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The Archive

August 2009

Zambrotta: 'AC Milan must have faith'
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gianluca Zambrotta and Marco Storari admit the derby did not go as planned, but believe Milan can recover from this humiliation.

“I honestly expected a different derby debut,” moaned the goalkeeper after the 4-0 thrashing by Inter.

“We had prepared so well for this game and I think we lost it all in the 10 minutes between [Gennaro] Gattuso’s injury and the red card.

“We wanted to win, but unfortunately we weren’t attentive enough on the first goal and teams like that punish you at the first chance they get.

“At least this will serve as a lesson for the future and I am convinced we will get back on our feet. The Coach already spoke to us and we all agree to put it behind us, as we have two weeks to prepare for our next challenges.”

Zambrotta was also confident that the 4-0 demolition job would not wreck Milan’s Scudetto ambitions just two rounds into the season.

“Before the opening goal we had played very well, not allowed Inter any chances and controlled the tempo,” noted the veteran.

“Unfortunately after that and with the penalty and red card, everything changed. We must nonetheless have faith, because we are just at the start of the season and we have the quality to do well.

“Compared to last term we have more players who can hold the ball. We proved that against Siena and also with Inter up until the deadlock was broken.”

Gattuso out for a fortnight
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso will be out of action for two weeks after spraining his ankle during the ill-fated Milan derby.

The midfielder was already struggling with the injury when he received two yellow cards in quick succession, paving the way for Inter’s 4-0 victory.

He was taken to hospital for tests and x-rays, as there were fears Gattuso had sustained a fracture or damaged the tendon in his left ankle.

The results came back negative, but there is a sprain and it will keep the World Cup winner out of action for a couple of weeks.

This rules him out of Italy’s 2010 qualifiers against Georgia on September 5 and Bulgaria on September 9.

Gattuso is still recovering from missing almost the entire season with knee ligament damage.

Following the 4-0 hammering at the hands of Inter, the entire Milan squad was kept in the locker room for an hour for talks with President Silvio Berlusconi and general manager Adriano Galliani.

Leonardo: 'Gattuso sparked chain reaction'
30.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo said there was a “chain reaction” from Gennaro Gattuso's injury that led to Milan's capitulation in the derby.

“Up until the first goal I'd say Milan were right there against a tough and organised team. After that we struggled to deal with the difficult moment and that is something we need to improve,” said the Coach after a 4-0 defeat to Inter.

The game changed when Gattuso picked up an ankle injury, brought down Samuel Eto'o for a penalty and was sent off before half-time, all while he was waiting for a substitution.

“Gattuso got hurt and had to keep coming off for treatment. It was our free kick and he had to run back and gave away this penalty.

“He was meant to come off, [Clarence] Seedorf wasn't ready, and the delay proved decisive. He is in hospital now for tests and those minutes made all the difference.”
The biggest problem seemed to be psychological, as Milan visibly crumbled once Inter took the lead.

“I think there was a little uncertainty, but also a series of incidents that made it tougher for us. Gattuso was injured and struggled to get back, so the delay in preparing Seedorf due to a calf problem added up and the game changed.

“When a player is injured and gets there after his opponent, these things can happen. It was just one thing after another and it turned into a chain reaction. This penalty would never have happened if Gattuso had been fit.”

Leonardo stood up for Ronaldinho, who was jeered by the fans when he was replaced in the second half.

“Ronaldinho didn't have a great performance, but I don't think it is right to make individual criticism. As a team we did not deal with the situation properly and that is what we must work on.

“The 4-3-1-2 system with Ronaldinho is a little different and he can play a more advanced role, so to sustain this trident we need a very compact midfield. We achieved that in the first half-hour, but then things happened and we cannot judge the squad on these two games alone.”

The Rossoneri had started strongly with a 2-1 victory at Siena, but can this result rule them out of the Scudetto race in Week 2?

“Milan need to have their own identity. Inter have certainty from recent years, whereas we are under construction and this defeat does not stop us from going forward and improving. We are a step behind the strongest team in Serie A.

“We are having problems down the left flank. We have tried to improve the squad with full-backs and haven't been able to get them yet, so we must work overall to make the movement better.”

Serie A: AC Milan 0:4 Inter Milan - match report
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Thiago Motta 29 (I), Milito pen 36 (I), Maicon 45 (I), Stankovic 67 (I)

Inter thrashed 10-man Milan 4-0 after Gennaro Gattuso's dismissal with great goals from Thiago Motta, Diego Milito, Douglas Maicon and Dejan Stankovic.

Anything could happen in this local clash, as the Rossoneri were fresh from a 2-1 win at Siena and the reigning champions were held by Bari on home turf. Both teams have changed a great deal this summer and are taking time to gel, but Jose Mourinho threw Wesley Sneijder in at the deep end. Not originally in the squad, his international transfer came through late last night and the ex-Real Madrid star was put straight into the starting XI. Leonardo stuck with the men who won last week despite Klaas-Jan Huntelaar finishing his ban.

Sneijder certainly made a impact, as five minutes in he unleashed a blockbuster from 20 metres that Marco Storari flew to punch out from under the crossbar.

Mathieu Flamini went into the book for a sliding tackle on Lucio, but then went on a marvellous run down the left past Douglas Maicon and Julio Cesar intercepted the chipped cross-shot into the middle. Walter Samuel's defensive error let Pato through, but The Wall managed to get a foot in to block the shot.

Pato sprinted off past Lucio and cut back for Ronaldinho, who ballooned over under pressure from Dejan Stankovic. Julio Cesar only parried a Dinho cross into the path of Marco Borriello, who wasn't quick enough to react.

Gennaro Gattuso pulled up clutching his left ankle and carried on with heavy strapping around his boot. Pato out-raced Maicon again, but this time Julio Cesar calmly ran out of his area to dribble the ball clear.

Inter held on under pressure and opened the scoring with a wonderful team move on 29 minutes. It was a series of one-touch passes to slice the Milan defence apart with Thiago Motta, Samuel Eto'o and Diego Milito for the midfielder to curl in to the back post with the inside of his left foot.

Cristian Chivu risked a penalty 30 seconds later for tugging Borriello's shirt, while Samuel was booked for scraping his studs down the back of Pato's ankle.

However, on a Milan free kick Eto'o went clear on the counter and Gattuso ran into the back of him. The referee pointed to the penalty spot, but only booked the midfielder as Alessandro Nesta was near by and ready to block, a decision that infuriated Mourinho. Milito buried the penalty high under the crossbar to double Inter's lead.

Gattuso aggravated the injury in that move and had already asked to be substituted earlier. He was about to make way for Clarence Seedorf, but the Dutchman was late putting his shirt on and so the Italian had to play on. Gattuso was clearly struggling and his late tackle on Sneijder earned him a second yellow card, but Rino walked off screaming at Leonardo and the Milan bench for taking so long over the substitution.

In stoppages Lucio volleyed a corner to bring a tough save out of Storari from point-blank range. Inter made it 3-0 just before the break, as Maicon exchanged passes with Milito and placed an angled drive into the far bottom corner past a helpless Storari.

It still wasn't over, as Julio Cesar fumbled a dipping cross and Ronaldinho couldn't quite make the most of it. At half-time Leonardo made a double substitution, introducing Massimo Ambrosini and Seedorf for Flamini and Borriello.

Eto'o drilled over immediately, as Inter were content to pass the ball around and wait for 10-man Milan to make a move. Another Sneijder dipping strike from distance landed just past the roof of the net, while Seedorf dribbled past two defenders at the byline and the cutback for Pato was intercepted by Chivu.

Thiago Motta picked up a right thigh injury and was replaced by Sulley Ali Muntari, who was refreshed as Ramadan allows him to eat and drink after sundown. Eto'o thought he had made it 4-0 on 62 minutes as he nodded in a Maicon cross, but it was correctly ruled offside.

Huntelaar made his Serie A debut for a quiet Ronaldinho, who was jeered off the field by San Siro supporters from both sides. Zambrotta cut out a cross to prevent a certain Eto'o goal, but the fourth was in the air and as the move continued Stankovic let a right-foot screamer fly from 25 metres into the top corner. It swerved past Storari with the outside of his boot.

Many Milan fans already started leaving the stadium with over 20 minutes to go, as Inter were in complete control. Huntelaar was the only one to break the siege when he ran on to pato's through ball and Julio Cesar parried the angled drive.

Sneijder received applause on his debut and was replaced by Patrick Vieira. Eto'o got past Nesta to flash a shot inches past the post, then Storari did well to palm away another Stankovic blockbuster.

Milito made way for Mario Balotelli, but Chivu was booked for bringing down Pato and Julio Cesar smothered a Huntelaar angled drive.
Milan: Storari; Zambrotta, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Jankulovski; Gattuso, Pirlo, Flamini (Seedorf 46); Ronaldinho (Huntelaar 63); Borriello (Ambrosini 46), Pato

Inter: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu; Zanetti, Stankovic, Thiago Motta (Muntari 60); Sneijder (Vieira 73); Milito (Balotelli 78), Eto'o

Ref: Rizzoli

Sent off: Gattuso 40 (M)

Leonardo ups derby ante
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo believes Milan will be five points clear of their rivals after tonight’s derby and notes Inter dominate “because they play badly.”

“This derby is very early into the season, but our concentration levels do not change,” said the Coach who win his debut 2-1 at Siena last week.

“Milan have always based their success on talent, while Inter have dominated Serie A in the last few years with sheer physical strength and that means not necessarily playing good football.

“That is why the Rossoneri traditionally do better in Europe, where teams are more open. What we have to learn is how to win even while playing badly.”

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is available for the first time after sitting out a ban, but Marco Borriello and Pippo Inzaghi are also prime candidates for the centre-forward role.

Wesley Sneijder cannot make his debut for Inter yet as his transfer from Barcelona is not complete, so there are many question marks over their line-up.

“The thing that worries me most is the system, as Jose Mourinho often changes during a game and has so many options at his disposal. They are a very unpredictable side,” continued Leonardo.

The Nerazzurri had a stuttering start to the season with a 1-1 home draw against Bari.

“If I said I hadn’t thought that on Saturday night we’ll be five points clear, then I’d be lying. It would be too early to make a real difference in the title race anyway, as consistency is the most important thing in Italy and so this is just a step on the journey.”

Leo also looked ahead to the Champions League, where Milan have been drawn with Kaka’s Real Madrid, Olympique Marseille and FC Zurich.

“It will be a wonderful feeling to face Real Madrid. We are playing against a side that has spent a lot of money, but we mustn’t lose sight of the other teams in the group. Marseille are growing and we know Zurich well. For the moment it’s best to focus on the derby, though.”

Kakha Kaladze and Massimo Oddo have again been left out of the squad, confirming they are just waiting for a summer transfer before Monday’s deadline.

Milan also released a statement confirming they had terminated the contracts of Mathias Cardacio and Tabarè Viudez “by mutual consent.”

The young South Americans had arrived last season and barely made a dent on the team.

Milan squad: Roma, Storari; Antonini, Favalli, Jankulovski, Nesta, Onyewu, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Abate, Ambrosini, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf; Borriello, Inzaghi, Pato, Ronaldinho, Huntelaar

Pirlo: "I am like Rivera"
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Pirlo claims he feels that he is a similar type of player to Milan legends Gianni Rivera and Franco Baresi.

The Rossoneri midfielder, who was close to joining Chelsea this summer, has decided to stay put and is looking forward to establishing his leadership even further at San Siro.

“Baresi, Rivera and Paolo Maldini are true bandiere, but I talk on the pitch,” claimed Pirlo.

“I feel very similar to Rivera in terms of origins and skills. With Baresi instead I share the same low-profile attitude – few words and plenty of action.”

This is the ninth season in Milan for Pirlo and the midfielder his hoping things will improve after the last few disappointing campaigns.

“Leonardo is working hard for the team and we are motivated. Ronaldinho is really good and will help us.

“I don’t think Silvio Berlusconi will sell the club. Perhaps they will look for different means to finance the club but the propriety will remain.”

Kaka awaits special game
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid’s new star Kaka is eagerly awaiting his return to San Siro for the Champions League game against Milan.

The Brazilian explained this will be a special meeting for him and underlined his wish to win the trophy this year.

“Returning to Milan is something really special for me, but also for my friends and a club for which I have a great passion,” confessed Kaka.

“It will be a special meeting. I expect a nice atmosphere because I am really attached to the fans in Milan.

“I have respect for Milan but also for Zurich and Marseille, because they are great teams too.

“We want to do well in Europe and I can see my teammates really enthusiastic and ready to do achieve something big. The Final is in Madrid and we want to win it!” he concluded.

Pato fears no-one
29.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan starlet Alexandre Pato claimed he is confident ahead of the Derby against Inter and feels his team is inferior to no one.

The Brazilian striker is set to start alongside Ronaldinho and Marco Borriello against the Nerazzurri next Saturday.

“It will be a special clash and anything is possible,” he revealed.

“They are strong and won the Scudetto last season. But we are Milan, we are nothing less than them.

“Winning the Derby can give us confidence and improve the atmosphere at San Siro.”

Pato also expressed his opinion regarding the
Champions League draw which will see them facing Kaka’s Real Madrid.

“It won’t be easy through to the next round. We will need the best Milan. There isn’t just Real though, we cannot underestimate our other rivals.”

CL Draw: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Olympique Marseille, FC Zurich
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Full Groups:

Group A
Bayern Munich
Maccabi Haifa

Group B
Man Utd
CSKA Moscow

Group C
Real Madrid
FC Zurich

Group D
Atletico Madrid
APOEL Nicosia

Group E

Group F
Dinamo Kiev
Rubin Kazan

Group G
Unirea Urziceni

Group H
AZ Alkmaar
Standard Liege

Borriello promises Inter a hard time
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Marco Borriello believes his side will give Inter a hard time in this weekend's Derby della Madonnina.

Sparks are beginning to fly between the two rivals as judgement day approaches.

Earlier this afternoon Inter Coach Jose Mourinho told journalists that tomorrow's training session is 'almost useless' as his side are already prepared for Milan.

Julio Cesar, the Inter goalkeeper, also stuck his oar in, saying: “We have won four League titles in a row, today we are the strongest team, the history of the last few years says so.”

In reaction, Borriello revealed his desire to extend the gap between Milan and Inter to five points.

“It's still early, but to go five points clear [of Inter] would be very important. It would be a useful advantage to then face the other games with serenity and it's a possibility that might not happen anymore in this championship.

“Anyway they start as favourites, but beating someone like Mourinho would be an added motivation,” Borriello explained.

“Everyone talks about Inter and Juve, but we have also reinforced. Nesta and Gattuso are back. Thiago Silva and Huntelaar have arrived. We will try to give all teams a hard time.”

The 27-year-old striker is expected to partner Alexandre Pato up front on Saturday.

He endured a difficult season last year, as a number of injuries hampered his progress.

“Last year I also started out with great motivations, but I had a lot of injuries and had to start all over again on July 6.

“I am still not 100 per cent fit but I am quite motivated. My team-mates help me and there are great motivations.”

Mourinho is more than ready for AC Milan
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter Coach Jose Mourinho says tomorrow's training session is practically useless because his team is already prepared for Milan.

The two teams have already met this summer albeit in a friendly across the pond in the United States, which Inter won 2-0 thanks to goals from Diego Milito.

Speaking at a BMW showroom, Mourinho said: “If I am here instead of being closed in at Appiano worrying myself about the derby watching DVD after DVD it means either I am not worried about the derby or I have nothing to prepare.

“I have clear ideas on the formation. We are well prepared and tomorrow's training session is almost useless because we have finished our work.

“We await the derby more than calmly because we have a lot of desire to play it and I am convinced that Milan also have a lot of desire to play this challenge.

“There will be a full stadium and it will be a great image for all of Europe,” Mourinho added before moving on to talk about new signing Wesley Sneijder.

“If he manages to do all the tests and trains tomorrow, he can become an option and obviously he will be selected,” Mourinho concluded.

Kaka nostalgic for AC Milan
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka admits Milan are still very much in his thoughts despite his £56m transfer to Real Madrid earlier this summer.

The Brazil international took a break from moving house last week to visit his former team-mates at Milanello.

He wished them good luck ahead of the coming season, reiterating his attachment to Milan, the team with whom he played for six years.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Kaka recalled his rollercoaster of a summer.

“At the beginning it wasn't easy, but I have always looked to understand the motives of my transfer. We found the best solution for everyone.

“I don't harbour rancour towards Milan. I was fine here. It's a very beautiful place, a great business. At the beginning it was strange,” Kaka explained.

“No one could imagine what happened. The economic crisis. Milan out of the Champions League for a year. Things change. But I was always sincere and I believe the fans understand that.

“I am happy here [in Madrid]. The city is beautiful. My wife and son are well.”

Asked if he was worried by Milan's pre-season form, Kaka replied: “Yes, but in the first outing that counted I saw them do well. They are strong and they will fight for the Scudetto.

“I am happy for Dinho who is getting back to his levels, and for Leonardo and for Pato who has a great future. I bet on him as the cover boy of this championship.

“It was emotional to see Nesta and Rino again after their injuries. For me, they are friends. Wherever I am, I will support them.”

As if struck by a pang of nostalgia, the 27-year-old once again said it was weird not being around Milan.

“It's difficult and strange. I told them so. But I have looked to understand and there is neither anger nor sadness in me.

“When I went to find the team in Milanello there were fans outside the gates and they received me very well, like everyone.

“If I had to go away, this was the best way to do it. I have remained in contact with Galliani, Braida and Leonardo. The link that there is between us goes beyond my profession,” Kaka said.

The former World Player of the Year also appeared to give his backing to Leonardo, Milan's rookie trainer.

“I am curious to know how it will go. I went through a lot with Leo and I don't know what it would be like training with him. For now.”

Asked if he meant one day he would play under Leonardo with Brazil, Kaka replied: “Who knows who will be Brazil's Coach in 2014.

“Leo has always had success in what he has done. He will be a good trainer.”

Finally Kaka gave his prediction for this weekend's Derby della Madonnina.

“Milan will win 2-0. A goal from Pato off an assist from Ronaldinho or hopefully Thiago Silva, then a second goal from Nesta like the one he scored in Yokohama when we became champions.”

Ronaldinho denies table talk
27.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho has denied stories that he was made to stand on a table and pledge professionalism to his Milan teammates.

Reports earlier this summer claimed that the Brazilian was forced to stand on the furniture by owner Silvio Berlusconi and promise to comport himself as a professional this season.

But the former Barcelona player has today rubbished the story, insisting it is purely a matter of fiction rather than fact.

“It’s not true,” he told the Corriere della Sera. “That never happened. This is just the latest lie that surrounds me.

“Unlike some others, I don’t talk about Milan. What happens in the changing rooms should stay in the changing rooms.

“In my career, I have never gone around telling people the business of my club. But I don’t get mad anymore, I just respond on the field of play.”

Ronaldinho has made a promising start to the season and his performance at Siena seemed to justify the faith shown in him by Berlusconi.

“I hope the President is right,” he noted. “I’m now a happy man, which wasn’t the case last season. I’m playing 90 minutes and I feel good. If I’m calm and relaxed then it shows in my performances.”

Ronaldinho struggled to make an impact last season with Kaka in the team and Carlo Ancelotti on the bench.

“I’m really happy,” he continued. “This Coach [Leonardo] has faith in me, the President has faith in me and the squad believes in me. This is the best moment while I’ve been at Milan.

“I struggled with injuries last season and the Coach [Ancelotti] left me out. I just needed to settle into a new game and a new country.

“Now I am a different man. I understand Italian, so I don’t have the difficulties that I encountered at the start.

“I had to get used to the tactics used here too, but I now have the instruction manual to take part in the Italian Championship.”

Ronaldinho is set to start in Saturday’s Milan derby. He scored his first goal for the Rossoneri in the corresponding fixture last term.

Milito: AC Milan? No fear...
26.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Diego Milito has “no fear” ahead of his first official Milan derby and is confident Inter will emerge undefeated on Saturday night.

“We hope to play a great game and that by the end of the evening Milan won’t have six points,” said the striker.

The Nerazzurri began their campaign in stuttering style, losing the Italian Super Cup to Lazio and held 1-1 at home by Bari.

“We need to stay calm. I know I have to improve and so does everyone, but we are working on it. We had many chances against Bari and that alone is encouragement enough. When we are sharper and fitter, the goals will flood in.”

Milito was the hitman of the summer, including his two goals against Milan in the World Football Challenge in Boston, while Eto’o has netted in both the Super Cup and Serie A opener.

“I don’t know if we are the strongest strike partnership in Serie A,” mused the Argentine.

“He is a great player, but there are many stars at Inter, so it isn’t right to only talk about us two. Inter know we are a strong squad, but the role of favourites is attributed by journalists.

“All we can do is keep working to create a side that can play good football and get results.”

Thiago Silva studies Eto'o
26.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva insists he has “studied how to stop Samuel Eto’o” and that Ronaldinho will ensure Milan don’t miss Kaka.

“I have never faced Eto’o, but I have studied how to stop him through various tapes,” said the defender ahead of his debut derby.

“I am passionate about football and watch many games on television, so I tracked him many times when he was playing for Barcelona. I know how he moves, but that doesn’t mean I’ll always be able to anticipate him, though…”

Last season Ronaldinho scored the only goal in this clash and his teammate believes the Brazilian can make the difference again.

“He is in good shape and I’m sure he will have a great game. I think he is already proving that Kaka won’t be missed. Obviously replacing Kaka is no easy task, but Ronaldinho is on the right track and I’m convinced he’ll continue at this level.

“He made a promise to his teammates that he would carry the squad in hard times and I believe him.”

Thiago Silva also impressed in the 2-1 win at Siena and is forming a fine partnership at centre-back with Alessandro Nesta.

“It was not easy at the start, because I still had to understand his movement, but things have improved and with regular training we get better every day.

“I have been compared to Fabio Cannavaro and Ivan Cordoba, as I am fast, strong in the air despite being of average height and am good at anticipating players. However, I have better feet!

“I started my career as a midfielder, which is why I can place the ball long and have decent vision.”

Huntelaar has Inter history
26.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is looking forward to his Serie A debut in the Derby della Madonnina. “After all, I’ve already scored against Inter!”

The Milan hitman was prevented from playing in last week’s 2-1 victory at Siena due to a ban that was still hanging over his head from the time at Real Madrid.

Instead he will get his first taste of Italian football in one of the biggest fixtures in the European calendar.

“It’s not a bad way to make your debut,” grinned the Dutchman.

“It will be wonderful to begin with the derby. I hope we can win straight away. We are a strong side and just need to prove it with our results.”

Huntelaar is not guaranteed a starting shirt on Saturday night, as Marco Borriello and Pippo Inzaghi are also challenging for the role alongside Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho.

“I am in good shape and am training hard to improve my form. Playing with Dinho and Pato is great fun and if I’m on the field I will try to get a goal.

“After all, I have already scored against Inter when I was playing for Ajax and hope to do the same with Milan.”

‘The Hunter’ netted a towering header for Ajax in a Champions League encounter with the Nerazzurri, a 2-2 draw in Amsterdam on February 22 2006.

Gattuso enjoys Mourinho mind games
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso says he’s fitter now than when he was 23 and laughs off Jose Mourinho’s latest mind-games.

“Inter and Juventus are two tanks, but we are up there too and must take it one game at a time,” said the Milan midfielder.

It is the Derby della Madonnina on Saturday, which you can watch LIVE on ESPN, and the Nerazzurri must fight back from their disappointing 1-1 draw with Bari.

“It doesn’t matter that we’re ahead of them, for a few years now Inter have had a rough start. The real danger is having the derby so early into the season, as losing that in round two can affect the team psychologically.”

Mourinho has nonetheless caused controversy in saying he could “hear the sounds of our enemies” and felt fired up, while the Coach also bitterly criticised Italy boss Marcello Lippi for tipping Juventus as Scudetto winners.

“Mourinho is great at always hitting the headlines,” smiled Gattuso. “However, he could have avoided the row with Lippi.

“Last season Lippi said Inter would win the title and nobody was offended then. Clearly with so many Juve players in the Nazionale, he hopes they do well this year.”

The derby will represent Rino’s 401st official game in a Milan jersey and he feels he’s just getting stronger.

“I am 31 and came here when I was a kid. Would you believe me if I told you I am fitter now than when I was 23?

“Back then I would run all the time without necessarily having a direction. Now I preserve my energy with experience. I never used to understand what they meant by that, but experience really does make a difference.”

Maldini: Derby, then the Scudetto!
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paolo Maldini is impressed with the new Milan and looks ahead to Saturday’s derby. “If we beat Inter, we can target the Scudetto.”

This is their first campaign in 24 years without Il Capitano leading them out, but despite a dismal pre-season, Coach Leonardo earned a 2-1 win away to Siena on his debut.

“After the handicap of the summer tour in America, which was a bad decision, the side has been steadily improving through the Trofeo Berlusconi and Siena,” Maldini told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

Going into the Derby della Madonnina, the Rossoneri have a two-point advantage after Inter’s 1-1 draw with Bari.

“Those points are precious and do help. Just think how difficult psychologically it would be for my old teammates to go into this game trailing by two points after such a poor pre-season.

“Instead Milan have the ideal circumstances to prepare for this game and don’t have the added pressure of needing a result at all costs.

“Inter have bought some top players, but lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who they always used to rely on so heavily. Samuel Eto’o is the strongest centre-forward in the world, as he scores and puts constant pressure on defenders.

“A victory in the derby can certainly change Milan’s prospects, especially as it’d open up a five-point lead over Inter straight away. If we beat Inter, we can target the Scudetto.”

Maldini will be in the stands at San Siro on Saturday looking down at his ‘heir’, Brazilian Thiago Silva.

“I like him very much. He has the physical and technical characteristics of a champion. He’s very strong in the one-on-one, but just needs to learn how to play as part of a centre-back pairing with Alessandro Nesta.”

The recently-retired Maldini was Leonardo’s teammate, but now watches him sit on the bench as a Coach for the first derby.

“I was already going to attend, then Leonardo invited me personally. I have become a fan and really enjoy watching Milan.

“That includes Ronaldinho, who is a phenomenon because he doesn’t just see the first pass, he can see two or three ahead. He could make the difference even standing on the spot, but in modern football you can’t do that anymore.”

Oddo turns down West Ham move
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Oddo has rejected a move to West Ham, or any overseas club, leaving Milan in a bind. “I have to consider my family.”

The 2006 World Cup winner has just returned from a loan spell at Bayern Munich and has been told he is not in Coach Leonardo’s plans.

Negotiations were in full swing for an exchange with West Ham full-back Julien Faubert, but Oddo sensationally pulled the plug.

“I have to consider my family in all this and with two young children I will not repeat the difficult experience I had in Munich,” he told Sky Italia.

“I do not feel that I can go on loan to a club that plays outside of Italy.”

That narrows down his options considerably, especially as Fiorentina have found their full-back in Lazio’s Lorenzo De Silvestri.

A return to the Biancocelesti is plausible, but first Oddo would need to significantly lower his wages.

Berlusconi: Pato - Ronaldinho the best
25.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi claims Alexandre Pato is “better than Kaka” and he “wouldn’t change Ronaldinho for anyone else in the world.”

The patron has always had rather a hands-on approach to team selection and made his feelings clear after Leonardo’s Serie A debut.

“Ronaldinho, albeit 29 years of age, is a player I wouldn’t change for anyone else in the world,” Berlusconi told the Processo di Biscardi television show.

“In any position you choose to play him, he will always be worth the price of the ticket for those fans who get to witness him at work.”

The Brazilian created both goals for Pato in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Siena and has been played in the trequartista role.

“I would always have him at the centre of the action right near the penalty area,” continued the President.

“I’d even play him as a second striker, leaving [Clarence] Seedorf as trequartista and Pato as centre-forward.

“If Ronaldinho played in that position, I think he would be one of the absolute stars of this campaign.”

Pato opened up the season with a brace, explaining why Carlo Ancelotti was so eager to tempt him to Chelsea.

“Pato is a pure world class player and, considering age and market value as well, for the team it is better to have him than Kaka.”

The Rossoneri are top of the table along with Juventus, Lazio, Palermo and Sampdoria, but face rivals Inter in the derby this coming weekend.

“I don’t like making predictions, as so many things can influence a game like this. You can be certain that Milan will go out there to win and dominate the play.”

AC Milan eye Faubert - Oddo swap
24.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan look set to solve their full-back issues by swapping Massimo Oddo for West Ham man Julien Faubert.

The Frenchman is versatile and can also play on the right side of midfield, so his precise crossing is considered perfect service for new striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

He spent last season on loan at Real Madrid and is back with the Hammers now, but that could be a short-lived stay.

According to the French newspapers today, Milan have put in a request to sign Flaubert in a straight swap with Oddo.

Although a 2006 World Cup winner, Oddo has been told in no uncertain terms that he is not part of Leonardo’s plans.

His high wages and the fact he is over 30 puts him at odds with the new-look Rossoneri, who had hoped he would make his loan move to Bayern Munich permanent.

West Ham consider Oddo
23.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Having been told he is surplus to requirements at Milan, Massimo Oddo is reportedly in negotiations with West Ham.

The right-back returned from a loan spell at Bayern Munich when the German side decided not to take up its option on him.

He was left out of the Rossoneri squad for last night’s 2-1 victory away to Siena and Leonardo made it obvious he is not needed.

“I was very clear with Oddo, just as I was with [recently departed goalkeeper Zeljko] Kalac,” said the Coach.

“I told him if he finds a new more suitable club then he should jump at it, because there is already a set situation here.

“We’ll see what happens from here until August 31, but I hope another wide player can be brought in.”

Now there are reports Gianfranco Zola is offering Oddo a new experience in the Premiership with West Ham United.

Zola has already tried to poach several Serie A stars this summer, including Livorno’s Alessandro Diamanti.

Another alternative for Oddo is Fiorentina, who are seeking full-backs.

Ancelotti: 'AC Milan vs. Chelsea Final!'
23.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti gives his view on his Premier League start, the Scudetto race and facing his beloved Milan in the Champions League Final.

‘Carletto’ has already settled in to the Stamford Bridge atmosphere by winning both games and the Community Shield.

“Am I a winner? No, you can only win at the end of the season. Let’s just say I got a few successes under my belt,” he told Tuttosport.

“I am happy in London, there’s a good squad and a nice atmosphere. There is much less pressure than there was in Italy.

“I will follow Serie A closely, as a very interested spectator. I won’t make predictions, but I will just say that Juventus, Milan and Inter are on a par.

“I also expect a great deal from Palermo and Napoli, they could be the surprises of the tournament.”

Naturally, now that Ancelotti is no longer a Serie A Coach after 14 years, he is settling into the role of fan.

“Obviously I’ll be cheering on Milan, even if I am keeping an eye on Roma, too,” said the former Giallorossi star.

“I would love to reach the Champions League Final against the Rossoneri. Chelsea-Milan at the Bernabeu, it would be absolutely spectacular!”

Kaka and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have left Serie A, but ‘The Calm One’ sees plenty of talent still ready to shine.

“I am very curious to see how Diego will play for Juventus. He is an excellent trequartista. I’m also interested in Palermo’s [Javier] Pastore, as he is young and can become a great midfielder. Some already consider him the heir to Kaka.

“Juventus have closed the gap on Inter with the arrival of Diego and Felipe Melo, while Fabio Cannavaro will also be very useful in a World Cup year. They’ll fight to the end for the Scudetto.”

Alessandro Del Piero and Francesco Totti remain leading their clubs after decades at the helm, something Ancelotti appreciates.

“I wish them well, we must look after them, as in modern football their loyalty represents the exception to the rule.

“I hope their souls can remain united with the club colours for many years to come.”

Pato shares brace with Ronaldinho
23.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato shares the credit with Milan teammate Ronaldinho for his brace and reveals why he sparked a brawl with Siena players.

The Brazilian netted a brace in last night’s 2-1 victory at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, both set up by his fellow Selecao star.

“Everyone talks about Ronaldinho, but the fact remains he is number one,” said Pato.

“He creates so many goal-scoring opportunities for the strikers and we are very happy he is getting back on track, as playing with him is easy.

“I must thank the whole team for always helping me out and I dedicate this victory to all of them.”

‘The Duck’ wasn’t too popular with his opponents, though, as at the final whistle a scuffle broke out with several Siena players.

“I don’t know what happened. I did a nice trick with the ball and they got angry. We won and played a great game.”

Siena midfielder Simone Vergassola explained what prompted the furious outburst that saw players from both sides in a heated argument.

“Pato can play how he likes, but he must not make fun of us and do these little tricks,” he snapped.

“He showed a lack of respect and I clearly said that to [Marco] Borriello, Ronaldinho and [Alessandro] Nesta.

“Pato did this gesture with his hands, waving us on to try and get the ball off him. That didn’t seem very professional to me.”

Leonardo enjoys Serie A debut
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo was above all pleased with the “pride and teamwork” of Milan on his debut, while Marco Giampaolo credited their quality.

The Rossoneri emerged with a 2-1 victory in Siena this evening, celebrating Leo’s first ever official game as a Coach.

“I saw some very positive responses from my side, because today we showed a great approach to this test,” said the Brazilian.

“Everyone was so fired up to get out there, but above all showed pride to prove themselves after a less than impressive pre-season.”

Alexandre Pato scored both goals, but Ronaldinho created them for him and also forced a tough save with his acrobatic overhead kick.

“Ronaldinho can play in all of the attacking positions and also create goals for his teammates. These are his greatest characteristics, he is finding the right space on the pitch and that is a positive sign.”

Siena had temporarily equalised with Abdel Ghezzal, but were forced to hand all three points to Milan.

“I must compliment my team, as we played with dignity and pride,” commented Coach Giampaolo.

“In the end, the difference was made by the quality and individual moments of brilliance from their players.”

Serie A: Siena 1:2 AC Milan - match report
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pato 29, 48 (M), Ghezzal 34 (S)

Ronaldinho created two goals for Alexandre Pato as Leonardo wins his Serie A debut with Milan, 2-1 away to Siena.

Leonardo made his debut as a Coach and the pressure was already on, as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was suspended due to a ban he had yet to sit out at Real Madrid. Nelson Dida, Christian Abbiati, Daniele Bonera and David Di Gennaro were also out with Clarence Seedorf not 100 per cent fit. Robur had Garofalo and Emanuele Calaio' on a ban, plus Larrondo and Rosi injured.

Siena's one and only win over Milan was 2-1 here in 2005, but they had a very aggressive start and put the giants under pressure with Marco Storari forced to clear his lines. After 10 minutes Alexandre Pato kept his volley down and with the aid of a deflection off Brandao it skimmed the woodwork.

Ronaldinho combined with Marek Jankulovski only for the Czech to fire straight at Gianluca Curci. Milan thought they had taken the lead after 21 minutes when Ronaldinho curled in a free kick from the outside corner of the box, but it was disallowed as Pato was offside when he tried and failed to head it. That action was enough to put off the goalkeeper.

Curci smothered a Ronaldinho volley, so the goal was in the air and Milan took the lead. Pato sprung the offside trap on Dinho's through ball and kept his cool to tempt the goalkeeper forward, picking his spot for an angled drive into the far corner. Curci got a hand to it, but the finish from nine yards was too powerful.

Siena did not waste much time in drawing level. Storari was at full stretch to fingertip Lukas Jarolim's precise angled drive, but could do nothing on Abdoul Ghezzal's follow-up at the back post.

Straight after the restart it was 2-1 to Milan with Pato again on target. Ronaldinho's splendid through ball cut the Siena defence in two to reach Mathieu Flamini, who immediately placed a square pass to the back post for Pato's tap-in.

Massimo Maccarone went close to another equaliser, as he sprung the offside trap to flash an angled drive across the face of goal. Siena made a double substitution, introducing summer buys Michele Paolucci and Juventus-owned midfielder Albin Ekdal.

Massimo Ambrosini replaced Gennaro Gattuso, moving Flamini to centre-right midfield and handing the captain's armband to Pirlo. Storari smothered a dangerous Jarolim volley, but from a corner Ronaldinho's splendid overhead kick forced Curci to fingertip it out from under the bar.

Pato's cross-shot grazed the crossbar from the tightest of angles and Ronaldinho's free kick was deflected over. Chaotic defending risked an equaliser as a corner bounced around the six-yard box for Borriello to clear. Siena strung together a series of corners and Storari had to slap one out from under the bar following Ficagna's header.

In the final 10 minutes Reginaldo came on for Siena to adopt a 4-2-3-1 system, but Pato almost got a hat-trick with another wonderful Ronaldinho assist, but the youngster hit the side-netting. There was tension at the final whistle, as Vergassola got into a scuffle with Milan players when he tried to confront Pato.

Siena: Curci; Rossettini, Ficagna, Brandao, Del Grosso; Jarolim (Reginaldo 80), Vergassola, Codrea (Ekdal 57), Fini (Paolucci 57); Ghezzal, Maccarone

Milan: Storari; Zambrotta, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Jankulovski; Gattuso (Ambrosini 60), Pirlo, Flamini; Ronaldinho; Borriello, Pato

Ref: Tagliavento

Thiago Silva 'scared of no-one'
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva makes his Serie A debut tonight, but the heir to Paolo Maldini has no fear. “I’m not afraid of anyone.”

The Brazilian will start alongside Alessandro Nesta in central defence against Siena.

“There are no words to describe Maldini. I studied him up close, now I play alongside a fit-again Nesta. We make a great pairing,” smiled the 24-year-old.

“I have been waiting for my first official game with Milan for many months and I am ready. Responsibility doesn’t scare me.

“In Italy there are great players and especially excellent strikers, but I’m not afraid of anyone. There are no forwards out there that make me nervous.”

Thiago Silva has been training with the Rossoneri for six months after a £7.5m move from Fluminense, but was unable to play up until now due to restrictions on non-EU players.

He has confidence in Milan – despite a poor pre-season set of results – and especially in fellow Brazilian Ronaldinho.

“It is true we have struggled, but now is when it really matters. This team loves to attack and we must trust Ronaldinho,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“He is a true champion and has rediscovered his form. When someone feels good, he has that joy and desire to shine.”

Cesare Maldini: 'Mourinho just wants attention'
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Italy Coach Cesare Maldini blames Jose Mourinho for the controversy with Marcello Lippi. “He just wants attention.”

The Inter boss accused Lippi of “showing a lack of respect” for his club by predicting Juventus would win the Scudetto this season.

“The old ‘who will win the title’ question is a classic fixture of pre-season interviews,” explained Maldini, who was in charge for the 1998 World Cup.

“Lippi, even if he is the Coach of the Italy squad, has every right to freely express his opinion. The real issue here is that Mourinho just wants attention.

“He always has to be at the centre of the spotlight’s glare and be the focus of the media, so he created this controversy out of nothing.”

As it turns out, Maldini has a different view to the current Nazionale boss on the 2009-10 Serie A season which kicks off today.

“Inter remain the favourites for the Scudetto. Juventus did well last term and have strengthened with Diego and Felipe Melo, but I still see the Nerazzurri a step above.

“Milan have a good squad and put their faith in a youngster, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who will have to prove his worth in Italy.

“They are among the elite teams, along with Roma.”

Giampaolo challenges AC Milan
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Siena Coach Marco Giampaolo assures his team will “not settle for a point” against troubled Milan this evening.

“Now the going gets tough,” he said of tonight’s match, which will be LIVE on this website and ESPN UK.

“I told the squad that Siena must always leave the field with their heads held high, playing like an organised side and living up to their potential.

“We will do the same against Milan. There is no reason on earth to settle for a point.”

The Rossoneri have struggled over the summer with only one friendly victory, on penalties against Juventus in the Trofeo Berlusconi, but Siena have also been far from impressive.

When the team was presented to the fans on Wednesday, President Giovanni Lombardi Stronati was struck by a tomato.

“Wednesday night was just a stupid isolated incident that happened long after the official presentation of the squad, so it was not a protest about the event,” assured an official Press release from the club.

“Siena will not club together that individual with the ultra movement, with whom we have always been able to communicate even in difficult times.”

Emanule Calaiò and Agostino Garofalo sit out bans, while Marcelo Alejandro Larrondo has a right thigh injury.

New signings Michele Paolucci, Michele Fini and Gael Genevier are likely to start.

Siena squad: Brandao, Codrea, Curci, Del Grosso, Ekdal, Ficagna, Fini, Genevier, Ghezzal, Jarolim, Maccarone, Paolucci, Parravicini, Pegolo, Reginaldo, Rossettini, Rossi, Terzi, Vergassola

Leonardo: 'Ronaldinho has wrong attitude'
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo prepares for Saturday’s Serie A debut against Siena with a clear signal to Ronaldinho. “He’s got to get the right attitude it into his head.”

The new Milan Coach has never worked as a tactician before, going from his playing career to television pundit and director for the Rossoneri.

His first problem is getting the most out of Ronaldinho, who President Silvio Berlusconi hails as the focus of the team and has been criticised for excessive partying.

“It is not an issue of being in love with Ronaldinho or not, but the President and I have two different ways of seeing this,” warned Leonardo.

“He knows that he has a gem in his squad and wants it to shine as brightly as possible, but I see Ronaldinho every day and have a different view. I think this is a crucial moment in his career.

“Every day in training he does great things. He needs to be able to do them in a match situation, over and over again, and if we do then we’ll have immense quality and it’ll give the team a great advantage.

“He needs to get the right attitude into his head and consistently do the things he does in training.”

Milan have only won one of their pre-season friendlies, defeating Juventus on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the Trofeo Berlusconi.

“Siena are a good side with an excellent Coach, they know how to change their system and last season put all the big clubs under pressure.

“We have to go out there with the right concentration and send a signal that we are in this race too. It is essential to get a good start.

“There is no point denying it has been a difficult month, but I have grown accustomed to this new job and the players are helping me. I will never say we’ll win this or that trophy. I can only say when Milan steps on to the pitch, it does so looking to win.

“We know Inter have the confidence of the victories behind them and Juventus have strengthened a great deal. Only the results will tell us what we can achieve, but despite everything these lads have won, I still see a marvellous hunger and unity.”

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar must sit out a ban for the opening weekend from his time at Real Madrid, while Nelson Dida, Christian Abbiati, Daniele Bonera and Davide Di Gennaro are injured.

However, Leonardo has left Massimo Oddo and Kakha Kaladze at home.

“I was very clear with Oddo, just as I was with [recently departed goalkeeper Zeljko] Kalac. I told him if he finds a new more suitable club then he should jump at it, because there is already a set situation here.

“We’ll see what happens from here until August 31, but I hope another wide player can be brought in.”

Siena-Milan kicks off on Saturday at 19.45 UK time. It will be LIVE on ESPN and this website.

Milan squad: Perucchini, Roma, Storari, Antonini, Favalli, Jankulovski, Nesta, Onyewu, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Abate, Ambrosini, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf, Borriello, Inzaghi, Pato, Ronaldinho

Kluivert warns Huntelaar
22.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Patrick Kluivert warns Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ronaldinho that a striker signing for Milan can find Serie A “impossible.”

The Dutchman famously flopped when he arrived at San Siro aged 21 from Ajax, moving on to have greater success at Barcelona.

Now he is preparing Huntelaar for his debut in Italian football with a stark warning in the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“He knows how to score a lot of goals. I hope he’ll do well and I’m cheering him on, but Italy is a very difficult place for a striker, almost impossible,” commented Kluivert.

“In Spain it is much easier. San Siro is a fantastic stadium, but also a very complicated one. I did not have an easy time there, and yet I would love to go back to Italy as a Coach. To make your mark in Serie A is an immense achievement.”

Like Huntelaar, when Kluivert arrived at Milan he was dubbed ‘the new Marco Van Basten’ and inevitably couldn’t live up to that billing.

“Great expectations weigh on you and can even crush you. Klaas-Jan is more fortunate in that sense than I was, but he still has to be wary. He has character, that will help.”

Another of Kluivert’s acquaintances struggling in Serie A is party boy Ronaldinho, who was his teammate at Barcelona.

“He needs to be left alone. He had his own way of living his life in Barcelona and it helped us to win. He’s got to have fun in order to play well.

“He has to be a little more careful and if he starts playing well, then people will shut their mouths. Ronnie is a class apart.”

Kluivert is now working with the PSV youth academy after helping Louis Van Gaal train strikers at AZ Alkmaar last season.

“Leonardo is intelligent and will be a great Coach. If he needs a helper, I am ready.”

Ferrara demands Berlusconi win
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus boss Ciro Ferrara targets another victory over Milan in Monday’s Trofeo Berlusconi. “Taking part is not enough.”

The Bianconeri are fresh from winning their first ever Trofeo TIM, a mini-tournament of 45-minute games that saw them beat Inter on penalties and the Rossoneri 2-0.

This is another traditional pre-season test at San Siro, albeit one with a ‘curse’ attached, as rumour has it the team that wins will go on to lose the Scudetto.

“This is a game it is always best to win, as with all friendlies, because that has to be our approach,” said Ferrara.

“Taking part is not enough, we must always win and this is why we are not prioritising certain competitions. We want to battle to the end on all fronts.”

Amauri pounced on a late Nelson Rivas error to secure the 1-1 draw with Inter on Friday night, going on to win on penalties.

“Inter proved, if it was still needed, that they are sill a very strong side and they set the bar for those who follow.

“Milan had several problems in pre-season. I am certain they will get back on track and soon we will see a different team. After all, they are eager to impress their own fans and President, but so are we.”

Juventus will make their Serie A debut next Sunday against Chievo in Turin.

“It is good to work in a climate of enthusiasm, but we must also keep our feet on the ground. We know that we must work hard and improve some things.”

Juve put Leonardo under pressure
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Leonardo already has pressure piling on him ahead of Monday’s Trofeo Berlusconi clash with Juventus.

The Rossoneri have had a disastrous pre-season without a single friendly victory, falling 1-0 to Inter and 2-0 to Juve in Friday’s Trofeo TIM mini-tournament.

They failed to score in the two 45-minute games despite the debut of £12.5m signing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and again showed very shaky defending from set plays.

“It will not be like this on Monday,” assured the tactician. “You will see another Milan in the Trofeo Berlusconi.”

After eight consecutive defeats, new Coach Leonardo now has to step up the pace for the prestigious Trofeo Berlusconi at San Siro.

Time is running out rapidly for Leo, as the Milan derby is in Week 2 of the Serie A season, but he admits the club has now done its work.

“The basic structure of the side will not change in the remaining weeks of the transfer market. There are many small problems to resolve and we need time, but unfortunately it was a tough summer between injuries and travelling.”

Many of the Rossoneri squad have publicly criticised the decision to go on a tour of America at the start of training, facing David Beckham’s LA Galaxy and losing all their games in the World Football Challenge.

Leonardo: 'I need time'
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan lost both Trofeo TIM games to Inter and Juventus, but Leonardo says this is his team and he just needs time.

Pre-season has been disastrous for the new Coach, who has failed to win a single major friendly this summer.

Last night they were defeated 2-0 by Juve and 1-0 to Inter in 45-minute games at the Stadio Adriatico in Pescara, despite Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s debut.

“It has been a difficult period of training,” confessed Leonardo, whose Serie A debut against Siena is next week.

“There were some problems in the game with Juve and we struggled to finish off chances, but we have to wait a little longer before we can truly evaluate our potential.”

The club has been criticised for failing to bolster its squad, bringing in just Huntelaar, Oguchi Onyewu and Flavio Roma since selling Kaka to Real Madrid.

“This is my squad’s basic structure. There are little things to sort out, yes, but even if there are some new arrivals then this will remain the team.”

Ronaldinho was again disappointing in a trequartista role behind Alexandre Pato and Huntelaar, while the defence left Mario Balotelli totally unmarked to nod in a free kick.

TIM: Juve crush Milan for trophy
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus won the Trofeo TIM for the first time in their history after sending Milan plunging to a 2-0 defeat.

The Bianconeri had already beaten Inter on penalties earlier in the evening, while the Rossoneri had lost 1-0 to the Nerazzurri.

Flavio Roma made his debut in the Milan goal, while Martin Caceres played at right-back for Ciro Ferrara’s squad.

Amauri had scored against Inter and also hit the back of the net in this 45-minute tie, unleashing a right-foot strike from the edge of the box that squirmed past the uncertain new goalkeeper.

Alexandre Pato was ready to equalise with a mazy run, but Hasan Salihamidzic cut him down inches outside the penalty area and Ronaldinho fired the resulting free kick over.

Instead, Juve made it 2-0 when Paolo De Ceglie threaded through for Vincenzo Iaquinta from close range, although there were suspicions of offside.

Juve had never previously won the Trofeo TIM, but lifted the trophy in Pescara’s Stadio Adriatico on Friday evening.

It is another dismal setback for Leonardo’s Milan, who is yet to win a single friendly in charge. To make matters worse, Pato went off with a knock.

Juventus 2-0 Milan
Scorers: Amauri 14 (J), Iaquinta 33 (J)
Juventus: Manninger; Caceres, Legrottaglie, Chiellini, Salihamidzic; Poulsen (De Ceglie 28), Felipe Melo, Marrone; Iago; Amauri ( Immobile 34), Iaquinta (G Giovinco)
Milan: Roma; Oddo, Nesta (Onyewu 13), Favalli, Antonini; Abate, Gattuso (Ikande 21), Flamini; Ronaldinho (Di Gennaro 37) (Verdi 44); Huntelaar (Inzaghi 13), Pato (Zigoni 24)

TIM: Inter spoil Huntelaar debut
16.8 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Even Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s debut failed to improve Milan’s pre-season, as they lost to Inter for the second time this summer.

The Rossoneri have been disastrous so far under Leonardo’s guidance, unable to win any of their friendly matches, so they went into the Trofeo TIM – a mini-tournament with 45-minute games against Inter and Juventus – struggling for confidence.

This performance won’t have improved that situation, although £12.5m signing Huntelaar made his debut alongside Alexandre Pato with Ronaldinho in a trequartista role.

Inter had lost their Trofeo TIM opener to Juventus on penalties following a 1-1 draw earlier on Friday evening.

Mario Balotelli turned out to be the star of this particular show, as early on he cracked one of his trademark free kicks against the crossbar.

After an eight-minute suspension caused by a blackout at the Stadio Adriatico in Pescara, Inter took the lead through Balotelli nodding in a Ricardo Quaresma set piece.

The 18-year-old striker was allowed a free header by the shaky Milan defence and their front line didn’t do nearly enough to get them back into the game.

This is the second time this summer that Inter have won the ‘derby’, as they emerged 2-0 winners in Boston during the World Football Challenge.

Milan 0-1 Inter
Scorers: Balotelli 24 (I)
Inter: Julio Cesar; Santon, Materazzi, Samuel, Chivu (Caldarola 45); Vieira, Stankovic, Motta; Balotelli, Milito, Quaresma (Mancini 39)
Milan: Storari; Oddo, Nesta, Favalli, Antonini; Abate, Gattuso, Flamini; Ronaldinho; Huntelaar, Pato

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