is doing.

“I always look to help my team-mates with a goal or an assist. It's my job, but I don't play alone. Everyone at Milan is going through a wonderful moment and this is because they are doing their jobs well. Everyone does their part and it's all much easier.

“Anyone who goes on the pitch can be the man of the derby. I am happy to go into this challenge and I will do my best to help the team to win. We will all need to concentrate.

“Inter have a great President, a great Coach and players of the highest level. They are one of the strongest teams in the world and we need to always keep our concentration high so as not to have any surprises.

“If we concentrate for each and every one of the 90 minutes we will not have any ugly surprises and we will not go through what we went through in the first derby.

“Otherwise it could end with the same result. We have learnt from the errors of that evening and this time we will try and win,” Ronaldinho concluded.

Latest Milan derby team news
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Wesley Sneijder missed training today but Inter look to have recovered three midfielders. As for Milan it appears Alessandro Nesta is unlikely to be passed fit in time.

Jose Mourinho can count on Sulley Muntari and Thiago Motta after they were cleared to train with the group earlier today.

Dejan Stankovic continues to train alone and is almost certain to miss the derby. Perhaps of more concern is the fact Wesley Sneijder was absent this morning.

According to Tuttosport, Sneijder visited the club's doctor and was promptly sent home.

Some reports claim he has a fever while La Gazzetta dello Sport understands he was given a leave of absence for personal reasons.

Meanwhile Leonardo will have Clarence Seedorf back after he trained regularly with his team-mates, but it's bad news for Nesta.

The 33-year-old is still struggling with a muscle problem and Milan are reluctant to rush him back in light of his injury history.

Beckham gets whipped up in derby
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham says he has been struck by passion and the hype surrounding this Sunday's Milan derby.

The 34-year-old England midfielder recently returned to Milan on a second six-month loan deal from the LA Galaxy.

Speaking exclusively to ESPN ahead of their live coverage of the match, Beckham said: “It's talked about for weeks, and then the week before, it's all anyone talks about.

“It's in the papers, it's on the TV… It doesn't matter what position you are in the League, when it comes to a derby game it really matters as it's such a big game…

“Everyone knows what Italians are like anyway with football, they're passionate and have so much enthusiasm for any game but especially when it gets to a big game like this, the whole city gets involved.

“And it's special, it's a special atmosphere… It is [important] because we were quite a few points behind Inter and obviously with Inter drawing at the weekend, we keep grinding away and keep grinding results and kind of getting back into it.

“It's a big game,” Beckham concluded.

Ambrosini revels in derby fever
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini is looking forward to Sunday's derby even though his legs used to tremble before matches against Inter.

The 32-year-old, who took over the captain's armband once Paolo Maldini retired last season, has been a key part of Milan's success this year.

Milan have lost just once in Serie A since September and many pundits feel they can run Inter close in the title race with six points separating the two teams in the table.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ambrosini said: “My legs don't tremble anymore. But they did before one derby in particular, I confess.

“It was the Champions League Semi-Final in 2003, both the first and second legs. It was an inferno. It's the derby that I am willing to remember the most.

“We went through to the Final and then we won against Juve.”

Asked to give his impressions of Sunday's derby, Ambrosini replied: “Inter are very strong. We are going through a good period. I don't see any favourites.

“Right now, it's tremendously cold and there is even snow. Joking aside, without a game on Wednesday the wait has been unbearable,” Ambrosini laughed clearly in reference to last week's fixture list controversy in which Milan managed to move a game scheduled for Wednesday against Udinese so they could have seven days to prepare for Inter, something that incensed Jose Mourinho and Massimo Moratti.

The two-time Champions League winner then reflected on Milan's tough start to the season, which culminated in a 4-0 defeat to Inter in Week 2.

“They were completely superior, even if we started better in the first few minutes. I wasn't critical with the coaching staff for going with an attacking formation. I only said that, after the first few positive games, we had to start finding continuity in our results to be certain that the formula was working.

“The turning point came in Madrid. We won in a great stadium and then managed to get out of an ugly period. That success gave us confidence.”

Finally Ambrosini was asked if would let Inter win the Scudetto on the condition that Milan won the Champions League.

“I'd sign up to that straight away.”

And vice-versa.

“No, don't take the Mickey out of me too much.”

Sneijder's AC Milan derby desire
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Wesley Sneijder not only wants to score in the Milan derby, he wants to do it with one of his now trademark free-kicks.

The Dutchman has been a key player for Inter in the post-Ibra era and he’s making a name for himself as a free-kick specialist.

After rippling the net on four occasions already this term from a set-piece – against Livorno, Catania and two against Siena – he wants to make it five on Sunday evening.

“I want to score at the weekend against Milan with one,” said the late summer acquisition from Real Madrid.

Asked what was the secret behind his success at set-plays, the Holland international thanked a Coach from his past.

“At Ajax I was bossed by Ronald Koeman, a man who knew a thing or two about taking free-kicks,” the playmaker noted.

“He taught me how to kick a ball more cleanly, but the secret is down to practice, practice and practice.”

Sneijder made his Serie A debut in the first meeting between the two sides this season in which the Nerazzurri collected a 4-0 victory.

“The atmosphere is warm here,” he noted. “I instantly settled and the club even helped me to find a wonderful house.

“The past? I had some good years at Real Madrid, but life is better here in Milan. My first season at Real went well, but then I got injured and had a few other problems.”

Huntelaar seeks English switch
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is looking for a loan move to England after failing to find space at Milan, says his agent.

The Dutchman was a big summer signing from Real Madrid, but has made only five Serie A starts in six months and scored in one game.

"There are some clubs in England interested in the player, that is correct," agent Arnold Oosterveer told Soccernet.

"But out of respect for the clubs I cannot tell you [which ones they are]. It depends. In football everything is possible and in the last week a lot of things can happen.

“He wants to play more than he plays now and if that is in England or Germany or Spain or Italy, that is for him.”

Huntelaar has been linked with Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in hope of reviving his career, which seems to have stalled at the age of 23 following disappointing spells at Real Madrid and Milan.

"There is no problem at the moment and I hope Milan want to cooperate for the next four months and play him, because he needs to play more.

“It depends if Milan want to cooperate with the player. For now they want him to stay in Milan."

Ancelotti: 'Derby depends on Nesta'
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti tips Milan for derby success on Sunday, but only if Alessandro Nesta recovers from his thigh injury.

The Chelsea Coach has been through many of these fixtures in his time with the Rossoneri.

“The game is leaning towards Milan because they come into this appointment with evident physical sharpness and very high self-esteem,” said Ancelotti in Il Giornale.

“That’s triple confidence tied to the strength of the clubs they beat in succession – Genoa, Juventus and Siena.

“But watch out for Inter, who never give in. The comebacks they had against Siena and Bari were incredible and a strong signal.”

Ancelotti, whose Chelsea take on Inter in the Champions League, warned that he could change his mind if Nesta does not recover from his thigh injury. Following today’s tests Milan confirmed the defender remains in doubt.

“A lot will depend on Nesta’s presence. If he is not there, then Milan are about 30 per cent less effective. That’s not just because of Nesta’s strength, but the unity of his pairing with Thiago Silva.”

If Nesta does not make it, then Giuseppe Favalli is expected to play in central defence.

Where the Rossoneri do not have problems is in attack, as despite Alexandre Pato’s absence, they have scored 12 goals in the first three Serie A games of 2010.

“Marco Borriello is without doubt the symbol of this new Milan,” insisted Ancelotti.

“He has become a crucial figure of the team both in terms of tactics and quality. He gave the side efficiency and a spectacular edge by making the most of his characteristics.

“If I think about my penultimate season with him at Milanello then I’m torn apart with regret, as I was only able to use him for three games and then he was ruled out by injury.

“If Ronaldinho plays consistently and has a lifestyle that matches his work, then he is marvellous.”

Gattuso very respectful of Inter
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's talismanic midfielder Rino Gattuso has shown Inter plenty of respect ahead of this weekend's derby, telling the Press he would be happy with a draw.

Sunday's Derby della Madonnina is being billed as a title decider thanks to Milan's brilliant recent run of form, which leaves them six points behind Inter but with a game in hand.

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Gattuso said: “We are conscious of having to face a great team like Inter, towards which we have great respect.

“The table says that we are six points back with a game in hand even if the rescheduled match away to Fiorentina will be tough.

“But we can't lose the derby: the title race would not be over even with a draw. We would remain six points adrift of them, but with a game in hand and the fight would still be open.

“We have great conviction. We play well and Leonardo has great merits, but the derby is a story in itself. Inter can frighten teams because they go behind all the time, but then manage to complete incredible comebacks: I am thinking about the game with Siena or that at the San Nicola, when they were two goals down against Bari and still came away with a point.

“Inter have a strength and a squad that worries people. There is Sneijder and Milito who give them great quality, but also Mourinho who worries me because he is someone who doesn't sleep out of trying to find solutions to stop us.

“I know that right now he'll be watching many videos to study us and see how to limit us,” he concluded.

AC Milan now think to Baptista
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

While Inter have retired their interest in Julio Baptista, Milan are hoping to tempt Roma with a bid of their own, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

Leonardo would like the 28-year-old Brazilian to bolster his attack, especially in light of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's woes up front.

However, Il Corriere believes Roma would be reluctant to sell Baptista to a direct rival for Champions League qualification.

Milan might tempt Roma to the negotiating table, though, simply by offering Marek Jankulovski in exchange.

Roma are looking for another full-back, as they continue their efforts to offload Cicinho either to Spartak Moscow or Rubin Kazan, as the Brazilian's wages are breaking the bank.

Daniele Prade, the Roma director of sport, has been monitoring Atletico Paranaense's Azevedo, but the Brazilian side want to sell him outright rather than loan him to the Giallorossi until the end of the season.

I'll beat Inter, says Ronaldinho
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan star Ronaldinho is confident he can win this weekend's eagerly anticipated derby against Inter.

The 29-year-old is rediscovering some of his best form and Milan are reaping the benefits.

Ronaldinho scored a hat-trick against Siena at the weekend and he has a history of finding the net against Inter.

Speaking to Il Corriere dello Sport, Ronaldinho was asked if he could once again be the man of the derby, to which he replied: “I think so. Because I am going through a great moment of form on a personal level. Because Milan are playing well. Because for us, it's an important game.”

The two-time World Player of the Year also didn't see why the winner of the derby couldn't also win the Scudetto.

“Now we are coming back, we have made up many positions. There are the conditions to continue doing well.”

Ronaldinho then compared his best years at Barcelona with his last two at Milan.

“I have been important and a protagonist in all the teams in which I have played. But, in actual fact, I feel that I have realised more here in Milan. I am proud of it.

“The relationship that exists between Berlusconi, Galliani and I is such that there is no need of a piece of paper to make a deal. If all goes well, we will go forward [and sign a new contract].

“I wouldn't see anything wrong with finishing my career here in Milan. I hope to be like Maldini, Romario and Favalli. In fact I want to play football for as long as possible because I feel so happy and complete.

“Leo is by friend first of all. We speak the same language in all points of view,” he concluded.

Mancini tips AC Milan to win derby
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini believes Milan have the edge over former club Inter going into this weekend's Derby della Madonnina.

The Rossoneri have only lost once in Serie A since late September and many feel they have momentum on their side despite still being six points behind their rivals in the table.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Mancini said: “It's impossible to say it, but Milan have the chance of a lifetime. They are doing very well, while Inter seem to have been treated badly a little.

“I don't think that the winner of the derby necessarily wins the Scudetto. In my opinion anyway Inter will win it again.”

Mancini also had praise for Ronaldinho, a player with whom City have often been linked, who is finally rediscovering his best form.

“I had faith in the fact that Leonardo, as a Brazilian, could connect with him. And that's what has happened. You see that it has been like a mental click. And it also seems that Borriello is moving well.”

Asked if he watches Milan a lot, Mancini replied: “No, but I have read the newspapers with care. The team actually improved when a couple of injuries ended up putting everything in place, balancing it better. The problem will come in deciding who to exclude when Pato returns.”

Nesta has Lazio in his heart
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Alessandro Nesta says he has always had Lazio in his heart even if the club's fans doubt his devotion to the cause.

The 33-year-old centre-back was born in Rome and came through the ranks at Lazio. He was part of the Biancocelesti side that won the club's second Scudetto 10 years ago.

Nesta left for Milan in 2002 when Lazio sold him for €30m to ease the club's financial troubles. Some of the Biancocelesti's fans have never forgiven Nesta even though he wasn't the one pushing the deal through.

Speaking to Il Messaggero, Nesta said: “I am surprised and disappointed because even though I wear the red and black shirt my heart is blue and white.

“Lazio represented my life. I was born, I grew up and asserted myself in that club. My parents and friends are all Lazio fans.

“My relationship with the fans is normal. The last time I was at the Olimpico they didn't whistle me and I consider this to be something positive.”

Finally Nesta reflected on comments made by Lazio President Claudio Lotito who said he was entering the twilight of his career.

“What he said really doesn't interest me,” Nesta concluded.

Pato flies to Brazil for treatment
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato left for Brazil last night where he will undergo treatment for a first-degree thigh strain.

The 20-year-old who has scored seven goals in 14 starting appearances this season will miss this weekend's Derby della Madonnina.

Milan have sent him to Brazil with Marco Cattaneo, one of the club's physiotherapists, and hope that the warmer climate speeds up the recovery process.

Pato will begin his course of therapy today in a bid to be fit in time for Milan's Champions League match against Manchester United on February 16.

It's not the first time Milan have sent a player away for treatment. Both Kaka and Ronaldo were allowed to return to Brazil where they sought the help of Doctor Runco, the chief medic of the Brazilian national team.

Lippi visits AC Milan and Nesta
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italy Coach Marcello Lippi visited the Milan training ground today and admits he is considering Alessandro Nesta for the World Cup.

Recent excellent performances have prompted a media campaign for Nesta and Rossoneri teammate Massimo Ambrosini to earn Azzurri recalls.

“Ambrosini? I watch television, keep track of the games and in June I will make my decisions. The same goes for Nesta and indeed everyone else,” said Lippi.

“Aside from the results, I note the pleasure that Milan have in taking to the field, the quality of their football and the enthusiasm running throughout the squad.”

Nesta has been asked about coming out of retirement for the 2010 World Cup, but claimed it would be “unfair” to come in and take the place of someone who had worked for qualification.

The Italy manager was at the Milanello training ground today and had lunch at the complex just a few days before the derby.

“It’s part of my work as the Coach of the Nazionale to visit and speak to various tacticians and players,” he told Milan Channel.

However, the former Juventus boss got a subtle dig in at Serie A leaders Inter, who train at the Appiano Gentile ground.

“I will go to see other clubs too. I won’t be going to Appiano for obvious reasons, there aren’t many Italian players there.”

Pato and Nesta to miss derby
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato is out of the Milan derby after a thigh strain, while Alessandro Nesta is also a major doubt.

The Rossoneri are on fine form going into the game against Inter, but were hit by a double blow from the medical staff this afternoon.

The official club website confirmed that Pato has suffered “a first to second degree lesion in his right thigh.

“The player will undergo a course of physiotherapy over the next few weeks and ulterior tests.”

This not only rules the Brazilian out of the derby, it also means he faces a race against time to be fit for the Champions League clash with Manchester United in February.

‘The Duck’ is yet to step on to the field in 2010, as he has been dealing with this recurring muscular problem.

To make matters worse, defensive rock Nesta “has a large bruise on the muscle of his right thigh. The player will undergo further tests on Thursday morning.”

Nesta limped off as a precautionary measure after a knock during the 4-0 win over Siena on Sunday, but now finds himself a doubt for the big Inter match.

The medical report on the official Milan website also noted that Mathieu Flamini took a knock to the right shoulder and “his condition will be evaluated over the next few days.”

Clarence Seedorf will be in full training if he passes tomorrow’s check-up.

Gianluca Zambrotta’s tests showed his right calf is healing, but will continue a personalised training schedule and so is highly unlikely to recover for the derby this weekend.

I learned a lot from Inzaghi, says Gilardino
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina striker Alberto Gilardino admits he learned a lot from Pippo Inzaghi during his three years with Milan.

The 27-year-old has returned to form since leaving the Rossoneri in 2008 and looks set for a good goal scoring tally this year, having already hit the net nine times in Serie A this season.

“I have certainly taken something from Pippo on the pitch, but I don't have the same hair dresser” Gilardino joked while at an event organised by Florence's Rotary Club.

Ronaldinho ready for extension
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are so pleased with Ronaldinho's recent form that they are prepared to discuss a contract extension, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The 29-year-old has rediscovered his very best form of late and now has nine goals in 18 appearances in Serie A this season.

Ronaldinho's brother Roberto, who also acts as his agent, is expected in Milan today to open talks with Adriano Galliani.

Il Corriere understands Milan are prepared to extend his current deal, which expires on June 30, 2011, by another two years.

Galliani will also seek to reduce Ronaldinho's pay from €6.5m to €5m a year in line with his plans to slash Milan's wage bill by 30 per cent.

The two-time World Player of the Year would apparently keep possession of his image rights as an extra incentive.

Huntelaar prepared to leave AC Milan
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is ready to leave Milan but only on loan so he can prove that he has what it takes to play at the World Cup.

The 26-year-old has struggled to make an impact since his transfer from Real Madrid in the summer, making just five starting appearances for Milan.

Speaking to the Dutch newspaper Telegraaf, Huntelaar said: “I am thinking about leaving. When I spoke with the directors, they comforted me and told me that they have faith in me.

“That's important for me because our national team boss has explained to me many times that you need to play a lot for your own club to then play for Holland.

“I would like to stay in an important League so I can show that I am worthy of being a Milan player. I would like to go on loan and then return,” he concluded.

Huntelaar has already refused a move to Shakhtar Donetsk and doesn't want to return to Holland.

The situation is complicated because Milan don't want to let him leave on loan. They would prefer to sell Huntelaar outright.

Beckham: There isn't a favourite
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder David Beckham has sought to dampen expectations ahead of next weekend's derby with League leaders Inter, saying there isn't a favourite.

Leonardo's side are now just six points behind their rivals with a game in hand and seem like the only team capable of challenging the reigning champions.

Speaking to the Milan Channel, Beckham said: “The derby is a game where favourites don't exist. For me it won't be important to score, but it will be important to do well and catch Inter.”

The former England captain also had praise for Ronaldinho who scored his first ever hat-trick on Sunday in Milan's stunning 4-0 victory over Siena.

“It doesn't surprise me,” Beckham admitted. “He played a great game. He is used to doing incredible things.”

Milan succeeded in moving their match against Udinese on Wednesday to the following week so they now have a free schedule until the weekend.

That should allow the Rossoneri time to carefully prepare their revenge for the 4-0 defeat their cousins inflicted upon them earlier this season.

Borriello: 'I didn't even see it'
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Marco Borriello has explained how he didn't even see the ball he hit to score against Siena on Sunday, such is his attacking instinct.

The 27-year-old latched on to an Andrea Pirlo through ball and struck it so cleanly that it flew effortlessly past Pegolo as Milan won comfortably 4-0.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Borriello said: “There are no secrets. I did seven hours of physiotherapy a day. I swear I have worked in the swimming pool and the gym. It's gone well.

“Pirlo gave me a stupendous ball. I didn't even see it arrive, but I heard it.”

Asked to explain what he meant, Borriello replied: “That a striker 'hears' something when there is a goal in the air. I decided to volley it and I have to admit that it was a goal of a true striker. This isn't a dedication, but I would like to once again thank Milan director Ariedo Braida.

“He has always believed in me. Down the years Braida has taken a lot of flak for the figure that has been spent on my contract. Now we are taking our revenge.”

Ronaldinho: 'I feel the love'
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Hat-trick hero Ronaldinho reveals the reason behind his second youth at Milan. “I feel the love and so I am happy!”

The Brazilian netted three in today's 4-0 victory over Siena, making it six goals in the last three Serie A games.

“I feel the love and so I am happy,” he grinned on Sky Italia television. “I step on to the field happy and everything goes smoothly from there.

“I don't know if we will win the Scudetto, but we just need to keep playing well and having fun.”

Ronaldinho scored his debut Serie A goal in the Milan derby and hopes to find the net again when the two teams meet next week.

It will also be a top-of-the-table showdown, as only six points separate them and the Rossoneri have a game in hand.

“The Inter fans always treat me nicely and I thank them. I respect them a lot.”

Leonardo: 'Derby at the right time'
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo says “the derby comes at the right time” for a sparkling Milan, but won't discuss their Scudetto chances.

Today's 4-0 drubbing of Siena put them just six points adrift of leaders Inter with a game in hand, the perfect lead-in to next week's Derby della Madonnina.

“The Scudetto? Sincerely I am not superstitious, but I think it best for the team to take it one game at a time,” said the Coach.

“The derby comes at the right time and the fact the two teams are so close in the table puts even more focus on this match.

“It will be a great evening of football and a pleasure to be a part of it.

“We are going through a wonderful period of form, but only time will tell how far we can go. We have the strongest central defensive partnership in Serie A and hope the injury to Alessandro Nesta is not serious.

“Ignazio Abate and Luca Antonini are doing well, so is David Beckham, while Marco Borriello scored an extraordinary goal today.”

Ronaldinho was the star of the show at San Siro with a sensational hat-trick.

“He is giving the fans entertainment and enjoying his football too. When he feels love around him, he gives back with great performances. Ronaldinho has rediscovered the joy of the sport and now he's getting the goals too.”

Serie A: AC Milan 4:0 Siena - match report
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ronaldinho pen 12, 72, 89 (M), Borriello 27 (M)

Ronaldinho's hat-trick and Marco Borriello's candidate for Goal of the Season helped Milan to their eighth win in nine games. 10-man Siena could do little, as Leonardo's men move to within six points of Inter.

Last night's Inter hiccup meant a victory here would put the Rossoneri within six points of the leaders going into next week's derby. However, Siena were not pushovers, as last Saturday they fell 4-3 in this stadium when Inter completed a comeback from 3-2 down at the 88th minute in controversial circumstances.

Alexandre Pato, Gianluca Zambrotta, Clarence Seedorf, Massimo Oddo and the suspended Massimo Ambrosini were out of action, while Marco Borriello was not 100 per cent fit and started anyway. Siena's Emilson Sanchez Cribari and Reginaldo sat out bans, with Abdel Ghezzal at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Ronaldinho's acrobatic chest and overhead kick went past the bar, but there was a huge turning point after 10 minutes.

Brandao was foolishly caught in possession inside the box for Borriello to rob him, then Gianluca Curci mistimed the intervention to blatantly trip his ankle. The penalty and red card were inevitable, reducing Siena to 10 men for practically the entire match. Gianluca Pegolo came off the bench and his first touch was taking Ronaldinho's spot-kick out of the back of the net.

However, 10-man Siena risked an equaliser when Massimo Maccarone burst between three Milan defenders and fired over from 10 yards most likely with a deflection off Ignazio Abate.

It was a scare, but Milan survived it and doubled their lead with one of the goals of the season! The chipped cross from the left dropped over Borriello's shoulder for a stunning volley from the tightest of angles. Simply sublime from the striker who was expected to miss this game due to injury.

After the restart Ronaldinho ran rings around two Siena defenders and drew out the goalkeeper, but the ball was over from practically the byline.

Dinho should've made it 3-0 with a right-foot snooker shot, but Pegolo got a fingertip to turn it inches past the far post in a fantastic save.

Alessandro Nesta had a slight muscular problem and made way for Giuseppe Favalli as a precautionary measure.

Ronaldinho completed his brace with a powerful header from David Beckham's corner that caught Pegolo by surprise, as it hit the goalkeeper and he didn't seem to know much about it, unable to push it off the line.

Siena were still in the game and a marvellous Nelson Dida save denied Emanuele Calaio's header from point-blank range. Late on Maccarone was correctly booked for simulation, as he dived without making contact with Dida.

Ronaldinho was on sparkling form and completed his hat-trick with a marvellous strike. He found space on the edge of the box to unleash a shot with the outside of his right foot that swept into the far top corner.

Milan: Dida; Abate, Nesta (Favalli 55), Thiago Silva, Antonini; Gattuso, Pirlo, Flamini (Jankulovski 46); Beckham, Borriello (Inzaghi 78), Ronaldinho

Siena: Curci; Rosi, Terzi, Brandao, Del Grosso (Garofalo 65); Vergassola, Codrea, Ekdal, Rossi (Calaio' 72); Jajalo (Pegolo 11), Maccarone

Ref: Saccani

Sent off: Curci 9 (S)

Inter slam 'ridiculous' AC Milan idea
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan suggested a lottery decide who plays at San Siro first, but Inter dubbed this “ridiculous” and threatened to field the youth team against Juventus.

The change to the fixture list moved the postponed Serie A match Fiorentina-Milan to February 24 so that the Coppa Italia quarter-finals could all be played in the same week.

As both Milan and Inter are set to play these fixtures at home, the Rossoneri will welcome Udinese on January 27 and just 24 hours later the Nerazzurri take on Juventus.

Milan suggested a lottery to decide if they or Inter will play on a 'fresh' San Siro pitch.

“That is ridiculous,” slammed general manager Ernesto Paolillo. “The only thing we asked is that Inter play on Wednesday and Milan on Thursday.

“I don't see why the fixture list has been changed at all. I fully share the idea that if the games aren't switched around, Inter will field the youth team against Juventus.”

Leonardo keeps focus on Siena
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo urges Milan to put the derby aside and focus on Siena, reiterating that “attack is the best form of defence.”

The Rossoneri are the only real contenders to Inter after their 3-0 demolition of Juventus and next weekend go head-to-head at San Siro.

“I don’t want us to get distracted,” warned the Coach. “It would be a terrible mistake to think about the derby now, especially considering the wonderful performance Siena put in against Inter.”

Last weekend Siena lost 4-3 in a thrilling encounter after leading 3-2 up until the 88th minute.

“We will not change our approach. I remain convinced that attack is the best form of defence and the more you hurt your opponents that way, the better your chances of winning.

“Besides, the players are happy to be taking this attitude. I see them excited to play every game and this spirit can take us somewhere important. You can win or lose, but we always remain optimistic.”

Leonardo had a dismal start to his Coaching career and admits he needed to develop different skills.

“It’s too early to judge how my first season is going, I can only say I’m very happy to be experiencing it. I remember at the start I had to get used to shouting in Italian. It meant using muscles I hadn’t really needed before!”

As Alexandre Pato is injured and Marco Borriello not 100 per cent fit, it’s likely Pippo Inzaghi or Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will start upfront.

Pato admits to derby doubts
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato admits the injury flare-up could rule him out of next week’s Milan Derby. “I want to get back to full fitness.”

The striker has been struggling with a right thigh problem for several weeks now and he missed out on Serie A clashes with Genoa and Juventus.

He was expected to make his comeback this weekend, but another flare-up in training suggests he could even be ruled out of the derby with Inter.

“I want to help Milan get the three points in the derby, but I also want to get back to full fitness, at 100 per cent,” said the Brazilian.

Pato is confident the Rossoneri can excel without him, especially at the back.

“Thiago Silva will become the best defender in the world. After the training at Milanello with Alessandro Nesta and Paolo Maldini, he has already improved so much.”

‘The Duck’ looked back at the success he has already achieved this season, above all the 3-2 Champions League victory at Real Madrid.

“How exciting it was at the Bernabeu! We won 3-2 with my brace, but only when I got back into the locker room at the end of the game did I realise how important that result was.

“My teammates told me that Milan had never won here and I understood I had helped my team to make history.”

Fiorentina vs. AC Milan change upsets Inter
16.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Udinese-Cagliari and Fiorentina-Milan Serie A games are put back to February 24, prompting a row with Inter over the Coppa Italia.

Four fixtures in Week 17 were snowed off on December 19 and had originally been scheduled to take place on January 20 and 27.

However, the Lega Calcio announced that two of those matches set for January 27 will now be played on Wednesday February 24.

Both fixtures will now kick off at 17.30 GMT on February 24. This is to create uniformity in the Coppa Italia quarter-final schedule.

However, it has a knock-on effect of causing a bitter row with Inter, as general manager Ernesto Paolillo dubbed the new calendar “unacceptable.”

With this fixture list, Inter’s clash with Juventus would be played at San Siro on Thursday January 28, one day after Milan’s game with Udinese in the same stadium.

“It is unacceptable that the calendar should be modified in order to play prestigious matches like this 24 hours apart on the same pitch.

“All of this is absurd, ridicules the Coppa Italia and the professionalism of the players.

“Inter officially ask to play Inter-Juventus on Wednesday January 27, otherwise the Lega Calcio should seek another date for Fiorentina-Milan.”

The Rossoneri replied by proposing a lottery to decide who plays the Coppa Italia quarter-final first at San Siro.

AC Milan aren't tense, says Galliani
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says his side aren't tense ahead the Derby della Madonnina later this month.

The Rossoneri are being touted as Inter's only challengers for this year's Scudetto, but still lie eight points back.

“Tension, what tension? It will only be Inter-Milan, a game that we have been playing now for 102 years,” Galliani said.

Asked if he didn't believe Milan could win the Scudetto, Galliani replied sarcastically: “No. Milan doesn't believe in anything.”

Galliani also denied reports that the Rossoneri are trying to sell Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

“Milan's transfer market is already closed. No possibility exists whereby Huntelaar can change teams.”

He then played down suggestions that Alexandre Pato's injury problems would ultimately cost Milan.

“Pato is a great player, but every team is full of injuries at the moment and so even the competition isn't going much better. If you look at Inter and Milan they also have injuries like and more than us.”

Finally Galliani paid homage to David Beckham, telling the former England captain that Milan's doors will always be open to him.

“David is the man that I court the most, Milan's doors will always be open for him. He has been wonderful in the six months that he stayed here and will be so in the six months to come. For him the doors are always open even next July and then next January and whenever he wants. He is a fantastic man and football player. You should see how he behaves in training,” Galliani concluded.

OFFICIAL: Storari loaned to Sampdoria
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria have formally announced the loan of goalkeeper Marco Storari from Milan.

The Blucerchiati are short of bodies between the posts after Luca Castellazzi's injury.

Beppe Marotta, the club's director of sport, brought in Mario Cassano on loan from Reggina, but Storari should be the first choice until Castellazzi returns.

The 33-year-old has been given the No 30 shirt and will attend his first training session at Bogliasco this afternoon.

Storari has made seven starting appearances for Milan this season, but lost his place to a resurgent Nelson Dida.

He could make his home debut against Catania on Sunday.

Bonera keen to stay healthy
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Daniele Bonera of Milan is desperate to remain fit and healthy after his 10-month injury nightmare came to an end.

The stopper played 45 minutes of the Coppa Italia tie against Novara on Wednesday, his first appearance since a 3-0 win over Atalanta on March 8, 2009.

“It’s now vital, after all that I have been through, that I stay free of injury,” he told Milan Channel.

“After a period of time in which I was training with the squad, I have now returned to the field of play.

“It was important for me to play again, especially to get back that feeling that only proper matches can offer you.

“The time had arrived for me to have this test and I think it went quite well. Had the pitch not been in such a state and had it been a bit warmer then I could have played for longer.

“Nevertheless, I am ready for selection as my call-up to the squad for last Sunday’s game at Juventus proved.”

Bonera, who has struggled to develop into the top class player that some predicted, was used as full-back in midweek.

When asked whether that would be his role from now on, given the untouchable central partnership of Thiago Silva-Alessandro Nesta, Bonera refused to give a definite response.

“Playing on the right or in the middle is something that can be discussed later,” he noted. “Anyway, it is the Coach who decides.”

Pato injury flares up again
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato could miss out on Sunday’s match with Siena, as his thigh injury flared up again in today’s training session.

The Milan striker was absent from the 5-2 win over Genoa and 3-0 victory at Juventus due to a muscular problem.

He had been ready for a comeback this weekend, but limped off during a game between ranks this afternoon.

There is no official confirmation from the club yet, but reports suggest the right thigh has flared up again.

The Rossoneri are particularly careful with muscular problems and do not want to risk a longer spell on the sidelines, especially with the Milan derby coming up.

It is therefore likely that Pato will again be in the stands when they take on Siena on Sunday.

Gattuso insists AC Milan are changing
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Rino Gattuso has seen Milan's mentality change since Leonardo first took charge of the club in the summer.

The 32-year-old was one of the players to doubt Leonardo when Milan started the season poorly and looked as if they were already out of contention for the title.

He was on the fringes of the first team and demanded talks with Adriano Galliani who put his mind at rest and gave him a contract for life with the club.

Speaking to Milan's official TV channel after yesterday's 2-1 win over Novara in the Coppa Italia, Gattuso said: “I am satisfied with the moment I am living right now. The problems are disappearing and finally I am training with continuity.

“I even managed to play two games in four days. I am very happy for the positive moment that the team is going through, for our place in the table and for the enthusiasm that the group is breathing. In the future I hope to see more fans in the stadium supporting us because this is the only fault in the wonderful period that Milan are living.

“I watched Sunday's game against Juventus in Turin all over again. It wasn't a wonderful game with regard to the football on show, but Milan only suffered for quarter of an hour. I noted that in the last few games our opponents have taken fewer shots on goal and this is a positive thing.

“It's also true that Milan have created fewer chances in our most recent performances, but we are also suffering less. Our mentality is changing. When we go on the pitch we are more convinced and you see that conviction in our players. We have less fear.

“Leonardo is also doing a great job with the group. He makes himself understood in the dressing room. It's not easy to manage an atmosphere in which there are so many valuable players.

“He is very good at speaking with everyone and making us understand the needs of the team,” Gattuso concluded.

Inter deny Mancini - Jankulovski swap
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sources at Inter have strenuously denied reports that a bid has been launched to exchange Mancini for Milan defender Marek Jankulovski.

The Nerazzurri are keen to find a left-back in the January transfer window and have so far concentrated their efforts of Lazio's Aleksandar Kolarov.

However, negotiations have been far from easy, and some pundits have started to suggest that Inter may go elsewhere to buy everything on their shopping list.

A straight swap for Jankulovski was put forward yesterday, but sources within Inter have told La Gazzetta dello Sport that such an idea is ludicrous.

Milan and Inter used to do a lot of business, exchanging the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf and Dario Simic, partly because it help their balance sheets look better, a strategy that ended with both clubs ending up in court.

However, Inter often drew the short straw in those deals and there is said to be a lack of trust between Massimo Moratti and Adriano Galliani when it comes to transfers.

Leonardo surprised by Coppa Italia crowd
14.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo feels the Coppa Italia format needs to be changed again after San Siro was packed with Novara fans.

Milan won today's Fifth Round tie by a 2-1 scoreline, but 10,000 fans had travelled from Novara to see the Lega Pro outfit in action.

“It is strange playing at San Siro with the crowd almost totally on the side of your opponents,” mused Leonardo.

“It may be difficult, but perhaps the format of the Coppa Italia should be changed. In any case, it was a fun party atmosphere and Milan reacted positively to a Novara side that was playing at a high tempo.

“They are dominating their Lega Pro group and were unbeaten so far this season.”

Pippo Inzaghi opened the scoring, then Mathieu Flamini netted the late winner.

“Pippo was marvellous with his hard work and grit, he drags everyone along with him. I'm happy for Flamini, who had been trying to score a goal like that for a long time.”

Novara are out of the Coppa Italia, but Coach Attilio Tesser was content to exit only to a late strike from distance against Milan.

“I am satisfied with the lads' performance, they gave their all and gave a good account of themselves at San Siro,” said Tesser.

“We held on to a dream by beating Serie A and B clubs, so now I think the fans can go home satisfied. Now we must focus on the competition that really counts for us.”

Coppa Italia: AC Milan 2:1 Novara - match report
13.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Inzaghi 12 (M), Gonzalez 47 (N), Flamini 80 (M)

Lega Pro side Novara gave Milan a real scare at San Siro before Mathieu Flamini's late screamer secured a 2-1 win.

The entire town of Novara came to a standstill today, as 10,000 fans travelled en masse to see their tiny team take on the giants at San Siro.

The Rossoneri had a strong start and after chances for David Di Gennaro and Kakha Kaladze, it was Pippo Inzaghi who broke the deadlock. Just 12 minutes in he controlled a long ball, dribbled past Cossentino and netted with the aid of a slight deflection.

Inzaghi scored a second, but it was ruled offside, then Ludi intercepted his pass for an unmarked Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

Novara goalkeeper Fontana denied a Marek Jankulovski snapshot and a solo effort from the Czech, but on 39 minutes it was Milan shot-stopper Marco Storari who had to punch away a Gonzalez strike from the edge of the box.

On the stroke of half-time Fontana did brilliantly to keep out Inzaghi’s header from a corner kick.

However, Novara equalised straight after the restart. Gonzalez gathered down the left channel and thumped a left-foot angled drive into the far corner of the net to cause a huge upset.

The third division side even threatened to go in front when Rigoni drilled just wide from the edge of the penalty area.

Inzaghi had the chance to restore Milan’s lead, latching on to a Massimo Ambrosini long ball, but in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper he volleyed over.

Super Pippo thought he had scored on 78 minutes, but this time the offside flag had a few doubts, as he appeared to be behind the line of Verdi’s assist.

It didn’t matter, as moments later Milan did get their goal thanks to a Flamini screamer from 20 metres that slotted into the top corner.

Despite playing the final three minutes with 10 men due to Cossentino’s cramp when the substitutions had been completed, Novara didn’t give in and Gonzalez had an effort deflected off target.

Milan go on to play the winners of Udinese-Lumezzane in the quarter-finals.

Milan 2-1 Novara
Scorers: Inzaghi 12 (M), Gonzalez 47 (N), Flamini 80 (M)

Milan: Storari; Bonera (Abate 46), Kaladze, Favalli, De Vito; Flamini, Ambrosini, Jankulovski; Di Gennaro (Verdi 66); Inzaghi, Huntelaar

Novara: Fontana; Cossentino, Centurioni, Ludi (Lisuzzo 73), Gheller; Shala (Motta 83), Porcari, Tombesi (Juliano 79); Rigoni; Bertani, Gonzalez

Ref: Candussio

Spurs interested in Flamini
13.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Tottenham are thinking about bringing Milan midfielder Mathieu Flamini back to London, according to the Daily Mirror.

The 25-year-old has made just seven starting appearances for the Rossoneri this season and drew criticism for getting sent off.

Flamini joined Milan in 2008 when he decided not to renew his existing contract with Arsenal, much to Arsene Wenger's disappointment.

The Mirror understands Flamini is anxious for regular first team football especially as the World Cup is on the horizon.

The former Marseille youngster has just three caps for France, the first came against Morocco in November 2007.

Chelsea and AC Milan battle for Dzeko
13.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan look set to face competition from Chelsea and former boss Carlo Ancelotti for Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko

The Bosnia international is Milan's No 1 transfer target this summer and the Rossoneri are believed to have already secured an option on his signature.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani did everything to sign Dzeko last summer, but Wolfsburg, who had just been crowned German champions, didn't feel the need to sell.

Dzeko has declared his intention to move to Milan on several occasions over the last six months and a bid worth €22m plus Kakhaber Kaladze and Marek Jankulovski is being prepared to make his dream come true.

However, according to the Daily Mirror, Chelsea have also joined the race to sign the 23-year-old after attempts to buy Sergio Aguero from Atletico Madrid failed.

Dzeko has earned a reputation for being the best young target man in Europe. He scored 30 goals in 40 appearances for Wolfsburg last season and already has 11 to his name this year, including four in the Champions League.

Leonardo gives AC Milan a reality check
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Leonardo says that while his players are delighted with their current form, they must remember that Inter are still leading Serie A by some distance.

The Rossoneri are eight points behind their cousins with a game in hand coming up against Fiorentina.

Confidence is high in the Milan camp after Sunday's 3-0 victory over Juventus in Turin.

Traditionally the Rossoneri win the Scudetto when they beat Juventus away from home, but Leonardo has called for calm before expectations race out of control.

“There is a great deal of happiness in the air, but there is still a gap and Inter don't make mistakes,” the Brazilian said at today's pre-match Press Conference ahead of tomorrow's Coppa Italia last 16 tie with Novara.

“There is still a long way to go. The important thing is to maintain our level of play. We shouldn't forget this victory, it was a deserved result and very big even if the game was difficult.

“We are conscious of having done something important. Winning challenges of this nature in Italy gives you security and leaves consequences in every sense.”

Leonardo then turned his attention to Novara who have already knocked Parma and Siena out of the competition this season.

He has yet to decide upon his team and is awaiting reports from the club's medical staff.

“Tomorrow I am expecting some confirmations, because I have already had answers from everyone. There are motivations also for the players who play less than the others. It's also an exam for everyone because they are wearing the Milan shirt and playing at San Siro.

“I want a good performance,” he concluded.

Kaka compares Spain with Italy
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Milan midfielder Ricky Kaka says he is enjoying his football more since his move to Real Madrid, partly because his former team-mates used to swear too much.

The 27-year-old former World Player of the Year spent six years with the Rossoneri before his €68.5m transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer.

Kaka was highly regarded among Milan fans, having won the Champions League, Serie A and FIFA Club World Cup while at the club.

Speaking to Spanish radio show Cadena Ser, Kaka said: “I enjoy myself more here because there is a style of football that's more open, it's richer technically.

“The Italian game is more tactical, more studied, like the training sessions: at Milan in addition to tactics we used to do several exercises for the physique and little in the gym.

“Here we work more on technique, with the ball, a lot of shooting and less tactics.”

Kaka also revealed how he didn't like the swearing culture in Italian football.

“I don't like it. I can't bear swear words. Here in Spain, people swear less than in Italy. Sometimes in Italy I asked my Milan team-mates not to swear. It's not God's fault if they mistake a goal or a pass.”

Inzaghi stalls on new deal
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi has stalled on agreeing a new contract with Milan that would keep him at San Siro for the remainder of his career.

The 36-year-old's existing deal is due to expire at the end of the season and Inzaghi has expressed his desire to keep playing.

However, the two-time Champions League winner wants regular first football, something that Milan can no longer guarantee.

Inzaghi has attracted significant interest from former club Parma and it now appears he is prepared to wait and consider his options before putting pen to paper on a new deal.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has already drawn up a contract that would see Inzaghi take a 30 per cent pay cut in line with his efforts to slim the Rossoneri's wage bill.

Inzaghi is only prepared to accept if Milan guarantee that he will get the opportunity to break Gerd Muller's European goal scoring record and surpass Roberto Baggio in the Italian all-time top scorers charts.

Ronaldinho caught partying again
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho did not go back to Milan with his team-mates after Sunday's 3-0 victory over Juventus. Instead, he stayed out and partied in Turin.

The 29-year-old, who was undoubtedly the Man of the Match, went to a Brazilian restaurant and then a Brazilian club called Copa Rio where he indulged his passion for playing the drums.

Siena striker Reginaldo was also there, but it was Ronaldinho who grabbed all the attention, swigging back one Red Bull after another, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

After having his picture taken with a number of women, the former World Player of the Year was then called on stage where, underneath him, there was “a sea of people and fumes of cachaça.”

He literally didn't miss a beat as the band went through a string of his favourite songs, including “Cem por Cem”, a samba hit synonymous with Rio de Janeiro.

In the middle of the crowd, a blonde woman apparently revealed a tattoo on her left shoulder, which showed a heart and a rose entwined in the words “Ronaldo Gaucho.”

It remains to be seen if any action will be taken. Ronaldinho has started to rediscover some of his best form this season.

Milan are back in action tomorrow night when they face Novara in the Coppa Italia last 16.

Ronaldinho was caught out a number of times last year and received an appropriate fine. On seeing him party in Paris, French newspaper L'Equipe announced they no longer considered him a professional footballer.

Ambrosini: 'It'll be tough to stop Inter'
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini believes there is little his side can do if Inter keep playing as they are currently.

The Nerazzurri came back twice on Saturday to beat Siena 4-3 and keep their lead at the top of Serie A at eight points.

Milan are being tipped as the only credible alternative to their cousins in the title race after last night's 3-0 victory over Juventus.

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia at Milan's training ground, Ambrosini said: “Undoubtedly we are very happy.

“However, if Inter go on like this then there is little we can do.”

Milan face Inter in the Derby della Madonnina on January 24.

The Rossoneri will be out for revenge after being soundly beaten 4-0 by their rivals earlier this season.

Galliani makes no secret of delight
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani made no secret of his delight at the Rossoneri's 3-0 victory over Juventus in Turin last night.

The victory effectively crowns Milan as the only credible alternative to Inter in this year's title race and makes the Derby della Madonnina on January 24 all the more important.

“Leonardo was very good and intelligent: he chose the formation according to the players at his disposition. I believe that all coaches should do it: looking at the squad and understanding which formation is the most adept.” Galliani said.

He also reserved special praise for Marco Borriello, the Milan striker who has really started to realise his potential in Rossonero under Leonardo.

“Marco has suffered a lot. He practically lost last year. Finally he is well again and we hope that he continues playing like this.

“As for Nesta, we didn't discover it today, but he is the strongest defender in the world. Before, he had a physical problem and now he has resolved it.

“Inzaghi will continue to play for Milan: the possibility of selling him doesn't exist.

“We will keep Beckham close, but it's already a miracle to have him here for six months: the economy and American publicity have other numbers with respect to ours.”

Finally Galliani turned his attention to the title race.

“We are half-way through the season, it's too soon to make predictions. We are very happy for this achievement, but nothing more. And then superstition doesn't mean anything: in 2003-04, when we beat Juve and won the Scudetto, we played in another stadium, the Delle Alpi.

“I won't allow myself to give advice to Juve, but I wouldn't change Ferrara. There was too much praise before and there is too much criticism now,” he concluded.

Ronaldinho: 'I'm happy at AC Milan'
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho confirmed he is “happy at Milan” and has rediscovered his “confidence and enthusiasm.”

The Brazilian seemed a shadow of his former self last season, but is back in shape and scored a brace in tonight’s 3-0 thrashing of Juventus.

“I am happy. Milan put me in a condition to work well, so I reach the field with the confidence and enthusiasm to do what I want,” he told Sky Italia television.

Last term he did not get along with Coach Carlo Ancelotti and was often dropped to the bench, but has a special rapport with Leonardo.

“It’s normal that when I don’t play, I’m not happy! I play regularly with Leo and am in good shape, so it’s going well.

“I just want to do my best, to win something with Milan and to help a Rossoneri player become Capocannoniere.”

Leonardo likes versatile AC Milan
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo hailed Milan's ability to read the game and adapt, then gave advice to Ciro Ferrara's Juventus.

“It certainly was not easy, despite the scoreline. We were able to control Juventus better in the second half and took a while to get organised. They tried to force us to stay back and it worked for a while,” he said of the 3-0 victory.

“The most important thing was our intelligence in knowing how to wait and work out a new way round the other team's tactics.

“We were under pressure, but never allowed them any real scoring opportunities. It's normal that when you take the lead, you have more space and there was great work from [Marco] Borriello to hold up the ball, [David] Beckham and Ronaldinho to spread the play.”

It was the same starting XI that beat Genoa 5-2 in a spectacular encounter on Wednesday, but this time they played in a very different way.

“Juventus forced us to change tack and we read the game well, found a way out and were able to win although we played in a different manner. I always like to attack, but in this situation it would not have been the right approach.”

Milan had a dire start to the campaign, but are now clear in second place and Leonardo had advice for a Juventus side in crisis.

“I saw Juve in a similar situation to us in October. It seems like everything is going against you and your efforts are not translated into results.

“Football is made of all these little details and Juve were unlucky tonight. I tell Ciro that it sometimes doesn't take much, just that click to get something in place and it changes everything.

“It is a journey and if we didn't have the bad moments then maybe we wouldn't be here right now in this condition.

“When things go well it is never for just one reason. We are in good shape and all together the players help each other.

“It's also true that we have enthusiasm and humility, so that allows us to stick together, understand what is needed in a match situation and push forward.

“I love seeing my players celebrate and that kind of atmosphere in a locker room is wonderful. That makes me happier than anything.”

Pirlo: 'Let's catch Inter!'
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Pirlo says Milan can really start the chase on Serie A leaders Inter ahead of the derby in two weeks.

Tonight's 3-0 victory away to Juventus was a huge boost and confirmed them as the only real title contenders to Jose Mourinho.

“It is not decisive, but it was important to give a sense of consistency and to keep up the pace with Inter after they won yesterday,” said Pirlo.

“Now we have to keep going like this and continue to chase the leaders. We hope to close the gap as much as possible, then we'll see what happens in the derby.”

The gap is currently eight points, but the Rossoneri have a game in hand to be played at Fiorentina later this month.

Milan had a dismal start to the campaign, but have since found their niche with a revolutionised squad.

“We changed system, the mentality and realised we could not carry on like that. It started a whole new season for us.”

Serie A: Juventus 0:3 AC Milan - match report
10.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Nesta 29 (M), Ronaldinho 72, 88 (M)

Milan demolished sorry Juventus 3-0 in Turin thanks to Alessandro Nesta and a Ronaldinho brace. It's the Rossoneri's first win here since 2003-04 and leaves Ciro Ferrara's position in real doubt.

The rivals went head to head in a battle for second place and the right to stay in the Scudetto hunt. Both sides had numerous injury worries, as Juve were missing Vincenzo Iaquinta, Mauro Camoranesi, Gigi Buffon, David Trezeguet and Sebastian Giovinco, plus Momo Sissoko (Africa Cup of Nations) and Martin Caceres (ban). Milan lost Alexandre Pato, Clarence Seedorf, Gianluca Zambrotta, Oguchi Onyewu and Massimo Oddo, so the same starting XI that thrashed Genoa 5-2 on Wednesday remained in place.

Ronaldinho was fortunate to avoid an early booking for a clumsy late tackle on Hasan Salihamidzic.

Diego had the first real scoring opportunity, as he took on two Milan defenders on his own down the left channel and eventually flashed an angled drive across the face of goal.

Giorgio Chiellini did well to stop Marco Borriello turning in a David Beckham cross, putting it out for a corner at the near post. Chiellini again used his body to block Borriello's half-volley from a Ronaldinho through ball.

Milan broke through after 29 minutes from a corner kick. Andrea Pirlo's set play looked to be easily cleared at the near post, but Felipe Melo did a fresh-air shot and it went through for an unmarked Alessandro Nesta at the back stick.

On 37 minutes Borriello and Beckham were both halted for an incorrect offside decision.

Juventus went close to an equaliser when a free kick was not cleared effectively, Chiellini diving on to Gennaro Gattuso's feet to test Nelson Dida from point-blank range.

Thiago Silva almost made it 2-0, as he smacked a sudden snapshot from 25 metres that Alex Manninger pushed round the base of the near post. From the resulting Beckham corner, Ronaldinho's header was deflected inches over by Christian Poulsen.

The crowd chanted for captain Alessandro Del Piero, but Ferrara made no changes at half-time. Juve started the second period with far more aggression and earned a corner, but Amauri's towering header went just beyond Chiellini for a potential tap-in.

Chiellini's header was straight at Dida, but on the counter Beckham spun round to fire over the bar.

Del Piero was introduced to cheers from the Olimpico crowd, replacing Salihamidzic, to act behind Amauri in a 4-2-3-1 system. Pirlo gave the ball away in midfield and Claudio Marchisio's snapshot was deflected wide.

Poulsen picked up a calf injury and was stretchered off, making way for Paolo De Ceglie. Mathieu Flamini replaced a tired Gattuso.

Del Piero blasted a free kick over from distance. There was confusion between Manninger and Chiellini, almost allowing Borriello to aim at an open goal, but he was unable to turn round.

Manninger again flapped at a cross and was fortunate Ronaldinho couldn't get on the end of Beckham's pull-back.

The Rossoneri were beginning to put the pressure on again after a period of sitting back and they doubled their lead on 72 minutes. Another Pirlo corner was whipped in for Ronaldinho's glancing header at the near post and it took a deflection off De Ceglie to confuse Manninger.

Massimo Ambrosini was booked for a foul on Del Piero and will be suspended for the next game against Siena. At this stage, groups of Juventus fans left the stadium in protest, while others started lighting fires in the stands. After a while it started to burn the seats and created an artificial fog throughout the stadium.

The fog also went to Juve's head, as Milan made it 3-0 with Ronaldinho's second of the game. A cross from the right found Ronaldinho at the back post to chest it down and fire in from six yards.

In stoppages Dida denied Del Piero a consolation goal by fingertipping his free kick round the near post.

Juventus: Manninger; Grygera, Cannavaro, Chiellini, Grosso; Salihamidzic (Del Piero 60), Felipe Melo, Poulsen (De Ceglie 63), Marchisio; Diego; Amauri

Milan: Dida; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Gattuso (Flamini 65), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Beckham, Borriello (Huntelaar 85), Ronaldinho

Ref: Damato

You can watch match highlights on Free Soccer Highlights.

Ancelotti jets in for Juve vs. AC Milan
10.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti will be in the stands for Juventus-Milan tonight and tips the Rossoneri for success.

“If Milan win tonight and in the derby, then they will become the true alternative to Inter,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“For Juve this seems a little less realistic, to be honest.”

The Chelsea manager is in Italy because the game with Hull City was snowed off and he didn’t want to miss the big Serie A match.

Ancelotti has been on the bench of both clubs, though his time with Milan was significantly more extensive and lasted eight years.

His replacement struggled at first, but Leonardo is now making the team his own, whereas Ciro Ferrara suffered a shock exit from the Champions League.

“Both Coaches paid the price for inexperience, but in different ways. In Milan’s case, Leonardo is young, but the directors are the same they always were.

“Ferrara didn’t only have to deal with his own inexperience, but also that of a young group of directors and the difficulty he found in getting some good advice.”

Leonardo has revitalised Ronaldinho, who spent much of his later months under Ancelotti’s reign sitting on the bench.

“I prefer Dinho to Diego. This is a different Ronaldinho to the one I was working with,” mused the ex-Milan boss.

“I must confess I had considered bringing in Diego from Werder Bremen when I was at Milan. I liked the idea of seeing him and Kaka behind Pippo Inzaghi.”

Leonardo confident in Turin
9.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo is confident Milan can best Juventus. “We’ve had bigger wins this season and are in great form.”

The Rossoneri are fresh from thrashing Genoa 5-2 going into Sunday night’s clash.

“Aside from the fact this is a game with Juventus, we have already had bigger wins this season and always played well,” said the Coach.

“The fact we are in second place is important, but it’s also true that fixtures like this can change a campaign. It is a great opportunity for both teams to make a step up.

“We’re going into this game in very positive form, there is optimism, even though it is precisely in these situations that one must be careful. After all, we have only won here once in the last 10 years and every detail counts.”

Gianluca Zambrotta and Clarence Seedorf are out of action, while Alexandre Pato is “very unlikely” to feature after picking up a muscular problem in training.

“Our plans are to keep playing with this style. I expected David Beckham to settle in so quickly, as he knows how much everyone loves him and is a very important resource.

“He had Milan on his mind and his decision was not purely made to earn a place at South Africa 2010. I’m sure he’ll give Fabio Capello a real selection headache.

“We have three important games in one month against Juve, Inter and Fiorentina, but the real verdict will arrive later on.”

Juventus are under fire at the moment with rumours Ciro Ferrara will be sacked if he loses Sunday’s game.

“I am good friends with Ciro and it even goes beyond that, as we both went into this season as relative newcomers. There were doubts all around us and we shared that when we met in Capri over the summer.

“Juve are above all criticised for the Champions League elimination, as they are right there in Serie A. Juventus may seem dead and buried, but they are not.”

Ferrara: 'AC Milan are in better shape'
9.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ciro Ferrara admits Milan “are in better shape” going into Sunday’s showdown, as Juventus have a decimated squad.

The two giants go head-to-head in a direct battle for second place – and the right to stay in the Scudetto race.

“These are the matches where we need to be capable and also limit Milan’s technical gifts,” warned the Coach.

“I wouldn’t talk about this as a Final, as whenever I used that term it tended to go wrong. It is a world class encounter, very intense and it’ll be great for anyone to be a part of it.

“We’re almost on level terms in the table, but while we had a stronger start, Milan are in better shape now.”

Both sides have numerous injury woes, as Alexandre Pato, Clarence Seedorf and Gianluca Zambrotta are out for the Rossoneri.

Juve miss David Trezeguet, Sebastian Giovinco, Gianluigi Buffon, Mauro Camoranesi, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Momo Sissoko and the suspended Martin Caceres.

The club loaned out Lorenzo Ariaudo, Tiago Mendes and Cristian Molinaro this week, so there are only 19 players in the squad, including Tiago who will only join Atletico Madrid from Monday.

“We are covered in defence, but will be bringing in a new midfielder. As for Alessandro Del Piero, I spoke to him very clearly and he can’t be happy at not getting much playing time, but he seemed relaxed. He’s behaving like a professional and a captain.”

Ferrara is under fire, but took time to joke about rumours Guus Hiddink is ready to replace him.

“So far I’ve heard transfer talk of Juventus bringing in a Dutchman to regenerate the squad,” he grinned.

He is the among the youngest Coaches in Serie A along with Leonardo and praised his colleague. “I am happy for Leo and he deserves all the success he is enjoying right now.”

Chelsea challenge AC Milan for Dzeko
9.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chelsea could intercept Milan’s bid for Edin Dzeko by offering £36m cash for the Wolfsburg hitman.

The Bosnian striker has been a target for the Rossoneri even when Carlo Ancelotti was still in charge and it seems the Coach continues to track him.

The Rossoneri are the favourites to sign the 23-year-old, but cannot afford his £36m buy-out clause and therefore offer cash plus Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Instead, the Daily Mail suggests that Chelsea will intercept by putting forward the full cash sum for the 6’4” forward.

Dzeko scored 26 goals to help Wolfsburg to the shock Bundesliga title last season.

Ancelotti’s other options are Sampdoria hitman Giampaolo Pazzini and Juventus benchwarmer Vincenzo Iaquinta.

Ronaldinho: 'More fun than Barcelona!'
9.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho believes in the Scudetto for Milan and admits “I have more fun here than I was at Barcelona.”

The Brazilian was considered by some to be past his best when he made the transfer to San Siro, but has rediscovered his form under Leonardo’s guidance.

“I have more fun here than when I was at Barcelona,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I feel like I’ve gone back to when I was 18 years old, when I was enjoying myself like a madman with the ball at my feet. This is the greatest time of my life.”

Dinho will face Juventus in a Scudetto showdown on Sunday evening.

The Rossoneri have a game in hand, but a victory would put them within five points of leaders Inter.

“I want to win the Scudetto and Champions League with Milan, because I believe in The Double. Inter can be caught.

“I would also like to make Alexandre Pato and Marco Borriello the Capocannoniere winners thanks to my assists.

“Finally, I want to entertain all those fans who love me.”

Juventus had a dire end to 2009, but started the new year on the right foot with a 2-1 victory away to Parma.

“They’ll be fired up and it will be extremely difficult. I just hope it doesn’t rain…”

Nesta rejects World Cup spot
9.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta has found a new lease of life this season, but won’t follow Francesco Totti’s example by reconsidering international retirement.

Both players hung up their Azzurri boots after the 2006 World Cup triumph and last week Totti suggested he could return for the 2010 tournament, making his decision in April.

“If I were to go to the Nazionale – and I want to make it clear nobody has asked – then I’d be taking the place of someone who is already in the squad,” said the Milan defender.

“I wouldn’t do it. If someone has played 10 games and fought so hard to achieve qualification, then I turn up at the last minute and steal his spot, it wouldn’t be fair.

“I am the one who gave up on the Nazionale, I was not kicked out, I did it for my own issues.”

The veteran bowed out of the Azzurri scene when a succession of injuries put him on the verge of retirement altogether.

“At the end of the day, I was right to retire from international football,” insisted Nesta.

“When everyone said there were no problems, after the World Cup I wrecked my shoulder – nobody knows why – and then my back. It was better to rest.”

He has rediscovered his form and fitness this season and is looking forward to tomorrow’s showdown with Juventus.

“It could be the most important match of the campaign, as if we win then we will break away from Juve and have a game in hand to close in on Inter.

“We must believe that we can win the title, although Inter are very strong and rarely drop points.”

I never doubted Leonardo, says Galliani
8.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has revealed how he never doubted Leonardo despite a torrid start to the season.

Many pundits felt the Brazilian was one game away from getting the sack in October but since then Milan have been on an imperious run.

The Rossoneri currently lie second in Serie A and have only lost once in the League since late September.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Galliani said: “I never doubted Leo. And I cannot but be satisfied with the work he has done up until now.”

Asked if there are already plans to offer him a contract extension, Galliani replied: “No, because he already has a contract until 2011. And for the relationship that we have I put the figure together. With his pen…

“When Leo stopped playing in 2001, I gave him a pen with the words: 'thank you, Leonardo'. Since then I have jealously kept it and I use it for all the important signings. It's our little lucky charm.”

Curiously, Galliani then admitted that he doesn't expect Leonardo to still be at the club after his existing deal expires.

“I am not thinking about it. The only risk is that one day the desire to return to Brazil will push him. If Flamengo were to call, his other red and black love; or if they were to give him the Brazil job.”

Galliani then turned his attention to this weekend's eagerly anticipated match between Milan and Juventus in Turin.

“It's an important game. Whoever wins remains in the slipstream, but it's too soon to speak about verdicts. Rather what remains is the fascination of the true Derby d'Italia.

Asked how Milan-Juve can be considered the Derby d'Italia rather than Inter-Juve, Galliani replied: “I make many simple calculations. Juve are a team that has won the most Scudetti. Milan are the most decorated team in the world.”

“For many years the Scudetto has been decided by clashes between Juventus and Milan. Now it's a little different, but this January can tell us many things about the rest of the season. And we have a game in hand.”

Finally, Galliani was coy about Milan's objectives for the rest of the season.

“Nothing changes. I have always said that we are focusing on the first three places and I would like to clarify one concept: I have never excluded first place,” he concluded.

AC Milan in fresh Dzeko bid
8.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will renew their interest in Edin Dzeko next summer by potentially offering Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to Wolfsburg as part of the deal.

Stories in the peninsula this morning suggest that the Italian club are so desperate to land the Bosnian for 2010-11 that they have already begun fresh negotiations.

Milan failed in their attempt to sign the striker last summer, but Vice-President Adriano Galliani and director Ariedo Braida reportedly again met Wolfsburg general manager Dieter Hoeness this week.

Central to their conversations were Dzeko, the Bundesliga hotshot who is also attracting the interest of Chelsea.

The problem is that Wolfsburg’s asking price, understood to be in the region of £30m, is deemed as excessive by the San Siro giants.

As a result, Milan are said to be ready to offer Huntelaar plus cash in exchange for the powerful centre-forward.

Huntelaar, a goal machine during his days at Ajax, has struggled to break into the first team this term following his late move from Real Madrid.

Having only scored three League goals so far, he is viewed as a first reserve to the in-form Marco Borriello at present.

Although a January move has been ruled out for the Dutchman, Milan are ready to sell at the end of the season if he fails to settle.

'Beckham already one of us'
7.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini insists David Beckham already feels part of the team after his performance in last night's 5-2 victory over Genoa.

Beckham looked sharp as he made his first starting appearance following his move from the LA Galaxy on a six-month loan deal.

“David is a great champion and like all great champions he knows how to adapt in a hurry to new situations,” Ambrosini said.

“He has found a new trainer, a new system, but he knew how to adapt himself quickly.”

Milan's win preserves their second place status in Serie A and some pundits feel they now have what it takes to challenge Inter for the Scudetto.

“The road is the one we are travelling down now and it is long. We know it. But things were going well also at the end of the year.”

Finally, the 32-year-old was coy about his chances of making Marcello Lippi's World Cup squad.

“I need to send signals to Lippi, but I reckon that there are still many to send. You ask him,” Ambrosini concluded.

Gasperini: 'AC Milan cannot be contained'
6.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“Undoubtedly we struggled tonight and Milan were able to break through fairly easily in situations where we seemed to have the advantage,” he said of the 5-2 defeat.

“We had problems at the back, especially as after a while we only had Giuseppe Biava as a pure defender on the field.

“Sometimes it's better to get results like this and learn from them. We did well in bursts and even took the lead, but it was too difficult to contain Milan.”

David Suazo scored on his debut, but was a surprise starter and Hernan Crespo only had a handful of minutes against his former club.

“Crespo is playing a lot at Genoa, more than he has done in recent years anywhere else, so I don't think he can have complaints,” continued the Coach.

Genoa have conceded 32 goals this season and this poor defensive record damages their European chances.

“We are not Champions League contenders. Our main objective is to get as many points as possible and see where we end up.

“It's a totally different campaign this season and we don't have to focus on anything other than getting the maximum from each game as it comes.

“It's true we are a little inconsistent, but we have to remember what our true place in Serie A is.”

Leonardo: Beckham does it all
6.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo confirms “attack is the best form of defence” for Milan and thanked the versatile David Beckham.

“David trained more or less everywhere this week, as we had some little injuries to Alexandre Pato, Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo recently, so he tried every role. He is ready for anything, has enormous tactical intelligence and quality.

“Pirlo's position is only one element, as I need to give him freedom for his tactical intelligence to find the space in each situation. I don't like setting these specific positions for players, it limits their options and takes something away from their capabilities.”

Beckham started out in place of Pato on the right side of an attacking trident, then moved behind the strikers in Pirlo's position and occasionally helped out the midfield too.

“Everything was great, from Ronaldinho missing a penalty and then scoring another, to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar coming on and scoring with a spot-kick and Marco Borriello getting two fantastic goals. I could be here all night listing the positives!

“Tonight aside from the performance and five goals, I thought the most important thing was the strong start. It wasn't easy to get back on track after missing a penalty and conceding a goal at the first chance, so this was a key psychological response.”

Milan's 5-2 thrashing of Genoa has put them right back in the thick of the Scudetto race and yet another new system from Leonardo: the 4-2-1-3.

“I don't like this debate over balance and tactics, as I prefer to see how everyone works together and what they can put into it,” insisted the Coach.

“You don't find a balance and then stick with it forever, as there are so many variables that next week it could go wrong. You need alternatives, you need options ready at your disposal and to keep a close eye on every element to pick the right approach.

“Attack is the best form of defence for us. We seem balanced when we are able to hurt our opponents.”

Leonardo received a standing ovation from San Siro, but insisted the adulation is not what drives him.

“My job is to make sure the players are in the condition to give their best. I am not interested in taking centre-stage or declaring it my winning project. The rest is of very little interest to me.”

Milan go head-to-head with Juventus on Sunday night in Turin, though Pato remains a doubt.

“It's not a serious injury for Pato, but with muscular problems we always need to be careful.”

Serie A: AC Milan 5:2 Genoa - match report
6.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Sculli 25 (G), Ronaldinho pen 32 (M), Thiago Silva 38 (M), Borriello 48, 61 (M), Huntelaar pen 74 (M), Suazo 79 (G)

Marco Borriello bagged a brace - including a glorious scissor-kick volley - as Milan beat Genoa 5-2 despite missing a penalty.

Beckham made his Serie A comeback and was thrown straight into the starting XI, replacing the injured Alexandre Pato. Andrea Pirlo took a more advanced role supporting the trident that included Ronaldinho and ex-Genoa hitman Marco Borriello. David Suazo also played his first game in the Rossoblu jersey after joining on loan from Inter.

Within three minutes Beckham had crossed for an acrobatic Borriello flick from six yards and equally impressive Marco Amelia reaction save. The LA Galaxy man then combined with Ronaldinho for the Brazilian to turn wide, but at the other end Giandomenico Mesto tested Nelson Dida.

Massimo Ambrosini burst through a gap in the Genoa defence and tripped over Giuseppe Biava's outstretched foot in a pretty soft penalty, as the Milan midfielder left his leg trailing somewhat. There was an element of justice, as Ronaldinho's weak spot-kick was comfortably smothered by Amelia.

Beckham drilled wide at the end of a well-worked move as Ambrosini spread the play to the right channel.

But it was Genoa who broke the deadlock at San Siro. Rodrigo Palacio's cross from the right went over Suazo, but found Giuseppe Sculli for a header at the back post. Sculli was unmarked, as he had shaken off Ignazio Abate.

Milan received their second penalty in the space of 17 minutes, as Borriello smartly knocked the ball down for the on-coming Ambrosini, who tried to dribble round Amelia and was hauled down. There were no doubts this time, nor in the finish, as Ronaldinho thumped a powerful spot-kick to send Amelia the wrong way. He changed the angle from that first penalty too.

Beckham nearly scored a bizarre goal, as he took the free kick quickly and curled it on to the outside of the net.

Genoa made a change, as Emiliano Moretti picked up an injury and made way for Francesco Modesto.

Milan turned the game around to go 2-1 up with a chaotic goal. A free kick prompted several attempts, as Borriello's header was cleared off the line by Rossi, Ambrosini's follow-up saved by Amelia and eventually Thiago Silva bundled it over.

Straight after the restart Milan extended their lead. Ronaldinho's through ball went past Domenico Criscito to reach Luca Antonini at the byline and he pulled back for Borriello's easiest of tap-ins.

There was absolutely nothing easy about Borriello's second! He sprung the offside trap for a long Antonini ball over the top, ran backwards and lined up a sensational left-foot scissor-kick volley that went in off the inside of the far post. He was so overjoyed at this goal that took off his shirt and swung it round over his head, not caring about the yellow card.

Suazo also got past the offside flag and had his shot charged down in the box. Pirlo had a slight muscular problem this week, so he was replaced as a precaution ahead of Sunday's clash with Juventus. Borriello was also rested and given a standing ovation by San Siro. Beckham moved into Pirlo's role behind the strikers.

Dida plucked Alberto Zapater's free kick out of the top corner and Criscito's looping snapshot from the edge of the box skimmed the crossbar.

Gennaro Gattuso nearly scored a rare Serie A goal when he won back the ball in the final third, but hesitated and allowed Amelia to rush out and close him down.

Milan were awarded a third penalty of the night, as Ronaldinho knocked the ball on and Rossi rather clumsily slipped, dragging the Brazilian back by the neck. Dinho decided to leave the spot-kick to Huntelaar, allowing him to score his first goal at San Siro. The Dutchman smashed the penalty into the near top corner.

Beckham was also granted a standing ovation and huge cheers from the crowd following a fantastic and versatile debut, as he made way for Marek Jankulovski.

It wasn't over yet, as Suazo pounced on an Alessandro Nesta defensive error by intercepting his pass for Ambrosini and aimed a fierce left-foot strike off the inside of the far post. It was the Honduran's first goal in a Genoa jersey.

Ex-Milan striker Crespo came on to face his former club and was jeered, as he went to Inter after that Rossoneri spell.
Milan: Dida; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Ambrosini, Gattuso; Pirlo (Flamini 64); Beckham (Jankulovski 76), Borriello (Huntelaar 66), Ronaldinho

Genoa: Amelia; Moretti (Modesto 37), Biava, Criscito; Rossi, Milanetto, Juric, Mesto (Zapater 62); Palacio, Suazo (Crespo 78), Sculli

Ref: Orsato

Missed penalty: Ronaldinho 13 (M)

You can watch match highlights on Free Soccer Highlights.

Leonardo: 'I won't label Beckham'
5.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo is considering a tactical reshuffle with David Beckham possibly starting against Genoa tomorrow night, but in what position?

“They have a few problems at the back and some injury doubts, but I don’t think Genoa will change their approach,” he said.

“They remain aggressive, hard-working and on top of that a Genoa side with David Suazo added to the mix.”

The Rossoneri also have a January arrival, as Beckham has joined on loan from LA Galaxy for the six months leading up to the World Cup.

“Beckham is exactly as we left him last season, in a good way, because he is consistent in his behaviour, work rate and vision. This break has been useful not only for us to recover our physical strength, but also to discuss certain tactical issues.

“I always thought we needed alternatives to the system and now we have the option to make changes.”

Some suggested the England international will play as a right-back, others that he’ll be wide midfield or even in the trident attack for Leonardo’s so-called 4-2-Fantasia system.

“Why should we pin Beckham down to a specific role? I don’t want to label him, I like giving freedom to my players, as in my view that helps the whole squad. In all honesty, I haven’t yet tested Beckham as a full-back, but he is ready for anything.

“Having said that, we are fairly covered in that position, so we’ll have to wait and see. I know there was scepticism over my tactics at the start, but I cannot deny I have the desire within me to always play attacking football.

“If I see the opportunity to develop some alternatives that give us the same joy of football, then I’m ready for that too.”

This week Inter boss Jose Mourinho told Sky television in England that it was “easier” to win against smaller clubs in the Premier League than Serie A.

“It’s true, but the real development is that these teams also play really well,” noted Leonardo.

“There are many sides that want to play and don’t just defend, such as Chievo, Cagliari, Sampdoria and more.”

AC Milan explore Diamanti bid
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Source: Football Italia

Milan are considering a bid for West Ham United playmaker Alessandro Diamanti, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The 26-year-old left Livorno for London in the summer amid interest from Inter and his performances have lit up a relegation threatened Upton Park.

Diamanti has scored five goals in 14 Premier League appearances this season and Milan believe he could have some success as a second striker at San Siro.

Il Corriere understands Leonardo would ideally like Sampdoria's Antonio Cassano, but the so-called Bari Brat would cost at least €15m, a price that's too high for Milan as they continue to pursue a budget cutting exercise.

Diamanti's fate is apparently linked with Gianfranco Zola's, as without an ally in the dressing room like the Sardinian, the player would also have an uncertain future.

Milan are scouting other candidates for the role of Alexandre Pato's deputy and have shortlisted Standard Liege's Milan Jovanovic and CSKA Moscow's Milos Krasic.

Crespo awaits San Siro
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Source: Football Italia

Hernan Crespo is looking forward to his return to San Siro to face Milan and expects a perfect performance from Genoa.

The Argentine is a familiar face at the Giuseppe Meazza, having played both for Inter and Milan.

“We are capable of doing well in Milan,” claimed Crespo.

“But we can't get anything wrong. We will have to try and be perfect.

“If we play at our best, at our 100%, from the very start we will do very well. Our approach will be fundamental.”

Grifoni boss Gian Piero Gasperini is also looking forward to this clash.

“I believe that Milan, as well as Bari, are the only team which have added something to calcio from a tactical point of view.

“Those four players up front are a new option and the Rossoneri are always looking to attack even if it means leaving space at the back.”

AC Milan to build 'giant' defence
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Source: Football Italia

Milan are laying the groundwork for a 'giant' defence by opening negotiations for Monaco's Cedric Mongongu and Hamburg's Guy Demel.

Both players are over 6' 2” and despite being African in origin - Mongongu was born in Zaire and Demel in the Ivory Coast - they also have French passports.

Milan are looking to rejuvenate but also re-dimension their backline as Alessandro Nesta and Beppe Favalli aren't getting any younger.

Kakha Kaladze is also on his way out of the club with Lyon, Zenit St. Petersburg and Dynamo Kyiv lining up bids for the Georgia international.

Leonardo wants to add height and physicality to his defence and both Mongongu and Demel fit the bill, according to Milan's technical director Ariedo Braida.

Il Corriere dello Sport understands Milan are also keen to bring 22-year-old defender Davide Astori back from his loan spell at Cagliari. However, he is unlikely to return until the end of the season.

While Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has reiterated that the club won't be doing any more business in January after signing Dominic Adiyiah and David Beckham, the Italian Press believes one of either Mongongu or Demel will arrive with the other joining in the summer.

Pirlo criticises pitches
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Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo says his side tries to play like Barcelona but finds its efforts hindered by the “disgusting” state of Italy's pitches.

The Rossoneri are back in action on Wednesday for the first time since December 13 when their match against Fiorentina was called off.

Extreme weather conditions meant it was too dangerous to play and many of the pitches have been devastated by snow and ice.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Pirlo hailed Barcelona's style of football and explained why it's difficult to replicate on the peninsula.

“It's a pleasure to watch them play. We try to play in that way, but it's not easy, also because the pitches are disgusting.

“Have you seen the grass in Spanish or English stadiums? It's perfect. In Italy there isn't a decent ground. And it's not easy to play on the floor when the ball bounces up to your knee.”

Pirlo then reflected on Milan's form going into the winter break, which saw them lose just once in nearly three months of football.

The 30-year-old Italy international has surprised many pundits by his ability not just to cope but also to flourish in Leonardo's exhausting 4-2-3-1 system.

“I help the team and it's fine like this. You need to know how to do everything in modern football. And run, if not, it's hard work,” he explained.

“There are no changes on the horizon,” Pirlo revealed in the wake of David Beckham's return to Milanello. “We have started to play in a certain way that has given us advantages and results.

“There is no need to change, even the new arrivals will have to adapt themselves. Let's say there are 4-5 players for three places: Beckham can play in place of Seedorf, Seedorf can play in my place then there are Ambrosini, Rino and Flamini. And there are many games. Everyone can play.

“We entertain. I run more, but like I said, I have always done it ever since I was small. I have great aerobic resistance,” Pirlo concluded.

Borriello faces Genoa past
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Source: Football Italia

Marco Borriello had the greatest season of his career at Genoa and the Milan hitman faces his former club on Wednesday.

“My experience with the Rossoblu was certainly the most important season of my career so far and I’ll certainly have an emotional response when playing them,” he confessed.

“Now I defend the Rossoneri colours and hope to bring home the victory for my squad.”

In 2007-08 he scored 19 goals in 35 games for the Grifone and went close to the Capocannoniere title, but has barely played since then due to a succession of injuries.

“On a personal level, 2009 started terribly and ended fairly well with some good performances and my first goals.

“As a team we reached some important objectives, qualified for the Champions League knockouts and reached second place in Serie A. I’d say it’s a good starting off point.

“The goal I scored against Parma was a particular highlight of 2009, as for a striker to score with a scissor-kick in front of the Milan end at San Siro is a dream come true.

“As for the rest, I didn’t play nearly enough due to my injuries, as I practically only had eight weeks of fitness in the whole year.

“In 2010 I hope to be able to play five or six months consecutively and prove what I’m worth.”

Real Madrid offer £56m for Pato
3.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Spanish newspapers suggest Real Madrid are preparing a £56m January bid for Alexandre Pato, but Milan will turn it down.

The Brazilian youngster remains hot property on the transfer market after Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti failed to tempt him away in the summer.

Real haven’t been as successful as hoped despite their summer spending spree that saw Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Karim Benzema and Pato’s good friend Kaka come to the Bernabeu.

President Florentino Perez hopes to buy his way out of trouble again with a sensational £56m offer for the teenage striker.

However, having already sold Kaka for £55m to pay off their debts, Milan have absolutely no intention of losing another Brazilian star.

Beckham admires 'arrogant' Capello
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Source: Football Italia

David Beckham praised “arrogant and scary” England manager Fabio Capello and looks forward to Milan’s Old Trafford trip.

The midfielder told BBC Radio 5 Live that ‘Don Fabio’ had brought "an arrogance, but in a good way" to the Three Lions.

"Players go onto the field confident, they believe they're going to win, and he gives us that confidence.

"He's brought a real seriousness, a professional side which was needed. He scares you - in a 'respect' way."

Beckham begins his second loan stint at Milan and is already looking ahead to the Champions League tie against Manchester United.

He’ll welcome them to San Siro on February 16 before stepping into Old Trafford for the first time as an opponent on March 10.

"I'm sure they will all try and kick me if they can! They wouldn't be at United if they weren't special people and special players, because Manchester United only keep players like that when they are special,” he said of his former teammates.

"I would have loved to have stayed at Manchester United my whole career and never have gone anywhere else but it just wasn't meant to be.

"I went to Real Madrid and in the last year was successful there so I enjoyed that time."

Like ex-Milan teammate Paolo Maldini, Beckham has no intention of going into management.

"There's no chance of me being a manager or a Coach. It doesn't interest me. I love coaching kids, that's my biggest passion. We'll see - I might change my mind in the future."

Zambrotta seeks new start
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Source: Football Italia

Gianluca Zambrotta urges Milan to “wipe away” the defeat to Palermo and start 2010 on the right foot.

The Rossoneri ended the year with a home defeat to the Sicilians, as their game with Fiorentina was snowed off and rescheduled for January 27.

“We have worked well over the break and in terms of training ended 2009 in the best possible way,” he told the official club website.

“We are ready for the challenge with Genoa, a team with the kind of characteristics that can put us under pressure.

“The onus is on Milan to wipe away the defeat to Palermo.”

Before that setback, the Diavolo were unbeaten in Serie A for 10 rounds, seven of which were victories.

They remain in second place and trail Inter by eight points, albeit with a game in hand.

The first matches of Serie A in 2010 are on Wednesday January 6.

AC Milan consider Cassano
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Source: Football Italia

Milan are planning a surprise swoop for Sampdoria hero Antonio Cassano, but a move before June would be extremely difficult.

“When Cassano was at Real Madrid we did think about it, but nothing ever came from that interest,” confessed Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani in the summer.

“I really like Cassano, but right now we need a big centre-forward and are already covered in his role by Ronaldinho.”

However, since then Leonardo has changed the tactical system and Cassano would now fit perfectly into the squad with Dinho and Alexandre Pato.

The Corriere dello Sport insists it would be possible to tempt FantAntonio to San Siro, as he has recently been at loggerheads with the Sampdoria supporters.

They jeered him during the poor form of the team and he reacted angrily, hinting he could walk away if he wasn’t wanted.

At the moment Milan needn’t push for Cassano because David Beckham and young Ghanaian talent Dominic Adiyiah are coming in during the January transfer window.

However, with Beckham returning to LA Galaxy at the end of the season and Clarence Seedorf turning 35 next term, Cassano would revitalise the ageing Milan squad.

Beckham: AC Milan, Manchester United and me
1.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham reveals he “almost cried” when Milan drew Manchester United in Europe, but would do anything for the Rossoneri, even play in defence.

“When I first heard about the tie I think I almost cried because it is such a special place for me," he said of the upcoming Champions League clash.

It will be his first competitive trip to Old Trafford since leaving the club seven years ago.

"I would like to progress further in the competition and, of course, when you come up against a club that you support and a club you have spent so many great years at and where you have still got so many friends at the club, those things are always difficult, but it's a nice problem to have.

"I've not returned to Old Trafford as a player in seven years. I miss it every day; I miss being a Manchester United player, I miss the club, I miss the fans and friends at the club. So it is always going to have a special place in my heart.

"To return as an AC Milan player makes it extra special, that's the big thing for me – to return with a team like this and a club like this that has got so much history, which is the same as Manchester United, it's such a special occasion.

“To be there in front of the fans and the manager and friends is going to be incredible."

The 34-year-old LA Galaxy star has returned to San Siro for another loan spell after playing for Milan from January to May last season.

Many wonder how he will fit into Leonardo’s new tactical set-up and one possible option is replacing the injured Massimo Oddo at right-back.

"I would be happy to play in any position, in defence, in attack, even in goal!” smiled the England star.

"I am not expected to start the games. I just want to be part of the team. My experience with the club was so special for six months. It was one of the best six months of my career.

"I missed the team, the players, the fans. The group is very similar. It is the same at Manchester United, it never changes.”

The Rossoneri are currently in second place in Serie A and Beckham is not shy about his ambitions for this season, even if Carlo Ancelotti, Kaka and Paolo Maldini have left.

"To win a title is my number one wish. To win a title with AC Milan. I don't think the league has lost any charm. Definitely not. This is a great squad that can win the Scudetto.

“I am very honoured to be here again and to know I’ll be here for at least six months, which the first time around wasn’t so sure for many reasons. As for if Milan will be in my future again after that, we’ll see.

“Milan was always my first choice, even the first time when there was first talk of the Galaxy loaning me out.

“Going to the World Cup is certainly an objective, but I didn’t just come to this club so that I could go to the World Cup.”

AC Milan close transfer window
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Source: Football Italia

The transfer window is closed for Milan before it has even opened according to Adriano Galliani.

David Beckham has been picked up on loan from MLS side LA Galaxy and Ghanaian wonderkid Dominic Adiyiah is scheduled to arrive from Norwegian side Fredrikstad in January.

Consequently the Milan vice-president has signalled that there will be no more new arrivals next month - not even Standard Liege striker Milan Jovanovic.

"The purchases by Milan in January are Beckham and Adiyiah, no other," confirmed Galliani. "Jovanovic? He is one of the names on which we are working but only for next season."

He also ruled out any challenge to Inter for the signature of free agent Goran Pandev.

Ronaldinho targets World Cup
1.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho has made clear his intention to fight his way back into Dunga's Brazilian World Cup plans.

"Going to South Africa would be the realisation of a dream for me. But I will avoid speaking about the subject, as it could put pressure on certain people," explained the Milan star.

"It is logical that I want to win another World Cup for Brazil."

Roni also revealed his desire to win the Brazilian championship before he retires.

"I have never had the possibility to win the Brazilian championship," explained the buck-toothed playmaker.

"Seeing Adriano, who is a friend, become a champion with Flamengo has given me inspiration.

"To win the title in my homeland would mean that I could close my career with a golden key."

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