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The Archive

August 2008

AC Milan 1:2 Bologna - match report
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Di Vaio 18 (B), Ambrosini 42 (M), Valiani 79 (B)

Ronaldinho impressed on his Serie A debut, but it was Bologna who emerged with a 2-1 victory at San Siro!

All eyes were on Dinho's Serie A debut and his first game in a Rossoneri jersey, as he missed pre-season friendlies so he could pick up a bronze medal with Brazil at the Olympics. Carlo Ancelotti also had Andriy Shevchenko back two years after the £30m move to Chelsea, but Kaka, Marco Borriello, Philippe Senderos, Gennaro Gattuso and Alessandro Nesta were injured with Daniele Bonera banned.

It was a tough task for newly promoted Bologna, who nonetheless wanted to rain on Milan's parade on their return to Serie A after three years. Curiously, they had won their last trip to San Siro 1-0 in January 2005.

This was effectively the first time the new Rossoneri squad had played together in the Christmas Tree formation and the atmosphere at a sold-out San Siro was electric. In the opening minute, Ronaldinho threaded through for Pippo Inzaghi and a defender had to rush to clear.

Dinho drilled wide, but Bologna were dangerous too with Christian Abbiati smothering Martins Adailton's angled drive. Ronaldinho went to head a Clarence Seedorf cross when Inzaghi was better positioned straight behind him.

However, it was another summer signing who scored the first goal at San siro - Bologna's Marco Di Vaio. It was a well-worked move, finalised by a Di Vaio angled drive into the far corner from 10 yards.

Inzaghi sprung the offside trap on Andrea Pirlo's ball over the top, but couldn't get enough power to the ball. Seedorf's first touch let him down on Dinho's pass on the counter-attack, then the Brazilian headed a Gianluca Zambrotta cross straight at Francesco Antonioli.

On 35 minutes Inzaghi combined delightfully with Ronaldinho, but when the Italian went round Antonioli the angle was too narrow and he could only hit the side-netting.

Antonioli parried a Mathieu Flamini screamer from 30 metres, but there was a lot of space at the back and Di Vaio drilled another angled drive just wide on the counter.

However, Milan recovered from that scare to equalise. Ronaldinho gathered a Pirlo cross-field pass and floated the ball to the back post for Massimo Ambrosini's towering header from six yards.

Shevchenko made his comeback two years after the £30m move to Chelsea and was given a warm welcome by the fans. He replaced Marek Jankulovski, moving Flamini to right-back in a very attack-minded 4-2-3-1 formation.

Ronaldinho and Zambrotta combined down the left flank and a pass to the back post was inches away from Seedorf for a tap-in. The new system was working well and Dinho's cheeky dribble in the box set up Inzaghi to force a point-blank save from Antonioli.

Another Dinho chipped pass was this time just wide for Shevchenko. A great move saw Pirlo's long pass find Ronaldinho to cross for Sheva and Antonioli came racing out to narrow the angle and turn the ball past the upright with his foot.

Inzaghi nodded another Ronaldinho cross straight at the Bologna goalkeeper, but for all the pressure Bologna were still in it and Di Vaio skimmed the crossbar with a fierce effort.

Alexandre Pato replaced Inzaghi and created a great chance for Sheva that was closed down by Moras. Milan wanted a penalty for a handling offence, but the referee waved play on.

Incredibly, Bologna sustained the pressure and struck again on the counter to restore their lead! Valiani unleashed a fearsome right-foot strike into the near top corner despite Abbiati getting a fingertip to it! Milan were stunned, as they had dominated the second half and peppered the Rossoblu box with chances.
Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Maldini, Kaladze, Jankulovski (Shevchenko 46); Flamini, Pirlo, Ambrosini (Emerson 85); Seedorf, Ronaldinho; Inzaghi (Pato 69)

Bologna: Antonioli; Zenoni, Moras, Terzi, Bombardini (Castellini 88); Mingazzini, Volpi; Adailton (Marazzina 60), Amoroso (Mudingayi 60), Valiani; Di Vaio

Ref: Orsato

Senderos: AC Milan better than Arsenal
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Philippe Senderos has said the move to Serie A is “a step up in my career, as Milan are better than Arsenal.”

The defender was called in earlier this week to reinforce their ageing back line and is excited at the prospect of playing in Italy.

“I am very happy to be here and want to repay the club for its faith in me,” said Senderos in his presentation Press conference.

“Arsenal are a great side, but Milan are the biggest club in the world. My first impression of the side is very impressive and I want to be here for a long time.

“Compared to the Premier League, I think in the Italian League the players have to work a lot harder.

“The English game is more physical, while Serie A is more tactical and personally I know I have to work hard to reach their level.”

Senderos won't be able to take part in tomorrow's match against Bologna, as he is struggling with a back problem, but the Rossoneri medical staff found more concerns.

“He underwent tests at the MilanLab and was found to be in poor physical shape,” explained medic Massimo Manara.

“He will not go on international duty with Switzerland, instead staying here to continue his work with the fitness coaches.”

Also missing against Bologna are Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso, Kaka, Tabaré Viudez and the suspended duo of Daniele Bonera and Marco Borriello.

Zeljko Kalac was not included in the squad, suggesting he could be set for a move on the last day of the transfer window.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Dida; Antonini, Darmian, Favalli, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Maldini, Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Cardacio, Emerson, Flamini, Pirlo; Inzaghi, Pato, Seedorf, Shevchenko, Ronaldinho.

Shevchenko: I'll win back the fans
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko will “do everything to win back the Milan fans,” but denies Jose Mourinho’s claim he was treated like a prince.

The Ukrainian has taken the Number 76 shirt for this season and was presented to the Press after completing his move from Chelsea.

“Some have said that I was ‘treated like a prince’ during my time at Milan, but that was never the case,” insisted Sheva.

“I also had difficult moments here and overcame them through hard work. Right now I am very optimistic, because for me returning to Milan is like coming home.”

He never really settled in at Chelsea despite the £30m move in 2006 and blamed injury for his failure to impress.

“The last six months have been very tough for me, above all because of the injuries I sustained, so now I am desperate to play, work hard and train for this jersey.

“At the moment the most important thing for me is to play, as I haven’t really set foot on the field for six months. My physical condition is excellent and I hope to give Milan a great deal.”

He may have been a hero in his seven years at San Siro, but Shevchenko is well aware that his departure damaged his standing with the supporters,

“I know full well that certain fans criticised my past choices and that it will be difficult to win back their faith, but my choices have always been made with my heart.

“I couldn’t think of returning to Italy to play with a jersey that wasn’t Milan’s. I’ll give 100 per cent to prove myself to them.

“What I missed about Milan when I was at Chelsea was the organisation, the atmosphere of this club, lots of little things that in the end prove to be important.

“It was so difficult for me when I left here. Now I want to turn the page, focusing only on the present and the future without looking back. I have learned a lot from this experience.”

Ancelotti: Scudetto or bust
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti is well aware Milan will settle for nothing less than the Scudetto after bringing in Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko.

“We certainly won’t be happy if we finish in second place,” noted the tactician. “Everyone working for Milan must remember the objective is to take the title.”

Serie A has been low on the list of priorities for some time now, but after failing to qualify for the Champions League, they need to win back the faith of infuriated fans.

“I am charged up and cannot wait to get started. We have seven strikers, so it won’t be easy to make sure they all get playing time. I trust the players will work with me and each other to ensure the team can progress. It would be difficult if it were only up to me.”

Copying Inter Coach Jose Mourinho’s surprise announcement, Ancelotti also confirmed nine of the starting XI that will face Bologna.

“I don’t want to be outdone by Mourinho! So I’ll tell you that Abbiati, Zambrotta, Maldini, Kaladze, Jankulovski, Flamini, Pirlo, Ambrosini and Seedorf will definitely start.”

With Kaka and Marco Borriello injured, Ronaldinho could make his first appearance in a Rossoneri jersey against Bologna on Sunday afternoon.

“He needs to learn how the team operates and he won’t have that free-flowing rapport with the others for another two or three months, but there is a great deal of expectation surrounding him.”

Another newcomer is Shevchenko, who returns to San Siro just two years after the £30m move to Chelsea.

“He has been mulling over mistakes he made in the past. He’s very motivated and eager to impress.”

Ancelotti confirmed that Christian Abbiati will start between the posts against Bologna, while Daniele Bonera, Philippe Senderos and Gennaro Gattuso are all out.

Chief of Milan medical staff Massimo Manara confirmed Gattuso “is still not 100 per cent” after damaging his shoulder in last week’s 2-2 draw with Austria, but he will be fit for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

“Kaka has made incredible progress and should be working with the team next week. He won’t go on international duty with Brazil so that he can continue the therapy.”

Seedorf targets hitman role
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf doesn’t think he’ll be pushed out of the side by Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko. “I aim to score over 10 goals this season.”

The Dutchman was the most at risk with the summer revamp of the squad, as the arrival of new faces may force him to change position or even sit on the bench.

“Targets are crucial to ensure motivation on both a personal and a team level,” said the Milan midfielder.

“In the last two years I have scored 10 goals per season, so my objective is to surpass that figure.”

Seedorf has long said his preferred position is as a trequartista behind the strikers, but for most of his San Siro career he has been used in wide midfield.

Kaka and Marco Borriello are out injured along with Alessandro Nesta, so it’s possible Seedorf will get his chance to start against Bologna on Sunday afternoon.

“This side is ready for the tournament ahead. While we await the recovering players, we have to do well to ensure they’ll find a solid situation upon their return.”

With their absence from the Champions League this term, Carlo Ancelotti will not need to rotate the squad so much either.

Milan begin their UEFA Cup stint with the first round clash against FC Zurich.

“I must admit I don’t know much about Zurich, but it isn’t the opponent that needs to motivate us, it’s the idea of being in the UEFA Cup.

“We want to win this trophy so this time next year we can face the Champions League victors in the European Super Cup.”

The UEFA Cup is the only major continental trophy that the Rossoneri have never won, so it would be an historic occasion if they were able to end this taboo.

The 2008 edition of the Super Cup was played in Monte Carlo last night with Zenit St Petersburg beating Manchester United 2-1.

Galliani sees five-way title fight
31.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani sees the most open Scudetto race in decades, as Inter, Roma, Juventus, Fiorentina and Milan could all win it.

“This weekend begins a fantastic campaign with five teams – Inter, Roma, Juventus, Fiorentina and Milan – who will fight it out on level terms for the title,” he told Teleradiostereo.

“I won’t pick out a favourite, but the group who can all challenge right up to the end. It is wide open.”

The Rossoneri general manager knows all too well how unpredictable Serie A can be, as last term his side lost out to Fiorentina for the fourth Champions League spot.

With this in mind, the club broke out the cash to bring in Ronaldinho, Andriy Shevchenko, Marco Borriello, Gianluca Zambrotta, Mathieu Flamini, Christian Abbiati and Philippe Senderos.

“You can feel the enthusiasm in the air, as we have sold more than 40,000 season tickets and expect around 70,000 at San Siro on Sunday afternoon for our debut against Bologna.

“Let it not be said that Milan will snub the UEFA Cup, though. It’s true that the Scudetto is our primary objective, but we’ll try to make our mark on Europe as well.”

UEFA Cup Draw: AC Milan vs. FC Zurich
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have drawn Swiss side FC Zurich, while Napoli face a fascinating test against Benfica and Udinese face German opposition.

Milan are amongst the favourites to lift the UEFA Cup after agonisingly missing out on a Champions League qualification place last term.

And Ancelotti's men will begin their campaign against Swiss side FC Zurich, who knocked Empoli out of the competition last term.

Having battled through the Intertoto Cup and demolished Albanians Vllaznia Shkoder 8-0 in the second preliminary round, Napoli weren't in the seeding bracket and feared a tough test.

And they got just that as the Partenopei will face Portuguese giants Benfica in one of the ties of the round and it will be a huge night at the Stadio San Paolo.

Sampdoria fell to Danish side Aalborg at this stage last season but will feel that they can go much further under the influence of the inspirational Antonio Cassano.

In order to do so, Walter Mazzarri's men must overcome Lithuanian outfit FBK Kaunas, who stunned Celtic in the Champions League preliminaries before losing out to Aalborg.

The final Italian side to learn their fate were Pasquale Marino's Udinese and they will count themselves highly unfortunate to face Germans Borussia Dortmund.

The UEFA Cup first round draw in full:
Milan v FC Zurich
FC Timisoara v Partizan
Hertha Berlin v St Patrick's Athletic
Banik Ostrava v Spartak Moscow
Metalist Kharkiv v Besiktas
Portsmouth v Vitoria Guimaraes
Kayserispor v PSG
Sevilla v Salzburg
Wolfsburg v Rapid Bucharest
Sampdoria v Kaunas
Maritimo v Valencia
Dinamo Zagreb v Sparta Prague
Manchester City v Omonia Nicosia
Young Boys Berne v Club Brugge
Nancy v Motherwell
Everton v Standard Liege
Napoli v Benfica
Bellinzona v Galatasaray
NEC v Dinamo Bucharest
APOEL v Schalke
Litex Lovech v Aston Villa
Austria Vienna v Lech Poznan
Vitoria Setubal v Heerenveen
Brann v Deportivo La Coruna
Slavia Prague v Vaslui
Slaven v CSKA Moscow
Brondby v Rosenborg
Cherno More v Stuttgart
Rennes v FC Twente
Ajax v FK Borac
Tottenham v Wisla Krakow
FC Copenhagen v FC Moscow
Zilina v Levski Sofia
Borussia Dortmund v Udinese
Braga v Artmedia
Feyenoord v Kalmar
Hamburg v Unirea Urziceni
Hapoel Tel-Aviv v Saint-Etienne
FC Nordsjaelland v Olympiacos

Pippo Inzaghi hails deadly AC Milan
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Veteran Milan hitman Pippo Inzaghi is brimming with confidence ahead of the new campaign. “Nobody has an attack like ours.”

After a summer of heavy investment, the world champions are looking to eradicate the memories of last year's disappointing fifth-placed finish.

Inzaghi remains a key figure at San Siro and proved his worth last term when he fired on all cylinders at the end of the campaign after returning from injury.

“The fans are fantastic,” he enthused in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“The way they applauded after the final game of last season even after we missed out on the Champions League was magic. This year we want to do everything we can for them.

“Adriano Galliani told things as they are. We have to fight for the Scudetto until the final day.

“I think we are up there with Inter, Juventus and Roma but nobody has an attack like ours.”

The Rossoneri can call upon Andriy Shevchenko and Ronaldinho for their UEFA Cup bid.

“Milan won't snub the UEFA Cup because it is the only trophy that this marvellous group hasn't won,” Inzaghi explained.

“And for me the fact that the Final is in Istanbul has a special significance because of what happened on that sad day in 2005 when I was watching from the stands injured.

“The UEFA Cup is important and it will give a window for those players who aren't playing week in, week out in the League.

“When this team wants a Cup, they win a Cup - history shows that.”

There have been fears over the long-term fitness of Brazilian ace Kaka who has a knee problem, but he should be back for Week 2.

“We are ready to deal with injuries but I hope that Kaka is fully fit soon because I have a special understanding with him on the pitch,” Super Pippo said.

“In the dressing room there are so many champions but Kaka and Andrea Pirlo are perhaps the only irreplaceable players in the way that they play.”

Inzaghi concluded by praising the new recruits who he feels can add a lot to the side.

“It has been fantastic and entertaining to have Ronaldinho here,” he grinned. “I know why he is so unpredictable to opponents.

“Champions are always welcome here and the transfer campaign has brought in several such as Gianluca Zambrotta, Mathieu Flamini and Philippe Senderos.

“The newcomers will really help us and we will all just have to give 100 per cent in training and accept Carlo Ancelotti's choices.

“It is a further motivation to go far in the UEFA Cup so that there are chances for everybody.”

Brocchi signs for Lazio
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan continue to trim their squad and have officially announced the sale of midfielder Cristian Brocchi to Lazio.

After adding Ronaldinho and Mathieu Flamini to their ranks, the Diavolo found Brocchi to be surplus to requirements.

Brocchi made few starts last term in spite of playing 29 times in 2006-07 - a career high number of outings.

The 32-year-old who spent the 2005-06 season on loan to Fiorentina has joined Lazio on a permanent basis with the fee believed to be around £2.2m.

Lazio had been looking for a new recruit after the sale of Belgian international midfielder Gaby Mudingayi to Bologna earlier in the summer.

Milan have now let Alberto Paloschi, Wily Aubameyang, Massimo Oddo and Brocchi go within the last 48 hours.

Oddo: I'll be back
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Azzurri right-back Massimo Oddo has vowed to return to Milan as a better player once his loan spell at Bayern Munich ends.

Oddo was a product of the Rossoneri youth system but he was sent on loan six times between 1995 and 2000 before joining Verona and then Lazio.

Having returned to San Siro in 2007, the 32-year-old became a regular in the Milan defence but spent much of last season sidelined with a knee injury, causing the Diavolo to strengthen their back line this summer.

The Azzurri stopper will now spend the coming campaign in the Bundesliga with Bayern but hopes to command a starting shirt at Milan in the future.

“I am temporarily leaving the club that I always dreamed of playing for since I was a child and the team that has given me the chance to win the most important trophies,” Oddo told Milan's website.

“It was a difficult choice but I thought about it and there was total agreement between the club and myself and I want to thank the directors for that.

“I will go and tackle this new and fascinating challenge and hope to improve for it.

"I wish my teammates a million successes until I get back.

“I want to thank and salute all the fans who have been close to me and supported me in the difficult moments and to offer them an affectionate arrivederci.”

AC Milan starlet arrives at Avellino
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have loaned French striking prospect Willy Aubameyang to Serie B minnows Avellino for the season.

The Paris-born talent has made a handful of appearances for the Rossoneri as a substitute and has also featured in the Coppa Italia.

Highly rated young gun Aubameyang looked sharp in pre-season, but the 21-year-old wasn't ever likely to feature in Milan's first team and the arrivals of Ronaldinho, Marco Borriello and Andriy Shevchenko have rendered him temporarily surplus to requirements.

Avellino are the luckiest side in the Second Division after Messina's financial collapse handed them a stay of execution when they finished in the relegation zone last term.

Aubameyang will now have the chance to play against former teammate Alberto Paloschi, who was sent out to Parma in a co-ownership agreement.

Senderos savours AC Milan move
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Swiss defender Philippe Senderos has described his loan transfer from Arsenal to Milan as “a dream come true.”

The 23-year-old stopper was a surprise swoop for the Rossoneri as they looked to strengthen their back line for a Scudetto push.

After the arrival of Mikael Silvestre at the Emirates Stadium, Arsene Wenger decided to allow Senderos to spend the campaign at San Siro and he couldn't be happier.

“I'm really happy to be playing for a team like Milan,” he said on the club's official website.

“This is a dream come true for me. The whole thing has happened really fast.

“Everything here is incredible. The people are very easy going and they have made me feel at home.

“I have had successes in the past. I was a European Under-17 champion with Switzerland and I did well to sign for Arsenal at the age of 18.

“I learned a lot in London - it has been like a life school and Wenger has helped me.

“Today I have reached a better level and I want to give 100 per cent more to keep improving every day.

“This team wants to return to the Champions League and I will do everything I can to help.”

Senderos will have to wait for his Milan debut as he is currently suffering from a back injury.

Paloschi justifies Parma transfer
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan youngster Alberto Paloschi has explained his decision to join Serie B side Parma in a co-ownership deal.

The Under-19 international entered calcio's consciousness last term when he was handed a chance in Milan's senior side during their injury crisis.

Scoring on his debut and impressing in the Coppa Italia, Paloschi underlined his potential but was facing a season on the bench after the arrivals of Marco Borriello and Ronaldinho.

Instead, Paloschi will spend the season in the Second Division with newly relegated Parma.

“There are great champions at Milan and there wouldn't be that much space for me,” he admitted.

“Here, on the other hand, I will have a chance to play and to grow. It could be an important springboard.

“I have played several games with Milan this summer and I have 90 minutes in my legs.

“If we manage to secure promotion to Serie A, I will be happy to stay for a long time.

“I am ready to get going and I am relishing the thought of playing alongside Cristiano Lucarelli.

“Pippo Inzaghi was the first to wish me luck and he told me that he will follow my progress and will come and see me at the Stadio Tardini because it is so close.”

Brocchi agrees Lazio switch
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio have agreed a deal for Cristian Brocchi, confirmed his agent, but French reports of Massimo Oddo’s move to Lyon may have been exaggerated.

Having spent the summer bringing in a series of new faces such as Ronaldinho, Andriy Shevchenko and Philippe Senderos, Milan are now cutting down their squad.

Alberto Paloschi has joined Parma in a co-ownership deal and midfielder Brocchi is now set for the Olimpico.

“I just finished a meeting with Lazio President Claudio Lotito,” agent Davide Lippi told Datasport.

“We agreed terms, but the move cannot be considered complete yet because there are still a few details to sort out with Milan.

“There is not going to be any player exchange, even if we’ll only know the full details tomorrow, as when we meet Milan we can say the transfer is complete.”

It is believed Brocchi will put pen to paper on a two-year contract with the Biancocelesti.

There were reports this afternoon in French newspaper L'Equipe that Oddo was spotted in Lyon to hold final negotiations with Olympique, but there seems to be a discrepancy.

According to the official Milan website, the right-back was at Milanello today for the training session.

That doesn’t mean talks with the French club are not at an advanced stage, as general manager Adriano Galliani hinted on Tuesday that Oddo could be on his way out.

Reports: Oddo on his way to Lyon
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Massimo Oddo could be joining Azzurri teammate Fabio Grosso at Lyon after he was sighted in the French city this afternoon.

The Rossoneri are looking to trim their squad after spending heavily in the summer.

And Oddo's position is in jeopardy after the arrivals of Gianluca Zambrotta and Philippe Senderos.

Reports in the peninsula suggest that Oddo was in Lyon today in order to undergo a medical so that he can join the French champions.

The former Lazio man suffered with a knee meniscus injury last term and needs to prove that he has completely shaken off the complaint.

The exact nature of the prospective transfer is unclear but L'Equipe insists that Oddo will arrive in Ligue 1 on a season loan.

Oddo and Grosso played together in Italy's World Cup 2006 triumph, but the Diavolo man lost his place in the Azzurri set-up due to last term's injury problems.

Paloschi joins Parma
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Serie B giants Parma have swooped to secure Milan striking starlet Alberto Paloschi in a co-ownership agreement.

The Ducali were relegated last season after a 19-year spell in the top flight but they are strong favourites to bounce straight back.

Gigi Cagni's side have kept hold of Azzurri hitman Cristiano Lucarelli and have now added a star of the future to the ranks.

Italian Under-19 international Paloschi was unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight last term when an injury crisis at San Siro handed him his first senior starts.

Paloschi thrived on the pressure and found the net just minutes into his debut against Siena, but his chances of playing first-team football this term were slim with the additions of Ronaldinho and Marco Borriello.

After being linked with Torino, Reggina and Genoa, Paloschi has finally found a club for the 2008-09 season and will be a dangerous weapon in Serie B.

Kaka: I'm raring to go!
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka assures he’ll be back in action for Week 2, welcomes back Andriy Shevchenko and hasn’t the slightest intention of joining Chelsea.

“I am feeling much better and in the final stages of the physiotherapy,” said the Milan star who has been struggling with an inflammation of the knee tendon.

“In a few days I’ll be able to start training with the squad and get ready to begin the campaign. I think that after the break for international duty I’ll be in shape to play.”

It is great news for the Rossoneri, who feared a major setback after surgery on the knee in May failed to clear up this recurring problem.

With Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato returning from the Olympics, Pippo Inzaghi and Marco Borriello injured, more responsibility falls on ‘new boy’ Shevchenko.

“Let’s just say Sheva is a special case, as he was part of the squad and left for a brief period, but he’s back now. I don’t think he’ll have any problem settling in.

“In any case, nobody has trouble at Milan, as the locker room atmosphere has always been wonderful. Everyone here is experienced, has a winning mentality, doesn’t cause trouble and there are no ego clashes. I think at the end of the day that is the team’s true strength.”

There have been reports that Shevchenko’s mysterious move – the details of which have been kept “confidential” – was made possible by giving Chelsea an option on £100m-rated Kaka.

“If someone has promised me to Roman Abramovich, then it certainly wasn’t me! I’m joking, of course, I have always said I am happy at Milan and while our objectives remain the same, I will stay here.

“My aim is to win, so is Milan’s, and you can see that from the efforts the club is making to strengthen the squad. While we’re in this kind of condition, I will stay at Milan.”

Transfer guru Adriano Galliani also point-blank denied that Kaka’s option was included in the Shevchenko move.

“In the Shevchenko negotiations we never, ever discussed Kaka,” said Galliani. “The fans need to relax, because we’ve been telling them this for two years.”

Another new arrival is Philippe Senderos, but Milan go into this weekend’s Serie A opener against Bologna without ever having really played as a team.

“It is true that there hasn’t been a real Milan pre-season get-together,” warned Kaka in an interview with Mediaset.

“Only now can we start to create our own identity. Nonetheless, this squad has won all it can in football and the primary objective is the Scudetto, even if I certainly wouldn’t mind the UEFA Cup.

“Inter are the ones to beat considering all they’ve done in the last few years, though Juventus have strengthened considerably and Roma always play good football. The surprise could be Fiorentina, who can certainly repeat their excellent last campaign.”

The Milan derby is in Week 5 and Kaka is already fired up to face Jose Mourinho’s side.

“I like Mourinho. We’ve met a few times and everyone who works with him says he’s a great Coach. He has this particular character, but it is also amusing, as he likes to provoke people.”

Galliani sees Scudetto squad
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is adamant that Carlo Ancelotti must deliver the Scudetto after a summer of heavy investment.

Following last season's disappointing fifth-placed finish, the Rossoneri were determined to make some high-profile additions to the squad in the summer.

And they did just that with the signatures of Ronaldinho, Gianluca Zambrotta, Mathieu Flamini, Andriy Shevchenko and Philippe Senderos.

Now there is an expectant air around San Siro and Galliani will accept nothing less than the title.

“I think Ancelotti must be happy with our work in the transfer market and now it's his problem because he has to win the Scudetto,” Galliani stressed.

“This is a Scudetto winning squad and our Coach knows that. That doesn't mean that he has no option but to win it, but we should be fighting to the end.”

Senderos is the latest swoop for the Diavolo, but the Swiss international defender won't be present on the opening day of the season against Bologna.

“He has a small problem in his back and so we will have to wait 10 days or so to pick him,” Galliani explained.

Sheva revels in Rossoneri return
28.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko can't wait to re-launch his career at San Siro after completing a return to Milan.

The Ukrainian international became a Rossoneri hero when he hit a staggering 127 goals in 208 games in a glorious spell between 1999 and 2006.

But Sheva chose to join Chelsea in the summer of 2006 and failed to justify his £30m price tag during a disappointing spell at Stamford Bridge.

Shevchenko had made it clear that he would love to return to his old stomping ground, but the deal came as a surprise when it was announced on Saturday.

“Now I am home I am looking to the future rather than the past,” a beaming Shevchenko told the Milan Channel.

“I would give so much to score a goal on my debut. I have the desire to start again and to work and sweat hard.

“I hope I won't suffer a repeat of the injury problems that have ruined my recent seasons, but I have everything I need to do well here and it is just up to me.”

Sheva concluded by looking forward to the derby against Inter and the possibility of a UEFA Cup Final in Istanbul, where the Diavolo lost the incredible 2005 Champions League Final to Liverpool.

“I always feel good when a derby arrives and I'm hoping that is the case again,” he said.

“As for Istanbul, it would certainly be very good to win a Cup there in the same stadium as 2005.”

Almost official: AC Milan sign Senderos on loan
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

According to various sources, Philippe Senderos is a Milan player. The Swiss international has joined the Rossoneri on loan from Arsenal.

Milan will have the chance to sign him at fixed price at the end of the next season. Senderos is expected to arrive in Milan in the next few days.

The defender was allowed to move following the arrival of Mikael Silvestre at the Emirates.

Shevchenko lands in Milan
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Exactly nine years after his first arrival in Italy Andriy Shevchenko returned to his beloved Milan on a direct flight from London.

The Ukrainian striker arrived at the Linate airport early in the morning and could have crossed paths with his new teammates Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato, who were coming in from China after the Olympics.

“We are a family and we are all really happy today,” confessed Vice-President Adriano Galliani

“It is not true that it was just Silvio Berlusconi who wanted him here. I worked on it to and I am happy that in the end we managed to bring him home.”

Shevchenko could also wear his favourite No 7 shirt but he will have to ask Pato for permission and the Brazilian wonderkid seems ready to return it to his illustrious predecessor.

“Pato said he would leave the No 7 to me? It’s nice of him, but for me even a 76, 70 or 77 would be good enough. As long as there is a number seven on the Milan shirt,” noted the Ukrainian.

The 31-year-old striker scored 173 goals for the Rossoneri but his spell at Chelsea wasn’t as successful.

“Andriy netted more than 20 goals for them which is a lot if you consider he didn’t play much,” said general director Ariedo Braida.

Meanwhile Kakà welcomed back Sheva. “I am delighted that he is back,” confessed the Brazilian.

Friendly: Sporting Gijon 2:0 AC Milan - match report
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A reshuffled Milan side fell 2-0 in Spain to Sporting Gijon in their final pre-season friendly test.

The Rossoneri were still without the injured Marco Borriello, Kaka, Alessandro Nesta and Brazilians Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho.

Once again, teenager Alberto Paloschi was the only available striker, although Kakha Kaladze, Paolo Maldini and substitute Emerson made their comebacks from long-term lay-offs.

Gijon opened the scoring after 24 minutes with Barral's free header and completed the victory through a Slaven Bilic free kick in the final stages.

The City of Gijon trophy goes to the home side and Milan return to Italy hoping to begin a new era with Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko.

Sporting Gijon: Sánchez; Sastre, Iván Hernández, Jorge, Canella; Míchel, Matabuena; Pedro, Kike Mateo, Diego Castro; Barral.
Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Kaladze, Maldini, Jankulovski; Cardacio, Pirlo, Flamini; Brocchi, Seedorf, Paloschi

Mrs Sheva: Honey, we're home!
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko’s wife Kristen was behind his move to Chelsea, but reveals she’s “happy to come home” to Milan.

When the Ukrainian demanded his £30m transfer to Stamford Bridge, he had said it was so that he could learn English along with his two children, as his wife is American.

She was blamed by the Italian media and the Rossoneri fans for the move, but seems to have changed her mind over the past two years.

“I am happy because I see that Andriy is,” she told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“The children and I are content when he is at ease. We are all happy to come back home.”

Shevchenko and his family will fly in to Milan today in order to undergo a medical on Monday and put pen to paper on the contract.

Both Chelsea and Milan have refused to reveal the details of the transfer, including whether it is a loan move or a permanent switch.

Most of the squad will not be there to greet him, as the Rossoneri are in action this evening in Spain for the Gijon Cup against Sporting.

25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

In a shock move, Milan have announced they have signed Andriy Shevchenko from Chelsea! “He made a mistake in leaving, now he’s back home.”

The news was confirmed in official statements on the websites of both clubs this evening at around 18.00 UK time.

“AC Milan announce we have agreed a deal with FC Chelsea for Andriy Shevchenko’s move to the Rossoneri,” read a statement on their official club website.

“The player will be in Milan tomorrow so that he can undergo a medical on Monday.

“The terms of the economic agreement with FC Chelsea are confidential.”

General manager Adriano Galliani revealed the details of the extraordinary development, which seemed to have collapsed because Chelsea would not release the player on loan.

“After a series of frenetic telephone calls throughout the day, we have agreed a deal with Chelsea,” said Galliani on Milan Channel.

“From Tuesday, Sheva will be at the disposal of Ancelotti. We have been able to bring home the player who has scored more goals in the last 50 years than anyone else in a Rossoneri jersey.

“President Silvio Berlusconi and I are very happy, so is our Coach and we expect our fans will be, too.”

This sets up a spectacular strike force with Ronaldinho, Shevchenko, Kaka and Brazilian teenager Alexandre Pato.

“I think we are the only club in the world to have three Ballon d’Or winners in their ranks,” continued Galliani.

“Yes, Andriy has returned home and we are happy. I have spoken to him about 48 times in the last three hours!”

However, Chelsea and Milan are refusing to reveal how this agreement was struck.

“The details of the deal are very reserved. Andriy made a mistake in leaving us and I think over the last two years he has realised this is his home. Now he has made economic sacrifices, but at this point the only thing that matters is he is back with us.”

Chelsea also refused to comment on the details, which some might suggest include an option to buy Kaka should he ever wish to quit Serie A.

"Chelsea have agreed terms for Andriy Shevchenko to return to AC Milan," said Chelsea's website. "Details of the agreement will remain confidential."

Shevchenko demanded a £30m transfer to Chelsea in 2006, stating he wanted to “learn English” for the sake of his American wife and their two children.

He never settled at Stamford Bridge and seemed a shadow of the striker who had scored 173 goals in 296 games for Milan.

In his seven years at San Siro, the Ukrainian picked up a Scudetto, Champions League, European Super Cup, Italian Super Cup, Coppa Italia and the 2004 Ballon d’Or.

The news was a particular shock as only hours beforehand Coach Carlo Ancelotti had dismissed all hope of a transfer out of hand.

“I don’t think there was ever the chance of Shevchenko returning to Milan,” said the Coach in the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“There were negotiations, this is true, but nothing concrete ever happened. That is what really counts.

“For the past two years I have been disappointed at his departure from Milan. Now all I can say is that he is a Chelsea player.”

Trofeo Moretti: Juventus 0:0 (5:4 on p.k.) AC Milan - match report
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus lifted the Trofeo Moretti without scoring a goal in open play after winning their second penalty shoot-out against Milan.

This game decided the Trofeo Moretti after Juventus beat Napoli on penalties and Milan overcame the Partenopei with a late Alberto Paloschi winner in the second 45-minute encounter.

Juve were eager for revenge after their 4-1 thrashing in the Trofeo Berlusconi but it had hardly been an evening of goalmouth incident.

Carlo Ancelotti stuck with a similar side to the 11 that won their opener but Zeljko Kalac took over between the posts.

The Bianconeri started with Claudio Pasquato - who scored in the Trofeo Berlusconi - alongside Amauri in attack.

Tiago Mendes, who refused a move to Everton this week, was given a chance in midfield.

After just two minutes, Kalac made a fantastic save to deny Amauri from a headed goal.

And the Australian international also dived to catch Pavel Nedved's blast within the first five minutes.

Pasquato had two efforts blocked and Tiago claimed a penalty but his appeals were waved away.

The Portuguese international was having another unconvincing game and doing his case to stay at the club no good, while Seedorf was at the centre of everything Mian did.

It was all Juve and Nedved threatened again before Luca Antonini hooked the ball away.

Nedved went to ground in pain after Milan substitute Wilfred Osuji clipped his calf.

The Czech international was taken off as a precaution and Ranieri looked concerned at the state of his winger who limped to the dressing room.

Both sides were keen to avoid a shoot-out but nothing was going right in front of goal.

Kalac was alert to Amauri's cross-shot and the whistle went for full time.

A night of limited entertainment was to be concluded with a second penalty shoot-out.

Seedorf scored, albeit via Antonio Chimenti, but Ariaudo was cool enough to level.

Cristian Brocchi blasted high into the net before Chimenti amazingly ran up to take a penalty and converted to Kalac's amusement.

Paloschi hit his kick down the middle and Nicola Legrottaglie equalised despite Kalac's touch.

Osuji sent Chimenti the wrong way for 4-3 but Pasquato struck back with a beautiful kick.

Surprisingly, captain Ambrosini slipped up when he blasted over the bar but Amauri couldn't finish this tie as he was denied by Kalac.

Giuseppe Favalli's effort was also stopped by Chimenti and Cristian Molinaro found the net to win Juventus the Trofeo Moretti.

Juventus 0-0 Milan
(Juventus win 5-4 on pens.)
Juventus: Chimenti; Salihamidzic (Castiglia 37), Legrottaglie, Ariaudo, Molinaro; Rossi, Tiago, Ekdal, Nedved (Duravia 37); Pasquato, Amauri
Milan: Kalac; Antonini (Pasini 23), Favalli, Darmian, Albertazzi; Cardacio (Strasser 23), Brocchi, Ambrosini; Seedorf, Paloschi, Viudez (Osuji 34)

Trofeo Moretti: Napoli 0:1 AC Milan - match report
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Paloschi's last-gasp header handed Milan a fortunate 1-0 win over Napoli on a cruel night for the hosts.

Napoli had lost out to Juventus from the penalty spot after a lacklustre opening game and were determined to give the fans something to cheer.

Carlo Ancelotti picked an inexperienced Milan side including Uruguayan import Mathias Cardacio and home grown talents Michelangelo Albertazzi and Matteo Darmian.

Nelson Dida took the gloves while Clarence Seedorf played behind Pippo Inzaghi and Alberto Paloschi.

Summer signing Andrea Russotto took to the field for the hosts in the position that had been occupied by Roberto De Zerbi for the first encounter.

UEFA Cup hero Inacio Pià also got his chance to shine.

The first chance of the game fell to Inzaghi, but his angled effort was off the mark.

Neither side were able to play flowing football and the crowd began to murmur.

Inzaghi left the field unexpectedly at half-time of the 45-minute encounter and went straight to the dressing room, possibly with an injury.

Reja also took the chance to make changes and sent on Michele Pazienza and Luca Lacrimini.

Seedorf hit a reasonable free-kick but Matteo Gianello saved easily.

Reja introduced Argentine new boy German Denis and he received a warm reception from the fans.

Massimo Ambrosini looked for Paloschi in the six-yard box but the young gun mistimed his run and Gianluca Grava cleared the danger.

Dida make a terrible mess of a Vitale cross but was let off the hook by Russotto, who missed an open goal as the ball found him by the penalty spot.

Denis showed some flashes of promise as Napoli took control in the latter stages and he fired just wide after a scintillating run.

Just as the fans prepared for another shoot-out, Paloschi broke Napoli hearts.

The Under-19 international profitted from a delection from a low cross from Viudez and headed home to hand Milan a victory they scarcely deserved.

Milan will now face Juventus in the decisive game.

Napoli 0-1 Milan
Scorer: Paloschi 45
Napoli: Gianello; Santacroce (Bruno 37), Rinaudo (Cannavaro 23), Grava; Maggio, Montervino (Denis 32), Blasi (Pazienza 23), Amodio, Vitale (Lacrimini 23); Russotto, Pià
Milan: Dida; Albertazzi, Darmian, Favalli, Antonini; Brocchi, Ambrosini, Cardacio; Seedorf, Inzaghi (Viudez 23), Paloschi

AC Milan end Sheva chase
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have officially given up on trying to lure Andriy Shevchenko back to San Siro.

Reports earlier in the week suggested that the Rossoneri were close to agreeing a deal with Chelsea for the former Diavolo hero to return on loan.

But it has emerged that the Blues demanded Milan bought Sheva outright and refused to contribute to his wages for a temporary move.

Despite the optimism of director Silvano Ramacconi just 24 hours ago, the world champions have confirmed that Shevchenko won't be wearing a Milan shirt and Vice-President Adriano Galliani has explained the situation.

“Talks for Shevchenko have been put on ice,” the Diavolo director admitted to Ansa.

"We offered a loan deal with a permanent option but Chelsea said no because they wanted to sell him outright."

Milan have been active in the transfer market this summer having added Ronaldinho, Gianluca Zambrotta and Mathieu Flamini added to the ranks and a number of faces returning from spells elsewhere.

AC Milan are 'a long way from Sheva'
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Latest reports suggest that Milan are some distance from reaching an agreement with Chelsea for the signature of Andriy Shevchenko.

The Ukrainian international was a hero at San Siro before leaving for Chelsea in the summer of 2006.

Sheva has suffered horribly at Stamford Bridge and is allegedly desperate to return to his old stomping ground and rumours stated that a loan deal between Milan and Chelsea was almost complete.

However, despite Milan director Silvano Ramacconi's claims yesterday that an agreement is close there are a number of stumbling blocks.

According to The Independent, the Rossoneri have asked Chelsea to pay a portion of Shevchenko's wages but the Blues are unwilling to do so.

Having dug deep in their wallet to bring Ronaldinho to the club earlier in the summer, Milan don't have a great deal of money available for Sheva's salary.

It is widely believed that the only way a deal can be done is if Shevchenko is included in a move for defender Branislav Ivanovic.

AC Milan await Gattuso examination
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso is waiting to discover how serious last night's shoulder injury is.

The pugnacious Rossonero sustained the injury early during Italy's friendly against Austria in Nice.

Gattuso tried to play on through the pain but just before half-time he signalled that he was unable to continue and was replaced by Roma man Simone Perrotta.

Ringhio will undergo X-rays this afternoon to try and gauge the extent of the problem.

The most likely outcome is severe bruising or a strain, but there is a chance that there could be more serious damage.

Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti will be nervously waiting for news as he had been relying on Gattuso being fully fit for the start of the season.

The Diavolo already have a number of injuries to deal with and the absence of such a key man could be costly ahead of their 2008-09 Scudetto bid.

Sacchi: Sheva move is crazy!
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Milan Coach Arrigo Sacchi thinks the club’s chaotic transfer policy with Andriy Shevchenko and Ronaldinho “is testing Carlo Ancelotti.”

The Rossoneri had announced they wanted a tall centre-forward, but after chasing Samuel Eto’o and Emmanuel Adebayor instead went for trequartista Ronaldinho.

Following injuries to Alessandro Nesta, Paolo Maldini and Kakha Kaladze, the club also confirmed it was seeking a central defender, but the latest reports have them just hours away from signing Shevchenko on loan from Chelsea.

“Everyone from the squad to the Coach and general manager Adriano Galliani talked about a real giant upfront who could batter down opposition defences, but they got Ronaldinho who is a support figure,” noted a confused Sacchi on Radio Radio.

“Now after trying to bring in a defender, they pick up Shevchenko. What kind of planning strategy is this?”

Sacchi has an inkling that the moves are not so much down to a lack of strategy as a dubious ulterior motive.

“The feeling I get is that the club almost wants to test Ancelotti, as well as there being no clear plan. I hope my doubts on this whole situation are proved wrong.”

Meanwhile, Ancelotti must choose the 25-man squad for the UEFA Cup by September 1 and this means cutting out several names.

If Shevchenko and a new defender arrive before the transfer window closes on August 31, then it will have a knock-on effect.

Milan must include their four homegrown players – Maldini, Matteo Darmian, Luca Antonini and Christian Brocchi – while there are three goalkeepers.

Alberto Paloschi, who has been linked with a move to Torino, is only 17 years old and so would qualify for the B-List.

Marco Borriello could also depart for a loan back to Genoa, but this still leaves three players extra for the UEFA Cup.

The Corriere dello Sport suggests the most likely to miss out are Uruguayan arrivals Mathias Cardacio and Tabare Viudez along with Emerson.

Carletto ignores Sheva speculation
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has revealed his team for tomorrow's Trofeo Birra Moretti and has given his view on the Diavolo's transfer situation.

The Rossoneri meet Napoli and Juventus in tomorrow evening's Trofeo Moretti in Naples.

With a number of men on international duty and a host of injuries, Ancelotti has already drawn up a Plan B.

“We have the chance to give a game to some youngsters like Matteo Darmian,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“And we can allow players who haven't played much in August like Pippo Inzaghi, Cristian Brocchi and Luca Antonini to get a run out.

“Nelson Dida and Zeljko Kalac will split goalkeeping duties.

“Darmian will play a half as a centre-back and a half on the wing and then I will have Giuseppe Favalli, Antonini and one of Michelangelo Albertazzi or Nicola Pasini.

“In the midfield will be Mathias Cardacio, Brocchi and Massimo Ambrosini and up front we have Clarence Seedorf, Alberto Paloschi and Inzaghi.”

Milan mauled Juve 4-1 in the Trofeo Berlusconi and the Bianconeri will be aching for revenge, but Carletto seems more interested in the atmosphere.

“We will be taking on a side to be respected in Juventus but the main factor is the crowd,” he insisted.

“The Stadio San Paolo will be sold out and there will be great enthusiasm - it's only right that the locals see a good show.”

Carletto also gave an update from the infirmary as he waits for his squad to swell.

“Emerson has taken part in his first training session with the rest of the group,” he revealed.

“He is doing well but it's still too soon for him to play and there is still a little work to do. Alessandro Nesta is back training but separately from the others.

On Sunday, Kakha Kaladze and Paolo Maldini will return but the defence held up “well in the Trofeo Berlusconi in spite of the absences.”

There were widespread reports this morning that Milan were close to securing the services of former hero Andriy Shevchenko.

“None of the news is official and he is a Chelsea player at the moment,” Carletto stressed.

“Nobody has said that Sheva will arrive and there's nothing to say that the market will be closed if he does.”

Meanwhile, Milan director Silvano Ramaccioni has thrown fuel on the fire by stressing his desire to welcome Shevchenko back.

“We aren't far away from seeing Shevchenko at Milan,” he asserted on Radio Goal.

"I hope that the few things that need to be done are completed. I would be very happy if Sheva returned to Milan and I am waiting to embrace him.”

AC Milan are considering Kovac
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's search for a defender has led them to Spartak Moscow stopper Radoslav Kovac, according to the player's agent.

The world champions are lacking options at the back and are determined to find cover for an injury-hit defence.

After missing out on Chelsea starlet Branislav Ivanovic, the Rossoneri need to come up with a new target, and that man could be Kovac.

The Czech international can be used as a central defender or a holding midfielder and has hinted that he is looking for a chance in one of Europe's biggest Leagues.

The towering Kovac reportedly features on a number of shopping lists but his representative thinks he will be wearing a Milan shirt next term.

“Milan are after the player but we are still at the beginning of negotiations,” Pavel Zika claimed.

“The Rossoneri have good relations with the Russian club and a deal could be agreed for £4m.”

Galliani accosted at Sensi funeral
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma fans have paid their last respects to Franco Sensi, but today's funeral was marred by an attack on Milan director Adriano Galliani.

Thousands of mourners attended the San Lorenzo al Verano Church near Rome for a service dedicated to the memory of the greatest President in the Giallorossi's history.

The entire Roma squad were present and there was a touching reading from veteran striker Vincenzo Montella.

“Nobody could forget the passion with which he always followed us,” he said. “We will try and continue to make him smile from up above.”

Coach Luciano Spalletti and captain Francesco Totti were pallbearers to carry Sensi out of the church.

But the respectful atmosphere was broken by a group of thugs who tried to attack Milan Vice-President Galliani.

The men were blocked by security but heckled and booed Galliani, throwing water at him.

Galliani never saw eye to eye with Sensi and it is believed that the Ultras were angry that he had attended the service.

This incident is another worry for the authorities in their bid to stop football-related violence and comes just days after an attack on Bari boss Antonio Conte in Lecce.

AC Milan duo lick wounds
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan stars Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato have reacted to Brazil's Olympic defeat at the hands of Argentina yesterday.

The Selecao had impressed in China but the wheels came off spectacularly during a crushing 3-0 defeat against their bitter South American rivals.

Dinho and Pato both had reasons to curse Lady Luck after the former saw his free-kick rattle the post and the latter had a goal dubiously disallowed for offside.

“At the moment there is nothing that could cheer me up,” Ronaldinho lamented.

“The disappointment is huge. I don't know why but Brazil always fail at the Olympics.”

The task now for Brazil is to bounce back in the third-place play-off against Belgium on Friday to secure a bronze medal.

“I'm not feeling good right now but we have to react and think about the bronze,” Dinho insisted. “It's my job to pull things together because I'm the old head after all.”

Rossoneri colleague Pato was also clearly hurting after the embarrassing reverse.

“It hurts to know that we can't win the gold medal now,” the young striker said.

“We came here to win the title and now we can't do that. Losing to Argentina only makes it worse.

“I know about the rivalry between Brazil and Argentina, even though I had not experienced it myself.

“I saw it as a battle between two great teams and the better side won.”

Shevchenko returns to AC Milan radar
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko has once again been linked with a return to Milan, as talks with Chelsea over Branislav Ivanovic also continue.

Just weeks after completing his £30m move to Stamford Bridge, Sheva was already said to be considering a comeback, but his injury worries and the increased competition have made that more than a mere thought.

The new developments in the affair are represented by a meeting between Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in Sardinia.

Although ostensibly this was to discuss Ivanovic, there are strong reports emerging in the Italian media that Sheva was the centre of attention.

Berlusconi has never hidden his desire to bring the Ukrainian back to San Siro and is considered a ‘second father’ by the player.

Although Shevchenko has also been linked with a loan move to Sampdoria, there is no denying Milan are his number one choice.

The Rossoneri’s negotiations for Ivanovic collapsed when Chelsea refused to include an option to buy at the end of the season-long loan.

However, if Shevchenko’s loan is included as part of a package deal, then Milan may well be willing to overlook that stumbling block.

AC Milan on Silva trail
19.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan could turn to Brazilian starlet Thiago Silva after missing out on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

The Rossoneri lack depth in defence and are still waiting for Alessandro Nesta to fully shake off a back injury.

Vice-President Adriano Galliani had hoped to lure Ivanovic on loan to plug the gap, but a deal fell through and he is looking for alternatives.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the new primary objective is Fluminese stopper Thiago Silva.

The 23-year-old is currently in action for Brazil’s Olympic side and is being watched by Milan scouts.

A former right-winger and central midfielder, Silva would provide welcome versatility for an injury-prone side.

However, it has been suggested that Silva may not be able to arrive until January – as with compatriot Alexandre Pato this time last year – leaving Carlo Ancelotti with a dilemma.

There had been reports that the Diavolo would take Lazio rebel Guglielmo Stendardo on loan – as Juventus did last term – but Carletto is not believed to be an admirer of the rugged centre-back.

Agent: Ivanovic wants AC Milan
19.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic insists that the Chelsea man is likely to wear the Milan shirt next season.

The Rossoneri are looking for defensive reinforcements to back up their brittle and ageing back line.

A fortnight ago it seemed a loan deal for Ivanovic was inevitable, but talks hit a brick wall at the 11th hour.

But Ivanovic’s representative believes that an agreement can be reached before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

“Juventus have asked for the player, but there has been no contact and Branislav has chosen Milan,” Vlado Borozan told Tuttomercatoweb.

“Therefore he will probably be playing for Milan next season. A deal will be done, partly because the player is unhappy.

“The problem at the moment is that Chelsea want four starters in his position and he is the fourth.

“It is difficult to find an arrangement that works for both sides but there is a game to be played and it can be completed.”

Carletto: It was about time
19.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti was delighted and relieved after the Rossoneri crushed Juventus in the Trofeo Berlusconi. “Finally we played well.”

The world champions’ pre-season had been far from ideal and a 5-0 humiliation against Chelsea followed by defeat against Manchester City had left an air of foreboding.

But Ancelotti’s men demolished a Juve side on a high after Champions League success over Artmedia 4-1.

“We were much more of a team and we showed that we can be very compact,” Carletto told Sky Sport Italia.

“Finally we had a good game and we made a good impression.”

Dutch international Clarence Seedorf continued his dominant pre-season and showed that he is ready to fight to keep his shirt.

“Seedorf is a tough man to leave out because he consistently plays at the highest level,” Ancelotti admitted.

“With Pippo Inzaghi back as well we have attacking options and we are waiting for the return of Kaka, Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato and Marco Borriello.”

Ancelotti concluded by commenting on the need to sign a new defender after a recent injury crisis.

“If Alessandro Nesta, Kakha Kaladze and Paolo Maldini can recover from their injuries then we don’t need another central defender,” he claimed.

“The important thing at the moment is to try and get the men we have back ready for action.”

Silvio Berlusconi, who founded the Trofeo Berlusconi in honour of his father Luigi, was satisfied with the evening’s entertainment but didn’t want to make any promises for the coming campaign.

“A Milan side lacking half its players showed that it was full of decent players who performed well and earned a deserved win,” he said.

“Is this a Scudetto season? It’s never good to make predictions at the start. Every year is the year for the Rossoneri to work hard and go out on the pitch to try and dominate.”

Trofeo Berlusconi: AC MIlan 4:1 Juventus - match report
18.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan finally found their form with a 4-1 Trofeo Berlusconi victory over Juventus thanks to Massimo Ambrosini's brace.

This traditional summer meeting came at a very different time for the two clubs, as Juve are on sparkling form following their 4-0 Champions League thrashing of Artmedia, while the Rossoneri have struggled badly in pre-season.

Pippo Inzaghi was only fit for the bench, so Alberto Paloschi remained the only available forward. Gianluigi Buffon was rested and both clubs decided to switch goalkeepers at the break. Zdenek Grygera and Marek Jankulovski fired angled drives across the face of goal, while Tiago Mendes' looping header skimmed the woodwork.

Amauri hit the back of the net on Alessandro Del Piero's through ball, but it was flagged offside. Instead, Milan took the lead with Jankulovski's sudden left-foot snapshot from the left channel that seemed to take goalkeeper Antonio Chimenti by surprise. The veteran should've saved it and indicated the floodlights had temporarily blinded him.

Amauri went on a strong run and fired on to the roof of the net, but the Rossoneri made it 2-0. Clarence Seedorf skipped past Grygera and chipped a cross to the back post for Ambrosini's header from point-blank range.

There was more bad news for Juve, as Chiellini sprained his knee and made way for Nicola Legrottaglie. The scene was worrying, as he was carried off in clear pain and almost in tears. It also means he won't be available for Wednesday's Italy friendly against Austria.

Cristian Molinaro's snapshot was deflected out for a corner, then Legrottaglie's header clipped the upright. Del Piero brought a tough save out of Abbiati with a curling free kick. As promised Milan introduced Inzaghi and Nelson Dida for the second half, while Ekdal and Alex Manninger came on for Juve.

It took Inzaghi just seven minutes to make his mark after a long injury lay-off, nodding in another Seedorf chipped cross in an almost identical goal to that of Ambrosini.

Juventus clearly had their minds elsewhere and Milan tore through the defence, Ambrosini's first touch a little too strong to beat Manninger, then the Austrian goalkeeper stood his ground to deny Inzaghi. Amauri got away on the counter, but blasted wide.

Ranieri introduced three youth team starlets and one of them, Christian Pasquato, grabbed a consolation goal for Juventus. He send Daniele Bonera the wrong way with a dummy and smashed a powerful finish past Dida at the near post.

Esposito also impressed with some splendid dribbling and pass through for Ekdal, but he was very harshly booked for simulation after what appeared to be a penalty foul from Bonera.

Juventus really should've been 3-2 down moments later, but a series of chaotic saves and goalline clearances kept out Amauri and Pasquato. However, Milan converted a classic counter-attack with Inzaghi cleverly rolling back for the on-rushing Ambrosini's cool left-foot strike into the far top corner. It was similar to Del Piero's goal in the 2006 World Cup semi-final against Germany.

Milan 4-1 Juventus
Scorers: Jankulovski 21 (M), Ambrosini 25, 79 (M), Inzaghi 52 (M), Pasquato 70 (J)
Milan: Abbiati (Dida 46); Zambrotta (Oddo 64), Bonera (Darmian 85), Favalli, Jankulovski (Antonini 81); Gattuso (Brocchi 64), Flamini, Pirlo, Ambrosini (Cardacio 84); Seedorf (Viudez 75); Paloschi (Inzaghi 46)
Juventus: Chimenti (Manninger 46); Grygera, Mellberg, Chiellini (Legrottaglie 35), Molinaro; Tiago (Esposito 62), Sissoko (Rossi 62), Poulsen, Nedved (Ekdal 46); Amauri, Del Piero (Pasquato 62)

AC Milan muse Ljungberg bid
17.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have become the latest Serie A side linked with a swoop for free agent Freddie Ljungberg.

The Swede terminated his contract with West Ham United by mutual consent and is awaiting an offer for his next step.

Lazio and Roma have both been mentioned as potential employers, but this evening Milan joined the race.

The Rossoneri are desperately seeking reinforcements for their defence and would be able to afford his wages, even if they wouldn’t go so far as to match the £3m per season provided by West Ham.

It is well known that Milan value experience in their squad, so the 31-year-old would be welcome at San Siro.

Over the past few days agent Claes Elefalk has hinted that there were “more than one Italian club interested” in the ex-Arsenal hero.

Abate's double disaster
17.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Torino starlet Ignazio Abate returns from Beijing with the worst possible news. “I’ve got a serious injury.”

The Milan-owned Under-21 winger was one of Toro’s major reinforcements this summer when he arrived on loan, but his Olympics experience proved disastrous.

Not only did Italy exit at the quarter-finals 3-2 to Belgium, but Abate pulled up with a suspected thigh strain during the final minutes of that match.

“I didn’t even play 30 minutes and had no problems before then. I changed pace, was about to cross the ball and my leg just gave way at the key moment,” he explained to Tuttosport.

“I felt this sudden stabbing pain. To make matters worse, I gave the ball away and Belgium went on the counter-attack to score their third goal.

“I had already hurt that particular muscle when I played for Piacenza, although I hope the tests will show it is not the exact same spot.

“I am just distraught. Two years ago I was not given the correct treatment, as they thought it was just a strain and instead the muscle had torn a couple of centimetres. It was a disaster!

“Hopefully I am right in thinking the situation is different this time, as I don’t feel the muscle truly tearing apart like last time, it was just a stabbing pain. I honestly doubt it will be a simple muscular twinge, though.”

This is really not the way Abate wanted to begin his Torino career once the contracts for the loan spell were signed.

“I hoped to arrive with an Olympic medal in tow, but instead I have a giant bandage on my thigh. My disappointment is double that of everyone else, as we’re out of the Games and I’m injured.”

The 3-2 defeat to Belgium was totally unexpected for the Azzurri, who were playing against 10 men for 75 minutes and had a series of refereeing decisions go against them.

“Just about everything happened to us, it was incredibly unlucky. The referee could not have been more unfair and if we played this game another 10 times, it’s guaranteed we’d never lose it again.”

Ancelotti: We need a central defender
17.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti confirms Milan will be signing a new central defender this summer, but “he has to be a first choice.”

The Rossoneri’s defence has been leaking goals over the past year and the problem seems to have been exacerbated in pre-season with Alessandro Nesta, Kakha Kaladze and Paolo Maldini’s injuries.

A bid to take Branislav Ivanovic on loan from Chelsea collapsed this week when the Stamford Bridge side refused to include an option to buy at the end of the season.

“The club wants to reinforce the group of central defenders at our disposal, but only with a first choice and not a second-string player,” revealed the Coach in today’s Press conference.

“Unfortunately, the clubs that have these top players tend to keep hold of them.”

With Ivanovic seemingly off the table, Milan’s other options include Mexican international Rafael Marquez and Lazio outcast Guglielmo Stendardo.

“Marquez has the right characteristics and experience, but I don’t think Barcelona will sell him.

“In any case, I am confident Nesta and Kaladze will fully recover very soon.”

Ancelotti hopes the work done in training since their embarrassing friendly defeats to Sevilla, Chelsea and Manchester City can make the difference in tomorrow’s Trofeo Berlusconi clash with Juventus.

“We have been working on the defensive moment and recovering the ball. I hope we can see a little more than in recent outings, above all with greater concentration at the back.

“As I don’t have any strikers at my disposal at the moment, the only aspect we can work on is the defence and midfield.”

The shortage of hitmen has abated slightly with news that Pippo Inzaghi is back in the squad for the Trofeo Berlusconi, although Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato remain at the Olympics with Marco Borriello and Kaka injured.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Dida, Kalac; Antonini, Bonera, Darmian, Favalli, Jankulovski, Oddo, Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Brocchi, Cardacio, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo; Inzaghi, Paloschi, Seedorf, Viudez

AC Milan turn to Marquez
17.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have lost out on Branislav Ivanovic, so turn their attention towards Barcelona's Rafael Marquez.

The Mexican international defender has been linked with them for many years, although no firm bid was ever tabled.

Marquez has the versatility to suit the Rossoneri's requirements, as he can play at centre-back, right-back or defensive midfielder.

The 29-year-old has been in Europe since 1999, playing for Monaco and then Barcelona in 2003.

Carlo Ancelotti has urged the club to buy a new defender before the transfer window closes, as their performances in pre-season have been disastrous.

Alessandro Nesta is struggling with a long-term back injury, while Dario Simic, Digao, Marcos Cafu and Serginho have left San Siro.

It is also reported that Milan wish to wait until the end of next week to make a decision, as they hope the talks with Chelsea for Ivanovic can be revived.

The deal fell through when Chelsea refused to give the Serie A side an option to make the loan move permanent at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, transfer guru Adriano Galliani has teased rivals Inter and the fact they are in two different competitions this term.

“You ask me if I would give up the Scudetto in exchange for winning the UEFA Cup in Istanbul after having knocked Inter out in the quarter-finals?” he told fans in Versilia.

“That would mean that Inter went out of the Champions League after the group phase. Well, with Milan at least fourth in Serie A, I think I'd be happy with that…”

Tabarez unveils Uruguayan talents
17.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Uruguay Coach Oscar Washington Tabarez gives his verdict on the new Albiceleste starlets flooding into Serie A.

There has been an influx of new talents from the South American country this summer, including Milan duo Mathias Cardacio and Tabare Viudez.

“Cardacio is quick, very strong and good in the air. His ideal position is that of central midfielder protecting the defence, but he has shown he can do well on the flanks too,” said the former Rossoneri boss in Tuttosport.

“Viudez is extremely talented and a great buy for the future. In the one-on-one he is a real slippery customer.”

Other clubs have been snapping up Uruguayan internationals too, as Sampdoria are looking to Bruno Fornaroli (pictured).

“He is a fox in the box, a striker who can guarantee 15 goals per season. However, you should not compare him to Pippo Inzaghi, as they are different. Fornaroli isn’t as quick, but he always thinks a step ahead of his marker and that is his greatest asset.”

Across the city, Genoa have brought in former Juventus flop Ruben Olivera, who rediscovered his form at Penarol.

“He is so sharp in the final third and ready to do damage at any moment, so he can become a good centre-forward. He is lacking the consistency needed to play in midfield.”

There are faces already familiar to the Serie A crowds, such as Palermo’s Edison Cavani and Napoli midfielder Walter Gargano.

“The last few times I called Cavani, he wasn’t the player I knew. I just hope this is a bump in the road, because he has great potential,” continued the Uruguay boss.

“He is a centre-forward and Palermo are not helping him by trying to push him into a wider role.

“As for Gargano, he is a solid midfielder and a key figure in my national side. It is a shame I won’t be able to field him in Japan on Wednesday, but he has a slight fitness problem and we agreed with Napoli not to risk it.”

AC Milan miss out on Ivanovic
15.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It seems that Milan’s attempts to lure Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic away from Chelsea have ended in failure.

The Rossoneri are looking for a stopper to act as cover after the recent injury to Alessandro Nesta.

After a series of meetings between Milan and Chelsea officials, a loan deal was expected to be announced, but reports suggest that negotiations have hit a brick wall.

According to Sportmediaset, Chelsea don’t want to offer the Diavolo the option to make the deal permanent next year – a clause that the world champions saw as pivotal.

Milan were reportedly ready to pay £1.8m up front with a further £8.5m to follow in the summer of 2009 if they decided to buy Ivanovic’s full rights.

However, Chelsea paid nearly £12m for the rising star in January and haven’t given up on their investment.

The task for Milan now is to find an alternative at short notice with a loan deal the favoured solution.

Bari bid for Paloschi
15.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan young gun Alberto Paloschi could be on his way to Serie B hopefuls Bari on a season loan.

The Italian Under-19 international made a name for himself on the senior stage when he scored within seconds of taking to the field in his debut against Siena last season.

But with the arrival of Ronaldinho and Marco Borriello, Paloschi isn’t likely to play a significant role in the coming campaign and is set to be sent out to gain experience.

“I have asked Milan for Paloschi,” Bari sporting director Giorgio Perinetti confirmed. “The player’s agent agrees and now it is down to the Rossoneri.”

Paloschi has stressed his delight at wearing the Diavolo shirt, but he is ready to accept a spell in the Second Division if it helps his development.

“The only thing that matters to me is growing physically and technically,” the 18-year-old insisted.

“Whether I stay with Milan or go somewhere else, that is all I will be thinking about. I know that the club will find the right solution for me.”

Digao sent to Belgium
15.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have loaned Rodrigo Digao – Kaka’s younger brother – to Belgian side Standard Liege as Dario Simic also departs.

The 23-year-old Brazilian was signed on his sibling’s recommendation in 2004-05, but managed just one Serie A appearance with the club.

He spent the 2005-06 and 2006-07 campaigns in Serie B with Rimini, although he could not string together a consistent number of games there either.

It was Digao who gave Kaka his nickname, as when he was a child he was unable to pronounce Ricardo.

Milan have assured they will “constantly be following Digao’s progress” during this term at Standard Liege.

Meanwhile, another defender has left the club, as Simic’s permanent transfer to Monaco was completed this afternoon.

“We have been tied to Simic by six years of victories, emotions and professionalism,” read a statement on the club website.

“These are values that will stand the test of time. We wish Dario the best of luck.”

AC Milan set for Ivanovic crunch talks
15.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Today could be the day that Milan complete a swoop for Chelsea’s Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic.

The Rossoneri are looking to swell their defensive ranks and have set their sights on the 24-year-old stopper.

Ivanovic has been told that he doesn’t feature in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s first-team plans for the coming campaign and has grown frustrated at his inactivity in West London since arriving in January from Lokomotiv Moscow.

The most likely solution is a loan deal, which will allow Milan to add some depth to their back line for the season and prevent Chelsea from losing a possible star of the future.

The world champions are likely to be offered the chance to make the deal permanent this time next year for a fee of around £10m.

Diavolo transfer guru Ariedo Braida is expected in London within the next few hours to meet with Ivanovic’s agent Marko Naletilic and Chelsea chief Peter Kenyon.

A number of details still have to be ironed out, but a deal could be completed within the working day.

Maldini holds injuries responsible
13.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan veteran Paolo Maldini doesn’t feel the Rossoneri can be judged on the basis of their poor pre-season form.

The world champions were thrashed 5-0 by Chelsea in the Moscow Tournament before suffering at English hands again in a 1-0 defeat away to Manchester City.

But Carlo Ancelotti has seen his side decimated by injuries and is still without Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato, who are on Olympic duty with Brazil.

“We haven’t had any strikers at our disposal and so it was difficult to impose ourselves against Chelsea or Manchester City because we had no goal threat,” Maldini told the Milan Channel.

“If you don’t have strikers it completely changes the way you play and the team is constantly under pressure.

“Our friendlies could certainly have gone better, but we also have to remember who we have played against and the opposition’s preparations.

“There was no divide when we played Inter and Juventus and in fact we came out on top.”

Maldini also bade farewell to Croatian international Dario Simic, who left for Monaco yesterday.

“Dario is a great lad and we won lots of things together,” Maldini stressed.

“But it’s natural that at his age he has a great desire to win and wouldn’t settle for not finding space in the first team.”

Carletto: Jose likes to provoke
13.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti has advised Claudio Ranieri to take Jose Mourinho’s provocative Press statements with a pinch of salt.

A war of words between Mourinho and Ranieri has escalated over the last few weeks with Juventus’ tactician responding angrily to the Special One’s baiting.

While Carletto insists that he has a good relationship with Mourinho, he admits that the Portuguese boss can be hard to handle.

“Mourinho is a unique person,” Ancelotti told the Corriere dello Sport.

“I know him and I think he’s very nice but he likes to court the Press and he can be provocative.

“The important thing is to keep your tongue in your cheek and I have enjoyed exchanging remarks with him. You just can’t take things too seriously.”

Milan’s pre-season has been far from ideal and a series of injuries have damaged the squad’s balance.

“I didn’t expect things to be so difficult at this stage,” Carletto admitted.

“The defence isn’t working and neither is the attack – the only area that has been good is the midfield. The absences have taken their toll.

"I know that Alessandro Nesta should recover quickly, but we don’t know how long he will take to return to the squad.”

Ancelotti concluded by analysing the way Milan’s main rivals are shaping up ahead of the new campaign.

“Inter have shown solidity in defence to win despite having lost almost their whole back line,” he said.

“We still haven’t seen the true nature of the side and they are the favourites for the Scudetto.

“Juventus have had the kind of transfer campaign you would expect of them and they are a compact and competitive squad.”

OFFICIAL: Simic moves to Monaco
12.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan have announced the sale of Croatian international defender Dario Simic to Monaco.

Simic spent six years at Milan after moving across the city from Inter in 2002 but became an increasingly peripheral figure in recent times.

The 32-year-old made it clear at the end of last season that he would be leaving Italy’s fashion capital and he had been linked to a number of sides across Europe.

After refusing Fenerbahce and failing to instigate a move to Celtic, Simic has finally secured a fresh start in Ligue 1.

According to Milan’s official website, Simic will be in Monaco tomorrow to complete his medical and will put pen to paper.

The departure of Simic could open the door for Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, who could complete a loan switch within the next 48 hours.

AC Milan close to Ivanovic loan
12.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Reports in Italy suggest that Milan are closing in on agreeing a loan deal for Chelsea’s Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic.

The Rossoneri are short of defensive options and are looking for cover for their injury-prone ageing stars.

With Alessandro Nesta and Kakha Kaladze sidelined, the Diavolo have been stretched at the back and Ivanovic could be the ideal solution.

Ivanovic arrived at Stamford Bridge in January, despite interest from Juventus, but he hasn’t had a chance to impress in West London and is reportedly keen to leave.

Chelsea are reluctant to part with a possible star for the future on a permanent basis, but a loan arrangement seems to suit both sides as Luiz Felipe Scolari doesn’t expect to use him in the coming season.

Blues chief executive Peter Kenyon has returned to London after a period abroad and one of his first tasks at his desk will be responding to Milan’s request for Ivanovic.

Meanwhile, Croatian defender Dario Simic is headed for a San Siro exit and his most likely destination is Spanish side Espanyol.

Kaladze appeals for Georgia peace
12.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Georgian international Kakha Kaladze has begged Milan President – and Italian Prime Minister – Silvio Berlusconi to intervene in the Russian conflict.

“It is a dramatic situation,” said the Rossoneri defender. “There are many dead, including civilians. So as a child of my country I ask for help.

“Anyone who can: European Union, NATO, America, help us to achieve democracy and liberty by sitting round a table and finding peace again.

“I will ask Berlusconi to take action, as he holds a great deal of sway with Vladimir Putin.”

This week the conflict in the breakaway region of South Ossetia deteriorated into war and Russia drove their tanks into the capital Tskhinvali, declaring Georgia had been “committing genocide.”

Georgia have now declared a ceasefire and requested talks with Russia, but the air raids are continuing.

Double Ronaldinho delights AC Milan
12.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan stars Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho bagged three goals between them as Brazil flew into the Olympic quarter-finals.

The Selecao had struggled to defeat Belgium 1-0 in the opening game, but found their form with a 5-0 thrashing of New Zealand.

Pato was instrumental in the first goal just three minutes in, dispossessing a defender to thread Anderson through.

His Rossoneri teammate Ronaldinho sparked the second move, finished off by Pato with a tricky header, before taking control.

The former Barcelona man curled a free kick into the bottom corner, then earned and converted a penalty with quick movement.

Rafa Sobis completed the rout in stoppages, but the good news for Milan fans is that Ronaldinho is most definitely back in business.

Ancelotti sees 'improvements'
10.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti and Clarence Seedorf are trying to “think positive” after their latest friendly defeat to Manchester City.

Milan have struggled with an injury crisis during pre-season and fell 1-0 at Eastlands on Saturday evening.

“I saw small improvements, although we are still a long way from good form,” said the Coach following Valeri Bojinov’s winning goal.

“I would like to see the team focused more on the season that is coming up rather than to these friendly tests.

“Clearly Manchester City had a different match fitness to us, as they are close to the start of their domestic campaign.

“Despite our absences, we tried to work around that by putting Massimo Ambrosini in a more advanced role so he could use his strength in the air.”

The match also saw Uruguayan talent Tabarè Viudez make his Milan debut just days after completing his transfer.

“Viudez moved well, did some good things and I think he is a lad we can count on for the future.”

Seedorf is getting a lot of playing time this summer, as Kaka, Marco Borriello and Pippo Inzaghi are injured with Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato at the Olympics.

“We have to think positive,” insisted the Dutchman. “I saw Nelson Dida in better shape than he was last season. He proved he is physically ready.”

Dida was in goal because Ancelotti had announced he would rotate the three ‘keepers during these friendly games against Sevilla, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Of the three performances, Abbiati stood head and shoulders above the pack and is expected to be given first choice status for the start of the Serie A season.

Friendly: Manchester City 1:0 AC Milan - match report
10.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Valeri Bojinov gave Manchester City a 1-0 win over Milan in another disappointing friendly in which Nelson Dida returned.

At least it was an improvement on the 5-0 drubbing by Chelsea in the Russian Railways Cup earlier this week and allowed Uruguayan forward Tabare Viudez to make his debut.

As announced, the rotation of goalkeepers continued with Nelson Dida taking charge for the first time in almost five months. The injury crisis continued with Kaka, Marco Borriello, Pippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Nesta and Kakha Kaladze sidelined, while Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato are at the Olympics.

Alberto Paloschi was the only available striker and the 17-year-old had the first chance, bringing a tough save out of Joe Hart at the near post after five minutes. He repeated the trick soon after, this time threaded through by Clarence Seedorf.

Elano scuffed wide from a promising position, but went closer on 25 minutes when Dida completely mistimed his intervention and Mathieu Flamini was on the line to clear from Valeri Bojinov.

Seedorf also had a great chance prodding wide from Gennaro Gattuso's cross from the right, but it was City who opened the scoring with Bojinov's cracker. A long throw was flicked on for the former Juventus and Fiorentina striker's volley in off the underside of the bar. It was his first goal since suffering a devastating cruciate ligament injury almost a year ago.

Paolo Maldini nodded a corner over before the break. At half-time Uruguayan youngster Viudez was given his Rossoneri debut in place of Paloschi, just days after completing his move. Massimo Oddo also came on for Marek Jankulovski, switching Gianluca Zambrotta to left-back.

Zambrotta handled the ball in the box, but the referee considered it to be involuntary as they were so close together.

The Rossoneri seemed to run out of steam as the second half wore on and were now missing Paloschi's attacking verve, but they still created a chance with Onuoha closing down Flamini.

City weren't too happy, as they lost Micah Richards, Bojinov and Darius Vassell to injury, while Stephen Ireland made possibly his final appearance before moving to Sunderland.

Manchester City 1-0 Milan
Scorers: Bojinov 28 (C)
Manchester City: Hart; Richards (Hamann 69), Ball (Dunne 65), Onuoha, Ben Haim; Elano (Ireland 87), Fernandez, Johnson, Garrido (Etuhu 65); Bojinov (Sturridge 46), Vassell (Evans 75)
Milan: Dida; Zambrotta, Bonera, Maldini, Jankulovski (Oddo 46); Gattuso (Brocchi 70), Flamini, Pirlo, Ambrosini; Seedorf; Paloschi (Viudez 46)

Ambrosini sees AC Milan 'handicap'
10.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini realises the new Milan will need time to gel, but believes when the time comes they will be world class.

“We have had very little time to train together and this is a significant handicap for the team,” said the midfielder ahead of today’s friendly with Manchester City.

“At the moment we are basically missing an entire section of the side. However, the quality in this squad is so high that soon we will entertain the fans.

“We are curious to see what our potential really is and to train with Ronaldinho. We want to win and work hard, so Milan will do well.”

The injury crisis has hit the forward line hard, as Marco Borriello, Kaka and Pippo Inzaghi are sidelined with Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato on Olympic duty.

This meant Ambrosini had to improvise as a striker in the humiliating 5-0 drubbing by Chelsea in the Russian Railways Cup.

With Alessandro Nesta and Kakha Kaladze also injured in defence, Milan have hinted Ambro could be used as a centre-back too.

“Adriano Galliani and Carlo Ancelotti explained the situation to me. In an eventual state of emergency, I have the characteristics to play in defence and I gave my availability in that sense,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“If the team is in trouble, you must not hold back. Besides, Esteban Cambiasso played centre-back for Inter, too.

“I was curious at the talk over my position, as it can be gratifying to know you are considered important in a number of different roles. However, I remain what I am – a midfielder.”

The Milan derby has been placed in Week 5 of the Serie A fixture list and will see Jose Mourinho clash with Ancelotti.

“It’ll be entertaining. They respect each other, but also have a ferocious desire to win. I like Mourinho, he has an intelligent way of provoking debate that never goes over the line. Inter are the rivals to beat for the Scudetto.”

Ivanovic 'requests AC Milan move'
10.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Chelsea starlet Branislav Ivanovic has requested a transfer so that he can join Milan, according to the latest reports.

Both the Corriere dello Sport and Gazzetta dello Sport claim this morning that Ivanovic is eager for the move to San Siro.

He had been of interest to Juventus, but it is reported the offer from the Rossoneri convinced the 24-year-old, as he would become the future of the club’s ageing defence.

He marched into the Stamford Bridge headquarters on Friday and told general manager Peter Kenyon that he wishes to make the switch to Serie A.

Ivanovic is yet to make his Premier League debut despite joining Chelsea in January for £9m, so Phil Scolari has agreed to release him.

It remains to be seen whether Milan will offer to take the former Lokomotiv Moscow player on loan or in a permanent move.

Considering the recent £18m investment for Ronaldinho and their failure to qualify for the Champions League, money is tight for the reigning Club World Cup holders.

It is reported therefore that the Rossoneri will take Ivanovic on loan for £1.8m with an option to complete the transfer at the end of the season for £7.5m.

Should they fail to sign the Serb, the other option for Carlo Ancelotti’s side is another Brazilian reinforcement.

Alex Silva has impressed at San Paolo and would be available for around half Ivanovic’s price-tag.

Ancelotti calls Uruguayans
8.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Uruguayan newcomers Tabaré Viudez and Mathias Cardacio have been included in Milan’s squad to face Manchester City tomorrow.

The promising youngsters arrived this summer in a deal brokered by former Juventus and Roma player Daniele Fonseca, who is now an agent.

And the duo may have a chance to shine at the City of Manchester Stadium when Milan look to bounce back from their last outing - a 5-0 defeat against Chelsea in the Moscow Tournament.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti is still without three strikers with Kaka, Pippo Inzaghi and Marco Borriello all injured, which may hand hitman Viudez an opportunity unless Clarence Seedorf is used as a front man.

Milan squad:
Goalkeepers: Abbiati, Dida, Kalac
Defenders: Antonini, Bonera, Favalli, Jankulovski, Maldini, Oddo, Simic, Zambrotta
Midfielders: Ambrosini, Brocchi, Cardacio, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf
Strikers: Paloschi, Viudez

Proud Paloschi lives AC Milan dream
8.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan young gun Alberto Paloschi admits he is surprised to already be a key figure in the Rossoneri’s senior side.

The Italian Under-19 international was called in during an injury crisis last term and he scored two goals in his first two professional games in the Coppa Italia.

Paloschi also found the net against Siena and Sampdoria and secured his place amongst Italy’s hottest young talents.

“I always enjoy new experiences and it’s great to play alongside such great champions,” the Brescia native told Milan’s website.

“I first joined this team when I was very young and I found myself in the first team unexpectedly. It was my dream since I was a child and it’s great.

“I want to thank everyone for the compliments I have received.”

Paloschi also impressed in this summer’s European Championship with Italy’s Under-19 side.

“It was certainly an excellent shop window,” he enthused.

“Our objective was to get through to the knockout stages and we went further by also managing to eliminate France, who were the favourites.

“I think the best game was against the Czech Republic – it was a crunch match and everyone put in great performances.

“The Final against Germany ended badly but they showed that they are an excellent team.”

Despite rumours that he would be sent out to Reggina, Sampdoria or Torino on loan, Paloschi has been kept at San Siro, possibly due to an injury to Marco Borriello and he featured in the Trofeo TIM and the Moscow Tournament.

“They were great games to be involved in and when Milan mentioned that I may get called up I immediately cancelled my holiday,” Paloschi said.

“I want to do well next season and I am looking to improve. Last year I scored four times and I want to try and get lots more in the coming campaign.”

AC Milan to steal Ivanovic?
8.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Reports in the peninsula suggest that Milan are ready to fight Juventus for the signature of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

The Old Lady have already approached Chelsea with an offer for Serbian star Ivanovic – a player they tried to lure before his move to Stamford Bridge in January.

However, Milan are currently looking for a defender to act as cover for Alessandro Nesta in an ageing and injury-prone back line.

Ivanovic is yet to make an appearance for the Blues and has reportedly been told by new boss Luiz Felipe Scolari that he doesn’t feature in first-team plans.

According to Sportmediaset, Milan are ready to move in with a bid of around £1.8m to take Ivanovic for the season with an option to make the deal permanent next summer.

If Juventus are committed to signing Ivanovic, a bidding war could develop because the Turin outfit are more than capable of beating the Rossoneri’s offer.

Seedorf praises Galliani's work
8.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf hails Milan’s summer transfer campaign and believes Ronaldinho was the missing piece in the jigsaw.

The Rossoneri’s major swoops saw them land Ronaldinho, Gianluca Zambrotta and Mathieu Flamini.

While a 5-0 friendly defeat against Chelsea has left concerns over the Diavolo’s pre-season preparations, Seedorf is happy with the group.

“When you look at the names that have arrived at Milan, they are very important players who are known on the world stage,” he said.

“With the new additions we are a good group and lots of youngsters have arrived who can learn to win.

“It will be an important year because we are going for the Scudetto and the UEFA Cup and there is so much enthusiasm.”

There had been suggestions that Seedorf was angry at the club’s decision to sign Ronaldinho as the Brazilian star may undermine his place at San Siro.

“In the past I have always said that I would like to play with someone like Ronaldinho,” Seedorf insisted.

“When we played Barcelona we swapped shirts and I told him that I hoped he would arrive soon, so I am very happy that he has come.

“Everyone wanted Ronaldinho and also Marco Borriello, Mathieu Flamini and Gianluca Zambrotta.

“I think that the club has made the right choices and Adriano Galliani will decide whether we need to go back into the market.”

Kaka surgery was 'useless'
8.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan’s club doctor Jean Pierre Meersseman has astonishingly claimed that Kaka’s recent knee operation was a waste of time.

Having been blighted by a knee problem throughout last season, Kaka went under the knife last month and faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

But Meersseman insists that Brazil’s national doctor Jose Luiz Runco was wrong to perform the procedure because it only treated Kaka’s meniscus injury and not the inflammation of his tendon.

“With the operation the player wanted, time was lost because he had to undergo rehabilitation without curing the other problem,” Meersseman roared.

“The injury to his meniscus was cured during the operation but it had nothing to do with the inflammation. The procedure was useless and damaging.”

Kaka could be out until October with his current problem as reports suggest that his recovery has been slower than anticipated.

Ancelotti admits AC Milan concerns
6.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti gives an update on Milan’s injury crisis and admits his team has “quite a few problems in defence.”

The Coach held crisis talks with general manager Adriano Galliani yesterday after their disastrous Russian Railways Cup in Moscow, losing 1-0 to Sevilla and 5-0 to Chelsea.

“At this moment in time, we have quite a few problems in defence, so we still have to wait to figure out what to do in attack,” said Ancelotti.

The Rossoneri are missing Kaka, Marco Borriello, Pippo Inzaghi and Olympic competitors Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho.

Milan’s chief medic Massimo Manara gave the official club website an update on the various injuries afflicting the squad.

“Alessandro Nesta underwent his second lumbago therapy yesterday afternoon and the results seem good. We have to see how he reacts in the next 72 hours before working out a real rehabilitation plan.

“Inzaghi will undergo tests tomorrow and then start a specific training schedule. Kaka has started a rehabilitation programme for this left knee problem and we’ll see what happens. He feels better after resting for a few days and will undergo more specific tests in the next few days.

“Emerson is responding very well to treatment and we hope to see him working with the team by the end of the month. Every now and then Kakha Kaladze’s knee problem flares up, but he feels better now.”

It was their performance at the back that caused the most consternation, but no new signings are expected.

“Despite the fact Paolo Maldini is 40 years old and is coming off a long-term injury, he is still reliable. Daniele Bonera also gives guarantees,” insisted Ancelotti.

Zeljko Kalac’s howlers against Chelsea made Christian Abbiati the prime candidate to take the gloves in Serie A, although Nelson Dida will get his chance to shine against Manchester City.

“We have three first choice goalkeepers. During this period we are evaluating them and so far Abbiati has certainly done better than Kalac. Now we will wait and see how Dida performs.”

Kalac shrugs off Moscow misery
5.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac has apologised for his error-ridden performance against Chelsea in Sunday’s friendly.

The world champions fell to a humiliating 5-0 defeat on a grim afternoon in Moscow.

And Australian custodian Kalac made a compelling case for Christian Abbiati taking the gloves with a dismal outing during which he failed to make contact with a back-pass to set up the third goal.

“Football is like that and mistakes happen,” Kalac told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I went to kick the ball with my left and I prefer my right. I made a mistake but I had never made an error like that before.

“I don’t know whether I will be first choice when the season starts but I hope so. It’s not now that I need to be in form.”

While Kalac is struggling, Abbiati impressed in the Trofeo TIM, where he was the hero against Inter in a penalty shoot-out.

“He is making good saves but I don’t fear competition,” Kalac insisted. “I am just thinking about training well and stopping shots.

“It wouldn’t be fair to judge me on the disaster in Moscow and I am ready to bounce back.”

Milan rivals to fight for Thiago
5.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Inter and Milan are ready to do battle for the signature of Brazilian defender Thiago Silva, according to Italian Press sources.

Both sides from Italy’s fashion capital have found themselves short of defensive options.

Inter have been hit by an injury crisis with Marco Materazzi, Cristian Chivu, Walter Samuel, Ivan Cordoba and Nelson Rivas all out of action.

Meanwhile, Milan have temporarily lost Alessandro Nesta and have only added Gianluca Zambrotta to an ageing and unconvincing back line this summer.

According to the Corriere dello Sport, the two rivals both see Fluminese ace Thiago Silva as a possible answer to their defensive dearth.

The 23-year-old’s future is a constant source of speculation, as he is wanted by a number of European sides due to his mixture of power, poise and vision.

He will have a chance to impress at this summer’s Olympic Games in China after booking a place in Carlos Dunga’s squad.

Stendardo in AC Milan link
4.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

The agent of Lazio defender Guglielmo Stendardo has claimed that Milan have asked after his client.

The Rossoneri are keen to swell their defensive ranks before the end of the month when the transfer window closes.

After the injury to Alessandro Nesta, Carlo Ancelotti is short of numbers at the back and Stendardo, who spent half of last term on loan to Juventus, could be the answer.

“There has been nothing concrete yet, but I have been told that there has been contact between the clubs,” representative Gateano Fedele told Tuttomercatoweb.

“Lazio President Claudio Lotito is in charge of the situation but we have given our go-ahead for the transfer because they are a great club.”

Stendardo joined Lazio in 2005 but has played just 39 games for the Aquile and fell out of favour after a series of rows with Coach Delio Rossi last term.

Ronaldinho relives painful period
4.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan new boy Ronaldinho has given an honest insight into his troubles over the last two years as he looks to reinvent himself with the Rossoneri.

The former FIFA World Player of the Year was given a hysterical reception when he signed for Milan from Barcelona this summer.

But the Brazil international’s career had been in limbo after a miserable period at Barcelona that saw him lose form and suffer a series of injuries.

“Everyone has two faces – the happy face and the sad face,” Dinho told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I prefer the good side and to smile when I am around others. It doesn’t mean that I am a false person - I just don’t like to put my problems on other people.

“At the moment I am on duty with Brazil and I am here to try and help my teammates secure a historic triumph because we have never won at the Olympic Games. I need to be happy to succeed.”

The start of Dinho’s troubled period was the 2006 World Cup where Brazil fell to France at the quarter-final stage.

“It was a horrible experience for me and for the whole team,” he recalled.

“Before the tournament I was considered like Pelè. After we were eliminated I was criticised by everyone.

“Nobody asked me how I felt, but I was sad and disappointed by the defeat and the failure to give my nation what I wanted. But I learned so much.”

However, rather than bounce back, the former PSG man was kept off the pitch by injury problems.

“It was the worst time of my life,” Ronaldinho said. “I was injured and I couldn’t play or train.

“All I could do was watch TV and the more I watched games from the sofa the more miserable I became.

“I had never been out for so long and I didn’t know how to deal with it. Luckily my family stayed with me, protected me and gave me strength.”

Much of the criticism of Dinho in the Press centred on his weight problems and excesses off the field.

“What I didn’t understand is how it was possible to go from being an example to everyone to being like Diego Maradona at the centre of controversy,” he insisted.

“When I am on holiday I do what I want but during the season I behave like a committed professional.

“I have to live well, feel well and be a good athlete but I also have to enjoy life.

“I have sacrificed so much in life to get to this level and to stay there but on the other hand I have money and success.

“I am doing the job that I have always dreamed of and it is a pleasure. I couldn’t want anything else.”

Kaka: 'I'm in bad shape'
4.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan’s woes increase as Kaka admits his knee problem is so bad he isn’t sure when he’ll be able to play again.

“I am in bad shape. I don’t know when I’ll be back,” he told journalists this evening.

The Brazilian limped off during this week’s 1-0 defeat to Sevilla in Moscow and was ruled out of today’s 5-0 thrashing by Chelsea.

Officially the club website would only confirm it was “an inflammation of the knee,” but reports from Brazil paint a far darker picture.

They suggest it is a case of tendonitis in the same knee that underwent surgery in May and will keep him on the sidelines for at least two weeks.

With Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato at the Olympics, Marco Borriello out for two months following meniscus ligament surgery on his knee and Pippo Inzaghi dealing with recurring muscular problems, this leaves Milan with no strikers.

Only 18-year-old Alberto Paloschi is available and he cannot play two games on the trot. Paloschi was left on the bench for today’s 5-0 defeat to Chelsea in a line-up so reshuffled that Massimo Ambrosini and Andrea Pirlo had to play upfront.

With this situation deteriorating and Robinho’s admission he wants to join Chelsea, it is increasingly likely that the Rossoneri will make a bid to bring Andriy Shevchenko back to San Siro.

Sheva faced his former club for the first time since making that £30m move in Moscow and it provides the two sides with the perfect opportunity to discuss his future.

Ancelotti: Holidays are over!
3.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti lambasted Milan’s attitude after a 5-0 defeat to Chelsea, warning their summer holidays are over.

The completely revamped side was crushed at the Russian Railway Cup in Moscow this morning with Nicolas Anelka bagging four goals.

“Today there was the wrong attitude and level of concentration for a friendly, as this was an important friendly,” the Coach told Milan Channel.

“The game was already set to be difficult, but after going 3-0 down in the space of 15 minutes it got even more complicated.

“We were made to look bad, but I hope at least that our summer holiday ends here. There is nothing to salvage from this match and we should look ahead.”

The Rossoneri were suffering from an injury crisis that left Ancelotti with no strikers, so Massimo Ambrosini and Andrea Pirlo formed a makeshift front pairing.

Gianluca Zambrotta and Marek Jankulovski went from full-backs to wingers, but it was goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac who was most humiliated after a series of howlers.

“Whatever we did in attack cannot be considered because of the numerous absences, but we certainly have to work on our defence,” continued Ancelotti.

“Even if an important player like Alessandro Nesta returns to fitness, I doubt he alone could solve all our problems. We need everyone to be more concentrated, careful and focused.

“I hope the lack of strikers at the moment will enable us to work on the purely defensive area of the team, as at the moment there are too many issues there.”

Christian Abbiati did well in his two friendly appearances this summer, so Kalac’s disastrous turn puts him in pole position for the main job.

“As we had organised before, Dida will play the next friendly, then we will see. There is time to evaluate the situation until August 31.”

Ancelotti and the club have remained tight-lipped over reports Kaka is suffering from tendonitis that could rule him out for at least a fortnight.

“There is no news on Kaka’s condition. The medical staff spoke of an inflammation, but if they didn’t feel able to make a firm diagnosis then I’m certainly not going to.”

Protest delays Serie A start
3.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

The opening games of the Serie A season will kick off 30 minutes late in protest at a new rule limiting squad sizes.

The top flight campaign begins on the weekend of August 30 and 31, but the AIC (Italian Players’ Association) has called a strike action.

The players will only walk out 30 minutes later than planned to show their solidarity for the Lega Pro teams.

Serie C1 and C2 have been renamed Lega Pro this season and other changes imposed by the authorities pose a limit on the number of players clubs can have in their squads.

This risks leaving hundreds of players out of work and the top flight teams are protesting the move.

The AIC 'counsellors' representing players' interests are Demetrio Albertini, Daniele Bellotto, Valerio Bernardi, Diego Bonavina, Umberto Calcagno, Fabio Cannavaro, Giuseppe Cardone, Luca Carta, Alessandro Dal Canto, Morgan De Sanctis, David Dei, Giovanni Di Raimo, Marco Donadel, Gennaro Gattuso, Fabio Pecchia, Gianfranco Serioli and Damiano Tommasi.

Moscow Tournament: AC Milan 0:5 Chelsea - match report
3.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan’s 5-0 defeat to Chelsea in Moscow turned into a bizarre training ground exercise with two midfielders upfront.

The injury crisis that has struck the team meant there were no fit strikers available to Carlo Ancelotti for the third place Final of the Russian Railway Cup.

Even teenager Alberto Paloschi could not start, so he was one of only six players on the Rossoneri bench.

Instead, Massimo Ambrosini and Andrea Pirlo were pushed upfront in brand new roles, while full-backs Gianluca Zambrotta and Marek Jankulovski had to improvise as wide midfielders.

Inevitably, Chelsea dominated proceedings as the all-new Milan side struggled to find its feet.

Former Inter transfer target Frank Lampard opened the scoring just three minutes in, his free kick slipping between Zeljko Kalac’s legs. This further boosts Christian Abbiati’s case to become the first choice goalkeeper.

It got even worse for Kalac when he was beaten by Nicolas Anelka’s half-volley, then humiliatingly swung at a backpass and completely missed, allowing Anelka to tap into the empty net.

The Rossoneri were in such dire straits that Gennaro Gattuso had their best chance of the first half with a powerful strike tipped over the bar.

Anelka completed his remarkable match with another couple of goals in the second half, totally unmarked on two Florent Malouda assists.

There was also a curious note as Andriy Shevchenko came on as a substitute to face Milan for the first time since leaving the club for £30m.

It ends a dismal Milan experience in Moscow after they lost the first match 1-0 to Sevilla thanks to a Gennaro Gattuso own goal.

Kaka limped off during that game and has been diagnosed with suspected tendonitis.

Milan 0-5 Chelsea
Scorers: Lampard 3, Anelka 8, 18, 51, 57
Chelsea: Cech (Cudicini 72); Ivanovic (Ferreira 61), Alex, Terry (Carvalho 61), A Cole; Ballack (Deco 46), Mikel, Lampard; Wright-Phillips (Sinclair 77), Anelka (Shevchenko 66), Malouda
Milan: Kalac; Bonera (Paloschi 63), Simic (Digao 46), Maldini (Kaladze 46), Favalli (Antonini 63); Zambrotta, Flamini, Gattuso, Jankulovski; Pirlo; Ambrosini (Seedorf 46)

Shevchenko to solve AC Milan shortage?
3.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko faces Milan for the first time today amid reports he’ll return to San Siro following Kaka’s injury.

The Ukrainian is likely to start against the Rossoneri in this morning’s third place final for the Russian Railways Cup in Moscow.

His mistake from the penalty spot saw Chelsea defeated in a shoot-out with Lokomotiv Moscow and further damaged the fragile rapport he has with the fans and media.

According to the Corriere dello Sport, this provides the perfect opportunity for Milan to hold intensive negotiations over Sheva’s future.

The club needs a new striker after an injury crisis hit their front line. Marco Borriello is out for two months following keyhole surgery, Pippo Inzaghi’s return remains in doubt after recurring muscular problems, Kaka has suspected tendonitis in the knee that was operated on earlier this summer, while Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho are at the Olympics.

This means the only fit striker at Carlo Ancelotti’s disposal is 18-year-old Alberto Paloschi.

As the situation at Chelsea deteriorates, the Stamford Bridge side may well be willing to release Shevchenko on loan.

“In Europe there are some impossible prices, so it is only right to create a mix between champions of the calibre of Ronaldinho and promising youngsters like Cardaccio and Viudez,” said general manager Adriano Galliani.

“Kaka will remain at Milan, as players under contract do not leave. That goes for Milan and Chelsea. There is no point trying to destabilise them.”

Yet with Kaka’s injury flaring up and possibly keeping him out of action for a fortnight, and Shevchenko begging to be released, Galliani could change his tune.

Ambrosini considers new role
3.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan face an injury crisis ahead of today’s clash with Chelsea, but Adriano Galliani has a novel solution. “Play Massimo Ambrosini as a centre-back!”

The third place Final for the Russian Railways Cup is at 11.00 UK time in Moscow and the Rossoneri must do without Kaka – who has suspected tendonitis in his left knee – Alessandro Nesta, Marco Borriello, Pippo Inzaghi, Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho.

“We have many defenders who can play in the middle. Daniele Bonera, Digao, Dario Simic as well as Paolo Maldini,” insisted Galliani when asked if this meant going back on to the transfer market.

“I also made a proposal to Carlo Ancelotti: try Ambrosini as a centre-back. I think Ambro would make a great defender, as he is strong in the air and very intelligent. We’ve spoken to him about it and he is ready.

“We should learn from overseas sides, as in an emergency situation they just change positions. After all, we did the same thing with Andrea Pirlo and you all saw the results.”

Pirlo was originally a trequartista before Ancelotti transformed him into possibly Europe’s top deep-lying midfielder.

As for today’s friendly match, the director general calmed calls for Christian Abbiati to be made the Number One after his strong performances against Sevilla and Inter.

“Abbiati did very well, but Zeljko Kalac will play against Chelsea. Nelson Dida then has the chance to play with Manchester City next week. We have time to decide.”

Former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini knows Chelsea well and is settling into his new squad.

“We are very enthusiastic about signing Flamini. He was a great buy, as many clubs wanted him. It was a difficult negotiation process, yet the transfer itself wasn’t acclaimed as much as it should’ve been. The same goes for Gianluca Zambrotta.”

Someone who certainly grabbed the headlines was Ronaldinho following his £18m switch from Barcelona.

“Entertaining football is an important factor in the mind of President Silvio Berlusconi. Ronaldinho has brought great enthusiasm, as we sold an extra 20,000 season tickets after his arrival.

“On top of all that, Ronnie has brought new motivation to his teammates.”

Kaka in tendonitis scare
3.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Kaka has been ruled out of Milan’s Russian Railways Cup match with Chelsea due to suspected tendonitis.

The club released an official statement this evening confirming he would be undergoing a specialist training schedule over the next few days due to “a persistent inflammation of the left knee.”

This is causing concern because that was the knee that required surgery at the end of last season.

He pulled up during Friday’s 1-0 defeat to Sevilla, also in Moscow for the Russian Railways Cup, and was substituted.

There are reports swirling around the Brazilian media that this latest setback is much more serious than at first thought.

O Globo claim it is tendonitis and Kaka must rest for at least two weeks in order to fully recover. The Milan statement does not deny that is the case, although it tries to paint it in less dramatic terms.

It would be a disastrous blow for the Rossoneri, who already have a major striker shortage at the moment.

Marco Borriello is out for two months, Pippo Inzaghi is sidelined with muscular problems, while Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato are at the Olympics with Brazil.

This means the only fit striker at Carlo Ancelotti’s disposal is teenager Alberto Paloschi.

Milan face Chelsea in Moscow to decide third place in the Russian Railways Cup on Sunday at 11.00 UK time.

AC Milan go Uruguayan
3.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan have snapped up two new Uruguayan talents, Mathias Cardaccio and Tabarè Viudez.

They underwent medicals at the Milanello training ground over the weekend and will officially be presented to the media on Monday.

Cardaccio signs from Nacional Montevideo and is a 21-year-old creative midfielder with a fierce strike from distance.

“I am similar to Andrea Pirlo,” the new arrival told Tuttosport. He hit the headlines with his performances in the Under-19 World Cup in 2007.

Former Defensor Sporting Montevideo man Viudez is still only 19 and is considered one of Uruguay’s most promising talents for the future.

He was the youngest player in the Under-20 World Cup, aged just 18, and has a left foot reminiscent of Alvaro Recoba.

Nesta in new surgery call
3.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta could be forced to have surgery after his back problem reared its head again.

The Milan defender has been struggling with the recurring injury for several months and up until now the club had always firmly denied there would be the need for an operation.

However, he is still not training with the full squad and Carlo Ancelotti did not want to be drawn on naming a date for his comeback.

According to newspaper Tuttosport, Nesta is undergoing daily physiotherapy sessions, but is still having difficulty even walking.

The now retired Italian international has a problem in his back caused by the compression of two vertebrae and has not trained with the squad all summer.

It is now reported that the Rossoneri medical staff are seriously considering surgery as the only option to clear this up once and for all.

If they were to take this option, it would rule Nesta out for several months.

Ancelotti brushes off Sevilla loss
3.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Despite their defeat to Sevilla – which sets up Sunday’s clash with Chelsea – Carlo Ancelotti and his men are satisfied with Milan’s progress.

The 1-0 loss was sealed by a Gennaro Gattuso own goal in Moscow, putting the Spaniards through to face hosts Lokomotiv in the final.

The Rossoneri will take on Chelsea in the fight for third place on Sunday at 11.00 UK time after Phil Scolari’s men drew 1-1 with Lokomotiv, losing on penalties.

“Despite the result, I am nonetheless satisfied with the team’s performance,” said Ancelotti.

“The match was affected by an unlucky Gattuso incident, but these things can happen. I saw, in any case, a good level of intensity.

“These games with international sides of a certain level are not simply friendlies, but much more difficult tests.”

The bright spot, as in Tuesday’s Trofeo TIM, was once again goalkeeper Christian Abbiati’s performance between the sticks.

“I want to prove to Ancelotti that I can challenge for the starting shirt and I’m working very hard for that,” explained the former Atletico Madrid shot-stopper.

The club had confirmed that Zeljko Kalac was the first choice, but with these summer outings Abbiati is pushing to the front of the line.

“I was very happy with Abbiati, but also with Paolo Maldini’s seasonal debut, as he moved well on the pitch,” added the Coach.

The captain had not played since April due to a niggling knee and ankle problem, but took to the field for the opening 45 minutes of the Moscow tournament.

“I am pleased with my return. My main objective this season is to win the Scudetto, even if the UEFA Cup is also important,” said Maldini.

“If I had to choose, then I would certainly opt for the Serie A title.”

Moscow Tournament: AC Milan 0:1 Sevilla - match report
1.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan fell 1-0 to Sevilla in the opening game of the Moscow Tournament with a Gennaro Gattuso own goal.

The Rossoneri struggled through their injury crisis, as 17-year-old Alberto Paloschi is the only available striker for the competition that also involves Chelsea and hosts Lokomotiv.

Christian Abbiati impressed again in goal after his Trofeo TIM heroics earlier this week, performing fine saves on Luis Fabiano’s right-foot rocket and Navas.

Gattuso was unlucky to decide the match when an Enzo Maresca free kick took a touch off the midfielder’s head to leave Abbiati stranded.

Palop parried Andrea Pirlo’s set piece, a Marek Jankulovski strike and Clarence Seedorf whistled just wide, but Cristian Brocchi went closest when his header thumped the upright.

Brocchi saw red soon after for a second bookable offence. Sevilla won 1-0, so now Milan will face the losers of the Chelsea-Lokomotiv Moscow encounter on Sunday.

Milan 0-1 Sevilla
Scorers: Gattuso og 47 (S)
Milan: Abbiati; Oddo (Bonera 75), Kaladze, Maldini (Digao 46), Zambrotta (Favalli 58); Gattuso (Antonini 69), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Kaka (Jankulovski 46), Seedorf; Paloschi (Brocchi 58)
Sevilla: Palop; Konko, Squillaci, David Prieto, S Navarro; Jesus Navas, Maresca, Romaric, Adriano; Luis Fabiano, Renato

AC Milan duo lift Brazil
1.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Milan stars Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho were pivotal as Brazil’s Olympic team beat Vietnam 2-0 in a friendly.

The Selecao’s final warm-up match was a tepid affair and Brazil looked far from their best as they struggled to victory.

Pato opened the scoring after just five minutes when he was played through by new teammate Ronaldinho.

The young gun looked cool as he ran on to Dinho’s through ball and beat a defender to the ball to slot home.

Milan newcomer Ronaldinho continued to play impressive football and stayed on for the full 90 minutes, but the second goal came courtesy of a bullet from Thiago Neves.

Jo replaced Pato after 70 minutes and ‘The Duck’ went off to applause from Coach Carlos Dunga.

Abbiati remains realistic
1.8 || webmaster

Football Italia

Goalkeeper Christian Abbiati was Milan’s hero in the Trofeo TIM, but he isn’t letting a stellar night go to his head.

After spending last season on loan to Atletico Madrid, Abbiati was on the brink of joining Palermo this summer but he refused the transfer to fight Nelson Dida and Zeljko Kalac for the Rossoneri gloves.

The 31-year-old made a compelling case for the No 1 shirt during the Trofeo TIM on Tuesday night when he helped the Diavolo beat city rivals Inter on penalties after an impressive 45 minutes.

“I’m satisfied with the way I played,” Abbiati said. “The important thing is to play well, call my defence and speak a lot on the pitch.

“The penalty shoot-out was part of the job, but I was also lucky.

“Before the game my finger was hurting but then everything went well and I hope that I won’t have any problems in the future.”

In spite of his excellent evening, Abbiati is aware that he will have to fight hard to earn regular football this season but believes he will be given a chance to show his ability.

“As far as becoming first-choice ‘keeper is concerned, I think Milan have three strong options and it won’t be easy for the Coach to decide, but there should be space for everyone.

“This is a very good Rossoneri team and we need to prove that on the pitch. We need to be in the right condition and try and start the season well.”

Capello: AC Milan for the title
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Football Italia

England boss Fabio Capello believes that Milan can usurp Inter to sit on the Serie A throne.

It has been a very positive pre-season for the Rossoneri with the additions of Ronaldinho and Mathieu Flamini and a triumph in the Trofeo TIM.

While Jose Mourinho struggles with a lack of defensive options, Carlo Ancelotti seems confident and has won over Capello.

“Milan are the favourites for the Scudetto,” the former Juventus tactician told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“They are also completely focused on the League. Europe can wait and Ancelotti will use his best side in Serie A.

“It’s lucky for Milan that Ronaldinho is going to the Olympic Games. He will return match-fit and motivated after a tough year. This is the right launch-pad for him to return to orbit.”

Don Fabio also had words of encouragement for Inter and a warning for Roma.

“The Nerazzurri need time but I am totally convinced that they are a very strong side that are amongst the top three in Europe,” he claimed.

“Roma? They really need to find some players who can make the difference. Adrian Mutu was the right choice.”

Borriello out for two months
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Football Italia

Marco Borriello will be out of action for up to two months after tests revealed damage to the meniscus ligament.

The Milan striker sustained an injury during training last week and was sent to Antwerp for a consultation with specialist Professor Marc Martens.

Tests confirmed the external meniscus ligament in his right knee was damaged and will require keyhole surgery, to be performed tomorrow.

Borriello will be sidelined until the end of September, but it is unlikely the Rossoneri will go back on to the transfer market.

The club has already confirmed it will keep hold of Alberto Paloschi instead, as he was set to join Torino on loan.

Borriello and Pippo Inzaghi are both injured, while Kaka is recovering from knee surgery and Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho are at the Olympics.

Maldini set for Moscow
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Football Italia

Veteran defender Paolo Maldini has been included in Milan’s squad for the Moscow Tournament.

The 40-year-old has been battling a series of minor injuries since damaging his left thigh back in April.

While many expected the Rossoneri legend to call time on his career, he has fought back and is nearly ready to return to the pitch.

With Alessandro Nesta unavailable, Maldini has been selected to travel to Russia with Carlo Ancelotti’s squad to compete against Lokomotiv Moscow, Chelsea and Sevilla.

After their Trofeo TIM triumph, hopes will be high for Milan and they will be determined to keep up their pre-season momentum.

Milan squad: Dida, Kalac, Abbiati; Bonera, Digao, Favalli, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Maldini, Oddo, Simic, Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Brocchi, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo; Kaka, Paloschi, Seedorf

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