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The Archive

November 2010

Ibrahimovic calls Balotelli to join AC Milan
30.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has once again called for Mario Balotelli to leave Manchester City and join Milan.

The two strikers were teammates at Inter and built a strong bond during their time together at Appiano Gentile.

Interviewed in Italian magazine Chi, Ibrahimovic said: “It would be great for us both to play again together. Also for the Milan fans.

“Milan are a great club from every point of view - from the general organisation to the care for the details.

“I am honoured to be a part of this group of players. It could be my last experience.”

Asked in Vanity Fair to reveal how long he intends to keep playing, Ibrahimovic said: “Three years at the maximum. You have to stop when you are at the top.”

Allegri: AC Milan will need Ronaldinho
30.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists there will come a time this season when Milan will need Ronaldinho.

The Brazil international has been dropped to the bench in Milan's recent matches leading to speculation about his future.

Yesterday former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi said that treating a champion like Ronaldinho in such a manner simply wasn't acceptable.

However, Milan have surged to the top of Serie A without the former World Player of the Year in the starting line up and appear to be more balanced.

Speaking to Mediaset, Allegri said: “Right now he is out of the team but there isn't anything bad about it.

“I choose the team on the basis of the upcoming games and the condition of the players. Rino Gattuso was out at the beginning but won his place back.

“Massimo Ambrosini was also out and Robinho too. I told him that Milan is a big opportunity and he is now taking it in the best way possible.

“There will also be need of Ronaldinho. Like everyone he must put himself in discussion.

“Milan are happy. There are no problems. The lads have great motivation. Things changed with the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“He struck me with his openness towards his teammates and the team.”

Injured Inzaghi super optimistic
29.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi insists his Milan career is not over following knee surgery. “I hope to be back by the end of the season,” he noted.

The 37-year-old is expected to be out for the rest of the campaign after suffering knee ligament damage earlier this month.

However, Inzaghi is remaining optimistic just a matter of days after going under the knife.

“I’m hopeful and I’ve taken the first step towards recovery,” the striker noted. “I hope to play for this team again by the end of the season, if not then next season.

“My rehabilitation has already started and tomorrow I will continue working at Milanello. I need patience and a lot of hard work.”

Inzaghi has been wished well by the footballing community and he’s grateful for all the messages of support.

“Milan have been exceptional as always,” he added. “[Vice-President Adriano] Galliani is extraordinary, as are my teammates and the fans.

“I also have to thank Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho who sent me a wonderful fax,” Super Pippo continued.

“I thank Roma too and the other clubs and players who have been in touch. All of football have shown me great affection.”

Cagliari aim to keep Matri
29.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roberto Donadoni has expressed his desire to keep Alessandro Matri at Cagliari amid interest from Milan.

The 26-year-old striker, who scored his eighth goal of the campaign against Lecce on Sunday, is being hotly tipped with a move back to San Siro where he started his career.

Speaking to Rai Sport, Donadoni said: “We must hold him tight. He is a striker with great prospects just like Acquafresca, Nene and Ragatzu.

“Not being in the Italy squad was a little unjust for him.

“The measure by which Matri's future will be decided is based on this season at Cagliari after which he could find his definitive consecration.”

Matri has also been frequently linked with Fiorentina, Napoli and Juventus who are all looking to reinforce up front.

Pazzini backs AC Milan for the title
29.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria striker Giampaolo Pazzini believes Milan have everything it takes to win the Scudetto this season.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport following Saturday's 1-1 draw to the League leaders, Pazzini felt Milan had given a signal of their intent.

“Allegri trains a group of champions with a great motivation,” Pazzini said.

“They impressed me. I didn't play against Juve, but for me Milan are the favourites for the Scudetto.

“Ibrahimovic can do the team's attacking by himself. Every time that he gets the ball, he gives the impression that he can do damage.”

Asked about Antonio Cassano, Pazzini said: “He is a friend. I've had two intense years with him. I am sorry for what has happened. It's a great shame.”

Allegri gives Sampdoria credit
28.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has given Sampdoria credit for the result, while Giampaolo Pazzini was very impressed with Milan.

“The performance from my lads was excellent and I am happy; a draw is acceptable in football,” said the Coach after a 1-1 at Marassi.

“We wanted to win this game, but Samp made it impossible for us. Robinho is doing very well and is now starting to score important goals.

“I’d like to say these great performances are down to the whole team, which is extremely motivated.”

Pazzini cancelled out Robinho’s opener to follow up from his hat-trick last week.

“The hunger and determination allowed us to play a great game,” said the Sampdoria striker.

“We are happy with this point, which gives us confidence going forward. That is also true on a personal level with my goal.

“I have to say, Milan impressed me this evening.”

Serie A: Sampdoria 1:1 AC Milan - match report
27.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Robinho 43 (M), Pazzini 58 (S)

Giampaolo Pazzini cancelled out Robinho's opener as Sampdoria held Milan 1-1 at Marassi.

The Serie A leaders were on fine form and on a run of five consecutive wins in all competition, but again dropped Ronaldinho for the sixth game on the bounce. Andrea Pirlo, Luca Antonini, Alexandre Pato, Massimo Oddo and Pippo Inzaghi were out, so Kevin Prince Boateng stepped in. Antonio Cassano was still frozen out at Samp with Luciano Zauri and Franco Semioli sidelined.

Milan had scored in their last 24 official meetings with the Blucerchiati for a total 45 goals since a 3-0 defeat on May 5 1996.

Robinho tested Gianluca Curci from distance in the opening minute, soon followed by Boateng and a Zlatan Ibrahimovic free kick.

On 22 minutes Robinho unleashed a curler from outside the box that Curci palmed round the upright for a corner, as Milan had the better of the play without really breaking into the penalty area.

Giampaolo Pazzini pounced on an Alessandro Nesta error to burst into the area, but Ignazio Abate did very well to cut him off with a crucial clearance.

Curci beat away a Clarence Seedorf right-foot strike, while a corner came out to Gennaro Gattuso to balloon over before half-time.

With three minutes to go before the break, Milan found a way through. Robinho had a give-and-go with Ibrahimovic and was left far too much space to fire in on the half-volley from 10 yards.

Sampdoria equalised just shy of the hour mark with a real poacher's goal. Daniele Gastaldello knocked down a Reto Ziegler corner kick for Pazzini, who wasted no time in volleying in the loose ball from a couple of yards.

Gastaldello's sliding tackle cut off Abate in the box, then Massimo Ambrosini's angled drive went wide.

Christian Abbiati's first major save of the game had to be a special one on 68 minutes. Vladimir Koman crossed for the head of fellow substitute Nicola Pozzi and Abbiati flew to palm the looping effort out from under the bar.

Curci got a Robinho strike under control at the second attempt, but on 76 minutes the Rossoneri went very close to restoring their advantage. Ambrosini threaded through for Seedorf to go one-on-one, but the Dutch veteran hesitated and fired straight at the goalkeeper.

Robinho got past his marker with a dummy, but the finish was off target. Milan pinned Doria back into their own half for the final stages in a desperate bid to get all three points.

Even Ronaldinho was thrown on in stoppages and they went close with an Ibra header and Robinho's strike deflected off Accardi at the 93rd.

Sampdoria: Curci; Volta, Lucchini, Gastaldello, Ziegler; Mannini (Accardi 86), Palombo, Tissone; Guberti (Koman 65); Pazzini, Marilungo (Pozzi 66)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Bonera; Gattuso, Ambrosini, Boateng (Flamini 90); Seedorf (Ronaldinho 90); Ibrahimovic, Robinho

Ref: Mazzoleni

Allegri: 'Mourinho sets a bad example'
27.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri launched a stinging attack on Jose Mourinho. “He sets a bad example and insulted everybody in Italy.”

Mou had quite a few run-ins with Allegri when he was still in charge of Cagliari, having beaten the then-Inter boss to the Golden Bench award as Serie A Coach of the Year.

“He was here for two years and insulted everybody in Italy,” snapped Allegri in the Gazzetta dello Sport.

Mourinho is back in the headlines after UEFA opened an investigation for improper conduct.

The Real Madrid boss is accused of ordering Xabi and Sergio Ramos to get themselves sent off against Ajax, giving them a clean disciplinary record for the knock-out phase of the Champions League.

“Would I do that? No. I wouldn’t do what he did to us at San Siro either. With Andrea Pirlo on the ground with his head cracked open, my players put the ball out.

“Real gave it back, but on the throw-in there was already a full-back pressing us. He sets a bad example.

“You can do some things with nobody noticing if you play down the local park, but not when the world is watching on television.”

Pirlo move to Chelsea or Barcelona?
27.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Andrea Pirlo could move to Chelsea or Barcelona in January if he doesn’t renew his Milan contract.

The midfielder’s current deal expires at the end of the season and time is running out to reach a new agreement.

There are increasing suggestions in the media that Milan could opt to cash in on the 30-year-old mid-season instead.

After all, his recent injury has seen the Rossoneri win even without Pirlo and adopt a more balanced system in his absence.

Carlo Ancelotti would love to be reunited with the World Cup winner at Chelsea, bringing more creativity to their midfield.

Barcelona are also said to be interested, as Pep Guardiola has never disguised his admiration for the veteran.

Pirlo is again out of tonight’s Serie A meeting with Sampdoria due to that injury.

Di Carlo aims for AC Milan scalp
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Domenico Di Carlo is confident Sampdoria can pull off a shock tomorrow and beat League leaders Milan.

Sampdoria currently lie eighth in Serie A, 10 points behind Milan, although they have only lost once in their last 10 League games.

“I want a compact team with great quickness in its play,” Di Carlo demanded.

“It's true that against the big teams we have always put on good performances. Tomorrow we want to confirm as much even if it will be more difficult because with respect to the other big teams Milan are more unpredictable.

“Recently they have found great balance and continuity in results. For this reason I would like to compliment Max Allegri.

“We must try and get a result with great courage. We have all the possibility to do so. I will not settle for a draw, otherwise what have we been working for all week?

“We must have a lot of balance when we attack because when they recover the ball, they accelerate and become uncatchable,” Di Carlo concluded.

Allegri urges caution
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has urged his players to be cautious when they face Sampdoria this weekend.

The League leaders have won five games in a row in all competitions and look the real deal this season.

“Tomorrow's game will be the most delicate because we are coming off a very expensive period on a physical and mental level,” Allegri said.

“We have played a game every three days, which has taken a lot of energy out of us, but Saturday's game will close this period, so it's very important to do well in this moment.

“On the one hand it's better if Samp play without Cassano because he is a great player, but from another point of view it's worse because when teams are missing great players they become more compact and give something extra, creating difficulty for their opponents.

“It will be a difficult game even without Cassano.

“It always takes patience because a game lasts 95 minutes and we mustn't be in a hurry to resolve it also because we are a little tired mentally right now, but physically we are fine and we are ready to have a good game,” he concluded.

Allegri happy to depend on Ibrahimovic
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri insists there is no problem in relying so heavily on Zlatan Ibrahimovic – although he hopes the club will sign a new striker in January.

The Rossoneri are top of the League in Italy, a position they hold in part thanks to the brilliance of the Swede.

However, they have been accused of being far too dependent on their summer signing from Barcelona.

“I don’t see the problem,” Allegri noted in an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday. “We signed him because we needed a player like him.

“And now that we are without [the injured Alexandre] Pato and [Pippo] Inzaghi, who are we supposed to depend on?

“It happens to all sides, Inter for example with Samuel Eto’o.”

Milan are now short of options in attack given that Inzaghi is out for the season, just months after the club sold Marco Borriello and Klass-Jan Huntelaar.

“We made decisions,” the former Cagliari boss added. “Borriello and Huntelaar are important players and nobody here doubted their value.

“However, nobody could have predicted the injuries to Pato and Inzaghi. We also found a solution that suited them.

“January? The priority is to sign a great striker because, as [Vice-President] Adriano Galliani says, we either sign a high level player or stay as we are.”

Allegri was also asked for his opinion on enigmatic Brazilian duo Ronaldinho, who he has benched recently, and Robinho.

“I like Ronaldinho because he is very positive, he’s always smiling and that helps his teammates,” he added.

“Robinho is dong well as a second striker. For now I am happy, although it is logical that with time I want him to get better. That’s the same for everyone.”

Sampdoria duo fear Ibrahimovic
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria defenders Daniele Gastaldello and Stefano Lucchini are not exactly looking forward to facing Zlatan Ibrahimovic this weekend.

Milan arrive at Marassi on Saturday in the opening game of Week 14 looking to consolidate their Serie A leadership.

“I’m not small, I’m 1.87m tall, but when I see Ibrahimovic in front of me he looks like a giant,” Lucchini noted.

“His struggles to settle in Spanish football surprised me, but perhaps he is just best suited to the Italian game.”

Teammate Gastaldello also respects the threat of the super Swede who joined Milan on loan from Barcelona in August.

“He is a phenomenon,” the defender added. “However, Milan are more than just Ibrahimovic.”

Gianni Rivera believes in AC Milan
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Gianni Rivera has backed his former club to win their first Scudetto since 2004.

The Rossoneri lead the standings by three points over Lazio and five clear of Napoli. Juventus and Inter are six and nine points adrift respectively.

Although the Golden Boy, as he was named during his playing days, concedes that there is more than half the season to go, he likes the look of Massimiliano Allegri’s side.

“It’s a bit early to start talking about Scudetto percentages, but Milan have a good chance,” he declared.

“Milan are top and thus inevitably are to be considered as one of the favourites and it’s always an advantage to lead rather than chase.

“Milan are a solid team who are fielded well by their Coach, but every game in this championship has its dangers.”

The San Siro giants play Sampdoria at Marassi tomorrow.

Gattuso: 'Difficult times to come'
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso is riding on Milan’s wave, but also warned his teammates. “The difficult times are still to come.”

The Rossoneri are through to the knockout phase of the Champions League and top of the Serie A table.

“The difficult times are still to come. All the teams we face from now on will have the attitude of those facing the Serie A leaders and will give 100 per cent,” he told Milan Channel.

“They did it before as well, because playing against Milan is always an important event, but when you are in front then every game is one step closer to the final goal. The three points get more and more important, week by week.”

Gattuso is particularly impressed that his teammates are doing so well while Andrea Pirlo is injured.

“At the moment we are missing a player who, in my view, is football. The fact he is out and the results are still coming says so much about this sport. You need luck too.

“For example, we didn’t play all that well in Auxerre this week, but you could see we wanted to win. If we have this motivation then nobody is indispensible, especially not me.”

Gattuso was dropped for much of last season and confessed he nearly walked away, but Leonardo’s departure opened the door for a new chapter to his career.

“Things are going much better than last term, let’s just say that. To be fair, I felt the same adrenaline and sensations as I do now before I had that serious injury in December 2008.

“I didn’t think a cruciate ligament injury would be a walk in the park, but nor did I expect so many problems. Thank God everything is going well now.”

Thiago Silva: 'Nesta leaving AC Milan'
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva has caused controversy by claiming “it’s Alessandro Nesta’s last season with Milan.”

The defenders form a solid partnership at the back and Nesta seems to have recovered fully from his injury problems.

“It’s a shame, as in my view it’s Sandro’s last season with Milan,” the Brazilian told Sportitalia television.

“It would be a great shame to see him go at the end of the current campaign.”

There had been reports that Nesta was considering an end to his career where it began, back at Lazio.

He has been at San Siro since 2002 and will be 35 by the time the next season kicks off.

Baresi backs Allegri's 'reforms'
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Franco Baresi is fully supportive of the changes Massimiliano Allegri has made to the side.

Allegri has benched Ronaldinho in favour of a more balanced starting XI, which includes three holding midfielders.

Milan are top of the table in Serie A with a three-point cushion over second-placed Lazio.

Speaking to Il Corriere della Sera, Baresi said: “It's certainly a different Milan from the one we are used to.

“It has more balance and solidity. The team works hard and gives less of a spectacle. But up front there are players who can resolve a game.”

Milan are back in action at the weekend when they take on Sampdoria at Marassi.

Palombo ready to beat Ibrahimovic
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria captain Angelo Palombo insists that his side has what it takes to keep Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet this weekend.

Milan have risen to the top of the table partly because of their dependence on Ibrahimovic who has scored 11 goals in 17 games in all competitions.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport in anticipation of Sampdoria's clash with Milan, Palombo said: “Let's say that I am now ready.

“After the game against Parma I couldn't walk [because of injury]. In effect the scans have confirmed that I had been carrying this injury for at least two months.

“Football teaches you that there are moments in which you can do everything and moments in which you can't do anything at all.”

Asked if he thought Ibrahimovic would have such an impact on his return to Italy, Palombo said: “Honestly, yes. Even last year at Barcelona he scored a lot of goals over the course of the season.

“I knew that at Milan he would be in a position to repeat his form at the highest level even amongst the many champions they have. He is capable of doing one phase of play completely on his own. I also like him as a person.

“I have spoken to Zlatan only a few times, but I had good sensations.”

Ilicic could have joined AC Milan
24.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Palermo starlet Josip Ilicic could have joined Milan this summer, according to his agent Armin Rudzic.

The 22-year-old Slovenian playmaker has made an immediate impact in Italy since his arrival in the summer.

Ilicic has scored five goals in 12 games for Palermo and is proving something of a revelation even in a team that includes Javier Pastore.

Speaking to Il Giornale di Sicilia, Rudzic said: “I offered Ilicic to many Italian clubs and Milan also seemed tempted.

“Many clubs had the DVD with his games on. But Palermo believed in him the most and beat everyone to him.

“I have thought about how many teams now regret not signing him.

“The Slovenian League is full of good players and there is already a preferential relationship with Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini.”

Galliani: 'How I signed Ibrahimovic'
24.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani reveals the extent he went to in order to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer.

“We are doing very well domestically and in Europe, so qualification – albeit in second place – will give us three months to focus on Serie A,” he said after the 2-0 victory away to Auxerre.

“I continue to think about the UEFA rankings, so I cheer on every Italian club in Europe. We want all of them to go through and I hope Inter can qualify tomorrow.”

Ibrahimovic broke the deadlock with a screamer, then Ronaldinho came off the bench to curl in a late second.

“Robinho and Ronaldinho are friends with the ball, that’s for sure. The second goal was wonderful, very Brazilian,” said the transfer guru.

“When things were going badly, I made the most of my connections to get Ibra even when Barcelona’s headquarters were closed and Sandro Rosell was on holiday in Ibiza!

“I thought we could fight for the Scudetto anyway, but Ibra and Robinho added to the mix really gives us another gear.”

There are going to be some concerns over how much Milan rely on their Swede, especially as he is complaining of exhaustion.

“I don’t like to say we are dependent on Ibrahimovic. Unfortunately Pippo Inzaghi’s out for the season, now we have four strikers instead of five, but we’ll only move on the market if there is a huge opportunity. I don’t see one, so we’ll 95 per cent stay the same.”

Allegri: 'An important result'
24.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri is celebrating qualification, Ronaldinho’s goal and a Milan clean sheet.

“I’m glad for Ronaldinho, as it wasn’t easy for him to come on and make an impact in the final minutes,” said the Coach after a 2-0 win in Auxerre.

The Brazilian has been dropped for five official games in a row, but came off the bench to net.

“We all understood that in order to achieve certain results, we all need to sacrifice ourselves and work hard. The team realised that quickly and it’s going well in Serie A and the Champions League.”

However, there must be concerns that Zlatan Ibrahimovic always has to break the deadlock with a moment of magic, especially as he complained of exhaustion.

“It would be tricky without Ibrahimovic, as we don’t have someone of the same characteristics,” confessed Allegri.

“We could play Ronaldinho and Robinho together for a side with great technique, but less physical presence.

“This qualification gives us strength and it is an important night for us. I am also very glad that we kept a clean sheet for the third time.

“We are solid, don’t allow our opponents much and create at least four or five clear-cut chances per game.”

Ibrahimovic hails Ronaldinho
24.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic admits he was exhausted by the end of the Auxerre match and hailed teammate Ronaldinho.

“We tried to score throughout this difficult game and Auxerre were aggressive, but at the end we won 2-0,” said the Milan hitman.

“I scored a great goal and the team did well, so now we can relax for the final match.

“I was very tired at the end and was making too many mistakes, so I asked to be substituted. Ronaldinho came on and scored, so it all worked out.”

Ronaldinho has been benched for the last five games on the trot in all competition, but made an impact in only five minutes on the field.

“The whole team is very happy for Ronaldinho. He isn’t playing much, but he works hard in training and we are all behind him.”

The Rossoneri are now qualified for the knock-outs, but they are in second place behind Real Madrid.

This means the side they face in the next round will be the winners of a group.

“Every game makes us stronger and whoever we face will be worried. We play our football, that is all.”

Champions League AJ Auxerre 0:2 AC Milan - match report
23.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic 64 (M), Ronaldinho 90 (M)

A Zlatan Ibrahimovic screamer and late Ronaldinho strike gave Milan a 2-0 victory away to Auxerre, securing qualification.

The Rossoneri needed a win to stave off the challenge for second place from Ajax and Auxerre. Ronaldinho was benched for the fifth game in a row, while Andrea Pirlo, Luca Antonini, Alexandre Pato, Pippo Inzaghi and Massimo Oddo were injured. Auxerre missed Jeremy Berthod, but welcomed back Steeven Langil, Delvin Ndinga and Alain Traore.

Milan won 2-0 at San Siro with Zlatan Ibrahimovic's brace, but Auxerre went into this game on a run of six wins and two draws.

Ibra knocked it down for Robinho to blast over, while Christian Abbiati flew to palm a deflected Dariusz Dudka free kick round the post. Ibrahimovic pounced on a defensive error, but nobody was ready to get on the end of his cross.

Clarence Seedorf went very close on 22 minutes when his fierce strike skimmed the crossbar from a tight angle, again from Ibra's assist. Mathieu Flamini's shot was charged down in the box by a desperate sliding tackle and Abbiati smothered a Delvin Ndinga attempt.

Bilsa's cross-shot almost caught out Abbiati, who was certain it would go wide, but in the end the ball shaved the far post.

Auxerre had penalty appeals for an Alessandro Nesta handling offence, but it certainly seemed to strike his shoulder.

Gennaro Gattuso should've scored on 39 minutes when he intercepted a dreadful Adama Coulibaly pass on the edge of the box, but he is certainly not a hitman and it showed with his blast over the bar.

The Rossoneri again threatened with Ignazio Abate's cross deflected off a defender into the goalkeeper's arms before Ibrahimovic could get the tap-in.

Thiago Silva drilled wide from distance, but Auxerre started to raise the tempo after the break. This left room on the counter and Abate pulled back for Robinho's shot charged down in the area by Coulibaly.

Ibrahimovic is absolutely decisive for the Rossoneri at the moment and he broke the deadlock again with a stunning strike. It was his first real chance and he made it count. Seedorf's through ball for Robinho was intercepted by Dudka, but turned into an assist for Ibra's right-foot blockbuster under the bar from the edge of the box.

Benoit Pedretti's first touch let him down, so Thiago Silva coolly shepherded the ball to Abbiati. Auxerre were pouring forward as the Rossoneri focused on protecting their advantage, Nesta closing down Valter Birsa with a well-timed tackle.

Pedretti turned over and Milan's counter-attacks became ineffective due to fatigue. Ibrahimovic was clearly exhausted and requested a substitution, giving Ronaldinho his chance for all of five minutes. There was a late scare when Gianluca Zambrotta was muscled off the ball in the final third, but Thiago Silva cleaned up.

Ronaldinho made his five minutes count, getting on the scoresheet to secure qualification. Robinho burst between two defenders down the right and rolled across for Ronaldinho, who took a touch to leave Coulibaly stranded and curled it into the far bottom corner.

Real Madrid demolished Ajax 4-0 in Amsterdam to secure top spot, so Milan are mathematically in second.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Gattuso (Strasser 92), Ambrosini, Flamini; Seedorf (Boateng 76); Robinho, Ibrahimovic (Ronaldinho 85)

Auxerre: Sorin; Hengbart (Chafni 59), Coulibaly, Gricthing, Dudka; Oliech, Pedretti, Ndinga, Birsa; Sammaritano (Quercia 65); Contout (Traore' 85)

Ref: Skomina (Slo)

Inzaghi picks Paloschi
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Injured Pippo Inzaghi has advised Milan to replace him in January with Alberto Paloschi. “There is nobody better,” he said.

The Rossoneri are expected to bring in a fresh option in the New Year after Inzaghi’s season was ended by a knee injury earlier this month.

Numerous players have been mentioned as possible alternatives to Inzaghi, but the player himself insists the Parma forward would be ideal.

“If I have to be replaced then there is nobody better than Paloschi – even if he is coming back from an injury,” said the 37-year-old.

Paloschi, an Under-21 international, is actually co-owned by the Rossoneri and has already appeared for them in Serie A.

He made his Serie A debut for Milan against Siena in February 2008 and has two goals in seven top-flight appearances for the outfit.

Paloschi, born in January 1990, joined the Tardini outfit in the summer of 2008.

Maldini rates Barcelona duo
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Paolo Maldini believes Lionel Messi should win the Ballon d'Or every year and feels Gerard Pique is the best defender in the world.

Interviewed in L'Equipe, the 41-year-old was particularly expansive about his views on football a year after his retirement from the professional game.

“When I see Messi play, in my opinion, he should win the Ballon d'Or every year. He is an unbelievable player.

“I like Pique a lot. He has class. He knows how to defend and also how to score. He is perfect in a duo with Carles Puyol.

“Alessandro Nesta remains one of the strongest defenders. Milan's Thiago Silva can also become a super champion.”

Asked for his opinion of Milan this season, Maldini said: “I think that it's a competitive team for Serie A.

“They still lack something in the Champions League. We saw that when Milan played in Madrid against Real.

“For example, I believe that it would be difficult to qualify if they drew Barca or Chelsea.

“Milan have recently shown an intensity in their play. It's credit to the Coach, Massimiliano Allegri,” he concluded.

Allegri: 'Ronaldinho must win his place back'
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri says Ronaldinho must work hard to win his place back in the starting XI.

The Brazil international has lost his place in the side and was spotted in a nightclub last week, much to Allegri's disappointment.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow night's clash with Auxerre in the Champions League, Allegri said: “Ronaldinho is working. He is doing very well. He also came on with desire on Saturday.

“No one likes being out of the team, but he has to work to get his place back.”

Looking ahead to Auxerre, Allegri said: “Everyone knows the importance of this game. I believe that until we win in France and Ajax lose at home, qualification will be open until the very end.

“Auxerre are going through a very good spell of form. Their recent results are good and they always manage to express themselves well at home.

“We have to play a great game to come away with a positive result.”

Pirlo set to miss Auxerre clash
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will be without Andrea Pirlo for Tuesday's all-important Champions League clash with Auxerre.

The Serie A leaders have a chance to qualify for the next round, although Auxerre are in a rich vein of form.

Pirlo has been suffering from a thigh injury and Massimiliano Allegri has chosen not to include him in Milan's 21-man squad.

The Rossoneri have done well without the deep-lying playmaker so far this season, operating in a 4-3-1-2 with three ostensibly holding midfielders.

Some pundits suggest it could be the end of Pirlo's time as an undisputed regular at Milan.

Incidentally his contract is due to expire in the summer and he has already intimated that he doesn't intend to renew it.

Inzaghi thanks Eto'o for advice
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi claims Inter striker Samuel Eto'o put him on to a knee specialist in Barcelona who he hopes will help prolong his career.

The 37-year-old suffered a serious knee injury earlier this month and there are fears that he may never play again at his age.

Interviewed on, Inzaghi said: “Many players have called me. Actually I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone again, but the phone call that struck me the most was from Eto'o.

“We got to know each other this summer in the Bahamas. He called me after the injury and advised me to go to Spain to see Professor Cugat who he gets on well with.

“Cugat is the same Professor who operated on Antonio Di Natale with great results.

“It's the worst injury of my career. I am disappointed that it came in such a great moment.

“I don't want to give myself a comeback date, but I hope to heal.

“I have to try. I owe it to everyone who loves me.”

Ibrahimovic: 'Balotelli, come to AC Milan!'
21.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has publicly invited Mario Balotelli to join him at Milan and shrugged off exhaustion. “I’ll play with one leg if I have to.”

The Rossoneri are top of the table thanks to Ibra’s sensational goal to defeat Fiorentina 1-0 last night and he has complained of feeling ‘worn out’ after 16 consecutive club starts.

“I do feel very tired, especially in the final minutes of each game. Perhaps I have played too much and if we had Pippo Inzaghi and Alexandre Pato then I could’ve rested a bit,” said the Swede.

“In any case, I will sacrifice myself for the team. I’ll play with one leg if I have to.”

The striker shortage means a new forward is likely to be drafted in during the January transfer window.

Balotelli has declared he is a Milan supporter and had dinner with Vice-President Adriano Galliani after the derby last weekend. The Manchester City star also admitted he would love to play alongside his old Inter teammate again.

“I am very pleased that Mario wants to play with me. In the summer he called me every day begging me to join him at Manchester City,” revealed Ibrahimovic.

“He is a great player and will do well in the Premier League, but if he wants to play with me then he’ll have to come to Milan.

“I would love him to be here, but calling me won’t be enough, he needs to call Galliani and reach an agreement.”

Allegri praises AC Milan character
21.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri praised Milan’s character and determination to beat Fiorentina “while under pressure.”

They retained their Serie A leadership status thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic wonder-goal and Christian Abbiati’s saves.

“At this moment in time we don’t have a real centre-forward, so the midfielders pushing up are important,” said the Coach of their 1-0 victory.

“I do credit Ibrahimovic for his fantastic technique, but it seems almost normal for him. I also believe tonight the side showed real character, because the win came while under pressure.

“We never lost our concentration and were gritty right to the end. Ibra is someone who brings a lot to his teammates, but the whole squad has reached an important mental balance. Abbiati also made a couple of truly extraordinary saves tonight.”

The Rossoneri are guaranteed to stay top of the table for another week after this result and are quickly becoming Scudetto favourites.

“There is Serie A and the Champions League. I am glad to note that the lads put in a strong performance every time, even when those who don’t get as much playing time are called upon,” added Allegri.

“I think Robinho is doing very well and in those moments when he goes out wide, the midfielders have to step up.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:0 Fiorentina - match report
20.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Ibrahimovic 45 (M)

A spectacular Zlatan Ibrahimovic overhead kick and Christian Abbiati's saves gave Milan a 1-0 victory over Fiorentina.

The Serie A leaders aimed to stay there and welcomed a Viola side beginning to find their feet. The derby victory boosted confidence, but Ronaldinho was dropped for the fourth game running after he was spotted out dancing in the early hours of the morning. Alexandre Pato, Pippo Inzaghi, Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Oddo were sidelined and Ignazio Abate suspended. Fiorentina were without Sebastien Frey, Riccardo Montolivo, Stevan Jovetic, Cristiano Zanetti, Adrian Mutu and a Juan Manuel Vargas only fit for the bench.

The Viola haven't conquered San Siro since a 2-1 result on May 17 2001, managing just five defeats and two draws.

Daniele Bonera had the unlikely first shot on goal in the opening 60 seconds, his snapshot from distance fingertipped out from under the crossbar by Artur Boruc.

Gaetano D'Agostino's excellent curling free kick went over the wall towards the near post, but Christian Abbiati was at full stretch to palm it off the line.

Fiorentina earned a corner to find Per Kroldrup's header from seven yards, which Abbiati flew to push over the bar.

Mathieu Flamini combined with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and tried to burst through two Fiorentina players where there wasn't a space, so the referee waved play on as he clattered into Kroldrup's trailing leg.

Gennaro Gattuso had a rare foray in attack when sent through by a slide-rule pass, but Boruc rushed off his line to charge him down. At the other end Alessio Cerci burst down the right to flash a cross into the six-yard box where Adem Ljajic mistimed his header. Moments later Abbiati smothered a Ljajic snapshot from outside the box.

Clarence Seedorf stung Boruc's palms with a long-range right-foot curler, while Flamini couldn't get enough power behind his shot.

Robinho hit the back of the net at the 40th minute, but the whistle had already gone for his offside position as he ran on to Seedorf's through ball.

Ibrahimovic broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time in spectacular fashion. He found himself with his back to goal from eight yards and invented something out of nowhere, flicking it up once to set up the overhead kick for himself that went across Boruc into the far bottom corner. During the landing he fell heavily on to his elbow and was in evident pain. After several minutes of treatment, the Swede was able to continue.

Fiorentina threw on 18-year-old Michele Camporese for his Serie A debut in the second half, replacing the injured Cesare Natali.

Ibra, Seedorf and Robinho combined for the Brazilian's shot charged down by Kroldrup. Flamini got to the by-line and pulled back for Seedorf, who couldn't quite get clean contact.

Cerci pounced on a Gianluca Zambrotta error and fell under the challenge, but there was no penalty. Moments later Robinho skipped between two defenders for an effort charged down and from the corner Alessandro Nesta's free header was comfortably held.

Gilardino attempted an audacious volley, but it meekly made its way into Abbiati's hands. Flamini's shot was blocked by a flailing Marco Donadel arm as he went into a sliding tackle at the by-line, but the referee judged it to be involuntary. From the corner, Thiago Silva thumped a screamer from 20 metres out that skimmed the near post.

Ibra shrugged off a challenge only to drag his angled drive wide from the edge of the box. Abbiati smothered a Ljajic free kick, while Kevin Prince Boateng came off the bench and immediately his half-volley from distance was hooked by one strong Boruc hand.

Fiorentina really should've scored with a wonderful move eight minutes from time. Gilardino burst down the left past Nesta and managed to roll across for Ljajic, but what looked like a certain tap-in was denied by Abbiati's cat-like reflexes. Moments later Mario Alberto Santana's angled drive flashed across the face of goal.

Ronaldinho was thrown on as a late substitute for the exhausted Seedorf, given a warm welcome from the San Siro crowd. Kroldrup had a poor ending to the match, as he insulted the referee in stoppages for a second yellow card.

Milan: Abbiati; Bonera, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Gattuso, Ambrosini, Flamini; Seedorf (Ronaldinho 86); Ibrahimovic, Robinho (Boateng 77)

Fiorentina: Boruc; Comotto, Kroldrup, Natali (Camporese 46), Pasqual; Donadel, D'Agostino, Marchionni (Vargas 76), Ljajic, Cerci (Santana 60); Gilardino

Ref: Damato

Sent off: Kroldrup 93 (F)

Inzaghi 'struggled to accept' injury
20.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi concedes his knee injury was devastating at the age of 37, but he has faith. “I struggled to accept it, but I will celebrate again.”

The Milan hitman is out for six months after damaging knee ligaments against Palermo on November 10.

He will go under the knife in Barcelona with specialist Professor Ramon Cugat over the next few days.

“I will face this challenge the way I always took on my injuries. I struggled to accept it at first, because I was going through such a good period of form, especially after the brace against Real Madrid,” he told Milan Channel.

“At the age of 37 it is a tough blow, but I want to return and I will celebrate again. I thank everyone for their affection and I wanted to personally read all the messages of support from the fans.

“I told my teammates that I want to come back for the final game and celebrate something important. Their support really moved me.

“I will really miss the atmosphere of the squad, as I see such a positive attitude. My teammates are strong and we are so eager to conquer an important trophy.”

Ibrahimovic: 'I'm worn out'
20.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic warns he feels “tired, almost worn out” amid the Milan injury crisis and takes another vicious sideswipe at Pep Guardiola.

The Swede is forced to play almost every game after Alexandre Pato and Pippo Inzaghi were ruled out by long-term injuries.

“I have played many games this season and now I feel tired, almost worn out,” he said when accepting an award in Sweden.

“Seeing that at Milan there are two injured strikers, the situation is not very easy for me. I have to thank the Sweden Coach who allowed me to rest a little bit this week.”

Andrea Pirlo is out of tonight’s game with Fiorentina after a relapse of his right thigh problem, but Ronaldinho is included despite a late night on the town.

“I will carry on my playing career while I still have the hunger. Just look at Inzaghi... I don’t know if after that I’ll become a Coach or a television commentator,” continued Ibrahimovic.

“I only know that I will get up at 8am and not know what to do with myself if I can’t get on to the pitch. I hope that time is as far away as possible.

“In the meantime I’d like to win the Swedish Player of the Year award a few more times. I don’t think about the Ballon d’Or any more, as that’s a dream for young folk.”

Ibra has been conducting a running media battle with Barcelona boss Guardiola, who he blames for the failure of his spell at the Nou Camp.

“He seems like a philosopher with the way he dresses and speaks. He reminded me a little of Gandhi.

“People say he won six trophies, but with the team at his disposal I could’ve been the Coach! We even could’ve played without a tactician, or with four injured players on the pitch.”

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Antonini, Bonera, Jankulovski, Montelongo, Nesta, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes; Ambrosini, Boateng, Flamini, Gattuso, Seedorf, Strasser, Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Ronaldinho

Galliani rules out Borriello return
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says there is absolutely no chance of Marco Borriello returning to the club in light of injuries to Alexandre Pato and Pippo Inzaghi.

Borriello is currently on loan at Roma until the end of the season, although part of the deal stipulates that the capital outfit are obliged to buy him once the deal expires.

That means the 28-year-old is a Roma player in all but name, ruling out any possible return to San Siro.

“It's impossible,” Galliani said. “He has been sold to Roma. There is no chance.

“Anyway, why should we need someone to come in? Pato will be back in January.”

Galliani also took the chance to play down his meeting with Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli after the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday.

“I was dining in the same restaurant as Balotelli was and being a nice person I stopped for a little while to chat with him. That's all. It was a casual meeting.”

Flamini feels part of AC Milan
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mathieu Flamini has revealed he finally feels part of Milan after two years at the club, although Max Allegri's predecessor Leonardo has come under criticism.

The 27-year-old has made eight appearances so far this season and appears to have benefited from Allegri's decision to use three essentially holding midfielders in his side.

Interviewed in Il Corriere della Sera, Flamini said: “Let's say that the first year was one of transition even if I played more than 35 games while last year Leonardo didn't give me the chance to give the team a hand and show my qualities.

“Now instead I feel inside the team, even if my season started late because of an injury. Now I am 100 per cent. I think you have seen as much.”

Asked if he regrets leaving Arsenal, Flamini said: “Never. I moved to one of the biggest clubs in the world. I had the chance to play with legends like Maldini, Shevchenko and Kaka. I made a big jump in quality.

“Every morning I wake up thinking about the Scudetto. And also the Champions League. This year the Final is in London. I want to be there.”

Mihajlovic would never coach AC Milan
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina boss Sinisa Mihajlovic says he would never consider coaching Milan one day in the future.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's trip to San Siro, the Serb drew on his past with Inter.

“I could never coach Milan,” he said. “They are one of the best clubs in the world, but I played for and was a Coach at Inter. I couldn't do it out of respect towards my old fans.

“Because of who I am, I could never coach Milan, Roma, Palermo and Genoa,” Mihajlovic reiterated.

Turning his attention to the game itself, Mihajlovic said: “We must change the opinion of those people who think that we are already beaten.

“We must be convinced of it otherwise we might as well stay at home. Milan with Ibrahimovic can become the favourite for the Scudetto.

“Zlatan has developed also in terms of mentality. If Milan didn't have him, how many points would they have got?

“We are a team who can put anyone in difficulty. The important thing is to play openly and not to think about being defensive like what happened in Rome.”

Allegri disappointed in Ronaldinho
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri has expressed his disappointment after Ronaldinho was caught on camera at a nightclub in the early hours of the morning.

The 30-year-old had just returned from Doha where he had been making his international comeback for Brazil against Argentina.

Soon after stepping off the plane he told journalists of his intention to stay at Milan and fight for his place in the team after three matches in a row on the bench.

However, his late night antics have once again led to the questioning of his integrity.

“I have learned about it from you,” Allegri told reporters. “No one has said anything about it to me.

“It certainly isn't alright. They are not hours that are compatible with the life of an athlete.

“It will be difficult to see Ronaldinho, Ibrahimovic and Robinho on the pitch simultaneously.”

Thiago Silva's wife rejects Real Madrid move
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan centre-back Thiago Silva has revealed how his wife talked him out of joining Real Madrid last summer.

The 26-year-old was strongly linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, particularly because Jose Mourinho rates him highly.

Interviewed in Il Corriere dello Sport, Silva said: “It's true, I know. But my wife Isabel has always answered for me. She was the one to first say 'no' to Real. She definitely prefers Milan to Madrid.”

Silva also had second thoughts when the first words of his son were apparently those of the current Milan team.

Turning his attention back to the pitch, Silva reassured fans that he is trying to recover from an ankle injury as soon as possible.

“It still gives me a little bother when I run, but I am gritting my teeth. I hope to be irreplaceable for as long as possible. I would have no problem playing here until I am 40 like Maldini."

Seedorf respects struggling Inter
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan ace Clarence Seedorf still considers Inter as a threat despite the Rossoneri’s 1-0 victory in the derby last weekend.

Milan surged to the top of the table after a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty saw them move above Lazio, but, significantly, six points clear of the reigning champions.

However, when asked whether the derby game signified the end of an era for Inter and the start of one for Milan, Seedorf refused to write off the Nerazzurri.

“We’re only in November,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview. “Inter are looking for an identity with their new Coach.

“It is easy to criticise a Coach who joins a team that has won everything, but remember that Rafa Benitez is a man who won Liverpool the Champions League.

“He isn’t lacking in ability, he just needs to find balance for his side.”

Milan are now widely seen as favourites for the Scudetto after some impressive and consistent results domestically.

“We at Milan are happy with the wins, but we need time to become a real team,” continued the Dutchman.

“Victories do matter, but if we don’t beat Fiorentina [on Saturday] then winning in the derby wouldn’t matter.”

Seedorf is applauded for his midfield versatility, but he has shone in recent times after being used as a No 10 – his favourite position.

“It’s satisfying to be used in my natural role and I’m enjoying the moment. Since 2007 I have had to adapt to many positions, but most of the time I’ve played in the zones which I like.”

The former Real Madrid player was also asked about his future. “I’m happy at Milan and I’d like to continue here. It would take something extraordinary for me to change clubs.”

Ronaldinho calm about his contract
18.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan star Ronaldinho insists he is calm about his future at the club even though his contract is up in the summer.

Adriano Galliani told journalists last night that he is prepared to 'risk' losing the Brazilian by playing a waiting game in negotiations.

Ronaldinho has made no secret of his desire to stay at Milan even amid interest from Flamengo and the LA Galaxy.

He has recently lost his place in Milan's starting XI, but appears committed to winning it back.

Speaking on his return from international duty, Ronaldinho said: “There are many players whose contracts are up, but I am calm and happy here.

“I don't want for anything and I am calm about the contract.

“I am happy to have got back to playing with Brazil even if it didn't go how we wanted against Argentina.

“I have not been playing a lot recently. I lack the right rhythm, but now I want to keep playing well with Milan so I can be called up to the Brazil squad again.

“I am also ready to play as a striker for Milan. It's down to what the mister decides. I hope to play against Fiorentina,” he concluded.

Galliani to 'risk' losing Ronaldinho
18.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says he is prepared to 'risk' losing Ronaldinho, as the Brazil international's contract runs down.

Ronaldinho is free to talk with other clubs in January as he enters the last six months of his existing deal at San Siro amid interest from the LA Galaxy.

The 30-year-old recently expressed his desire to stay at Milan, but his willpower will be tested by the club's desire to lower their wage bill.

“It's never happened that a Milan player has reached an agreement with another club without our knowing also because they are happy with us,” Galliani explained.

“I am convinced that it will not happen, but maybe I am wrong.

“I will run this risk,” he concluded.

Balotelli slams racists, then calls AC Milan
18.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli was upset at the racist jeers from the crowd in Austria, but also hinted at a move to Milan. “I’m at Manchester City until June.”

The Italy striker was subjected to racist boos during tonight’s 1-1 draw with Romania, but not all of them came from the opposition fans.

A small group of supporters unfurled banners that targeted both Balotelli and Argentine-born debutant Cristian Ledesma. They read ‘Italy for Italians’ and ‘No to a multi-ethnic Italy.’

“In all honesty, I don’t know what to say,” commented Balotelli. “If I have to stand there every time and listen to these chants, we’re going nowhere.

“Cesare Prandelli says everyone should hug me and it would be nice if that happened, but it also wouldn’t be right to stop the game just for those few people who go to the stadium to behave like that.

“We’d need to change these people, but I am not the one to do it. I am happy to play for the Nazionale. I will just say that where I live, in Brescia, there is already a multi-ethnic Italy. And we can do a lot better.

“I would like to hear more talk about these problems rather than my alleged girlfriends.”

Balotelli also made comments that will fuel reports of a move to Milan, the club he admits to supporting.

“Until June I am certainly at Manchester City. I have a five-year contract and can’t say anything.

“It’s true that I had dinner with Adriano Galliani after the derby, but what does that mean? If I had dinner with Massimo Moratti would you say I was returning to Inter?

“What do I think of Zlatan Ibrahimovic? Ah, Ibra and I would make a very strong pairing.”

When asked which of the players in the current Italy side he liked the most, SuperMario mentioned Pirlo.

“He’s another Milanista, but it’s not my fault if they have so many great players.”

Thiago Silva: 'AC Milan are stronger with Nesta'
18.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva is unequivocal that Milan are a better side when Alessandro Nesta is playing alongside him in defence.

The Brazil international centre-back has been treated as something of a revolutionary in his country after being quoted as saying: “I like Max Allegri because he cares a lot for the defensive phase of the game.”

When asked to reveal who he believes is the key man at Milan, Silva said: “Nesta. We feel a lot stronger with him beside us. He is our leader.

“It's not easy to score goals against us and this balance has carried us to the top. I like Allegri also because he creates the right atmosphere in training.”

Taken to task on the title race, Silva denied claims Milan are in flight, saying: “Inter have problems but they are always dangerous.

“Lazio have many good players, starting with Hernanes. And then there is the loose cannon - the Napoli of Lavezzi, Cavani and Hamsik, three great attacking players. I have been following them since the beginning. They can be in the mix for the Scudetto.”

Robinho reminded of Capello's Real Madrid
18.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho claims this current Milan side reminds him of Fabio Capello's Real Madrid in the 2006-07 season.

The Brazil international played his part in that title win, making 32 appearances. He also scored six goals.

“This Milan reminds me of Capello's Real Madrid,” Robinho said. “Capello's Real Madrid had many champions in its ranks.

“The Italian tactician managed to find the right balance between desire, actually the necessity, to propose spectacular football and the solidity that we needed to win La Liga.

“We wanted to win. But we also wanted to win entertaining. Milan have taken the same path. Allegri is a great teacher just like Capello was.

“It's clear. Milan remain a Brazilian team. Having fun with the ball is natural for us. Ibra, who is a monster in terms of power, has delicate feet.

“It's easy to play with him in the tight spaces.”

When asked about speculation regarding the future of his teammate Ronaldinho, Robinho said: “He is a No 1. When he is 100 per cent in shape he will become a ruthless weapon in Allegri's hands.

“He can invent an assist or a decisive goal in an instant. He is 'Dinho. A No 1.”

Ibrahimovic agent to Cruyff: 'Go to hell!'
16.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Johan Cruyff has praised Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but agent Mino Raiola told him to “go to hell! He should be in a mental asylum with Pep Guardiola.”

The extraordinary outburst came after Barcelona advisor Cruyff said he was impressed by Ibra’s performance in the Milan derby, believing he was “better suited to Italian football.”

Rather than thank the Dutch legend for the comments, Ibrahimovic’s agent replied with a barrage of abuse.

“Cruyff can go to hell! He is a nobody,” Raiola was quoted as saying in Swedish newspaper Expressen.

“He is becoming old and didn’t have the courage to continue his management career, as he doesn’t know how to train a modern club.

“Why didn’t Cruyff tell Zlatan that he wasn’t suited to Spanish football before Barcelona signed him?

“I think Cruyff should be in a mental asylum with Guardiola, so they can sit there quietly and play cards together. They would be doing Barcelona a great favour.”

Cruyff has praise for Ibrahimovic
16.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Dutch legend Johan Cruyff has tacitly praised Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic after his performance in the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday.

The Sweden international was in Malmo last night picking up a Player of the Year award, the fifth of his career.

“Zlatan's style is more adapted to Italian than Spanish football,” Cruyff said.

“He played very well in the derby and showed to whom he belongs.”

Ibrahimovic was criticised by Cruyff last season, who briefly returned to Barcelona as an honorary President.

Since returning to Italy, the 29-year-old has scored nine goals in 15 games.

Ronaldinho won't leave AC Milan
16.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho says he was disappointed not to play in the derby, but insists that he doesn't intend to leave the club.

The 30-year-old Brazil international has lost his place in the team after Massimiliano Allegri decided upon a tactical shift.

“I wasn't happy,” Ronaldinho said. “You can't be happy when you don't play an important game like the derby.

“But I look at the League table and I am happy. Yes, happy.

“Milan are top: they have everything to win the Scudetto. I knew it from the first day of training. I understood that there was a new atmosphere.

“Now the opponents will also have understood.”

When asked about his future, Ronaldinho said: “I repeat for the last time. I don't have any intention of leaving Milan.

“Actually I will say more: the victories that I will conquer with the Rossoneri will give me the push to follow my life's dream: that of playing at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“Take my name off all the transfer market stories. I am happy at Milan. Happy.”

Berlusconi delighted with derby win
16.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi is delighted with Sunday's 1-0 victory over Inter in the Derby della Madonnina.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the only goal of the game, which allowed Milan to move six points clear of Inter in the standings.

“I saw the game with my son Luigi and we enjoyed it together after the disappointments of the last three derbies,” Berlusconi said.

“It's true, it was an important victory, very important, that confirms the value of our team, which is built to win the Scudetto and the Champions League.

“We are top of the table and this makes us hopeful also because of the way in which we won, because ours was the victory that everyone desired, not just Ibrahimovic who made the difference with the penalty.

“It's a victory, which is the fruit of great sacrifice, obtained with clenched teeth because we played almost the entire second half with a man less.

“Don't forget that we were missing Pato, Inzaghi and Ronaldinho.

“We are happy to have focused on Allegri who has wide freedom of choice, like all Milan Coaches.”

Allegri on Sneijder, Ronaldinho and Cassano
16.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri insists Wesley Sneijder deserves the Golden Ball, while he’s given his opinion on the Ronaldinho-Antonio Cassano swap rumours.

“Sneijder is worthy of the Ballon d’Or,” noted the tactician. “I have no doubts about that when I consider what he did for Inter last season.”

The Dutchman, a summer signing from Real Madrid, won the treble with the Nerazzurri and also reached the World Cup Final with his national team.

Sneijder is a leading contender for the prize having been named in the initial short-list for the France Football honour.

Turning to the transfer speculation suggesting that the benched Ronaldinho could move to Sampdoria in return for the frozen out Cassano, Allegri dismissed that option outright.

“It’s fantasy football,” he noted. “I’m happy to have Ronaldinho at my disposal. Even if there isn’t much space for him now, he is an important player for us.

“As for Cassano, I don’t know how that case will end. But he is a very important player for Italian football.”

Allegri is a happy man right now given that he won his first Milanese derby last night with the Rossoneri’s 1-0 triumph over Inter.

“We already have high self esteem, but the derby win has improved our morale,” he added. “It’ll do us good in the League and in the Champions League.

“It was a great feeling last night and I’m happy because I saw that my side wanted to win at all costs.

“But having a six point advantage over Inter means nothing expect the fact that Milan are working well.”

Buffon tips AC Milan for title
16.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus custodian Gianluigi Buffon has crowned rivals Milan as favourites for the Italian championship.

The Rossoneri went to the top of the table last night after their 1-0 win over Inter saw them move six points clear of serious title contenders Inter and the Bianconeri.

“Milan are the big favourites for the Scudetto,” said the currently injured goalkeeper.

“If we finish the campaign three or four points behind them then we can consider our season a success.

“If we were to finish 18 points behind them then it is clear that we still haven’t reduced the gap between ourselves and our rivals.

“Juventus though are a solid side, a young one too, and the squad has been well built for the future.”

Buffon, who has been sidelined since picking up an injury at the World Cup in South Africa, has repeatedly been in the news lately.

Stories suggest that his relationship with the new club officials isn’t as strong as it was with the previous regime.

As a result, the former Parma man’s future has been cast into some doubt with numerous clubs associated.

But Buffon has again pledged his allegiance to the Old Lady of Italian football. “I’ll be back in January. With Juventus? Of course.”

Marco Storari, signed from Milan in the summer after a spell at Sampdoria, has replaced Buffon in the Juve goal this term.

Nesta hails super Ibrahimovic
15.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta has underlined how vital Zlatan Ibrahimovic is to Milan’s Scudetto bid this term.

Ibra was a surprise signing from Barcelona over the summer and his goals, as well as assists, have catapulted the Rossoneri to the top of Serie A.

“He is a really important player for this team,” the veteran Italian defender noted after the Swede scored in last night’s 1-0 win over former club Inter.

“He can keep hold of the ball, he runs around a lot and pressurises opposing defenders. He really is a good player.”

The derby win over the Nerazzurri has seen Milan gain first place in the standings – one point above Lazio and five ahead of Napoli.

“It was an important victory as we went six points clear of Inter and we hadn’t beaten them in a derby for a little while,” Nesta continued.

“We were missing a night like that and fortunately it arrived.

“Even after we were reduced to 10-men, following the dismissal of Ignazio Abate, we didn’t really run any risks.”

Galliani plays down Balotelli meeting
15.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has played down his meeting with Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli after last night's derby.

The pair were seen leaving a famous restaurant where Galliani and the team usually dine after a match at San Siro.

Door-stepped by a number of TV cameras, Galliani and Balotelli were asked about the nature of their meeting.

It has been speculated that Milan are interested in signing the Manchester City striker in January following Pippo Inzaghi's knee injury.

“I have never said anything about joining Milan,” Balotelli said. “It's only a coincidence that we were in the same restaurant.

“Since I left Italy I am the friend of all the teams. It was nice that Galliani came over to say hello to me.”

Galliani was then pressed to reveal exactly what went on in the restaurant.

“We don't want to create a scene,” he said. “We don't bother players and other clubs.

“Balotelli is a City player and that's it.”

Bianchi lined up as Inzaghi replacement
15.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are seriously thinking about making a bid for Torino striker Rolando Bianchi in January after Pippo Inzaghi suffered a serious knee injury.

The 37-year-old's enforced absence compounds Milan's lack of depth up front, which always risked being laid bare following the sales of Marco Borriello and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in the summer.

Milan have apparently made inquiries about the possibility of signing Amauri from Juventus, but that deal would depend on the Turin giants finding a replacement in January.

It also appears that there is too much competition for Diego Forlan and Karim Benzema who are more expensive options, which seem out of Milan's price range.

Naturally, Milan's attention has since turned back to Bianchi, a player they were first linked with three years ago after a break out season with Reggina.

Bianchi scored 26 goals in Serie B last season and surprised many pundits by announcing his intention to stay at Torino even though they missed out on promotion via the Play-offs.

The 26-year-old has already found the net seven times in the current campaign and although he has earned talismanic status among Torino fans, a move to Milan would be hard to resist.

Allegri is like Mourinho, says Seedorf
15.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf has likened Massimiliano Allegri to Jose Mourinho after last night's victory in the Derby della Madonnina.

The Rossoneri beat Inter 1-0 thanks to a penalty from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which sent them top of the table again with a one-point advantage over Lazio.

“We are happy because we won a game, but it takes time to open a cycle,” Seedorf said.

“We need to get to know each other better. Balance is a subtle thing that you only obtain through results.”

When asked if he believes Milan are stronger than Inter, Seedorf said: “We'll talk about it at the end of the season.

“In any case, it's not said that you need to be stronger than the Nerazzurri to win the Scudetto.

“Mourinho's teams were always distinct by their compactness. We have become much more compact with Allegri. We move in an organized manner.”

Allegri hasn't locked down AC Milan
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri feels he has struck the right balance with Milan, but won’t rule out further changes.

“It was a very intense performance and we got off to a great start, putting Inter under pressure,” he said of the 1-0 win that maintained their leadership.

“We kept that up while we had XI men on the field, then defended well and it was a deserved victory.

“There was a moment when we looked ready to score the second, but then we started slowing the tempo and fatigue had set in. I liked the attitude and good football, above all the team was solid.

“It’s an important victory, especially as a derby win can only help improve self-esteem.”

The Rossoneri have dropped Ronaldinho for the last three games running and have been successful with Clarence Seedorf in the trequartista role.

“Even if your name is Milan and you have star players, you need to be efficient and work hard in order to win,” noted Allegri.

“We had some good results with that earlier line-up, but admittedly we did suffer a bit more with so many attacking players. The balance is within the squad now and everyone feels important.”

The final thought was for the injured Alexandre Pato and Pippo Inzaghi, who are out until 2011 and the end of the season respectively.

“We dedicate this victory to Pato and Inzaghi, especially Pippo who cannot be here with us.”

Ibrahimovic: 'AC Milan worked hard'
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic praised Milan’s work rate, insisted Inter are not out of the title race and apologised to Marco Materazzi.

“This great victory came from an excellent performance, especially in the second half when we were a man down. The team played with hard work, heart and sacrifice,” he said of the 1-0 Derby della Madonnina victory.

Ibra earned and converted the decisive penalty after just five minutes, while the Rossoneri had Ignazio Abate sent off on the hour mark.

“We said that we are a team and play the way we know how. We created many chances in the first 20 minutes and could’ve got another two goals.”

The Swede was also involved in an accidental clash with Materazzi, which saw the Inter defender stretchered off after a knock to the head.

“I didn’t do it on purpose. I tried to get the ball, but he was there too and we both went for it. I apologised and these things can happen in football.”

The result leaves Inter six points off leaders Milan and was their first home defeat in 18 months.

“It is not decisive for the Scudetto. It’s true Inter have a disadvantage now, but there’s a long way to go and anything can happen. Everyone must remain concentrated and keep working hard.”

Serie A: Internazionale 0:1 AC Milan - match report
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Ibrahimovic pen 5 (M)

Milan have won the Derby della Madonnina thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty despite Ignazio Abate's red card. Inter were unbeaten on home turf in Serie A since a 2-1 to Juventus on March 22 2008.

The Rossoneri went into the derby as the favourites thanks to their Serie A leadership spot, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic faced his former teammates. Both teams missed key players, as Alexandre Pato, Pippo Inzaghi, Daniele Bonera and Massimo Oddo were out with Andrea Pirlo only fit for the bench and Ronaldinho dropped again.

Inter lost Douglas Maicon, Sulley Muntari, Thiago Motta, MacDonald Mariga and Walter Samuel, while Julio Cesar and Esteban Cambiasso were among the substitutes. Wesley Sneijder returned after his anaemia-prompted fainting spell.

It was all set to be a fiery encounter, as Marco Materazzi was given a rare start to mark Ibra. Inter had won their last three meetings with rivals Milan on the trot with an aggregate scoreline of 8-1.

Milan had the first chance when Seedorf nodded over from an Ignazio Abate cross.

Moments later Ibrahimovic went on the counter and feinted a pass to Mathieu Flamini, instead cutting back inside, but he didn't get the chance as Materazzi hacked him down very late indeed. Ibra got back up to take the penalty and buried a powerful finish in at the near post, sending Luca Castellazzi the wrong way.

Inter tried to push forward, but this left gaps at the back for Milan's rapid counter-attack. Ibra rolled across for Flamini and a crucial Ivan Cordoba tackle did enough to put the former Arsenal midfielder off.

Ibrahimovic hooked an improbable high ball in the box and managed to squeeze the cross through with Castellazzi stranded, so Materazzi had to clear before Seedorf could get the tap-in from seven yards.

A spectacular Ibra volley skimmed the crossbar, while Robinho hit the back of the net after he had been flagged offside. As Abate and Gennaro Gattuso picked up early bookings, Inter tried to push more down that flank.

The Nerazzurri's injury crisis deteriorated further when Obi pulled up in the centre-circle clutching his thigh. It was immediately obvious he could not continue, so Coutinho was thrown on. At first Cambiasso seemed ready to come in, but Rafa Benitez changed his mind, pulling Dejan Stankovic into midfield.

Sneijder and Eto'o combined on the edge of the box to set up the substitute, who horribly scuffed well wide. Inter were starting to pick up the pace after a sluggish start and Gattuso ran the very serious risk of a second yellow card for bringing down Sneijder, but got away with a final warning.

From that free kick on the outside edge of the box, Sneijder struck the side-netting, making many at San Siro for a moment think it had gone in.

Cordoba blocked a dangerous Milan move and sprinted all the way up the field to cross for Diego Milito, well cut out in the centre by Abate.

Gattuso was running the risk of a red card, so made way for Pirlo in the second half, while Goran Pandev replaced Milito. Sneijder had a shot from distance that dipped over the bar, as did Seedorf.

Sneijder unleashed a fierce free kick that stung Christian Abbiati's palms, but no Inter players were able to latch on to the loose ball.

A scuffle broke out when Pandev shoved Abate to the ground and he reacted with more pushing. Both of them were booked, but for the Milan defender it was his second yellow and he went off. It was an avoidable incident, as Abate had just been off the field for treatment to a hip injury and wanted to carry on.

A Sneijder snapshot arrowed into Abbiati's arms, then Pandev's weak turn did not trouble the goalkeeper from close range.

Ibrahimovic was booked for dangerous play, as he clattered into Materazzi mid-air. He tried to pull his leg back during the jump, but his knee and arm still sent the veteran flying and Matrix was stretchered off looking very dazed. Once again there was confusion on the Inter bench, as Davide Santon was ready to come on when Benitez switched to Jonathan Biabiany instead.

Moments later Ibra drew the defenders out and flicked it back for the unmarked Seedorf, whose angled drive shaved a coat of paint off the far post.

Stankovic drilled over, but on the counter a Luca Antonini slide-rule pass just missed Seedorf's foot.

Inter began to pile on the pressure and Pandev had his effort charged down after turning in the box, then from a throw-in Sneijder's cross-shot flashed across the face of goal.

The Nerazzurri were dominating in the final stages, but struggling to ever test Abbiati.

Inter: Castellazzi; Cordoba, Lucio, Materazzi (Biabiany 67), Chivu; Zanetti, Stankovic, Obi (Coutinho 35); Sneijder; Eto'o, Milito (Pandev 46)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Gattuso (Pirlo 46), Ambrosini, Flamini; Seedorf (Boateng 72); Ibrahimovic, Robinho (Antonini 61)

Ref: Tagliavento

Sent off: Abate 60 (M)

Thiago Silva: 'No title without derby'
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva warns Milan that “a team that wants to win the Scudetto has to also win the derby.”

The Rossoneri are top of the table and go head-to-head with reigning champions Inter this evening.

“We have done many positive things so far, but they are not enough,” the Brazilian told Milan Channel.

“A team that wants to win the Scudetto has to also win the derby. It won’t be easy, but this season is different and if we win then we’ll be six points ahead of the Nerazzurri.

“Last season Inter conquered everything there was to win and perhaps this year they don’t have the same hunger.

“In any case, Inter remain a very strong side, but Milan are also excellent and we will put in a great performance.”

The Rossoneri are the favourites going into the game, but Thiago Silva knows in a derby that is not always an advantage.

“In the derby you have to stay concentrated for the whole 90 minutes, as all it takes is one misplaced pass to concede a goal.

“At this moment Samuel Eto’o is the player who makes the difference for them. He is playing the way Ronaldinho used to.”

With Alexandre Pato and Pippo Inzaghi injured, it’s very likely Ronaldinho will start the Derby della Madonnina despite being dropped for the last two games.

“Ronaldinho is a bit sad when he’s on the bench, as he is a player who always loves being on the pitch.”

Galliani: 'Derby win means Scudetto'
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vice-President Adriano Galliani has made a prediction. “If Milan beat Inter in the derby tomorrow night, we’ll win the Scudetto.”

The Rossoneri are currently top of the table for the first time in several years and go head-to-head with the reigning champions of Italy and Europe.

“If Milan beat Inter in the derby tomorrow, then we will win the Scudetto,” Galliani told fans outside the training ground.

A supporter called back that they would bag three goals against the Nerazzurri.

“No, let’s give them a discount and make it two,” smiled the Vice-President.

Ancelotti: 'Forza Milan!'
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti will be watching the Milan derby tomorrow evening. “I remain a Milanista in my soul, so I hope they win.”

The Coach spent eight years at the helm and was also a star midfielder in Il Grande Milan of the 1980s.

“I remain a Milanista in my soul, so I hope they win,” he told RAI Sport.

However, Ancelotti also rushed to the defence of Inter boss Rafa Benitez following a string of disappointing results.

“Some say he is hanging by a thread and in these cases the Coach is always the first to pay.

“I believe he hasn’t much blame in this situation, as he has had to deal with a large number of injuries and that put him at a disadvantage.

“Having said that, replacing Jose Mourinho will not be at all easy, especially as he won everything while at Inter.”

Allegri relies on Ibrahimovic and Ronaldinho
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri trusts Ronaldinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to “make the difference” in the derby. “Milan win by playing good football.”

The Rossoneri had the double blow just days before the clash of losing Alexandre Pato for six weeks and Pippo Inzaghi for six months, while Andrea Pirlo remains a doubt due to a calf strain.

“Even without injuries, Ibra is still very important for Milan and proved that with his performances and assists as well as goals,” said the Coach.

“I am sure he’ll receive a warm welcome from the Inter fans. He has more responsibility now, as he is the only centre-forward we have. His role does not change, as we will continue to play with two strikers.”

However, it is likely Ronaldinho will replace Robinho as the support forward, leaving Clarence Seedorf in the trequartista position. The former Barcelona star has been dropped for the last two games.

“Ronaldinho can play as a striker. I have three forwards and during the game they will be used. The important thing is that he’s training well and will be ready to play a great game. Dinho is capable of making the difference.”

Milan go into the derby as favourites thanks to their leadership status, as Inter have picked up two points from as many games against Brescia and Lecce.

“We will take on an angry Inter side, but even if we are top of the table, we have to remain calm and careful. It is not a decisive game,” insisted Allegri.

“It is the first derby of my career. We are growing and top spot helps improve our self-esteem. I do not agree that Jose Mourinho’s Inter was more ‘frightening’ for opponents, as they are different teams with Coaches who have different approaches to football.”

Marco Materazzi could start for Inter, suggesting they are focusing on grit and determination for the derby.

“We must play with intensity, but without getting tense. We are not a side who build our games on tension, as we try to win playing good football. I’m confident tomorrow Materazzi will play in a fair way.”

Inzaghi: 'Fans give me strength'
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi has thanked everyone for their messages of support as he battles to save his career. “Seeing this affection gives me great strength.”

The Milan striker is out for the next six months after damaging knee ligaments and, at the age of 37, it remains to be seen if he can fully recover to continue his playing career.

“Last night I read on the Milan website all the messages that you have sent me,” he wrote in an open letter.

“I thank each and every one of you, along with all the writers of the many other messages that couldn’t be published simply because there was no room.

“Seeing once again the affection that surrounds me gives me great strength. Thank you from the heart.”

Stankovic: 'Let AC Milan be favourites'
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Dejan Stankovic warns Milan that being the derby favourites is “a dangerous position to be in” and looks forward to facing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Inter have dominated Italian football for the past four years, but go into Sunday night’s Derby della Madonnina behind their arch rivals.

“It is an extremely balanced League. If we had picked up six points against Brescia and Lecce rather than two, then we’d be ahead of Milan,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“So far we have struggled through quite a few injuries and perhaps we didn’t play the way we wanted to, but as soon as those players return I am confident the team will fall back into place.

“I remain convinced of one thing: with the full squad at our disposal, we remain stronger than anyone.”

The Nerazzurri have won the last three consecutive meetings with Milan, but this term feels a little different, not least because Ibrahimovic is on the other side. The former Inter striker has notoriously had problems in the big games throughout his career.

“Ibra is my friend and he likes to call me Sniper. How do you stop Ibrahimovic? Sometimes he stops himself...

“What worries me about Milan is their rage and hunger to make up for previous games,” continued Stankovic.

“But right now our pride and desire to get out of this bleak moment can be worth more.”

Pippo Inzaghi and Walter Samuel are both out for the season after knee ligament injuries, while Alexandre Pato is sidelined for six weeks.

“It’s a shame about Pippo, as he sets the example in terms of humility and professionalism. Pato is a big loss, too. Samuel is an extraordinary person and I told him not to forget he’s the best. If we get three points, they will be for him.”

Ibrahimovic: 'I want Inter jeers!'
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic enters his first Milan derby in red and black, but is anything but afraid of Inter fans. “I welcome their jeers, as they fire me up.”

The Swede played this fixture many times in a Nerazzurri jersey, but Sunday evening will see his derby debut for their arch-rivals.

“In three years with Inter I won and also suffered a bit. I have fond memories, but that is the past, this is the future,” he told Sky Italia television.

“Will the Nerazzurri fans jeer me? I welcome their jeers, as they fire me up even more. It just adds to the motivation.

“Inter are now an opposition team for me. I play for Milan and they’re my opponents, so doing everything to beat Inter is normal.”

Ibrahimovic famously walked out on Inter in 2009 to join Barcelona, stating he wanted to win the Champions League, but saw his former teammates lift the trophy instead.

“When I was playing for Inter, there was a plan for the future, but now we can say it is definitive. The squad was nowhere near as united at the time. They won the Treble last season because they are strong, had so much potential and they gave it their all. I went to Inter in order to win and I won.

“I left Inter because I had reached the nadir and couldn’t do any more. It is better to change so you can have that new motivation and adrenaline. This is why I left. Mind you, I also joined a stronger side.”

Ibra explained why he walked out on his club in the summer of 2009, then returned to Serie A just 12 months later following a row with Pep Guardiola.

“I don’t know what happened with Guardiola. If I knew what the problem was, I’d have resolved it. When you don’t know the problem, then it’s impossible.

“Milan gave me back my smile, as I wasn’t happy with the situation at Barcelona. In those moments, it is important to find something that brings back your smile and hunger to play. This is what Milan gave me.

“I believe strongly in this side as Scudetto contenders and also with Champions League potential.”

Pato out for six weeks
12.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are reeling after it emerged that Alexandre Pato will be out for six weeks and now won't be back until 2011.

It was initially thought that the Brazil international striker faced just 14 days on the sidelines, but a follow up scan shows his injury is much more severe.

Pato has a second-degree tear to his left thigh muscle and although he could be back for Milan's trip to Roma on December 19, it appears unlikely the medical staff will risk him.

Milan have something of a crisis up front, as Pippo Inzaghi was also ruled out for the long-term after suffering a serious knee injury.

The club's medical staff has intimated that he is now considering surgery.

Allegri: 'AC Milan are ready for Inter'
12.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists that Milan are ready for this weekend's Derby della Madonnina against Inter.

The Rossoneri currently lie top of Serie A with a three-point advantage over their city rivals.

Interviewed in Il Corriere della Sera, Allegri said: “I know that it's a derby.

“I know that it's the most important game in Italy, but I know that Milan are mentally ready to face it.

“It's not like we have become poor after losing to Juventus. And it's not like we have become phenomenal after beating Bari and Palermo.

“It takes balance.

“Despite going through a rough patch, Inter played a good game in Lecce. They missed many goalscoring chances.

“I believe that we will find them in good condition. I have never been through a derby. For me this will be the first. But by playing at home, we won't lack motivation.

“We must go on the pitch remembering that we are three points ahead of Inter.”

What next for Nesta?
12.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta will have three options open to him next summer if he doesn’t sign a contract extension at Milan.

The 34-year-old is only tied to the Rossoneri until June 2011 which has fuelled speculation about his future.

Although it is believed that he would like to extend his San Siro stay, the central defender has yet to agree terms.

Should he quit the Meazza, reports on the peninsula are suggesting that the former Italian international will have limited options.

A return to hometown club Lazio is being suggested, even if the capital outfit have rejected such a hypothesis in the past.

Secondly, Nesta may be tempted to continue his career in America given his fondness for the country and his holiday villa in Miami.

The final possibility is that Nesta, who has had his injury problems over the last five years, could hang up his boots altogether.

Season over for Inzaghi
11.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The season is over for Pippo Inzaghi after damaging knee ligaments, while Alexandre Pato will miss games against Inter and Fiorentina.

Milan were celebrating the leadership of Serie A and their 3-1 victory over Palermo last night, but it came at a heavy price.

“AC Milan announce that the player Filippo Inzaghi underwent tests this morning which confirmed the lesion of the anterior cruciate ligament and associated lesion to the external meniscus of the left knee,” read a statement.

“After a specialist consultation with Dr Piero Volpi, a surgical intervention was advised.”

This means the season is effectively over for Inzaghi and it remains to be seen if he can ever play again, as the striker is already 37 years old.

Pato limped off during the same match with a minor thigh strain, but it is still enough to rule him out of matches against Inter on Sunday and Fiorentina on November 20.

He will also miss out on Brazil’s friendly against Argentina on November 17.

Pato and Inzaghi out for even longer
11.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Tests carried out this morning have shown that Alexandre Pato and Pippo Inzaghi will not just miss this weekend's derby but also Milan's game against Fiorentina.

Both strikers limped off the pitch during last night's 3-1 victory over Palermo - Pato with a thigh strain and Inzaghi with a knee sprain.

The initial prognosis is worse than first thought as Milan will have to do without them at least until after November 20.

It's a bitter blow for Pato who will miss Brazil's friendly against Argentina in Doha on November 17.

The latest reports claim Inzaghi's season could even be at risk, as the injury has affected his meniscus and the ligaments around his knee.

AC Milan fly to Brazil to watch Jonathan
11.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan director of sport Ariedo Braida has flown to Brazil to watch Cruzeiro full-back Jonathan, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Rossoneri's need of reinforcements on the flanks has been evident for the last couple of years and finally looks likely to be addressed either in January or in June.

Braida plans to watch Jonathan, who plays at right-back, when Cruzeiro travel to play Corinthians in Sao Paulo on Saturday.

The 24-year-old does not have a European passport as of yet despite repeated attempts to obtain one and that could throw a spanner in the works.

Milan are exploring alternatives such as Benfica's Fabio Coentrao, although he is thought to be significantly more expensive than Jonathan.

Seedorf draws morale from victory
11.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf claims his teammates drew some much-needed morale from last night's 3-1 victory over Palermo at San Siro.

The Rossoneri are now alone at the top of Serie A for the first time since 2008 going into this weekend's Derby della Madonnina against Inter.

“We played with continuity. We were concentrated and aggressive and even at 1-1 we managed to keep calm,” Seedorf explained.

“It's a result that gives us morale above all just a few days from the derby,” he concluded.

Milan look as though they will have a selection headache at the weekend as both Pippo Inzaghi and Alexandre Pato picked up injuries.

Allegri thanks the referee
11.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are the new Serie A leaders and Massimiliano Allegri concedes “it went well with the referee this time around.”

The Rossoneri beat Palermo 3-1, but were awarded a soft penalty and the Sicilians wanted a spot-kick of their own.

“It went well for us with the referee this time around,” confessed the Coach.

“Looking back at the footage on television monitors, it does look as if Massimo Ambrosini rather let himself fall.

“I have to say that when viewed in the stadium at normal speed, it looked to be a penalty.

“Admittedly the challenge on Mauricio Pinilla could also have been a spot-kick, just as Alexandre Pato and Kevin Prince Boateng might’ve been considered handling offences.

“Mind you, we had many similar decisions go against us this season, so it all evens out in the end.”

Pato and Inzaghi out of the derby
11.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato and Pippo Inzaghi are out of the derby this Sunday after picking up injuries against Palermo.

Milan’s 3-1 victory put them top of the table, but it came at a price, as both strikers limped off the field.

“Unfortunately we have lost two players like Pato and Inzaghi, who were doing well and will miss the next few games,” explained Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“Pippo sprained his knee, we have to hope for the best. Pato felt a pain in his thigh and I think we’ll only know more tomorrow.”

It is highly unlikely either of them will be fit to face arch-rivals Inter on Sunday evening.

Andrea Pirlo is also a major risk, as he pulled up in training before tonight’s game and remained in the stands.

“I think the confidence in the group is high, as it was important to get back to winning ways after our home defeat to Juventus.

“This Milan squad belongs to everyone, which is why we can play very well even without important players like Pirlo and Ronaldinho.”

When asked why Ronaldinho was on the bench for the second game running, Allegri would only reply: “It was a technical decision.”

Rossi: 'Referee favoured AC Milan'
11.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Palermo boss Delio Rossi blasted the referee for his supposed pro-Milan bias. “Look back on the game and you’ll see all the decisions go one way.”

Even Massimiliano Allegri admitted his men had been fortunate with the officials in their 3-1 win at San Siro.

“I am happy with the performance, but I know full well in three days everyone will have forgotten about that and only remember the final score,” sniped Rossi.

“It’s difficult to explain how we lost 3-1, especially as in the same match I saw a shocking difference in the way incidents were judged.

“Just look back on the game and you’ll see all the decisions go one way. Massimo Ambrosini’s penalty should’ve been halted in the build-up anyway for a handling offence, so what are we talking about?

“We are anything but a defensive team, yet we never receive penalties. Does that not seem strange to you? It seems evident to me that something is wrong.”

Serie A: AC Milan 3:1 Palermo - match report
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pato 19 (M), Bacinovic 63 (P), Ibrahimovic pen 76 (M), Robinho 82 (M)

Milan flew to the top of the table with a hard-fought victory, but Palermo were furious at the referee, while Alexandre Pato and Pippo Inzaghi picked up injuries.

The Rossoneri soared back into second place after a shaky few weeks, but welcomed the side that beat them twice last season. Kevin Prince Boateng returned from suspension, but was replaced on the naughty step by Gennaro Gattuso. Gianluca Zambrotta, Daniele Bonera and Massimo Oddo were also out of action. The Sicilians missed Abel Hernandez and Fabio Liverani, but confidence was boosted following their win against Genoa. That result ended a run of four straight defeats in all competitions.

Andrea Pirlo picked up a thigh problem in training before the game and pulled out, but Ronaldinho was dropped again and Alessandro Nesta rested.

Josip Ilicic failed to make the most of a Javier Pastore slalom, as he scuffed the shot and Ignazio Abate managed to charge down Mauricio Pinilla's follow-up.

Boateng's screamer skimmed the upright, then Christian Abbiati went low to push Cassani's volley out from the near bottom corner. Bad news for Palermo, as Pastore needed treatment for a knee injury early on and was visibly limping.

Milan broke the deadlock from a Clarence Seedorf corner kick, which found Alexandre Pato's powerful header from seven yards, as he got away from marker Bacinovic.

Straight after the restart Ilicic burst past Mario Yepes, but was held up in the area by Thiago Silva, so Pastore fired the follow-up over.

Abbiati fingertipped a Cesare Bovo free kick out from under the bar. Fabrizio Miccoli came off the bench for the limping Pastore and immediately protested, as on 56 minutes his free kick was charged down by Boateng's arm in the defensive wall, but the referee waved play on.

The Sicilians got a deserved equaliser in a very odd goal. A poor clearance reached Bacinovic outside the box, but his shot bounced twice on its way into the near bottom corner. Abbiati was unsighted by a sea of legs, so didn't see the ball until it was too late.

Pato had penalty appeals after a shoulder-to-shoulder with Ezequiel Munoz, but in that move picked up a knock and immediately requested a substitution, so Pippo Inzaghi came on.

On 69 minutes Seedorf had a double opportunity to restore their advantage! His first strike cracked off the upright and the follow-up diving header was wide with Salvatore Sirigu on the ground.

The referee pointed to the spot when Massimo Ambrosini went on a mazy run through the middle and was tripped by Sirigu. Ibrahimovic stepped up to hit a powerful penalty and restore their lead. Palermo were unhappy with the decision, as Ambrosini may have handled in the build-up and didn't do a huge amount to stay on his feet when Sirigu came out.

During that move, Inzaghi fell awkwardly and also had to be substituted by Robinho.

The replacement made an immediate impact, scoring the third goal. Ibrahimovic did much of the work, as he gathered at the halfway line and sprinted to the by-line, rolling back for Robinho's easy tap-in.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Yepes, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Flamini, Ambrosini, Boateng; Seedorf; Ibrahimovic, Pato (Inzaghi 65) (Robinho 80)

Palermo: Sirigu; Cassani, Munoz, Bovo, Balzaretti; Migliaccio, Bacinovic, Nocerino; Pastore (Miccoli 52), Ilicic; Pinilla

Ref: Banti

Ronaldinho's future in doubt
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho's future is once again the subject of great speculation ahead of this weekend's Derby della Madonnina against Inter.

The 30-year-old Brazil international is no longer untouchable at Milan and didn't even make it off the bench against Bari on Sunday.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Massimiliano Allegri will field Ronaldinho against Palermo this evening in the hope that he shows some dedication before the derby.

If he doesn't give a good performance, it's likely he will be on the bench again on Sunday.

Meanwhile, talks to renew Ronaldinho's contract appear no closer to a conclusion.

The player's agent Roberto de Assis has been in Milan this week, but Adriano Galliani is in no mood to discuss contract extensions.

Galliani is taking a calculated risk, deciding to wait and see what interest emerges in the Milan players who are out of contract in June, possibly with the idea of cashing in on some of them at the last possible opportunity in January.

La Gazzetta believes this has alerted the LA Galaxy who have been in touch with Ronaldinho again, putting an offer on the table.

The MLS outfit are apparently prepared to give him a four-year deal worth €7m a season.

Zamparini: 'I fear AC Milan'
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini concedes he is afraid of tomorrow night’s match. “Milan are just too strong.”

The Rosanero won both their meetings with the giants last season, including a 2-0 victory at San Siro.

“Milan are a great side that put fear into every opponent, including us,” said Zamparini.

“Did I say that last season too? I can’t remember. In any case, it is a difficult game, Milan are just too strong.”

Palermo had lost four on the bounce between Serie A and the Europa League, but are back in business after beating Genoa at the weekend.

There have been reports that Zamparini is planning on a big January signing, such as Sampdoria outcast Antonio Cassano.

“Absolutely not. I was asked by journalists whether I would ever sign Cassano and I replied that yes, I would, but not right now.

“I wouldn’t know where to put him in the team. Maybe one day, if I no longer have Javier Pastore...”

Galliani: AC Milan worthy of the Scudetto
9.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani believes his side aren't favourites for the Scudetto, but feels they are worthy of winning it this season.

The Rossoneri look to have closed the gap with Inter in Serie A and currently lie second in the standings ahead of Sunday's Derby della Madonnina.

Speaking at the Giacinto Facchetti awards ceremony, Galliani said: “We have made a team that can fight with more strengths, a team worthy of the Scudetto, that's all.

“It doesn't mean that we feel like first place.

“We scored three goals against Bari and created a lot, even if we missed some goals.”

Galliani also played down speculation that there could be discontent at Milan if stars like Ronaldinho continue to be left out.

“The other day we had four champions on the bench, but the players who play in a big club know that while there are advantages because you can win a lot, there are also disadvantages because there are many great players and the competition is strong.”

When asked to reveal whether Ronaldinho is upset, he said: “A few days ago I saw a sad Mario Yepes and I said to him: 'Mario, don't worry, what hasn't happened can happen in a minute'. It just so happened that soon afterwards he played an entire game.”

'Palermo need perfect game'
9.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Palermo boss Delio Rossi believes his side need to play the perfect game to get a result away to Milan on Wednesday evening.

The Rosanero have struggled of late, losing four games on the bounce before Sunday's 1-0 victory over Genoa at the Renzo Barbera.

“It's important to find the right balance in a team,” Rossi said. “Personally I am still looking for the best solution.

“Sunday's victory gives us a great consciousness [of our means].

“Milan and Palermo are different teams with respect to last season. I don't know if we could win again at San Siro by playing in the same way.

“Milan are a different team. They have added Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin-Prince Boateng to an already good squad. They have signed Robinho.

“The big clubs run on forward and we must make Milan's players run backwards. This has to occur to beat Milan.

“Ibrahimovic is one of those players who, aside from technique, also possesses height. We must play the game of our lives.”

Seedorf plays down derby importance
9.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf insists that Sunday's Derby della Madonnina against Inter is just 'another game'.

The Rossoneri have to play Palermo beforehand, but their proximity to Inter in the table makes the tie all the more interesting.

Massimiliano Allegri's side have a one-point advantage on their cross-town rivals who lie a place below them in the standings in third spot.

“It will not be any more important than the other games because all the points are equal in the table,” Seedorf said.

“Milan want to fight until the end for the Scudetto and to compete with everyone until the final day of the season.”

Gattuso suspended for Palermo
8.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan warrior Gennaro Gattuso is one of five players who have been suspended for the Week 11 midweek round of games.

The 2006 World Cup winner was cautioned in the 3-2 win at Bari on Sunday and thus misses out on Wednesday’s San Siro clash against Palermo.

Joining the Rossoneri veteran on the sidelines is Roma full-back Marco Cassetti after his booking in the 2-0 derby win over Lazio.

Cassetti, formerly of Lecce, has subsequently been ruled out of the tricky tie against Fiorentina at the Olimpico.

Cesena’s Max Pellegrino has been given a 90-minute stop too after his dismissal in the 3-1 loss at Juventus.

Meanwhile, Udinese’s Cristian Zapata and Alessandro Potenza of Catania have been banned. Their respective clubs will actually face each other on Wednesday evening.

Galliani says Inzaghi is staying
8.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani hopes to keep Pippo Inzaghi even though he is disgruntled at a lack of playing time this season.

The 37-year-old scored a brace against Real Madrid in midweek, but didn't start away to Bari on Sunday.

“I have already told Pippo: 'You have been after a contract renewal for a year and now there is no chance that I am letting you leave'. He will stay with us,” Galliani revealed.

When asked to reflect on the 3-2 win over Bari, he said: “We did well, scoring three goals and wasting other chances.

“Allegri left out Ronaldinho and Pato at the beginning but the fact that he adopted this solution means that he doesn't lack courage.

“He is playing those who are most in form and when a bench is as rich as ours…”

Ibrahimovic impressed with AC Milan
8.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was impressed with Milan's 3-2 victory over Bari at the San Nicola on Sunday afternoon.

The Rossoneri moved into second place and now sit just two points behind League leaders Lazio.

“I am very happy because we won,” Ibrahimovic said.

“We suffered a little, but the important thing was getting the three points seeing that Inter and Lazio lost.

“Allegri had told us to press high up the pitch because Bari play out from their goalkeeper and defenders.

“We did it and managed to hit back often on the counter attack.

“We are closer to Lazio,” he concluded.

Allegri admires AC Milan work rate
7.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri was pleased to see “everyone work hard and sacrifice themselves for the good of the team.”

Milan earned a 3-2 victory away to Bari to end a three-match winless streak in all competition, but rested Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato and Andrea Pirlo.

“The lads did very well today,” said the Coach. “We play every three days, so everyone has to work hard and sacrifice themselves for the good of the team in order to win.

“We need everyone to be available for the side and with the belief that we are a strong squad.”

They were also missing Thiago Silva, Massimo Oddo, Daniele Bonera and Luca Antonini plus the suspended Kevin Prince Boateng.

“It was important to get back to winning ways and we played well. It’s a shame that we conceded those two goals, but we created so many opportunities today.

“I was glad to see everyone ready to work hard.”

Serie A: Bari 2:3 AC Milan - match report
7.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ambrosini 4 (M), Flamini 31 (M), Kutuzov 65 (B), Pato 72 (M), Barreto 89 (B)

Milan grabbed a victory at the San Nicola, but wasted so many counter-attacks to make it a nervy finale.

The Rossoneri were in dire need of a victory to reboot their Scudetto challenge after a shock 2-1 home defeat to Juventus. Midweek wasn't too reassuring either, a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid thanks to veteran Pippo Inzaghi's brace. Thiago Silva, Massimo Oddo, Luca Antonini and Daniele Bonera were sidelined, plus Kevin Prince Boateng suspended, so there had to be another reshuffle in defence with Mario Yepes. Ronaldinho, Alexandreo Pato and Andrea Pirlo were rested.

Bari had their own problems, as they were propping up the table and missed Nacho Castillo, Jaime Romero, Andrea Raggi, Salvatore Masiello and Abdel Ghezzal. The San Nicola side had managed just three goals in five home matches this season. Their last victory against Milan here was 1-0 in April 1998.

Massimo Ambrosini was returning from a long injury lay-off and he broke the deadlock after just four minutes. Clarence Seedorf whipped in a cross from the left for Ambrosini's header, as he got in front of the two defenders to nod in from six yards.

Robinho skipped past Rossi, but set up Zlatan Ibrahimovic to blast over the bar. Robinho should've scored himself when Ambrosini dispossessed Sergio Almiron in midfield, but he lost his composure and fired straight at Jean-Francois Gillet.

Almiron fell awkwardly in that move and had to limp off for Alessandro Gazzi.

Milan made it 2-0 with another midfielder on target. Gennaro Gattuso won back the ball in midfield and gave it to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who then spread the play to the on-rushing Mathieu Flamini's delicate angled drive from nine yards.

Paulo Vitor Barreto turned Mario Yepes, but slipped at the crucial moment to hit the side-netting. Robinho again wasted by hitting the side-netting from a promising position, while Nico Pulzetti had a couple of long-range efforts.

Bari felt they deserved a penalty in first half stoppages, as Barreto sprinted into the area and seemed to get to the ball first when he clattered into Christian Abbiati.

It should've been 3-0 when Ibra went on the counter down the right, but with Robinho and Flamini in the middle unmarked, he opted to go for goal himself and flashed the angled drive off target.

It was nothing compared to what Robinho managed to waste moments later. Once again it was a counter with the Brazilian totally unmarked on the roll across from Seedorf, but he attempted an audacious flick to set up a lob, only ballooning over the bar in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

Gillet beat away a Flamini rocket set up by Ibrahimovic just inside the area, but Bari got back into the game with their first goal in almost 30 minutes.

It was Vitalii Kutuzov, who was brought to Italy by Milan in 2002, who ran on to a Barreto through ball and squirmed between two defenders to place an angled drive across Abbiati.

Moments later Barreto fired wide after nutmegging Flamini, but Milan made the most of their counter-attack with substitute Alexandre Pato.

The young Brazilian took on the Bari defenders, shook and shimmied to make space before smashing a powerful finish across Gillet into the far bottom corner.

Bari would not give in and Barreto made it 3-2 in the final minute with a splendid volley at the near post against a startled Abbiati.

Flamini hit the upright in stoppages, but was in an offside position.

Bari: Gillet; Belmonte, Masiello, Rossi, Parisi; Alvarez, Almiron (Gazzi 28), Donati, Pulzetti (Rivas 61); Kutuzov, Barreto

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Yepes, Zambrotta; Gattuso, Ambrosini, Flamini; Seedorf; Ibrahimovic, Robinho (Pato 63)

Ref: Bergonzi

Allegri: 'Ibrahimovic-Onyewu hugs and kisses!'
7.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri assures the Zlatan Ibrahimovic-Oguchi Onyewu brawl ended “in hugs and kisses,” but he must change Milan in Bari.

The headlines over the past 24 hours have been dominated by the training ground spat between the two players, which reportedly saw Onyewu grab Ibra by the throat and at least 10 teammates struggled to separate them.

“It all ended in hugs and kisses, we’re happy,” smiled the Coach with a hint of irony. “The truth is the whole incident was rather blown up a bit.”

There are more pressing issues, such as the absence of Thiago Silva, Luca Antonini, Massimo Oddo, Daniele Bonera and the suspended Kevin Prince Boateng for the trip to Bari.

“There could also be a rest for Andrea Pirlo. I haven’t yet decided the line-up, but to make you happy I’ll confirm the back four: Ignazio Abate, Alessandro Nesta, Mario Yepes and Gianluca Zambrotta.

“We are coming off two important and draining games against Juventus and Real Madrid, but Bari also represent an important juncture. We have to get back into a winning stride against a team that plays well, despite their position in the table, and who are going to give it the performance of their lives.”

There are some recurring themes in the recent Rossoneri setbacks, but Pippo Inzaghi came to the rescue in the 2-2 draw with Real Madrid.

“We analysed some situations along with the team, as we had also conceded late and from corners at Napoli. We need to hold the ball better in the closing stages, even if we are tired.

“Pippo overturned the game single-handed on Wednesday, he fired up the enthusiasm of the crowd and his teammates, proving once again he is very useful. I’m sure he will continue to be a precious figure in future.”

However, Alexandre Pato is under scrutiny after a series of disappointing performances.

“I think Pato did better on Wednesday than he had against Juventus, he just needs to keep working, convince himself he has real quality and keep the mental strength up. At these levels you can never rest on your laurels.

“At this moment he’s not fulfilling his potential, but it’s just a period of form and he remains a great talent.”

Thiago Silva skips Bari trip
7.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva and Luca Antonini are not even in the squad making the trip to Bari, so Milan must completely revamp their defence.

The two players picked up knocks during the midweek 2-2 draw with Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Daniele Bonera and Massimo Oddo are already out of action due to long-term injury problems.

This has forced Coach Massimiliano Allegri to recall Marek Jankulovski, who had been dropped and is expected to leave in January.

Uruguayan youth team defender Bruno Montelongo is also brought along in a desperate bid to make up the numbers.

Oguchi Onyewu is still out of contention after a year-long injury lay-off and this week's training ground brawl with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma; Jankulovski, Montelongo, Nesta, Papastathopoulos, Zambrotta, Yepes; Abate, Ambrosini, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf; Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi, Pato, Robinho, Ronaldinho

Galliani: 'Training brawl a good sign'
7.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani insists the training ground brawl between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Oguchi Onyewu was “a good sign.”

The two teammates came to blows on Friday afternoon when Ibra put in a particularly crunching tackle.

Reports from the 30 fans who witnessed the altercation suggest Onyewu reacted by putting his hand around the Swede’s neck and it took several people to separate them, terminating the session.

“It’s true that there was a vivacious clash between them and the training session was suspended for a little while,” confessed Galliani.

“It often happens on a football field and the news only made headlines because it was witnessed by a few fans in the stands, as we were on one of the outer training pitches.

“In any case, they cleared the air between them and I spoke to both of them for a long time. It’s all over.

“In fact, I consider it to be a good side. I like to see players with grit. I prefer that to training sessions with chamomile tea where people are falling asleep.”

The Vice-President also commented on Pippo Inzaghi’s amazing brace against Real Madrid.

“I told Pippo he can be the Jose Altafini of Milan – the man who comes on with half an hour to go and decides the game. I told him he’s 37 now and with this approach he can carry on until he’s 40.”

Ibrahimovic in training ground bust up
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan suspended training this afternoon after Zlatan Ibrahimovic got into an ugly fight with his teammate Oguchi Onyewu.

La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Ibrahimovic made a dangerous sliding tackle on the United States international defender, who reacted furiously.

Onyewu has only just returned from a serious knee injury, which kept him out of action for the entirety of last season.

Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri suspended training after the two players couldn't be separated.

Around 30 fans witnessed the fight, prompting Allegri to take drastic action.

It remains to be seen whether the two players will be sanctioned for causing such a scene.

After all, it's not the first time Ibrahimovic has rubbed his teammates up the wrong way since joining Milan.

He was caught on camera directing a Taekwondo kick at Rodney Strasser for no apparent reason.

Ibrahimovic has a dig at AC Milan's Brazilians
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has taken a swipe at the team's Brazilian players, insisting that he would prefer to play with Pippo Inzaghi.

The Sweden international was very complimentary of Super Pippo after his performance in Milan's 2-2 draw with Real Madrid on Wednesday night.

“Pippo is incredible,” Ibrahimovic said. “He has to play more because if someone is doing well they deserve it.

“I feel freer with Pippo because I can move more. When I play with the Brazilians instead I feel more obliged to stay in the area.”

It remains to be seen whether Massimiliano Allegri heeds Ibrahimovic's advice ahead of Sunday's trip to Bari in Serie A.

AC Milan beat Barcelona for Robinho
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Super agent Mino Raiola has revealed how he helped Milan sign Robinho from Manchester City last summer.

The representative claims that he was asked by the Brazilian to take Zlatan Ibrahimovic, another of his clients, to Manchester thus paving the way for a switch to Barcelona.

“I took Mario Balotelli to City and I bumped into Robinho,” Raiola stated to Premium Calcio. “He told me that he wanted to leave the English club.

“He said that if I took Ibra to City then he knew for sure that Barcelona would then sign him. I told the player to stay calm.

“I then took Ibrahimovic to Milan before telling Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani that we had to leave for England.

“We thus beat Barcelona and got Robinho. That is how both Ibrahimovic and Robinho transferred to Milan.”

'Kaka ready to leave Real Madrid'
4.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports in Spain appear to indicate that Ricky Kaka will leave Real Madrid in January, sparking a bidding war among Europe's biggest clubs.

The 28-year-old Brazilian has been repeatedly linked with a move back to Italy in recent months, although never once did the likes of Marca and AS take it seriously.

However, it now seems as though they agree with their Italian counterparts that Real Madrid are open to selling Kaka who left Milan last year in a €68.5m transfer.

Milan and Inter would like to bring Kaka back to Serie A, but they apparently face significant competition from Chelsea.

Carlo Ancelotti has always shown a desire to be reunited with his former protégé and the Blues have a longstanding interest in his signature.

Zambrotta: 'Pippo is unique'
4.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan full-back Gianluca Zambrotta has hailed his teammate Pippo Inzaghi as a 'unique' footballer after he became the highest goalscorer in the history of European competitions.

The 37-year-old striker hit the net twice in Milan's 2-2 draw with Real Madrid last night and in doing so overtook Gerd Mueller and Raul by reaching 70 goals.

Speaking to the Milan Channel, Zambrotta said: “There is nothing to say. He is a champion. Pippo is unique.”

When asked for his opinion of Milan's performance, he said: “I'm sorry that we conceded a goal in injury time and this is something that can't happen in games of this level.

“We put our heart into it and gave a good signal after the ugly showing against Juve.

“On the other hand, there was a great team [in front of us] and the only disappointment is in not having won the game with great determination.”

Inzaghi: 'I proved critics wrong'
4.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi answered his critics with tonight’s brace against Real Madrid, but also complained at his lack of playing time.

The goals took his European tally to 70, but he celebrated with the number 69 jersey after the first.

“The number 69 shirt had been ready for a while. I am particularly proud to be here at my age, hearing certain things said about me and proving my quality on the pitch,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“Some commentators forget about me occasionally and I expect they’ll climb on the bandwagon now.

“It’s not easy, as I scored in my last game against Catania, then another nine passed in which I barely played.”

Jose Mourinho saw the danger coming, as in his pre-match Press conference in Madrid he’d said the only worry he felt was when Inzaghi stepped on to the pitch.

“Last season Mourinho waited for my jersey after the derby, so he really does respect me.”

The reaction of San Siro was unmistakable, as the crowd cheered when he began to remove his training jacket.

“When I get up off the bench and am perhaps feeling a bit down, these people remind me everything I’ve done for this club and it really lifts me.”

The brace also allowed Inzaghi to overcome Marco Van Basten’s record, reaching 145 goals in a Milan jersey.

“Overtaking Van Basten’s record and we all know what he did for Milan, so it is an immense honour.

“I want to dedicate this wonderful night, probably the best of my career, to my family, friends and Stefano Borgonovo. I saw him a few days ago and promised I’d celebrate this record with him.

“We were a little disappointed in the locker room, as we thought the victory was under our belts and weren’t really under that much pressure at the end.”

However, SuperPippo wasn’t entirely happy at this brief moment of joy.

“I told the Coach that I feel good and it’s tough when I don’t get to play for nine games in a row. It’s not easy for me to lose my enthusiasm, but at the same time you do experience a real worry when you train hard and don’t ever get to let it out.”

Allegri: 'We had beaten Real, but...'
4.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri couldn’t be entirely happy with the Real Madrid draw. “It’s a shame, as we had basically won the match.”

Milan had been trailing, then Pippo Inzaghi came off the bench to bag a brace, but at the 93rd minute Pedro Leon snatched a 2-2 equaliser.

“I think the draw is perhaps the right result considering the chances Real had in the first half, though we also had clear scoring opportunities. In the second half we were a little too deep, but the reaction and hunger to overturn the result was the strength of this Milan,” said the Coach.

“It’s a shame, as we had basically won the match. We feel a bit like we threw away the victory.

“Real have great technique and moved around quickly, while we probably could’ve been a little less hasty in our construction.

“We played with our strikers quite wide so that when out of possession we could put pressure on them and create more of an advantage in midfield with our three against their two.

“Also on the counter we did well in some occasions, while in others with Pato he kept going down the same path when he should’ve changed play.”

The undoubted hero was Inzaghi, who came off the bench to score a brace and overturn the result.

“I think Pippo is an example for the way he comes into games. He sets the example for youngsters, as he needs spirit and fire in the veins to play at this level. Gennaro Gattuso and also tonight Zlatan Ibrahimovic showed that too.

“We need to improve in order to reach certain objectives. To win you can’t just play well, you also have to put in that grit and determination during difficult moments. Tonight we did that.”

However, Pato was once again disappointing in attack, as was Ronaldinho.

“Pato is still only 21 and is coming back from injury problems, but it was already an improvement on the performance against Juventus. He ought to play with more instinct and think less,” insisted Allegri.

Mourinho admires AC Milan character
4.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Jose Mourinho hailed Milan’s character, but felt “there was no way Real Madrid could leave this stadium with a defeat.”

The 2-2 draw was snatched at the 93rd minute with Pedro Leon after Pippo Inzaghi had come off the bench for a brace.

“The first Milan goal came from Pepe slipping over. The second was obviously offside and beyond doubt. But I don’t want to talk about the referee,” Mou told Sky Sport Italia.

“I prefer to say Real played a great game, that in the first half – like in Madrid – they put in a wonderful performance.

“Milan are not fantastic in terms of their football, but their character is remarkable with people like Inzaghi, Gennaro Gattuso and Clarence Seedorf who for years have been playing in the Champions League. Madrid were in control, but they had the character to hit back.”

The Rossoneri thought they had done enough to secure the victory, but at the 93rd minute Pedro Leon sprung the offside trap to nutmeg Christian Abbiati.

“There was no way Madrid could leave this stadium with a defeat, so the late goal was entirely deserved,” continued Mourinho.

“Our team is very young and has to grow, but has immense potential. Tonight we proved our talent and that we are still a little naïve, so we have to be more cynical to win the Champions League.”

Champions League: AC Milan 2:2 Real Madrid - match report
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Higuain 45 (R), Inzaghi 68, 78 (M), Pedro Leon 93 (R)

Pippo Inzaghi's brace overturned a Real Madrid opener, but Milan were pegged back on 2-2 at the 93rd minute.

The Rossoneri needed a boost after their 2-0 defeat at the Bernabeu and this weekend's 2-1 home loss to Juventus. Ronaldinho, Thiago Silva and Gianluca Zambrotta were back in the starting XI, though Daniele Bonera and Massimo Oddo were still sidelined. Real were unbeaten in 20 games in all competition and former Inter Coach Jose Mourinho caused controversy the moment he stepped on to the field for the warm-up - holding up three fingers to symbolise the Treble.

After three minutes Christian Abbiati, who was injured for the meeting in Spain, had to palm a Gonzalo Higuain effort round the post. Thiago Silva also had to stop Higuain going clear on a Marcelo through ball. Xabi Alonso's free kick found Pepe at the back post, but his header into the ground bounced back over the bar.

Kevin Prince Boateng's volley from an Alexandre Pato assist was straight at Iker Casillas, but at the other end there were more threats from Madrid. Xabi Alonso flashed a long-range strike wide, then Di Maria shook off Zambrotta to shave a coat of paint off the base of the near post.

Andrea Pirlo was the hero twice in five seconds, as his goalline clearance denied Higuain's header, then with Abbiati still stranded he also nodded the Ozil follow-up off the line!

From a corner Di Maria's header thumped the upright, but play had been halted for a foul on the goalkeeper.

Milan had a great chance on 23 minutes when Boateng rushed forward and threaded through for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the Swede fired straight at Casillas from a narrow angle.

There was a scuffle between Ignazio Abate and Cristiano Ronaldo on the touchline. Abate turned round and in doing so landed his arm across the Portuguese man's neck, so he threw himself to the ground and rolled around. The English referee gave both a talking to.

Ronaldinho's shot was charged down in the area, then Higuain skipped between Alessandro Nesta and Zambrotta only to slip at the crucial moment.

Ibrahimovic probably should've scored on 36 minutes. A chipped Ronaldinho pass over the defence saw Casillas completely mistime his run off the line and was left in no man's land, but Ibra's lob sailed wide of the completely empty net.

A Xabi Alonso missile stung Abbiati's palms and he was fortunate the ball didn't bounce into the net before he could get it under control.

Cristiano Ronaldo stamped on Abate's knee as he was on the ground and immediately walked away without looking back, but the referee did not spot it and the Milan defender kept his cool.

On the stroke of half-time, the Milan defence stopped when they thought Higuain was offside, but Di Maria's through ball released him and the angled drive from eight yards rolled past Abbiati into the far bottom corner.

After the restart Cristiano Ronaldo hit a sudden viciously dipping snapshot from distance that Abbiati flew to palm round the upright. Pato wasted a golden opportunity on the counter by chesting down the ball with the aid of his arm.

Another good chance, as Pepe just about intercepted a dangerous Abate cross from reaching Ibra from seven yards, then both Boateng and Ronaldinho were too slow to pounce on the loose ball.

Milan got their first corner at the 53rd minute, from which Real went on the counter and Gennaro Gattuso performed a crucial double tackle. Abate was harshly booked for a challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo, especially considering the tussle he'd had with the Portuguese player in the first half. Ibrahimovic, however, fully deserved his yellow card for a blatant trip on Sergio Ramos after he had lost possession.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri took decisive action, substituting Ronaldinho with Pippo Inzaghi. The Brazilian was clearly irritated and shook his head as he went to the bench, ignoring his tactician.

Immediately the Rossoneri sparked up and Inzaghi got into a battle with Marcelo. There was danger at the other end when a decisive sliding tackle stopped the cross reaching Cristiano Ronaldo.

Milan were increasing the pressure and equalised with that man SuperPippo. Much of the credit, however, goes to Ibrahimovic. The Swede robbed Pepe and got down the left. His cross-shot caught out Casillas, who reaching backwards only managed to get his palms to the ball, but Inzaghi was on it like a hawk from four yards! It was the 124th goal in a Milan jersey for the 37-year-old.

Inzaghi turned the game around completely soon after! He was clearly offside when he gathered Gattuso's ball over the top, but kept his cool and when Casillas jumped expecting a lob, he rolled it under his feet into an empty net!

Gattuso was exhausted and received a standing ovation as he walked off for Clarence Seedorf. Abbiati comfortably smothered an Ozil daisy-cutter, then blocked another fine volley from the German after Ibrahimovic had lost the ball on a promising counter.

Play was temporarily halted while Pirlo received treatment for an accidental elbow in the face from Karim Benzema. He recovered well, as Pirlo flicked up the ball with his heel to go past Ricardo Carvalho, who was booked for fouling him.

Milan thought they had given Mourinho his first defeat on the Real Madrid bench, but at the 93rd minute Benzema's through ball released Pedro Leon, whose shot went through Abbiati's legs at the near post. The Special One celebrated in his trademark style, running along the touchline and sticking out his tongue.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Boateng, Pirlo, Gattuso (Seedorf 84); Ronaldinho (Inzaghi 59); Pato (Ambrosini 72), Ibrahimovic

Real Madrid: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Pepe (Pedro Leon 80), Carvalho, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Khedira; Cristiano Ronaldo, Ozil (Raul Albiol 94), Di Maria; Higuain (Benzema 73)

Ref: Webb (Eng)

Berlusconi asks Del Piero to join AC Milan
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Patron Silvio Berlusconi has revealed how he asked Juventus talisman Alessandro Del Piero to cross the divide and join his club after Saturday night's game.

Del Piero scored the winner in a 2-1 victory at San Siro taking advantage of a loose ball, which he fired beyond Christian Abbiati in the Milan goal.

The 35-year-old, who overtook Giampiero Boniperti in the record books with his strike, is out of contract in the summer, leading to speculation about his future.

Speaking to Sky Italia, Berlusconi said: “We played well on Saturday evening. It's a shame that we lost.

“But Juve are a great team and above all they have a great player.

“I went into the dressing room to congratulate everyone and above all Del Piero.

“I told him that I know his contract is up and I offered him the chance to come to Milan.

“He is an extraordinary champion. Hopefully he might finish his career at Milan,” Berlusconi concluded.

Mourinho: 'AC Milan rarely lose two in a row'
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Jose Mourinho warns “it’s very difficult for Milan lose two games in a row” and is keeping his emotions in check for the return to San Siro.

The Real Madrid boss steps back into his old stomping ground on Wednesday evening, but insists the rivalry is not so strong.

“Milan are not the enemy,” said the former Inter Coach who was welcomed at the airport and the hotel by Nerazzurri supporters.

“I am trying to feel nothing special when I come back here, but I did spend two fantastic years at Inter. I hope to face Inter sooner or later so that I can thank all the fans.

“I always had a respectful and positive rapport with Milan, so I do not feel like I am playing against an enemy.

“Naturally, for a side like Milan that had dominated, it must be strange to see Inter win everything. I can also imagine they view me in a not particularly positive light, as the man who made Inter champions of Europe, but still with respect.”

Real Madrid won the first leg 2-0 at the Bernabeu, but in the club’s history have never conquered San Siro.

“That is because there is a lot of pressure and it’s very difficult against strong sides in a packed stadium. Milan will also be worried, though, as they know that we can win.”

The Rossoneri are fresh from a 2-1 home defeat to Juventus, which has severely dented their confidence and Scudetto chances.

“They are a top side. They lost once, it is very difficult for Milan to lose two games in a row,” noted Mou.

“We expect a stronger Milan performance than on Saturday evening, with more hunger and determination. This isn’t a decisive match for them, but it is very important, above all from a psychological stand-point.”

Ronaldinho and Thiago Silva fit for Real Madrid
2.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva, Ronaldinho, Massimo Ambrosini and Gianluca Zambrotta are back in the Milan squad to face Real Madrid.

The quartet all missed the last few games due to injury, including the 2-1 home defeat to Juventus, but Coach Massimiliano Allegri can count on them for tomorrow’s Champions League clash.

The only absentees are defenders Daniele Bonera and Massimo Oddo.

UEFA have assigned English referee Howard Webb to this game at San Siro on Wednesday evening.

He is joined by assistants Stephen Child, Jake Collin and fourth official Mike Dean.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Antonini, Jankulovski, Nesta, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes, Abate, Ambrosini, Boateng, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf, Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi, Pato, Robinho, Ronaldinho

Ibrahimovic promises to beat Mourinho
2.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has promised to beat his former mentor Jose Mourinho when Milan meet Real Madrid at San Siro tomorrow night.

The Sweden international striker was on the losing side in Spain two weeks ago and is looking for revenge.

Speaking at a pre-match Press Conference, Ibrahimovic said: “Tomorrow we'll do everything opposite to what we did in the first game.

“They dominated at the Bernabeu. We were slow and not ruthless enough. Luckily there is another game to play and by doing things differently than in the game in Madrid we can win and show that we are as strong as Madrid, if not stronger.

“I am looking to help my teammates. We must still get to know each other better but I feel very good. I am sorry that I missed some goalscoring chances against Juve, but I am sure that it will not be repeated.

“I am very happy in Milan. It's like a second home for me.

“I had a beautiful relationship with Mourinho. I spent a fantastic year at Inter with him, but tomorrow evening I'll go out on the pitch to win and I won't be thinking about him.

“Then after the game, we might speak, but before I will be concentrated on the game,” he concluded.

Allegri demands goals
2.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri feels his side must start scoring goals if they are to have any chance of beating Real Madrid in the Champions League tomorrow.

The Rossoneri have averaged just over a goal a game this season, showing little in the way of ruthlessness up front despite the presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato and Robinho.

Speaking at a pre-match Press Conference, Allegri said: “We got a lot wrong in the first game [against Real Madrid].

“We started with the wrong approach and we conceded two strange goals. They were fortunate.

“When you play games like these, you can't think about playing badly technically.

“Tomorrow, we'll have to play a game of great pressure but I am certain that we can win.

“Saturday evening's performance against Juventus was good, one of the best since the start of the season. We didn't get the result, but we created a lot. At times football is a liar.

“The team is creating many chances but scoring few goals. Anyway I am an optimist. The goals will come and other players will start scoring, not just Ibrahimovic and Pato.”

Ronaldinho contract no closer to arrival
2.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There is still time for Ronaldinho to agree a new deal with Milan, according to his brother and agent Roberto De Assis.

The Brazil international playmaker is out of contract at the end of the season and is free to talk to other clubs in January.

“Anything is possible in football, but if I have to be honest, my brother has a contract with Milan until 2011 and there is time to talk,” De Assis told Sky Italia.

“We have respect for the club. We are organising things gradually, waiting for the right moment to renew with a great deal of calm.

“Ronaldinho wants to be concentrated on playing. Right now Milan have to win and my brother must only think about these important games.”

When asked about reported interest from the LA Galaxy, De Assis replied: “I have always said that I will speak with Milan before speaking with other teams.

“There is a contract until 2011. Then we have time. There is no hurry,” he concluded.

Ronaldinho denies rift with AC Milan
1.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho has moved to deny a report in this morning's La Gazzetta dello Sport, which claims he criticised Milan's tactics against Juventus.

The Brazil international was apparently overheard in a local bar questioning the wisdom of playing Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his own up front.

“In general I don't like to speak after the games when I do play, and especially when I don't play,” Ronaldinho told Sky Italia.

Asked if the allegations in La Gazzetta were true, he said: “No. There is nothing to all this.

“I have been here for three years and all the people at Milan know me. I don't allow myself to judge the Coach's decisions and the condition of my teammates.

“There is nothing true in what I read this morning.”

Looking ahead to this week's clash with Real Madrid in the Champions League, he said: “I feel good and I have a lot of enthusiasm.

“We are going into an important game. I have the desire to play, help out and do my best.

“The last two training sessions are important for me and for the team.

“In the first game the two goals that we conceded at the beginning made life difficult for us.

“Now we must only think about doing what our Coach asks of us to get the three points.”

Finally he reflected on being called up to the national team after 18 months of exile.

“It was a beautiful surprise, an added motivation. I am happy,” he concluded.

Berlusconi backs Allegri
1.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi has chosen not to blame Massimiliano Allegri for his side's 2-1 defeat to Juventus on Saturday.

Instead Italy's Prime Minister decided to stand by the 43-year-old Coach who had been accused of getting his tactics wrong.

Aside from saying that it would be better “if he combs his hair before going to do interviews,” Berlusconi was keen to back Allegri.

“I have nothing to reproach the Coach and the team. Milan didn't play badly and deserved to equalise.

“We had many chances and the law of football says that if you don't profit from them then the others will score the goals.

“Sure, we had important absences, but a strong and competitive team must have quality substitutes.

“Anyway, this remains a team that is built to boss the pitch and the play and it's in a position to compete in Italy and in Europe.”

Ronaldinho blasts AC Milan tactics
1.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho was very critical of Milan's performance against Juventus at the weekend, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Brazil international was left out of the key game at San Siro, raising questions about his future despite the niggling muscle injuries that have recently caused him problems.

La Gazzetta claims Ronaldinho was overheard at a bar in Milan's city centre questioning his team's recent tactics.

“We can't play like this way,” he said.

“Ibra can't play on his own up front against four defenders.”

Ronaldinho's brother Roberto De Assis, who also works as his agent, was later contacted by the paper and asked to reveal whether his client is angry.

“Sure, he's happier when he wins.”

Ronaldinho's contract is due to expire in the summer and he has attracted interest from the LA Galaxy and Flamengo.

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