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The Archive

November 2013

Abbiati and Abate out for AC Milan
30.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati and Ignazio Abate are out of Milan’s trip to Catania, but Stephan El Shaarawy returns.

The Rossoneri play in Sicily on Sunday at 11.30 GMT.

Abate limped off during the 3-0 Champions League victory over Celtic on Tuesday, while Abbiati is suffering from flu symptoms.

As Marco Amelia is also injured, this means Gabriel has to start in goal.

The other absentees include Philippe Mexes, Robinho, Sulley Muntari, Cristian Zaccardo and Mattia De Sciglio, while Cristian Zapata is suspended.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri therefore has only four defenders at his disposal and announced Andrea Poli will play at right-back.

Milan squad for Catania: Coppola, Gabriel, Ferrari; Bonera, Constant, Silvestre, Vergara; Birsa, Cristante, Emanuelson, De Jong, Kaka', Montolivo, Nocerino, Poli, Saponara; Balotelli, El Shaarawy, Matri, Niang.

Berlusconi: 'Galliani stays at AC Milan'
30.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi has surprisingly announced Adriano Galliani “will stay in his position.”

The patron had been due to fly in by helicopter for a meeting with the team and media today, but the visit to the Milanello training ground was cancelled due to bad weather.

However, Berlusconi still spoke to Milan Channel and declared general manager Galliani “will stay in his position.

“The only reason I did not come to Milanello was due to the adverse weather conditions and I am disappointed.

“In any case, Milan go forward in a calm manner. Adriano Galliani is more relieved now, everyone is staying in their positions and Milan proceed in unity.

“I wanted to say these things directly to the media, but that is the basic gist of it. The club situation will not change. Galliani is relaxed after last night’s dinner at Arcore.”

Last night there was a four-hour meeting between Berlusconi and Galliani, who said he would resign after a clash with Barbara Berlusconi, the President’s daughter.

The exit was expected to be made official either after the Champions League game with Ajax or the last match of the season against Inter on December 22.

There were also reports Galliani was trying to sue Berlusconi for damages after working at Milan for 28 years and that this decision is only because the President rejected his offer of resignation.

Berlusconi cancels AC Milan visit
30.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The confusion at Milan is set to continue, as President Silvio Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani cancelled their visit.

Berlusconi was set to speak with the media and reveal the fate of his general manager after last night’s four-hour meeting.

However, it was cancelled at the last minute due to “bad weather” preventing Berlusconi’s personal helicopter from taking off.

It’s reported Galliani will also not be at the Milanello training ground today, so he will meet with the team at Malpensa Airport for the flight to Sicily.

Milan play Catania on Sunday at 11.30 GMT.

Galliani confirmed his imminent resignation, but it remains to be seen whether it will be after the Champions League tie with Ajax or the Milan Derby on December 22.

Allegri: 'AC Milan situation is evolving'
30.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri urged Milan’s players to isolate themselves from the club feud with Adriano Galliani and welcomed “motivator” President Silvio Berlusconi.

The Rossoneri travel to Catania for the early Sunday match at 11.30 GMT.

Last night Vice-President and general manager Galliani had a four-hour meeting with President Berlusconi after announcing his intention to resign due to a clash with Barbara Berlusconi.

“We must continue to focus on the pitch, just as we always have done so far,” said the Coach.

“We read and hear what is happening, but it must not touch us. It is a delicate situation in which everyone is seeking the best solution for Milan.

“It is never easy to play in Catania. We’ll be without Philippe Mexes, while Ignazio Abate is unlikely to recover and Christian Abbiati has a fever. Stephan El Shaarawy is back and I’m not taking him to Sicily on vacation. If he’s in the side, it means he can play.

“Against Catania our defence will be made up of Andrea Poli, Matias Silvestre, Daniele Bonera and Urby Emanuelson.

“We should not be in this position in the table, so we must get back to winning ways in Serie A. The team did well against Celtic on Tuesday and it was pleasing to see the performance.”

President Berlusconi was expected to attend the Milanello training ground today and speak to the media as well as the side. However, the visit was cancelled due to bad weather.

“I am the Coach and my responsibilities are on the pitch. I am focused on getting a result and perhaps that could help calm the environment around the club,” said Allegri.

“Like last season, having the President close to the team is positive. He is a great motivator and we are happy he’s coming to see us for the first time this season.

“The first thing Galliani said to me when I arrived was: ‘You are responsible for Milanello.’ The important thing is to give values to the team, stay close to the lads and give my technical support.

“Considering the delicacy of the club situation, I’d prefer not to talk about it. We are all working for the good of Milan. I won’t think about my future in relation to the club scenarios.

“Do I regret not joining Roma this summer? I made many choices in my life and never had regrets.”

Once Galliani leaves, Paolo Maldini is set to come in as technical director at Milan.

“I’ve known Paolo since I first arrived at Milan, but the situation is evolving and there’s no point talking about it now. The club will do what is best for Milan.”

Maldini to take Galliani role?
29.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paolo Maldini is expected to be named as Milan’s new technical director, reports in the Italian Press have suggested.

Vice-President Adriano Galliani announced his resignation on Friday, and Sky Sport Italia have insisted that the Rossoneri have acted swiftly in replacing the veteran.

They believe that Barbara Berlusconi has already spoken with the legendary defender, and will become part of the backroom staff imminently.

Riccardo Bigon and Sean Sogliano have been linked with position in recent weeks, but it seems that Maldini will take over as director.

Ancelotti: Galliani exit a blow for AC Milan
29.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti thinks former club Milan will miss the departing Adriano Galliani.

The official has confirmed he will quit the outfit next month after a breakdown in his relationship with fellow director Barbara Berlusconi.

“I don’t see this as a positive,” the former Diavolo midfielder and Coach told Radio Capital. “Galliani is someone with experience and a great ability to run a club like Milan.

“He has demonstrated that in all of his years there. His goodbye would be a great loss for the Rossoneri.”

Galliani, the club’s CEO and Vice-President, has been with the Diavolo since 1986.

Cristante set for loan exit?
29.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bryan Cristante will consider a January loan move away from Milan if he continues to struggle for action.

The midfielder, 18, was promoted to the first team squad from the Primavera in the summer, but he has played for just eight minutes in Serie A this term.

“We didn’t expect this,” agent Giuseppe Riso told Spazio Milan. “The club’s situation is not helping, but when a player is good he is good.

“Bryan deserves more space even if he is rated highly by boss Massimiliano Allegri. We are talking about one of the best players in Europe from those born in 1995.

“I can’t exclude a transfer,” the representative added. “We’ll talk with the club to understand what will be the best for everyone.”

Galliani: I will quit AC Milan
29.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has confirmed he will resign as the CEO of Italian giants Milan after 27 years at the club.

Reports this morning suggested the official would quit after a breakdown in his relationship with Barbara Berlusconi and he has confirmed as much.

“I will resign with good reason in a few days,” the Vice-President is quoted as saying. “Maybe I will wait until after the game against Ajax.

“My reputation has been damaged and I will go with or without a severance package. A generational change is fine, I understand that, but not like this. A bit more elegance was needed.

“My future? I will firstly let off some steam. I’ll take a bit of time and then I’ll see. But my affection for Silvio Berlusconi is immutable.”

Barbara Berlusconi, daughter of Silvio, recently publicly questioned the direction the club was heading in under Galliani’s leadership.

Milan take on Ajax on December 11 in their final Champions League group game.

Birsa: Against Catania like Celtic
29.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Valter Birsa thinks the win at Celtic could be a useful stepping stone for Milan’s trip to Catania on Sunday.

The Diavolo collected their first away win of the season in midweek and will be looking for their first win in Serie A after five unsuccessful attempts.

“We won an important game against Celtic and we needed to play a game like that to show that we can do well,” the midfielder told Milan Channel.

“It was a decisive match and we won it.

“I expect that we’ll play against Catania like we played against Celtic. We have to keep on going like this. Things didn’t go our way against Genoa last week, but we played well.”

Boss Massimiliano Allegri has tried various shapes over the last 12 months, but Birsa has played down the importance of systems.

“Rather than talking about formations, the important thing is that the players give 100 per cent when they’re on the pitch,” he added.

“The team needs everyone working together. After that, results will come.”

Galliani on the way out
29.11 || webmaster

Reports strongly suggest that Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is close to ending his long-lasting relationship with the club.

According to press reports, the exit is due to the rising influence of Silvio Berlusconi's daughter, Barbara, over the club. She is expected to take over the daily activities of the club starting with summer 2014.

Nonetheless, given Galliani's cold relationship with Barbara, a departure might happen much sooner than expected.

Both Corriere dello Sport and Gazzetta dello Sport say that Galliani will wait one week for the club to offer him an honorable exit including a hefty severance fee after which he will straight out resign.

"I have been at the end of a heavy blow to my reputation", Galliani reportedly said to Corriere dello Sport.

Galliani has been with the club since 1979 when Berlusconi was just emerging as a media mogul.

He first started in football in 1984 as Vice-President of Monza. He joined Milan in 1986 and was part of the club's long string of successes ever since.

Ancelotti: 'Balotelli must stay at AC Milan'
29.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti warned Mario Balotelli “absolutely must remain at Milan.”

There have been reports the striker could consider an exit from San Siro, but Ancelotti feels that would be a bad move for everyone involved.

“He absolutely must remain at Milan because he is a great talent,” the Coach told Radio Capital.

“Great players are always resources, but everyone has to take responsibility for their own place in the club, whether they are players or Coaches.

“As for Milan, you win with champions. You win a race with horses, not donkeys.”

Ancelotti was also drawn on the battle for the Ballon d’Or between Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Leo Messi.

“God gave Ronaldo something special and I’d like to give him the Ballon d’Or. Would I like Messi at Real Madrid too? I’d prefer a champion in a different role, as we have enough strikers...”

Kaka: 'I play with a smile'
28.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ricky Kaka reveals he is playing “with a smile on my face” at Milan after earning a standing ovation at Celtic Park.

“It was fundamental for us to win and we’re so happy,” he told Milan Channel after a 3-0 Champions League victory in Glasgow.

He scored the opening goal, was inspirational and received a standing ovation from the Celtic Park crowd.

“I have scored 98 goals now and hope to reach 100 before Christmas. We saw a real team unit and everyone could see this team can play good football.

“Am I a leader? A team has many leaders and not just the captain, who is Riccardo Montolivo, but also veterans like Christian Abbiati and Nigel De Jong. I may well be one of those leaders at this moment.”

Milan will qualify for the Champions League knockouts if they avoid a home defeat to Ajax.

“It is all in our hands and depends only on us now,” added Kaka. “We really needed this victory, because the run of negative results was starting to irritate us.

“I am happy here, as I am at a club where people love me and this is why I play with a smile on my face. I hope this win can represent a turning point out of this difficult moment.”

Robinho and Abate injured
28.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho will be out for four weeks with a dislocated shoulder, while Milan teammate Ignazio Abate sprained his ankle.

Both players picked up injuries during last night’s 3-0 Champions League victory over Celtic in Glasgow.

This evening Milan released a statement confirming the test results were not reassuring for the stars.

Robinho has dislocated his left shoulder and, save complications, should be out for three to four weeks.

Abate sprained his left ankle and the medical staff will not be drawn on his recovery time yet, but it too is expected to be several weeks.

De Jong hopes AC Milan kick on
27.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Nigel De Jong has called for his Milan team to kick on after their win over Celtic in the Champions League last night.

The Rossoneri won for the first time in seven attempts on Tuesday as they overcame the Scottish champions 3-0 at Parkhead.

“I was somewhat disappointed by Celtic,” he told uefa. “But we did well to exploit the opportunities they afforded us.

“For Milan, the Champions League is as important as the Scudetto. We’re not having a good time at the moment, but we have shown how dangerous we can be.

“I thought we were perfect from the start. In the second half, maybe we were a bit lucky when Van Dijk missed a good opportunity.

“I think the next match against Ajax will be a decisive one – we have to prepare in the best way possible.”

AC Milan make Sogliano contact - report
27.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Hellas Verona sporting director Sean Sogliano is being tracked by Milan as a potential replacement for Adriano Galliani.

Both L’Arena and Sky Sport Italia claim that the promoted side’s transfer guru has been contacted by Barbara Berlusconi as the club look to fill the gap that will, reportedly, be left by their outgoing Vice-President.

Galliani has been linked with a switch to Paris Saint-Germain next year, and the Rossoneri see Sogliano as their man to rejuvenate the team on a budget.

Leonardo and Riccardo Biigon have also been rumoured as potential incomers.

AC Milan duo back in training
27.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Milan duo of Stephan El Shaarawy and Giampaolo Pazzini trained with the rest of the squad today following their injury problems.

El Shaarawy has only featured in four games this term because of a number of fitness setbacks, while Pazzini has yet to appear following summer surgery.

The Diavolo resumed training at Milanello today after Tuesday’s 3-0 win in the Champions League at Celtic.

El Shaarawy took part in the whole session with his colleagues, while Pazzini was omitted from ball work.

Milan will play bottom of the table Catania in Sicily on Sunday at 12.30 local time.

Sunbed to blame for Mexes injury?
27.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Philippe Mexes’ eye injury may have been caused by the Milan man’s use of a sunbed, reports Tuttosport.

The Frenchman pulled out of the 1-1 draw with Genoa on Saturday in the warm-up after complaining of pain in his left eye.

The stopper has been since diagnosed with central serous retinopathy and will rest until Friday when he will have further tests.

The newspaper suggests that the condition is caused by sun exposure or ultraviolet lights used to produce a cosmetic tan.

Lennon: 'Celtic weren't outplayed'
27.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Celtic manager Neil Lennon didn’t “think we were outplayed” despite a 3-0 mauling at the hands of Milan.

Kaka, Cristian Zapata and Mario Balotelli were on target in Glasgow for a result that eliminates the Hoops from the Champions League and means a Europa League spot is also impossible.

“I’m disappointed with goals conceded from corners. That was most the disappointing aspect, and the chances we missed,” shrugged Lennon in his Press conference.

“We’ve competed and competed again tonight, but it’s mainly the defensive part of the pitch we’re talking about.”

The Rossoneri had been without a victory in over a month, while the club hadn’t beaten Celtic in Scotland since 1969, earning only two points from four visits.

“Milan have improved since the first game. I said before the game I wouldn’t take too much notice of their domestic form.

“We created more chances tonight than in the San Siro. I didn’t think we were outplayed; it wasn’t wave after wave of attack. Big moments change the course of the game.

“Milan took their chances, but we contributed to our downfall. We have to improve if we are to continue to play in the Champions League.

“We all enjoy the Euro experience but we’ll learn from this campaign and we will do everything we can to come back next year and compete.”

Abbiati: 'AC Milan alive and kicking'
27.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati is pleased Milan “proved we’re alive and kicking” with a 3-0 demolition of Celtic.

“This was important for a series of reasons and in a very difficult arena we proved we’re alive and kicking,” the goalkeeper told Sky Sport Italia.

“We attacked from the start and I compliment everyone, as it was not simple. There are still many games ahead of us, starting from Sunday, but this victory will certainly boost confidence for us and the fans, who always stayed close to us. We also want to dedicate this win to President Silvio Berlusconi.”

This was the Rossoneri’s first win in over a month and just days after Abbiati and Kaka spoke to angry ultras to calm a protest at San Siro.

“Of course I believe in this team. We wear a truly important jersey and must give our all in every game. With the protests on Saturday and recent results it was tough, but we came here and won a crucial match.

“Was it easier to play outside San Siro? I wouldn’t say that, as you can really hear the Celtic fans singing! We closed up within ourselves and remained concentrated.”

Allegri: 'It's the same AC Milan'
27.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists Milan’s performance against Celtic wasn’t that different from recent setbacks.

“It was a great evening and the lads deserved this victory, especially in the first half when we played some good vertical passes. We risked going behind on a ball that was bobbling around in the box,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia after a 3-0 Champions League triumph.

“Milan’s last win in Glasgow was in 1969, so to have such a crushing victory against a tough side was impressive.

“It makes me laugh now, as when you lose people say the team is a disaster. We are the same team as a month ago. This remains a good team with its strengths and weaknesses. We have to work on the certainties we have.

“When we were 1-0 up, Celtic had a great chance to equalise, but we went straight up the other end and scored our second. If you look at all the chances we had against Genoa, then that should’ve ended 3-0 as well instead of 1-1.

“This is football: sometimes a moment goes your way and changes the game, sometimes it goes against you. Luck is a fundamental component of the sport.”

Ricky Kaka and Valter Birsa supported Mario Balotelli in a Christmas Tree formation that seemed to protect the midfield more.

“This is the system we basically used last season, albeit with Stephan El Shaarawy a bit wider. Balotelli did well to understand the right moments in stretching the team out or coming back towards the midfield.

“Having a player in the side who can take great corners is a real advantage. Some people acted as if Birsa didn’t belong at Milan, but he is a talented lad who works hard and is proving very useful.

“Ignazio Abate picked up an injury, so we had to use Andrea Poli as a full-back for a while. Celtic forced us to raise the tempo, but our players also did well to keep passing the ball quickly and not allow Celtic to be dangerous.

“We managed to lose some incredible games in Serie A, as between Chievo and Genoa we allowed one shot on goal. It’s true we need to be more careful in defending on set plays.”

Milan are not qualified for the Champions League knockouts yet, but will get through as long as they avoid defeat to Ajax at San Siro.

Zapata: 'My goal at last!'
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cristian Zapata finally got his first goal for Milan and hailed “a great victory” at Celtic Park.

The defender thought he had netted in the first match with Celtic, but that was credited as an own goal by UEFA.

There were no doubts over his goal this evening, as he tapped in a corner during the 3-0 victory.

“I am happy to have scored today, it was a great victory and I think we deserved it. We came here to play our game and to win,” Zapata told Sky Sport Italia.

“Now we have Ajax at home and will do everything to win that too.”

The Rossoneri had been without a win in over a month and threatened by their own fans on Saturday, so this result was sorely needed.

“The last few days have been difficult, but we gave a response and hope we can do the same in Serie A.”

Champions League: Celtic 0:3 AC Milan - match report
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Kaka 12 (M), Zapata 49 (M), Balotelli 60 (M)

Ricky Kaka was inspirational and Mario Balotelli also scored as Milan crushed Celtic 3-0, their first Glasgow win since 1969.

As Ajax beat Barcelona 2-1, Milan will qualify as long as they avoid defeat in the final head-to-head with the Dutch side at San Siro.

The Rossoneri needed at least a point here to remain in second place, as they had five points with Ajax on four and Celtic three. Philippe Mexes, Sulley Muntari, Marco Amelia, Cristian Zaccardo, Mattia De Sciglio, Giampaolo Pazzini and Stephan El Shaarawy were injured, so Daniele Bonera started just days after his first appearance of the season. Celtic missed Scott Brown, Nir Baton, Adam Matthews and Steven Mouyokolo.

Milan had managed just two draws from their last four visits to Glasgow and were without an away win in all competition this season.

Dirk Boerrigter had a great chance after two minutes when he got away from Valter Birsa on a corner, but completely mis-kicked at the back post. Mario Balotelli blasted across the face of goal moments later after turning Efe Ambrose, but Beram Kayal somehow scuffed wide when Charlie Mulgrew’s shot hit him in an onside position.

Milan took the lead when Kaka was allowed a totally free header from four yards on a Birsa corner, glancing it in towards the far post. It was his first Champions League goal for the Rossoneri in six years.

Cristian Zapata needed a desperate clearance and on the counter from that move Kaka set up Balotelli to blast over from a tight angle. Kaka also tried to set up Birsa, who was caught unawares and let the chance go begging, then the Brazilian went for it himself with a wonderful curler inches past the far post.

Celtic lost Kayal to injury after a coming together with Riccardo Montolivo and Christian Abbiati smothered a scuffed Mulgrew effort. Balotelli had the ball in the net before half-time, but the offside flag was up before he lobbed Fraser Forster, while Abbiati smothered a Giorgios Samaras header.

Straight after the restart a Celtic free kick was floated back in for the totally unmarked Van Dijk, who somehow fired directly at Abbiati from point-blank range.

Antonio Nocerino came off the bench and immediately curled in the corner for Milan’s second goal. There was more terrible defending from the Hoops, as the ball was knocked back across for Cristian Zapata to tap in at the back post.

Van Dijk did get the ball in the net with a towering header, but this time he was offside and it did not count.

Balotelli was more clinical and added a third to Milan’s tally, as he ran on to Montolivo’s long ball, held off defenders and placed a precise angled drive across Forster from six yards. It ended SuperMario’s six-game goal drought.

James Forrest was at full stretch for a finish that shaved a coat of paint off the far post, but Kaka was given a standing ovation when he left the pitch at Celtic Park.

Celtic 0-3 Milan

Scorers: Kaka 12 (M), Zapata 49 (M), Balotelli 60 (M)

Celtic: Forster, Lustig, Ambrose, Van Dijk, Izaguirre; Boerrigter, Kayal (Ledley 31), Mulgrew, Forrest (Rogic 80); Commons (Stokes 65); Samaras

Milan: Abbiati; Abate (Nocerino 48), Zapata, Bonera, Emanuelson; Montolivo, De Jong, Poli; Birsa (Constant 72), Kaka (Robinho 80); Balotelli

Ref: Cakir (TUR)

Champions League: Celtic vs. AC Milan - lineups
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Celtic: Forster, Lustig, Ambrose, Van Dijk, Izaguirre; Boerrigter, Kayal, Mulgrew, Forrest; Commons; Samaras.

Celtic bench: Zaluska, Fisher, Ledley, Rogic, Stokes, Balde, Pukki.

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Bonera, Emanuelson; Montolivo, De Jong, Poli; Birsa, Kaka; Balotelli.

AC Milan bench: Coppola, Silvestre, Constant, Nocerino, Cristante, Robinho, Matri.

Bigon to replace Galliani at AC Milan?
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

With Adriano Galliani looking increasingly likely to leave Milan, the Rossoneri could replace him with Napoli’s Riccardo Bigon.

The San Siro side’s board member has been linked with a switch to French champions Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season.

And La Stampa believe they could replace him with the Partenopei man in a bid to recreate their transfer success this summer.

Bigon played a big part in bringing Gonzalo Higuain and others to Stadio San Paolo during the off-season, and President Silvio Berlusconi is hoping to replicate that at Milan by signing the transfer guru.

Galliani: Directors come and go
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has made the biggest hint yet that his future could be away from San Siro.

The board member has been heavily linked with a switch to Paris Saint-Germain, and President Silvio Berlusconi’s right-hand man has claimed that ‘directors come and go’.

“It's not the future of the individual people that is important - it's the future of Milan,” he told reporters in Glasgow.

“Directors come and go, but Milan remains.

“Milan was born before all of us, and will continue after us. Directors, coaches and players all come and go.”

The Rossoneri face Celtic in the Champions League this evening, looking to cement their second place in Group H.

Boban criticises AC Milan's Balotelli
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zvonimir Boban has launched a sensational attack on Milan’s Mario Balotelli. “He doesn’t understand what wearing that shirt means.”

Balotelli remains a controversial figure for club and country and Boban, who spent a decade on the books of the Rossoneri, seems to have had enough of all the hype.

“Let’s stop always talking about this Balotelli,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “In his life all he has done is sit on the bench at other clubs.

“He will always be smaller than Milan and Milan will always be bigger than him.

“In my Milan side he would have carried bags for players such as Marco Van Basten, George Weah and Andriy Shevchenko.”

The striker is struggling for form on the pitch and continues to make headlines off it after turning up late for training on two consecutive days.

“He would have been slapped by people like Paolo Maldini, Marcel Desailly, Sebastiano Rossi, Alessandro Costacurta and Franco Baresi for not arriving on time,” the Croatian added.

“His listless attitude demonstrates that he is unable to comprehend certain things with his brain, he doesn’t understand what wearing that shirt means.

“He should learn from Kaka, a boy who has won the Champions League, a World Cup, a Golden Ball. He’s certainly richer than Balotelli, yet he runs and works like a kid.”

Balotelli has three goals in eight Serie A ties so far this season.

'Bitterness and disappointment at Milan'
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has admitted that Milan are ‘disappointed’ with their start to the season, but are going to Glasgow tomorrow to win.

The Rossoneri face Celtic in the Champions League, and the Coach has insisted that his team want to put their poor League form behind them.

"Tomorrow evening is an important game for us but it may not be the determining game to get into the next round,” he told a Press conference.

“It’ll be a tough game as they’re at home and they play well here, very aggressive. It’ll be a great evening and should be faced with real tactical attentiveness and trying to play technically good football.

“We have to separate the league from the Champions League. We have to get a result tomorrow as the second objective of the season is to get into the last 16 stage of the competition. The first objective was to qualify.

“The first part of the season is now behind us. In the League we have a few more games that we can win to get back up the table and then there’s the Coppa Italia as well as the last 16 of the Champions League as objectives.

“We have to do more as what we’ve done so far in the league is not enough. The team shouldn’t be thinking about what happens outside the changing room. Of course there’s bitterness and disappointment among the fans: we feel it too and so does everyone who works for the club.

“We have to do everything we can to do better and to do that, we need to have the fans with us. It’s not true that it’s better to play away from the San Siro. It’s always better for us to play at home in front of our fans.

“There’s false news doing the rounds. It’s completely untrue that five players showed up late for training. I’d like to know who’s starting these stories. We have to try and win tomorrow but it won’t be easy as Celtic play well at home and in the last 11 matches, they’ve only lost two.

“Winning tomorrow may not even be enough depending on what happens in Amsterdam. Lennon is a good Coach as he’s getting good results in the league and in Europe.

“Balotelli will start tomorrow evening and we expect a lot from him. I have a great relationship with him. He was an important player in the second half of last season and he is now as well.”

Kaka: AC Milan under pressure
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka has conceded that Milan are ‘under pressure’ going into tomorrow’s match against Celtic.

The Rossoneri travel to Glasgow on Tuesday on the back of a run of games that have seen them go seven without a win.

And the Brazilian playmaker has admitted that the San Siro side are desperate for three points at Parkhead.

“We are always under pressure in Milan,” he told a Press conference. “Seven matches without a win, it means there is more and more pressure to win the next game.

“And it will be against a very difficult opponent.

“The atmosphere at Celtic park is amazing. A few of my teammates have played here before. It is never easy against such a great support. It will be the same tomorrow.

“For the moment, the big problem is that we cannot win. At the moment, we need to win. Tomorrow, we will try to win whether we have a good or bad game.

“It is very important for the group that Milan win three points. The atmosphere is a bit tense in the changing room but sometimes it is a motivation.”

Mulgrew ready for 'must win' match
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Charlie Mulgrew has admitted that Celtic’s match with Milan tomorrow is a ‘must win’.

The Scottish champions host the Rossoneri at Parkhead on Tuesday, as they both look to finish as runners-up in Group H.

“It's massive,” he told a Press conference. “It's a must-win game for us. Pressure's always on, for all the games at Celtic, especially at home.

“Hopefully the crowd will get behind us and we can get the win. It's going to be difficult but I'm sure we'll be well prepared.

“We want to finish second and go as far as we can in this competition.

“We'll need to match them. Even if they have a couple of injuries, they have world-class players that can come in.

“It's going to be difficult for us to match them but we'll have to do that.”

Celtic will 'take game' to AC Milan
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has insisted that his side will ‘take the game’ to Milan on Tuesday evening.

The Rossoneri travel to Glasgow for their crucial Champions League clash tomorrow night, and the Bhoys Coach has claimed that his men are relishing the chance to take on Massimiliano Allegri’s team.

“In the context of the Champions League, it is the game you have to win to have any chance of qualifying,” he told a Press conference.

“It's a great game for the players to be involved in. We've performed very well in the group, apart from the first half in Amsterdam. So I want that to continue tomorrow.

“We'll try to take the game to Milan at every opportunity. I think that's imperative, the fans will want that. How much Milan allows us to do that, it remains to be seen.

“We're playing against a very good side despite what the recent league form has been showing. They may have to prove a point to their supporters, but not to anyone else around the world.

“They've beaten us, they've drawn against Barca, they've drawn away in Amsterdam. Their results have been solid in the group.

“They have a great chance to go through and maybe that'll be the springboard for them.”

AC Milan have clear ideas, says Galliani
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says the club will buy in January, while he insists Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy are staying.

The Diavolo have had a sluggish start to the season and Galliani insists they’ll look to remedy their problems after Christmas.

“We have very clear ideas about the transfer window,” he stated at Malpensa airport ahead of the Champions League tie at Celtic.

“We’re looking for a defender and a wide attacker.”

The official was inevitably asked about Balotelli amidst rumours that he turned up late for training for the second day in a row this morning.

“I don’t know anything about it. Training was at 11.30, he got there before 11. I don’t know what time they were supposed to meet up – you’ll have to ask the Coach.

“Is Balotelli unhappy? He will stay, I’m 101 per cent certain about that. He’s our centre-forward, it’s just one of those moments.”

The Rossoneri – thirteenth in the table – have had their injury problems this season too, but a trio of men are on the mend.

“Stephan El Shaarawy is improving, as are Giampaolo Pazzini and Mattia De Sciglio,” Galliani commented.

“Last season El Shaarawy kept us upright until Balotelli arrived. Unfortunately we haven’t really had El Shaarawy or De Sciglio this season.

“El Shaarawy is staying as well,” he added. “A well-known Coach from abroad rang me up to ask for him and I politely said no.”

AC Milan squad for Celtic
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has named a 19-man squad for Tuesday’s crucial Champions League tie at Celtic.

The Diavolo will travel to Glasgow without Philippe Mexes as the stopper has picked up an eye problem, but midfielder Antonio Nocerino returns to the party after injury.

Allegri’s hopes to have Stephan El Shaarawy and Mattia De Sciglio back have been dashed, while Marco Amelia is missing too because of injury.

Squad: Abbiati, Coppola, Ferrari; Abate, Bonera, Constant, Silvestre, Zapata; Birsa, Cristante, De Jong, Emanuelson, Kaka, Montolivo, Nocerino, Poli; Balotelli, Matri, Robinho.

Constant deletes Twitter account
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Constant has decided to close his Twitter account after being targeted by disgruntled Milan fans.

The former Chievo and Genoa man has been criticised by Diavolo supporters after some disappointing displays.

During the 1-1 draw against Genoa, tifosi unfurled a giant banner which read: ‘Constant, instead of clowning around and being arrogant, respect those who watch your embarrassing performances.”

The 26-year-old was also subsequently sent tweets which questioned his ability and whether he was worthy of the shirt.

Zambrotta: Inzaghi 'better' than Seedorf
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gianluca Zambrotta thinks Pippo Inzaghi would be a better choice as the next Milan boss than Clarence Seedorf.

Both of his former teammates have been linked with the job given the uncertain future of boss Massimiliano Allegri, whose contract is set to expire in 2014.

“At this moment in time it will probably be left to Allegri to lead the side out of this situation,” the 2006 World Cup winner told RAI Sport.

“For the future, though, I think Inzaghi would be more prepared for the Coach role than Seedorf.”

Inzaghi is currently in charge of the club’s Primavera youth side, while the Dutchman is still playing for Brazilian outfit Botafogo.

Milan’s troubled season continued with a 1-1 draw against Genoa on Saturday. That was their fifth top-fight game without a win and leaves them 13th in the table.

“I think there is a lack of experience in the squad,” Zambrotta, who spent four years at the club before his 2012 exit, added. “But I still think Allegri has control of the squad.

“This is a difficult moment for the team and they unfortunately can’t count on players such as Mattia De Sciglio and Stephan El Shaarawy, players who really helped last term.”

Mexes eye condition identified
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Philippe Mexes has been diagnosed with an eye condition that will keep him out for at least a week.

The Frenchman pulled out during the warm-up of last night’s 1-1 draw with Genoa complaining of pain in his left eye.

He was taken to the local hospital and underwent specialist tests that diagnosed a slight central serous retinopathy (CSR).

This is an eye disease which causes visual impairment in one eye, often due to fluid under the retina.

He will rest until next Friday when the defender will have further tests.

Celtic - AC Milan referee
24.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The referees have been assigned for Champions League key games Celtic-Milan and Borussia Dortmund-Napoli.

Both kick off at 19.45 GMT on Tuesday evening and will be crucial results for qualification.

Milan visit Glasgow with Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir wielding the whistle.

It is his second game of the season with the Rossoneri, as he officiated the 1-1 play-off draw away to PSV Eindhoven.

Napoli go head-to-head with Borussia in Dortmund and their referee is Spaniard Carlos Velasco Carballo.

He brings back fond memories for the Partenopei, officiating their 3-1 victory over Chelsea in February 2012.

Perin: 'Saving Balotelli's penalty'
24.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin explains how he became only the second man to save a Mario Balotelli penalty.

Before last night’s 1-1 draw, the only other shot-stopper to deny a Balo spot-kick in senior competitive games was Pepe Reina for Napoli.

“I had studied Balotelli’s penalty technique, though of course in these situations you also need a lot of luck,” 21-year-old Perin told Mediaset Premium.

“I was going to my right, but then I saw he was watching me during the run-up, so the moment he looked down at the ball I changed direction at the last second.

“My experience last season at Pescara was very useful. I used to collapse at the first mistake, but I don’t this year. I keep my head up and know I can still be decisive.”

Balotelli: 'This is the end'
24.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli sent a cryptic message after Milan’s draw with Genoa, writing on Twitter: “This is the end. :-)”

The brief tweet was posted at 5.11am local time, just hours after the Rossoneri were held to a 1-1 stalemate by 10-man Genoa and Mattia Perin saved his penalty.

He followed it up this morning with two more tweets. "Forza Milan, always and regardless." The next was simply an emoticon for a winking smile: ";-)"

Angry ultras blocked off the exits of San Siro until Kaka and Christian Abbiati walked out to speak to them personally.

Many different interpretations have been given to this tweet, particularly as it includes an emoticon representing a smiley face.

Some thought it a reference to Massimiliano Allegri’s Milan career, others to Balotelli’s own stay at the club, but it could simply be him watching the Hollywood movie starring James Franco and Seth Rogen.

Even if that last version were the case, it would not sit well with the fans who had just complained about players staying up late and not giving their all on the field.

Balotelli had not tweeted since October 16, when he slammed the media: “Will you stop talking and talking, just live and let live! Live and let me live and you’ll see the difference!”

Milan travel to Glasgow on Monday to play Celtic in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

Allegri: 'Berlusconi is satisfied'
24.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri reveals Milan President Silvio Berlusconi “was satisfied with the performance” against Genoa.

The Rossoneri were held to a 1-1 draw despite Genoa being down to 10 men for almost an hour, as Mattia Perin saved Mario Balotelli’s penalty.

Although Milan are without a win in five Serie A games for the first time in six years, Allegri seems to be safe from the threat of dismissal.

“We’ve got to get out of this negative moment all together. I can say with certainty the team has always given its all on the field.

“I spoke to the President after the game and he was satisfied with the team’s performance,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“I won’t talk about my future any more, as it has become a boring topic. I think I’ve done a good job so far, though we’re lacking results this season. We need to get back on track in this difficult moment.

“The team did everything it had to in order to win, creating chance upon chance and allowing Genoa just one shot on target throughout the 90 minutes – and that was a penalty.

“Of course Balotelli was demoralised by the penalty miss, but he did good things and is an important player for us. After the spot-kick, Genoa put 10 men behind the ball and there wasn’t much space.”

The teams weren’t allowed to leave San Siro until long after midnight, when Kaka and Christian Abbiati met with 300 protesting ultras who were blocking the exits.

“I tell the fans we’ve got to get out of this negative moment together and push luck our way. We had so many scoring opportunities and were only lacking a goal.

Galliani: 'AC Milan failure not a drama'
24.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan general manager Adriano Galliani asked fans not to “make a drama” out of their probable failure to qualify for Europe.

Last night’s 1-1 draw with 10-man Genoa means the Rossoneri are without a Serie A win in five rounds, their worst streak since September 2007.

“Genoa’s only shot on target was a penalty and if Mario Balotelli had converted his spot-kick, we would’ve won the game,” insisted Galliani on Milan Channel.

“That was the key, then we attacked and attacked and attacked, but the ball would not go in. We have to look forward and the positive of the night was Kaka’s performance.”

The result wasn’t the only bad news for Milan, as Philippe Mexes pulled out in the warm-up with a left eye problem and Sulley Muntari limped off, ruling both out of the Champions League against Celtic on Tuesday.

“Muntari has a thigh strain and Mexes went to hospital for tests. It was very strange, as we can call it an eye infection. I don’t think he’ll be going to Glasgow on Monday either.”

Around 300 ultras blocked the San Siro exits with a protest after the final whistle, only allowing the team out after midnight when Kaka and Christian Abbiati met with them for a face-to-face confrontation.

With only 14 points from 13 Serie A games, Galliani is forced to admit Milan’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League are extremely slim.

“These seasons happen to everyone. People should remember the history of this club, as Silvio Berlusconi bought Milan from a bankruptcy tribunal.

“Napoli weren’t in the Champions League last year, Fiorentina are only in the Europa League this term and Inter finished ninth last season, but they are still there. It’s not as if the other clubs suddenly died when they had an off year.

“Milan have 115 years of history and a 116th will begin too. Bad years happen to everyone, let’s not make a drama out of it. Look at the Champions League trophies we won and the Finals we played. Even more recently, in the last three seasons we came first, second and third.

“We must raise our heads up and be proud of this Milan.”

Kaka and Abbiati meet with ultras
24.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ricky Kaka and Christian Abbiati met with 300 angry Milan fans who blocked the San Siro exits after a draw with Genoa.

The 1-1 result against a team that played with 10 men for an hour sparked a furious protest, as the ultras had already shown some insulting banners during the game.

The situation deteriorated after the final whistle, as ultras and police blocked off the exits to the stadium, keeping the players and therefore also the visiting Genoa fans inside.

Among the chants from angry supporters they called out ‘Shame on you,’ ‘We’re waiting for you with sticks’ and ‘These brats don’t know what sacrifice is. Their bank accounts are full while people like us work for them.’

After Mario Balotelli reportedly tried to walk out to the gate to meet with ultras and was stopped by police, Kaka and Abbiati were allowed out for a face-to-face discussion.

They promised to put in more effort and to curb the attitude of some players who fans accused of staying out late at night.

Following this meeting, the ultras dissipated and allowed the team buses to leave the stadium after midnight.

Allegri: 'I am not out of ideas'
23.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists he has “not run out of ideas” after Milan’s draw with 10-man Genoa.

The tension was sky high at San Siro with police blocking the exits as ultras tried to confront the players after a 1-1 home draw.

“Tonight we had so many chances, even a penalty, and Genoa scored with their only shot on target. Of course we should’ve been more clinical, but things aren’t going well for us at the moment,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

This is the first time since September 2007 that the Rossoneri have gone five Serie A rounds without a win.

“It’s only natural there is bitterness that we are without a win in a month. In terms of performance we did much better tonight and conceded practically no chances. Of course now we have to work even harder and do even better, as what we’re doing is not enough.

“It is strange to see the table, especially as we deserved more, but if we are there then it means we haven’t done enough. We all have the determination to improve and climb the standings.

“The team believed tonight and pushed to the final second. We must lick our wounds and prepare for a very difficult game against Celtic.

“I am eager to bring the team back to a good position in Serie A, continue in the Champions League and also the Coppa Italia. In my three years at Milan we always did well, but things aren’t going our way this season.”

Mario Balotelli’s crisis is also becoming a problem, as he saw another penalty saved by Mattia Perin tonight.

“Penalties can be missed. He scored so many in his career, but unfortunately the last two he took in Serie A were both saved. He has to stay calm and not get too downhearted, as in a match players can get it wrong with a chance, a pass or a penalty, they still have to work for the whole 90 minutes.

“Perin had an extraordinary performance, but we also made far too many mistakes in attack and need more determination when trying to score.

“Kaka brings more quality to both the midfield and the strikers, so I am very happy with his performance.”

Allegri assured he has no intention of quitting Milan, nor should he be replaced.

“I have not run out of words and ideas – otherwise I’d have already left! Tomorrow we will meet up and start preparing for the Champions League.

“We drew an incredible game and it was the same against Chievo, where we dominate and can’t seem to get the victory. When the team plays at this level, all we can do is be more determined and accurate in front of goal.

“If the team was lacking organisation or didn’t know what it should be doing, it wouldn’t have put in a performance like this tonight. We were absolutely dominant.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:1 Genoa - match report
23.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Kaka 4 (M), Gilardino pen 8 (G)

Milan’s crisis continues, as they couldn’t do more than 1-1 against 10-man Genoa with another Mario Balotelli penalty saved.

Surprisingly, Genoa were four points ahead of their opponents going into San Siro, but had not won here since March 1958. The Rossoneri had scraped just two draws in four rounds and Riccardo Montolivo’s ban saw him join the injured Marco Amelia, Stephan El Shaarawy, Mattia De Sciglio, Giampaolo Pazzini, Antonio Nocerino and Cristian Zaccardo. Genoa were on three consecutive victories, though Juraj Kucka missed the trip.

Philippe Mexes pulled out in the warm-up, so Daniele Bonera was thrown into the starting XI. After a couple of minutes Mattia Perin made a hash of Sulley Muntari’s snapshot and somehow deflected it out for a corner.

It was only a warning, as moments later Kaka opened the scoring. He sprung the offside trap, hooked a Nigel De Jong ball over the top and placed the angled drive into the far bottom corner across Perin.

However, Genoa were awarded a penalty when Urby Emanuelson clattered into the back of Sime Vrsaljko. Alberto Gilardino confidently blasted the spot-kick over Christian Abbiati against his former club.

Mario Balotelli performed a spectacular overhead kick, but Perin was fortunate it was straight at him. Perin was caught in No Man’s Land, but Alessandro Matri fired over the open goal from a tight angle.

The Genoa goalkeeper was at full stretch with a fingertip save to turn Balotelli’s snooker shot inches past the far post.

The game changed when Tomas Manfredini clearly held Balotelli by the scruff of his neck as the striker was turning from six yards, leading to a penalty and red card. However, SuperMario stepped up and the very central effort was beaten away by Perin. Only one goalkeeper had previously denied a Balotelli penalty in his professional career and that was Napoli’s Pepe Reina earlier this season.

Matri missed an incredible chance before the break, as he turned a free header wide on a corner from six yards. There was more bad news, as Muntari got his studs stuck in the turf and was replaced by Valter Birsa after the restart.

Milan poured forward against a 10-man Genoa side who sat clammed up in defence, but Perin was equal to efforts from De Jong, Andrea Poli and fingertipped a Matri header out from under the bar. On the resulting corner, the young goalkeeper got down well to turn Kaka’s header round the base of the near post.

Perin, who has been linked with a future at Milan, also blocked a Balotelli attempt and was at full stretch to deny Birsa’s strike, then Kaka turned over the bar. Birsa somehow failed to score with a cushioned header that flashed across the face of goal to skim the far upright on Emanuelson’s cross.

With the last kick of the game, a corner came across to Cristian Zapata, who ballooned over the bar from close range.

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Bonera, Emanuelson; Poli (Robinho 73), De Jong, Muntari (Birsa 46); Kaka; Matri, Balotelli

Genoa: Perin; Antonini, Portanova, Manfredini; Vrsaljko, Biondini (Cofie 77), Matuzalem, Sampirisi (Marchese 46); Fetfatzidis (Bertolacci 46), Gilardino, Antonelli

Ref: Gervasoni

Sent off: Manfredini 35 (G)

Saved penalty: Balotelli 36 (M)

Serie A: AC Milan vs. Genoa - lineups
23.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Emanuelson; Poli, De Jong, Muntari; Kaka; Matri, Balotelli.

AC Milan bench: Gabriel, Coppola, Bonera, Silvestre, Constant, Cristante, Saponara, Birsa, Niang, Robinho.

Genoa: Perin; Antonini, Portanova, Manfredini; Vrsaljko, Biondini, Matuzalem, Sampirisi; Fetfatzidis, Gilardino, Antonelli.

Genoa bench: Bizzarri, De Maio, Gamberini, Bertolacci, Marchese, Lodi, Cofie, Centurion, Stoian, Calaiò, Santana, Konate.

AC Milan squad for Genoa
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka has been named in the Milan squad for Saturday’s Serie A home game against Genoa.

The summer signing from Real Madrid was a slight doubt for the tie after picking up a knock in training, but his name is included.

The Rossoneri are still without the likes of Giampaolo Pazzini, Stephan El Shaarawy, Mattia De Sciglio, Marco Amelia, Antonio Nocerino and Cristian Zaccardo.

Riccardo Montolivo is suspended.

Squad: Abbiati, Coppola, Gabriel; Abate, Bonera, Constant, Mexes, Silvestre, Zapata; Birsa, Cristante, Emanuelson, De Jong, Kaka, Muntari, Poli, Saponara; Balotelli, Matri, Niang, Robinho.

Gasperini respects AC Milan quality
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini says he won’t be fooled by Milan’s League position going into Saturday’s San Siro tie.

The Rossoneri are struggling in tenth – three places below the Rossoblu – and they have won just one of their last six ties.

Gasperini, though, is respectful of the threat the Diavolo will pose when Serie A resumes after the international break.

“Their League placing does really surprise me, but I won’t be affected by that because Massimiliano Allegri’s side are of a high level,” the tactician, who will be without Juraj Kucka, noted.

“We won’t change tactically, though, and we want to replicate our away performance at the Stadio Olimpico when we got the three points against Lazio.

“I’m just hoping that Milan will be thinking about their Champions League tie at Celtic next week.

“We want to have a good game, we’ll try to limit Mario Balotelli and their attackers.”

Genoa squad: Antonelli, Antonini, Bertolacci, Biondini, Bizzarri, Calaiò, Centurion, Cofie, De Maio, Donnarumma, Fetfatzidis, Gamberini, Gilardino, Konate, Lodi, Manfredini, Marchese, Matuzalem, Perin, Portanova, Sampirisi, Santana, Stoian, Vrsaljko.

Amelia out for a month
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan expect reserve goalkeeper Marco Amelia to be sidelined for four weeks after undergoing surgery.

The custodian, a member of Italy’s 2006 World Cup winning squad, went under the knife on Friday to resolve a meniscus issue.

“Milan wishes to communicate that Marco Amelia underwent knee surgery this afternoon with Dr Massimo Michelotti,” a brief statement read.

“The surgery was a success with recovery time estimated at one month.”

The former Livorno and Palermo man had made one appearance for the Diavolo this term.

Abbiati believes in third place
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati is convinced Milan have what it takes to qualify for Champions League football again next season.

The Diavolo will need to finish in the top three to reach that achievement, but they are presently down in tenth place and 15 points behind the European Cup zone.

“The gap in points is big, but we know that we can reach third,” the goalkeeper commented to Sky Sport Italia.

“We can comeback, just as we did last season – we have all the cards we need to do that. It’s just a shame that we have started poorly.”

Milan will entertain Genoa on Saturday night ahead of the midweek trip to Celtic in the Champions League.

“We have to start winning and we’ll have that opportunity against Genoa,” added the shot-stopper. “A win is a must.”

Allegri doesn't fear AC Milan axe
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri isn’t concerned about the speculation regarding his future at San Siro.

Allegri is only contracted until June, but he may be shown the door sooner after a problematic start to the season.

“I’ve been hearing these stories for four years,” he stated on Friday.

“I know that I will not stay here for life, there are cycles that start and end. Coaches are not eternal. There are a lot of good Coaches in Italy who are growing.”

Milan youth boss Pippo Inzaghi and former midfielder Clarence Seedorf are being talked about as possible replacements.

“Inzaghi is doing well with the Primavera side, while Seedorf is still playing,” Allegri added. “I’m happy with what I have done up to this point in my career.”

Milan are tenth in the standings and they’ve only won once of their last six in the Italian top flight.

“This is an important month for our season – both in terms of Serie A and the Champions League. The most decisive game is tomorrow’s.

“It’s a fundamental game against Genoa. We are obliged to win and we can not afford to make any mistakes.

“We will be up against a side in excellent condition. We want to get back to winning ways since we haven’t won since beating Udinese.”

Turning to team selection, the boss insisted that he had no plans to use Kaka in the Andrea Pirlo role after testing him there in a friendly.

“Kaka is someone who can play in front of the defence, but it was just an experiment.

“He’ll continue to play in the front three. If he recovers from the knock he suffered in training then he’ll play against Genoa.

“I have to decide between Matri and Robinho in attack,” he added.

“I could use Constant in midfield seeing as I will be without Montolivo and Nocerino. I will have Poli, De Jong, Muntari and Cristante at my disposal.”

Stephan El Shaarawy and Mattia De Sciglio are still out, but both are on the comeback trail.

“El Shaarawy is running, but he’s been out for 45 days now. He’s basically starting his training now and he needs time to get fit. Both him and De Sciglio.

“If they’re not available for the match against Celtic, we should have them back for Catania. I hope they’ll both be in form before Christmas.”

Zaccardo: AC Milan need miracle
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cristian Zaccardo admits that it will take a miracle for his struggling Milan side to finish in the top three this season.

After 12 games the Diavolo are tenth in the standings, 15 points behind third placed Napoli and 19 adrift of leaders Roma.

“The results haven’t been good, but we have to remain optimistic,” the 2006 World Cup winner told Radio Mana Mana Sport.

“We started last season poorly as well, but we’re hoping the game against Genoa will be the start of our comeback.

“Roma, Juventus and Napoli are travelling at a very strong pace and it will need a miracle for us to finish in the first three spots.”

Zaccardo is currently sidelined with an ankle problem, but he expects to be at the disposal of boss Massimiliano Allegri again within two weeks.

AC Milan to decide Amelia future
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Marco Amelia is expecting Milan to soon give them a clue about his client’s future at San Siro.

The 31-year-old is tied to the club until June 2015, but it appears he’s now third choice with the Diavolo behind Christian Abbiati and Gabriel.

“He has a contract with Milan, but I can’t rule anything out with regards to January,” Franco Zavala told Itasportpress.

“He could stay at least until June or he could take advantage of the winter window and change shirts. We’ll soon know the decisions of the club.”

Amelia, 31, has appeared in just one Champions League tie so far this season.

Milan snapped up the 2006 World Cup winner in 2010 from Genoa. He’s also played for Livorno and Palermo.

Amelia is currently sidelined with a knee problem.

Poli: AC Milan must beat Genoa!
21.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Poli insists gaining three points is the only option when his Milan side entertain Genoa on Saturday.

“We have to win at all costs,” the summer signing from Sampdoria told Milan Channel on Thursday.

“We’re struggling in the League and we have to turn things around. But there’s no point in talking about it – we have to do it.

“It’ll be an important match against an organised team. We’ll have to play well, but we can do it.

“Attitude and commitment is key. We have to take to the pitch and be stronger than our opponents. We want to impose our game.”

Milan have failed to win any of their last four League games, while the Grifone have won four of their last five.

Poli, despite the struggles of his club, has caught the eye and recently won the praise of club legend Gennaro Gattuso.

“I’m very happy to wear this jersey and I always try and give 100 per cent,” he added. “What Gattuso said is very pleasing and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him.”

He continued: “I’ve been called up to the national side and getting to Brazil 2014 is an objective. There are many good players and I’ll be trying to make sure I’m ready if called upon.

“I just think about my role here and the choices are up to the Coach to make.”

Zaccardo and Amelia injured
21.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Struggling Italian giants Milan have today confirmed injuries to Cristian Zaccardo and Marco Amelia.

The defender has sustained a left ankle injury which will be re-examined in the next few days for a more accurate prognosis.

The reserve goalkeeper, meanwhile, will have surgery on Friday after picking up a meniscus problem in his left knee.

Amelia, a 2006 World Cup colleague of Zaccardo, is likely to be out of action for at least a month.

Milan will play Genoa at the weekend.

Torino in talks for midfield duo
21.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

La Stampa claims Torino officials held discussions with the agent of Genoa’s Francesco Lodi and Antonio Nocerino of Milan on Wednesday.

The Granata are looking for midfield reinforcements and they are keen on netting the duo once the January transfer window opens.

Nocerino, an Italian international, is no longer a regular in the plans of boss Massimiliano Allegri at Milan.

Lodi, meanwhile, could leave the port club just months after his summer arrival. The playmaker is yet to convince new Coach Gian Piero Gasperini of his abilities.

Torino would like to take both Lodi and Nocerino – who are represented by Alessandro Moggi – on six-month loan agreements.

Kaka won't go down Pirlo path
21.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has no plans of transforming Kaka into a deep-lying playmaker. “I’ll continue as an attacking midfielder,” said the Brazilian.

There were suggestions that Allegri was thinking about using the player in front on the defence after fielding him there in a recent friendly.

“We tried something out in Switzerland, but it was only a test,” Kaka said when asked if he was about to follow in the career footsteps of Andrea Pirlo.

“I will continue to play as an attacking midfielder,” added the summer signing from Real Madrid. “The Coach and I agree about that.”

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani also rejected the idea of a tactical switch for the former Golden Ball winner.

“Kaka will not play in front of the defence because Coach Allegri wants to keep him upfront,” the official stated.

“It was just an experiment on Saturday. In principle he will still be a playmaker.”

Montolivo: Italy on second row
21.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo believes there are at least three teams better equipped than Italy to win the 2014 World Cup.

The Milan man is expected to be part of the Azzurri squad which will search for glory in Brazil, but the playmaker respects the competition his side are likely to face.

“I believe that there are countries such as Brazil, Germany and Spain ahead of Italy, but we are right behind them,” the former Fiorentina man noted.

The draw for the Finals will take place on December 6 after the qualification process was completed this week.

France and Portugal will also be in the competition after they won their play-off ties. The latter did so with the help of Cristiano Ronaldo, who is now being tipped to beat Franck Ribery to the Ballon d’Or.

“You have to understand whether the Golden Ball is given out for the merits of the team or that of the individual,” Montolivo continued.

“In the first case it would go to Ribery, in the second to Ronaldo. I think the winner will come from one of those two.”

Abate responds to Juventus rumours
21.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Ignazio Abate has commented on the transfer rumours linking him with a possible move to Juventus.

The Old Lady are understood to be monitoring his situation given that he has a year-and-a-half left on his present San Siro contract.

“The interest from Juventus? It is pleasing to be wanted by the great clubs, but it is too soon to be talking about these things,” the right-back told Sky Sport Italia.

“There is plenty of time to discuss my future. Right now I just want to end the season as well as possible with Milan and then we’ll see.

“My agreement expires in 2015 and we’ll evaluate things at that time. Right now it is too early to do so.”

Abate, now represented by Mino Raiola, is a 27-year-old Italian international who is a product of the Milan youth system.

However, he only made his League debut for the club in 2009 after loans spells at Napoli, Piacenza, Modena, Empoli and Torino.

Antonini muses on 'five wonderful years'
20.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luca Antonini will be back at San Siro on Saturday as Genoa take on Milan, and the defender has claimed that it will be nice to go back.

The 31-year-old left the Rossoneri in the summer for the Grifone, and will return to his old club for the first time at the weekend.

“I spent five wonderful years at Milan,” he told reporters. “It’s just one game, but I’d like to prove to those that didn’t believe in me that I can still do it.

“We are going into the game with confidence – recent results will give us a boost, that’s for sure.

“Milan have a lot of good players. It’s going to be tough, but we can do it.”

Maldini split between PSG, AC Milan
20.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paolo Maldini is reportedly hesitating between returning to Milan in a directorial capacity or taking on a similar role with Paris Saint-Germain.

The retired left-back is seen as one of the Rossoneri’s targets to be brought in to help oversee a change in behind-the-scenes management at San Siro.

However, on from reports that he is after a more active role that of technical director apparently offered to him by Barbara Berlusconi, the Corriere dello Sera suggest there is another reason to his hesitancy.

They allege that Paris Saint-Germain’s offer of involvement in their project in the French capital has turned his head and has him seriously considering between which club to work with.

AC Milan, Fiorentina eye Lodi
20.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Separate reports today suggest that Francesco Lodi may have a choice between Fiorentina and Milan this January.

The playmaker has so far struggled to make an impact since a summer move from Catania to Genoa and is seen as on the market this midseason.

Whilst Lazio have been linked with the 29-year-old, today the suggestion is that both Fiorentina and Milan are also tracking him.

Genoa-based outlet Il Secolo XIX indicate that Fiorentina are keen on the midfielder and could use the Grifone’s apparent interest in their own struggling playmaker, Josip Ilicic, as a bargaining chip in negotiations.

However, Tuttosport suggest that Milan are also looking at Lodi this January and have indicated as much to President Enrico Preziosi already.

Talks with the Rossoneri, though, apparently also hinge on the inclusion of Juraj Kucka in a possible double-swoop.

Juventus maintain Abate interest
20.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus are seen to be interested in a move for Ignazio Abate next summer, but will have to negotiate with Milan around the €12m mark.

The Gazzetta dello Sport reiterate today that the Bianconeri are strongly interested in the Rossoneri’s converted wing-back and are budgeting for a move come the summer.

The 27-year-old would be into the final year of his contract come next June, with his current deal expiring at the end of the 2014-15 season.

It is believed, though, that Milan have a particular price of €12m in mind for the Italy international and that they are unwilling to move from this.

Zenit St Petersburg were strongly linked with interest last summer and reportedly offered as much as €10m for Abate, only to prove unsuccessful.

It is understood that for Juve to have any success, a similar starting point in negotiations must be taken.

Ancelotti: 'I've always picked the team'
20.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti has mused on how the Christmas tree formation came about in Milan and affirmed ‘no President has ever said ‘pick this player’.’

The Italian has launched a new book this month discussing tactical development in football during his so far 18-year career as a Coach.

Publicising it this week, the current Real Madrid boss reflected on various aspects discussed, including how his famous ‘Christmas tree’ formation developed at San Siro.

“In Milan there was a very particular philosophy, where they love spectacular football,” considered Ancelotti in an interview this week with Marca.

“Berlusconi claimed that the team was playing well and so came about the idea of the Christmas tree to play all the quality players.

“It served the sacrifice of everyone to adapt to the philosophy of the club. You cannot play quality football without quality players.”

Ancelotti has worked with a number of the game’s more notable club Presidents, but made clear that only he has picked the team.

“I have had Presidents who have become fans after buying a club, such as Abramovic at Chelsea or Nasser at PSG, but Florentino Perez and Berlusconi are different, they have been fans of their teams since they were born.

“They have passion, but it is the Coach who makes the decisions and none of them have ever picked the team. No President has ever said ‘pick this player’.

“Berlusconi asked me a lot of questions, I also discussed things with him. ‘The team needs to play with three strikers,’ he told me. I replied that I had Inzaghi, Kaka and Shevchenko, but he told me Kaka was not a striker.

“Every President has their own ideas, that’s for sure, but in the end I decide. Often I've made bad decisions - that's football for you.

“I don't say so in the book, but no President has ever told me who I should play.”

Berlusconi plans out new AC Milan
20.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barbara Berlusconi is reportedly already lining up Milan’s replacement strategy for Adriano Galliani, pinning hopes on Demetrio Albertini and Paolo Maldini.

Galliani’s exit from the San Siro side has not been confirmed, but it is believed that the veteran, who has also acted as Vice-President, will be out at the end of the season.

The Gazzetta dello Sport suggest that director Berlusconi, daughter of President Silvio, is leading plans for the Rossoneri’s change of direction in Galliani’s exit.

It is reported that Berlusconi is looking at former players Maldini and Albertini, although initial talks have not offered promise.

Where Maldini is seen to be after an operational role and not that of technical director offered to him, an approach for a directorial role for Albertini is seen as even harder, due to his current contract with the Italian Football Federation.

Milan are also seen to be looking at Roma director Claudio Fenucci to come in and work in collaboration with Michele Uva as CEO.

Meanwhile, it is also seen that a replacement for sporting director Ariedo Braida is being sought, but that options between Fabio Paratici and Daniele Prade are looking unlikely, whilst Sean Sogliano and Pietro Leonardi are not high on the list.

Constant: 'An African honour'
20.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Constant discussed Milan’s problems and his surprise nomination for African Player of the Year.

The full-back spoke to Milan Channel and admitted the team is going through a tough time.

“There can be no words now, only action: we need the three points against Genoa,” said Constant.

“Even if we should play badly, it doesn’t matter, as the only thing that counts is the victory. I started the season badly, but I want to get back on track from the next game.

“I have been reinvented as a full-back at Milan, but can also play wide midfield as I did against Young Boys.”

Guinea international Constant was one of the 25 nominees for the African Player of the Year award. The winner will be announced on January 9.

“It is an honour for me to be among the candidates and I worked very hard for this. My objective is simply to always give my best.”

Shevchenko: 'AC Milan my dream job'
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko starts his new management career and admits “the ideal job is Milan or Ukraine.”

The striker is now retired and spoke to Rai Sport about his plans for the future, including a move into coaching.

“It is a transitional moment for me and I am studying. I’m preparing for the future and the ideal job for me would be one day as Coach of Milan or Ukraine.”

Sheva also discussed the expected sea-change in the Rossoneri camp next season, when general manager Adriano Galliani should step aside.

“Galliani made Milan history and has always been at President Silvio Berlusconi’s side. They have both worked at Milan from the first day.

“As for me, so far there are only rumours, but we’ll see what happens in future.”

He was recently spotted in the stands at San Siro alongside Paolo Maldini, who has been linked with a job as director.

Flamini reveals why he quit AC Milan
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mathieu Flamini has revealed why he decided to leave Milan for former club Arsenal during the summer.

The 29-year-old moved back to London on a Bosman free transfer after talks regarding a renewal collapsed.

“I was a free agent after my contract with Milan expired,” he told in an interview. “They offered me a two-year deal, but I was expecting three years.

“I’m 29 years old now and have some really good years in front of me, so I decided to leave Milan and I just came back to Arsenal at first to work on my fitness.

“I worked really hard for a month with our fitness Coach Tony Colbert, and then I ended up signing again and coming home to Arsenal.”

Flamini, who spent five years with the Diavolo, added that he was on the radar of a number of outfits in Europe.

“I had the possibility of other clubs in Italy, in England, in Germany even,” he added. “But for me it was the chance to come back to Arsenal, with the team we have right now, to work with Arsène Wenger again.”

The Frenchman played less than 100 Serie A games during his spell on the peninsula, but he has no regrets.

“I had the opportunity to go over there and play with legends. I played with Paolo Maldini, with Kaka, with Ronaldinho and even David Beckham over there. I had the chance to learn a lot.

“The mentality and the approach to football over there is completely different. The game is completely different too.

“Tactically, you have to be very strong. You have to learn a lot, you have to know exactly how to move on the pitch.

“The Italian League is not that easy because you do not have a lot of space. So of course over there I learned a lot.

“I won a Scudetto and I had some really positive years over there.”

Prandelli pleased with Rossi - Balotelli
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cesare Prandelli dropped hints that Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Balotelli are his first choice front two after Italy’s 2-2 draw with Nigeria.

“It was a good performance and we went for the victory to the final minute. I think we played good football and I observed certain good midfield situations,” said the Coach in his Press conference at Craven Cottage.

“Balotelli and Rossi were playing together for the first time really. They combined well and sought each other out. Riccardo Montolivo’s position was to free Rossi in that area.

“We made only one huge mistake in the first half. When leading 1-0, we lowered the tempo and kept possession for the sake of it.

“After the changes we put Alessio Cerci very wide and also did well with that system.”

Prandelli was asked whether this strike pairing represented the first choice at the World Cup, considering they’ve barely played together.

“Balotelli and Rossi can really do something important in that area of the field. They both played one-touch football, got along well, had a dialogue on the pitch and I liked the performance.

“It was their first time together, but with their talents it all becomes easier even without practice.”

It was the Azzurri’s fourth consecutive stalemate after draws with Denmark, Armenia and Germany.

“This game was a great summation of football – you can be dominating, but a couple of mistakes and you’re 2-1 down. We had a few moments of suffering, but the important thing is to be ready to suffer.”

There is only one more friendly match before Prandelli has to name his World Cup squad, as they travel to Spain in order to play the current European and World champions in March.

“Of course when you choose 23 players, you end up leaving some behind who would deserve to go. There is time to make decisions and I will end up thanking those who don’t make the journey to Brazil.”

Montolivo: 'Italy wasted chances'
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo rued Italy’s wasted opportunities in a 2-2 draw with Nigeria. “We need to be more incisive.”

The Azzurri had been 1-0 up at Craven Cottage with Giuseppe Rossi, but Bright Dike and Shola Ameobi turned it all around in the space of four minutes.

“We had a few chances to finish off the game at 1-0 and didn’t do it, so we need to be more incisive,” the Milan midfielder told Rai Sport.

“It’s a shame, as we allowed Nigeria back into the match with two mistakes when we had it under control.”

This game saw the new partnership of Rossi and Mario Balotelli tested out with good results.

“I think Rossi and Balotelli combined well, exchanged the ball rapidly and are two important players for Italy.

“Mario wanted to score and had several opportunities. He played in a very generous manner and when he does that the team will always appreciate his efforts.”

The problem, however, remains at the back with another two goals conceded on crosses and a fourth consecutive draw.

“On the first goal there was a push on Manuel Pasqual. Having said that, we certainly need to improve on our defending on set plays and in the air,” noted Montolivo,

“We need to rediscover that solidity that we had in previous games. We’ve conceded too many goals against Armenia, Denmark and Nigeria.”

Rossi 'worked well with Balotelli'
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giuseppe Rossi was happy with his first Italy goal in over two years and the partnership with Mario Balotelli.

“Of course I’m happy with the goal and the team’s overall performance,” he told Rai Sport after a 2-2 friendly draw with Nigeria.

“It’s a shame we conceded those goals when we appeared to be in control. We can go home happy with this game.

“More than the goal, it’s the performance that counts. We all worked very hard to honour this jersey and I think that’s what we did.”

This was Rossi’s first Azzurri goal since June 2011, as he was out for two years with a series of knee injuries and missed the 1-1 draw with Germany due to tonsillitis on Friday.

“It was nice to see the affection from my teammates. We have a great group of players and we’re all friends off the field too, so these are good foundations to build on.

“We have many great strikers, so any of them can play up front for Italy. The important thing is to give 100 per cent whenever we’re called upon.

“I never gave in and still have objectives to achieve, which I am slowly going through and hope to eventually get them all.”

Some have said the pairing with Balotelli is Good Cop, Bad Cop.

“We’re two good guys! We get on well, as does everyone in the squad. In all honesty, there wasn’t much time to prepare for this game. We did well, Mario gave me a great assist for the goal and played very well, so I’m happy for him. His goal will come as long as he keeps working like this.

“I was ill with a sore throat and fever, so I only managed to train for two days during this get-together.”

Cesare Prandelli said Fiorentina star Rossi was a hybrid between Roberto Baggio and Gianfranco Zola.

“I have a long, long way to go! I remember the 1994 World Cup well, though I was seven years old. Who do I base myself on more? I have no idea.”

Parma after Saponara
18.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Saponara could be on his way to Parma in January, if reports in the Italian Press are to be believed.

Teleducato believe that the Milan playmaker could make a switch to the Crociati during the winter break, but only at the behest of Roberto Donadoni.

The Coach is set for talks with the Rossoneri man in the coming weeks, and if the tactician can persuade the 21-year-old of his importance, a move could be on.

Saponara has only played two times for Massimiliano Allegri’s team this season, and is desperate for more first team opportunities.

AC Milan to target Spurs man Kaboul?
18.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan could be set to bolster their backline in January with a move for Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul.

The France international is out of contract at the end of the season, and will be available for a cut price in January.

The Rossoneri have already signed Valencia’s Adil Rami, and Calciomercato insist that they will attempt to lure the 27-year-old to San Siro as well.

Kaboul missed the entirety of last season through injury, and has found it hard to force his way back into the Spurs XI this term, following the signing of Vlad Chirches from Steaua Bucharest.

'Nocerino would love Napoli switch'
18.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino’s agent has admitted that his client would ‘love’ a move to Napoli in January.

The Milan midfielder has failed to cement his place in the Rossoneri XI this term, starting just four League games.

And his representative has revealed that a transfer to the Partenopei is not out of the question.

“It’s normal that Antonio would love to play in a Napoli shirt,” Marco Sommella told Radio Kiss Kiss.

“Six years ago De Laurentiis tried to sign him from Juventus, but they resisted.

“Then when he was at Palermo, [former boss Walter] Mazzarri tried again, but the better offer was from Milan at the time.

“It’s certainly not been a positive time from Antonio, but he has broad shoulders and wants to keep on fighting.”

Dzemaili was close to AC Milan
18.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Napoli’s Blerim Dzemaili has revealed that his client was close to joining Milan during the 2013 January transfer window.

There were suggestions that the Swiss international could be swapped with Antonio Nocerino and his representative has now confirmed as much.

“Had Nocerino accepted a transfer to Napoli then it would have been almost done for Blerim to move to Milan,” Giovanni Branchini told Tele Radio Stereo.

“Dzemaili, though, remained and he has done well.

“He did think he would have more space in the team this season, but he knows how to make himself useful and he’s now waiting for his chance.”

The former Torino player has appeared in nine games across Serie A and the Champions League so far this term.

Simoni: 'I'd never want Balotelli'
17.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ex-Inter Coach Gigi Simoni “would never want Mario Balotelli in my squad because he’s unreliable.”

The veteran sat down with Radio Manà Sport and revealed he is not impressed with Milan and Italy hitman Super Mario.

“Balotelli is a player of great quality, that is beyond doubt,” said Simoni.

“However, I consider him unreliable, which is why I would never want him in my squad. I prefer to have players who might be less talented, but are capable of giving me guarantees on their behaviour.

“I cannot stand the fact he is always ready to react, protest or provoke.”

El Shaarawy eyes comeback
17.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan could reportedly have Stephan El Shaarawy back in the line-up against Celtic on November 26.

The forward has been out of action since September with a series of problems, most recently a micro-fracture.

He was not even in the squad that beat Swiss side Young Boys 3-1 on Saturday.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, El Shaarawy can be expected back on the bench against Genoa and in the line-up for the trip to Glasgow on November 26.

That will be a potentially decisive match for the Champions League, as Milan have five points, Ajax four and Celtic three.

Lippi on AC Milan, Italy and Evergrande
17.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marcello Lippi shot down reports he could replace Max Allegri at Milan and enjoys his Guangzhou Evergrande success.

This month he became the first Coach in history to have won both the European and Asian Champions League trophies.

“Would I be on the Milan bench? It’s the first time I’ve heard these rumours,” Lippi told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Allegri was confirmed in his position, even if it hasn’t been a very positive start to the season. The Rossoneri maintained the right clear-headed attitude and didn’t make any hasty decisions.”

Inter are also making changes, albeit at the club level with Indonesian investor Erick Thohir taking over as new President.

“In order to compete with Europe’s top clubs, it required an act of love from Massimo Moratti to let the club go. Walter Mazzarri is a capable Coach, so the Nerazzurri will do well.

“As for my own club, the plan was to give them the same organisational structure as a European side. The biggest compliment I received was that this didn’t look like an Asian club,” continued Lippi.

“It was complicated at the start to get across all my ideas, even with an interpreter, but I was optimistic. I saw the enthusiasm in the players and the club’s desire to help me complete this project.”

Lippi’s impressive CV also includes the 2006 World Cup and he has faith in Cesare Prandelli’s chances in Brazil.

“Can Prandelli do it? Of course. He did a great job of reconstructing the side after the South African World Cup and got back the world class players you need to go forward. In 2010 we were badly missing Gigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo, while Daniele De Rossi was not fit either.

“Italy have become competitive again.”

Allegri hails AC Milan tests
17.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri was pleased with Milan’s friendly victory over Young Boys, Adil Rami’s debut and a new Kaka role.

The Rossoneri earned the 3-1 win in Bern on Saturday with goals from Kaka, Bryan Cristante and Riccardo Saponara.

“At the start we struggled a little in midfield, then we changed the positions of a few players and put Kaka in front of the defence as a deep-lying playmaker. He did very well there,” the Coach told Milan Channel.

“Cristante also played well and scored a goal, but perhaps he’s not quite ready to play in front of the defence yet. Saponara impressed, but as a trequartista.”

Daniele Bonera returned in defence, while Rami received his debut after arriving on loan from Valencia, though he can’t play in a competitive game until January.

“Bonera’s return is important and we hope that as soon as possible Mattia De Sciglio and Stephan El Shaarawy can also be back to give a turning point to the campaign.

“Rami played well, it was his first game in a Rossoneri jersey and that’s never easy. He was also strong on the counter-attack.”

Friendly: Young Boys Bern 1:3 AC Milan - Milan goals (VIDEO)
16.11 || webmaster

Friendly: Young Boys Bern 1:3 AC Milan - match report
16.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan got back on track with a 3-1 friendly victory away to Swiss side Young Boys on Adil Rami’s debut.

The Rossoneri have been under a great deal of pressure after dismal results, so went to the Stade de Suisse in Bern with a new-look side.

Defender Rami arrived this month on loan from Valencia, though he can’t play in competitive games until January.

Bryan Cristante’s header thumped the woodwork and Young Boys took the lead moments later with Nuzzolo’s fierce volley under the bar.

Cristian Zaccardo was brought down for a penalty which Kaka got wrong, but the Brazilian got the equaliser on the rebound.

It seemed to wake Massimiliano Allegri’s men up and they took control. M’Baye Niang provided the assists for both Riccardo Saponara and Cristante.

Alessandro Matri’s poor form continued, as he hit the woodwork and forced some tough saves.

Young Boys 1-3 Milan

Scorers: Nuzzolo 39 (Y), Kaka 56 (M), Saponara 71 (M), Cristante 74 (M)

Milan: Gabriel (Coppola 63); Zaccardo (Vergara 87), Bonera (Mexes 46), Rami, Emanuelson; Saponara (Rondanini 87), Cristante, Constant; Niang (Molfetta 82), Matri, Kaka (Modic 71)

African Player of the Year nominees
16.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kwadwo Asamoah, Mehdi Benatia, Gervinho and Kevin Constant are nominees for African Player of the Year.

The winner will be announced in Nigeria on January 9 from the list of 25 names.

Nominees for African Player of the Year:

Ahmed Musa (Ngr / CSKA Moscow)
Asamoah Gyan (Gha / Al Ain)
Dame N’Doye (Sen / Lokomotiv Moscow)
Didier Drogba (Ivo / Galatasaray)
Emmanuel Emenike (Ngr / Fenerbahçe)
Islam Slimani (Alg / Sporting Lisbon)
John Obi Mikel (Ngr / Chelsea)
Jonathan Pitroipa (Bur / Rennes)
Kevin Constant (Gui / Milan)
Kwadwo Asamoah (Gha / Juventus)
Luís Carlos Almada Soares (CV / Omonia Nicosia)
Mehdi Benattia (Mar / Roma)
Mohamed About Erika (Egy / Al Ahly)
Mohamed Salah (Egy / FC Basel)
Nicolas Nkoulou (Cam / Maseille)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gab / Dortmund)
Ryan Mendes (Kaa / Lille)
Saladin Said (Eth / Wadi Degla)
Seydou Keita (Mal / Dalian Aerbin)
Sofiane Feghouli (Alg / Valencia)
Sunday Mba (Ngr / Warri Wolves)
Victor Wanyama (Ken / Southampton)
Vincent Enyeama (Ngr / Lille)
Gervinho (Ivo / Roma)
Yaya Toure ( Ivo / Manchester City)

Galliani considers new career
16.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan general manager Adriano Galliani admits he’s “fascinated” by the idea of going into politics, but would never join PSG.

His future is up for debate amid rumours this will be his final season at San Siro and he commented on some of the options.

He could take over as one of the organising forces in Milan President Silvio Berlusconi’s party Forza Italia.

“I am truly very fascinated by the idea of entering into the world of politics,” Galliani told the media.

“However, I am at Milan now and I don’t think that at this moment I could listen to other proposals.

“I will not choose another opportunity while I remain general manager of Milan, then we’ll see what happens afterwards.”

Another report has Galliani going to Paris Saint-Germain to replace Leonardo as director of sport.

“No, I could never join PSG. It would be like an American secret agent defecting to Russia...”

Ancelotti: 'Tough being at AC Milan'
16.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti claims Adriano Galliani “is the most important person” at the club and admits “being Milan Coach is not simple.”

There are continual reports that Vice-President and General Manager Galliani will leave the club at the end of the season, perhaps even for a role in President Silvio Berlusconi’s political party.

“Galliani is the most important person at Milan,” Real Madrid boss Ancelotti told Radio 24.

“He is not just a director: he is also a fan, someone who grew up with these colours and has always done his best for his club.

“There is also the directorial aspect, as Galliani has experience nobody else in the world can boast. I don’t know what the future holds, but his hypothetical absence would be a big loss.”

Ancelotti also has sympathy for under-fire tactician Massimiliano Allegri, having been in his place.

“Being Milan Coach is not simple, because the results aren’t the only things that count. You also have to follow the philosophy dictated by President Silvio Berlusconi, which is tied to entertainment and image.

“The Coach has to try to pursue those objectives as well. Mentality counts for a lot within the Rossoneri camp, even more so than results.”

Abate: 'It's a first!'
16.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ignazio Abate admits he was surprised to score his debut Italy goal with his left foot. “It must be a first!”

The Milan full-back found the net with his weaker foot in the 1-1 friendly draw with Germany, exchanging passes with Leonardo Bonucci.

“It was at San Siro and my birthday a couple of days ago, so I’m glad it also coincided with a good result,” he told Rai Sport.

“It was a bit weird being up there, but Leonardo did well to give back the pass into space. I think it must be my first goal with the left foot!

“I certainly want to dedicate this goal to my family, my teammates and also to Adriano Galliani, who said he expected great things from me this season.

“We still have a long way to go and can improve a great deal. We showed that we have great heart and always give our all in the games that count. We have a lot of quality, especially in the middle of the park, and can definitely hurt other teams.

“Germany and Italy are two great national teams. I think the real worth of a side is seen in the major tournaments, so Italy tend to make their mark in these situations.”

Abate’s goal was a crucial turning point, as for 20 minutes after the Mats Hummels header Italy were struggling.

“We conceded on a set play and Germany tried to lower the tempo, so we needed to get back into shape and it took a while to find that balance again.”

He was also asked about his Milan and Azzurri teammate Mario Balotelli.

“He trained with real intensity, wants to prove himself and it wasn’t easy for him tonight. He sacrificed himself a lot for the team and when he works for the side he always has a great game.

“Mario is young, but already a world class player. It’s only normal that a Coach uses the carrot and the stick approach, he understands when things aren’t going well and everyone at a club side feels responsible when there are bad results.

“Mario was impeccable tonight in terms of behaviour. That’s the way it should be, as none of us can go into an important game with the risk of leaving our teammates a man down.”

Rami set for AC Milan debut
15.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adil Rami is part of the Milan squad who will face Young Boys in a Swiss friendly tomorrow.

The defender arrived on loan from Valencia, although he won’t be available for competitive football until January 2.

He has been assigned shirt number 13 – the one once worn by Alessandro Nesta – and is expected to make his debut for the Rossoneri.

However, Stephan El Shaarawy and Mattia De Sciglio have been left behind, implying they are still a long way off full fitness.

The match kicks off at 17.30 GMT on Saturday in Berne.

Milan squad for Young Boys: Coppola, Gabriel, Bonera, Constant, Mexes, Pedone, Rami, Rondanini, Vergara, Zaccardo, Aniekan, Cristante, Emanuelson, Kaka, Modic, Saponara, Matri, Niang, Barisic, Claveria, Di Molfetta.

Benitez: 'Balotelli has matured'
15.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Napoli boss Rafa Benitez praised Italy, Cesare Prandelli and Mario Balotelli ahead of tonight’s friendly with Germany.

The Coach discussed the Azzurri’s progress in his column for English newspaper The Independent, noting this evening’s game is “an excellent fixture for the football enthusiast.”

“One of the reasons Italy are a very good team is because tactically they know how to adapt to a lot of different systems,” wrote Benitez.

“Plenty of Cesare’s team play in Serie A, where they are used to playing teams who have three, four or five at the back and who chase quickly. Systems can change a lot during and between games and you need to have the technical and tactical component to cope. The Italy players have that and it is why I think they could do better in Brazil than some people expect.

“Balotelli may start the game for Cesare in Milan tonight – there is still a little bit of uncertainty about Giuseppe Rossi, who has been playing well for Fiorentina. If he does, you will see a player who has developed since he was at Manchester City, when everyone in England was either talking or writing about him!

“Off the pitch, you don't see as many stories in the press and that’s not because no one wants to know in Italy. He is a bit more mature. On the pitch, he has improved because as a striker in Italy you have to think always about how to attack against, let us say, a line of three or a line of four.

“The time in Manchester will have helped, with the experience it gave him. He can make mistakes like anyone, but he has learnt things.”

San Siro gets 2016 Champions League Final
15.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The 2016 Champions League Final will be played in Italy after Milan’s Stadio Giuseppe Meazza was awarded the event.

San Siro, home to Milan and Inter, has played host to the European Cup Final on three previous occasions – in 1965, 1970 and 2001.

This season’s Europa League Final will also take place in Italy at Turin's Juventus Stadium.

Balotelli - Rossi duo excites Prandelli
15.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli believes the Mario Balotelli and Giuseppe Rossi strike partnership will work – once he’s given the chance to try them out.

The pair won’t feature against Germany tonight as the Fiorentina man has been struggling with illness this week.

They could be fielded together against Nigeria in London on Monday night though.

“Balotelli with Rossi is a tandem that I really like,” the former Atalanta and Parma tactician told RAI Sport.

“The two compliment each other and they don’t offer the opposition any points of reference,” added the Azzurri CT.

“In my mind Balotelli is a centre-forward, while Pepito is someone who can play behind him.

“Unfortunately I can’t try this experiment against Germany, but there will be time.”

Milan man Balotelli has scored 12 goals in 27 caps, while Rossi has netted six times in 28 appearances for the Azzurri.

Nesta hails Ancelotti and Zeman
15.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Aspiring Coach Alessandro Nesta has spoken of his admiration for Carlo Ancelotti and Zdenek Zeman.

The 37-year-old, who moved to Montreal Impact in July 2012, has now ended his career as a player but plans to stay in the game.

“I retired for health reasons, I was suffering too many injuries,” the former Lazio and Milan centre-back told the Corriere della Sera. “Now I’ll try to become a Coach.”

When asked which of his former tacticians had inspired him, the 2006 World Cup winner spoke of two in particular.

“Carlo Ancelotti was a very good Coach, but I don’t want to forget who launched me into the game,” Nesta continued.

“Zdenek Zeman was fundamental for my career as he really believes in my abilities. He is a misunderstood genius.”

Ancelotti is now at Real Madrid, while Zeman is again out of work after he was sacked by Roma earlier this year.

Matri: The details make the difference
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Matri believes that Milan have to concentrate ‘on the details’ if they are to overcome their poor start to the campaign.

The Rossoneri have suffered five defeats in their first 12 games of the season, and currently sit in 10th place.

But the striker has insisted that his men have the ‘desire’ to get out of the current slump.

“We didn’t think this sort of thing was impossible,” he told Milan Channel. “But we have a great desire to get results.

“We’re training well, but at the moment that is not enough. We need to take better care of the details.

“I think that’s what will make the difference in matches.

“We can’t look for excuses, we just have to work hard. As for my performances, I am happy – always try and do what the Coach asks of me.

“I haven’t scored enough goals, but I have a great relationship with the Coach.”

J. Boateng: I don't fear Balotelli
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Germany defender Jerome Boateng has claimed that he ‘does not fear’ Mario Balotelli ahead of their match with Italy.

The Mannschaft travel to Milan to face the Azzurri in a friendly match on Friday, but the Bayern Munich centre-back has insisted that he is not scared of the striker who knocked them out of the European Championships last summer.

"He eliminated us at Euro 2012, but that does not mean that I fear him," Kevin-Prince Boateng’s brother told Bild.

"He is one of the best strikers around in Europe. It's very hard to stop him when he's 100 per cent. But that's a nice challenge for our defence and for me personally.

"It's impossible to keep a striker like Balotelli quiet for the full 90 minutes, but it's up to me to make sure he does not make an impact. I want to make things hard for him."

Emanuelson: 'Kaka like a captain'
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Urby Emanuelson is confident Milan will rediscover their form, particularly with Ricky Kaka. “He’s like a captain.”

The Rossoneri are struggling badly in Serie A, closer to the relegation zone than any European places.

“This break for international duty is important for the team, because it allows us to work,” the Dutchman told Milan Channel.

“At the moment we feel some pressure on us because of the lack of results, but we must get back to winning ways straight away from the game with Genoa. The Celtic match in Glasgow is also one we absolutely have to win.”

Kaka is one of the oldest players in the squad, though he has brought his usual commitment to the cause.

“Christian Abbiati, Daniele Bonera and Kaka are very important, as they represent the old guard. Ricky is like a captain. He trains so hard and is fundamental for us.”

The real captain’s armband belongs to Riccardo Montolivo, though Kaka has worn it this season in his absence.

“The recovery from injury will also be decisive. Stephan El Shaarawy and Mattia De Sciglio can give us a big hand.

“Mattia is incredible, as he’s only 19 and already a phenomenon. He will be the future of Milan.”

Montolivo wants Euro 2012 Italy
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo wants to see the same Italy that beat Germany at Euro 2012. “We were like a single body.”

The Azzurri face the Germans again on Friday at San Siro in an international friendly, but the memories are still fresh from their 2-1 victory in the European Championship semi-final.

“I am half-German, so this is never a game like the others for me,” confessed the Milan midfielder in a Press conference.

“If I look back to the Euros, I can say more than a team we were a family, as we were like a single body. I hope we will be able to recreate that fantastic atmosphere at the World Cup, which is the most important thing within a team.

“We have quality and now Giuseppe Rossi is returning to his level too. We always believed in him and waited for his return.

“It’s not just Rossi and Mario Balotelli, but also the likes of Lorenzo Insigne, Dani Osvaldo and Alberto Gilardino, so we’re in good shape in attack.”

Montolivo was asked whether international duty provided a reassuring respite from the pressures of a Milan side in crisis.

“I wouldn’t say that, as it’s pretty relaxed at Milan, despite the initial difficulties. I am sure we’ll get back on our feet. Balotelli knows that in football there are positive and less positive moments, but he is not in any way stressed or upset.

“The real problem with him is that the media always try to make everything extreme, but I am not afraid of losing him.”

Kucka heading to Roma?
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma may make a January transfer move for Genoa midfielder Juraj Kucka, according to reports.

Website Leggo claim that the capital club want to reinforce in the centre of the park during the winter break, and have put the Grifone man at the top of their wishlist.

The Slovkia international could be available for around €8m, but has recently admitted to being happy at the Marassi under new boss Gian Piero Gasperini.

With Kucka therefore reticent to move, Rudi Garcia’s men could go for unsettled Milan’s Antonio Nocerino as their back-up option.

The Italy international has made just three starts for the Rossoneri this term, and is said to been after a switch away from San Siro.

Torino eye Lodi and Nocerino
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa’s Francesco Lodi and Antonio Nocerino of Milan are January transfer targets for Serie A side Torino.

While the latter has previously been linked with the Granata in recent weeks given his struggles at San Siro, Lodi is a new name on the list.

Tuttosport are today suggesting that the classy playmaker could move to Turin once the transfer window opens at the start of 2014.

Lodi only joined Genoa in the summer, but he is struggling to break into the plans of new Coach Gian Piero Gasperini who replaced Fabio Liverani earlier this term.

Did El Shaarawy reject Genoa return?
14.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan’s Stephan El Shaarawy has reportedly turned down an offer to return to his former club Genoa.

He grew up in the Grifone youth academy and shot to fame while on loan at Padova in Serie B before earning a move to San Siro.

According to Sky Sport Italia, Genoa President Enrico Preziosi offered to bring the forward back to Marassi on loan in January.

This would give him more playing time and the chance to be closer to home, as his family is from Savona, near Genoa.

However, the same report claims El Shaarawy turned down the opportunity, as he wants to stay and fight for his place at Milan.

Robinho not allowed into USA
12.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan forward Robinho has not been allowed to enter the United States after issues with his visa, Tuttosport report.

The striker travelled with the Brazil national team to Miami for a friendly with Honduras on Saturday.

However, the Turin-based newspaper has revealed that there have been problems with the former Manchester City man’s visa and is not allowed to enter the country.

Further developments are expected on Tuesday, but it is unclear whether Robinho will play at the weekend.

Chelsea playmaker Willian has also experienced similar problems.

Report: AC Milan to stick with Allegri
11.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports in the Italian Press this evening have claimed that Milan will stick with Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Respected journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has revealed that President Silvio Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani spoke this afternoon about the matter, but have decided to keep the tactician.

Rumours had surfaced that the Rossoneri would get rid of Allegri after a string of bad results have left the San Siro side languishing in mid-table.

Pippo Inzaghi was believed to be the favourite to replace the former Cagliari man, but Di Marzio has claimed that the Diavolo will keep their Coach.

Inzaghi shadow looms over Allegri
11.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi is the favourite to replace Massimiliano Allegri as Milan boss should the club opt for a change of Coach.

Allegri’s future is hanging by a thread after a problematic start to the season which continued with the 0-0 draw at bottom of the table Chievo.

Vice-President Adriano Galliani will dine with Milan chief Silvio Berlusconi on Monday and the tactician’s future will be discussed.

Berlusconi was tempted to replace Allegri at the end of the last campaign, but opted to stick with the former Cagliari boss whose contract expires in June.

Milan are tenth in the standings. They have won just three League games this term and are already 15 points shy of the Champions League zone.

They are second in their Champions League group with five points from four games – five points behind Barcelona, but a point clear of Ajax and two ahead of Celtic.

Should Allegri – who has led Milan to a first, second and third-place finish in the top flight – be axed then the side is expected to be handed to Inzaghi.

The former striker is presently in charge of the club’s Primavera youth team.

We needed a win, rues Matri
11.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Matri has admitted his Milan side were left frustrated by their 0-0 draw at Chievo on Sunday.

The Diavolo were looking for their first win in four League games, but they couldn’t break down the bottom of the table club.

“We’re disappointed that we didn’t get the result as it was important to win here in Verona,” said the summer signing from Juventus. “Disappointed for ourselves and all of those around us.

“It’s our fault, but it’s also the period that we’re going through. It’s as if the ball just doesn’t want to go in.

“Now we have the international break and we have two weeks to work hard and stick together to get back to action the best way we can.

“We have to get back because we are Milan.”

The Diavolo are tenth in the standings after winning just three of their 12 games this term. They are 19 points away from League leaders Roma and 15 shy of the Champions League zone.

Galliani: 'Forward with Allegri'
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani assured Milan “will go forward” with Max Allegri and President Silvio Berlusconi “was satisfied” with the performance against Chievo.

The Rossoneri were held to a 0-0 draw by bottom of the table Chievo at the Stadio Bentegodi this afternoon, raising further questions about their Coach.

“I have just spoken to President Berlusconi,” Galliani told journalists. “He was satisfied with the performance of the team.

“It was a good Milan and everyone will remain in their place. Allegri’s position is not up for debate. We go forward with Allegri.

“If Robinho’s shot had gone in off the post, then we’d be here talking about a victory. This is football. In any case, we are satisfied and it was good to keep a clean sheet.”

Milan are mid-table, but only four points clear of the relegation zone.

Allegri: 'If AC Milan want another coach'
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“If the club thinks this team needs another Coach then they’ll let me know,” said Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri.

“The lads played well, created a great deal and didn’t allow many chances, which wasn’t easy,” he told Sky Sport Italia after a 0-0 draw at bottom of the table Chievo.

“We had Wednesday’s game in our legs and a situation that was difficult, but I could not have asked for more from my players.

“We needed to score, we didn’t score, but if we had then the view of the overall performance would’ve changed. It was a good performance.”

Allegri was asked whether this point is enough to save his job on the Milan bench.

“I cannot answer that. I am the Coach of Milan, so if the club thinks this team needs another Coach then they’ll let me know.

“I look at what happens on the field. The lads created several scoring opportunities against a Chievo side that was clammed up into its own half, so I could not have expected more.

“We earned just five points from our last five games, haven’t scored for two and we created more chances than we did against Fiorentina today. Now we have to keep working and hoping some of our players recover from injury.

“Alessandro Matri played very well, especially in the second half, and was unlucky. If a striker doesn’t score, then people have doubts, but he worked hard for the team and created chances.”

This week has been dominated by in-fighting at the club and reports Vice-President Adriano Galliani will leave.

“I was not referring to the club when I said there was a difficult situation. We are isolated and try to do our best. We created a situation where we could win in a difficult stadium, as don’t forget Roma struggled a great deal to beat Chievo.

“When everyone gives their all, you cannot ask for more in terms of effort. It’s true our passing wasn’t as good as it could’ve been in the final third, but that is all.”

Serie A: Chievo 0:0 AC Milan - match report
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan dominated possession and Robinho hit the woodwork, but the point does little against bottom of the table Chievo.

The Rossoneri were in crisis thanks to one point from three rounds and a midweek Champions League defeat to Barcelona. Mario Balotelli sat out a ban with the injured Stephan El Shaarawy, Mattia De Sciglio, Giampaolo Pazzini and Matias Silvestre. Chievo’s stalemate at Bologna last week ended a run of six consecutive defeats, but they had only ever beaten Milan twice – home and away – with three draws and 17 losses.

Chievo had the first real chance on 17 minutes, as Christian Abbiati needed a one-handed save to palm Marcelo Estigarribia’s counter-attack out from under the bar. Bostjan Cesar was allowed a free header from that corner and turned it off target.

Sulley Muntari tried from distance, but Chievo were clammed up in defence and blocked off any spaces for a Milan side with few ideas. Andrea Poli managed to get through on a couple of occasions, but not keep his finish on target. Poli also failed to make the most of a header, as the visitors dominated possession with 70 per cent.

Chievo wasted an incredible chance straight after the restart, as Kaka lost the ball in midfield to spark a Cyril Thereau counter-attack and Abbiati got a hand to his angled drive, then Luca Rigoni somehow turned the follow-up on to the side-netting.

Muntari and Kaka had attempts from distance, while Emanuelson went very close with Puggioni’s difficult save. Moments later, the Chievo goalkeeper flew to palm a Mexes volley out for a corner.

Riccardo Montolivo wanted a penalty for a Dario Dainelli handling offence, but the referee judged it to be involuntary. Robinho came off the bench and hit the side-netting from Kaka’s assist, then Chievo had the ball in the net only after an incredibly tight Paloschi offside call that will cause controversy.

Milan somehow failed to score when Robinho’s daisy-cutter thumped the base of the upright and Kaka turned the follow-up off target.

The Rossoneri also went down to 10 men, as Montolivo received a second yellow card. They still poured forward and Matri flicked wide of an open goal, then Rigoni dived in for a decisive block on Robinho.

Chievo were reduced to 10 too, as Sergio Pellissier received two bookings in quick succession for dissent. He was so angry that he had to be hauled off the field by Chievo staff.

Chievo: Puggioni; Frey, Dainelli, Cesar; Sardo, Radovanovic, L Rigoni, Pamic, Estigarribia (Hetemaj 46); Paloschi (Acosty 79), Thereau (Pellissier 65)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Emanuelson; Poli (Constant 78), Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari (Robinho 66); Kaka (Cristante 88); Matri
Ref: Orsato

Sent off: Montolivo 83 (M), Pellissier 91 (C)

Serie A: Chievo vs. AC Milan - lineups
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chievo: Puggioni; Frey, Dainelli, Cesar; Sardo, Radovanovic, L.Rigoni, Pamic, Estigarribia; Paloschi, Pellissier.

Chievo bench: Silvestri, Squizzi, Bernardini, Papp, Hetemaj, Dramè, Sestu, Improta, Acosty, Lazarevic, Ardemagni, Thereau.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Emanuelson; Poli, Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Kaka; Matri.

Milan bench: Amelia, Gabriel, Bonera, Zaccardo, Cristante, Constant, Birsa, Niang, Robinho.

Galliani's last AC Milan season?
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Although Adriano Galliani met with President Silvio Berlusconi today, it’s still reported he’ll leave at the end of the season.

The Vice-President, general manager and all round right-hand man to Berlusconi was put under the spotlight this week.

Berlusconi’s daughter Barbara, who is a member of the board of directors and expected to take over in time, blamed Galliani for the recent poor results.

Galliani had a two-hour crisis meeting with Silvio Berlusconi today and emerged smiling, telling journalists he was going nowhere.

However, Sky Sport Italia still maintain this evening that the plan is for Galliani to leave Milan at the end of the season.

“Silvio Berlusconi will be my President for life,” declared Galliani.

“He is the best in the world and there is no truth in these rumours about PSG or any other club. If I stay in football, then it will only be at Milan. We've been working together for 34 years.”

Technically, these comments do not rule out a departure at the end of the season, merely stating Galliani won’t join another football club after the Rossoneri.

Mexes back, Balotelli banned
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Amelia and Philippe Mexes return for Milan’s trip to Chievo, but Mario Balotelli is suspended.

The Rossoneri play at the Stadio Bentegodi on Sunday at 14.00 GMT.

Mexes is back after his four-match ban, while Amelia has shaken off an injury, but Balotelli is now absent after an accumulation of yellow cards.

Still on the absentee list are Mattia De Sciglio, Stephan El Shaarawy, Giampaolo Pazzini and Matias Silvestre.

Milan squad for Chievo: Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel, Abate, Bonera, Constant, Mexes, Zaccardo, Zapata, Birsa, Cristante, Emanuelson, De Jong, Kaka, Montolivo, Muntari, Poli, Matri, Niang, Robinho.

AC Milan confirm Galliani
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has been confirmed as Milan general manager after a meeting with President Silvio Berlusconi. “Here for life.”

There had been reports Galliani, who is Vice-President, general manager and transfer guru, would be pushed aside to make way for Berlusconi’s daughter Barbara.

It was also suggested Paris Saint-Germain were interested in making him an offer.

Galliani requested a face-to-face meeting, which was held today at Berlusconi’s Arcore villa for over two hours.

“Silvio Berlusconi will be my President for life,” declared Galliani to journalists as he left the encounter.

“He is the best in the world and there is no truth in these rumours about PSG or any other club. If I stay in football, then it will only be at Milan. We've been working together for 34 years.

“There will be no official statement on the club website, nor any further comments. I’ll see you all tomorrow in Verona.”

Milan will play Chievo at the Stadio Bentegodi on Sunday at 14.00 GMT.

Roma and AC Milan watching Parolo
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma and Milan are monitoring the performances of Parma’s Marco Parolo ahead of the January transfer window.

The two clubs are reportedly keen to give themselves an extra option in midfield and the Italian international is on the radar of both outfits.

Milan were apparently already weighing up a bid for the former Cesena man before they opted to sign Andrea Poli from Sampdoria in the summer.

Parolo did recently leave his mark against the Rossoneri by scoring twice in the 3-2 win over them at the Tardini.

The 28-year-old has five goals in 11 League matches this term.

Allegri: 'Forget AC Milan targets'
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri says Milan are determined to end their crisis against Chievo, but won’t even consider long-term targets.

The Rossoneri visit bottom of the table Chievo on Sunday at 14.00 GMT.

“As always against Chievo, it will be a very difficult game,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“So far they have played well, even if the results didn’t go their way. Giuseppe Sannino’s team is very aggressive and we have to face this challenge in the best possible way.”

Milan go into this match in crisis, both on the field with a string of defeats and off it, as today President Silvio Berlusconi is due to meet his right-hand man Adriano Galliani to discuss a potential split.

This week Barbara Berlusconi suggested the club’s problems stemmed from spending their money unwisely on players.

“The team and I are concentrated exclusively on the field and the tactics. We are thinking about tomorrow’s game and getting a positive result,” added Allegri.

“We are behind in the table and cannot fix everything straight away. Right now I won’t look to the Europa League places, nor the Champions League spots. We need to get back to winning ways, so the closest objective is to get through the Champions League group phase.

“Did we spend our money unwisely? I won’t comment. We have a good squad and had many injuries. It’s not an alibi, but it’s easier for a Coach if he has the entire team at his disposal.”

Bans haven’t helped either, as Mario Balotelli is suspended for the Chievo game.

“For tomorrow, I have to analyse the characteristics of my players and try to put everyone in their best position.

“Daniele Bonera is not yet fit to start, while Giampaolo Pazzini and Stephan El Shaarawy are still a way off their return. Stephan should be back in the squad after the break for international duty, but then he needs to train regularly before he can play.”

The fans are increasingly frustrated and jeered them off the pitch after a 2-0 home defeat to Fiorentina.

“The jeering was to be expected. The fans never protested against the team during my time here and even last year helped us through difficult moments. We must all give something more.”

Ancelotti: 'Crazy to reject Baggio'
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti discussed his new book, tips Andrea Pirlo to become a Coach and admits he was “crazy” to turn down Roberto Baggio.

The Real Madrid boss releases ‘Il mio Albero di Natale’ – My Christmas Tree – a book focusing on tactics, man-management and training in his career.

“I have been coaching for 18 years and football has changed a lot in that time,” Ancelotti told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“The idea was to show how it mutated via my personal experiences. It is a book dedicated to Coaches, to those who love football and are curious to see from the inside how a team works.

“I am in the locker room every morning. I speak to some players, while others might be angry and it’s better to wait for them to calm down. It’s not an issue of controlling the squad, but of communicating and seeing if there are any problems.”

Ancelotti has often worked with over-bearing Presidents, but assured he never took orders on which line-up to adopt.

“Communication does not mean imposition. I like to talk to the directors about what I’m doing, have done and intend to do. This is information a Coach has the duty of giving to his club. Why is it interpreted badly? Because people amuse themselves that way.”

He certainly went against his club when Parma agreed a transfer for Roberto Baggio, only for Ancelotti to pull the plug, while he also let Gianfranco Zola go.

“Looking back on it now, I was crazy. How can you give up on someone like Baggio? I was young and didn’t have the courage to throw myself into something that I didn’t know well enough. I knew everything about the 4-4-2.

“In order to talk about tactics, you have to be convinced and credible. In every locker room there are players ready to be Coaches, such as John Terry, Thiago Motta, Thiago Silva, Andrea Pirlo and Xabi Alonso. Do you honestly think you can teach Pirlo something about how to prepare a game on a tactical level?

“The first major tactical change I made was for Zinedine Zidane at Juventus. I learned quickly...”

Ancelotti is now at Real Madrid and showing his versatility, though there is still a great deal of criticism in Spain.

“With Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, the best system is 4-3-3. Bale took a while to arrive, so at the start I sought a 4-4-2 for greater balance. With Bale I went back to the initial idea and now we need to find that balance. As we saw from recent games, there’s a lot of work to do!

“The counter-attack is the simplest way of creating a scoring opportunity. Clearly just using the counter means you don’t have an identity, but when there’s space for it with the strikers we’ve got, it becomes lethal. There is a certain demonization of the term in Spain and the word has to be used carefully.

“I was talking about Hernan Crespo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic told me: ‘He was a great striker, but not someone who can win a game by himself. There are only three of those: Ibracadabra, Messi and Ronaldo.’ Ibra is right.”

Milan are in crisis at the moment and today there will be a crunch meeting between President Silvio Berlusconi and his right-hand man Adriano Galliani.

“I think Berlusconi recognises all Galliani has done for Milan. They helped each other a lot, which is why what’s happening now is surprising. I think the best person to resolve Milan’s problems is still Galliani.”

Scolari watching Kaka and Maicon
10.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari is delighted with the Serie A returns of Kaka and Douglas Maicon.

The attacking midfielder has re-joined Milan after a number of frustrating seasons at Real Madrid, while the right-back left Manchester City for Roma.

“I’m happy with Kaka’s choice,” the former Chelsea tactician stated. “He is now at a club who can offer him the chance to return to 100 per cent.

“It is the right situation for him. I am watching all of the Milan games because there is the possibility that I will call him up in the future.

“He can get back to his best.”

Kaka hasn’t played for his country since an October 2012 tie against Japan.

“As for Maicon, he had a few injury problems at Manchester City to begin with and then he didn’t have the chance to play regularly,” Scolari continued.

“His decision to move to Roma was excellent. He’ll be able to demonstrate all of his qualities and he now stands a better chance of being selected.”

Brazil play Honduras and Chile this month, but neither of the duo have been selected.

SofaScore for Android review
9.11 || webmaster

SofaScore is an Android app for live scores that has been recommended to us to replace the rather useful LiveScore app which we currently use.

After a few days of toying with it I must say that the app is pretty good. Besides sporting a user friendly interface and the regular, plain, live scores view, it also goes deeper than that with per-match polls, league standings, lineups, countdown to kick-off, head to head results, previous and next fixures for each team and a couple of other features I may have missed. All in all, it is quite comprehensive.

The app is free, ad-supported. The ads appear at the bottom and are non-intrusive.

There's also no intro screen - the app goes straight to the results - which is also something we like.

A wide variety of live scores from other sports are offered as well, including but not limited to rugby, basketball, tennis, ice hockey, handball and even table tennis or darts.

One thing we have not tested in this short timeframe is the reliability and the speed of the live updates. But this is something you might want to test yourself considering the app is free.

Push notifications are also available. No widgets though.

As a conclusion, we'd give this a 9 out of 10. It's well worth a try. I also attached two screenshots from inside the app with the dreadful Barca - Milan game below.

The app is available for Android, Apple and Windows devices.

P.S.: Oh, and did I mention the video highlights of goals scored? That's not too shabby.

SofaScore for Android

SofaScore for Android

Galliani fails to rule out PSG switch
8.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has refused to rule out the possibility of joining Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

The Rossoneri board member has allegedly fallen out with Silvio Berlusconi’s daughter Barbara, and reports in the French Press earlier this week claimed that the 69-year-old could be persuaded to join the Ligue 1 champions next year.

And when asked by a French reporters earlier today outside Milan’s offices whether he could sign for Les Parisiens, Galliani responded: “Who can say what will happen?”

Muntari confident of three points
8.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan play Chievo this weekend, and Sulley Muntari is confident that the Rossoneri can come away with all three points.

The Diavolo travel to Verona on Sunday to face the Flying Donkeys, and the midfielder has claimed that his men can recover from their poor start.

“We are having a difficult period at the moment,” he told Milan Channel. “But if we keep our feet on the ground and work hard, then we can definitely come out of it.

“I’m confident we can do well this season. Hopefully we can put into practice some of the things we did at Barcelona – we created a few chances, and that’s a positive.

“The work we do on the training pitch will help us going forward.

“This is a very important match for us. Chievo are always good at their home ground, so it’s not going to be easy.”

No AC Milan ultimatum for Allegri
8.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri won’t be playing for his job at Chievo on Sunday, says Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

The Diavolo are stuck in mid-table after losing three of their last five League games, but the CEO is adamant he’s not thinking of a coaching change.

“The Chievo game is important as we are behind in the standings, but it is not the last chance saloon,” Galliani stated on Friday afternoon.

“The intention of the club is to stick with Allegri until the end of the season, even if every Coach has to deal with the law of results.

“However, there is no Allegri ultimatum. If we lose 22-0 then you would think of a change, but I don’t like talking about the future.

“I repeat, the match in Verona is important because of the League table, but it won’t be the last game on earth.”

Galliani refused to answer any questions relating to the running of the club after the criticism of Barbara Berlusconi this week.

Trap rejects AC Milan hypothesis
8.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giovanni Trapattoni has rejected speculation that Milan could turn to him if they decide to axe boss Massimiliano Allegri.

The veteran tactician, 74, is available for hire after he left his post as the Republic of Ireland boss in September.

“It is fantasy football,” Trap told Milan News when asked about the possibility of taking the San Siro hotseat.

“Under this particular aspect, Allegri can stay very calm. There is no truth in the stories.”

The Diavolo have had a shaky start to the campaign seeing as they have collected just 11 points from their first 12 League games of the season. They have lost three of their last five.

“I understand the fans who have been used to success,” Trap, who bossed Milan in the 1970s, stated. “But Milan are a solid club and they have won everything in recent years.

“There needs to be some patience, some belief in boss Massimiliano Allegri and Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

“Better times will come, the side has started the season in a certain manner but it is important that they stay on the right path until February and March.

“There is a storm at sea right now, but there are some excellent sailors at the club.”

Burdisso to AC Milan in January?
8.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Corriere dello Sport is suggesting Milan will look to sign Roma’s Nicolas Burdisso in January.

Although the San Siro giants have already wrapped up a loan deal for Valencia’s Adil Rami, it is being claimed the Argentine is also on their radar.

The Argentine centre-back could be available for a nominal fee at the start of 2014 given that his contract expires in June.

Now 32, the former Inter player has appeared in just one League game for Rudi Garcia’s League leaders so far this season.

The ex-Boca Juniors stopper moved to the Stadio Olimpico in August 2009.

Muntari: 'AC Milan will end crisis'
7.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sulley Ali Muntari is confident “Milan will emerge from this difficult time” and stand by Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

The Rossoneri have picked up just two points from their last five games between Serie A and Champions League.

“We didn’t want to lose against Barcelona, but at the moment things aren’t going our way,” Muntari told Milan Channel after last night’s 3-1 defeat.

“We want to do well and will soon emerge from this difficult time. Yesterday we played the way the Coach wanted us to and how we had prepared this match in training.

“Refereeing errors are also part of football, but we must work and keep our feet on the ground to overcome this negative period.”

Allegri came under fire last night after surprisingly benching Mario Balotelli for the first half.

“He is our Coach and we must always follow his instructions,” noted Muntari. “It is not an easy time for our fans, and we know that, but we will always give 100 per cent on the field.”

Milan have a crucial trip to bottom of the table Chievo this weekend, as they risk dropping into the danger zone.

“It won’t be easy against Chievo, but we have to go there looking to do well and win.”

Poli rues defeat in Barcelona
7.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Poli believes Milan “could have taken home a positive result” after losing to Barcelona on Wednesday.

The Rossoneri were defeated 3-1 in their Champions League clash at the Camp Nou, a loss which leaves them in second place in their group.

“We knew that we were facing a great team that likes to keep the ball, but we defended well, tried to hit them on the break and were deservedly still in it at 2-1,” the midfielder told Sky Sport Italia.

“Unfortunately the third goal knocked the wind out of our sails, as until then we had plenty of chances to get back into it.”

Poli was a surprise starter in the midfield, while star striker Mario Balotelli was initially on the bench until half-time.

“The Coach makes his decisions and everyone respects them,” the summer signing from Sampdoria continued. “I was happy to play.

“Barcelona have played possession football for many years and the moment they lose the ball, two or three of them jump on you. They are very organised.

“It’s crucial not to make mistakes, but we could’ve made more of our counter-attacks, that is true.

“In the first half we were pegged back, but after the break we could have equalised and taken home a positive result.”

Milan now face a home game against Ajax and a trip to Celtic.

Allegri: 'Bench good for Balotelli'
7.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri explains why he dropped Mario Balotelli against Barcelona. “I did it for Milan and for Balotelli.”

The decision was a shock and the Rossoneri improved considerably when he came off the bench for the second half in this 3-1 Champions League defeat.

“It’s simple, Mario had that injury on international duty and his recent performances were not sharp, so I preferred to start with the pairing that played in the first leg,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

“He did some good things in the second half. Of course people expect a lot from him, he has to improve and get accustomed to playing every three days, which he has never really done before coming to Milan. That’s tough both physically and psychologically.

“He did very well on a few occasions tonight, while in others he delayed the pass a bit too long. It is a particular shame for the third goal, as we had several chances to equalise this evening. The real regrets are that we didn’t get the final pass right in a few different attacking situations.

“At this moment playing in Barcelona with this consistency is impressive, as the team showed character and hunger. I chose this system to give Kaka more freedom to attack, as he worked so hard at San Siro and at times had to play as a full-back.

“When we get our players back from injury, we will find better performances and results. This performance should give us confidence, as the team kept its belief and shape even after going behind, which it did not do against Fiorentina.

“We will face a Chievo side hungry for points and must be ready for it.”

Robinho was chosen as the centre-forward ahead of both Balotelli and Alessandro Matri.

“I chose Robinho because gives a different tempo to the side, played well at San Siro and did fairly well tonight too. We had done well under pressure from Barcelona,” added Allegri.

“The club hierarchy knew about my choices. I spoke to the President before the game, as I always do, and told him Balotelli was not going to start. I did this for the good of the team and for the good of Balotelli too.”

Champions League: Barcelona 3:1 AC Milan - match report
6.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Messi pen 30, 83 (B), Busquets 40 (B), Pique og 45 (M)

Milan had several chances when Mario Balotelli came on, but were beaten 3-1 in Barcelona by a Leo Messi brace.

Max Allegri sensationally dropped Balotelli to the bench, favouring Kaka behind Robinho as a ‘False 9.’ Stephan El Shaarawy, Giampaolo Pazzini, Antonio Nocerino, Mattia De Sciglio, Marco Amelia, Matias Silvestre and the cup-tied Gabriel and M’Baye Niang were out, but Christian Abbiati returned in goal. Barca were without Jordi Alba, Ibrahim Afellay, Cuenca and Dos Santos, but Adriano recovered ahead of schedule.

The Rossoneri have faced Barcelona repeatedly in recent years, but their last win at Camp Nou was in 2000. As expected, they sat back eager to hit on the counter and allowed the hosts plenty of possession.

An Adriano ball flashed all the way across the face of goal and Alexis Sanchez just failed to get the final touch from a couple of yards. Moments later, the ex-Udinese man nodded on to the side-netting, as Barca’s pressure went all the way to the goal.

The referee pointed to the spot when Neymar went down under the slightest nudge from Ignazio Abate. Leo Messi, who had not scored in four Liga games, converted a powerful penalty.

Riccardo Montolivo had the first Milan chance on 35 minutes, gathering from Andrea Poli to curl just past the far post.

Philippe Mexes needed practically a goalline clearance after Messi had chipped Abbiati, but Barcelona doubled their lead.

A Xavi Hernandez free kick was floated in for the glancing header of Sergio Busquets, though there were suspicions of offside. It was yet another goal conceded from a set play and in the air for the Rossoneri.

Milan were able to pull one back on the stroke of half-time with a bit of luck. Kaka burst down the left and pulled back from the by-line, but Gerard Pique accidentally poked it past his own goalkeeper at the near post.

Balotelli replaced Robinho for the second half and within four minutes Javier Mascherano had to intercept a dangerous Kaka assist that would’ve sent him clear. Moments later SuperMario tested Victor Valdes at the near post with an angled drive.

The Spaniards thought they had scored a third goal, but Messi was offside when deflecting Adriano’s effort into the far top corner. Neymar was incorrectly flagged offside when going clear, as Urby Emanuelson was keeping everyone level.

Abbiati flew to palm an Andres Iniesta strike round the far post, but Balotelli dribbled past two players down the right and Kaka finished the move wide from six yards under pressure from Dani Alves.

Adriano blasted over from a corner and Nigel De Jong blocked Neymar’s attempt, while the Brazilian striker’s finish did not live up to the mazy run. Abbiati performed a stunning reaction save when one-on-one with Alexis Sanchez, but Valdes had to hoof clear when Montolivo’s inspired pass was finding Sulley Muntari.

Barcelona finally put the game beyond Milan’s reach when Messi combined with Cesc Fabregas to burst through the middle of the defence and beat Abbiati.

Mexes needed a last-ditch tackle to stop Messi when clear on goal.

Barcelona 3-1 Milan

Scorers: Messi pen 30, 83 (B), Busquets 40 (B), Pique og 45 (M)

Barcelona: Valdes; Dani Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Adriano; Xavi (Song 88), Busquets, Iniesta (Fabregas 78); Alexis Sanchez, Messi, Neymar (Pedro 85)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, Emanuelson; Poli (Birsa 74), Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Kaka (Matri 84); Robinho (Balotelli 46)

Ref: Mazic (SRB)

Champions League: Barcelona vs. AC Milan - lineups
6.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona: Valdes; Dani Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Adriano; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Alexis Sanchez, Messi, Neymar

Barcelona bench: Pinto, Montoya, Bartra, Fabregas, Song, Tello, Pedro

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, Emanuelson; Poli, Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Kaka; Robinho

Milan bench: Coppola, Constant, Zaccardo, Bonera, Birsa, Balotelli, Matri

Pazzini: 'I envy my teammates'
6.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giampaolo Pazzini wishes he could play when Milan visit Barcelona tonight. “I envy my teammates.”

The striker has not played since undergoing knee surgery in May, but is with the squad in its training retreat.

“I wish I could play tonight, but it will take a while for me to get back on to the field,” he told Milan Channel.

“I am here to be part of the team. It is a strange time for us, but the retreat went well and we will give our all. We can definitely do better.

“The players are fired up and want to put in a good performance. I envy my teammates, as I’d love to play. I can’t wait to get back on to the pitch as soon as possible, though I can’t give a precise date.

“We know Barcelona well in every sense. We always impressed on home turf, as playing like that is the only way that we can hurt them. We must stay united, compact and ready to go on the counter.”

There are reports Mario Balotelli will be benched this evening after a period of poor form.

“He’s a really good person, he just has too much pressure on him.”

Balotelli benched in Barcelona?
6.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Mario Balotelli could be benched for Milan when they visit Barcelona this evening.

The Champions League game kicks off at 19.45 GMT at Camp Nou.

Massimiliano Allegri is expected to adopt a 4-4-1-1 formation with Kaka in the ‘hole’ behind a striker.

However, the latest rumours emerging from the Rossoneri camp are that Balotelli will be dropped in favour of Robinho.

SuperMario has stuttered of late, but it would be a real snub for Allegri to leave him out of this fixture.

Balotelli was cup-tied last year, so didn’t make the trip to Barcelona, while he was only fit for a substitute role in the 1-1 draw at San Siro last month due to a thigh problem.

Balo is also suspended for the next Serie A tie with Chievo, so in theory will have fresher legs than any of the other forwards available.

Galliani: Barcelona the best in Europe
6.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has admitted he is looking forward to Milan’s clash with Barcelona this evening.

The Rossoneri travel to the Catalan capital this evening to play the Spanish champions, and the board member has insisted that it is a great opportunity to test themselves against the best in Europe.

“It’s really amazing that we’ll be playing them for the eighth time in 24 months,” he told reporters.

“They are the strongest team in Europe, but we always try to attack against Barcelona. They are a great team and this is a great game.

“Barcelona are not just Messi – their whole midfield is made up of world champions.”

Champions League: Barcelona vs. AC Milan - probable lineups
6.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona probable: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Alexis, Messi, Neymar.

Milan probable: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Poli, Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Kaka; Balotelli.

Dani Alves: 'AC Milan part of the family!'
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Dani Alves admits Barcelona-Milan is something of a regular appointment. “They’re practically part of the family now!”

The defender spoke alongside Tata Martino in his Press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League clash.

“Milan are practically part of the family now! We have met many times in recent years. I still think they are a great team and tomorrow will be, as always, a very tough match.

“I believe they’ll play the same way as they did at San Siro,” he said of the 1-1 draw.

“Our rivals have rediscovered our style now and put 11 men in defence so it becomes difficult to reach the goal. There has been a lot of criticism around us recently, but the important thing is to keep following our philosophy.

“We have a good defence and know that when we don’t concede goals, we are more likely to win,” said Dani Alves.

“Criticism is part of the sport. If we look at the numbers, then we are doing well. Perhaps in terms of style we’re not quite as good as in previous years, but we have changed. It used to be quite monotonous, but now we have introduced some variants that are giving positive results.

“It’s not true that we are only looking for the result, as we also want to play good football. I simply believe we changed the way we go about it. As the Coach says, we don’t need 18-20 passes to get to the goal.”

Leo Messi has also been criticised after failing to find the net in his last four games, a rare occurrence for him.

“Leo had moments in the past when he didn’t score as much. In football these phases can happen, but I am sure he’ll soon get back to scoring and we’ll help him. We are not worried by this.

“Neymar was signed to do exactly what he’s doing now and has settled in perfectly to the club. He was brought in to create something different and add more to our football.

“If our opponents attacked us more, we’d have more space, but that doesn’t happen. We have our style and want to maintain it. It’s not easy to face a side like Milan who are strong on the counter-attack.”

Barcelona have often complained about the state of the playing surface when on their travels, but they are now finding problems at home too.

“We need a perfect pitch to make the most of our style and I think now the Camp Nou field is becoming a problem for us.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan need courage'
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri wants “courage” from his Milan side in Barcelona and the “perfect performance.”

The Rossoneri earned a 1-1 draw at San Siro and visit the Camp Nou on Wednesday at 19.45 GMT.

“This is an important match where we will run into a lot of problems, as Barça have always been a strong side,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“It will require a great performance, both physically and psychologically, both in attack and defence. We need to be wary, but also have courage to play and do even better than in the first leg. Last year our 4-0 defeat here was our worst game in recent campaigns.”

The team has been locked in a training ground retreat since Sunday after a series of poor results, including a 2-0 home defeat to Fiorentina at the weekend.

“It is certainly not an easy moment for us. First we will think about tomorrow night’s game, then Sunday’s with Chievo.

“We tried some different tactical situations. I always try to put players in the roles they are most suited to.”

While Milan are in crisis, Barcelona have also come under fire from Spanish media for being ‘monotonous.’

“The only monotony was that they always won! Barcelona have very technical players who are good at moving in tight spaces and recovering possession. Compared to last year, they also have Neymar who is good at throwing himself into space.

“Leo Messi is always dangerous, even when he doesn’t score. He is the best in the world and will trouble us again tomorrow. It can happen for any striker not to score for a few games.”

Mario Balotelli is due to start, especially as he is suspended for the upcoming Serie A match with Chievo.

“Mario behaved correctly on Saturday and only made a mistake in the foul that got him booked. He knows he has to improve still.”

The tension of the defeat to Fiorentina spilled out with Barbara Berlusconi urging her father, President Silvio Berlusconi, to revamp the way the club is run.

“I won’t comment on these things,” replied Allegri. “The players and I must focus only on the field, reaching the next phase of the Champions League and climbing the Serie A table.

“We are doing well in the Champions League and cannot waste what we’ve done so far. In Serie A, we need to improve in order to get back up the standings.

“We’ve worked together over the last few days and you can’t emerge from a crisis in one match, but the fundamental thing now is to push luck our way.

“Playing against Barcelona brings great motivation to anyone. It will require the perfect performance.”

Martino: 'Barcelona and AC Milan level'
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino insists Barcelona and Milan are “on level terms” going into their Camp Nou clash.

The Blaugrana host the Rossoneri in the Champions League tomorrow at 19.45 GMT.

“Tomorrow we must play the way we know how, move well and not allow Milan to close up too much in defence. That system is difficult to overcome,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“I don’t believe there is any difference in the way Milan come into this match or Barcelona’s form. We are on level terms.

“I always feel suspicious when people say big clubs are in crisis. Milan have a great history and great players. They might not be in a great moment, but we must always respect them.

“It is of vital importance to win so that we almost certainly qualify with two rounds to spare. I think we can improve, both as a collective and individually.”

Leo Messi has failed to find the net in his last four games, something truly unusual for the Ballon d’Or winner.

“We are all very relaxed about the situation. He might not be 100 per cent, but he is training well. We introduced a group of strikers who are able to play through balls, but also maintain possession.

“Do Barça have a crisis in terms of performance? That’s the journalists who say that, not me.”

VIDEO: Bryan Cristante's goal vs. Barcelona Youth
5.11 || webmaster

Verratti agent reveals three offers
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Verratti’s agent has revealed the details behind the youngster’s move to Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

The Italy international has been heavily linked with a move back to Serie A this season, but his representative has confirmed that the economic situation on the peninsula will mean that won’t happen.

“Inter, Milan and Juve all submitted offers to Pescara,” Donato Di Campli told Tuttosport.

“But then came PSG. The presence of Ancelotti at the time played an important factor in Marco’s move there.

“The current economic situation in Italy means there won’t be any deal with a Serie A club.”

'Facing Barcelona is an opportunity'
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka has commented on Milan’s current struggles and claimed that the Rossoneri should look to the Barcelona match as ‘an opportunity’.

The Rossoneri head out to Barcelona for Wednesday’s Champions League group stage encounter in disarray following a miserable run of League form.

“For us it is not easy to face Barcelona for the way that they play. The promise is that we will do everything that we can,” commented Kaka to Tiki Taka this week.

“For us this is a difficult moment, but the match against Barcelona can be an opportunity. We should try to play a good game, as we did in the reverse fixture.

“We want to leave our current situation with all our might. I will not make any promises. The goals and assists are technical aspects, but I can bet on the desire of the group.

“Against Barcelona in the first game we showed that we are capable of playing a great game.

“The [weekend] defeat to Fiorentina is weighing on us, because losing 2-0 at San Siro weighs. The problems are not resolved by talking, but it is a start.

“I will not give Massimiliano Allegri tactical advice because that is a facet for the Coach. What matters now is that we behave as a group and do what is necessary to be safer and happier.”

The Brazilian also had a word of advice for strike-partner Mario Balotelli.

“Mario is a great guy, he must understand that in the world of football he has his responsibility. Both with Milan and the Italian national team.

“He is a model for many people and must understand and better manage something that is so important.”

Galliani off to PSG?
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Following his alleged falling out with Barbara Berlusconi, Milan vice-President Adriano Galliani could be poached by PSG.

La Repubblica believe that the French side’s President Nasser Al-Khelaifi is keen on the Rossoneri board member following a commendation from former Coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Galliani is said to have had an argument with Silvio Berlusconi’s daughter Barbara, and the Ligue 1 champions will look to make the most of the situation by poaching the 69-year-old.

AC Milan pick 18 for Barcelona trip
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has chosen an 18-man squad for Wednesday’s Champions League game at Barcelona.

It is a party which is still shy of the talented Stephan El Shaarawy and Mattia De Sciglio as the pair are sidelined with injury. Matias Silvestre is also out.

Goalkeeper Christian Abbiati is included after recent fitness issues.

Squad: Abbiati, Coppola, Abate, Bonera, Constant, Mexes, Zaccardo, Zapata, Birsa, De Jong, Emanuelson, Kaka, Montolivo, Muntari, Poli, Balotelli, Matri, Robinho.

Mascherano fears AC Milan's tradition
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano is refusing to underestimate Milan ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League tie.

The Rossoneri have had a problematic start to the season, given that they have collected just 12 points from their 11 Serie A games this term.

Mascherano, however, has told Extra Time that the San Siro side remain a team who can cause you trouble.

“They are a club of status, tradition and class,” the Argentine international commented.

“They have not had a good start to the season, but in their games the fact is that they have demonstrated something.

“Not only against us but also against Juventus. They may have lost 3-2 against the latter, but they played an interesting game.”

While Milan have struggled, Kaka has started to shine following his summer return from Barca’s great rivals Real Madrid.

“I am not surprised by his improvement because I believe that football is 80 per cent psychological and 20 per cent physical,” added the ex-Liverpool man.

“And considering that Kaka has experienced with Milan his prime as a player, it is not possible to feel better anywhere else.

“I do not know if he will return to the best Kaka, but surely we will see a great Kaka, like the one we faced at San Siro two weeks ago.”

Kaka: We'll get out of this dark time
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka believes that Milan ‘will get out of this dark time’ after they suffered yet another defeat at the weekend.

The Rossoneri lost 2-0 to Fiorentina on Saturday, losing their fifth match of the season already.

The Brazilian playmaker though, is confident that his team can bounce back.

“We will get out of this dark time,” he told SportMediaset.

“If we believe, then it can happen. I don’t want any more promises.

“Goals and assists will be factors, but the will of the group is even more important.

“It starts against Barcelona this week – we showed in the first match against them that we can compete and do well.”

Zanetti: I can't talk about AC Milan
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Javier Zanetti has refused to comment on Milan’s recent troubles, but praised Ricky Alvarez after his goal against Udinese.

Inter beat the Zebrette 3-0 on Sunday, with the Argentine youngster finding the back of the net in the second half.

And the defender has insisted that he always thought his countryman would do well, but declined to comment on the Rossoneri’s tough start, if you fancy the Rossoneri to turn their fortunes around you could get some free bets from and cash in when they hit a winning streak.

“Udine is always a difficult place to go,” he told reporters. “I thought we played well though, and deserved the three points.

“With Thohir at the helm now, I think we can get better and better.

“Milan? I can’t give an opinion on their problems. But remember we’re talking about a big club.

“I’m really happy for Alvarez. We always believed he could do well here. It was a difficult year for him, but now he’s proving his value.”

Pedro: AC Milan have great potential
4.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona’s Pedro Rodriguez remains respectful of struggling Champions League opponents Milan.

The two teams will meet at the Nou Camp on Wednesday as Barca look to maintain top spot in their section.

“We want to win, obviously,” the Spaniard noted. “We would be in a great position in the group, but they are a team that always asks a lot from us.

“We should be very attentive to everything that happens on the pitch. They are a team with great potential, Kaka, Robinho, Mario Balotelli…

“They have many options.”

The Diavolo are second in Group H, two points behind Barca and two clear of Celtic. Ajax make up the group.

'Allegri not AC Milan's problem'
4.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has assured boss Massimiliano Allegri that his job is safe.

The tactician’s future has again been placed into doubt as the club’s problematic season took another unsavoury twist with a 2-0 defeat to Fiorentina on Saturday.

“There is faith in Allegri – he is not the problem,” the official stated this afternoon.

“All Coaches depend on results, but this is not a decisive week for him. If someone keeps losing then there is no one who can survive that.

“This is certainly a difficult moment because we are not picking up results, but we will carry on. From experience I say that we should remain calm.”

Milan, with just three League wins this season, will face Barcelona and Chievo over the next seven days.

Galliani was also asked to respond to Barbara Berlusconi’s request that there be a change in philosophy at the club owned by her father Silvio.

“I certainly spoke with Silvio Berlusconi last night, but I won’t comment on what we said,” Galliani added.

“The CEO is responsible for everything, the transfer market, the revenue, all of the costs. He’s in charge of the whole company.”

Also inevitably asked about the future of star striker Mario Balotelli, Galliani stated: “He is absolutely not for sale.”

Capello on Roma, AC Milan and Juventus
4.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Russia boss Fabio Capello has given his opinion on the current situations of former clubs Roma, Milan and Juventus.

“Roma can win the Scudetto,” he told Radio Anch'io lo Sport after they dropped their first points of the season at Torino on Sunday.

“The merit goes to boss Rudi Garcia, even if the fact that they have no European commitments has allowed them to start the season strongly.

“Daniele De Rossi has also remained at the club, who is a really important piece of the jigsaw, and Francesco Totti has made a difference too.”

While the capital outfit sit proudly at the top of the table, Milan are in eleventh place – a staggering 19 points behind the Giallorossi.

“I haven’t spoken to Milan President Silvio Berlusconi for about a year as he’s been busy with politics,” the former England manager added.

“He has a substitute in Adriano Galliani who has done well. There are years where you make wrong signings and the blame is placed on the Coach or on who buys.

“This is one of those years at Milan. You can make mistakes when buying and selling. I’m referring to Andrea Pirlo.

“You can’t lose a player like that on a Bosman.”

Pirlo moved to Juventus and he has helped inspire the Old Lady to two successive Scudetti. Now the club want to make an impact in Europe.

“Boss Antonio Conte has worked in an extraordinary manner,” Capello added. “But you have to admit Juventus have invested on the market.

“I’m convinced they can do well in the Champions League. They have brought a player in Carlos Tevez who can make the difference.

“This Juve perhaps has more hunger and aggressiveness than mine. They have 10 players who play compact.”

Juventus will face another of Capello’s former clubs on Tuesday when Real Madrid arrive in the Champions League.

Mangia denies AC Milan link
4.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Devis Mangia has distanced himself from whispers that he could replace Massimiliano Allegri on the Milan bench.

The tactician’s future is back in doubt after the Diavolo lost yet again in Serie A, this time at home to Fiorentina.

“I don’t know anything about the rumours,” the available former Italian Under-21 boss told Tele Radio Stereo.

“All I can say is that Milan are going through a difficult situation, the people there are saying as much. However, I think they have what is necessary to get out of it.”

The San Siro outfit’s struggles have also coincided with a dip in form of star striker Mario Balotelli, a man who has scored three goals in seven League games so far this term.

“All of the people who judge him without ever having talked to him or coached him are making a great error," the ex-Palermo boss added.

“As I’ve never had anything to do with him, I won’t express myself.”

Gattuso expected AC Milan struggles
4.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso says there was a touch of inevitability about the struggles of former club Milan this season.

The Diavolo find themselves in eleventh place in the standings, having collected just 12 points from 11 games so far.

“You have to spend a lot of money to build strong sides,” the former midfielder told TV show Che Tempo Che Fa.

“This is a moment in time where little investment is being made, the opposite from what President Silvio Berlusconi has done throughout his reign.

“Today, Roma, Napoli and Juventus have something more than Milan because they have spent a lot on new players.”

Milan lost 2-0 at home to Fiorentina on Saturday. They have won just two of their last nine League games, losing three of their last five as well.

Berlusconi: 'Change of philosophy'
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barbara Berlusconi insists she “never asked” for Adriano Galliani to be sacked, but did suggest “a change in philosophy at Milan.”

The reports emerged in Ansa news agency this evening that Berlusconi, the daughter of President Silvio and a member of the Board of Directors, lobbied her father after the 2-0 defeat to Fiorentina.

It was claimed she said the club spent far too much money unwisely and transfer guru Galliani was therefore to blame.

“I never asked for the general manager Adriano Galliani to be changed,” Barbara Berlusconi insisted in a statement.

“In the numerous phone calls with my father after the defeat to Milan I simply asked for a change of business philosophy at Milan.”

The two positions are not necessarily contrasting, as it’s reported this ‘change of business philosophy’ would include the introduction of Paolo Maldini and new talent scouts to seek young players before they become too expensive.

While Galliani may well remain as general manager, his many duties and responsibilities in choosing players could be downscaled.

Berlusconi to revamp AC Milan?
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Milan are planning huge changes, as Max Allegri and Adriano Galliani are at risk with Paolo Maldini due to come in.

The situation deteriorated after last night’s 2-0 home defeat to Fiorentina, which left them languishing in 11th place.

The Rossoneri are currently 16 points off the Champions League places and just three clear of the relegation zone.

The team is in a pre-match ‘ritiro’ retreat from today to prepare for the games against Barcelona and Chievo, but Allegri is for the moment holding on to his bench.

According to several reports, including the Ansa news agency, Barbara Berlusconi is taking a commanding role in revamping the side.

She held a meeting with her father, President Silvio Berlusconi, to urge changes throughout the staff after disappointing transfer campaigns.

This would put general manager Galliani at risk as well as Allegri, as it’s rumoured Berlusconi will ask Paolo Maldini to return as a director.

Maldini has been vocal about his problems with the Milan hierarchy, specifically Galliani, and complained he was never offered a position at the club after his retirement.

This could well change, along with the introduction of new talent scouts to find promising players at cheaper prices.

Berlusconi's complaint, according to Ansa, is that Milan have been spending a lot of money, but not investing it wisely.

Allegri: 'My worst moment at Milan'
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri admits “this is the worst moment of my three and a half years at Milan” and the team goes into a training camp.

The situation is disastrous, as they are now 16 points adrift of third place after just 11 rounds and visit Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Barbara Berlusconi met with the team in the locker room after the 2-0 home defeat to Fiorentina, while Vice-President Adriano Galliani left the stands after the second goal. The team will go into a pre-game ritiro training camp from Sunday.

“The decision was made by the club along with the Coach and players. It’s the worst moment of my three and a half years at Milan,” confessed Allegri on Sky Sport Italia.

“We need to find the solution to get out of this moment. Staying together will help us prepare for Barcelona and Chievo, above all psychologically.

“The last half-hour of tonight’s game was really terrible. We need to get back on our feet and shake off the bad situations that happen. We must work and see what’s going wrong, what needs changing and now the game with Chievo becomes very important for us, more so than Barcelona.

“When things go badly, there are many causes. The team cannot play as badly as they did tonight. We did little in attack, even if we were punished by a long-range effort that was deflected.”

The fans showed banners protesting that this side needed a defender and midfielder over the summer rather than more strikers.

“It’s not an issue of the transfer strategy, it’s that we suffered a lot of injuries. I thought we had found the way after Udinese and Barcelona, but with Parma, Lazio and above all this evening we seem to have lost it again.

“In football the only thing that counts is the result. At times people forget how we got them. The lads cannot be criticised for the effort they put in tonight, but it just didn’t work.

“Right now things are going badly, we have only 12 points. I am the Coach and the club will tell me if and when they make a decision. There haven’t been any meetings planned as far as I know. I am the Coach and one way or another I’ll find the solution to this.

“We’re missing Stephan El Shaarawy, who is important for a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1, so we don’t have many options out wide at the moment. I know Kaka has to play supporting a striker, but I have to improvise in the circumstances.

“What we need to do is speed the moves up a bit, as we don’t pick the right passes, take too long to get near the goal and concede far too many goals from free kicks. It’s normal that we have to change something and this week we’ll have time to work on that.”

Allegri was asked what he could do to turn this situation around.

“The performances against Barcelona, at home to Udinese and for long periods with Parma and Lazio were good. The details make the difference and we need to be more determined in certain areas of the field.

“Right now I have to make the team feel calm. We need to be more exuberant and speed up the attacks.

“Are the players still behind me? The players shouldn’t be behind me, they should be behind each other and work together as a team. It’s my job to indicate them in the right direction.”

Ambrosini: 'Injury worth it for AC Milan'
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini was visibly moved at the reception from Milan fans and even an injury “was worth it.”

The Fiorentina midfielder made his comeback from a muscular injury, though he lasted only 33 minutes at San Siro in a 2-0 victory.

“I just wanted to thank the fans, as I did everything to be here for this game for a thousand reasons. I wanted to come full circle tonight,” said the man who wore the Rossoneri jersey for 18 years.

The fans held up banners saluting him for ‘writing your name in the history’ of Milan and gave him a standing ovation as he limped off.

“I didn’t think I’d have other chances to salute the supporters, but I’m happy I did it. I have no regrets, as I knew there was the risk I’d get injured.

“The emotions were different to a normal game. I wanted to be here and experience it at all costs, even against the advice of many people.

“I wanted to play for the team, who were in a bit of an emergency situation. I’ll be out for a while, but it was worth it to be here.”

Milan are in crisis and were jeered off the field by the fans, so does Ambrosini have a message?

“No, I just hope they get back on track as soon as possible,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

Serie A: AC Milan 0:2 Fiorentina - match report
2.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Vargas 27 (F), Borja Valero 73 (F)

Milan are in deep crisis after a 2-0 home defeat to a weakened Fiorentina, as Juan Manuel Vargas and Borja Valero silenced San Siro.

The Viola were furious after a 2-1 defeat to Napoli, which saw Juan Cuadrado unfairly sent off and the ban not revoked despite video evidence. He missed out along with the injured Mario Gomez, David Pizarro and Josip Ilicic. Max Allegri was still feeling the pressure after a midweek 1-1 draw with Lazio left the Rossoneri in 10th place. Philippe Mexes was suspended with Matias Silvestre, Mattia De Sciglio, Daniele Bonera, Stephan El Shaarawy and Giampaolo Pazzini sidelined.

Massimo Ambrosini recovered from injury in time to face his former club and was given a warm welcome by the supporters. A banner read: ‘18 years of your career, your name in Rossoneri history.’

Gabriel stuck out a hand to intercept a dangerous Ryder Matos counter-attack for Giuseppe Rossi, while Neto smothered a weak Sulley Muntari finish set up by Kaka.

Fiorentina took the lead when a Juan Manuel Vargas low free kick took a deflection off Muntari in the wall to wrong-foot Gabriel, flying into the far bottom corner.

Ambrosini was making his comeback from injury and hobbled off again after 33 minutes to make way for Matias Vecino.

Kaka’s free kick found Cristian Zaccardo in the box for a fresh-air volley, while Mario Balotelli needed treatment for a knock to the back when he walked into Gonzalo Rodriguez.

Balotelli went down in the box, but replays clearly show he kicked out at Manuel Pasqual, so the referee did well to wave play on.

Alberto Aquilani had already been booked when he held back Balotelli in midfield, running a real risk of a red. Balotelli did get a yellow card for a completely pointless shove in the back on Neto when the ball was running out of play and will be suspended against Chievo. It was his fourth booking of the Serie A season.

The Rossoneri struggled a great deal to get anywhere near Neto’s goal, Zaccardo unable to keep his header on target from a corner.

Instead, Fiorentina doubled their lead with Borja Valero, who was ready to tap in when Gabriel slapped away a Joaquin cross from the right. The Spaniard had also scored in last season’s Viola victory at San Siro. At this goal, Adriano Galliani left his seat in the stands, as the crisis at Milan is escalating.

Riccardo Saponara had the chance to get the Rossoneri right back into it, but ballooned Ignazio Abate’s cross over the bar.

Matos drilled wide of the upright and the fans vented their frustration, including a banner pointing out they had warned this team needed a defender and midfielder rather than another striker.

Milan: Gabriel; Abate, Zaccardo, Zapata, Constant; Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari (Saponara 68); Kaka, Balotelli, Birsa (Niang 57)

Fiorentina: Neto; Tomovic, Savic, Rodriguez, Pasqual; Aquilani, Borja Valero, Ambrosini (Vecino 33); Matos (Olivera 91), Rossi (Joaquin 68), Vargas

Ref: Mazzoleni

Serie A: AC Milan vs. Fiorentina - lineups
2.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Gabriel; Abate, Zaccardo, Zapata, Constant; Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Kaka, Balotelli, Birsa.

AC Milan bench: Amelia, Abbiati, Robinho, Saponara, Matri, Poli, Cristante, Emanuelson, Vergara, Niang.

Fiorentina: Neto; Tomovic, Savic, Rodriguez, Pasqual; Aquilani, Borja Valero, Ambrosini; Matos, Rossi, Vargas.

Fiorentina bench: Lupatelli, Munua, Alonso, Roncaglia, Compper, Rebic, Joaquin, Vecino, Wolski, Iakovenko, Olivera.

Pizarro escapes serious injury
2.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Pizarro’s injury is not as serious as first feared, but he still misses tonight’s Milan-Fiorentina.

The midfielder has not made the trip to San Siro, as he picked up a muscular problem in the 2-1 defeat to Napoli and has still not recovered.

The Chile international had tests today and Fiorentina confirmed there were no lesions, so it is not a serious strain.

It is hoped Pizarro will be available for next week’s games.

Gattuso: 'Allegri is not dead yet'
2.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso insists under-fire Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri “is not dead in the water” and has advice for Mario Balotelli.

The former Rossoneri midfielder spoke to the Corriere della Sera about the current calcio scene, having been fired as Coach of Serie B team Palermo.

“If Allegri’s bench is starting to creak, then the club will do everything possible to stabilise it. He is not dead in the water, so I wouldn’t assume he’s done for.

“Kaka is no longer the player he was in 2007, but he remains an example for everyone. Today Milan need tranquillity, but instead people just talk about hairstyles and earrings when things go wrong.

“As for Balotelli, he needs to be looked after more. On the other hand, he does damage on Twitter and I don’t understand that. The problem is with this generation of young people, not just him.”

If Milan are cut out of the Scudetto race, then Gattuso is confident it won’t be a three-horse race between Roma, Juventus and Napoli.

“I wouldn’t underestimate Fiorentina and Inter, seeing as it is still a long season. Vincenzo Montella adopted a Spanish approach, the club lets him get on with his work and that also helps him to deal with setbacks.

“Without taking anything away from Andrea Stramaccioni, Inter players have a different glint in their eyes this year.

“As for Roma, it’s laughable when people say Gervinho is a surprise, as he was the best player at Lille for three years. Daniele De Rossi is playing at the same level as the 2006 World Cup and what more can we say about Francesco Totti?”

Fiorentina: 'No Cuadrado justice'
2.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina general manager Sandro Mencucci warned “the sporting justice system needs reformation” after Juan Cuadrado’s ban.

The player received a second yellow card for simulation in the 2-1 defeat to Napoli, when replays clearly show he was kicked in the shin by Gokhan Inler.

Not only were the Viola denied a penalty in the final minutes, but the red card also means Cuadrado will be suspended for tonight’s Serie A game with Milan.

Fiorentina lodged an appeal, but it was rejected because the current rules do not allow for such sanctions to be overturned using video evidence.

“Obviously we are very disappointed,” Mencucci told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It is clear for all to see that there was an injustice towards Cuadrado. The suspension just adds insult to injury.

“Everyone admitted it was a mistake, from the refereeing designator Stefano Braschi to the official involved. Nobody asked to replay the game, as that would’ve been ridiculous, but it is not acceptable that there’s no way to make up for such an obvious error.

“If we are faced with a mistake that has been confirmed by everyone – in good faith – and we can’t avoid further unjust punishment then it means the sporting justice system is out of step with the times.

“The system is dated and needs reformation,” continued the Fiorentina general manager.

“We lodged the appeal above all to stimulate an act of courage, a decision that could’ve brought us back to the reality of what happened. That courage was lacking, so there was no justice.

“We’ve been discussing for some time the need to change the rules on video evidence, as the current regulations are out-dated, but nothing ever happens.

“This could’ve been the right moment for the system to show a sign of modernity and courage. We saw neither.”

Ambrosini in, Pizarro out
1.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini has recovered to face his old club Milan, but Fiorentina miss David Pizarro and Juan Cuadrado.

The Serie A fixture kicks off at 19.45 GMT on Saturday.

There had been some doubts over whether Ambrosini would be fit to face his former teammates, but the veteran midfielder is included.

However, Pizarro, Marko Bakic and Mati Fernandez are out of action.

Pizarro will undergo tests for a muscular problem at the back of his left leg, while Bakic sprained his ankle in today’s training session.

Fernandez had tests that ruled out a muscular lesion, but he is still not capable of playing.

Cuadrado sits out a one-match ban, but Fiorentina could lodge a new emergency appeal against his second yellow card for simulation.

It’s possible this will postpone the ban until after the Milan game.

Fiorentina squad for Milan: Alonso, Ambrosini, Aquilani, Borja, Compper, Iakovenko, Joaquin, Lupatelli, Munua, Neto, Olivera, Pasqual, Rebic, Rodriguez, Roncaglia, Rossi, Ryder, Savic, Tomovic, Vargas, Vecino, Wolski.

Montella hopes to come back with win
1.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vincenzo Montella wants his Fiorentina side to bounce back from their defeat to Napoli, as they prepare to face Milan tomorrow.

The Viola go to San Siro on Saturday looking to avenge their loss to the Partenopei in midweek.

The Coach though, knows his men have areas to improve upon if they are to defeat the Rossoneri.

“Nobody said that getting into the Champions League should be our goal,” he told a Press conference.

“We just want to always give our best and try to entertain people – for me that is the most important thing.

“But everyone recognises that we have to improve at the back, and that starts from the front.

“We have to react after a defeat, but football is like that. Sometimes the game is unfair, but you have to get on with it.”

The tactician then commented on Massimo Ambrosini’s bid to be fit for the game, as well as Juan Cuadrado’s unsuccessful appeal against his red card.

“Ambrosini still has not been able to train with the rest of the squad. We’ll try and get him fit, but it’s going to be hard.

“I remain perplexed by Cuadrado’s red card.”

Seedorf: I was mistranslated
1.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf has insisted that he was ‘mistranslated’ after an interview suggested on Thursday that he left Milan because of Max Allegri.

Speaking to SporTv in Brazil, the former Rossoneri midfielder was supposed to have hit out at the Coach, claiming he was the reason for his departure last summer.

But today the 37-year-old has claimed that was not the case.

“The translation was wrong,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “My comments were not take as they were said.

“I hope Allegri does well, and I want to see Milan do well.

“I never wanted to attack the Coach or the club at this particular time. I am sorry if I have created any sort of controversy.

“I was simply responding to questions in which I explained why I chose to leave Milan. If my explanation was seen as an attack on Allegri, then I apologise.

“I respected the decisions made by Allegri, and decided to leave the club.”

De Sciglio out of Fiorentina clash
1.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have named their 21-man squad for the game against Fiorentina tomorrow, and will be without Mattia De Sciglio.

The defender has been left out of the list to face the Viola on Saturday after picking up an injury in training this afternoon.

It is unclear how long the young full-back will be sidelined for, but he will definitely miss the match at San Siro tomorrow.

Milan squad to face Fiorentina: Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel, Abate, Constant, Vergara, Zaccardo, Zapata, Birsa, Cristante, Emanuelson, De Jong, Kakà, Montolivo, Muntari, Poli, Saponara, Balotelli, Matri, Niang, Robinho.

Ambrosini: AC Milan don't miss me
1.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini doesn’t think Milan have any regrets about letting him go at the end of his contract in the summer.

The midfielder, after almost 20 years with the Diavolo, was shown the door and opted for a new adventure with Fiorentina.

“I don’t think they miss me,” the 36-year-old told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “Nigel De Jong is always the best on the pitch, with Ricardo Montolivo or Sulley Muntari.

“I don’t see why they would have any regrets. They are behind in the standings, but they remain a great club and a great squad.”

Milan will actually entertain Fiorentina in Serie A on Saturday evening.

“I’d do anything to be part of the game,” said the man struggling with injury. “But not to prove anything. I would just like to play to help Fiorentina.

“Joining Fiorentina was a challenge for me. There are few clubs in Italy with real ideas and the Viola are one of them.”

Allegri looks to Kaka
1.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri will be looking to Kaka to inspire them to victory over Fiorentina on Saturday.

The Brazilian shined as the Diavolo disappointed in the draw with Lazio this week and Allegri has confirmed he’ll again start at the San Siro.

“Kaka will play from the first minute tomorrow,” he stated. “He’s doing well, he’s growing. In his head he has the strength and desire to be a great champion again.

“Kaka is a great who can help his teammates grow. Off the pitch he is an example to all – he’s educated, meticulous, serious and very tied to this club.”

The Italian giants are in need of the points seeing as they are already 13 points away from the Champions League zone and 18 shy of leaders Roma.

“We are off the pace in the League, but we must not go through moments of euphoria as after the match against Barcelona and moments of depression after the match with Parma,” the boss continued.

“We have to stay motivated because there are 28 games to go and our goal is to get one point more than last year. From tomorrow we will have to start winning.

“The boys do not have to blame themselves for anything, it is not easy to reboot every time you make a half mistake and get punished, but we have to.

“We played well against Lazio until they scored their goal. We had a bad 10 minutes which we could have handled better, but there are a lot of matches to go so we will see where we get to.”

The Fiorentina tie could be tasty given that the two sides took each other on for the last remaining Champions League spot last term.

“Matches end and life goes on, I have put Fiorentina behind me, last year was a good battle until the last minute so to recall what happened does not help.

“Tomorrow will be a beautiful game, we will be angry but they will be too, both teams want to win so we need to watch out.

“Fiorentina played a great match against Napoli and they are built to get into the top three. But tomorrow we will have the opportunity to close things up a bit in the table.

“Massimo Ambrosini is now at Fiorentina? I thank Ambrosini for his professionalism and seriousness. He is a part of Milan’s history. A great man and player.”

Allegri, who added that Gabriel would play in goal and that Mattia De Sciglio could start, also responded to Clarence Seedorf’s criticism of him yesterday.

“The Milan bench causes great pressure to those who do not have it. Seedorf played when I decided that he needed to. Full stop.”

Cuadrado will miss AC Milan trip
1.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As expected, Fiorentina have failed in their appeal against the red card handed to Juan Cuadrado in the loss against Napoli.

The Viola had attempted to get the dismissal rescinded in order to have him available for the Milan game on Saturday.

Cuadrado was wrongly given a second yellow card for diving, when replays in fact showed he should have been awarded a penalty in the 2-1 loss.

The sporting judge has today ruled that the Viola’s appeal was inadmissible, thus the Colombian’s automatic one-match ban remains valid.

Torino eye Nocerino loan
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Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino is on the transfer wish-list of Torino boss Giampiero Ventura, reports Tuttosport.

The Turin daily suggests that the Granata could ask the Diavolo to loan them the player for six months when the transfer window opens in January.

The Italian international has appeared in nine games so far this season for the Diavolo, but he’s been limited to just 404 minutes of action.

Nocerino is in his third season at San Siro after leaving Palermo for just €500,000. He’s also played for Juventus and Piacenza in his career.

Baresi and Batistuta in Hall of Fame
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Source: Football Italia

Franco Baresi, Gabriel Batistuta, Fabio Capello and Massimo Moratti are among the new entries to the Italian Football Hall of Fame.

The nominations were chosen by a committee of journalists for the Federation’s Museum of Calcio.

The full list of entries are Baresi (Italian Player), Batistuta (Foreign Player), Capello (Italian Coach), Moratti (Italian Director), Cesare Gussoni and Sergio Gonnella (Italian Referees), Gianni Rivera (Italian Veteran) and Eraldo Monzeglio (Memorial Trophy).

The timing is particularly special for Moratti, who could step down as Inter President next month after selling 70 per cent of the club to Indonesian investor Erick Thohir.

The protagonists will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony on December 2 in Florence.

The Hall of Fame was created in December 2011 to celebrate the most representative and emblematic figures of Italian football.

Already inducted are the likes of Michel Platini, Paolo Maldini, Marco Van Basten, Roberto Baggio, Marcello Lippi, Arrigo Sacchi, Giovanni Trapattoni, Dino Zoff and Gigi Riva.

Shevchenko: 'AC Milan is my home'
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Source: Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko is back in Rossoneri colours after visiting his old club. “Milan feels like my home.”

The Ukrainian was at San Siro for last night’s 1-1 draw with Lazio and watched the game with former teammate Paolo Maldini.

“It is always a marvellous sensation to be here,” Sheva told Milan Channel at the training ground today.

“Milan feels like my home. Milanello hasn’t changed much and it’s great to be back among friends.

“I am taking a course to become a Coach and studying a little here too. I spoke to Coach Massimiliano Allegri, a chat that will serve me very well in future.

“I often speak to my former teammates, such as Ricky Kaka, Pippo Inzaghi and Rino Gattuso. Many of us are retiring, so we’re starting new lives.”

While Kaka scored a goal in last night’s game, Inzaghi is now Coach of the Milan Primavera youth team and Gattuso was recently fired as Coach of Serie B side Palermo.

“I want to thank the fans for their chants yesterday at the stadium. They are always in my heart and every time I come back here it’s like diving into my memories.

“We deserved to win last night and I’m happy for Kaka’s goal, as he deserves it. The team can do better, but this is just a passing phase.

“Time passes, but Kaka is always the same: concentrated and enthusiastic. He gave a great deal to football and deserves to get a lot back. You always have fun with him on the field.”

Shevchenko scored 162 goals for Milan in 303 matches and is in the history books of the club.

“Of course being compared to greats like Marco Van Basten and Gunnar Nordahl is pleasing. All these champions wrote the history of international football and were also an example for youngsters. Seeing what Milan have won must motivate everyone who comes here.

“The fondest memory of my career is the Champions League Final victory over Juventus. That will remain indelibly marked in my thoughts as one of my happiest moments.”

Seedorf 'left AC Milan because of Allegri'
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Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf reveals he “left Milan because of Massimiliano Allegri. It will take time for them to get back to the top.”

The midfielder spoke to Brazilian television station SporTv and launched a scathing attack on his former Coach.

“The reason I left Milan, without doubt, was because of their current Coach Allegri,” said Seedorf.

“The rapport with him was not the best, as we didn’t get along. He made me play the big games like those against Barcelona or Juventus, then would keep me out for another four. I had been accustomed to always playing.

“When we won the Scudetto I thought I gave my contribution, especially towards the end of the season. Milan had players who remained even once they got older. From the outside it might’ve looked as if I was not 100 per cent fit, but at my age you have to keep playing regularly to maintain your muscles.

“Examples are Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, who continued playing, but Allegri wouldn’t allow me to. It was a shame.”

Seedorf has repeatedly been linked with Allegri’s job on the Milan bench and did nothing to silence those rumours.

“Milan are renewing now, have less quality and it will take time for them to get back to the top. I have almost completed my course as a Coach, so I’m preparing, but there’s nothing concrete yet. My real desire is to continue playing football.”

Kaka: First AC Milan then Brazil
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Source: Football Italia

Kaka is hoping to use his summer return to Milan as a springboard for World Cup 2014 selection.

The Brazilian was netted on a free transfer from Real Madrid in late August and shined in the 1-1 draw with Lazio last night.

“I’m disappointed with the result,” he told Mediaset. “My goal could have been so much more important.

“I hope to score other goals which are worth three points.

“My form? I must still improve under certain aspects, but I’m happy with my evolution from my ‘debut’ at Torino to here.

“I thank Milan for this second opportunity and I want to do well in order to have a great World Cup in Brazil.”

Although the attacking midfielder impressed at San Siro, Milan were jeered after a result which leaves them in tenth place – already 13 points adrift of the Champions League zone.

“It is hard to imagine a Champions League without Milan in it, I certainly hope we qualify,” he added.

“The good thing is that there are still a lot of games to play and plenty to work on.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:1 Lazio - Kaka goal (VIDEO)
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