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The Archive

June 2003

Seedorf: Stam wants Milan
30.6 || scharatz

Clarence Seedorf has claimed that his international teammate Jaap Stam wants to join him at Milan.

The Lazio stopper is today being linked with a £7m move to Arsenal but that is now in doubt after Seedorf’s statement.

"I often speak to Jaap and he’s always insisted he wants to play for the Rossoneri," the midfielder told the Italian weekly ‘Controcampo’.

"He himself has authorised me to tell our fans of his desire. Let’s hope that developments in the transfer market make this happen. He would be a great signing."

Stam’s future in Rome has been a constant source of speculation ever since the club hit financial problems.

He’s been one of the most outspoken players of the squad who haven’t been paid regularly for some months now.

That led to stories that the former Manchester United ace wanted to leave the capital and Milan, Juventus and Inter are all interested.

However, Lazio chief Luca Baraldi has always insisted that his club would be keeping the international for the new season.

That after Coach Roberto Mancini specifically asked the Olimpico side to keep the Dutchman, along with Dejan Stankovic and Bernardo Corradi, at all costs.

Stam has also been linked with a return to Holland with PSV Eindhoven reportedly monitoring his situation.

Meanwhile, Lazio are still being linked with a move for Belgian striker Wesley Sonck. "Ajax and Lazio have made offers," said Genk President Jos Vaessen.

Milan to intercept Mutu?
30.6 || scharatz

European champions Milan could be set to pip Lazio to the signature of the highly rated Adrian Mutu.

The Parma player is a known target for the capital club but speculation suggests that the Rossoneri are very interested.

The Romanian had an excellent campaign last season and has been consistently linked with a move to Juventus.

But Milan are believed to have made an approach for the 24-year-old and have already made an offer.

Reports suggest that the Rossoneri have offered Jon Dahl Tomasson and cash in exchange for the player.

Mutu has stated that he is happy to remain at the Stadio Tardini but Parma will sell if a high enough bid is tabled.

Meanwhile, there is also the possibility that Milan’s Marco Borriello could move to Parma in exchange for Emiliano Bonazzoli.

Milan move appeals to Motta
27.6 || Seamus

Barcelona midfielder Thiago Motta says the idea of playing for Milan is an attractive one.

"I have received proposals from four great Italian clubs: Milan, Inter, Juve and Roma," he said. "The best one came from the Rossoneri.

"I owe a lot to Barcelona, where I have been since I was 16 years old. But I must still discuss my contract situation with them.

"It would be fantastic to play for Milan."

Di Vaio-Tomasson swap planned
22.6 || scharatz

Juventus and Milan could exchange strikers this summer in a surprise move for Marco Di Vaio and Jon Dahl Tomasson.

The Bianconeri are looking for a tall forward who will be able to hold up the ball and give them a different style to the agile David Trezeguet and Alessandro Del Piero.

Lazio's Bernardo Corradi and Bologna giant Julio Cruz have been linked, but the latest target is Danish hitman Tomasson.

He failed to make a real impact at the San Siro last season and would be willing to move, even if it probably means more bench warming in Turin.

The Rossoneri would also relish letting him go as the international only arrived on a free transfer from Feyenoord last season, therefore resulting in a profit of approximately £8m.

Milan have been attached to a number of strikers this summer, including Cameroon international Samuel Eto'o - who is now thought to be closer to Parma.

Di Vaio would be a more than adequate replacement for Tomasson and hopes to recapture the form shown at Parma last year.

Juventus are offering the ex-Salernitana man as part of a group of players Milan can pick from - including Enzo Maresca, Marcelo Zalayeta and Mark Iuliano.

Carlo Ancelotti is a fan of Iuliano's work and reportedly tried to bring the defender with him to the San Siro last summer.

Albertini confirms Milan return
22.6 || Seamus

Demetrio Albertini has announced his comeback to the San Siro despite reports of a Benfica bid.

"I will come back to Milan," he told 'Radio 24', "and have already moved house. My furniture is in Italy now."

The midfielder was a pivotal member of the Milan side in the 1990's, but last year fell out of favour with the Italy squad and Rossoneri Coach Carlo Ancelotti.

A loan spell at Atletico Madrid proved successful, although the Spaniards will not extend the experience further.

"There is a different way of looking at football here," he noted. "Off the field there is less pressure, while on it there is more attention to tricks rather than tactics. It was an enjoyable time for me."

It is unlikely Albertini, who turns 32 this summer, will find room in the Champions' League and Coppa Italia winning squad.

Benfica remains an option, but the most likely destination now is a return to Serie A with newly promoted Siena.

Albertini started his club career with Milan in 1988 and had only ever spent one season away from the San Siro - at Padova in 1990 - before this spell in Spain.

Eto'o offers himself to Milan
21.6 || scharatz

Cameroon international Samuel Eto'o has invited Milan to make a bid for his services this summer.

"It would be fantastic to play in Serie A," said the talented Mallorca hitman during his Confederations Cup campaign.

The energetic striker hit the headlines this week when his stunning goal allowed Cameroon to run out 1-0 winners over World Cup holders Brazil.

That strike, and his fine form in La Liga with Real Mallorca, has set a £10m price tag and attracted the interest of Manchester United and Valencia.

"My favourite team is Milan," continued the 23-year-old. "Who would not want to play with the Champions of Europe?"

Eto'o is also a useful option for the Rossoneri as he has an EC passport, while his pace and power provide a different style to current forwards Andriy Shevchenko and Pippo Inzaghi.

Albertini heading for Benfica?
21.6 || Seamus

Demetrio Albertini, Jose Mari and Fabricio Coloccini could be loaned out to Benfica, but Milan scouts are in Madrid for another matter.

The three players are currently spending the season at Atletico Madrid, but do not look set for a return to Milan.

Benfica finished well behind Portuguese title winners Porto and their Coach Juan Antonio Camacho wants reinforcements for the Champions' League.

Veteran Albertini has impressed in La Liga and claimed he wanted another year in Spain, but there are other clubs willing to welcome him back to Italy.

Newly promoted Siena have made their interest in the ex-Italian international known and are intent on using his experience for their first ever Serie A campaign.

Striker Jose Mari never really discovered his form at Milan, while Argentine defender Coloccini is still becoming accustomed to European football.

Milan representatives were spotted in the Spanish Capital this week to discuss the fate of these three players, but they also paid a visit to Real Madrid.

The main target is Jose Maria Gutierrez, known to many as Guti, who will almost certainly leave the club with the arrival of David Beckham.

"I have practically no chance of playing first team football now," said the talented midfielder, "and I would rush to Italy given the chance."

There is also interest from Roma, but the Rossoneri seem to be making inroads with Real

Milan loan out Budel to Lecce
20.6 || Seamus

AC Milan's 22 year old midfielder Alessandro Budel joined Lecce on a one year loan, this Thursday afternoon.

Lecce will be able to take full ownership of the player at season's end if they are satisfied with his performances.

The news was confirmed by ACMilan's official website.

San Siro set for revamp?
20.6 || Seamus

Both Milan clubs are said to be considering the option of redeveloping the magnificent San Siro stadium.

The arena is currently owned by the city council but there are reports that Milan and Inter could buy the venue in order to increase the capacity.

Milan Vice-president Adriano Galliani and Inter chief Massimo Moratti could set up a consortium in order to make a bid for the stadium and the land it is built on.

It is believed that both clubs are keen to add a fourth tier to the arena which would see the San Siro’s current capacity of 80,000 vastly increased.

The news comes just months after Juventus agreed a 99-year deal with the Turin council for the lease of the Stadio Delle Alpi.

The Italian champions are set to totally revamp their home venue and the surrounding area. Work should start later this year and be completed by 2006.

No Figo sale say Real
19.6 || scharatz

Milan and Inter have been told by Real Madrid to forget about trying to sign Luis Figo this summer.

Figo’s future in the Spanish capital has been put into doubt after the arrival of David Beckham but Real insist they will keep the ace.

"There is no need to discuss Figo’s situation because he is one of the most important players at this club," said sporting director Jorge Valdano.

"We haven’t received any offers for him. All that we are hearing are just words passing through the wind."

Inter confirmed on Wednesday that they were seriously interested in the services of the 31-year-old.

Boss Hector Cuper has asked for new wide players this summer and the former Barcelona star would fit into his 4-4-2 system.

Milan have also been heavily linked with Figo even if Vice-president Adriano Galliani continues to insist that the Rossoneri’s transfer campaign is over.

However, Figo himself seems to have ruled out the possibility of moving to Serie A.

"Italian football doesn't interest me right now," he stated. "If I leave Spain, I would prefer to go to England and improve my language skills.

"But I’m not worried that Beckham is coming. It has not been something I've lost any sleep over, not before, and not now the move has been confirmed."

Reports from Spain suggest that Figo could play alongside Beckham next season if the England captain is fielded in the centre of midfield.

Ancelotti calls on Appiah
18.6 || scharatz

Carlo Ancelotti has given his seal of approval to Milan’s bids for Stephan Appiah and Emiliano Bonazzoli.

“Bonazzoli and Appiah are two players I like the look of,” he told the ‘Gazzetta di Parma’ newspaper. “They would both make a good impression wearing the Milan shirt.”

The Rossoneri have been in negotiations with Parma for a number of players and have been heavily linked with Ghanaian midfielder Appiah.

The youngster spent the season on loan at Brescia and was chased by a number of big clubs, above all Roma, but now the San Siro seems to represent his future.

Under-21 international hitman Bonazzoli also made his mark on loan at Reggina, turning their campaign around following his January switch.

There were also reports of a swoop for Hidetoshi Nakata, but Ancelotti adds fuel to claims he’ll end up at Chelsea.

“Nakata is a good player, but he plays in a role we already have well covered here. I don’t see it as a good move despite his commercial value.”

Roma captain Francesco Totti was the dream move built up in the newspapers after his statements hinted at a future at Milan.

“I think every club would want Totti in their team,” continued Ancelotti, “but he will remain beyond reach.”

Milan will now concentrate on winning the Scudetto after their remarkable campaign, picking up the Champions’ League and Coppa Italia.

Marcos Cafu, who arrived on a Bosman after his Roma contract expired, has been their first and so far only buy of the summer.

“Milan have two reinforcements that most people don’t know about,” smiled the tactician.

“One is Fernando Redondo, who is finally able to work with the whole squad after two years of fitness worries. The other is Rivaldo, who can still make his mark on Serie A despite a few personal problems still bothering him.”

There were reports in today’s newspapers that an £8.6m deal for Jaap Stam had been completed, but Lazio President Ugo Longo shot down the rumours.

“There is absolutely no truth in these claims,” said the Biancocelesti chief, “and it is nothing but rumours.”

One wonders how Ancelotti can improve upon the last season with The Double under their belts.

“It will be difficult to repeat this year, especially in Europe,” conceded the former Juventus Coach.

“We beat some fantastic teams, many of them on their own turf. It really was an extraordinary charge through the Champions’ League.”

Milan will be up for six trophies next season, starting with the Italian Supercup against Juve on August 3 in New York.

“If we were a team like any other, then we might relax and rest on our laurels. However, if this squad lives up to the Milan name and history, it will turn the Old Trafford victory into a starting point for a new era. We must learn from our mistakes, especially in Serie A.”

Inzaghi: "I'll finish my career at Milan"
18.6 || Seamus

Milan striker Pippo Inzaghi wants to remain with the club until the end of his career.

"I will certainly finish my career at Milan," he said. "They are my family."

He added "'The Golden Ball? I won it as I lifted to the sky the Champions League trophy: you can't even imagine my satisfaction."

We never wanted Totti, says Galliani
17.6 || Seamus

AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani told reporters on Wednesday that the Rossoneri never had the intention of signing AS Roma star Francesco Totti.

"Milan never looked to sign Totti, nor did we ask Roma if there was this possibility. We also never spoke directly with the player," Galliani said during the presentation of the Montecitorio Milan Club.

"Furthermore Totti is a player who is under contract with Roma, and we are covered in all roles," added Galliani.

Galliani's remarks greatly contradict the many reports that surfaced throughout the Italian media in the past weeks.

These indicated Milan were ready to offload Rui Costa, Rivaldo, and a large sum of cash in exchange for the Giallorosso skipper.

No big names needed
17.6 || Seamus

An outstanding piece posted on the official pages of AC Milan's official website, SA partner proudly proclaimed it's current European Champion squad and encouraged fans to think of the transfer market as something secondary to the club's needs. Here is the full piece titled "THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE"


Summer is the best season to dream. And if you are keen on football, it is easy for you to imagine your team enriched with some new stars. It is easy, but not bound to happen. The question is one: do this Milan team need a big name or can just be content with some adjustments? Are you certain that a European Champion team, who won also the Coppa Italia and finished third-placed in the Serie A after being Winter Champion, really needs a great transfer-market campaign?

Milan can already count on many big names who are those players the fans and the club really wanted in order to bring the team back to the top flight. The signing of first-rate players was welcomed with enthusiasm in the last few seasons, the economical efforts were appreciated. Manuel Rui Costa and Pippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Nesta and Rivaldo, Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo, and all the rest. The Rossoneri wanted to return to their winning ways and clinch new successes, and they managed to do it. Milan have become great again. With this team, with this stars. Through the goals from Pippo Inzaghi and Shevchenko, through Pirlo's crosses and Gattuso's grit, through Maldini's class and Nesta's good clearances. Everyone made his contribution to the team.

Of course dreams are allowed, and should Milan sign new players, they would be warmly welcomed inside the Rossonero family. But all this must be looked at in perspective.

Milan admit Beckham defeat
17.6 || scharatz

Milan seem out of the running for David Beckham after the club admitted that it would be "difficult" to sign him.

The England captain has been linked with the Italian giants even if it looks increasingly likely that he will join either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

"Signing Beckham would be difficult but we will have to wait and see what happens," said Vice-president Adriano Galliani.

The club official also commented on stories linking the Rossoneri with Roma’s Francesco Totti and Jaap Stam of Lazio.

"Milan have never been after Totti and we have not approached Roma for him," he continued.

"He is a player that is contracted to the Giallorossi and we already have cover for every position in our squad.

"As for Stam, all the stories are untrue. After all we already have eight defenders. With the arrival of Marcos Cafu we are complete.

"This is confirmed by the fact that we have kept Christian Abbiati who is part of 18 players that will not be sold."

The Champions’ League winners rejected an offer from Arsenal for the ‘keeper who has now extended his contract until 2008.

With so little money about, Galliani maintains that there will be few big name movers this summer.

"It will be a summer where we will see a lot of swap deals," he added. "There is no cash around and that makes major signings impossible."

Milan plan Bonera swoop
17.6 || scharatz

Milan are believed to have asked Parma about the availability of the highly rated Daniele Bonera.

The Under-21 international regular is one of the most promising defenders in the Italian game and Milan see him as part of their future.

The Gialloblu are ready to sell the 22-year-old former Brescia ace and have asked for cash and the services of Martin Laursen in exchange.

But the Champions’ League winners are keen to keep hold of the Danish international but are willing to offer Sam Dalla Bona instead.

The midfielder was signed by the San Siro outfit last summer from Chelsea but has rarely featured over the last 12 months.

Bonera, capped three times at full international level, is also a known target for Juventus who are looking to rejuvenate their ageing defence.

Meanwhile, Parma and Milan have agreed another swap deal. Midfielder Marco Donadel, 20, will move to the Tardini in exchange for young striker Roberto Massaro.

The two clubs do have an excellent relationship as Parma transfer consultant Arrigo Sacchi is a former Milan boss.

Abbiati turned down Arsenal
16.6 || Seamus

Milan have revealed that they and Christian Abbiati have turned down an approach from Arsenal.

The Rossoneri broke the news on their official website on Monday as rumours concerning the goalkeeper’s future continue.

"In the last few days, Milan and Christian Abbiati have rejected a sizeable offer from Arsenal," read the statement.

"Vice-president Adriano Galliani already insisted after the European Cup semi-final win over Inter that Abbiati would remain and he will be part of the squad for the new season."

Abbiati is wanted by a number of clubs after he lost his first team place to Brazilian ‘keeper Dida in the last campaign.

Apart from Arsenal, who are searching for David Seaman’s replacement, newly promoted Serie A side Sampdoria have also been strongly linked.

Abbiati, who made his international debut recently, has often said that he is willing to end his career with the Milan giants.

Cafu hungry for six-ess
16.6 || Seamus

Marcos Cafu has set himself the ambitious target of winning six trophies with new club Milan next term.

The 33-year-old will star for the Rossoneri in the new season after recently signing for the Champions’ League winners.

"It is my dream to win all six of the competitions that we will be playing for," the Brazilian told Italian publication ‘Controcampo’.

Milan will be looking to defend their European Cup and Coppa Italia wins, as well as going for glory in the Scudetto race, the Intercontinental Cup, the European Super Cup and the Italian Super Cup in the next 12 months.

Cafu joins the San Siro giants after he turned down the offer of a new deal with former club Roma.

"I had some important and wonderful years with the Giallorossi both on and off the field," he added.

"I’ll always carry the Scudetto success of 2001 in my heart and will remember the fans fondly.

"But now I am just focusing on Milan, a club where I will do what Coach Carlo Ancelotti wants.

"I’ll sit on the bench if necessary even if I’ll work hard to make sure that I’m not left out."

Gattuso would reject United
16.6 || scharatz

Gennaro Gattuso has committed his immediate future to Milan despite talk of interest from Manchester United.

The former Rangers man did admit recently that he was attracted by the Old Trafford outfit but believes a summer switch is unlikely.

"I did state a few months ago that I would like to play in the Premiership and many people thought that I could join United," he said.

"But with all due respect for any massive club side, how can someone believe that I would leave Milan after the season I’ve enjoyed?"

Gattuso is now a Champions’ League winner after he put in a man of the match performance as the Rossoneri beat Juventus 3-2 on penalties in the recent Manchester final.

"It has been an unforgettable season for me and there is one man that I really must thank," added the Azzurri player.

"Coach Carlo Ancelotti has been wonderful and has constantly given me advice. I really have improved a lot thanks to him."

The former Salernitana and Perugia player, now a fan favourite in Milan, also lifted the Coppa Italia this term.

Milan duo not for sale
16.6 || scharatz

Milan have moved quickly to dismiss reports that Serginho and Martin Laursen are on their way out of the club.

"Serginho and Laursen are unavailable for transfer," read a note on the club’s official website.

"They are not involved and never will be involved in any swap deal. Whoever writes anything different is dealing in lies."

Speculation in Italy had suggested that the duo could be sold to rivals Inter in return for Stephane Dalmat and Daniele Adani.

"Milan would like to underline again that the 18 or 19 key members of our squad that won the Champions’ League will not be broken up.

"The summer of football has just started and when it comes to transfer stories reality is becoming continually ignored."

Laursen’s future at the San Siro has been in doubt for some months now after he spent most of the last campaign on the bench.

With Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta ahead of him in the pecking order, clubs have been alerted to his situation.

A number of sides have expressed an interest with Premiership outfit Bolton the latest to confirm they were eyeing the player.

As for Serginho, he was one of the club’s key men last season but is liked by city cousins Inter.

The Nerazzurri were linked with a swoop for the Brazilian on a number of occasions last summer but no switch was done.

Milan-Parma alliance created
15.6 || scharatz

Reports suggest that Milan and Parma are planning a joint transfer strategy for Hidetoshi Nakata and Stephan Appiah.

The Rossoneri have always had strong trade links with the Stadio Tardini outfit, but ex-Milan Coach Arrigo Sacchi’s role as consultant to Parma has further enhanced those connections.

A meeting between Vice-President Adriano Galliani and Parma patron Stefano Tanzi took place on Friday and could be the precursor to some intriguing moves.

Adrian Mutu is a main target, even if this week the Gialloblu confirmed offers below £20m cash would not even be considered.

Milan are much more likely to swoop for Ghanaian midfielder Stephan Appiah, who should return from his loan spell at Brescia.

Appiah is thought to be the new Edgar Davids and impressed with his power and quality during the last season.

"It would be a dream come true to play alongside Manuel Rui Costa," he told

The 22-year-old was a primary target for Roma, but they backed off after completing Olivier Dacourt’s signing from Leeds United.

The Rossoneri can now pounce with Sam Dalla Bona or 20-year-old Mohamed Sarr plus cash.

There are also reports that the San Siro side has enquired after Hidetoshi Nakata, who has all but confirmed he has played his final game with Parma.

Interest from the Premiership has waned in recent weeks, while the Japanese international would certainly boost shirt and merchandise sales in the Far East.

Nakata would be a useful addition to the squad if Rivaldo decided to end his unsuccessful spell in Serie A.

Rivaldo sacrificed for Beckham
15.6 || scharatz

Milan are making one last bid for David Beckham, including Rivaldo and Kakha Kaladze in the deal.

The England captain is currently caught between two Spanish sides, as the club has a deal with Barcelona while the player agreed terms with Real Madrid.

Milan could yet sneak in there to take advantage of the stalemate and sweep Beckham off to Serie A.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been a long-time admirer of Rivaldo and would relish the opportunity to field him at Old Trafford.

The Brazilian is no longer wanted at the San Siro following his dismal campaign, so the fans would welcome this move.

Man U have also been tracking Georgian international defender Kaladze for several months now, so his inclusion would further tempt them into favouring Milan.

Kaladze is admired for his versatility and in his time in Italy has played in all areas of defence and the left side of midfield.

The two players would be handed over in addition to £10m cash to bring Beckham to the current Champions of Europe.

New York stages Italian Supercup
13.6 || Seamus

New York stages Italian Supercup

This year's Italian Supercup between Juventus and Milan will be held in New York, it was confirmed today.

The trophy is contested between the winners of the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia holders, but in this case also happens to be a replay of the Champions' League Final.

Last season's edition was held in Libya, but New York has won out over competition from Tokyo.

The match will take place at the Giants Stadium on August 3 2003, a good three weeks earlier than the original August 24 date.

The decision was made because both Milan and Juve will be in the United States for a summer tour during that period.

It has now become traditional to play the Italian Supercup overseas in a bid to increase ticket sales.

Juventus are the holders after beating Parma 2-1.

Laursen rules out move to Bolton
13.6 || Seamus

AC Milan defender Martin Laursen has ruled out moving to Bolton after their boss Sam Allardyce named him as one of his summer transfer targets.

The Danish international has previously spoken of his desire to play in the Premiership, however he is setting his sights on a more established team that Bolton.

The 25-year-old spent much of last season out of favour at the San Siro and was linked with a move to Tottenham.

He told Politiken: "With all due respect to Bolton, I would like to join a club with possibilities to play at the top of the table.

"It's just more fun to play at the top than always fighting to avoid relegation."

Allarydce also named Roma's Jonathan Zebina and Panathinaikos' Jan Michaelsen as two of his transfer targets.

Pirlo eyes further success
13.6 || scharatz

Milan star Andrea Pirlo has assured fans that the Rossoneri will look to bring home more silverware in the new campaign.

The Italian giants have had a stunning last 12 months as they won the Champions’ League and the Coppa Italia.

"We have a lot of important objectives in the new season and there is great hunger to win as much as we can," he told Milan Channel. "We must continue on this victorious path."

Pirlo has been a real protagonist for the club after Coach Carlo Ancelotti decided to play him as a deep playmaker just in front of the defence.

"It has been a sensational year for me and one that I will never forget," he added. "I’ve won on the field of play and the birth of my son Niccolo has capped it off perfectly.

"Now it is only right that we can relax a bit after a long and intense season. It’s also nice to not have to play in the Champions’ League Preliminary round after we won the trophy."

Milan rule out Beckham bid
12.6 || scharatz

Milan say they have no intention of signing David Beckham, Francesco Totti or Jaap Stam this summer.

All three have been linked with a move to the San Siro but Adriano Galliani insists no big name signings are on the agenda.

"In order to sign a great player we would have to sacrifice another," said the Vice-president. "But we would prefer to keep the men that led us to Champions’ League glory last term."

The statement comes just hours after Totti committed his future to Roma, after Lazio said they would keep Stam and as reports in Spain claim that Real Madrid will land Beckham.

"We are obviously delighted that major names are being linked because it shows how prestigious this club is," continued Galliani.

"But the squad that we have presently deserves our respect for what they have achieved over the last 12 months.

"It deserves to go and defend the titles that it collected last season. We have a formidable group of players that can now also count on the services of Marcos Cafu."

Cafu Is just the player we needed, says Milan coach
11.6 || Seamus

AC Milan's assistant coach Mauro Tassotti has expressed the San Siro club's joy at having been able to convince Cafu to forego an exotic curtain-call in Japan in favour of a further couple of years in Italy.

"Cafu is just the player we needed," beamed Ancleotti's right-hand man. "Within the last season many players adapted to the role of right-back: Simic, who did very well; Costacurta, who had never wanted to play in that position when he was younger; and Roque Junior, who is a natural half-back too."

Tassotti went on to explain that despite the flexibility of the club's defenders the right side of defense was somewhat of a problem area for the Rossoneri last season and thus the 33-year-old Brazilian's arrival is something of a god-send.

"It was just in that position we suffered a bit last season, especially against the teams who closed down in defence," he explained, "so it is important for us to have a right-back who can press forward and cross."

Cafu, in the meanwhile, has revealed that the wishes of his family were key to him deciding to back out on his arrangement with the Yokohama Marinos.

"I talked to my family and we preferred to stay in Italy," said the former Roma star, who has signed on with Milan until June 2005.

"Shevchenko is more than non-transferable!", booms Galliani
10.6 || Seamus

AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has attempted to put an end to the incessant transfer rumours regarding the club's Champions League hero Andriy Shevchenko.

"I can confirm that Andriy Shevchenko is non-transferable," insisted Galliani. "It boggles my mind how such false news can be reported. Sheva is not involved in any Milan deal, has never been involved and will never be involved. He is more than non-transferable."

Berlusconi bins Becks talk
9.6 || Seamus

Milan chief Silvio Berlusconi has ruled out the possibility of a multi-million pound swoop for David Beckham.

Rossoneri Vice-president Adriano Galliani was quoted as saying that Beckham was Milan’s "primary objective" this summer but Berlusconi has distanced his club from a £30m move.

"There are a lot better ways to spend money, which was earned thanks to many sacrifices, than to get Mr Beckham," said the Italian Prime Minister.

The Manchester United ace looks set to leave Old Trafford over the next few months as links with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Italy continue.

Some reports in the peninsula on Monday suggested that the Rossoneri would offer the Premiership champions Andriy Shevchenko in return for the England captain.

"Shevchenko is not for sale," insisted Galliani. "I can’t understand the motives behind why such a false story would be published.

"Shevchenko has never been and will never be involved in any transfer negotiations involving Milan. He is untouchable."

Milan switch delights Cafu
9.6 || Seamus

Brazilian World Cup captain Marcos Cafu has spoken for the first time after sealing a move to Milan.

"I’m delighted to be playing for the Rossoneri because this is a great club," he told the Milan website.

"I feel privileged that this outfit has chosen me and I hope to honour this shirt in every opportunity that I am given."

The Italian giants today confirmed that they had signed the 33-year-old after his contract with Roma expired.

"I can’t wait to play my first game at the San Siro," he continued. "I’m already concentrating on the new campaign in which I am looking to win as much as possible."

Cafu becomes the latest Brazilian to join the ranks as Dida, Roque Junior and Rivaldo are already at the club.

"It should be a good atmosphere for us," he added. "I know them all well and they are great players.

"We Brazilians are always happy when we have the chance to spend time with each other.

"I also expect Rivaldo to make a real impact next year. It is only normal that it takes time for someone to get used to a new environment.

"Yet he now knows how the Italian game works and he will be a real protagonist in the new season."

Milan deny Beckham stories
9.6 || Seamus

Champions League winners AC Milan have denied reports in The Sun that they have targeted David Beckham.

Milan vice-chairman Adriano Galliani was quoted as saying: "Beckham is our primary target. We are pursuing our objective and will do everything in our power to get him."

However, general director Ariedo Braida stated: "No, we are absolutely not interested.

"They are just fantasy rumours reported by the press. He is a great player, but there is nothing in it."

President Silvio Berlusconi added: "He's too expensive. I know better ways to spend my hard-earned money."

Cafu move made official
9.6 || scharatz

Champions’ League winners Milan have confirmed that they have completed the signing of Marcos Cafu.

The Italian giants made the move official on Monday morning stating that Cafu had agreed a two-year deal which will expire on 30 June 2005.

The Brazilian international arrives at the San Siro on a Bosman free transfer after his contract with Roma expired.

The Giallorossi did offer the wing-back a new salary reduced deal but that was rejected by the 33-year-old.

Cafu has been linked with a move to Milan for months even if that was put into doubt after he signed a pre-contract with Yokohama Marinos.

However, the J-League side tore up that agreement on Friday at the request of the player which allowed the Italian side to conclude talks.

He already underwent a medical with Milan last week, just hours before he flew back to his homeland for his summer break.

Cafu celebrates Milan move
7.6 || scharatz

Marcos Cafu has admitted that “only details” separate him from signing a new contract with the Rossoneri.

The World Cup winner is a free agent after his deal with Roma expired, while yesterday Japanese club Yokohama Marinos tore up a pre-contract agreement.

“There are only a few details left,” he admitted, “and then the move will be complete. I could even sign tomorrow, there are no problems.”

Cafu turned 33 years old this week and already underwent a successful medical with the Milan staff before jetting off to his homeland for a holiday.

“My family settled in Italy,” he revealed, “and a move to Japan would have turned our lives upside down.”

Yokohama Marinos were understanding and officially rescinded the deal that would have tied him to the club for two years in a contract worth £2.6m.

“I am moving to Milan because I am still hungry for success and I want to win more trophies in my career.”

Roma are still struggling to replace the winger after six years at the Stadio Olimpico.

Although Brazilian teenager Mancini is set to return from his loan spell at Venezia, he is not experienced enough to fill such a void.

The Giallorossi have now reportedly set their sights on Bayer Leverkusen’s German international Bernd Schneider.

The deal hinges on the lack of funds, as Roma have offered the 30-year-old a one-season loan deal with the option to complete the move in June 2004.

Totti: Buy up or Bye Bye
7.6 || scharatz

Francesco Totti has pointed out in no uncertain terms that if Roma don’t buy big names this summer he will walk towards Milan.

“If Roma continue to be a mid-table side,” he said from Italy’s Coverciano training ground, “then I could leave. I have many offers from other clubs.”

The international has in the past mentioned Real Madrid as a dream destination, but today looked closer to home.

“We at Roma make a fuss about refereeing errors because we are not accustomed to winning,” he confessed after Milan President Silvio Berlusconi criticised Totti’s attitude.

“But I am happy that Berlusconi mentioned me. He could be my President in the future. After all, I nearly joined the Rossoneri when I was fourteen years old.”

This is not the first time that the Giallorossi born and bred star has hinted at a departure following this dismal campaign.

The Stadio Olimpico outfit finished in eighth place and a runner-up in the Coppa Italia to Milan, only entering the UEFA Cup because the Rossoneri are already in the Champions’ League.

“Roma can be a great and winning side once more,” he added, “and I have promised to be the flag bearer of the team.”

“However, the club has made promises to me and if these are not kept, I will be free from my obligations to Roma.”

President Franco Sensi has pledged to sign four new stars for the next season, but the names he has made have not impressed.

Two of them, former Leeds United man Olivier Dacourt and teenage on-loan Venezia winger Mancini, are technically already owned by the club.

The other targets are Ajax striker Mido and Chievo defender Nicola Legrottaglie, but negotiations are moving slowly and Juventus could intervene.

“I put forward three of four names,” explained Totti. “I am aware these are top stars who can make the difference, but that is precisely what Roma need right now.”

Nesta wants Milan to sign Stam
6.6 || Seamus

AC Milan defender Alessandro Nesta believes the Rossonero management should sign Jaap Stam from the Italy international's former team SS Lazio.

"Stam is an excellent player. I hope he joins us, and if this doesn't happen, it would be great if he goes abroad, because whoever signs him will make a great buy," said Nesta.

The European Champion also expressed satisfaction for the signing of Cafu, even though he wants to wait for the club to officially confirm the news.

"Did he really sign with us? If this happened, good," he told reporters with a smile.

More serious was his answer when he was asked about David Beckham joining the Rossoneri.

"There isn't a lot of money around. The decision is up to our management. For me it's enough to play in a team filled with champions like Milan is right now."

Cafu cleared for Milan move
6.6 || Seamus

Marcos Cafu is free to join Milan after Japanese club Yokohama Marinos tore up a pre-contract agreement.

The Roma star is a free agent this summer as he failed to agree new wage-reduced terms with the Giallorossi.

He had always denied reports in March that he had already signed a pre-contract agreement with a side in Japan, but it later emerged the deal was worth £2.3m and tied him until 2006.

The World Cup winner received an interesting proposal from Milan, but as Vice-President Adriano Galliani admitted earlier this week, “Cafu must first work out his legal position in Japan.”

It seems that this has now been achieved, as several official news agencies reported this evening that Yokohama Marinos have rescinded the pre-contract agreement.

There were claims Cafu used the SARS virus and consequent insurance problems as the reason he would pull out of the move to Japan.

Now there are no legal ties preventing the Brazilian winger from signing a new deal with Milan.

He already underwent a medical exam with Rossoneri doctors before jetting off for a holiday in Brazil.

Beckham or Figo for Milan
6.6 || scharatz

Milan have joined the chase for David Beckham as speculation mounts that Manchester United are prepared to sell.

Both Barcelona and Real Madrid have been linked with the England captain but Milan may also be prepared to pay the £30m asking price.

Becks has been of interest to the Champions’ League winners for some time and Vice-president Adriano Galliani has promised one major signing this summer.

Galliani did claim last week that Beckham’s personal sponsorship deals would make his arrival unlikely.

But he also stated last year that the club would not be making a move for Alessandro Nesta just weeks before they signed the Lazio ace.

Should Milan miss out on Beckham then his proposed move to Real Madrid could still favour the San Siro side.

His arrival at the Stadio Bernabeu would raise question marks over the future of Luis Figo who is also liked by Milan.

The Rossoneri hope that the presence of Manuel Rui Costa could be favourable in their possible bid for the Portuguese winger.

Leonardo discusses Cafu deal
5.6 || Seamus

Milan's Assistant Vice-President Leonardo has spoken about the club's interest in AS Roma's Cafu, and insisted that a deal has not yet been concluded.

"Cafu is clearly an interesting player and the club have never hidden this interest, but there are many elements that the transfer is dependent on," he was quoted as saying on the club's official site. "We hope we can finish it, although we cannot say when."

Moreno vows: I'm not returning to Milan
5.6 || Seamus

Atletico Madrid's on-loan Milan striker Javi Moreno says he will not return to the Rossoneri.

"I am not going to go to Milan," he said. "I am not going to return because I do not want to.

"I do not want to speak of this subject and I will go to play where there are opportunities, but I am not going to return to Milan."

The striker has not had a great season since returning to La Liga on loan.

Victories give Milan the top spot in the ESPN World Club Top 25
4.6 || Seamus

It was a fantastic week for AC Milan as the Italian giants took home their sixth European Cup crown on Wednesday night and clinched their first Coppa Italia since 1977 on the weekend. The pair of victories give Milan the top spot in the ESPN World Club Top 25.

Serie A Champions Juventus fell out of the top spot after the loss to Milan in the Cup final. Juventus could not solve Milan goalkeeper Dida, who made three saves in the shootout after the two teams played to a scoreless draw.

The ESPN World Club Top 25, a computer based ranking of the world's top clubs, was developed by the staff at ESPN International in 1999. Now in its fourth season, the Top 25 formula takes into consideration performances in league, continental and cup competitions.

The Top 25 will be released every Sunday night throughout the football club season during ESPN's SportsCenter broadcast from Buenos Aires.

ESPN's World Club Top 25: June 1, 2003
Club Country Points Last Week Comment

1. AC Milan Italy 320.02 4 Win sixth European crown and Coppa Italia

2. Juventus Italy 318.58 1 Fall short on penalties to rivals Milan

3. Manchester United England 294.18 2 Season complete

4. Boca Juniors Argentina 293.36 5 On course for third Libertadores title in 4 years

5. Real Madrid Spain 291.25 3 Still one point behind Sociedad

6. FC Porto Portugal 274.48 6 Defeat rivals Sporting in season finale

7. Santos Brazil 272.28 9 Advance to semifinals of Copa Libertadores

8. Inter Milan Italy 268.97 7 Season complete

9. River Plate Argentina 253.72 8 Eliminated in Libertadores; tie 2-2 with Boca

10. Bayern Munich Germany 253.06 11 Win domestic double

11. Arsenal England 249.03 10 Season complete

12. Deportivo La Coruna Spain 237.91 12 3-2 win over Atletico keeps title hopes alive

13. Ajax Netherlands 233.02 14 One point short of PSV in Dutch league

14. Besiktas Turkey 233.00 13 Complete Turkish season with one loss in 34 games

15. Celtic Scotland 227.15 15 Season complete

16. Corinthians Brazil 225.89 16 Unbeaten in last six in Brazil

17. PSV Netherlands 219.94 24 Clinch Dutch League title

18. Valencia Spain 217.00 17 Hold Real Sociedad to 1-1 draw

19. Newcastle United England 216.29 18 Season complete

20. Indep. Medellin Colombia 213.47 NR Advance to semifinals of Copa Libertadores

21. Lazio Italy 210.50 20 Season complete

22. Liverpool England 208.03 21 Season complete

23. Borussia Dortmund Germany 206.90 22 Season complete

24. America Cali Colombia 204.40 NR Advance to semifinals of Copa Libertadores

25. Rangers Scotland 203.65 NR Wrap up domestic treble

Dropped out:
No. 19 Gremio (Brazil)
No. 23 Real Sociedad (Spain)
No. 25 Cobreloa (Chile)

Victories give Milan the top spot in the ESPN World Club Top 25
4.6 || Seamus

It was a fantastic week for AC Milan as the Italian giants took home their sixth European Cup crown on Wednesday night and clinched their first Coppa Italia since 1977 on the weekend. The pair of victories give Milan the top spot in the ESPN World Club Top 25.

Serie A Champions Juventus fell out of the top spot after the loss to Milan in the Cup final. Juventus could not solve Milan goalkeeper Dida, who made three saves in the shootout after the two teams played to a scoreless draw.

The ESPN World Club Top 25, a computer based ranking of the world's top clubs, was developed by the staff at ESPN International in 1999. Now in its fourth season, the Top 25 formula takes into consideration performances in league, continental and cup competitions.

The Top 25 will be released every Sunday night throughout the football club season during ESPN's SportsCenter broadcast from Buenos Aires.

ESPN's World Club Top 25: June 1, 2003
Club Country Points Last Week Comment

1. AC Milan Italy 320.02 4 Win sixth European crown and Coppa Italia

2. Juventus Italy 318.58 1 Fall short on penalties to rivals Milan

3. Manchester United England 294.18 2 Season complete

4. Boca Juniors Argentina 293.36 5 On course for third Libertadores title in 4 years

5. Real Madrid Spain 291.25 3 Still one point behind Sociedad

6. FC Porto Portugal 274.48 6 Defeat rivals Sporting in season finale

7. Santos Brazil 272.28 9 Advance to semifinals of Copa Libertadores

8. Inter Milan Italy 268.97 7 Season complete

9. River Plate Argentina 253.72 8 Eliminated in Libertadores; tie 2-2 with Boca

10. Bayern Munich Germany 253.06 11 Win domestic double

11. Arsenal England 249.03 10 Season complete

12. Deportivo La Coruna Spain 237.91 12 3-2 win over Atletico keeps title hopes alive

13. Ajax Netherlands 233.02 14 One point short of PSV in Dutch league

14. Besiktas Turkey 233.00 13 Complete Turkish season with one loss in 34 games

15. Celtic Scotland 227.15 15 Season complete

16. Corinthians Brazil 225.89 16 Unbeaten in last six in Brazil

17. PSV Netherlands 219.94 24 Clinch Dutch League title

18. Valencia Spain 217.00 17 Hold Real Sociedad to 1-1 draw

19. Newcastle United England 216.29 18 Season complete

20. Indep. Medellin Colombia 213.47 NR Advance to semifinals of Copa Libertadores

21. Lazio Italy 210.50 20 Season complete

22. Liverpool England 208.03 21 Season complete

23. Borussia Dortmund Germany 206.90 22 Season complete

24. America Cali Colombia 204.40 NR Advance to semifinals of Copa Libertadores

25. Rangers Scotland 203.65 NR Wrap up domestic treble

Dropped out:
No. 19 Gremio (Brazil)
No. 23 Real Sociedad (Spain)
No. 25 Cobreloa (Chile)

Galliani: No big moves in the transfer market
3.6 || Seamus

AC Milan Chief Executive Officer, Adriano Galliani has revealed that the European Champions will not be making any drastic changes or big signings over the summer as he feels that the current squad is very competitive. Milan will be competing for six trophies in 2003-04 (Champions League, Coppa Italia, UEFA Super Cup, Italian Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup and of course the Scudetto) and Galliani believes a core 25-man squad with some younger players in reserve would be adequate to compete on all fronts.

Speaking from Parghelia where Milan's 2003 strategy workshop is being conducted, the Italian League President said, "We will sign an important defender, not Chivu because he is a half-back and we are covered in that role with first-teamers Nesta and Maldini, and first-rate reserves like Laursen, Costacurta and Roque Junior."

That important defender is most likely going to be Cafu who is on the verge of signing for the Rossoneri following a medical examination. Milan are keen to seal that one weak spot in their defence at right-back and if the deal does not go through, Milan will focus their attention on one of Jaap Stam, Michel Salgado and Cosmin Contra.

Galliani also confirmed that Dane Thomas Helveg will join bitter rivals Inter after completing his loan period with Milan. He had been traded to the Nerazzurri back in 2001, but spent a further two seasons in the red-and-black half of the city. Ibrahim Ba and Jose Antonio Chamot will also be leaving following contract expirations.

Galliani also stressed that no major changes would be made anywhere else on the pitch.

"The team for the next season can count on eight defenders. As for the attack, young talent Marco Borriello will be added to the three present strikers: We do not need any other big names to compete with Pippo and Sheva."

Borriello has spent the season at loan with Empoli and is a regular with the Italy U-21 side. This statement also confirms that, despite speculation of a move away, Jon Dahl Tomasson will remain at the club.

When quizzed about Abbiati's contract the CEO said, "Abbiati is off the transfer list, he will stay at Milan until I am chief executive. He was decisive against Inter in the Champions League and clinched the Coppa Italia, playing the final."

AC Milan will start pre-season training on July 19th and will play a familiar foe, Juventus, twice: first in the Berlusconi Trophy on August 17th and then in the Italian Super Cup on August 23rd or 24th.

Cafu in Milan for medical
3.6 || Seamus

According to reports in Italy, Cafu is having a medical in Milan before completing a free transfer to the Rossoneri.

Tonight he is expected to sign a 2-year contract worth 1 million Euros per season.

The Brazilian is out of contract with AS Roma and recently turned down a move to Yokohama Marinos.

Sporting Lisbon in for Helveg
3.6 || Seamus

Thomas Helveg has rescinded his contract with AC Milan and is now being chased by Sporting Lisbon.

The Danish international has seen limited action for AC Milan and is seeking regular first team football.

"Sporting Lisbon are a great team, but I will wait until all the offers are on the table then I will decide which
move is best," he said.

Sporting Lisbon is in need of a central defender now that Pablo Contreras' loan deal has expired and he has gone back to Celta Vigo.

Sporting have also been linked with Newcastle's Steve Caldwell, Inter's Carlos Gamarra and Boavista's Paulo Turra.
Daniel Fernandes

Legrottaglie fancies Juve or Milan
3.6 || Seamus

Highly coveted Chievo centre-back Nicola Legrottaglie says a move to Champions League finalists Milan or Juventus appeals.

"The night in Manchester last week was truly exceptional," he said. "It would be a dream come true to play for one of these teams.

"Hopefully that dream can soon be realised and I'm working towards it."

Ancelotti singles out Gattuso
3.6 || scharatz

Carlo Ancelotti has singled out Gennaro Gattuso as ‘the soul of the Milan squad this season.’

The plucky midfielder has seen his price tag soar following his performance in the Champions’ League Final against Juventus.

“The real surprise this year has been Gattuso,” noted the Coach. “He has surpassed all my expectations. He is more than a mere player, he drags the team along with him and is the very soul of this squad.”

The former Glasgow Rangers star has attracted interest from Manchester United, but it seems unlikely Milan will let him go for less than £12m.

Ancelotti took a look back at the season that saw him pick up the Champions’ League and Coppa Italia.

“We played an intelligent game against Juventus,” he explained, “taking the initiative and limiting their aggressive midfield stars.”

However, the real key to the Old Trafford tie was with the so-called ‘Old Guard’ of Ancelotti’s former teammates.

“All the other players looked to Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta. They saw how relaxed they were and that calm confidence swept through the entire team.”

The trophy went to a penalty shoot-out and Andriy Shevchenko scored the very last kick.

“I knew the team was convinced it would do well,” added Ancelotti, “but I only really knew we’d won after I saw Shevchenko’s kick go one way and Gianluigi Buffon dive in the other direction.”

The tactician has finally shaken off his ‘loser’ tag and innovated the career of former Under-21 international Andrea Pirlo.

“Pirlo gave us that little bit extra in midfield,” commented the Coach. “It all started in the August ‘Trofeo Berlusconi’ game against Juve. I was immediately convinced he’d do well in that role.”

The one negative note in this season has been Rivaldo’s disappointing debut in Serie A.

“He’ll stay with us next year,” assured Ancelotti, “and I believe he will perform well in Italy.”

Galliani reveals Milan plans
2.6 || Seamus

Milan Vice-president Adriano Galliani has confirmed the club’s plans for the summer transfer market and commented on the future of Rivaldo.

Galliani insists that the bulk of the squad which ensured Champions’ League glory last week would remain even if a new arrival is on the agenda.

"We have no intention of selling any of our squad and we can’t buy a host of world class players to just sit on the bench," stated the Rossoneri official.

"If anyone makes a bid for one of our men we will turn it down because no one is for sale at any price.

"The only way someone will leave is if they come to me, and this includes Rivaldo, and asks to be sold."

Galliani has promised in recent weeks that it is Milan’s intention to make one major signing this summer.

But speculation that he is talking about David Beckham or Luis Figo seems wide of the mark right now.

"We will buy a defender who will become a first team regular," he insisted. "As for Figo, we almost had him in 1997 but that love story has now ended."

The defender that Milan seem to be targeting is a right-back who will replace Thomas Helveg as he will return to Inter after his loan spell across the city.

Names being mentioned are Marcos Cafu of Roma, Lazio’s Jaap Stam or even former player Cosmin Contra who joined Atletico Madrid last summer.

"I can confirm that Laursen, Roque Junior and Costacurta are also happy to remain here and sit on the bench," added Galliani.

"We will also keep both goalkeepers in Dida and Christian Abbiati. We will have a squad of 25 that will be capable of lifting six trophies next term."

Under-21 international striker Marco Borriello will return to Milan after his six-month loan deal with Empoli expired.

Maldini up for Golden Ball?
2.6 || scharatz

Milan ace Paolo Maldini is a realistic contender to win the 2003 Golden Ball according to father Cesare.

Maldini junior followed in his father’s footsteps last week when he lifted the European Cup for Milan as captain – 40 years after Cesare did the same.

"Although he is my son I think that winning the Champions’ League won’t be enough to collect the European Footballer of the Year award," he told ‘Radio Rai’ on Monday.

"He needs to add other important triumph. If he can win the European Super Cup and then the Intercontinental title then he has a chance."

The Rossoneri lifted their sixth European Cup on Wednesday when they beat Italian rivals Juventus 3-2 on penalties.

"It was a great moment of joy for me," added Maldini. "Not just because it was a family affair but also because it was a victory for Milan.

"The side had a tremendous start to the season before their form dipped a bit. But they got back on the right track.

"Boss Carlo Ancelotti did an excellent job because it is not easy to keep a squad of 23 champions all content."

Despite Milan’s victory, and three of the four European Cup semi-finalists being Italian, the Spanish Press have heavily criticised calcio this term.

"The Spaniards feel superior but Real Madrid lost to Milan, Roma and Juventus this season," concluded Maldini senior.

"There must be something in that. I think that Milan have always expressed themselves well in Europe throughout the last 12 months."

Milan: Sponsors scrap Beckham move
1.6 || Seamus

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has confirmed an approach for David Beckham, but rules it out due to a clash of sponsors.

“Beckham is a player that certainly intrigues us,” admitted the transfer guru, “but there is a major stumbling block in his other contracts.”

The implication is that Milan are more than willing to meet the £30m price tag set by Manchester United.

“The problem is that Beckham has a two-year contract with Vodafone. They represent competition for our club sponsors and therefore the two deals cannot co-exist.”

The Rossoneri have a sponsorship deal with Telecom Italia Mobile and Siemens Mobiles, so the England international’s move is affected by big business.

“We could not even buy him out of that personal contract as the figures are far too high.”

The other rumoured new buys for next year are Lazio defender Jaap Stam and Real Madrid winger Luis Figo.

“Nonetheless, I still maintain this club must bring in already confirmed champions rather than promising young talents. It is too hard for a youngster to make his mark in this city.”

Galliani was speaking at an AC Milan workshop this afternoon, but retained a small hope for the fans.

“What are the chances of Beckham coming to Milan? 0.01 per cent,” he grinned mischievously.

Meanwhile, the Rossoneri are recovering from yesterday’s celebratory dinner for the Champions’ League and Coppa Italia victory.

The players can now go straight into next year’s European competition as the holders, so the pre-season training camp begins on July 19 instead of the 15th.

“I think it’s a nice present,” concluded Galliani, “and the squad fully deserved this extra rest.”

Their first test of the new season will be the Italian Supercup on August 23 or 24. As Juventus won the Scudetto, we’ll see a replay of the Champions’ League Final.

The Year Of Derbies
1.6 || webmaster

* our comment *
This was written by Kyara in our forums. She asked us if we're kind enough to post this as a column. Apparently, we are! To give her the deserved feedback, just use the forums.
* our comment *

The year of the derbies has come to and end, though it will never end in our hearts. Three derbies, three wins and a final against Juve! A final that took every Milanista's breath away. A final that lasted for 130 minutes, but for us, felt like it was going to last forever... It was only a moment, when Sheva stepped to shoot the ball... It was only a moment before he put his leg, when every street and every corner in the world was painted red and black to reveal the new Champions of Europe! As the curtains of the theatre of dreams were opening, the greatest stars of all time took a long bow of respect for their fans who have been waiting for so long. For so long have we been thirsty for a trophy, for so long have we been longing to release this loud shout inside of us and say "WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!!"

We are the champions of all time, we are the heroes hiding under the covers of success... We are now proud to say, with the highest cry in the world, "WE ARE NOT GONE YET"... YES!, it has been a long time and YES!, we haven't always been the best! But at the end, when the hard times take a long peak and disturb your huge plans, there's only the experience and the name which can save you and take you to the top. And yesterday, that name was MILAN!!

It is enough for us to look at Gatusso's determination and sense the security in our midfield. It is enough for us to look at Sheva and know that there will be a goal. Somehow, somewhere in the sea of those minutes... One look at his eyes when he proceeded to take the penalty, and I can see the will, the desire and the confidence in his eyes... One look at him and my heart shouted out loud "Sheva, I trust you and believe in you"!! It felt like the time had stopped and the ball was going through a long journey ... A journey that took us to Munich and forced the champions of their country to wave goodbye ... A journy that flew through the alleys of Deportivo to tell it's people that there is no way to pass the champions ... A journey that told our players "YOU CAN'T GIVE UP" when Ajax were showing their class ... And finally a journey that didn't want to leave the great city of Milano as it belongs to one side of it , the red and black side!!!!! All these memories passed in our minds just before Sheva pressed the "stop" button to bring us back to the lovely reality ... To tell us that right now he is also a champion, just like Ronaldo, just like Raul and just like anyone else who lifted this precious cup.

Seedorf's tears dropped generously and proudly, now that he's a player who won the Champions league three times. Rui Costa's first ever trophy after his loyal years in his second home Florence. Maldini, the symbol and the captain can now be very proud of the team he worked to build. Pippo Inzaghi, whom without his goals we wouldn't have been in that final. Max Ambrossini who gets the greatest gift of his birthday after being such a great gift for us. Pirlo, the genius brain of the team. Redondo, who waited with us and came back with a strong desire. Serginho, who causes a chill in the hearts of our rivals. Dalla Bona, who was useful for us in Coppa. Nesta, the inspiraion added to the spirit of our defense. Billy, the experience running on the pitch. Kaladze, the never melting snow on the left. Simic was with us all the way even if he wasn't there yesterday. Brocchi, the new twin of Gennaro Gattuso. Roque, who suffered from the injury but stayed and struggled. Rivaldo, who had done well at the beginning of the season even if he didn't do a lot later. Tomasson, our big and young striker. Dida, the king of penalties. Abbiati, the patient derby hero. And finally, CARLETTO ANCELOTTI!!!! Who has proved to me and who has taught me that there is a beginning for everything, that there is always a first time. Carletto is not a loser for me anymore. In so true words, I apologize maestro. And in so true words I say today that there is no joy on this earth as the joy of supporting MILAN!!!



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