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The Archive

February 2010

Pato suffers serious injury
28.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan could be without Alexandre Pato for several weeks after he pulled up clutching the back of his right thigh.

The young Brazilian had only just returned after a long lay-off due to muscular problems.

He scored twice in this afternoon's 3-1 victory over Atalanta, but was running on goal to net a third when he suddenly pulled up.

It was immediately apparent this was a serious injury, as Pato was in tears holding on to the back of his right leg.

There was nobody else around him when he stopped running, so this is expected to be a serious thigh strain.

It definitely rules him out of next week's head-to-head with Roma, but could well also mean Pato misses the Champions League trip to Manchester United.

Gennaro Gattuso will also miss the Roma match, as he picked up a yellow card and will be suspended.

Serie A: AC Milan 3:1 Atalanta - match report
28.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pato 29, 40 (M), Valdes 56 (A), Borriello 62 (M)

Alexandre Pato bagged a brace for Milan's fourth consecutive victory, but he limped off with a serious thigh strain.

The Rossoneri climbed into second place, within four points of leaders Inter, with a last-gasp and barely deserved win over Fiorentina in Wednesday's rescheduled Week 17 fixture. Mathieu Flamini sat out a ban with the injured Clarence Seedorf and Luca Antonini. Atalanta were without veteran hitman Nicola Amoruso and midfielder Tiberio Guarente.

Jaime Valdes had the first chance of the game for the Orobici, flashing a left-foot shot just wide, soon followed by a similar Cristiano Doni effort.

Milan finally created a scoring opportunity after 24 minutes. A corner kick was touched on for Ronaldinho's spectacular overhead kick, but Andrea Consigli was glad it went straight at him and he was able to take the sting out of it.

Atalanta threatened on the counter when a Simone Tiribocchi cross was deflected just enough to take it past Ferreira Pinto. Milan also went on a quick reverse, but Marco Borriello's angled drive was woefully off target.

The deadlock was finally broken on the half-hour mark. Ronaldinho's inspired backheel released Massimo Ambrosini, the cross was deflected and Alexandre Pato let it bounce for a volley into the ground that went in off the post.

Consigli parried another Pato volley, while Andrea Pirlo drilled wide from a Dinho assist.

Pato doubled his tally before half-time, again with a chance created by Ronaldinho down the left. His step-overs confused the defender, he crossed for Pato at the back post and dribbled round the goalkeeper, bundling the ball over the line with the aid of a deflection.

Atalanta lost Ferreira Pinto to an injury and Doni fired just over the bar.

However, the visitors did get back into the game when Valdes won the ball back on the edge of the box and smashed a left-foot finish across Christian Abbiati.

Daniele Bonera was brought down by Tomas Manfredini for a penalty. Ronaldinho took a stuttering run-up and it was saved by Consigli, but Borriello pounced on the follow-up from six yards to hit it under the bar.

David Beckham's corner was touched on for Thiago Silva to nod on to the side-netting.

Terrible news for Milan on 78 minutes, as Pato was running without pressure when he suddenly pulled up clutching the back of his right thigh. It looks to be a serious strain and yet another muscular problem suffered by the young Brazilian this season.

Gennaro Gattuso was also booked and will be suspended for next week's big match with Roma.

Milan: Abbiati; Bonera, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Jankulovski; Beckham, Pirlo, Ambrosini (Gattuso 66); Pato, Borriello, Ronaldinho

Atalanta: Consigli; Garics, Bianco, Manfredini, Bellini; Ferreira Pinto (Ceravolo 42), De Ascentis (Volpi 67), Padoin, Valdes; Doni; Tiribocchi

Ref: Banti

Missed penalty: Ronaldinho 61 (M)

For match highlights check out Free Soccer Highlights.

Borriello awaits Italy call
28.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Borriello is looking forward to an Italy recall this afternoon after his fine form for Milan.

Marcello Lippi is set to name his squad for Wednesday's friendly against Cameroon and Borriello is widely expected to be in the list.

“That's what the newspapers tell me,” the striker commented on Radio Uno.

“Nobody has contacted me personally, so I hope to score a goal this weekend and convince the Coach.”

The 27-year-old has not played for Italy since a 3-1 victory over Belgium on May 30 2008, one of only three caps for the senior squad.

His career has been blighted by injuries and he has barely played in the last two years, but amassed eight Serie A goals with Milan this season.

When asked what he would prefer for 2010, the Scudetto with Milan or the World Cup for Italy, Borriello kept his options open.

“It is only by winning with Milan that I can get into the Azzurri.”

Leonardo: 'Errors don't win titles'
27.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo hits back at Jose Mourinho’s complaints and considers Milan’s Scudetto chances as they welcome Atalanta.

“It is only normal that we all live with the constant thought of winning important trophies, but we must take it one day at a time,” he said after moving within four points of leaders Inter.

“Milan must maintain their own style of football and try to keep notching up the points. It’s a long road, we’ll see.”

The Nerazzurri have been very vocal in their complaints at refereeing decisions, as Mourinho hinted “the same thing” had happened on Wednesday when Fiorentina were denied a penalty in their 2-1 defeat to the Rossoneri.

“I don’t think you can win a title because of a refereeing error. Whoever wins deserves it, because they are the most consistent.

“We have already been close to Inter this term and now find ourselves up there again. It is not so much a comeback as a very balanced tournament with peaks and troughs.”

Atalanta have been struggling of late and are in the relegation zone, but Leo warns not to get complacent.

“Livorno defended very well against us, so we can expect Atalanta to be very organised and desperate for points. Bortolo Mutti’s side tend to attack down the flanks a great deal and have quality up front with the likes of Cristiano Doni and Simone Tiribocchi.”

Mathieu Flamini is suspended, while Massimo Ambrosini, Gianluca Zambrotta and Amantino Mancini need fitness tests.

Kakha Kaladze won’t be playing after his furious outburst accusing Milan and the Coach of “dirty tricks” in refusing to pick him. The defender quickly apologised.

“I understand Kala’s frustration and I think it’s normal for a player accustomed to fighting it out on the pitch who will struggle with being on the sidelines.

“Kaladze has understood the way he expressed himself was inappropriate, but I don’t think there’s any real problem. He is just a player who is frustrated and wants to get out there. My job, though, is to make decisions so we can win games.”

Ronaldinho's five-point Scudetto plan
27.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho has “five reasons why Milan can catch Inter and win the Scudetto” after closing the gap to four points.

The last-gasp 2-1 victory in Florence midweek put them in second place and, were it not for the two derby defeats, the Rossoneri have amassed more points than the leaders.

“We know that we’ll have to always win and wait for Inter to drop a few points, which only increases the regrets over those derby results,” Dinho told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“In any case, I have five reasons why Milan can catch Inter and win the Scudetto.

“We have an incredibly united squad. I believe a great deal in what I can bring to the team and in my qualities.

“Everyone, even the players who are normally on the bench, can give their contribution because Leonardo knows how to use them at the right time.

“Leonardo is truly a great Coach, as he makes brave decisions and brings a sense of calm to the entire club.

“And finally, the fans, who were truly extraordinary in Florence.”

The rivalry with Inter has been cranked up a few notches by Jose Mourinho’s latest outbursts.

“I like Mourinho, he is a great Coach,” said Ronaldinho. “However, I think everyone ought to mind their own business. Unlike him, I like Italy very much and am happy here.

“After the derby both Leonardo and I reacted because there were lies written about us. When things are real, I don’t react.”

Much has been written of Dinho’s alleged partying and lack of commitment to training.

“I am happy with what I’m doing and want to respond on the field to all the things that are said about me.

“I’ve been working hard to ensure Milan can do well. I won’t say if Leonardo reproached me or not recently, but I will just say that from the day I was presented at San Siro I thought this was my home and you don’t leave your home.”

Milan appear to share this sentiment and are reportedly ready to offer Ronaldinho a contract extension.

“It is not the time to talk about a contract when there are such important issues in play throughout the season.

“President Silvio Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani know I’m happy at Milan, so later on we’ll work out the details.”

The Brazilian has been left out of Carlos Dunga’s squad for the international friendlies and is increasingly unlikely to be at the World Cup.

“I am doing everything I can to convince Dunga and can only hope for the best. If I continue playing like this, then I think I will be in South Africa.”

Kaladze in 'dirty tricks' storm
27.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kakha Kaladze has been forced to apologise after “unjustified and serious allegations” of “dirty tricks” by Milan.

The defender has barely featured this season despite recovering from injury and hit out at his club in an interview with Sky Italia television.

“If I continue to be left out, then I will certainly leave Milan,” slammed Kaladze.

“I never play and it is a choice made by the Coach and club. I had the chance to leave last June, but the club did not want to sell me, so I remained and did everything for this side.

“If this situation carries on, then I will have to make a change. I was frozen out after the game with Zurich, in which I was one of the best on the field.

“What’s happening around me is dirty tricks.”

Milan did not hesitate to react and released a statement condemning their own player.

“The allegations made by Kaladze areas unjustified as they are serious. Milan will act within the terms set out by the contract.”

Realising how much controversy he had caused, the Georgian defender quickly recanted.

“I apologise to the club, the Coach, the team and the fans,” he told news agency ANSA.

“I used entirely inappropriate terminology. Unfortunately my outburst came from a time that built up a lot of stress and I hit back in the wrong way.”

Huntelaar explains gesture
27.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar insists he didn't mean to offend any Fiorentina fans when he made an umbrella gesture towards them on Wednesday.

The Holland international scored Milan's equaliser in the 81st minute, setting up a thrilling finish as Alexandre Pato grabbed a winner in stoppage time.

Huntelaar has been criticised for his celebration, but explained it away as an outpouring of the tension that he has felt recently.

Speaking to Milan's official TV channel, he said: “After my equaliser in Florence, I literally went crazy with joy.

“It was a very important goal in a difficult moment of the game. My celebratory gesture was one of joy and liberation with respect to the many minutes in which we were a goal down, but it was absolutely not meant to be offensive to the opponent's fans.

“I am really sorry if it has been seen in this way,” he concluded.

Huntelaar has scored six goals in six starting appearances for the Rossoneri this season.

Baresi talks up AC Milan
27.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Franco Baresi believes Leonardo's side have a genuine chance of catching Inter this season.

The Rossoneri currently lie second in Serie A, just four points behind their rivals.

“The win in stoppage time against Fiorentina has been very important and right now Inter have to look with greater attention at Milan and not Roma,” Baresi told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Milan will not give up until the end, of that I am sure. In the last few months Milan have changed gear and it has happened above all thanks to its attacking potential, which is enormous.

“I have to mention Pato here. You can't disregard a talent of his nature. Dunga should think again ahead of the World Cup.

“Pato has incredible quality and the goal he scored in Florence is the latest demonstration of his worth. Sure, there is support from Ronaldinho who is doing extraordinary things and has returned to the highest level. But I am looking more towards the young players.

“Pato and Balotelli should be protected in every way because the people who watch football get enthusiastic when they see tricks, fantasia and talent,” he concluded.

Pato: 'Inter have to look behind them'
27.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato believes Inter will have to start looking behind them after Wednesday's 2-1 win over Fiorentina took them second.

The Rossoneri are now just four points behind the League leaders despite having a mini-blip after the Derby della Madonnina in January.

Speaking at a Nike event in London, Pato said: “Now Inter must look behind them, there is Milan.”

Asked if he would settle for the Scudetto if Inter won the Champions League instead, the Brazilian replied: “No, I won't sign for that, because I only look at myself.

“We have to continue on this path, playing to win game-after-game. Yesterday we celebrated with Galliani and Leonardo.”

Looking ahead to this summer's World Cup in South Africa, the 20-year-old said: “Winning the World Cup with my national team has been my dream since I was a child and I will do everything to convince Dunga to take me to South Africa.”

Finally, Pato stood by Inter striker Mario Balotelli who drew criticism for going to watch Milan play Manchester United last week.

“Mario is an exceptional lad. If I had been free, I would have also gone to watch Inter play Chelsea, a great sporting event deserves support, without these dramatisations.

“At least, this is the South American mentality,” he concluded.

Storari: 'I pleaded with Galliani to let me go'
25.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Storari has revealed how he begged Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani to let him leave the club in the January transfer window.

The 32-year-old goalkeeper played seven games for the Rossoneri at the start of the season only to then lose his place to Dida.

Christian Abbiati's gradual return to full fitness sent him even further down the pecking order, making him Milan's third string keeper.

Storari eventually got what he wanted and was sent on loan to Sampdoria until the end of the season, standing in for the injured Luca Castellazzi.

“I really wanted to join Sampdoria so much that I refused many offers. When I knew that Samp were interested I begged Galliani to let me leave,” Storari said.

“I wanted to play with more consistency and I told the Milan directors.”

The journeyman has played six times for the Blucerchiati since his move, helping them on an impressive six-game unbeaten run.

Huntelaar pleased with goal
25.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is delighted with the goal he scored against Fiorentina last night.

The 26-year-old Holland international got Milan's equaliser in the 81st minute in a hard-fought contest.

Alexandre Pato sealed a thrilling win for the Rossoneri in stoppage time, leaving Fiorentina reeling not for the first time this season.

Speaking to, Huntelaar said: “I am happy for my goal, but above all for the points that the team managed to get today.

“I have now got six goals this season and I would like to keep up this pace,” he concluded.

Huntelaar has found it tough to hold down a regular first team berth at Milan since his move from Real Madrid in the summer.

There were reports that he might leave the club in the January transfer window, but Adriano Galliani ultimately decided to keep him.

Milan are now second in Serie A, just four points behind League leaders Inter.

Leonardo: 'Viola deserved penalty'
24.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo admits “Fiorentina deserved a penalty,” but says the referee let play continue because they still had the ball.

Milan's 2-1 victory in Florence was decided by two late goals from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Alexandre Pato.

When it was still 1-1, Riccardo Montolivo appeared to be tripped by Thiago Silva and play continued for Keirrison to bring a desperate save out of Christian Abbiati.

“In all honesty, I have heard the opinions of many people involved and must admit Fiorentina deserved a penalty,” confessed Leonardo.

“However, the referee clearly played the advantage. The foul on Montolivo was there, but Roberto Rosetti let play continue because Keirrison had the ball.”

Regardless of that incident, Fiorentina generally dominated the match and had a deserved lead for most of it through Alberto Gilardino.

“We struggled a great deal in the first half with a Fiorentina side that started well. The Viola were piling on the pressure and our midfielders had no space.

“After the break with character and hunger we managed to bring home the result. Aside from tactics, it was spirit that got us this victory.

“Abbiati, Ronaldinho and Pato were decisive, but Mathieu Flamini also played a great game.”

Milan are now in second place and only four points adrift of leaders Inter. That means that aside from the two head-to-heads, both won by the Nerazzurri, Milan have done better than their rivals this season.

Dzeko would cost EUR 40m
24.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko will apparently cost Milan €40m if they decide to sign him this summer.

The Rossoneri are long-time admirers of Dzeko and even tried to buy him last summer only for Wolfsburg to insist that they didn't need to sell the Bosnia international.

There have been reports that Milan negotiated an option to sign Dzeko at the end of this season, but they remain unconfirmed.

Speaking to Tutto Mercato Web, an agent who apparently represents Dzeko, said: “Every day you read about 'bombshells' on the market, but for now it has stopped, also because the clubs have to see what they will do next year.

“They cannot plan their futures in February. They plan a little later. One thing has been noted, though. Milan like Dzeko as do many other teams, but the player's value has increased.

“Edin is now worth €40m,” the agent concluded.

Dzeko has scored 10 goals in 23 appearances for Wolfsburg so far this season.

Serie A: Fiorentina 1:2 AC Milan - match report
24.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Gilardino 14 (F), Huntelaar 81 (M), Pato 92 (M)

Alexandre Pato's stoppage-time strike gave Milan an undeserved 2-1 win in Florence, especially as the Viola were denied a penalty.

This tie was snowed off on December 19 and rescheduled for February 24. The Rossoneri knew a victory would put them within four points of leaders Inter and recapture second place from Roma. The Viola had amassed just one win and a draw from their last six Serie A games.

Adrian Mutu continued his suspension for failing a drugs test, joining the injured Alessandro Gamberini and Mario Alberto Santana. Milan missed Clarence Seedorf, Amantino Mancini, Gianluca Zambrotta, Luca Antonini and Oguchi Onyewu.

A Milan corner caused problems immediately, as the defence had to clear a dangerous Andrea Pirlo strike. Seconds later Alberto Gilardino's header from a corner was smothered.

Marco Borriello's effort was deflected for another corner, as both sides came out fighting for this match. Juan Manuel Vargas thumped the side-netting and Stevan Jovetic failed to make the most of a defensive error.

Fiorentina took the lead after 14 minutes. It was an odd goal, as Vargas got to the byline and pulled back for a scuffed Jovetic shot, which turned into an accidental assist for Gilardino from five yards. He was kept in play by a Milan defender.

Sebastien Frey punched away a Ronaldinho free kick to anticipate Thiago Silva, while Abbiati plucked a Riccardo Montolivo set play off the line.

Massimo Ambrosini was suffering from muscular problems and limping heavily, which only encouraged Fiorentina to push forward even more. Alessandro Nesta was fortunate to charge down Gilardino's clear shot on goal.

Milan were struggling badly at the Stadio Franchi and Mathieu Flamini replaced the limping Ambrosini.

Flamini made the difference in another way, as his daisy-cutter from the edge of the box clipped the outside of the post on the stroke of half-time.

Fiorentina introduced Massimo Gobbi for Cesare Natali, but Alexandre Pato nearly scored with a razor-sharp cross-shot that flashed all the way across the face of goal and skimmed the far upright.

Abbiati had his gloves stung by a Vargas screamer, but Fiorentina were visibly beginning to tire.

Milan again threatened, as Marco Borriello just failed to get clean contact on another Pato cross from the right and Pirlo couldn't bundle in the follow-up. Moments later 'The Duck' was sent through only to blast over the bar.

A corner fell to Ronaldinho at the back post, but he didn't notice and was too slow to react.

Abbiati did very well to slap Marco Marchionni's cross off the foot of substitute Keirrison, after Marek Jankulovski's error at the byline.

A wayward Vargas shot turned into an assist for Marchionni at the back post, but he ballooned over. The linesman saved his blushes, as he was offside.

Abbiati got down to block a Montolivo snapshot and Leonardo threw on Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in a desperate bid to create some scoring opportunities.

It worked, as 'The Hunter' exchanged passes with Ronaldinho on the edge of the box for a precise angled drive between Frey and the near post. Huntelaar had only been on the field for under five minutes, but Marco Donadel has to share some of the responsibility for giving the ball away cheaply.

Fiorentina fought back and had penalty appeals for Montolivo's slalom in the box cut short by a Thiago Silva trip, but it fell to Keirrison who forced Abbiati's incredible save from point-blank range.

Moments later Vargas unleashed a screamer from distance that appeared to get Abbiati out of position, but he twisted in the air to punch it out from the top corner with his trailing arm.

In stoppages Ignazio Abate risked scoring an own goal, which left Abbiati rather irritated.

However, at the end of a poor performance from Milan, Pato earned a shock 2-1 victory at the 92nd minute! Ronaldinho pounced on Per Kroldrup's error in the box and chipped the cross for Pato, whose shot went through Frey's legs from eight yards!

Fiorentina: Frey; De Silvestri, Kroldrup, Natali (Gobbi 46), Felipe; Montolivo, Donadel, Vargas; Marchionni, Jovetic (Zanetti 59); Gilardino (Keirrison 62)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Bonera (Jankulovski 65); Gattuso (Huntelaar 76), Pirlo, Ambrosini (Flamini 32); Pato, Borriello, Ronaldinho

Ref: Rosetti

You can watch match highlights on Free Soccer Highlights.

Leonardo will be supporting Chelsea
23.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Leonardo insists he will be supporting Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea against Inter on Wednesday in the Champions League.

The Brazilian succeeded Ancelotti at Milan and still counts him as a mentor, having worked with him at the club in his former role as a director.

“I am very tied to Ancelotti. I have been one of his partners in crime for a long time,” Leonardo explained.

“I support Carlo, but nothing more. If an Italian side goes through, we will all be happy, but it could always be Fiorentina who pass the round together with us…

“It's not a special kind of support against Inter, it really isn't.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow's clash with Fiorentina in Serie A, Leonardo said: “Fiorentina raise their game a lot when they play in gala situations and they have done very well in the Champions League.

“I expect the big-match Fiorentina to turn up.”

Asked about the polemic regarding Inter, the Brazilian replied: “I don't want to get involved not because I don't want to express my opinion but because any opinion that comes from outside of Inter lacks information.

“Above all, I believe that it's difficult for anyone to close a title race. Inter remain the most equipped team and that has been shown in the fact that during their negative period three draws arrived and not defeats.”

Galliani tells Mourinho to calm down
22.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has urged Jose Mourinho, as well as other Serie A Coaches and Presidents, to reduce their criticism of referees.

Galliani, who is also the President of the Lega Calcio, feels recent talk has gone too far and cannot be accepted.

“Controversies have been too heated in calcio recently,” noted Galliani.

“I am the Lega President because 17 out 19 clubs this year wanted me to do it. I just want everybody to avoid unnecessary gestures which can potentially enflame the crowd.

“I have never seen such a heated crowd like the one in the Derby for instance.

“This is not an attack on Mourinho, there is no attack. I am just hoping everyone would reduce their criticism because it is no good. I am not trying to call for censorship.”

Regarding Serie A, Galliani said he doesn't really know whether his team can challenge Inter for the title.

“I don't know if the championship is still open. Five points are not too many for Roma but Inter have been leading for a long time.

“We will see after our game against Fiorentina on Wednesday night whether we can get closer to them.”

'Berlusconi made peace with Leo'
22.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has revealed how Silvio Berlusconi called Leonardo before yesterday's match to make peace.

Berlusconi heavily criticised Milan's performance against Manchester United last Tuesday and appeared to imply that the club's management wasn't doing it's job properly.

Leonardo then told Berlusconi via a Press Conference that if he wanted to sack him, he wouldn't stand in his way.

“Berlusconi has never meant to attack Leonardo. Simply, during a political dinner in front of some senators who said: 'buy this, buy that', Berlusconi replied: 'we have a very good team, if only the players played well.'

“This comment has been exaggerated, it seemed like an attack on our Coach, but it wasn't one. I have spoken with the President. He has also spoken with Leonardo. The incident, if there ever was one, is absolutely over.

“Leonardo has confirmed who he is: a free man and he will continue to be one. His reaction derived from the fact that Berlusconi didn't manage to speak with me or with Leonardo until Sunday morning,” he concluded.

Leonardo: 'AC Milan were perfect!'
21.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo felt it was a “perfect” performance from Milan and focused on his rapport with the squad rather than President Silvio Berlusconi.

“Tonight it was perfect in terms of tactics and psychological approach. It was difficult to face Bari on their own turf, as they always trouble teams here,” he said of the 2-0 victory.

“We kept possession and managed to control the tempo, causing Bari many problems, so it was a complete performance from my squad.

“Ronaldinho knows how to wait for the right moment to do damage and that's what he did tonight, as we saw very effectively.”

Marco Borriello opened the scoring with a sensational volley, a rather familiar sight this season from the striker.

“Borriello only seems to score spectacular volleys now! I have a great rapport with the players and Marco is perhaps having his best season, better even than at Genoa. He is maturing with a real step up in quality.

“In life there is a reason for everything. This team knows how to do its work, the issue is each day finding out why. We all have our stories, just look at Christian Abbiati recalled after so many injuries and he saves a penalty.”

After the 3-2 defeat to Manchester United, President Berlusconi criticised his Coach, prompting Leonardo to say he would step aside if he wasn't wanted.

“I don't need to say anything to the President. I just focus on the team and always have done. This is a marvellous experience for me personally, all the rest counts for little in my eyes.

“I took this job with great passion and want to take Milan higher because they deserve it. They have won everything there is to win, but each day manage to surprise me with something new.

“The team believes strongly in its ideas and is building solid foundations with that certainty. That is how they emerge from difficult moments and it's wonderful to see.”

Serie A: Bari 0:2 AC Milan - match report
21.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Borriello 43 (M), Pato 69 (M)

Fine volleys from Marco Borriello and Alexandre Pato revived Milan and sent Bari crashing to their first home defeat since September, while Christian Abbiati saved a penalty.

The wounded Rossoneri stepped into the San Nicola after their 3-2 defeat to Manchester United midweek, a result that prompted Leonardo to offer his resignation if President Silvio Berlusconi wasn't happy. Nelson Dida, David Beckham and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar were dropped, while Marco Borriello returned from an injury lay-off. Clarence Seedorf and Gianluca Zambrotta were sidelined.

Bari were flying high and had already taken points off Inter and Juventus here this season. Andrea Ranocchia, Alessandro Parisi, Mariano Donda, Vitalii Kutuzov, Pisano, Antonio Langella and Kamata were sidelined, but Paulo Vitor Barreto returned from suspension.

An Ignazio Abate cross from the right was flicked on for Massimo Ambrosini to fire over from the edge of the box.

Jean-Francois Gillet got down to smother an Alexandre Pato free kick, then the Brazilian's cross only glanced past Borriello's head in the centre. Abate's cross-shot floated just over the far top corner.

Bari had penalty appeals on 26 minutes for Daniele Bonera's push on Barreto, but the referee waved play on. It looked to be a pretty decent shout.

Borriello's diving header was wide of the near post from Bonera's cross, while an acrobatic Andrea Masiello clearance stopped Borriello pulling the trigger in the D.

Bari lost Riccardo Meggiorini to an injury, so he made way for Fernando Sforzini just 33 minutes in.

The home side had a great chance soon after. Abbiati came flying off his line to push Massimo Donati's slide-rule pass off the feet of Edgar Alvarez and the follow-up was wide, but the flag had already been raised at that point.

Milan also had their best opportunity. Salvatore Masiello kept Borriello in play from an Andrea Pirlo through ball and the angled drive beat Gillet, but not Leonardo Bonucci, who performed the crucial goalline clearance.

The deadlock was broken before half-time with another magnificent goal from Borriello. The striker has shown a tendency to net acrobatic efforts this season and he got away from his marker to smack a left-foot volley in at the near post from Ronaldinho's ball over the top.

In first half stoppages an Emmanuel Rivas cross-shot skimmed the bar, but he clattered into Abate during the move and required treatment.

After the break Masiello read the play very well to intercept Ronaldinho's pass, as it would've sent Borriello clear on goal. Pato drilled wide from another Dinho assist, while Donati flashed a shot across the face of goal.

Barreto earned a free kick right on the edge of the box and he took it himself for Abbiati to flap it out from under the crossbar. The corner was not cleared effectively, so three Bari players had shots charged down in quick succession.

Donati wasted a good opportunity when he hesitated in the D and lost his moment.

Moments later Milan doubled their lead. Ronaldinho skipped past a defender down the left and his cross-shot stung Gillet's palms, eventually falling to Pato's volley from 12 yards.

Borriello limped off with that calf problem still causing him pain, allowing Pippo Inzaghi some rare playing time, while Beckham replaced Gennaro Gattuso.

The game looked to be coming to an end, but Pato showed he is a striker and not a defender by mistiming his tackle on Salvatore Masiello. Barreto stepped up for the penalty, but Abbiati guessed the right corner and palmed it off the line with one strong hand.

Bari: Gillet; Belmonte, A Masiello, Bonucci, S Masiello; Alvarez, Gazzi, Donati, Rivas (Almiron 62); Meggiorini (Sforzini 33), Barreto

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Bonera (Jankulovski 68); Gattuso (Beckham 81), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Pato, Borriello (Inzaghi 72), Ronaldinho

Ref: Gava

Missed penalty: Barreto 89 (B)

You can watch match highlights on Free Soccer Highlights.

Leonardo: 'If AC Milan want, I'll step aside'
20.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo has offered to resign if Milan President Silvio Berlusconi is unhappy with his work. “If he wants, I will step aside.”

The 3-2 Champions League defeat to Manchester United prompted the patron to suggest “Milan have everything possible to win something, but only if they let the players play well.”

This caused speculation Leo would be sacked if things did not improve radically, but he is taking matters into his own hands.

“Our agreement was very clear,” insisted Leonardo in today’s Press conference.

“The plans were laid down and I have no problems. If the President wants, I will step aside. All I need is the word.

“I have been here for 13 years in one role or another, so I’d have no problem terminating the contract. I would never allow this club to pay for two Coaches at once.

“In order to keep going forward, we need the most important thing: calm. For now I am focusing only on the squad.

“I remain relaxed, although I know these rumours cannot do the team any good. It’s not harming them either, as it’s a mature group of players, but I’d prefer to avoid this sort of thing.”

The loss to Manchester United was the peak in a series of poor results for the Rossoneri, who since the derby have won only one game in all competition.

“We have to stand up for these lads. They did something exceptional by playing extraordinary football for a long period of time.

“Truth be told, we played better against United than we had done recently. Unfortunately we were defeated, but I think these games should be analysed logically.

“From Tuesday’s loss, we are actually more convinced of our capabilities.”

Leo has called up January signing Dominic Adiyiah for the first time, while Marco Borriello is back in action.

Absent due to injury are Luca Antonini, Mathieu Flamini, Kakha Kaladze, Amantino Mancini, Clarence Seedorf, Gianluca Zambrotta and Oguchi Onyewu.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Dida, Roma; Abate, Bonera, Favalli, Jankulovski, Nesta, Oddo, Thiago Silva; Ambrosini, Beckham, Gattuso, Pirlo; Adiyiah, Borriello, Huntelaar, Inzaghi, Pato, Ronaldinho.

Galliani: 'I'm staying with AC Milan'
20.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani “categorically” denied reports he is set to leave Milan and take over at either Juventus or Real Madrid.

The story appeared in the Riformista newspaper and caused shockwaves, as Galliani has been general manager or Vice-President since Silvio Berlusconi bought the club in the 1980s.

“I categorically deny the report in the Riformista related to my possible ‘transfer’ to Juventus or Real Madrid,” he announced.

“I also deny the theory that some read into this story, suggesting a non-existent problem in my rapport with President Berlusconi.

“We have been tied together by affection and respect for over 30 years.”

The story of Galliani’s possible departure emerged after rumours that Coach Leonardo would soon be axed.

Milan are struggling for form at the moment and lost 3-2 to Manchester United in the Champions League.

Galliani close to AC Milan exit
20.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is considering a move to Juventus, according to Il Riformista.

Galliani's relationship with Silvio Berlusconi, the Rossoneri's owner, is said to have reached an all-time low.

Berlusconi gave Galliani a public dressing down earlier this month for his decision to sign Amantino Mancini from Inter.

He considered the transfer to be 'useless' given Milan's need for a striker and a set of full-backs.

Galliani is also apparently upset with Berlusconi's reaction to Tuesday's defeat at home to Manchester United.

Berlusconi said that Milan have everything possible to win the Champions League, but only if the players are deployed correctly.

Il Riformista understands Galliani is now reflecting on the prospect of approaching Juventus as the Turin giants look to rebuild at board level following a disappointing season.

Galliani has been with Milan since the very start of the Berlusconi revolution in 1986.

He is inextricably linked with the club and effectively runs it while Berlusconi concentrates on his duties as Italy's Prime Minister.

Leonardo set for AC Milan chop?
20.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Italian media are speculating that Milan may opt for a change of Coach in the summer after Silvio Berlusconi criticised Leonardo.

The Rossoneri owner was left disappointed with the club’s showing in the Champions League on Tuesday when they lost 3-2 to Manchester United at San Siro.

And after also blasting the decision to sign Amantino Mancini in January, a player Leo had no objection to, the tactician’s future is apparently in doubt.

Reports in Italy on Friday morning are already naming possible candidates to replace the inexperienced South American at the end of the season.

Former Holland and Ajax boss Marco Van Basten, who was a favourite of Berlusconi during his time at the club as a player, is being associated.

Another name is Massimiliano Allegri who, despite financial restraints, has got Cagliari playing some of the best football in the land.

Allegri, though, is also understood to be a possible target for Juventus and Fiorentina should they appoint new bosses for 2010-11.

Leonardo was reportedly close to the chop earlier in the campaign after the club’s poor pre-season was followed by a sluggish opening to the term.

However, Milan made it through to the knock-out stages of the Champions League and are currently third in the table after a hot streak of form.

Berlusconi: 'If only AC Milan had played better'
18.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi believes his side could have beaten Manchester United if they had been allowed to play properly.

The Rossoneri took an early lead at San Siro only to end up losing 3-2 after a brace from Wayne Rooney.

“Milan are a great team… But only if they allow the players to play properly,” Berlusconi reportedly said during a dinner reception.

“Even this year Milan have everything possible to win something, but only if they let the players play well.”

Berlusconi has recently been critical of the club's management.

He expressed his dissatisfaction at Milan's decision to sign Amantino Mancini from Inter in the January transfer window, calling it a 'useless' piece of business.

Borriello back for Bari - AC Milan
18.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have received a much-needed boost as Marco Borriello has declared himself fit for Sunday's difficult trip to Bari.

The 27-year-old has been suffering with a problem in his lower back, which caused him to miss Tuesday's Champions League clash with Manchester United at San Siro.

Many feel that Borriello would have made a more telling impact against United than his replacement Klaas-Jan Huntelaar who's performance has been heavily criticised.

The former Genoa striker has scored seven goals in 14 starting appearances for the Rossoneri this season, but his ability to hold the ball up and bring others in play is what Milan really missed two days ago.

“I'll be back on Sunday. It's unusual for footballers to have this kind of problem, but it happened to me,” Borriello told ANSA.

Milan are looking to bounce back following their 3-2 defeat to United.

However, 10th placed Bari will be no pushovers, having held Inter and beaten Juventus already this season.

Van Basten defends Huntelaar
18.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Marco Van Basten has defended Klaas-Jan Huntelaar after his woeful performance against Manchester United.

The 26-year-old Holland international was roundly criticised for doing little but miss a chance that could have made the game 2-0 in Milan's favour.

Instead, they lost 3-2 and United now have one foot in the Champions League Quarter-Finals.

Leonardo eventually brought Huntelaar off after 77 minutes to a chorus of boos.

“I don't know why he was substituted,” Van Basten said. “Inzaghi is a great player but you cannot forget that he will soon turn 37.

“You cannot focus on him for the future. Klaas is 10 years younger. Even if he made some mistakes, I would have left him on the pitch.

“There are games that a player needs in order to feel confident and part of the team. It happens above all when the games are important and the opponents strong.

“Klaas is a good striker, but he can't work miracles by himself,” Van Basten concluded.

We have to believe, says Thiago Silva
17.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan centre-back Thiago Silva says his team-mates have to believe they can qualify for the next round of the Champions League.

The Rossoneri were perhaps a little unfortunate to lose 3-2 at home to Manchester United last night in the first leg of their second round tie.

“I saw the team play well in the first half. We could have scored more goals, but football is unbelievable,” Silva explained.

“We hope to change this situation in the second leg at Old Trafford. We have to believe in ourselves because it's not over.

“A team that shoots five times and scores three goals like United did this evening is not difficult to beat.

“Milan play better than the Red Devils and we have to go to Manchester to turn the tie around, trying to stay calm,” he concluded.

AC Milan can do it, says Kaka
17.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid midfielder Ricky Kaka believes former club Milan can still reach the Champions League Quarter-Finals despite last night's defeat to Man United.

The Rossoneri took an early lead through Ronaldinho and should have increased their advantage before half-time.

However, Paul Scholes equalised somewhat fortuitously for United just before the interval, changing the complexion of the game entirely.

Wayne Rooney then scored a brace before Clarence Seedorf managed to back heel a Ronaldinho cross beyond Edwin Van der Sar. It ended 3-2 to United.

Speaking after Madrid's surprising 1-0 defeat in Lyon, Kaka said: “I am sorry for my former team-mates, for the fans, for Leonardo, but it's not over.

“Qualification for the next round is decided over two legs. The first is over. Now they have to go to Manchester to play the second leg at Old Trafford, even if it will be difficult.”

Seedorf: 'Manchester United have limitations'
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf believes Milan can turn this tie around if they can only be more clinical. “Manchester United have limitations.”

The Rossoneri's qualification for the Champions League quarter-finals is hanging by a thread after their 3-2 home defeat.

“We saw what Milan achieved over 90 minutes, now we'll need to dominate out there in terms of possession, creating as many chances as we did tonight and hopefully being more clinical,” insisted Seedorf.

“That was the only thing we were missing, as the first half was spectacular. United showed tonight they have limitations and we must make more of them.

“We put United under pressure and they struggled. When they are not in control, they have problems, so I don't see why we cannot win at Old Trafford.”

Seedorf was on the bench, but came on to score a late backheel flick that leaves the tie at least slightly within reach.

“I am still recovering from a hip injury and Leonardo made his choice. The team did very well, these are special games, but the side played an excellent first half.

“I always say we have to go there and attack them, to really hurt them, which is something we can do better. I think we will have that grit in the second leg, as we were lacking that for a while tonight.”

Rooney scored two goals in eight minutes and during that spell Milan appeared to have lost all confidence.

“I don't want to talk about those minutes, as they did not represent our performance,” maintained Seedorf.

“We did so much well and created many chances. United had five shots on goal and scored three of them. That says everything.

“United made some incredible mistakes, but they can play this way because they know that they have Rooney who can get them out of trouble.”

Beckham voices San Siro regrets
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham rues Milan's finishing and reiterates he “will always be a Manchester United supporter.”

The England star faced his former club for the first time since leaving in 2003 and was in the starting XI for this 3-2 defeat.

“It was a great atmosphere, a full stadium and my first time against Manchester United,” he told Sky Italia.

“Of course it was United, the team I played for for many years and will always be my number one team.

“Obviously I wanted Milan to win tonight and it's disappointing, but of course I will always be a Manchester United supporter.

“We did really well in the first half and if we'd have scored a couple when we had the chances, it would've been a different game.

“Unfortunately, when you're playing against a side like Manchester United, you need to take your chances.”

Ronaldinho had given Milan an early lead, but Paul Scholes equalised with a lucky deflection.

Wayne Rooney then netted two headers, but Clarence Seedorf's late backheel flick left a slight door open for qualification.

“In the first half particularly we played very well. Obviously when you are playing against Manchester United and Rooney, who can score any minute of the game, it's difficult.

“We came up against a very good team tonight, but the goal Clarence got makes it possible. We'll see.”

Ferguson admits result was harsh
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sir Alex Ferguson admits Manchester United “did not deserve to be level at half-time” and won't assume they have already eliminated Milan.

The 3-2 victory at San Siro marked the end of a taboo that meant United had never won here or even scored a goal in their previous four visits.

“The way I saw the game was the goal Milan scored meant we took 20 minutes to get our composure back,” he said of Ronaldinho's early opener.

“It was a good start for them in front of their home fans in a packed stadium and it took a long time for us to get going again.”

When Paul Scholes did make it 1-1 going into the break, it was a very fortunate goal that went in off his trailing leg after missing the shot.

“I don't think we deserved to be level at half-time, but we were, and then we did much better in the second half.”

Wayne Rooney bagged a brace of headers, a rare type of goal for the England star.

“Rooney is improving all the time, his form this season is fantastic and he's one of the best players in the world right now.”

Milan would now have to win at least 2-0 at Old Trafford in order to re-open the tie.

Nonetheless, Ferguson will not hear talk of United already being in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

“A game of football has always got risks. The important thing is for us to play at our level, we won't think we're through for a minute and we want to win at Old Trafford.”

Leonardo: 'This is not over'
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo insists, “This tie is not finished. Going to Manchester for a 2-0 victory is to be considered a normal ambition for Milan.”

The Rossoneri were beaten 3-2 at San Siro after having taken the lead a couple of minutes in through Ronaldinho.

“It's not finished. Tonight we proved that when we play our game, we caused Manchester United a lot of problems,” insisted Leonardo.

“There was a portion of the match when we struggled and they scored two goals. The first half could easily have ended 3-0 for Milan.

“We conceded in a bizarre fashion with Paul Scholes' trailing leg at a moment when Luca Antonini was off injured.

“We were superior in large swathes of the game, but when we took a breather Manchester United made the most of it. When they played well, they took their chances, whereas we created so much and only scored twice.”

The Coach has regrets at the way Milan let in two goals in quick succession from Wayne Rooney.

“It's a shame we didn't go into the break ahead, especially conceding in that way, as it affected us psychologically. A team cannot dominate for 90 minutes against a side like Manchester United, that is natural.

“The fact we were in control in the first half led to a slight wavering in the tempo we had set. If we had made more of our domination in the first half, it would've been a very different game.

“United were not playing better when they scored their second goal, it was an incident that changed everything.

“We had more chances at the end with Ronaldinho and Inzaghi, but did not reap what we sowed in terms of performance. We only scored two and deserved much more, while we did not deserve to let in three.”

The second leg at Old Trafford could seem like a mere formality, but Leonardo believes his men can turn this around.

“The team played very well and I don't this is finished at all. Going to Manchester for a 2-0 victory is to be considered a normal ambition for Milan.”

Champions League: AC Milan 2:3 Manchester United - match report
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ronaldinho 3 (Mi), Scholes 37 (MU), Rooney 66, 74 (MU), Seedorf 85 (Mi)

Milan failed to take their chances and paid the price, as Wayne Rooney's brace gave Manchester United a 3-2 victory at San Siro. It's a result that leaves their qualification hopes hanging by a thread.

David Beckham faced his former club for the first time since leaving in the summer of 2003, so emotions were running high. Marco Borriello was injured, but Alexandre Pato, Alessandro Nesta and Thiago Silva recovered to start. Manchester United had Rio Ferdinand back in action, but Ryan Giggs and Nemanja Vidic were out. Wayne Rooney was picked as the lone striker.

The Rossoneri had won all of their two-leg meetings with United, qualifying in 1957-58, '68-69, 2004-05 and the 2006-07 semi-finals. In those four visits to San Siro, United had always lost without scoring a goal. Recent Serie A form had been poor, but last Friday a 3-2 victory over Udinese ended their run of one point from three official games.

After just two minutes, Milan had taken the lead at a packed-out San Siro! Beckham swept a free kick in from distance, Patrice Evra tried to acrobatically clear, but it turned into a looping assist for Ronaldinho's right-foot volley from 16 yards. It took a deflection off Michael Carrick on its way past a stranded Edwin Van der Sar.

Dinho has scored in three of Milan's last four Champions League games, but hadn't netted from open play in this competition for over two years.

Pato spread the play for Ronaldinho, whose angled drive was smothered by Van der Sar. Luca Antonini then went close, as he ran on to Ronaldinho's through ball to cut back between two United shirts and drill inches wide of the near post.

However, there was a scare when Nelson Dida fumbled a Nani corner. Daniele Bonera's sliding tackle was perfectly timed to close down Park in the area.

Ronaldinho pounced on a defensive error to go one-on-one with Rio Ferdinand with a series of step-overs and fell on the edge of the box, but the referee did not award a free kick.

Wayne Rooney's first contribution was after 19 minutes, when he unleashed a sudden snapshot that whistled wide of the upright. Bonera, who was out of Milan's Champions League squad for the first half of the season due to injury, performed another strong tackle and accidentally got kicked in the head twice by Rooney for his trouble.

Huntelaar got on the end of a poor clearance, as Evra deflected the shot out for a corner. Moments later the Dutchman was sent clear through the middle and flashed his finish across the face of goal from the D.

Nani fell when he tried to lean back on Antonelli and found no purchase, half-heartedly asking for a penalty.

Manchester United scored with a stroke of luck, their first ever goal at San Siro. Scholes had completely missed the low Fletcher cross from the right, but it hit his trailing leg and deflected in off the inside of the far post. Scholes also scored the equaliser against Inter here on March 17 1999, meaning he is the only Champions League player to have netted against both clubs at San Siro.

During that move, Antonini went down with a thigh strain and made way for Giuseppe Favalli.

Ronaldinho suddenly squirmed between two defenders and hit a rocket that Van der Sar beat away with difficulty, but Pato was unable to get on the end of it. The goalkeeper did well, as it bounced right in front of him.

Beckham curled a free kick over the bar and Rooney was booked for dissent. Thiago Silva's cross flashed all the way across the face of goal with Pato just failing to make contact.

After the restart Pato nodded Favalli's cross just over the bar from nine yards. Andrea Pirlo hit an absolute screamer of a free kick from 35 metres out that Van der Sar fingertipped out from the far top corner of the net.

Pirlo's through ball only grazed Pato's boot in front of the goalkeeper, while Rooney's counter was deflected well wide.

On the hour mark Ronaldinho curled a fierce shot towards the far bottom corner that Van der Sar palmed round the post.

Rooney had another counter and Dida smothered the shot and Luis Valencia replaced Nani, which proved to be a key moment in the game.

Manchester United had been more solid in the second half and Rooney turned the game around completely. He backed off Bonera to get on the end of substitute Valencia's cross from the right, sending a looping header into the far top corner. It was his 24th of the season in all competition, a new personal best.

Milan have not won a single home game in Europe this season, a poor record that was behind their runner-up spot in the qualifying group behind Real Madrid.

Ronaldinho tested Van der Sar, while Clarence Seedorf replaced Beckham. Rooney drilled wide and doubled his tally, as Milan visibly fell to pieces with their confidence evaporating.

Rooney sprung the offside trap between the static centre-backs to nod a Fletcher chipped cross in from seven yards.

Pippo Inzaghi replaced Huntelaar for the final 13 minutes, but by this stage the belief had gone from the Rossoneri.

Substitute Seedorf brought some back five minutes from time with a spectacular goal. Ronaldinho made it down the left and crossed low for Seedorf for a backheel flick from seven yards. It was the Dutchman's first Champions League goal since Shakhtar in October 2007 on a record 40th knockout appearance.

It suddenly woke Milan up and moments later Inzaghi blasted over from the edge of the box. Ronaldinho knocked down a Bonera cross for Massimo Ambrosini, whose shot was deflected wide. From the corner Nesta rose above the crowd for a header wide.

It was too little, too late from Leonardo's side, who visibly stopped playing for 20 minutes before this late burst of confidence.

In stoppages Carrick received a second yellow card for kicking the ball away. He will be suspended for the second leg at Old Trafford.

Milan: Dida; Bonera, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini (Favalli 38); Beckham (Seedorf 72), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Pato, Huntelaar (Inzaghi 77), Ronaldinho

Manchester United: Van der Sar; Rafael (Brown 92), Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Nani (Valencia 64), Fletcher, Carrick, Scholes, Park; Rooney

Ref: Benquerenca (Por)

Sent off: Carrick 93 (MU)

You can watch match highlights on Free Soccer Highlights.

80.000 expected at San Siro
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

San Siro is sold out with 80,000 fans expected to watch Milan play Manchester United live this evening.

Il Corriere dello Sport understands that Milan have cashed a record €3,763,560 in gate receipts for the first leg of the Champions League second round clash.

Both Milan derbies this year weren't as successful at attracting as many fans.

Around 300 journalists from across the world have been accredited together with 90 photographers.

The match will apparently be shown live in 50 different countries.

Nearly 4,000 United fans will gather in San Siro's third ring.

Italy Prime Minister and Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi is also expected to be in attendance.

AC Milan tempted by Diego Alves
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are looking to resolve their problems between the sticks with a bid for Almeria goalkeeper Diego Alves.

The 24-year-old Brazilian - who has an Italian passport - is also attracting interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

He has a contract until 2012, which includes a release clause worth €15m, but the talented gloveman should go for much cheaper in the summer.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Madrid have offered €5m for Alves as they look to replace Jerzy Dudek, the club's stand-in keeper.

However, Milan's affinity with Brazilian players and the promise of regular first team football is said to work in their favour.

The Rossoneri have a headache though before they decide to reinforce in the goalkeeping department.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has to make a decision on the futures of Marco Storari, who is currently on loan at Sampdoria, and Christian Abbiati.

Alves is also said to interest Fiorentina, Genoa and Samp.

Lippi: 0-0 would be perfect for AC Milan
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italy boss Marcello Lippi believes Milan would do well to hold Manchester United to a stalemate at San Siro this evening.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Lippi said: “In these matches home advantage doesn't count. That's why Leonardo's side first of all has to hope that it doesn't concede a goal. A 0-0 would suit Milan well. Then again, if they were to finish 1-0 up it would be a triumph.

“Pato's speed can make the difference, but with Nesta on the pitch Leonardo's side has always won. It's not a coincidence. Nesta can hold the Rooney hurricane in check.

“Credit should also go to Leonardo who has created 'good vibes' around Ronaldinho. The Brazilian had problems of a psychological nature, not technical.

“It's a shame Borriello won't be there. But there will be other important Italians: Pirlo and Ambrosini are having a great spell of form. A wonderful Pirlo free kick could help sink this United.”

Asked about United's chances, Lippi replied: “Ferguson's work is worth more than any other champion. Rooney is the danger, that's right. But keep an eye on Scholes. He is the spirit of Manchester together with the injured Giggs.”

Arrigo Sacchi expects Pato to be crucial
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arrigo Sacchi believes Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato will be absolutely crucial to Milan chances of beating Manchester United this evening.

The 20-year-old only recently returned from a muscle injury, but got back on the score sheet immediately, finding the net against Udinese on Friday.

He is expected to lead the Rossoneri up front together with Ronaldinho and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Writing in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Sacchi opined: “If I were the Milan Coach, I would ask the players to remain compact and narrow to shore up the defensive phase with marking, doubling up and pressing, and also to get a bit of ball possession to break the English side's rhythm.

“I would advise the players not to face up to United in every part of the pitch, but to wait for them in the middle and attack them here, launching electrifying counterattacks, exploiting Pato's pace.

“Then they also need to attack without unbalancing themselves in order to avoid the same sneaky counterattacks from Rooney and Co.”

Sir Alex Ferguson: Inter stronger than AC Milan
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has begun the Champions League mind games with Milan by claiming they are not as strong as Inter.

Nerazzurri boss Jose Mourinho commented in recent days that his former team Chelsea were 'clearly' stronger than United in this season's Premier League race.

Ferguson has decided to respond by complementing Mourinho's side, in a potential mind game sent towards the Milan coach Leonardo.

“Inter are stronger than Milan,” said the Scottish manager.

“I saw the last derby and Inter were fantastic, with a truly massive squad and have made vast improvements.”

However, Ferguson did point towards the experience of the Rossoneri squad as Tuesday's opponent's main strength.

“Milan have excellent players, many have already won the European Cup and have experience you can't buy,” added the 68-year-old.

“This is a great advantage - I would say Milan's main one.”

Ferguson also moved to dismiss rumours of a summer move away from Old Trafford for Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic, a reported target of Milan.

“Of course we want him to stay,” said the former Aberdeen boss.

“He is a great player, one of the best centre-backs in the world.”

“Our players are the subject of speculation from time to time. You just have to deal with it.”

Leonardo: 'United are a test for anyone'
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Leonardo hasn't underestimated the threat posed by Manchester United, insisting that the Premier League champions are a test for anyone.

United are due at San Siro tomorrow evening for the first leg of their Champions League second round tie.

The Red Devils have never beaten Milan in four visits to Italy. The last time the two sides met came in 2007 when the Rossoneri won 3-0, booking their place in the Champions League Final against Liverpool, a final they won.

Speaking at a pre-match Press Conference, Leonardo said: “This team is rounded with a little of the old and a little of the new.”

Asked to reveal which side Milan would show tomorrow, Leo replied: “That's a beautiful question. I believe that there isn't so much an old or a new Milan.

“Right now there is need of everything. We have to unite experience with quality: technique, teamwork and entertainment.

“We are under examination every day. I believe that it's a very important stage both for those who have already won something and the youngsters who have come through the ranks.

“It's an opportunity to remain at the highest level, to measure ourselves against the best. It's a test for everyone.”

Finally Leonardo turned his attention to David Beckham who faces his former club for the first time since he left Old Trafford in 2003.

Asked why Milan chose to loan Beckham for a second spell, Leonardo replied: “Because he is important. Because he is part of the club's direction. It was my decision to have him again.

“David is important in the dressing room. He has charisma. He is intelligent and a great player who can make Milan's play more compact.

“We have 180 minutes to decide who goes through. But not conceding a goal and hurting the English would be ideal,” Leonardo concluded.

Beckham wants to beat Manchester United
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder David Beckham says he will do everything to beat former club Manchester United at San Siro tomorrow evening.

The 34-year-old former England captain has never faced the Red Devils since he left Old Trafford for Real Madrid in 2003.

“It's wonderful to play here. It's important that you breathe in the atmosphere. We are ready. Always. It will be the same tomorrow. It will be difficult, but we are ready,” Beckham said.

“It will be a very emotional game for me. In seven years I have never played Manchester United, but I will do everything to make them lose.

“I repeat it will be tough but we have the right qualities to do it. They are very good. They have strong players capable of keeping the ball.

“Rooney is the key player; we can make the difference with our possession of the ball.

“Going back to Old Trafford will bring back many memories. I left when I was 27. Now I am a more mature person and a better footballer. My emotions count up until a certain point. Nothing is more important than the result.

“Two great teams are playing against each other. It's splendid to be on the pitch in these games which are rich with glamour and tradition. Losing would be a great disappointment.”

Asked to describe what he would do if he scored, Beckham replied: “If it had to happen I would not celebrate out of respect for the United fans. It's not important to me if I start.

“I only want to have a role in this match and go through to the next round.”

Vidic set to miss AC Milan game
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester United will be without Nemanja Vidic for tomorrow night's Champions League clash with Milan at San Siro.

The Serbia international has been missing since the New Year with a nerve problem in his leg and hasn't traveled with the squad.

Sir Alex Ferguson now has a selection headache with Jonny Evans and Wes Brown vying to take Vidic's place along side Ferdinand.

United will also be without Ryan Giggs after the Welshman broke his arm against Aston Villa last week.

Milan have injuries problems of their own. Marco Borriello is absent with a muscle problem in his lower back while both Alexandre Pato and Alessandro Nesta have both only recently returned from relatively long spells on the sidelines.

Vidic is a key figure in the United side, although he also missed last year's first leg against Inter through suspension.

Pato studies Manchester United in detail
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato hopes the time he has spent studying Manchester United will pay off when the two sides meet on Tuesday night.

The 20-year-old Brazilian made a successful return after over a month out on Friday night, scoring once in Milan's 3-2 victory over Udinese.

“I have a lot of desire to do my best. I have seen all the games of Ferguson's side and I would like to score a goal because it's one of those really special challenges,” Pato said.

“I feel good. I am calm and collected. We are focused on getting the victory, and we can do it. I feel great here and I want to go far with this jersey.

“If I behave well with Milan then I can hope for a call up to the national team. This is also an objective for me, just as it is for Ronaldinho,” he concluded.

Sir Alex Ferguson considers Pato to be absolutely vital to Milan's chances of winning. He has already proven decisive in the Champions League this year, scoring twice in the Rossoneri's 3-2 win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in October.

Beckham unswayed by Manchester United reunion
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham insists it “won't be a problem” facing Manchester United, although he has no expectation of starting on Tuesday.

The Milan star has been initially benched for the last two games and could be dropped in favour of the fit-again Alexandre Pato.

“I've always said I never expect to start any games here,” assured the England international.

“I started the first three or four games, obviously last week I didn't play and then came on against Udinese, but I'm not frustrated at all.”

He cannot deny this Champions League tie is no ordinary match, as he'd face Manchester United for the first time since leaving in 2003.

“Without a doubt, it's one of the biggest games for me. I've never had to do it before like this but I don't think it will be a problem,” said the lifelong United supporter.

“It's great, but this tie's not just about me going back to United or ¬playing against United. It's about Milan qualifying for the next round and that's the most important thing. I hope we do.”

The Rossoneri's game was brought forward to Friday evening to give them extra time to rest, as Manchester United did not play this weekend due to their early FA Cup exit.

“United are on fire and Wayne's ¬scoring goals like he can. It's going to be a tough game," continued Beckham.

“I've always said Wayne is one of the best goalscorers in football. He's proving that. He's at a great club and he's doing what he does best.”

There are fitness concerns over Thiago Silva, who limped off with a muscular twinge during the 3-2 victory over Udinese on Friday.

While he hopes to recover, there are even greater doubts surrounding centre-forward Marco Borriello, who still needs rest after a groin strain.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar bagged a brace and is the favourite to start, although the experience of Pippo Inzaghi in the Champions League is another option.

Sir Alex Ferguson: 'AC Milan desperately need Pato'
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sir Alex Ferguson feels Milan “desperately need Alexandre Pato,” so he doesn't expect David Beckham to face Manchester United.

The first leg of their Champions League showdown is on Tuesday evening at San Siro, so Ferguson watched the Rossoneri beat Udinese 3-2, their first win since the derby.

“Kaka has left a huge void in the squad and his absence is really felt,” the manager told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“They have been forced to change system from the diamond midfield to a 4-3-3. It worked up until Milan lost the derby, now there are signs of recovery.”

Pato had been out for two months when he made his comeback on Friday and scored a goal, but former Old Trafford hero Beckham was on the bench.

“Milan desperately need Pato. He can make the difference, if he is 100 per cent fit, as shown against Udinese.

“If Pato plays, then Beckham won't. We know everything there is to know about David and he still puts in a great cross.”

Manchester United have never succeeded in knocking Milan out of the Champions League and were soundly defeated here in 2007, before Pato had arrived.

“It will be a totally different story,” assured Sir Alex. “At the time we played on Tuesday after a tiring Sunday when we fought back from 2-0 to beat Everton 4-2.

“Milan had rested many of their stars on Saturday. This time it's the other way round and a good time to be facing Milan.

“United didn't play this weekend, Kaka has gone, they have problems and injuries. My team, on the other hand, is in great shape.”

Beckham puts AC Milan first
13.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham has said he’d miss out on playing against Manchester United. “All that matters is Milan win.”

The former Old Trafford hero has been dropped from the starting XI in the last two games and has his sights set on Tuesday’s Champions League clash.

“I am very happy at Milan and pleased to be back here,” Becks told the media after last night’s 3-2 victory over Udinese.

“This is a great squad and allows me to play at the highest level. When I arrived I knew what the situation was and my role. I’m working hard every day to be ready.”

Beckham came off the bench in the second half against Udinese, but Alexandre Pato’s comeback from injury limits his chances.

“It wouldn’t have been very important if I didn’t play against Udinese, just as it won’t be if I don’t play on Tuesday. Obviously I’d love to, but the Coach will decide.

“All that matters is Milan win and go through to the next round. It doesn’t matter how many games I play, I just want my team to be successful.

“I am disappointed that Ryan Giggs won’t be able to play on Tuesday, as he is a truly great player.”

Nesta admits World Cup plan
13.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta admits he could reconsider international retirement for the World Cup. “I spoke with Marcello Lippi. We’ll see.”

The defender hung up his Azzurri jersey soon after the 2006 World Cup when a series of injuries hampered his career.

However, he seems to be fit again and in splendid form for Milan, so for the first time admitted he is giving a comeback some thought.

“We will see how things go later on in the year,” confessed Nesta after last night’s 3-2 win over Udinese.

“I spoke with Lippi and now we’ll see how the situation evolves.”

Nesta will turn 34 in March and has one goal in 78 senior caps for the Nazionale, the most recent a 3-1 win in Georgia on October 11 2006.

Lippi has also discussed the possibility of an Italy return for Francesco Totti ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

Leonardo sees Champions League spirit
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo feels Milan had the right spirit and hunger to get back on track and prepare for Tuesday's clash with Manchester United.

“There are many positives, first of all the win. At times they come easily, others you need to earn them and this was the latter situation,” he said of the 3-2 over Udinese.

“It was very important to see our hunger to win even when there were setbacks, like conceding just before half-time.

“Alessandro Nesta put in a great performance and Alexandre Pato was back from a long injury lay-off, but has lost none of his skill and pace. There's a lot to be happy about.”

Thiago Silva and Amantino Mancini limped off in the first half, so the defender is a risk for Tuesday's Champions League match.

“We need to evaluate it, but it doesn't seem particularly serious. It's always difficult with muscles to tell right away, so we must wait a bit. It's a shame in the first half we were forced into two changes due to injuries, that didn't help our flow.”

The Rossoneri had scored one goal in their last four official games and picked up one point, so this was an important shift.

“Playing against teams who are a little more open changes the game. Recently we struggled to find space against defensive sides, whereas tonight Udinese played a bit more and that helped us too,” explained Leo.

“The fact the team started with the desire to win at all costs, that is the best thing ahead of the Champions League. This spirit has been there before, but here it was from the start and that is crucial. We'll need it against Manchester United.”

Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands of San Siro for tonight's match, but left straight after the final whistle.

“I saw Ferguson in the UEFA meeting and he was very nice to me. I wanted to meet with him again tonight, but didn't get the chance.”

Serie A: AC Milan 3:2 Udinese - match report
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Huntelaar 6, 57 (M), Pato 39 (M), Floro Flores 45 (U), Di Natale 86 (U)

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's brace and Alexandre Pato gave Milan a nervous 3-2 victory over Udinese.

This match was brought forward to Friday night so Milan could better prepare for Tuesday's Champions League showdown with Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson was spotted in the San Siro stands. The Rossoneri needed all the help they could get, as Scudetto hopes evaporated after the derby defeat with a point from three official games. That included Udinese's 1-0 victory here in the Coppa Italia quarter-final.

Marco Borriello, Clarence Seedorf, Gianluca Zambrotta and Luca Antonini were sidelined, while Alessandro Nesta returned a after long lay-off. The Friulani were fresh from their first Serie A win under Gianni De Biasi, but missed Maurizio Domizzi, Damiano Ferronetti, Gaetano D'Agostino, Dusan Basta and Christian Obodo.

Last season Milan won this fixture 5-1 and in the opening 90 seconds Klaas-Jan Huntelaar pounced on a defensive error, but a crucial Mauricio Isla tackle stopped him pulling the trigger from six yards.

Huntelaar got his goal soon after from a corner. Ronaldinho took on two defenders near the byline and squeezed the cross in for Huntelaar's header at the near post, giving Milan the lead.

It was almost 1-1 moments later, as Isla's cross-shot flashed across the face of goal and Antonio Di Natale missed the sliding tap-in by a matter of inches.

Pato was meant to make his comeback in the second half, but Mancini had a thigh problem and limped off after 13 minutes, giving The Duck his first appearance in two months.

Cristian Zapata was booked for clattering into Gennaro Gattuso, but Nelson Dida needed two touches to finally smother Gokhan Inler's fierce snapshot. Pato did put the ball in the back of the net by waltzing round the goalkeeper, but he was flagged marginally offside.

Antonio Floro Flores just failed to get on the end of Di Natale's cross from six yards, then Pato's first touch let him down from Ronaldinho's through ball. Dida timed his intervention perfectly to pluck Isla's cross off the head of Floro Flores in the six-yard box. However, the goalkeeper's dismal kick gave the ball straight to Floro Flores, who failed to take advantage.

Udinese nearly scored an own goal when Zapata deflected Massimo Ambrosini's cross into the air from five yards.

Milan did score a second less than a minute later. Ronaldinho's first-time searching pass over the top released Pato one-on-one with the defender and he dribbled round Samir Handanovic to deposit into the empty net. It was his first goal since December 5.

However, there was also bad news, as Thiago Silva limped off with a muscular problem to make way for Daniele Bonera.

Andrea Pirlo's free kick was palmed off the line by Handanovic, but Udinese got back into it in first half stoppages. Di Natale's left-foot cross from the outside right edge of the box found Floro Flores' diving header from six yards. It was straight at Dida's palms, but still propelled him back into the goal.

Milan restored their two-goal cushion after the break. Ronaldinho's free kick was knocked on by Ambrosini for Huntelaar, who turned on the six-yard line to fire under the bar. It is curious that the Dutchman has only scored in three games, including two braces.

Udinese did not give in and Dida smothered a Di Natale header, but Huntelaar almost completed his hat-trick. A Pirlo free kick found him totally unmarked to volley over.

Gattuso went close to a rare goal, as he was clear at the back post for a long Ronaldinho cross, but the midfielder hesitated and fired straight at the goalkeeper.

Ronaldinho played better than he had in several weeks and from the resulting corner his header was cleared off the line. The Brazilian made way for David Beckham to the applause of San Siro.

Di Natale pounced on a defensive error to go clear on goal, as Beckham's pass was too short for Nesta, but Bonera and Dida did enough to force him wide and cut off the angle.

Pato thought he had scored when an angled drive squirmed under Handanovic's body at the near post, but the goalkeeper recovered his position in time to push it off the line.

Moments later Udinese put the result back in doubt. Di Natale sprung the offside trap on a Simone Pepe pass and stroked it into the far corner with the inside of his right foot.

There were only four minutes of regular time left, but the referee upset Udinese by blowing the final whistle 10 seconds before the two minutes of stoppages were up.

Milan: Dida; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva (Bonera 40), Favalli; Gattuso, Pirlo, Ambrosini; Mancini (Pato 13), Huntelaar, Ronaldinho (Beckham 76)

Udinese: Handanovic; Isla, Zapata, Coda, Pasquale; Sammarco (Pepe 71), Asamoah, Inler (Lodi 61); Sanchez, Floro Flores (Geijo 71), Di Natale

Ref: Celi

AC Milan agree EUR 60 mil. sponsorship deal
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have formally announced a €60m shirt sponsorship deal with Fly Emirates, the Dubai airline company.

From July this year, Milan will wear the Fly Emirates logo on their shirts, just like Arsenal, Paris St. Germain, Olympiacos and Hamburg.

Speaking about the five-year arrangement, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani reassured fans that the shirt sponsorship deal wasn't a precursor to an eventual takeover of the club.

“It's a sponsorship. The acquisitions of shares were never spoken about, nor were the naming rights of the stadium. Also because Emirates are interested in a new stadium to which they can give their name while San Siro, for the football fans, will always remain San Siro.”

Galliani also confirmed that Milan would be participating in this summer's Emirates Cup, which will be hosted by Arsenal between July 31 and August 1.

“Arsenal will be the opponents and two other clubs who are yet to be established. Our success attracts major international sponsors and I am sure that we will also fly with Emirates over the next few years,” he concluded.

Ronaldinho given an ultimatum
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have apparently given Ronaldinho an ultimatum to start playing well again after a recent dip in form.

The 29-year-old has been off colour ever since Milan lost the derby to Inter last month.

Brazil boss Dunga did not include him in his squad for an upcoming friendly against the Republic of Ireland.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani visited the club's training ground yesterday where he held talks with Leonardo.

Galliani is said to have reminded Leo that Milan can't afford any more slip-ups if they are to have a successful campaign.

The Rossoneri are back in action tonight when they face Udinese who have beaten them twice already this season.

Il Corriere dello Sport understands Ronaldinho received a rather severe phone call from Milan Patron Silvio Berlusconi at some point this week.

Berlusconi is believed to have rebuked the Brazilian for his recent performances, but also encouraged him to turn things around against Udinese and Manchester United.

Possibly at stake is Ronaldinho's contract extension, which the club is in the process negotiating.

Beware the Italians, says Cristiano Ronaldo
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is wary of the Italian teams remaining in the Champions League this season.

The former World Player of the Year has bad memories of playing against Milan in particular while at Manchester United.

Previewing the upcoming Champions League knock out stages, Ronaldo turned his attention to United's tie with the Rossoneri.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, he said: “It's going to be tough for Manchester. I would say 50-50 because even though United have something more on paper I have played against Milan on a couple of occasions and they are a very tough opponent who can certainly go through to the next round.

“The Italian teams remain difficult to beat.”

As for Chelsea's tie with Inter, Ronaldo said: “See the above. I repeat that it's 50-50. And with the additional spectacle of Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge.

“In my opinion the Chelsea fans will give him a good reception for everything that he has done for the club, for the mentality and his competency.”

Finally, the 24-year-old gave his opinion on Kaka's problems in Madrid.

“Some players need more time to adapt themselves. I think to Benzema, for example. But in Kaka's case it's been the hernia more than the anxiety that's stopped him.

“We have started to see his great talent now that the physical problems have been overcome and he feels much better.

“Kaka will do well here, because he is an exceptional player, a great person and because you don't lose your qualities from one month to another,” Ronaldo concluded.

We can't lack anger, says Leonardo
11.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Leonardo says his players must relax but also that they can't lack the mental toughness during the most important month of the season.

The Rossoneri have suffered a recent slump in form and are without a win in their last four games in all competitions, leading to concern at San Siro.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow night's match against Udinese, Leonardo said: “This is the most important month of Milan's season.

“It's not time to change. For me, it's the moment to stay sharp and be calm but without missing the anger, the pride and desire to do some damage.

“What can't be forgotten is where we came from and where we are now.

“We have worked well and often in difficult conditions so just relax and take it easy,” he concluded.

Milan currently lie third in Serie A, two points behind second placed Roma.

Both Alessandro Nesta and Alexandre Pato are expected to return from lengthy spells on the sidelines tomorrow night.

'Pato and Nesta are available'
11.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani insists that both Alessandro Nesta and Alexandre Pato are fit to play against Udinese tomorrow night.

Nesta trained with the squad for the first time on Monday since he suffered a hamstring strain in the build up to last month's derby against Inter.

Pato has been on the sidelines for longer. In fact, the Brazilian hasn't played in two months after developing a problem with his thigh muscle possibly related to the state of his teeth.

The Brazilian trained alone yesterday, but is expected to make the bench against Udinese.

However, Galliani expects both Nesta and Pato to feature heavily tomorrow evening.

“Leonardo will see how they are, but, as far as I know, they feel quite good and will both play,” he said.

Reflecting on Milan's encounters with Udinese in the past, Galliani said: “Last year against the Zebrette we were defeated twice and I would willingly avoid a third.”

Finally, Galliani revealed that he didn't believe Ronaldinho's form would be affected by the news that Brazil Coach Dunga hasn't picked him for an upcoming friendly against the Republic of Ireland.

“You see how well he has done up until now. The decisions are up to the national team bosses,” he concluded.

Pato was also not included in Dunga's squad.

Pato prepares for comeback
11.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato should be on the bench against Udinese tomorrow night after a long spell on the sidelines.

The 20-year-old has been out for nearly two months with muscle problems possibly related to the state of his teeth.

He spent much of January back home in Brazil where the warmer climate is said to speed up the healing process for muscle injuries.

Pato didn't train with the squad yesterday, but did work long and hard in the gym.

Milan boss Leonardo has been working on an attacking trident composed of Mancini, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ronaldinho.

However, he hopes to give Pato a run out at some point during the second half so he gets some minutes in his legs ahead of next week's Champions League clash with Manchester United.

Adiyiah in AC Milan dream world
11.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Dominic Adiyiah says it's a dream come true to play for Milan and that he can't wait to make his debut.

The young striker, who won the Under-20 World Cup with Ghana last year, joined Milan in January from Norwegian side Fredrikstad.

Speaking to, Adiyiah said: “I am a little boy in a dream word. Being here training with players of the calibre of Ronaldinho, Beckham, Seedorf, Inzaghi… It's incredible.

“Milan are a great club and they will help me arrive one-day at their level. It's fantastic. I can't wait to start playing.

“I will learn a lot here. If I am not capable of learning then it means that I have a problem, there's no other excuse,” he concluded.

Adiyiah is one of three new arrivals at Milan together with David Beckham and Amantino Mancini.

AC Milan come first for Thiago Silva
10.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva is hoping to warm up for World Cup glory by winning the Champions League with Milan this season.

The stopper was yesterday included in the Brazil squad to play the Republic of Ireland, but he insists that Milan are his priority for now.

“My call-up is proof that I am doing well and that my work is being appreciated,” said the South American.

“I work hard every single day in order to make sure that I am included in the Brazil squad for the World Cup.

“It is gratifying to know that you are appreciated, but for now all I can do is just concentrate on Milan.

“It is my objective to beat Manchester United in Europe and reach the Final of the Champions League.”

Silva has been a revelation at the back for the Rossoneri this season and, together with Alessandro Nesta, he arguably forms part of the best centre-back pairing in Serie A.

Milan take on United in the last 16 of the Champions League at San Siro on 16 February and then at Old Trafford on 10 March.

AC Milan now look at Benitez
10.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have become the second Italian club to be seriously linked with the services of Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez.

Widely regarded as a contender to be named as Juventus Coach next season following the demise of Ciro Ferrara, reports in England are now claiming that the Rossoneri are also a possibility.

The stories are being met with surprise by those in Italy after Milan’s recent revival under the tutelage of debutant boss Leonardo.

The Brazilian suffered a horrendous pre-season and he was thought to be close to the chop after a crisis of results during the early part of the campaign.

However, Milan have recovered to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League and are currently third in Serie A, two points behind Roma but with a game in hand.

Milan fans know all about Benitez as he was in charge of the Liverpool side who came back from 3-0 down to beat the Rossoneri in the 2005 Champions League Final.

Former Sevilla, CSKA Moscow and Spurs boss Juande Ramos is also reportedly a contender to get the San Siro hotseat if a change does take place.

Dunga ignores Ronaldinho but picks Melo
9.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazil boss Dunga hasn't included Ronaldinho in his squad for a friendly against the Republic of Ireland, but he has picked the much-criticised Felipe Melo.

Many expected Ronaldinho to return to the international set up for the first time since April last year when he played 13 minutes against Peru.

The 29-year-old two-time World Player of the Year has rediscovered some of his best form this season, scoring nine goals in 21 appearances for Milan.

“Ronaldinho has been through a difficult moment with his club,” Dunga explained. “It's only my decision for the moment, but all the players still have chances.”

Interestingly, Dunga called up Melo, the Juventus midfielder, who was voted the worst signing of the season late last year.

The 26-year-old has struggled to justify his £18m price tag with many people questioning how he can be a regular in the Brazilian national team, but Dunga appears to have confidence in his abilities.

As expected Julio Cesar, Maicon and Lucio were called up from Inter. Juan and Thiago Silva, the Roma and Milan centre-backs were also named in the 22, along with Doni, even though he has rarely played for the Giallorossi this season.

Borriello aims for World Cup
9.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Marco Borriello insists he is pumped up after recent praise from Italy boss Marcello Lippi ahead of this summer's World Cup.

Lippi gave Borriello's chances of being in South Africa a massive boost when he announced that there would be no space for the oriundi in his squad.

That effectively rules out Juventus striker Amauri, meaning there is one extra space in the Azzurri's squad for an out and out centre-forward.

“Lippi's statement is an extra motive to believe in ourselves, not just for me, but also the others who are in competition for the place. It's a wonderful boost.” Borriello said.

The 27-year-old has scored seven goals this season but his all round play led him to receive an award as the 2009 Striker of the Year.

Borriello then reflected on Milan's recent slump in form.

Ronaldinho set for Brazil return
9.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan fantasista Ronaldinho is expected to return to the Brazil set up later today when Dunga announces his squad for an upcoming friendly.

Brazil are due to play Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland in London on March 3 as they continue their preparation for the World Cup.

Ronaldinho hasn't played for Brazil since April last year when he came on with just 13 minutes to go against Peru in Porto Alegre.

The 29-year-old had a rough ride last season, as Milan changed their system after the winter break and put more faith in Kaka.

However, since Leonardo's arrival he has returned to being a protagonist, scoring nine goals for the Rossoneri this season.

Dunga is also expected to name two of Ronie's Milan team-mates in his squad to face the Republic Ireland.

Thiago Silva and Alexandre Pato have both enjoyed fine seasons and look like having a chance to stake their claims for a place in South Africa.

Beckham loves Manchester United
8.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan ace David Beckham has underlined his love for Manchester United and his the feelings he has when he watches them play.

The Englishman left the Red Devils in 2003 to join Real Madrid and when Milan face United in the next stage of the Champions League it would be his first game as a visitor to Old Trafford.

“I would not celebrate if I scored against United,” said Beckham.

“Sometimes when you score the excitement wins you over but I respect the club and the fans.

“Even though I do not play for them anymore I am still a great fan. Accepting the fact that I was no longer a United player was really tough for me.

“I had really bad days but the supporters always backed me. It will be a great emotion to play them, both for me and my family. United are the biggest club in the world.”

Beckham spent 13 seasons at Old Trafford playing nearly 400 games and scoring 85 goals. He won six titles, two FA Cups and a UEFA Champions League title.

Nesta set for AC Milan comeback
8.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have received a boost with the news that Alessandro Nesta will be fit for Friday's clash with Udinese.

The 33-year-old has been missing from Milan's last four games with a hamstring strain.

His absence has coincided with the Rossoneri's recent slump in form.

Leonardo's side haven't won during Nesta's time in the treatment room and now lie third in Serie A.

There were worries that Nesta wouldn't be fit in time for next week's Champions League tie with Manchester United.

Alexandre Pato and Gianluca Zambrotta remain on the sidelines though.

Nesta and Pato in fitness battle
8.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Leonardo is growing increasingly worried Alessandro Nesta and Alexandre Pato won't be fit in time to face Manchester United.

The Rossoneri have really struggled in their absence, failing to win any of their last four games in all competitions.

Nesta is recovering from a hamstring strain while Pato has muscle problems, possibly connected to the state of his teeth.

“They're dragging on a little too much. We will evaluate them over the next few days. First they have to train with continuity and then we'll understand what condition they are in. It's not only a clinical question, but a technical one as well,” Leonardo said.

“I don't know if I will have them available on Friday against Udinese or the following Tuesday against Manchester United. I can only hope to get them back before then. And study the alternatives,” he concluded.

Serie A: Bologna 0:0 AC Milan - match report
7.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan hit the woodwork twice with Ronaldinho and Massimo Ambrosini, but emerge with only a point from Bologna.

The Rossoneri had been the form team in Serie A, but since the 2-0 derby defeat appear to have lost their way. Including the Coppa Italia they were on a three-match winless streak and were caught in second place by Roma. Alexandre Pato, Alessandro Nesta, Massimo Oddo and Gianluca Zambrotta were still on the treatment table, but January signing Amantino Mancini had a surprise start. Bologna had eight points from four rounds and discovered a star in Henry Gimenez, although Marcelo Zalayeta, Massimo Mutarelli and Emiliano Viviano were out of action.

Last season Milan conquered the Dall'Ara 4-1, but today they wore a white shirt with red shorts for the first time in 11 years.

As in other recent outings, the Rossoneri passed the ball around well and were unable to make much of an impact in the final third. They notched up a series of corner kicks without really threatening.

In fact, Massimo Ambrosini needed good defending to pluck the ball off the feet of Gimenez on the edge of the box.

Ronaldinho and Mancini combined to set up the on-rushing Clarence Seedorf, but the finish was terrible.

The first real scoring opportunity came after 31 minutes for Bologna veteran Marco Di Vaio. Nelson Dida needed two touches to get his shot under control from the left channel.

Ambrosini was booked for simulation after he ran on to a through ball and was approached by Colombo. Andrea Pirlo had a decent strike from distance that skimmed the crossbar.

Daniele Bonera's sliding intervention stopped Andrea Raggi's cross reaching Di Vaio in the middle after the restart. Roberto Guana had already been flagged offside when he put the ball in the net.

Milan had by far their best chance of the game so far on 56 minutes. Goalkeeper Colombo was caught in no man's land by a corner kick, which Ronaldinho volleyed on to the crossbar.

Leonardo threw on Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for Seedorf and Colombo was at full stretch to deny Marco Borriello.

Pirlo's through ball released Huntelaar in the box, but Colombo rushed off his line to close him down and Vangelis Moras cleared the loose ball off the line.

Ronaldinho's through ball released Borriello to fire wide of the near post and late on David Beckham replaced Ronaldinho.

There were penalty appeals for Lanna's handling offence on an Ignazio Abate cross, but they were very close and it would've been harsh to consider that voluntary.

Beckham's snapshot was off target and Borriello tested Colombo with a left-foot finish from the England star's assist.

Milan were very unlucky in stoppages, as Mancini's cross found an Ambrosini header that thumped the crossbar.

Bologna: Colombo; Raggi, Portanova, Moras, Lanna; Buscè, Mudingayi, Guana, Modesto (Britos 79); Gimenez (Adailton 46); Di Vaio (Succi 90)

Milan: Dida; Abate, Bonera, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Pirlo, Ambrosini, Seedorf (Huntelaar 61); Mancini, Ronaldinho (Beckham 79), Borriello

Ref: Mazzoleni

You can find match highlights on Free Soccer Highlights.

United against AC Milan, says Colomba
7.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Franco Colomba believes Bologna’s unity as a team can defeat the individual talents of Milan.

“Milan may be struggling in the last couple of weeks, but they always create at least 10 scoring opportunities per game, even when they don’t win,” said the Coach.

“They have immense quality in their squad, so I doubt they’ll come here feeling down. If anything, they’ll be more eager to make up for some not exactly sparkling performances.”

Alexandre Pato and Alessandro Nesta are sidelined, but Ronaldinho, David Beckham and Marco Borriello are coming to the Stadio Dall’Ara.

“I remember in these circumstances Renzo Ulivieri used to talk about a team as a co-operative. If everyone helps their teammates out, then it doubles their overall effectiveness.

“It won’t always be possible to crowd out whoever is in possession, but the important thing is to be ready to help out. Against certain talents who can create a winning move out of nothing, the only response is to defend as a team.”

Bologna have picked up eight points from their last four Serie A games and discovered a star in Henry Gimenez.

“We are coming off a positive run of results and want to continue it,” continued Colomba.

“When you face opponents of this level, you need a huge performance and to dream a little.

“As for Gimenez, he can play both in a wider role and behind Marco Di Vaio. He did very well against Fiorentina in that position, so once again he’ll start in a more central spot.”

Leonardo: 'Media lied about Ronaldinho'
6.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Leonardo took a stand against the media for ‘fabricating’ stories about Ronaldinho’s partying.

The newspapers reported that Dinho spent the three days before the derby defeat to Inter holed up in a hotel room for a party.

“This week in my view you journalists showed a lack of respect for Ronaldinho,” said Leo in today’s Press conference.

“I think the team will emerge stronger because of it. When you publish a story, the pressure is on you to prove it. I saw no footage of this party, so I believe what my player tells me.

“I don’t need to be a detective in my spare time, I see him train every day and know what shape he’s in.

“We know if he’s been drinking, do tests every day and he tells me what he gets up to, so I believe him. I evaluate the whole week.

“The only mistake Ronaldinho made was missing that penalty against Inter. The club has spoken to the player and now knows what happened.”

The fact remains that since the derby defeat, Milan have been a shadow of their former selves, crashing out of the Coppa Italia and limping to a 1-1 home draw with Livorno.

“Against Livorno we were missing that aggressive finish and were unable to score. Despite that, we dominated possession and played our football, just couldn’t translate it into goals.”

The Rossoneri face relegation battlers Bologna on Sunday afternoon.

“Bologna are going through a good period of form and have always done well at home. We must find more options up front to make the most of our possession, as that is where we’re struggling in the last few games.”

Alessandro Nesta, Gianluca Zambrotta, Alexandre Pato, Massimo Oddo and Oguchi Onyewu remain sidelined.

The January transfer window brought a new addition to the squad in the form of Amantino Mancini, on loan from rivals Inter.

“I consider Mancini a great player who can bring much to Milan,” continued Leonardo.

“It was an opportunity for the club and I think he’ll give his contribution. He is a versatile player who can adapt to many positions.

“He has already lost 2kg since arriving and looked good in training.”

Milan squad: Abbiati, Dida, Roma, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Favalli, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Thiago Silva, Ambrosini, Beckham, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf, Borriello, Huntelaar, Inzaghi, Mancini, Ronaldinho.

Ronaldinho almost falls prey to hacker
5.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A Spanish hacker has apparently tried to steal €800,000 from Ronaldinho's bank account.

Catalan newspaper Sport understands a thief gained access to some of his mother's mail and found the player's online banking details.

He then tried to transfer €800,000 from Ronaldinho's account to that of a presumed accomplice.

However, there was apparently a €35,000 limit on withdrawals, alerting the bank to possible fraudulent activity.

The hacker will be tried next week in Barcelona. The prosecution has asked for a three-year jail sentence and a €12,000 fine.

Ronaldinho has been under intense scrutiny of late after Il Corriere della Sera alleged he had spent the week before the Milan derby partying in a hotel.

He later acknowledged booking a hotel suite but denied organizing a party in an official statement released yesterday.

Galliani: AC Milan don't sell flops
5.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has categorically denied selling Real Madrid a crocked Ricky Kaka.

The Brazil international is said to have a chronic hernia problem, which has hampered his progress since moving to Spain.

Speaking on his arrival at a meeting of the Lega Calcio, Galliani said: “Last year Kaka played 31 League games and continually those of the last three months.

“Kaka doesn't have a chronic hernia problem. I don't like it when some people think that we have given Real an injured player.”

Kaka has made 16 appearances for Madrid this season, but the Spanish Press feel he hasn't lived up to expectations.

The 27-year-old former World Player of the Year was idolised in Milan after inspiring the Rossoneri to the Scudetto in 2004 and Champions League glory in 2007.

Vidic isn't going to AC Milan
5.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports that Manchester United centre-back Nemanja Vidic is considering a move to Milan are untrue, according to his Italian agent Silvano Martina.

The Daily Mirror has claimed that the Serbia international will be leaving Old Trafford in June, opening a bidding war between Real Madrid and Milan.

Speaking to, Martina said: “When a footballer plays for a great club, it's difficult that he changes teams. And yet these reports still come out some days after the transfer window, it's contradictory, no?”

Vidic came very close to joining Fiorentina in January 2006, but the Viola had already filled their quota of non-EU players for the season, allowing United to swoop and sign him instead.

He is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the world and was a key component of United's Champions League winning side in 2008.

Ronaldinho rejects party talk
4.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho has denied claims he spent the week before the Milan derby partying with friends in a hotel.

Il Corriere della Sera reported yesterday that Milan had fined the former World Player of the Year, a fact Adriano Galliani appeared to confirm when he spoke about dealing with 'in-house matters'.

Ronaldinho has been spotted partying before and after Milan's matches on four occasions this season, even prompting French newspaper L'Equipe to consider him retired as a professional football player.

The former Barcelona star maintained a dignified silence yesterday, but released a statement on his official website this afternoon.

“I was a guest of a Milan hotel, but it's not true that I organised the party and even less truthful are the details reported,” Ronaldinho wrote.

“I have worked a lot in recent months to reach my personal objectives and those of Milan. It seems unjust that very old images come to be used and the fact that I have admitted publicly that I like music to explain a negative result and invent a story about me.

“I am dedicating myself with the utmost commitment to Milan's project and I am working a lot to give the best of myself, even if the results aren't always positive,” he concluded.

Milan haven't won since they lost the derby 2-0 last month. Leonardo's side are back in action this weekend when they face Bologna.

Flamini: 'We're moving forward'
4.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mathieu Flamini insists Milan have put their recent troubles behind them and want to start winning again.

The Rossoneri haven't won for three games, but still remain second in Serie A.

Speaking to Milan Channel, Flamini said: “I feel good. I had a bad back, but now I feel better and I am able to play. I was delighted to score against Novara in the Coppa Italia. I hope to score others.

“It often happens that I take shots from outside the area, but the goalkeepers manage to save them every time. Trying a shot from distance can sometimes reveal itself to be the right solution, above all when we play against teams who have numerous players back.”

Asked to describe the feeling in the dressing room after three games without a win, Flamini said: “We're fine. Milan went on a run of victories then unfortunately there was a week in which things didn't go so well.

“We haven't got great results lately, but on Sunday we will play against Bologna and we want to get a good result. This game will be important. I don't believe it has been easy even for the fans to lose the derby, but the important thing now is to go forward.

“We are second in the League with a game in hand. We have qualified for the second round of the Champions League. We have to look forward and continue working well to do well.”

Seedorf ready for Manchester United clash
4.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan veteran Clarence Seedorf is looking forward to his side's Champions League tie with Manchester United later this month.

The 33-year-old scored when the two teams last met, as Milan romped to a 3-0 victory on their way to Champions League glory in 2007.

Wayne Rooney recently said that Seedorf remains the toughest opponent he has ever faced in his career.

Speaking to Milan's official website, the Dutchman said: “Rooney is in an extraordinary moment of form. We expect a wonderful game but in the last few years we have always carried home something more than them.”

Finally Seedorf turned his attention to Milan's fans who haven't always turned out to watch the team this season.

“The fans appreciate our work. At the end of the match against Livorno, they didn't whistle us. Unfortunately in Italy there are many economic problems and so they have to choose between coming to the stadium and paying the bills.”

Ronaldinho receives party fine
3.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have fined Ronaldinho after they discovered he was at a party during the week before the all-important Derby della Madonnina.

The Rossoneri didn't just lose that game, they saw their title chances practically disappear, as Inter opened up a nine-point lead at the top of Serie A.

Ronie is alleged to have partied in a hotel suite, making it the fourth time he has been caught out on the town this season.

The 29-year-old, who has resurrected his career this season, has been given a 'non official' fine, which will be donated to the Milan Foundation.

“I will not comment on the reports. At the end of the day, we are dealing with in-house business between the club and the player,” Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani said yesterday.

Berlusconi: 'Why Mancini?'
2.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s decision to sign Amantino Mancini from Inter has been criticised – by President Silvio Berlusconi!

“I really didn’t understand that move,” shrugged Milan patron and Italy’s Prime Minister Berlusconi while on a visit to Israel.

The club completed the loan with an option to buy at the end of the season for under £3m on the final day of the January transfer window.

“He is another trequartista, whereas what we need is someone who finishes things off by scoring goals.

“What’s more, he has barely played in two years. I did not agree with this signature and I said so to Adriano Galliani.”

Vice-President Galliani runs the day to day business at the club, especially since Berlusconi’s political career took off.

Leonardo’s squad has struggled in the last 10 days, losing the derby and crashing out of the Coppa Italia to Udinese.

“On Sunday I go to the stadium and see people crying,” he joked. “Imagine how I feel, as not only should I cry, I also pay for this team.”

Cafu: 'Mancini my AC Milan heir'
2.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marcos Cafu has tipped Amantino Mancini to be his heir, transforming him into Milan’s new full-back.

The former Roma winger was signed from Inter as the January transfer window was closing, but his versatility could be the key for Leonardo.

“This Milan definitely needed someone like him. Absolutely,” assured ex-Rossoneri hero Cafu.

It emerges this is not such a turnaround for Mancini, who aims to follow in Cafu’s footsteps.

“Cafu was a full-back and I also started my career in that position in Brazil, scoring 18 goals before I came to Italy,” said the new arrival.

“Now my position is from midfield onwards, but I still remember those movements.”

Inter paid over £10m for the player when he joined from Roma, but Milan have a free loan and the right to buy at the end of the season for under £3m.

“I will do everything I can to stay here. I’m very motivated, Milan play with three upfront and two very wide forwards, they play ball to feet and are very technical. That’s the kind of football that makes me happy.

“I feel a great deal of responsibility playing in a winning club, the most successful side in the world. My new Brazilian teammates are also very strong.

“I’ll wear the Number 30 jersey that brought me so much luck during my time at Roma.”

Switching between wide attacker and full-back could even get Mancini back into the Selecao ahead of the World Cup.

“I still have a strong hope of returning, especially now that I am at Milan, a team that has great visibility in Brazil.

“In our country the Rossoneri have many fans, everyone follows their progress and in the street you see lots of kids wearing the Milan jersey.”

Pato's teeth to blame for injury?
2.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato’s recurring muscular problems could be down to his teeth, so the Milan star will undergo surgery tomorrow.

The Brazilian teenager with the braces has been struggling with thigh injuries for several months and it’s not clear when he will be back in action.

Now a detailed analysis of his posture suggests his teeth are causing the problem that puts extra pressure on the muscles.

The official Milan website confirmed that Pato will have a procedure at an orthodontist tomorrow, which will then require two to three days of rest.

It is not the first time the Rossoneri have blamed teeth for muscular problems, as Christian Vieri used a specialist mouth guard to affect his posture and in the summer Aly Cissokho failed a medical because of dentistry issues.

Mancini: Inter were a waste of time
2.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's new signing Amantino Mancini believes the last six months he spent at Inter were a waste of time.

The 29-year-old Brazilian joined the Rossoneri yesterday on loan with a view to a €3.75m transfer in the summer.

“I threw away six months. This summer I was about to leave, but then Mourinho called me, telling me that he was going to focus on me… Patience, now we'll turn a corner,” Mancini said.

“Mourinho is a great Coach, but I am with Leonardo, someone who understands about football. Milan play more football, they play a little better.

“Inter are a strong team but Milan is at the same level with different characteristics. I would erase my last year. Now I have turned the page, a new adventure is beginning.

“I want revenge. I want to win and find the serenity that I lost a year ago. I will do the possible and the impossible to return to the highest level,” he concluded.

'Leo's system ideal for Mancini'
2.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Amantino Mancini believes the system Leonardo plays with Milan is ideal for his client.

The 29-year-old Brazilian joins Milan on loan until the end of the season when the Rossoneri have the option to sign him for €3.75m.

“The team needed a player in this role, a player like Mancini during his time Roma,” Roberto Calenda explained.

“The deal was very laborious because after the derby, the relationship between Milan and Inter had frozen a bit.

“But both showed great intelligence. They spoke about Mancini and resolved the matter.

“Mancini didn't have much luck at Inter, but he is a serious professional. Mancini has always trained with great continuity and he will be ready,” Calenda concluded.

OFFICIAL: Amantino Mancini joins AC Milan
1.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has reached a deal with neighbours Inter to sign Amantino Mancini.

The 29-year-old former Roma attacking midfielder had been pushing for the move behind the scenes after rejecting a transfer to Marseille.

Milan boss Leonardo has been keen to add an alternative to Ronaldinho on the left-hand side of his attack.

Earlier today, it was reported Galliani had offered Marek Jankulovski in exchange for Mancini.

However, it now appears the Czech full-back did not feature in the deal at all because he would like to return home.

Mancini was also attracting interest from former club Roma. He has made just one starting appearance for Inter so far this season.

Galliani is a touch disappointed
1.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is disappointed with the way his side has performed over the last week.

The Rossoneri haven't won for three games and drew 1-1 at home to relegation battler's Livorno yesterday afternoon.

Roma's 2-1 victory over Siena meant they reached Milan who have now playing their game in hand and remain nine points adrift of League leaders Inter.

“Losing points in games like this happens. I am disappointed both for the race for second place and for the lack of pressure on the leaders, but we are looking forward,” Galliani said.

On a positive note, it's thought Marco Borriello will need just two days rest after suffering a nasty looking head injury against Livorno.

The 27-year-old had to come off at half-time after a clash of heads with Cristian Raimondi. He was sent to Niguarda hospital for an MRI but nothing bad showed up on the scan.

However, there are concerns about Nelson Dida's injury. The Brazilian pulled his back while stretching before yesterday's match and had to be replaced by Christian Abbiati.

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