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The Archive

May 2009

Kaka: Thank you, Ancelotti
31.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka, David Beckham and Gianluca Zambrotta have paid tribute to Carlo Ancelotti and welcome new boss Leonardo.

“It has been a very emotional day with the last games for Paolo Maldini and Ancelotti,” said Kaka after the 2-0 victory at Fiorentina.

“Ancelotti is someone I am very close to after these six years together at Milan. I am grateful for all he has done for me and all the lessons I learned.

“He gave me the opportunity to be known as a player on the world stage and I won so much with his guidance. I wish him all the best for everything.”

It has already been confirmed that the new Coach for next season is current technical director and talent scout Leonardo.

“Tomorrow there will be this Press conference to present a person who’ll lead Milan to many victories,” concluded Kaka.

Teammate Zambrotta has worked with Ancelotti at both San Siro and Juventus, so he was particularly moved by the departure.

“I thank him for all the wonderful years I spent with him at Juventus and Milan. He is an extraordinary person, has won everything and I wish him all the best for his future,” said the World Cup winner.

Beckham paid almost $10m out of his own pocket to extend his Milan loan spell past March and now returns to LA Galaxy until the MLS season ends in November.

“We will see what happens and I hope to return very soon,” said Becks. “I thank everybody who was so fantastic in making me feel part of the team from the first minute I got here.

“With Ancelotti leaving Milan it is the end of an era, but wherever he goes, the club will be fortunate to have him as a manager.”

Ancelotti has been eager to point out nothing is official, but his move to Chelsea is expected within days, if not hours.

31.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti has announced he is leaving Milan this summer "by mutual consent,” and is replaced by Leonardo.

“In agreement with the club we have decided to terminate the contract a year early from the 2010 expiry,” he said after the 2-0 victory at Fiorentina secured automatic entry into the Champions League.

“My wonderful experience with this side ends today. I thank all the players, directors, fans and everyone involved.

“I think it ends in the right way and is probably the right choice for both of us. The respect and affection remains with all the people who over the years participated in this adventure.”

The split has been on the cards for some time, but Ancelotti continued to insist he had not lied when he said he was “100 per cent” sure of staying.

“We spoke about it after the game with Vice-President Adriano Galliani and President Silvio Berlusconi. We decided together to make this decision without problems. We part in sync and with no disagreements.”

He is expected to join Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, especially after writing in his book about a meeting with Roman Abramovich.

“I cannot officialise my future because I do not have an agreement with any other club.”

President Berlusconi did not always support his Coach in public, but again Ancelotti refused to criticise the patron.

“I have great respect and love for President Berlusconi. We've had a few disagreements over the years, but this is the day to thank him for eight wonderful years of my career.

“He let me spend nearly a decade at the helm of a great club that was at the top of world football, so my gratitude goes beyond the odd phone call.

“The decisions were made at the end of this season. It was a complicated campaign and we left it two months ago with the agreement we'd make the decision after the final game. That's what we did.

“I hope you'll know what my future is soon. London is not necessarily the guaranteed next stop.”

Meanwhile, Milan have confirmed that current technical director Leonardo is the new Coach and will hold a Press conference on Monday afternoon.

Galliani: AC Milan should do better
31.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani admits if Milan lose at Fiorentina and miss out on automatic Champions League qualification, “it will be a disappointment.”

The Rossoneri must avoid a defeat by two clear goals in order to go straight into the tournament without going through the preliminary round.

“If we finish second then we'd be extremely happy, because if Juventus don't beat Lazio then that's up for grabs too,” said the general manager.

“If we finish third then we'll be happy, but if we end up fourth then it will be a disappointment.”

Many expect Carlo Ancelotti to leave for Chelsea next week, regardless of where the Rossoneri end up after the game with Fiorentina.

“In any case, gambling for such an important result in the final round means a team like Milan has not done enough,” continued Galliani.

“This club should resolve certain problems beforehand. I remain confident that Milan will reach the Champions League directly.”

Ancelotti said his players are at an advantage because they are accustomed to the pressure of a Final, but Galliani won't take it that far.

“It is an important game, but a Champions League Final is quite another. Anyone who says that has never experienced a Final. Let us not mix the sacred with the profane.”

Fans have criticised the club for some poor transfer decisions and this week Yoann Gourcuff was sold to Bordeaux for £13m after spending the season there on loan.

“We were accused of a bad buy when we got him, now we made a bad sale,” mused the transfer guru.

“It's a shame he has gone, although we did pay £2m for him and sold for £13m. I tried to convince him to return to Milan, but he was not sure of a starting spot here and really wanted to play regularly in the year leading up to the World Cup.

“In any case, I'd have preferred to keep Gourcuff and forego the £13m.”

Maldini has Barcelona job offer
31.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paolo Maldini plays his 1,041st and final match today, but reportedly has an offer to work for Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.

The Milan defender made his Serie A debut on January 20 1985 at the age of 16 and this afternoon faces Fiorentina.

Including internationals and all club competition, Maldini has played 1,041 games over 24 years and will hang up his boots this weekend.

He has said he does not want to become a Coach when he retires, but there is an option to carry on in La Liga.

Barcelona Coach Guardiola dedicated the Champions League trophy to Maldini in Rome's Stadio Olimpico.

Guardiola has offered him the opportunity to work at the Nou Camp, “he is the greatest European player over the past 20 years.”

Maldini already has insider knowledge, as his former teammate Demetrio Albertini already played at Barcelona.

Beckham: I paid $10m for AC Milan stay
31.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham says he won’t follow Carlo Ancelotti to Chelsea, but reveals he paid around $10m to stay at Milan this season.

“I don't think that's a possibility, to be quite honest,” he told the LA Times when asked about the Stamford Bridge move.

“At the end of the day, I'm still contracted to the Galaxy. I'll be coming back July 11 to start training and then to finish the MLS season.

“But it's always nice to be wanted, and Carlo has been amazing to me since I've come to Milan, to play me in as many games as he has. I'm very thankful to him for that.”

Although there is no contract to return to Milan next term, Beckham has a basic deal with them to come back to San Siro once he is free from his MLS duties in November.

“Nothing has been signed yet, and nothing's concrete. But obviously Milan have already showed their interest in me coming back, so that's a good sign.”

He also revealed a closer look at the figure he paid out of his own pocket to remain in Serie A beyond the original March loan deadline, as the MLS claims it was around $10m.

“I'm not sure what the actual figure was, but I did contribute quite a huge sum. It was something that I felt I had to do to stay here for the rest of the season, and I accepted it. At the end of the day, it's a hell of a lot of money, but it's something I really needed to do.”

Becks was asked if failure to qualify for the Champions League would affect his decision, as Milan must avoid defeat by two clear goals at Fiorentina on Sunday if they are to enter the competition directly.

“No, I don't think so. The level of play, wherever I play, is more important than a Champions League spot, but it would be very disappointing as a Milan player at the moment to not be in the Champions League.”

Pirlo and Seedorf in Essien swap?
31.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Newspapers suggest Milan will only hand Andrea Pirlo and Clarence Seedorf over to Chelsea in exchange for Michael Essien.

If Carlo Ancelotti is to replace Guus Hiddink on the Stamford Bridge bench next season, it is believed he will try to bring Pirlo and Seedorf with him.

While the Dutchman’s contract expires in 2011 and at age 33 he can no longer attract a huge bid, the same cannot be said of World Cup winner Pirlo.

According to Italian newspapers this morning, Milan value the Azzurri midfielder at around £18m, but would be willing to accept a player exchange.

Expected new Coach Leonardo is eager to bring Ghana star Essien to San Siro and the versatile 26-year-old would be the ideal figure in this swap deal.

Essien would be able to play wide midfield or take the same Pirlo position in front of the defence, bringing more pace and grit to the side.

There is the issue of his non-EU status, as Brazilian defender Thiago Silva has already taken up one spot in Milan’s squad.

This means there is only one new non-EU member allowed into the team next season, so another potential buy – Brazilian Hernanes – would have to be sacrificed.

Fiorentina 0:2 AC Milan - match report
31.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Kaka 55 (M), Pato 76 (M)

There was joy all round, as Milan reached the Champions League, waved goodbye to Paolo Maldini and Fiorentina fans still celebrated an impressive fourth place.

So much was at stake in this final round, as a win with two clear goals would send the Viola into the Champions League directly, pushing the Rossoneri into the preliminary round. It was also Paolo Maldini's final match and the Stadio Franchi crowd prepared a tribute to him before kick-off.

Alessandro Nesta returned to the squad for only the second time this season, but was not fit to play. Massimo Ambrosini sat out a ban with the sidelined Christian Abbiati, Marco Borriello, Kakha Kaladze and Daniele Bonera. Fiorentina had Felipe Melo and Dario Dainelli suspended, plus Adrian Mutu, Mario Alberto Santana, Sergio Almiron and Emiliano Bonazzoli injured.

Milan were undefeated in Florence since November 20 2005, but came face to face with their former flop Alberto Gilardino. It was Gila who had the first chance with a scuffed left-foot finish, but Marek Jankulovski's snapshot took a double deflection to skim the upright.

Franco Semioli nodded a Manuel Pasqual cross off target and Gilardino's header also skimmed the target, but on 24 minutes Mathieu Flamini's screamer thumped the top of the crossbar.

Sebastien Frey got down to parry a Gianluca Zambrotta snapshot. There was controversy on 41 minutes when Gilardino fell under pressure from Giuseppe Favalli, but the referee had a very clear view and waved away penalty appeals.

Jankulovski fired another promising shot over the bar, but Zambrotta needed some desperate defending after Nelson Dida hesitated in coming off his line.

There was a scare on 47 minutes when a Frey goal kick was knocked down for Gilardino, whose shot with the outside of his right foot shaved a coat of paint off the far post.

Milan broke the deadlock with a potentially decisive goal this season. Alessandro Gamberini did very well to stop Pippo Inzaghi connecting with the cross from six yards, but the clearance turned into an assist for Kaka right behind them.

Now Fiorentina needed to score three goals to reach third place. A chaotic move nearly made it 2-0, as Inzaghi tried to set up David Beckham, then dribbled between three Viola jerseys to drill over under pressure from Gamberini.

Pato scored the only goal when these two teams last met and he was on target again. The Duck sprung the offside trap on Kaka's through ball and waltzed round defenders to chip Frey.

In stoppages the Stadio Franchi gave a standing ovation to Maldini as he left the pitch for the last time and was buried in embraces from his teammates. Alessandro Nesta also made his debut this season after back problems.

OFFICIAL: Gourcuff signs for Bordeaux
28.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

French midfielder starlet Yoann Gourcuff has left Milan to sign for Bordeaux, the Ligue 1 side have announced.

Gourcuff arrived at Milan in 2007 from Rennes and was touted as the new Zinedine Zidane.

The talented playmaker didn't have many chances to prove himself and was sent out on loan to Bordeaux.

As part of the agreement, Bordeaux were given the right to make the deal permanent for £15m.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani admitted that he hoped the French outfit wouldn't take that option, but it has been confirmed that Gourcuff is now 100 per cent a Bordeaux player.

Gourcuff has signed a four-year deal and will try and build his career in his homeland.

“I am very happy to continue my adventure that I started with the Girondins,” he enthused.

“I had been thinking about this decision all season and we have created an agreement that suits all parties.

“I would like to thank the directors on both sides for allowing this transfer and I am ready to accept this new challenge.”

Chelsea to pounce for Pirlo
28.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo could follow Carlo Ancelotti to Chelsea this summer.

Ancelotti has been widely tipped to leave San Siro for Stamford Bridge after a disappointing campaign.

And it is now being suggested that Azzurri ace Pirlo may also make the journey to England.

La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that the directors at Milan have been contacted by their Chelsea counterparts and have placed a £20m price tag on Pirlo.

The 30-year-old is under contract with the Diavolo until 2012 but he may see this as a good chance for a fresh start.

Pirlo was close to joining Real Madrid back in 2006, but President Silvio Berlusconi intervened to prevent the transfer.

AC Milan make Toni call
27.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's links with Bayern Munich striker Luca Toni are intensifying after a phone call between Ariedo Braida and the Azzurri striker.

Toni has enjoyed a successful spell in the Bundesliga since leaving Fiorentina in the summer of 2007.

But the 32-year-old has always admitted that he would welcome a return to his homeland when the right opportunity presents itself.

That opportunity may be a move to Milan this summer as the Rossoneri look to strengthen for their return to the Champions League.

The Diavolo came within a whisker of signing Toni when he joined Bayern and are still keen to have him on board.

According to the Italian Press, Milan transfer guru Braida spoke to Toni at length yesterday to discuss a possible transfer to San Siro.

Toni's position at Bayern has been somewhat compromised by the arrival of German international Mario Gomez, who is a similar player to the giant ex-Modena man.

With a summer of changes expected at Milan, Toni could be the first signing of the post-Carlo Ancelotti era.

However, Toni has also been linked with Juventus, who are preparing for the departure of David Trezeguet.

Galliani: Silence is the best weapon
27.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has explained to Paolo Maldini why the club has refused to condemn the protests against him.

The 40-year-old stopper made his farewell appearance at San Siro last weekend in a 3-2 defeat against Roma.

The occasion was marred as a small section of the crowd booed and chanted the name of former captain Franco Baresi, but the club have refused to make a statement, which has angered Maldini.

“Dear Paolo, I understand your bitterness,” Galliani's open reply to the veteran reads.

“But I made the decision not stay silent not just because that was the advice I received but because I think silence is the best weapon.

“We don't want to give any more attention to the conduct that we saw on Sunday,” he concluded.

AC Milan fret over Gourcuff
27.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani reportedly flew to France on Monday to meet with Yoann Gourcuff and discuss his future.

The 22-year-old is currently on loan at Bordeaux where he has established himself as one of the finest players in Europe.

Written into the terms of Gourcuff's loan deal is a clause that gives Bordeaux the right to buy him for £15m.

That right expires on May 31, which is next Sunday, and Bordeaux have every intention of exercising it.

Gourcuff has to consent, though, and Milan want to know if there is any chance he will return to San Siro.

The France international is apparently seeking assurances that he will play on a regular basis in Rossonero.

Gourcuff had much publicised problems with Carlo Ancelotti in his first two seasons with Milan.

If Ancelotti were to leave this summer, Gourcuff would apparently find the prospect of moving back to Italy much more appealing.

Crucially Galliani was joined on his trip to France by Leonardo, who is reportedly being lined up to replace Ancelotti.

La Gazzetta dello Sport believes the Brazilian was there to smooth the way and discuss next season with the player.

Gourcuff has scored 15 goals in 52 matches for Bordeaux this season, inspiring them to the top of the table.

Maldini upset with AC Milan
27.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paolo Maldini, the legendary defender, is upset Milan decided not to condemn protests made against him at San Siro on Sunday.

The 40-year-old was making one final appearance in front of his home fans before retiring at the end of this season.

Instead of receiving a hero's send off, Maldini was greeted with a banner that read: “Thanks captain. On the pitch you were an undying champion but you had no respect for those who made you rich.”

A banner commemorating Franco Baresi was also unveiled, indicating the fans' belief that he and not Maldini is the club's favourite ever captain.

“I really don't know [why they ruined the party],” Maldini told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I have always been straight, following my ideals, respecting everybody.

“I have not frequented the areas where the fans go, but not because I'm a snob, for I always have to show something because of the surname I carry.

“I only wanted to be judged for what I did on the pitch. There are some who can see this as a form of respect towards the fans and the club.

“There are also others who can interpret this attitude as a discourtesy,” Maldini explained.

When asked to explain what has disappointed him the most, Maldini replied: “The club's silence. I didn't like the fact they chose not to take a position.

“There hasn't even been a comment. From the President down, not one director said a word. I may be an idealist, but I believe that a club like Milan should dissociate itself from certain events.”

Maldini himself responded very quickly to the protesters, telling the Italian Press: “I am proud not to be one of them.”

“It was an instinctive reaction, and so perhaps a mistake,” he said. “I was an injured man. I didn't have the possibility to think it through.

“It was a response to an action that had been premeditated for days, months and perhaps years. I am a man with feelings and weaknesses,” he concluded.

Maldini will call time on his career this weekend, having won 26 majors trophies in a career spanning a quarter of a century.

Gilardino eyes AC Milan revenge
27.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Gilardino can’t wait to take revenge on Milan this Sunday. “They didn’t believe in me any more.”

The striker joined from Parma for around £20m in 2005, but was deeply unpopular with the fans and after spending time on the bench was sold to Fiorentina last summer.

“I was very sad at how my last year with the Rossoneri ended. I did not receive enough support from the club, nor the Coach.

“In March I had already got the impression they decided I was no longer an important part of the team. When it became clear they didn’t believe in me anymore, I realised it was the time to leave.”

Now they come face to face again with the Viola ready to snatch that automatic Champions League qualifying spot if they win by two clear goals.

“It would be the icing on the cake to beat Milan and reach the Champions League proper in one fell swoop,” grinned Gila.

“It is wonderful to be here fighting for a prestigious target like third place on the final day of the season.

“It would be a dream to win and go straight into the tournament, so I and my teammates will do everything we can to achieve it.”

Ancelotti: Do you want me, Milan?
27.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti reveals in his autobiography that he signed for Real Madrid in 2006 and Chelsea may have to wait. “If Milan ask me to, then I will stay.”

The Coach presented his autobiography to the Press today and there were some intriguing revelations in the book, ‘Preferisco la Coppa’ – I prefer the Cup.

“It looks back over my career, first as a player and then a manager,” explained Carletto.

“In 2006 I had said yes to Real Madrid and signed a pre-contract agreement lasting three years, worth 15m Euros. Milan opposed it, so we let it slide.

“The Spaniards wanted The Best, because the title Special One had already been taken. Jose Mourinho had dubbed himself that nickname.”

That is not the only mention of Mourinho and of Inter, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic also receives a nod after he went back on a move to Milan in the summer of 2006 because he wouldn’t wait and see if they won the Champions League preliminary round.

“Mourinho is a great communicator, the Man In The Know, an immense provocateur, a special Coach who never needs to ask.”

As for Ibra, “he lacked the courage to wait and see. Haste does not pay dividends, but Massimo Moratti does.”

The final chapter of the book is curiously on Chelsea’s proposal to come to Stamford Bridge – an offer he still insists he hasn’t decided on.

“Abramovich and I together, I’d say there are worse things. The worst was already behind him, having worked with His Specialty Mourinho.”

Ancelotti also thanked the clubs who had tried to sign him over the years, including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Fenerbahce.

However, in the Press conference he put his future firmly in the hands of Milan President Silvio Berlusconi.

“If the club asks me to, then I will stay. Milan are the ones who will decide and I’ll meet with them on Monday, once the season is over.

“I can certainly add that the result we get in Florence will not influence the decision.”

On Sunday afternoon the Rossoneri gamble with their Champions League automatic qualification in a head-to-head with Fiorentina.

If they lose by two clear goals, Milan will end the campaign in fourth place and have to go through the preliminary round.

Shevchenko is 'Chelsea's Trojan horse'
26.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that Andriy Shevchenko has played an important role in Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti's talks with Chelsea.

It is widely believed that Ancelotti will leave the Rossoneri at the end of the season to take the Stamford Bridge hot seat.

An announcement is expected at the end of the season but the club are remaining tight-lipped.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Chelsea-owned striker Shevchenko has been a crucial mediator and translator between Ancelotti and Blues owner Roman Abramovich.

The Russian tycoon may have used Sheva as a middleman in order to keep his intentions quiet.

Shevchenko has spent the season on loan at San Siro but he may return to London with Carletto this summer.

Ancelotti is under contract with Milan until 2010, but he is expected to sign a three-year deal with Chelsea worth around £5m per season.

Totti angry at Maldini insults
26.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Francesco Totti has hit out at the fans who booed Milan legend Paolo Maldini during his final home game.

After a glorious 25-year career with the Rossoneri, Maldini has decided to hang up his boots this summer.

But the stopper's swansong didn't go according to plan as a section of the Curva Sud displayed an inflammatory banner and chanted the name of former captain Franco Baresi after a 3-2 defeat against Roma.

“Things in calcio need to change,” Roma talisman Totti wrote in the Corriere dello Sport.

“There is a lack of values and respect in the game. What happened to Maldini on Sunday is a sign of the negative phase the sport is going through.

“Paolo has always been a role model for us players. Nothing can justify what happened to a player who has worn the same shirt for 900 games.

“I completely understand his disappointment. Maldini deserves plaudits from everyone from the supporters to the directors and Coaches. It will be difficult for anyone to match his achievements.”

Abete upset by Maldini farewell
25.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italian Football Federation chief Giancarlo Abete has expressed his sadness at Paolo Maldini's less than ideal Milan send-off.

The veteran defender played his last game at San Siro against Roma yesterday, but the celebration didn't go according to plan.

After a 3-2 defeat, a small section of fans jeered and heckled with banners against Maldini and the directors.

“It was a shameful incident because Maldini deserves respect for what he is and has been,” Abete said in La Repubblica.

“It was something with no logic and it is impossible to understand. Anyway, we are planning to honour him with a friendly match.”

Maldini, who left the stadium visibly upset by events, is likely to be a team captain in a star-studded testimonial at the end of the season.

Zambrotta bitter at Roma loss
25.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan stopper Gianluca Zambrotta is “bitter and angry” after yesterday's defeat against Roma.

The Rossoneri lost 3-2 in a controversial game and marred Paolo Maldini's San Siro swansong.

Now Milan must bounce back and avoid a two-goal defeat by Fiorentina next weekend to ensure they automatically qualify for the Champions League.

“I am bitter and a bit angry,” Zambrotta growled when asked to review the game.

"A result like that is always painful and especially when it comes in such circumstances."

“But the Coach reminded us that we can still qualify directly for the Champions League.

“We have a whole week to prepare for the Fiorentina game and I'm sure it will be a week of suffering,” he concluded.

Silvio unsure of Ancelotti future
25.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi has stated that he “isn't sure” who will be on the Rossoneri bench next season.

The Diavolo lost to Roma yesterday and are ending a lacklustre season on a low.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti has been widely tipped to join Chelsea, leaving Milan to find a new leader.

“Milan haven't decided on their Coach for next year,” Berlusconi said on Radio Radio.

“Ancelotti is one of the family. He is a very hard-working person and we will sit down at a table when the season ends and make the best decision for everybody.

“Money is playing a big part in football these days. It is very hard to compete with the mega rich.

“And also in Spain the tax situation means that every £100m in wages is worth £130 or £140 in Italy.”

Beckham makes England list
25.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fabio Capello has selected Milan midfielder David Beckham in England's squad to face Kazakhstan and Andorra.

Beckham is preparing to return to Los Angeles Galaxy after his loan spell with the Rossoneri.

The former Manchester United man has done enough at San Siro to earn a place in the national side and he will be back in Europe on June 6 and 10 for World Cup 2010 qualifiers.

England (squad):
Goalkeepers: Scott Carson (West Bromwich Albion), Robert Green (West Ham United), Paul Robinson (Blackburn Rovers)
Defenders: Wayne Bridge (Manchester City), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), Joleon Lescott (Everton), Gary Neville (Manchester United), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham United)
Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), David Beckham (Milan / LA Galaxy), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Aston Villa)
Strikers: Carlton Cole (West Ham United), Peter Crouch (Portsmouth), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

Gourcuff rejects AC Milan
25.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Yoann Gourcuff has declared his intention to stay at Bordeaux when his loan deal expires.

The 22-year-old signed for the Rossoneri from Rennes in 2006 and was touted as the new Zinedine Zidane.

But after struggling to find space at San Siro, Gourcuff was sent back to Ligue 1 to play for Bordeaux on loan.

Yoann has dazzled fans this season and won the Player of the Season award and it seems that he isn't keen to return to San Siro in the summer.

“I want to stay with Bordeaux,” he stressed emphatically. “Now it's just up to the directors to come to an agreement.”

The terms of the loan state that Bordeaux have the right to make the deal permanent, but they will need to find around £12m - a sum they are unlikely to meet.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has stressed that he hopes to see Gourcuff in the Diavolo shirt next term.

Mexes savours AC Milan conquest
25.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma defender Philippe Mexes was delighted with the Giallorossi's victory at Milan and dedicated the win to the fans.

The Lupi have had a less than successful season, but they secured a place in next year's Europa League by stunning Milan 3-2.

“It was very pleasing to win in Milan and guarantee sixth place,” Mexes declared to the Roma Channel.

“Everyone played very well. Our thanks must go to the fans who have stuck by us even though we haven't had a great season.

“It is a pity that we haven't been able to show our ability more often because we played such a good game against a wonderful team.

“Hopefully we will have luck on our side next season because we can't afford to have so many negative incidents.”

Mexes concluded by tipping his hat to Milan veteran Paolo Maldini, for whom the defeat was a San Siro swansong.

“Maldini is an example to us all,” the French international asserted.

“He should be congratulated for everything he has done in his career. I would definitely have given him the Ballon d'Or at some stage because he certainly deserved one.”

Maldini slams AC Milan boo boys
25.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paolo Maldini’s final San Siro match was marred by a protest from the fans. “I’m proud not to be one of them.”

The captain was making his last appearance in the stadium, his 901st in official competition for Milan, as he will hang up his boots at the end of the season.

The game with Roma began with the entire stadium holding up banners hailing the symbol of the Rossoneri for the past 24 years.

However, as he went to perform a lap of honour after the final whistle, a small group in the Curva Sud staged a protest.

They held up banners and chanted the name of Franco Baresi, who wore the armband before Maldini took over in 1997.

“There is only one captain,” said these supporters. The reaction clearly irritated Maldini, who left the field without giving interviews.

As he left the arena he only made one comment to the media referring to these protestors.

“I am proud not to be one of them.”

There was tension at San Siro as President Silvio Berlusconi was in the stands to watch a 3-2 defeat to Roma, which leaves automatic Champions League qualification in the balance.

Many more protests and banners were aimed at the patron, who is accused of not spending wisely on the transfer market.

Ancelotti: Worst case scenario
25.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti admits Milan are going into “a worst case scenario” in the final day head-to-head with Fiorentina for third place.

The 3-2 home defeat to Roma - their second on the trot - and Fiorentina's 1-1 draw at Lecce means the last round will see only one of them go through automatically to the Champions League.

Juventus are in the competition already thanks to their superior head-to-head record against both the other sides.

“Unfortunately the situation we didn't want has happened, it's the worst case scenario and we have to go and finish off the job in Florence,” said Ancelotti.

“We wanted to sort it out today, but it will go down to the wire. It was within our grasp, yet we were superficial and naïve.”

It was meant to be a day of celebration for Milan on Paolo Maldini's final San Siro match, but even that was ruined as during his lap of honour after the final whistle a section of the fans staged a protest.

Members of the Curva Sud held up banners stating 'There is only one captain: Franco Baresi.'

“Maldini's celebration cannot be ruined because one tiny group protested, but it's a drop in the ocean of love and respect for this great man, so those few dissidents didn't change anything,” assured the Coach.

This defeat leaves Ancelotti hanging by a thread and even if he doesn't join Chelsea, it's increasingly unlikely he will remain on the Milan bench next season.

“As for my future, we will discuss it next Monday, there's nothing to talk about now.”

This week Jose Mourinho said Chelsea would do well with Ancelotti, but when asked about it the Milan boss did not bite.

“No, I don't have to thank him for anything.”

AC Milan 2:3 AS Roma - match report
24.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Riise 36 (R), Ambrosini 75, 81 (M), Menez 79 (R), Totti 84 (R)

It's all in the balance now as Milan risk losing automatic Champions League qualification after an epic 3-2 defeat to Roma.

It was all to play for and tensions were running high. The Rossoneri needed a win to ensure Champions League qualification, while the Giallorossi had to stave off competition for the final Europa League spot. Both Coaches refused to be drawn on their future and Paolo Maldini marked his final San Siro appearance in Serie A after 24 years.

Daniele De Rossi sat out a ban along with the injured Alexander Doni, Simone Perrotta, Christian Panucci, Cicinho, Alberto Aquilani and Max Tonetto. Milan's usual suspects Christian Abbiati, Marco Borriello and Kakha Kaladze were out. The home side wore their new 2009-10 jersey.

Roma had won their last two trips to San Siro, while a draw had not been registered since 2004. Mirko Vucinic threaded through for Rodrigo Taddei, whose angled drive was parried by Nelson Dida's legs at the near post.

Pippo Inzaghi was livid when Kaka's through ball had sent him clear, but he was stopped for an extremely tight offside decision. Soon after Matteo Brighi exchanged passes with Totti to drill just wide of the upright.

Inzaghi could only graze his forehead to a Kaka cross from the left, but Artur performed a stunning fingertip save to deny Alexandre Pato's angled drive after a pin-point cross-field David Beckham pass.

Roma took the lead on 36 minutes with a rocket from John Arne Riise. The free kick just outside the box was rolled across for his fierce strike into the top corner that Dida could do nothing about.

Milan went so close to an equaliser when Pato ran on to Beckham's cross and had beaten Artur, but Marco Motta bravely flung himself at the shot for a crucial goalline clearance.

Beckham picked up a knock and was replaced by Clarence Seedorf for the second half. Kaka was having a terrible day and repeatedly lost the ball in midfield.

Inzaghi wanted a penalty for a collision with Inzaghi in the Roma box, but the referee waved play on. The striker was furious, as Juan had slipped and was on the ground, but he lifted his leg as Inzaghi tried to go past and tripped up on the Brazilian's feet. It could easily have been a penalty.

Artur completely missed the ball and Andrea Pirlo drilled wide of the open goal, while the San Siro crowd murmured its displeasure as Carlo Ancelotti introduced Ronaldinho and Gianluca Zambrotta.

Kaka flashed a cross-shot across the face of goal and Taddei anticipated Ronaldinho on a Seedorf cutback. Artur flew to fingertip a Kaka screamer out from the far top corner on 68 minutes.

Ronaldinho dribbled past two men and chipped the cross for Massimo Ambrosini's header, which Artur again flapped away. The heat and tempo of the game at San Siro got to Marco Cassetti, who had to be substituted due to heatstroke.

It was a siege and Milan broke through eventually with Ambrosini. Artur had managed to parry the initial close-range strike from Inzaghi on Kaka's assist, but could do nothing on Ambro's follow-up.

However, they were going for the victory and left themselves completely unbalanced. Jeremy Menez ran on to Riise's smart ball and placed an angled drive into the far corner past Dida.

The lead lasted all of one minute, as Kaka's first-time pass into the centre with the inside of his right foot found Ambrosini only just in play to tap in unmarked from six yards.

It all turned around again soon after, as Pizarro touched a free kick for Francesco Totti, whose right-foot screamer beat Dida at the far bottom corner to restore Roma's advantage, 3-2 at San Siro.

There was controversy late on when Zambrotta wanted a penalty for his collision with Motta, but the referee waved play on and Ambrosini received a second booking for dissent.
Milan: Dida; Flamini, Favalli, Maldini, Jankulovski (Jankulovski 60); Beckham (Seedorf 46), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Kaka; Pato (Ronaldinho 60), Inzaghi

Roma: Artur; Motta, Mexes, Juan (Diamoutene 69), Riise; Taddei, Brighi, Cassetti (Filipe 63); Pizzarro, Vucinic (Menez 76), Totti

Ref: De Marco

Sent off: Ambrosini 88 (M)

Maldini urged to hit 1000
24.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paolo Maldini has received an award for his 900th game in a Milan jersey and was urged to “carry on all the way to 1000!”

The defender is set to hang up his boots at the end of the season and this afternoon against Roma will be his final home game at San Siro.

“Maldini has played 900 games in 24 years,” said Vice-President Adriano Galliani as he presented the captain with a special commemorative medal.

“From the first, on January 20 1985 at the Friuli against Udinese to the 900th, in the same stadium on May 16 2009, always in the Milan jersey.

“I told Paolo he has until July 6 to change his mind and try to get all the way to 1,000 games…

“I think Paolo has no equals in the world and nobody has been able to play 900 official matches for the same team at the highest level.

“I believe his is a record that will remain in the history books throughout the ages. I doubt anyone will be able to repeat this achievement in a big club like Milan.”

Maldini’s Number 3 jersey will be retired when he hangs up his boots, but only temporarily.

After father Cesare and son Paolo, the third generation of Maldini is in the Rossoneri youth system, so the shirt is reserved for when Christian comes of age.

“Both he and his father lifted the Champions League trophy for Milan as captains with a 40-year gap,” added Galliani.

“It’s incredibly difficult for that to happen again. Maldini’s career is simply incredible.”

Berlusconi keeps Ancelotti waiting
24.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi has left any decision over Carlo Ancelotti’s job to the end of the season.

“We will decide once the campaign is over,” said the patron and Italian Prime Minister this evening.

“I care for Ancelotti, he is like one of the family and I’ve been able to show that to him numerous times.

“We will see at the end how this season turns out and we’ll also listen to him. As good friends we will decide what is best for everyone.”

The Coach has a contract until 2010 and has sent out mixed messages about whether or not he will respect it.

Milan confirmed they would change management if they failed to qualify directly for the Champions League group phase.

That target will be secure tomorrow if they do better than Fiorentina, but they have a very tough run-in.

The final two games are against Roma at San Siro and away to the Viola.

Ancelotti keeps options open
24.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti’s Press conference left fans no clearer as to his plans for Milan or Chelsea, as he tipped his hat to both options.

“For me things are very clear with the club and that is how it will continue. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, we will find the right solution.”

The tactician has been linked with the Stamford Bridge job for many months and it’s rumoured he is waiting until Milan are mathematically in the Champions League group phase before announcing the move.

“There is no contact with [President Silvio] Berlusconi and I don’t think he was irritated by my contact with [Roman] Abramovich,” continued Ancelotti.

“At the moment I have no open situation with Chelsea. I have a contract and am ready for anything. I like being a Coach, it is a passion rather than work, so if you ask me if I would like to train Chelsea then it’s a yes.

“Money is important, but it’s not everything for me. I have never asked for a penny more from Milan, as the economic aspect doesn’t interest me as much as how comfortable I am in an environment, even if I think someone should be rewarded for their abilities.”

Carletto’s Press conference, which was repeated on the official Milan website, sent repeated mixed messages about the future.

“Until June 30 2010 I am the Milan Coach and as things stand I see no fog, only clarity. If I had to put it in figures I’d say I am staying at Milan 100 per cent next season.

“There has always been a great rapport with the team and after eight years we are still talking. If we weren’t, then a Coach would never last this long in Italy.

“I repeat, I am very, very relaxed and have other things to worry about. I am studying English yes, but that’s because it helps me when I go abroad on holiday.”

Ancelotti: 'It's now or never'
24.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti warns if Milan don’t secure their Champions League qualification against Roma, it’ll be “a play-off with Fiorentina on the final day.”

The Rossoneri are currently in second place, but need to do better than Fiorentina this weekend or risk leaving it all to the last tie to decide whether they qualify for the tournament directly or through the preliminary round.

“We must lock down our place against Roma, as win a win we’d be certain of direct entry into the Champions League,” noted Ancelotti.

“Going to face Fiorentina in a play-off on the final day is something we should avoid, as it can be very dangerous.”

Milan have by far the toughest run-in of the three sides still trying to escape from fourth place, as they welcome Roma tomorrow afternoon and end the campaign at the Stadio Franchi.

“We must not forget that Roma have beaten us at San Siro two years running. This time it will be different, as they have problems and it is going to be very hot.

“Having said that, Juventus weren’t in great shape either a fortnight ago, but when the time came to face us they pulled out all the stops. This can happen to Roma, too.”

Ancelotti’s men could have sealed it last week against Udinese, but their 2-1 defeat not only re-opened the race for second, it also mathematically handed rivals Inter the Scudetto.

“Physically the team is doing well, but psychologically we are a little tired. It feels like this target is right in front of us and we can’t get our hands on it.”

Sunday’s match is also set to be an emotional occasion for all at San Siro, as it will be Paolo Maldini’s final home game before he hangs up his boots.

“He will feel some incredible emotions and he has come to realise this is the end of his career,” explained former teammate Ancelotti.

“When I retired I immediately went to work with [Arrigo] Sacchi and from that point of view it was a relief for me to not undergo training every day. Paolo will have an important role in the club, if he wants.”

Real raise Kaka offer to £70m
24.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Despite the constant denials, newspapers in Spain and Italy continue to say Milan are wavering over Real Madrid’s £70m offer for Kaka.

Several different papers have stories relating to this issue today with quotes attributed to the major players in this saga.

“I think this time I’ll be forced to sell Kaka,” Milan President Silvio Berlusconi allegedly told people at a political dinner.

Il Giorno suggest the decision to part with their Ballon d’Or has already been made and depends only on the price, as so far Real have offered £55m, but are willing to go up to £70m.

The negotiations are supposedly between Berlusconi and Florentino Perez, who is the hot favourite to win the Real Madrid presidential election next month.

“Kaka is our primary objective, we are at a good stage in negotiations because everyone involved is eager to close the deal,” Perez colleague Jorge Valdano was quoted as telling Il Giorno.

The Corriere dello Sport suggests Kaka is taking a step back during these talks and, just as he did when the deal was struck with Manchester City in January, won’t push for a departure.

The Brazilian will only leave San Siro if it is perfectly clear to the fans that it is Milan’s decision to sell him.

“Perez is a great friend, we communicated during the time when he was not leading Real Madrid too,” Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani told the Corriere.

“I don’t know if he will call me, but if he does then I’ll tell him that Kaka is not for sale.”

Del Piero hails legend Maldini
24.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As Paolo Maldini prepares to retire, Alessandro Del Piero gives him the ultimate compliment. “He is greater than Franco Baresi.”

The Milan legend will hang up his boots at the end of the season and Sunday’s game with Roma will be his last at San Siro.

Tributes to his career are pouring in and Juventus star Del Piero joined the chorus by phoning in as Maldini was interviewed on Milan Channel.

“You are the number one! There are great players and there are world class players. Then there are those who manage to go beyond that term. Paolo is the perfect example.”

Del Piero pushed the boat out with the ultimate compliment for a player in the Rossoneri jersey.

“Maldini is the symbol of Milan and has done even more than Baresi and all the other greats who preceded him.

“He has reached incredible heights in his career and at the same time managed to become a unique presence in his team, in Italian football and on the international stage.”

Dunga to Ronaldinho: Play more games
22.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazil boss Carlos Dunga has explained the reason why he snubbed Ronaldinho when picking his latest squad.

Milan man Dinho has had a less than successful first season in Italy and has been tipped to find a fresh start this summer.

The former Barcelona star's lack of form has cost him his place in the national side as he hasn't been selected for the Confederations Cup or the upcoming 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

“He needs to play more,” Dunga insisted. “I hope that next season he will be able to find more regular first-team football and return to being the player we all know.”

Former Milan striker Ronaldo also didn't make the list despite his spectacular rejuvenation at Corinthians.

“He hasn't been back from injury long,” Dunga said. “He will only be considered when he is fully ready.”

AC Milan ponder triad solution
22.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It has been suggested that Milan may appoint a three-man coaching team should Carlo Ancelotti leave for Chelsea.

There have been incessant reports linking Carletto with the Stamford Bridge hot seat after a frustrating season at San Siro.

Despite Vice-President Adriano Galliani's assurances that Ancelotti is staying put, the Press continue to line up successors.

The latest candidates are three men who already work for Milan in a backroom capacity.

Scout and director Leonardo and Ancelotti's assistants Mauro Tassotti and Filippo Galli could take over the reins in a joint effort.

Leonardo would be the main man, but he doesn't yet have the necessary coaching badges, whereas Tassotti and Galli do.

The other candidates for the job include former Holland boss and Milan striking star Marco Van Basten and Roma Coach Luciano Spalletti.

Senderos eyes AC Milan stay
22.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Swiss international defender Philippe Senderos hopes to stay at Milan after his loan deal expires this summer.

The 24-year-old joined the Rossoneri late on in the summer transfer window in a temporary arrangement.

After initially struggling to adapt to life in Serie A, Senderos has played much better of late and hopes his form has done enough to earn a long-term transfer.

“I had a tough start to the season because of my injury problems,” he admitted on the Milan Channel.

“But I worked very hard and I was able to give my full contribution during the second half of the campaign when the boss decided to give me an opportunity.

“I would like to stay at Milan because I like it here, but I know that the decision isn't mine to make.”

Galliani: No chaos at AC Milan
21.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani insists there's no chaos at Milan and will clarify the Rossoneri's future direction once they secure a Champions League place.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti has been widely linked with Premier League giants Chelsea.

There could be sweeping changes in the summer as superstar Kaka has also been tipped to join Real Madrid.

“There is no chaos and Milan,” Galliani stated. “We have very clear ideas that we will communicate as soon as we secure a Champions League berth.

“Decisions are always shared between myself and Silvio Berlusconi. We are in perfect harmony and I hope to show that with our announcement on Monday.

“We absolutely have to beat Roma and then we can be calm against Fiorentina where we would otherwise have to draw or win.”

Galliani then gave the latest on Kaka and French midfielder Yoann Gourcuff.

“Florentino Perez is a great friend and we have often spoken during the three years that he hasn't been Real Madrid President. Any move for Kaka would have to come through me.

“Gourcuff has become a star. Bordeaux have the chance to sign him before May 31, but he is still our player. I hope that Yoann stays.”

Pato slights Balotelli
21.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan youngster Alexandre Pato believes Catania's Japanese striker Takayuki Morimoto is better than Inter's Mario Balotelli.

The usually reserved 19-year-old Brazil international is a rival of Balotelli's, looking to establish himself as the best young forward in Italy.

Pato has scored 17 goals in 40 appearances for Milan this season while Balotelli has a record of nine in 26 for Inter.

“Balotelli has to learn to be calmer,” Pato told Il Corriere dello Sport, before expressing his admiration for Morimoto.

“The Japanese striker Morimoto reminds me a little of my idol Ronaldo,” he gushed, referring to the 21-year-old's speed.

Pato was then drawn on the subject of Carlo Ancelotti, who is reportedly set to leave Milan for Chelsea this summer.

“If Ancelotti leaves I would vote for Mauro Tassotti and Filippo Galli to replace him,” Pato revealed.

When asked about the state of Milan, Pato said: “This team is ready for the Scudetto and the Champions League. I am ready to become the Maldini of goals.”

Pato hasn't scored for two months, but critics believe he has done enough to feel satisfied with himself this season.

Gourcuff faces AC Milan decision
21.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Yoann Gourcuff will decide whether to return to Milan or not on the basis of who the club's trainer is next season, according to the Italian Press.

The über-talented 22-year-old is currently on loan at Bordeaux, where he has not only established himself as a France international, but as a world-class player, too.

Gourcuff has inspired the French outfit to the top of Ligue 1 with nine man of the match performances and seven crucial goals.

Bordeaux have an option to buy Gourcuff for a prearranged fee of £15m on May 31, but he is considering the pros and cons of returning to Italy.

Gourcuff had a difficult relationship with Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti and is reportedly reluctant to move back as long as he is on the bench.

The former Rennes youngster made just 15 Serie A appearances in his last season with Milan, most of which came as a substitute.

Milan's directors are said to be very pleased with Gourcuff's success in France and would welcome his return.

He remains a back up, though, and would only enter into Ancelotti's plans if Kaka were sold this summer.

Gattuso clings to Ancelotti
21.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso has begged Carlo Ancelotti to stay at Milan, even though it feels like a losing battle. “Hope springs eternal.”

The Coach is expected to move on at the end of the season after eight years in charge, as the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid and Roma are eager to snap him up.

“Hope springs eternal,” Gattuso told Milan Channel. “The team is behind him, he has been our Coach for many years and there is a special rapport.

“It will be down to the boss and the club to reach an agreement and of course we all hope they achieve that.

“Every day I feel like I know everything and the next I change my mind completely. I think it’s right that we discuss this at the end of the season.

“If the Coach does leave, then these will have been wonderful years together. We will begin a new era without forgetting that Milan have to start winning again.”

This Sunday afternoon could be an historic day for the Rossoneri, as it is their final home game of the season against Roma.

A victory would mathematically qualify them for the Champions League proper and it’s believed Ancelotti is waiting for this certainty to announce his departure.

It will also be Paolo Maldini’s last Serie A match at San Siro, as the 40-year-old captain is hanging up his boots after 25 years at the club.

“It will be very moving to witness the end of his career,” continued Gattuso. “I will always treasure our times together and so do my teammates.

“Maldini is a great champion and a fantastic teammate. I think the right definition for him is ‘a gladiator’, a player who when he pulls on that armband and steps on to the field, he gives absolutely everything. He’s a great example for everyone even when he isn’t playing.”

While newspapers in Spain continue to suggest that Kaka will be going to Real Madrid, Gattuso is sure this is one Milan man who won’t be waving goodbye.

“I am certain he’s staying.”

Senderos praises Maldini
21.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Philippe Senderos has hailed veteran Paolo Maldini, stating that it has been an “honour” to play alongside him.

Maldini will finally retire this summer at the age of 40 and on-loan stopper Senderos has relished the chance to learn from the calcio legend.

“It has been an honour playing with Maldini as he is part of the club's history,” Senderos told Sky Sport Italia.

“He has been the talisman of this club for many years and it will be hard for them to cope without him in future as he has such great influence in and out of the dressing room.

“Maldini gives you added motivation and he still has the drive to do his best at this age.

“Sometimes I am tired when I arrive for training in the morning, but Maldini is there to inspire me.

“I can never be negative with Maldini around because he is such an example.”

Adebayor agent cools AC Milan links
21.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Arsenal star Emmanuel Adebayor has denied that he is talking to Milan and Inter.

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi recently stated that there was a “good chance” he could sign Adebayor this summer.

And the English Press suggest that Adebayor is hoping for an Emirates Stadium exit, but the player's agent has cooled such talk.

“I have read Berlusconi's comments, but I can tell you that there is nothing new regarding Milan and Inter,” Stephane Courbis told

“I haven't been contacted and I still have to talk to Arsene Wenger. There are things to discuss with him and it's too early to discuss these things.

“Will Adebayor leave if Wenger does? I don't know whether their futures are linked.

“All I know is that soon I will meet with Wenger to evaluate the situation because Emmanuel is being booed by just a small section of the fans and he has a good relationship with the Coach.”

Roma pip Chelsea to Carlo?
19.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chelsea could lose Carlo Ancelotti, as Roma’s potential new owners want him on the bench with Emmanuel Adebayor upfront.

Ancelotti has always stated his dream is to one day Coach the Giallorossi and that wish could be about to come true.

“Roma is the one side where I could potentially go to in the future,” he said earlier this season.

“Considering my past experience, Roma is the only club in Italy aside from Milan where I could work. Either that or to go abroad.”

The tactician spent much of his playing career in Rome from 1979 to 1987, wearing the captain’s armband and winning the 1983 Scudetto along with four Coppa Italia trophies.

He is expected to leave Milan for Chelsea at the end of the season, but a radical new theory is opening up at the Olimpico.

Roma have officially announced that they received “interest” from a conglomerate represented by Vinicio Fioranelli, which is based in Switzerland but in reality has its roots in the oil-rich Arab nations.

They are eager to buy out President Rosella Sensi and invest heavily in the club, starting from a top class Coach like Ancelotti.

It is also reported in the Italian newspapers that their first transfer target is Arsenal hitman Adebayor.

This is a further clue, as Ancelotti wanted Adebayor during the summer at Milan and was allegedly dismayed when the club signed Ronaldinho instead.

Beckham praises 'brilliant' Ancelotti
19.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham believes he is privileged to play under Carlo Ancelotti and hopes the respected Coach will stay at Milan.

Ancelotti has been strongly linked with Premier League giants Chelsea after a disappointing season at San Siro.

But Beckham has revealed just how talented Carletto is and how popular he is with the players.

“Ancelotti has exceptional man-management skills and he is a brilliant Coach,” Beckham told the Daily Mail.

“It is a privilege to have played under a tactician of his class. He really is one of the greats.

“I have been lucky in my career to work with some of the best in the business and Ancelotti definitely comes under that category.

“I just wish I had been able to play for him for many more years - that would have been fun.

“It's not just my opinion, everyone at Milan loves him adores him and doesn't want him to go. They are pleading with him to stay.

“I know that wherever he goes and whatever he does he will always have my admiration and respect.”

Maldini unsure of next move
19.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan veteran Paolo Maldini has confessed that he has no idea what he will do when he hangs his boots up.

The 40-year-old is set to finally end his time in the Rossoneri shirt after 25 years and has been linked with a coaching role at San Siro.

“I want to pull the plug out for a little while, at least until September,” Maldini said to France Football.

“Only when I have had a break will I think about what I will do in the future.

“Will I stay in football? I don't know. I will consider what could be the best road to go down. It all depends on the offers that I get.

“Will I become a Coach? No, coaching is the job that brings together all the things I don't like about football,” he concluded.

Van Basten's Great Escape
18.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Van Basten's Milan link grows as it emerges that he left a restaurant via a window to try and avoid being seen with Diavolo directors.

Carlo Ancelotti is being widely linked with a summer change of scene with Real Madrid and Chelsea both possible destinations.

The Sun claims that a deal has been agreed with Chelsea, while the Spanish Press maintain that Real are still interested in securing Carletto's services.

The presence of Van Basten in Milan last weekend, where he dined with Galliani and other Rossoneri figures, has sent the rumour mill into overdrive.

“Van Basten was only here to play golf,” Galliani maintained in the Corriere dello Sport.

However, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Van Basten left a restaurant via a window to escape the Press after eating with Galliani, Ariedo Braida and Ancelotti's assistant Tassotti.

While Van Basten has stated that he wants to take some time away from football, Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi has said that he is “like a son” and the Italian Press are convinced he is in the frame for the San Siro bench.

Real draw up 'half price' Kaka bid
18.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid are putting together a bid for Milan talisman Kaka that is considerably lower than that made by Manchester City in January, according to AS.

Florentino Perez, the Real Madrid presidential candidate, has made the former World Player of the Year his No 1 transfer target this summer.

However, Perez is apparently only willing to bid £60m for Kaka, almost half the amount reportedly offered by Manchester City four months ago.

If the move goes through, Kaka will become the highest earner in world football, signing a five-year contract worth £9m after tax.

Perez has allegedly reserved Zinedine Zidane's No 5 shirt for Kaka should he decide to move to the Bernabéu.

Kaka has repeatedly denied reports linking him with a move away from San Siro in recent months, reiterating his desire to stay in Rossonero.

Milan were pushing to sell him in January against his will, though, and that could well influence his decision this summer.

Ronaldinho denies exit talk
18.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan and Brazil icon Ronaldinho insists he will be at the club next season despite reports linking him with a move to Manchester City.

The 29-year-old World Player of the Year joined Milan from Barcelona last summer, but has failed to make an impact.

Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti has given Ronaldinho just 16 starts this season and last week said he could leave this summer.

“I will stay here, independently of who will train the team next season,” he explained. “It's true that I am unhappy because I don't play a lot at the moment, but I have no problems with Ancelotti.”

When told that Silvio Berlusconi was also unhappy with his limited appearances, Ronaldinho replied: “Then that makes two us.”

The World Cup winner went on to list his reasons for staying in Milan, citing the club's fans and his desire to win the Scudetto.

“I feel good here, with the team, the directors and with the fans. I don't have it in mind to leave this jersey.

“It's true that I hoped to become Italian champion with Milan and I am sorry that we have not achieved this objective.

“But I promise that next year we will win the Scudetto and the Champions League,” he concluded.

Berlusconi: Van Basten is like a son
18.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Van Basten is 'like a son' to Silvio Berlusconi, making the likelihood of him replacing Carlo Ancelotti ever more probable.

Van Basten is available following his decision to leave Ajax after a very disappointing season in which they finished third in the Eredivisie.

However, the Dutchman remains a legend in Milan where he scored 90 goals in 147 appearances between 1987 and 1993.

“Ancelotti is one of the family, but if he doesn't stay, we'll hire a young and emerging trainer,” Berlusconi said. “For me, Marco is like a son. He is a piece of Milan's history.”

Milan are said to be already looking for a new tactician, as Ancelotti grows ever closer to a move to English outfit Chelsea.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ancelotti will leave for Stamford Bridge without key assistants, Mauro Tassotti and Filippo Galli.

Both were reportedly seen dining with Van Basten last night and Tassotti is expected to play golf with him today.

The Rossoneri currently lie second in Serie A with two games remaining this season against Roma and Fiorentina.

Ancelotti very close to Chelsea
18.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti will fly to London and make his move to Chelsea official on May 30, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Ancelotti has been repeatedly linked with the Blues this spring and appears to have come to the end of his time with the Rossoneri.

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi criticised him in the Italian Press last week and Saturday's defeat away to Udinese hasn't helped his cause.

Ancelotti will apparently leave for Chelsea without his staff and take Ray Wilkins as his assistant at Stamford Bridge.

Ancelotti's chief assistants, Mauro Tassotti and Filippo Galli, will stay with Milan, as will Villiam Vecchi, although Carletto would like him at Stamford Bridge.

That appears unlikely, though, as Chelsea already have a Goalkeeper Coach in Christophe Lollichon.

Milan are reportedly unwilling to announce the decision until after next week when they hope to have secured the second Champions League spot.

Chelsea also want to postpone the announcement until after the FA Cup Final they are due to contest with Everton.

There will be no official presentation, only an exclusive interview with Chelsea TV, according to La Gazzetta.

The Blues are said to be keen to keep Ancelotti away from the English Press, who crucified Luiz Felipe Scolari for his eccentric use of English.

Ancelotti is the second longest serving trainer in the history of Milan after the great Nereo Rocco. He has been with the Rossoneri for seven and a half years.

Ancelotti denies complaint
18.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti has released a statement “categorically” denying he said he would not stay where he was not wanted.

The tactician was quoted with the comments in newspaper La Repubblica, fuelling claims he was unhappy at being blamed for the lack of silverware by President Silvio Berlusconi.

“I want to stay, but I won't stay where I'm not wanted. As the saying goes, you can't go against the Saints. This is why I am waiting to talk to the 'Saint', and then we'll see.”

However, this afternoon Ancelotti released a statement through the official Milan website.

“Ancelotti categorically denies having ever said those words in any arena or context.”

Nonetheless, talk of his future at Chelsea next season continues to dominate the newspapers in both Italy and England.

Ancelotti 'won't outstay welcome'
17.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti has confessed President Silvio Berlusconi’s criticism stung him. “I won’t stay where I’m not wanted.”

Last night Milan’s 2-1 defeat at Udinese mathematically handed Inter the Scudetto and the Coach was visibly tense after the final whistle.

This week Berlusconi was quoted as saying he blamed his tactician for failing to challenge this season – a statement that was not officially denied by the club.

“It is absolutely not true that talk over my future might’ve affected this performance,” snapped Ancelotti of that Stadio Friuli loss.

“We basically never really played this game, it was just one of those nights.

“I have not yet decided what I will do next season. Right now I am only focused on next week’s game with Roma.”

Once again the media bombarded him with questions about that proposed move to Chelsea.

“I won’t say no, but only because Chelsea are not in my future,” replied Ancelotti.

The most telling quote came when asked if he was the one making the ultimate decision on his time at Milan.

“I want to stay, but I won’t stay where I’m not wanted. As the saying goes, you can’t go against the Saints. This is why I am waiting to talk to the Saint, and then we’ll see.”

President Berlusconi is the ‘Saint’ in this case and has been very careful not to come out publicly in favour of his Coach.

This week former Rossoneri legend Marco Van Basten was spotted in the city for a charity golf tournament, fuelling reports he is to take over next term.

Ancelotti: This changes nothing
17.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti insists the title was already long gone and that it changes nothing for Milan or for his future.

“The Scudetto was not decided tonight, it had gone a long time ago,” he said after the 2-1 defeat at Udinese mathematically handed it to Inter.

“We accept them without problems. Our target has always been to qualify for the Champions League and that is what we're going to do.

“Inter have been the most consistent side and for that they deserve the Scudetto.”

Some said that Ancelotti would announce his move to Chelsea only after Milan secured their spot in the Champions League.

“I have not decided anything yet. My future is tied to next week's result and we have to prepare it as best we can to achieve the three points.

“Would a win tonight have changed anything for me? Absolutely not.”

The Rossoneri had notched up a run of strong wins, but have picked up just one point from the last two games against Juventus and Udinese.

“These are the characteristics of this squad, that sometimes we struggle to get into the game and today Udinese deserved it, as they took the right approach,” continued Ancelotti.

“We need three points to achieve Champions League qualification. We wasted an opportunity today, but we will get it next time.

“In all honesty I didn't expect this performance. The team had done well throughout the week, but we just stepped on to the field with the wrong approach.

“Udinese were faster to react both going forward and back when they lost the ball, so that was the key to this encounter. When we went a goal down then we became unbalanced and Udinese are strong on the counter.”

Kaka in particular struggled to make an impact today, but the Coach denied it was a tactical issue.

“Nothing has changed. It all depends on how the game develops, but he always keeps his position slightly off the striker so he can run into space.”

Udinese 2:1 AC Milan - match report
16.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: D'Agostino pen 31 (U), Zapata 48 (U), Ambrosini 93 (M)

Inter are the Champions of Italy after Milan's 2-1 defeat at Udinese made it mathematically impossible to catch them.

The Rossoneri made the trip to Udine knowing they would mathematically hand the Scudetto to Inter if they lost, but also that a win would secure their Champions League qualification. Banned David Beckham and Giuseppe Favalli added to the absentee list with Marco Borriello, Alessandro Nesta, Kakha Kaladze and Christian Abbiati. Udinese were on a club record run of five straight wins despite missing Antonio Di Natale.

Pasquale Marino wanted revenge for the 5-1 drubbing his side suffered at San Siro in December, but Milan had won their last three trips to the Friuli with an 8-0 aggregate scoreline. It was a special game for Paolo Maldini, who made his 900th official appearance in a Milan jersey.

Udinese had a strong start and flashed a few shots wide, then a well-worked Milan move was finalised by Massimo Ambrosini drilling off target. Gokhan Inler's chest and half-volley was deflected just past the post.

The best chance so far was on 21 minutes when Simone Pepe's cross found Fabio Quagliarella at the back post, but Nelson Dida performed two desperate point-blank saves.

Maldini had a shot and a header from the resulting corner deflected. Things got worse for the captain, though, as he clattered into Antonio Floro Flores when running on to a splendid Gaetano D'Agostino ball over the top. D'Agostino converted the penalty confidently into the top corner.

Andrea Pirlo's free kick curled wide, but Milan struggled to raise the tempo and there was very little movement off the ball. They only tested Samir Handanovic when Kaka went to the byline in a solo run.

Straight after the restart Ambrosini had penalty appeals waved away and Udinese doubled their lead. Substitute Pippo Inzaghi missed the corner and it deflected off Maldini for Cristian Zapata to volley in at the back post.

Inzaghi hit the back of the net on Alexandre Pato's pass, but was clearly in an offside position. Ronaldinho replaced Seedorf for a very attacking formation, as they had to run risks in the final half-hour.

D'Agostino nearly got a second as he surged through the Rossoneri defence to force a double save out of Dida. At the other end Asamoah used his strength to hold Pato off the ball in the box.

Inler flashed a snapshot off target, but when Inzaghi tried to pounce on a Handanovic error outside the box, the two almost came to blows. Marek Jankulovski's cutback was just behind an unmarked Pato, who made way for Andriy Shevchenko.

Inzaghi tested Handanovic, but was again in an offside position, as Milan clearly lost all belief in getting this game back on track. Quagliarella combined with Alexis Sanchez to fire at Dida from point-blank range. From the resulting corner Quagliarella's spin and low drive brought a very tough save out of Dida at the near post.

Handanovic intercepted Kaka's volleyed cross for Inzaghi, but again Dida had his palms stung by a Sanchez screamer. In stoppages Inzaghi's control and strike from six yards was turned on to the upright!

Milan finally got a consolation goal in the final minute of injury time with a towering Ambrosini header at the back post.

It still wasn't over, as Quagliarella hit the base of the upright with the last kick of the game.
Udinese: Handanovic; Isla, Zapata, Felipe, Pasquale; Inler, D'Agostino (Obodo 84), Asamoah; Pepe (Lukovic 87), Quagliarella, Floro Flores (Sanchez 73)

Milan: Dida; Zambrotta, Senderos, Maldini, Jankulovski; Flamini (Inzaghi 46), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Seedorf (Ronaldinho 60); Kaka, Pato (Shevchenko 73)

Ref: Rizzoli

AC Milan 1990-1991 retro shirts for sale at SubSide
15.5 || webmaster

SubSide Sports has launched an interesting line of merchandise for AC Milan fans, part of the Adidas Originals collection. Here's what they have to offer:

90-91 AC Milan Cup Winners Shirt + Van Basten 9

90-91 AC Milan Cup Winners Shirt + Baresi 6

90-91 AC Milan Cup Winners Shirt + Maldini 3

90-91 AC Milan Cup winners Shirt + Gullit 10

For more on Soccer Equipment, check out Soccer Equipment Guide.

Ancelotti ignores quit talk
15.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has again silenced whispers regarding his future with the Rossoneri.

It has been suggested that Ancelotti is on the brink of agreeing a move to Premier League giants Chelsea after patron Silvio Berlusconi seemed to publicly criticise him.

However, Berlusconi has denied speaking out against Ancelotti and the relationship between Carletto and his club seems harmonious once more.

“There's lots of fantasy involved in the news,” he explained at today's Press conference.

“I have been at Milan for a long time and I think it is weird and distasteful to suggest that I would be involved in a transfer campaign for a club I am not part of.

“Tomorrow we will see what happens against Udinese, but there is no news on anything else.

“I don't think that I will receive any calls or invitations on Sunday and it is useless waiting for anything like that.

“I have a great relationship with the President. Berlusconi has spoken to Adriano Galliani and so there is no need for him to call me.

“Over time I have developed a close relationship with Galliani and we work in perfect harmony.

“He has said that we will meet at the end of the season to discuss plans for the future.”

Galliani rejects replacements
15.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani maintains that Milan haven't considered replacing Carlo Ancelotti with Marco Van Basten or Leonardo.

Ancelotti has been widely linked with a summer switch to Real Madrid or Chelsea after a disappointing campaign at San Siro and whispers intensified after Diavolo patron Silvio Berlusconi seemed to publicly criticise Carletto.

The Italian Press have suggested that Milan director Leonardo or former Holland boss Van Basten will take the hot seat, but Galliani has laughed off the reports.

“Berlusconi never said those things about Ancelotti,” Galliani told Sky Sport 24.

“Carlo isn't worried at all. We never thought about Van Basten, even though he has the right credentials.

“The next Coach will also not be Leonardo. We have an excellent relationship with Ancelotti and he has the support of the players, so we expect him to stay on for next season.”

Zaccheroni: AC Milan 'weak' for Van Basten
14.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi has a 'weakness' for Marco Van Basten, according to Alberto Zaccheroni.

The Rossoneri could well be looking for a new trainer this summer, as Berlusconi's relationship with Carlo Ancelotti deteriorates.

Berlusconi openly criticised Ancelotti two days ago, blaming him for Milan's failure to win the Scudetto this season.

Ancelotti had reiterated his desire to stay but might now look again at offers from Real Madrid and Chelsea.

“Ancelotti will stay if Milan finish second,” Zaccheroni explained in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“At Milan a trainer has absolute power in choosing who to send on the pitch. A type of conditioning does not exist. But you need to obtain results.”

When asked about Ancelotti's future, Zaccheroni replied: “Real Madrid and Chelsea are both prestigious clubs.

“However, in this moment, they are not better than Milan. Ancelotti will only leave if he comes to be pushed.”

If Milan do decide to call time on Ancelotti, Zaccheroni feels he knows who Berlusconi will replace him with.

“I believe that the next Milan Coach will be Marco Van Basten. The President has a weakness for him.”

Van Basten recently left Ajax after barely a year, having failed to inspire the club to the Eredivisie title.

While his achievements as a player are unquestionable, serious doubts surround his abilities as a trainer.

However, the 44-year-old Dutchman is a Milan legend, having scored 90 goals in 147 appearances for the club.

Between 1987 and 1993 he helped the Rossoneri win 13 major trophies, including two European Cups.

Rijkaard closes on Ancelotti's job
13.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As reports grow Frank Rijkaard turned down Ajax to take over at Milan, transfer guru Claudio Pasqualin expects “Carlo Ancelotti’s imminent departure.”

The Rossoneri bench remains a bone of contention in the Press, especially after President Silvio Berlusconi reportedly blamed his Coach for failing to win the Scudetto.

“Carlo’s experience at Milan has come to an end,” said agent and transfer expert Pasqualin.

“After the story about Berlusconi’s comments I expected an official denial from the club, but that did not happen.

“This sounds very much like a farewell note, so I think Ancelotti’s imminent departure and official move to Chelsea is only a matter of time.”

Numerous Coaches have been suggested as his replacement, including Massimiliano Allegri of Cagliari and former Barcelona boss Rijkaard.

“Allegri won’t be chosen, as he lacks that fundamental Milanista pedigree. At this point the most likely decision is Leonardo working with Filippo Galli or tacticians of the calibre of Rijkaard or [Marco] Van Basten.

“It has to be someone with the Rossoneri stamp of approval.”

Rijkaard’s candidacy has been given a boost today with reports in Holland that he was offered the Ajax job and turned it down.

Ajax were under the tutelage of Van Basten until he tended his resignation on May 6, so he is also available.

Elkann wants AC Milan miracle
13.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Outspoken Juventus patron Lapo Elkann has declared his support for Milan in the Scudetto race and sniped at Inter for “lacking class”.

Barring a monumental shift in the final three weeks Inter will be crowned champions once more.

However, Elkann is still praying that Juve's bitter rivals slip up at the 11th hour and is even willing to cheer on Milan.

“We are hoping for a miracle,” he bellowed. “We hope that Milan can overhaul Inter, even though that will be difficult.

“If that doesn't happen then we will have to just tip our hats and congratulate Inter because Juve have class unlike certain others…”

Elkann was asked to comment on the future of Juve Coach Claudio Ranieri, but he remained tight-lipped.

“It's not up to me to talk about that,” he insisted. “I am just a fan and don't have any other influence.

“If they asked me to be President of Juventus I would be honoured, but that doesn't mean I would put myself forward for that job.”

Gattuso revels in recovery
13.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso made an emotional return in last night's friendly against Albania and is delighted to be back in action.

The Italian international had been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery five months ago.

Gattuso wasn't expected to return before the end of the season but he played 45 minutes as the Rossoneri beat Albania's national side on penalties to win the Taci Oil Trophy.

“I was a bit emotional and after five months out of the game you get a bit scared you will be hurt again,” Gattuso told the Milan Channel.

“But after a few minutes I regained my confidence and then it went well.

“I still don't think that I am ready to play 90 minutes, but this was an important test for me.

“Serie A is a different matter. I am available for the team and I will be happy to make my contribution, but I am short of match fitness.”

Milan host Udinese this weekend knowing that a defeat would hand city rivals Inter the Scudetto.

Galliani: Silvio loves Ancelotti!
13.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani insists Silvio Berlusconi does not blame Carlo Ancelotti for missing out on the Scudetto.

Today newspaper La Repubblica published an article claiming the patron – and Italian Prime Minister – told tourists his Coach was at fault.

“We got the tactics wrong many times,” the politician was quoted as saying. “We have lots of players who are excellent on the ball and great passers and we should have relied on them when we did the opposite.”

The matter was raised during this evening’s Press conference for a charity match in Albania and Galliani stepped in.

“I want to answer this question! I have not been able to speak to the President today, but I have done over the last few days and his ideas do not match up with what was written today.

“These alleged quotes were only published in one newspaper and even then it was in the political pages, so Milan have nothing more to say.”

Berlusconi blames Ancelotti
12.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi has hit out at Carlo Ancelotti, blaming the Rossoneri tactician for a disappointing season.

The Diavolo's title hopes are all but extinguished with three games remaining and a seven-point gap to leaders Inter.

Ancelotti has blamed injuries, but Berlusconi has heaped further doubt on Carletto's future with some fiery statements.

“We got the tactics wrong many times,” the politician told La Repubblica.

“We have lots of players who are excellent on the ball and great passers and we should have relied on them when we did the opposite.

“Furthermore we conceded many goals towards the end of games and there must be a reason for that.”

Ancelotti is a target for Chelsea and Real Madrid and he may opt for a fresh start if he doesn't feel he has the confidence of the club.

Cagliari boss Massimiliano Allegri has been tipped to take over, as has Milan director Leonardo and former Holland Coach Marco Van Basten.

Ambrosini settled at San Siro
12.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Milan midfielder Massimo Ambrosini expects his client to sign one more contract renewal with the Rossoneri.

The 31-year-old Azzurri ace remains an important figure for the Diavolo and is vice-captain of Carlo Ancelotti's side.

In spite of rumours that Ambro will sign for Roberto Donadoni's Napoli and Fiorentina this summer, the ex-Cesena man seems settled.

“I am pretty sure that Massimo will extend his contract at Milan one more time,” Moreno Roggi told Radio Blu.

“I don't think that the Rossoneri would allow a player like him to get away right now.

“It is true that he has a short contract, but every time we negotiate we manage to extend it.

“A transfer to Fiorentina doesn't seem plausible this summer - the necessary conditions don't seem to exist.”

Ambrosini celebrated the birth of son Federico in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Kalac grateful for season debut
12.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zeljko Kalac was delighted at making his first appearance of the season for Milan against Juventus last night.

The Australian international finally earned a start with Christian Abbiati out for the rest of the season and Nelson Dida suffering from back pain.

“It was nice to get back on the pitch in a special and important match like that one,” Kalac told the Milan Channel.

“It was a hard match and we expected that. We knew Juventus are a very physical team and they took advantage of that by closing down all the space.

“A draw was fine though. We are still in second place with three games left. Now we just need to get maximum points to make sure of our automatic place in next season's Champions League.”

Ancelotti bows to reliable Inter
12.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has grudgingly accepted that Inter's consistency has given them an “overwhelming” lead in Serie A.

The Nerazzurri are edging towards the title and have a seven-point lead over city rivals Milan with just three games remaining.

But Ancelotti was in a defiant mood as he gave an interview the day after a 1-1 draw with Juventus.

“The standings say that Inter have an overwhelming lead,” Ancelotti told Datasport.

“However, I don't know whether the best team won, even if they were surely the most consistent.

“We tried hard, but it is a pity that we had such a poor start to the season.

“Now we just need to keep playing and trying until the end of the campaign so we can get as many points as possible.”

Milan have a four-point advantage over third-placed Juventus and look likely to secure direct access to the Champions League.

Baby joy for Ambrosini
12.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Massimo Ambrosini is celebrating the birth of a son in the early hours of this morning.

The Italian international featured in the Rossoneri's 1-1 draw with Juventus at San Siro last night.

But he had to rush to a Milan hospital to witness the birth of a baby boy just before 2am this morning.

“Federico Ambrosini was born this morning at 1.57 at a clinic in Milan,” a statement reads on the club's official website.

“He weighed 2.7kg at birth. Many congratulations to Mrs Paolo Angelini and Ambrosini from everyone at Milan and all the club's supporters.”

Shevchenko wants AC Milan for life
12.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko has declared that he wants to finish his career at Milan.

Sheva rejoined Milan on loan at the start of the campaign but hasn't really set Serie A alight.

And a return to Chelsea is looming unless the 32-year-old can secure a permanent summer switch to San Siro.

“If you want to know my future you have to talk to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich,” Sheva told Datasport.

“I don't consider myself to be an ex-Milan player yet. I am feeling good physically and I want to finish my career here.

“My objective is to get back to my best so that I can play at the highest level.”

Shevchenko concluded by refusing to give in on the Scudetto race, despite the Diavolo trailing Inter by seven points with just three games remaining.

“I still think there is a chance for us,” he said. “Inter deserve the title because they have been the most consistent side.”

Kaka will stay
12.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan talisman Kaka will resist the overtures of Real Madrid and Manchester United this summer, and stay in Italy.

The 27-year-old former World Player of the Year rejected the chance to join Manchester City in January.

The Rossoneri were willing to sell him, though, and other interested parties now consider him up for sale.

“Milan are a great club, I still believe in this project,” Kaka said in an interview with Aujourd'hui Sports.

“Everyone knows that our team needs to be reinforced and rejuvenated. Emerson has already left and Maldini is retiring.

“The ideal solution would be a mix of youngsters and experienced players, like when I arrived in 2003.”

When asked if he would like to see Steven Gerrard at Milan, Kaka replied: “I never said that we have to buy him or that he'll come to Milan because I know that it's impossible.

“The Italian Press asked me to name a player I like and I simply gave his name.”

Kaka then had a few words to say on Yoann Gourcuff, the Milan player who is currently working wonders at Bordeaux, where he is on loan.

“I am happy for the great season that he is having. He has scored a lot of goals, doing well for France as well.

“He suffered with us, but if he comes back it would be different,” Kaka concluded.

AC Milan consider Dossena
12.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are preparing a bid to bring Andrea Dossena back to Italy, as Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez looks ready to sell him.

The 27-year-old full-back joined the Reds from Udinese last summer, but has failed to hold down a first team place.

Despite a good performance against Manchester United in March, Dossena has found it hard to impress Benitez.

He has made just 13 appearances for Liverpool this season and is said not to figure in the club's long-term plans.

Milan would like to give their existing full-backs, Gianluca Zambrotta and Marek Janukolovski, some healthy competition.

Dossena has seven Italy caps and is versatile enough to help out across the defence and midfield.

He is likely to cost £8m, as Liverpool look to recoup as much of the £10m they spent on him last summer.

Several other teams in Italy and England are believed to be interested in signing Dossena, who started his career with Hellas Verona.

AC Milan 1:1 Juventus - match report
10.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Seedorf 57 (M), Iaquinta 60 (J)

Vincenzo Iaquinta replied to Clarence Seedorf's opener as a 1-1 draw leaves Milan seven points adrift of Inter. This means next week a victory over Siena will crown the Nerazzurri champions.

This was practically a play-off for second place and the two sides could not be on more different form. The Rossoneri had won seven out of eight games, while Juve were without a victory in 50 days and conceded 11 goals in their last five Serie A games.

The Bianconeri were unbeaten at San Siro since a 3-1 result on October 29 2005, but had Pavel Nedved and Olof Mellberg suspended along with the injured Momo Sissoko, Christian Molinaro, Hasan Salihamidzic, Albin Ekdal, Dario Knezevic, Claudio Marchisio and Zdenek Grygera. Captain Alessandro Del Piero was sensationally dropped in favour of Amauri and Vincenzo Iaquinta for what would've been his 600th game for the club.

Milan welcomed Gennaro Gattuso back to the bench a full month ahead of schedule following knee ligament surgery in December. Marco Borriello, Alessandro Nesta, Kakha Kaladze, Christian Abbiati and Luca Antonini were still sidelined, while David Beckham struggled with an ankle problem, but Nelson Dida did not recover in time.

Beckham was the first player booked after three minutes for a late sliding tackle on Marco Marchionni. Juve had the first chance with Iaquinta knocking down a cross for Mauro Camoranesi to volley over from eight yards.

Kaka threaded through for Pippo Inzaghi, but Gigi Buffon rushed off his line to smother. Juve threatened again as Marchionni was sent clear on goal, but Mathieu Flamini came flying in with a decisive tackle. Moments later Iaquinta went on a run from midfield, but again Flamini helped Paolo Maldini dispossess him when lining up the shot from eight yards.

Inzaghi bundled his way past Giorgio Chiellini to volley Clarence Seedorf's chipped pass over the bar. Iaquinta wanted a penalty, but he seemed to be tussling 50-50 with Flamini.

Kaka slalomed his way through a series of players to go one-on-one with Buffon, who used his feet to clear. Iaquinta's volley tested Kalac and Buffon risked fumbling a Kaka snapshot. Inzaghi could not get his foot to the end of a Kaka cross as he tried to acrobatically hit the volley.

Christian Poulsen was allowed to cut in through the middle undisturbed as the strikers drew the centre-backs away, but his low drive was off target.

Inzaghi's volley flashed across the face of goal from a very tight angle as he got on the end of Andrea Pirlo's pass.

After the restart Inzaghi nodded a Beckham corner wide from six yards. Juve went even closer as Iaquinta sprung the offside trap and his shot cannoned off Kalac's chest, but Flamini anticipated Amauri to the loose ball.

Another Cristiano Zanetti long ball released Iaquinta and this time Kalac came flying out to hoof it clear. Seedorf went on a counter only to balloon well over from the edge of the box, earning jeers from the San Siro crowd.

Milan broke the deadlock with a classic counter-attack. Iaquinta's free kick in the final third was charged down and a counter was sparked sending Inzaghi clear from his own half - so the offside trap did not apply. He cut back for Ambrosini's scuffed shot which turned into an assist for Seedorf to tap in from a yard.

Iaquinta equalised a few minutes later with a diving header at the back post from Camoranesi's sweeping cross. He held off Flamini with great strength to beat Kalac from nine yards.

Flamini blasted wide from distance and Poulsen was booked for blatantly hauling back Kaka on another counter. There was tension between Maldini and Giorgio Chiellini as a corner was floated in and both were yellow carded.

Alexandre Pato replaced the not 100 per cent fit Beckham, while De Ceglie fell on to his ribs (which he fractured earlier this season) and made way for Jonathan Zebina. Buffon fumbled a Kaka angled drive and another Brazilian effort was deflected out for a corner off Nicola Legrottaglie.

Inzaghi's fierce volley whistled inches over the bar in his last kick of the game, as he was replaced by Ronaldinho. Del Piero came on for Amauri and marked his 600th appearance in a Juventus jersey. The captain immediately had a great chance, but slipped on the surface as he pulled the trigger.

Zebina charged down Dinho's shot, but Camoranesi selfishly wasted a counter by going for an unlikely lob when Del Piero would've gone clear on goal nine minutes from time.

Pato wanted a penalty, but the referee judged Legrottaglie's risky tackle from behind to be fair. Moments later Favalli went through the back of Del Piero for a second yellow card, leaving Milan with 10 men for the final five minutes.

Pato's accurate shot was charged down and Kaka also slipped when trying to get the rebound. Ronaldinho also wanted a spot-kick for a coming-together with Chiellini, but again the referee waved play on and this time there was no doubt on the replays he got the ball.

Milan failed to take advantage of Zebina's howler, while Dinho failed to get his head on to Pirlo's free kick by a matter of inches from six yards. Kalac smothered a Legrottaglie snapshot, but 10-man Milan kept pouring forward and were unable to find a winner.
Milan: Kalac; Flamini, Maldini, Favalli, Zambrotta; Beckham (Pato 67), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Seedorf (Senderos 87); Kaka, Inzaghi (Ronaldinho 74)

Juventus: Buffon; Grygera, Legrottaglie, Chiellini, De Ceglie (Zebina 73); Camoranesi, Poulsen, Zanetti, Marchionni; Iaquinta, Amauri (Del Piero 74)

Ref: Orsato

Sent off: Favalli 84 (M)

Ancelotti offered new contract
10.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

While some say he has already agreed to join Chelsea, it’s reported Milan have offered Carlo Ancelotti a contract extension until 2012.

There are claims in the Corriere dello Sport that Ancelotti would give his definitive response to Roman Abramovich only after both clubs had mathematically qualified for the Champions League proper.

That could be as early as Monday or at most Tuesday, but the San Siro outfit is not prepared to lose him yet.

The doubts over the tactician’s future continue and one of the question marks surrounded the fact he had not yet been proposed a new deal.

His current contract only lasts until June 2010 and the club confirmed he would be removed from his post if he failed to finish in the top three this season.

The Rossoneri have found their stride in recent weeks and with a victory over Juventus this evening would put the lock on the more prestigious second place.

It is reported Ancelotti has been offered a new deal until June 2012 with an improvement in his wages.

The Corriere dello Sport also suggests that he has already signed a pre-contract agreement with Chelsea back in February, but there are some caveats.

Above all the final word on his early departure from Milan depends on the Rossoneri and they might not be so willing to release him now.

While it is true that Inter could win the Scudetto this evening – if they win at Chievo and Juventus conquer San Siro – equally the seven-point gap could be dramatically reduced.

Mourinho ignores AC Milan vs. Juventus
10.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Jose Mourinho knows Inter could be handed the title if Juventus beat Milan, but “I’d rather get a good night’s sleep.”

The leaders have a seven-point advantage over the Rossoneri and with a win away to Chievo and Juve’s victory at San Siro, the Scudetto would mathematically be secured.

“I don’t know if my players will be watching Milan-Juventus, but I certainly won’t,” sneered the Special One.

“I’d rather get a good night’s sleep and will only find out the result on Monday morning. Should we be cheering on Juventus? No, that would be completely wrong.

“After our game with Chievo, my work is done and if we win I will think we just need three points to be sure.”

Inter have had a tense rapport with both these teams in recent months and a row erupted with Milan over the number of refereeing decisions that went to each side.

Rossoneri President Silvio Berlusconi – and Italy’s Prime Minister – stated today “Inter deserve the Scudetto,” but even that is not enough to calm Mourinho’s ire.

“If tomorrow night the gap between us is four points, I think Berlusconi will take on a very different approach come Monday,” smiled the Portuguese boss.

“Politicians are very good and changing their tune. I prefer peace and quiet, but sometimes when they raise the white flag you cannot trust them completely.”

Ancelotti has Juve warning
10.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti warns the wounded Juventus are “dangerous,” but also pointed out that “facing Milan right now is very tough.”

The Rossoneri were trailing in third place for most of the season, but Juve’s sudden collapse has seen them leapfrog ahead and on Sunday evening the teams come face-to-face.

“Juve are going through a difficult time, so that will give them extra motivation,” said the Coach. “The Bianconeri will try to react with all their strength and that means we are taking on a dangerous side.”

This has always been a key fixture and Ancelotti admits to a degree he shares the view put forth that this is the ‘real’ derby d’Italia rather than Inter-Juventus.

“I don’t know which tie most deserves that title. All I know is that Juve are the most successful side in Serie A history and Milan the most successful in Europe.

“Milan are in a positive moment and tomorrow is the ideal night to put in a great performance, we are all brimming with enthusiasm.

“We are in the right condition to attack the game and we want to do that. If we do it from the start, then we could have a big advantage. Facing Milan right now is very tough.”

The San Siro squad are the form side in Serie A at the moment with seven wins from eight games.

Gennaro Gattuso is back in the team for the first time since undergoing anterior cruciate knee ligament surgery in early December, returning a full month ahead of schedule, but there are question marks over David Beckham’s ankle.

“Gattuso will be on the bench and if needed he can give his contribution,” added Ancelotti.

“David had a problem with his ankle during the week and is not 100 per cent fit. Mathieu Flamini is ready to replace him. If David recovers, then the Frenchman will challenge Marek Jankulovski for a spot in defence.”

Taking on Juventus is always a special occasion for Ancelotti, who joined in 1999 and was fired in 2001 after failing to snatch the Scudetto.

“I had a good professional experience there. The club and players were very close to me, but the rest of the Juventus environment never welcomed me because of my past as a player for both Roma and Milan.”

Therefore he knows all about the situation Claudio Ranieri is going through right now, as the tactician is hanging by a thread.

“I tend to show my solidarity to all Coaches, as I know how difficult this job is. That goes double for Ranieri, because since he has been at the helm I think Juve have done very well, perhaps even beyond expectations.

“I think the media campaign mounted against him has been excessive, especially as Juventus suffered the same misfortune with injuries as we did this season.”

Gattuso comeback this weekend
10.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso will make his comeback against Juventus on Sunday a full month ahead of schedule.

The Milan midfielder has been out of action damaging the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on December 7 against Catania.

He was expected to be out for the whole season, but in his inimitable style the Rossoneri warrior has recovered ahead of schedule.

“Yes, he will be called up for this game,” said Coach Carlo Ancelotti ahead of tomorrow night’s Juve battle.

“He’ll be on the bench and if he is needed, then he can give his contribution to the team.”

Almost exactly five months after undergoing surgery, Gattuso is back in training and ready for his return to the playing field.

This is at least a full month ahead of schedule, as when he went under the knife in Antwerp in December, specialists warned this injury needed “at least six months” to heal.

Berlusconi: Inter deserve it
10.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi calmed the controversy with Inter by stating “they deserve the Scudetto.”

The patron – who is also Prime Minister of Italy – had criticised the Nerazzurri by suggesting if it hadn’t been for Adriano’s handball goal in the derby, the gap to the leaders would’ve been far smaller.

Inter President Massimo Moratti hit back by stating the Rossoneri had received a “record” number of penalties this season.

“I think that for what they did in this season, Inter deserve the Scudetto and will probably win it,” commented Berlusconi in the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“They showed on the pitch that they are the strongest side in Serie A.”

Inter need only two more victories from the remaining four rounds to be sure of lifting the title.

However, if Milan lose at home to Juventus on Sunday night, the celebrations would be brought forward.

AC Milan prepare Drogba swoop
10.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that Milan are waiting on Didier Drogba’s UEFA punishment before staging a transfer swoop for as little as £15m.

The Chelsea striker was out of control after Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final elimination at the hands of Barcelona.

He screamed at referee Tom Henning Ovrebo and witnesses claim the behaviour became even more extreme going into the players’ tunnel.

UEFA are analysing the official reports and are set to make a decision next week, which could result in a lengthy ban.

The possibility of missing out on the Champions League for several of the group phase games is a terrible blow to the Blues and he may not see his contract (which expires in 2010) renewed.

Drogba had been heavily linked with Inter and a reunion with his former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, but this lack of discipline could scupper that deal.

Instead it’s reported in today’s Corriere dello Sport that Milan are ready to intervene and take the Ivory Coast striker to Serie A.

Depending on the length of the ban, Drogba could be available for as little as £15m – around half the price-tag Arsenal have slapped on Milan’s first choice Emmanuel Adebayor.

Naturally the Rossoneri would also have to take into account how long they would go in the Champions League without the hitman, too.

Kaka's Champions League hunger
8.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan superstar Kaka is looking forward to the Champions League Final, but admits that it has been painful sitting the tournament out.

The Rossoneri weren't in Europe's premier competition this term after losing out to Fiorentina in the battle for fourth place last season.

Kaka will be watching Manchester United take on Barcelona for the Champions League trophy and is excited by the prospect.

“It is the right Final,” he told La Repubblica. “The two teams deserve to be there and it's the game that everyone wanted to see.

“Manchester United and Barcelona play the best football in Europe - they are brilliant, strong sides.

“While Barça are a great side to watch, United are solid as well as full of talented individuals.

“Who is the best out of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi? They both have different qualities. Cristiano is better in terms of strength, power and aggression, but Messi has agility, ball control and speed.

“Messi is almost unique in that he is small but the best during a period when muscular players rule the game.”

Barring a miraculous collapse, Milan will be in the Champions League next season.

“We have suffered not being there,” Kaka admitted. “It is the best stage and I miss being on it with Milan.

“Because we have had to miss out on it this year we have an even greater hunger for next season.”

Bayern 'look to Gourcuff'
8.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that Bayern Munich want Milan youngster Yoann Gourcuff as a replacement for Franck Ribery.

Ribery is expected to leave the Allianz Arena this summer and is a target for a host of top European clubs.

According to German website, Bayern are braced for his departure and see 22-year-old talent Gourcuff as his natural successor.

Gourcuff's future is up in the air. Milan sent the Frenchman on loan to Bordeaux when he failed to fit in at San Siro and he has excelled in Ligue 1.

Bordeaux are determined to keep Gourcuff, but may struggle to meet the required fee.

It has been suggested that Bayern would be willing to pay around £20m for Gourcuff - a sum Milan would struggle to refuse.

Pizarro unaware of AC Milan gaze
8.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Werder Bremen striker Claudio Pizarro stresses he has heard nothing about a potential move to Milan.

The Peru international scored a crucial goal in Werder's UEFA Cup semi-final triumph against Hamburg last night.

Interviewed after the game on Italian TV station La7, Pizarro seemed flattered by interest from Serie A sides but was surprised at talk of a possible transfer to Milan this summer.

“I know nothing about any interest from Milan,” he stuttered.

“However, in Italy there are some very prestigious clubs and every team is very competitive.”

Teammate Diego has been repeatedly linked with a move to Juventus during the last few months and seems to be closing in on a deal.

“If that is true then I wish him all the very best,” Pizarro said at the end of the interview.

AC Milan push for Puyol
8.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are being linked with Barcelona captain Carles Puyol as they look to strengthen their back line.

The Rossoneri's defence needs an overhaul and they have already signed Thiago Silva and Felipe Mattioni.

But with Paolo Maldini retiring and Alessandro Nesta plagued by injury problems, transfer guru Adriano Galliani is expected to open the wallet again.

According to Tuttosport, Milan are lining up Barcelona star Puyol to play alongside Thiago Silva in central defence next term.

The Turin-based newspaper claims that Liverpool's Daniel Agger was the original target before he renewed his contract.

Palermo rising star Simon Kjaer was a possible objective, but he failed to impress scouts sent to watch him several times this season.

Puyol, who is 31, would bring some necessary experience but is still in the prime of his career. He has made nearly 300 appearances for the Catalan giants.

While it may be hard to persuade such a stalwart to leave Barça, there are whispers that he would like a foreign experience before it is too late.

Zambrotta wary of Juve threat
8.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Gianluca Zambrotta is confident ahead of Sunday's battle with former side Juventus, but he isn't taking the Old Lady lightly.

The Rossoneri haven't had the greatest of campaigns, but they have been in superb form of late and seem set to secure second place.

“There are four very difficult games remaining because they are all against teams looking to reach the UEFA Cup or the Champions League,” Zambrotta warned on the Milan Channel.

“Our wins have helped build the morale and we are thinking more positively than before.

“We are also in better condition and it is important that we keep in good physical shape until the season.”

Milan have a big test this weekend as they host an embattled Juventus side at San Siro.

“The Juve game is a crucial one for us,” Zambrotta asserted. “We know that it will be tough because the Bianconeri are the kind of team that never give up.”

Abbiati for Buffon ruled out
8.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati has no intention of leaving the Rossoneri in an exchange deal with Gigi Buffon, according to his representative.

There have been whispers that the unsettled Buffon will be exchanged for Abbiati and a significant cash sum.

But Vincenzo Morabito, who protects Abbiati's interests, doesn't think the transfer is likely.

“This is strange talk because Abbiati is recovering from a serious injury and may not even be available before August,” he told Tuttojuve.

“Besides, Christian is happy at Milan and not even thinking about any other options for his future.

“He had numerous options last season, but he made his choice and I think he will stay with the Diavolo.

“I also don't think that Juventus will sell Buffon. I think people are exaggerating his loss of form. The Old Lady are having a tough time, but they want to make a competitive team so they need champions like Gigi.”

Galliani expects Ancelotti stay
7.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has silenced constant speculation regarding the future of Coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Cagliari boss Massimiliano Allegri has been widely tipped to replace Carletto at the end of the season.

Ancelotti has been regularly linked with Spanish giants Real Madrid and Premier League titans Chelsea.

“I have read this kind of speculation, but I am staying quiet,” Galliani said.

“We are staying calm. I have read about Allegri but I have never spoken to him. There is so much alleged news that I don't have time to refute it all.

“I am just speaking to Ancelotti and I hope to keep dining out with him as I am this evening.”

Milan face Juventus in a key clash this weekend, which will probably decide second place.

“I saw the comments from Juventus patron Lapo Elkann that said that Milan-Juve was the true Derby d'Italia,” Galliani said.

“They have won most in Italy and we have won more in the world and so it is a big clash.

“The season still isn't over as there are still four games left even if the Scudetto race is realistically over.”

Former Azzurri defender Alessandro Nesta is still struggling with injury problems and could retire this summer.

“With are waiting for Alessandro and we will continue to wait,” Galliani explained.

“Milan don't intend to give up on him because he is a great champion. We still hope that he can return to the Rossoneri team.

“We wouldn't have achieved so much in the Champions League without him. He has been a crucial player for Milan and we hope he continues to be.”

Maldini names successor
7.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan captain Paolo Maldini has named Thiago Silva as the man to succeed him once he retires at the end of this season.

The legendary 40-year-old is in his 25th season with the Rossoneri and has made 641 appearances for the club.

“Thiago Silva can do great things,” Maldini told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “But he needs an expert by his side.

“I have told Adriano Galliani, Thiago has to have Giuseppe Favalli close to him so that he can grow.

“Thiago Silva has everything it takes to succeed. He jumps like a cricket. He's quick and has personality.”

When asked if he could be the expert playing along side Thiago, Maldini replied: “Yes, I am well. The pain is under control and the performances I make on the pitch are good.

“A little time ago, I saw Dr Martens. He smiled at me and crossed his fingers. I am going through the final phase of my career in a very happy way.

“I am preparing to say goodbye without any regrets in 25 years of football. It will be another life I know it. I will have different rhythms. I will miss the smell of hard work.”

Maldini believes Milan have done well in his final season as a professional and thinks the Rossoneri need just a couple of retouches to become future champions.

“We have recorded 15 points more than last season. Milan have the best attack and the second best defence. It doesn't seem to me to be a team to throw away.

“With two or three signings of a high level Milan can compete with anyone in Italy and in Europe,” Maldini explained. “Our strength has always been a mix of youth and experience.

“You say that our defence is old when the old defenders concede goals, but you don't seem to remember that now we concede fewer goals and it's Favalli and I at the back.

“The truth is that the career of a player is getting longer. In the `70s and `80s clubs only gave one-year rolling contracts to 30-year-old players.

“Now, they don't and Milan has been at the forefront even in this field,” Maldini added, before revealing his last game will not be a testimonial for Italy.

Maldini retired from international football after the 2002 World Cup, but the Azzurri would reportedly like to honour him with one final cap.

“No, even if I want to once again thank the FIGC, who have shown themselves willing. I would prefer to leave football with an official game, and then again I don't like the games of goodbye.”

Buffon - Abbiati swap deal?
7.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are rekindling their interest in Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon and reportedly believe he can be exchanged for Christian Abbiati plus cash.

The Rossoneri have long been admirers of Buffon and tried to sign him when the Bianconeri were relegated to Serie B in 2006.

The Italy No 1 is frustrated at life in Turin and appears open to either a move abroad or to the club of his grandfather's cousin, Milan.

Juventus are said to want £40m for Buffon, but Silvano Martina, the player's agent, believes he is worth half that figure.

Manchester City apparently made a bid of £70m for the 31-year-old in January only to sign Shay Given later that month.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Abbiati has been inserted into the potential transfer to offer Juve a replacement and to bring the cash deal down.

Abbiati spent a season on loan with Juventus three years ago after Buffon was injured against Milan in the Luigi Berlusconi Trophy Final.

He made 19 appearances for the Bianconeri before Milan sent him on loan to Torino and then Atlético Madrid.

Abbiati returned to the Rossoneri this summer and established himself as their No 1 until a knee ligament injury ended his season.

The 31-year-old will be out for six months at the very least and his physical condition will have to be factored into any deal for Buffon.

Galliani talks up Van Basten
7.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani believes Marco Van Basten has what it takes to train the Rossoneri.

Van Basten recently left Ajax after emphatically failing to lead them to their first Eredivisie title in five years.

Milan are believed to be looking for a new Coach if reports linking Carlo Ancelotti with Chelsea are true.

Ancelotti was in London yesterday to watch Arsenal play Manchester United, but some reports suggested he was signing for Chelsea.

“Van Basten has the right pedigree to train Milan,” Galliani told Sky Italia. “But, for now, Ancelotti is here and he's very good.”

Van Basten is a Milan legend. He scored 90 goals in 147 appearances for the Rossoneri between 1987 and 1993.

His previous experience as a trainer includes a four-year stint with Holland, who he led to the Euro 2008 Quarter-Finals.

Milan have hired former players in the past, the most notable examples being Nils Liedholm, Fabio Capello and Ancelotti.

Dida in injury scare
6.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan goalkeeper Nelson Dida could miss this weekend's crucial clash with Juventus.

The Rossoneri meet the Old Lady knowing that a win would almost guarantee second place.

But Carlo Ancelotti faces a crisis between the posts as Dida pulled up in training yesterday.

The 35-year-old is suffering from acute back pain and didn't join the rest of the squad today.

It is a worrying sign for the Diavolo because the Brazilian spent much of last term suffering from a similar problem.

First-choice custodian Christian Abbiati is already sidelined for the rest of the season, so Australian international Zeljko Kalac may make his first Serie A start of the season.

Reports: Beckham eyes AC Milan stay
6.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are whispers that David Beckham is trying to avoid returning to Los Angeles Galaxy via legal channels.

The England midfielder arrived in January in a loan agreement, but he has delayed his return to the MLS.

Beckham is currently scheduled to return to Los Angeles next month before being free to return to Milan in January when his contract expires.

But, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Beckham has called in his lawyers to see whether it would be possible to stay in Italy for pre-season and is hoping for a legal loophole.

The ex-Manchester United man would have to agree an early contract rescission with the Galaxy, which is unlikely to happen.

In a recent interview Beckham admitted he didn't feel he had any chance of avoiding a return to the MLS, where he is likely to have a frosty reception.

Ancelotti in London for Adebayor
6.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti, Adriano Galliani, David Beckham and Mathieu Flamini will be in the Emirates stands tonight, but for different reasons.

The Milan representatives will pour into London for the Champions League semi-final in which Arsenal seek to overturn their 1-0 first leg defeat to Manchester United.

Beckham and Flamini are there to support their former teammates, as Becks has always said he remains a Red Devils fan and the Frenchman only left Arsenal last summer.

The motivation behind the presence of Coach Ancelotti and general manager Galliani is to watch Gunners striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

Milan made no secret of their interest in the Togolese hitman and were very close to signing him this season.

It is particularly good timing, as for the second time in a few days Adebayor has flirted outrageously with the Rossoneri in newspaper interviews.

“I often speak to Galliani on the phone because he is very good at French as his wife is from Morocco,” Adebayor explained in Tuttosport.

“Galliani may not be as sexy as Beyonce, but Milan are. They have won the Champions League on seven occasions whereas Arsenal have never won it.

“For now I just want to finish the season on a high, but then we will see. My agent Stephane Courbis is in London with his Italian associate Vincenzo Morabito and they are always working day and night.”

It is only to be expected that while in London both agents will also meet with Galliani and Ancelotti.

Moggi tips Gasperini for AC Milan
5.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Disgraced ex-Juventus director Luciano Moggi thinks Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini is the leading candidate to replace Carlo Ancelotti at Milan.

Ancelotti is being widely tipped to leave San Siro after a disappointing season and he has been linked with Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Gasperini has worked wonders with Genoa this term and is reportedly a possible name for the Milan, Juventus and Roma benches.

“If Ancelotti leaves Milan then Gasperini will take his place,” Moggi claimed in Libero.

“The Genoa Coach has been a revelation this season, but I don't know whether he has the charisma to lead a massive club like Milan.

“They are a very different team from Genoa but he would receive a lot of early support from Milan.”

Gasperini has laughed off reports liking him with Juventus or Milan and Genoa President Enrico Preziosi maintains the Rossoblu tactician will be at Marassi at the start of next season.

AC Milan on Silva trail
5.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are being linked with a summer swoop for towering Hamburg defender Alex Silva.

The Rossoneri are expected to strengthen their ageing back line at the end of the season.

They have already signed Felipe Mattioni and Thiago Silva, but the Corriere dello Sport believes transfer guru Adriano Galliani hasn't finished yet.

With Champions League football almost guaranteed, Milan will need to add some strength in depth and could bring in another proven defender.

Brazilian star Silva nearly joined the San Siro giants when he left Sao Paulo last year, but there wasn't space for another non-EU player at the club.

That problem is likely to disappear soon because Silva is expected to be granted EU citizenship within the next few months.

Giuseppe Favalli is likely to leave at the end of the season and Paolo Maldini will retire, while Alessandro Nesta continues to be plagued by injuries.

Adebayor sees 'sexy' AC Milan
5.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arsenal striking star Emmanuel Adebayor has again flirted with Milan despite his contract extension with the Gunners.

The Togolese international was close to signing for the Rossoneri last summer, but he opted to sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium.

Adebayor is now tied to Arsenal until 2012, but that hasn't stopped him stressing his admiration for Milan and he recently compared the Diavolo's affections to those of American singer Beyonce Knowles.

“I often speak to Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani on the phone because he is very good at French as his wife is from Morocco,” Adebayor explained in Tuttosport.

“Galliani may not be as sexy as Beyonce, but Milan are. They have won the Champions League on seven occasions whereas Arsenal have never won it.

“Last year I was very close to signing for the Rossoneri, but then I renewed my Arsenal contract until 2012.

“For now I just want to finish the season on a high, but then we will see. My agent Stephane Courbis is in London with his Italian associate Vincenzo Morabito and they are always working day and night.”

Pippo retains AC Milan motivation
4.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striking star Pippo Inzaghi is still hungry for goals, but he accepts that the title race is over.

Inzaghi scored his 11th goal in eight games to continue the Rossoneri's excellent run with victory over Catania.

At the age of 35, Inzaghi is still one of Serie A's most dangerous marksmen and he has no intention of leaving the game.

“I really like playing for such a great team and it's a source of great satisfaction that I am achieving such success at this age,” Super Pippo told Sky Sport Italia.

“Earlier in the season I played and scored in the UEFA Cup but not much in the League.

“I waited for my chance and kept working hard in training and that meant that I was ready.

“I have never thought about leaving because I have always played so often here and it is just normal that as they years go by other people are given a chance in my role.

“After all the great moments I have had here, I want to finish my career with Milan.”

Milan trail Inter by seven points with just four games remaining and would need a miracle in order to win the title.

“There isn't any hope now,” Inzaghi admitted. “We are just thinking of staying ahead of Fiorentina because we want to get back in the Champions League.

“I'm sure that Carlo Ancelotti will stay because the whole squad is behind him and he is loved by everyone.”

Galliani: AC Milan play best football
4.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani insists that the Rossoneri play better football than city rivals Inter.

Despite a period of excellent form, the Diavolo trail the Nerazzurri by seven points with just four games remaining.

However, Galliani is proud of the way Milan play under Carlo Ancelotti, even if their Scudetto hopes are miniscule.

“Inter are more consistent, but we are playing the better football,” Galliani told Sportmediaset.

“Milan's success in Europe has been due to the fact that we play beautiful football.

“If Inter had lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic to injury for many games as we did with Kaka then things would have been different and we would have fought for the Scudetto until the final day.”

Mattioni delighted at debut
4.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defensive new boy Felipe Mattioni enjoyed his first taste of Italian football against Catania.

The Brazilian signed for the Rossoneri from Gremio in January and was brought on in the dying minutes of Milan's 2-0 win.

“I'm very happy with my Serie A debut, even though I didn't play for very long,” Felipe told the Milan Channel.

“I now just hope that I will have more opportunities in the future at San Siro.

“It was a very important win for the Diavolo cause and it allows us to keep chasing our objective of direct qualification for the Champions League.”

Milan benefitted from Juventus' unexpected stumble against Lecce and Carlo Ancelotti's men lead the Old Lady by four points while trailing leaders Inter by seven.

Ancelotti hails new AC Milan
4.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti hopes Milan can continue this level of performance next season, but warns Scudetto dreams are a utopia for now.

The Rossoneri notched up their seventh win in eight games with a 2-0 away to Catania and maintained the gap from leaders Inter at seven points.

“We are not thinking of the top spot, but rather keeping ourselves clear of fourth position. We need four points to make that secure in four games,” said the Coach.

Thanks to Juventus' 2-2 draw with Lecce, they have extended their advantage in second to four points.

“I am very realistic. We are playing well, get to train all week and that shows on the field at the weekend.

“We will have to remember how we work now and take that on through next season.

“Inevitably there are regrets about what we could have achieved this year, but everyone knows the injury problems we had.”

The rumours that Ancelotti is set to join Chelsea continue apace with reports Roman Abramovich's yacht was spotted off the coast of Sicily ahead of today's game.

“That's all we need!” laughed the tactician. “Watch out in case Abramovich's helicopter swoops down to take me away…”

Catania 0:2 AC Milan - match report
3.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Inzaghi 27 (M), Kaka 52 (M)

Pippo Inzaghi's 11th goal in eight games maintained Milan's splendid form and second place.

The Scudetto hopes were looking more of a utopia after Inter's win over Lazio last night meant they needed only six points from four remaining games. Instead the Rossoneri had to focus on keeping second place away from Juventus and made this tricky trip to Sicily without the suspended Mathieu Flamini and the usual injury list (Bonera, Borriello, Gattuso, Nesta, Kaladze, Abbiati, Antonini). The Sicilians had already secured safety and missed Pablo Ledesma, Potenza and the banned Fabio Sciacca.

Milan had won six of their previous seven games, but their record in Catania was of three victories, two defeats and six consecutive draws.

Catania rattled the frame of the goal six minutes in when a corner kick was headed back into the six-yard box by Martinez and Giuseppe Favalli's attempted clearance thumped the upright!

Paolo Maldini almost scored at the age of 40 when he got on the end of a corner and looped the header over Kosicky, but Izco got back for a decisive goalline clearance.

Pippo Inzaghi just failed to get on the end of David Beckham's cross, then forced Kosicky into a double save in the rain.

Inzaghi opened the scoring with his 11th goal in eight games, although much of the credit was Kaka's. The Brazilian ran from midfield and threaded through for SuperPippo, who spun round between two defenders to drill in from eight yards.

Kosicky rushed off his line to close down Inzaghi and Nelson Dida blocked a Giuseppe Mascara daisy-cutter. Andrea Pirlo chipped the ball to the back post where three Milan players were totally unmarked, but Inzaghi turned the header just wide.

Milan doubled their lead straight after the restart, as Massimo Ambrosini nodded the ball back across the face of goal where it was flapped into Kaka's path for the easiest of tap-ins.

Inzaghi wasted a golden opportunity when he got in front of his marker only to volley Kaka's cross over from close range.

Inzaghi hit the woodwork when Kosicky deflected his shot on to the upright and moments later Kaka did the same thing, curling on to the opposite post with the goalkeeper beaten.

Alexandre Pato came on for the final minutes, sporting a newly-shaved head, immediately forcing Kosicky into a tricky low save.
Catania: Kosicky; Silvestri, Silvestre, Stovini, Capuano; Carboni (Llama 63), Biagianti, Izco (Tedesco 46); Mascara (Spinesi 82) Martinez, Morimoto

Milan: Dida; Zambrotta, Maldini, Favalli, Jankulovski; Beckham (Bonera 79), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Seedorf; Kaka (Mattioni 89), Inzaghi (Pato 74)

Ref: De Marco

'Mascarinho' welcomes AC Milan
2.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Brazilian superstars are coming to Sicily, but Giuseppe Mascara of Catania thinks he could steal the show from Ronaldinho.

The striker has hit the headlines this season with a series of stunning goals, including a volley from the centre-circle, earning him the nickname Mascarinho.

“It is an honour for me to be compared to Ronaldinho and now it will be a particular pleasure to come face to face with him,” said the Italian.

“I don’t wake up on a Sunday morning with the idea of scoring a goal from 40 metres. Clearly if I find myself in that situation and the ball has the right bounce to it, why not?

“However, I do not step on to the pitch looking to score for my personal gain, I only focus on the needs of the team.”

Catania are now safe from the threat of relegation and so have no pressure on them when welcoming second-placed Milan.

“I have been at Catania for five years and the fans know that we always challenge everybody, especially at home,” continued Mascara.

“Now we are even more confident and can give it our all for the victory in these final five matches.

“Nobody gave us anything, so we will not do favours for anybody, including Milan.”

Ambrosini for captaincy, says Gattuso
2.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Rino Gattuso, the fiery Milan midfielder, believes Massimo Ambrosini should captain the Rossoneri once Paolo Maldini retires.

The 40-year-old Maldini will hang up his boots at the end of this season after a glorious 25 years in the game.

Ambrosini has long been thought of as his successor, although many feel Gattuso deserves the armband more.

“I have played more games for Milan, but Ambrosini is older and for that reason it seems to me to be the right choice also because it's balanced,” Gattuso said.

Ambrosini will be 32 later this month and has been at Milan since 1995, making 249 appearances for the Rossoneri.

Gattuso, by contrast, joined Milan from Salernitana in 1999 and has made 275 appearances for the club.

Pato backs Ancelotti
2.5 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato has backed Carlo Ancelotti to stay at the club beyond the end of this season.

The Rossoneri are reportedly considering a change and Ancelotti has been linked with Chelsea and Real Madrid.

“Ancelotti is a very good trainer and a good person,” Pato said. “He shouts at us every now and again, but that's his job.

“I am very happy that he is our Coach. I don't think he'll leave, he'll stay with us and we'll win a lot of championships together.”

Ancelotti is the second longest serving Coach in Milan's illustrious history behind El Paròn, the great Nereo Rocco.

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