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The Archive

September 2004

Inzaghi’s night to remember
30.9 || scharatz

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi won’t forget the 3-1 Champions’ League win over Celtic after he scored his first goal in six months.

The striker, who has now won his battle against an ankle injury, netted Milan’s second goal in a frantic final few minutes at the San Siro.

"I’ve been dreaming of this night for six months and it has finally arrived," he told the club’s website. "It was a great feeling, to score in front of my curva was simply extraordinary.

"I’m delighted with the goal and I must thank Andriy Shevchenko who set me up. Nights like this will remain with me forever."

Inzaghi has had a nightmare past few months after he struggled to shake off an ankle problem that ruled him out of Euro 2004.

The player underwent surgery back in April but complications followed and there were even some doubts over whether he would play again.

"A lot of people have offered me their support over the last few months, people who have great belief in me," he continued.

"That has given me the strength to carry on and I must thank them all even if there are too many to name."

Inzaghi is now hoping that his goal can win him a regular starting shirt alongside Shevchenko.

"I’m so desperate to play football again that I want to feature as soon as possible, but it will be up to the Coach to decide," he added.

"I’m feeling good now even if I’m still not at my very best. It will now be fundamental for me to just be ready when I’m called upon."

AC Milan 3:1 Celtic - report
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Shevchenko 8 (M), Varga 74 (C), Inzaghi 89 (M), Pirlo 91 (M)

Pippo Inzaghi's last gasp strike resolved a tricky situation for wasteful Milan, as they saw off Celtic 3-1 at the San Siro.

The Rossoneri kept their tactics under wraps ahead of this match, but Carlo Ancelotti opted to field Jon Dahl Tomasson alongside 28th birthday boy Andriy Shevchenko. The 2003 winners had failed to really impress in their 1-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk, so the pressure was on to both get a result against Celtic and entertain the fans.

Milan had their first major chance after four minutes when Kaka took advantage of a defensive error and his fierce strike from the edge of the box was fingertipped wide by David Marshall.

Former Rangers man Gennaro Gattuso proved decisive with a fine tackle on Stilian Petrov as he ran through the centre and prepared to pull the trigger.

It seemed apt that Shevchenko should open the scoring on his 28th birthday and he combined with Kaka before lifting a powerful yet accurate shot over the goalkeeper and into the far corner. It was his 126th goal for Milan, overtaking Marco Van Basten's record of 124.

Andrea Pirlo's angled drive was deflected on to the side-netting off Stanislav Varga, but the referee did not spot the touch and only awarded a goal kick.

Celtic were dangerous from set-pieces and Varga nodded a corner kick just wide of the far post.

Kaka caused real problems every time he took on the Celtic players and his cross was tipped into the path of Marcos Cafu, who slipped as he took aim and Marshall was able to smother the shot.

John Hartson chested down the ball for Henri Camara, who sliced it well over the bar from a promising position.

But it was mostly Milan and Tomasson held the ball up for Shevchenko, whose angled drive beat the 'keeper but not Bobo Balde's desperate goalline clearance.

Shevchenko was particularly lively and the chances kept coming with one of the Ukrainian's powerful left-foot shots charged down and a Kaka attempt bounced just wide of the upright.

Milan were looking to take a comfortable lead into half-time and their pressure almost paid off when Shevchenko stole the ball from a distracted defence and Kaka's fierce strike stung Marshall's palms.

Yet in the final seconds Camara was allowed a free shot from the edge of the box and wildly swung at the ball, missing it completely.

Celtic had the first shots of the second half, as Alessandro Nesta was a little too relaxed and Dida was forced to turn two Camara efforts round the post. Soon after, Cafu's lazy backpass was cleared before the Senegal striker could pounce.

There was bad news for the Scots when Alan Thompson pulled up with what appeared to be a thigh strain and was stretchered off to be replaced by Juninho.

Chris Sutton was extremely quiet and was booked for a very late challenge from behind on Gattuso's ankles.

There was chaos in the Milan area on 63 minutes when Dida completely missed Hartson's cross and the defence was just about able to clear before Camara could tap in to the empty net.

The battle between Dida and Camara continued when the goalkeeper rushed off his line to clear, but the home side had clearly relaxed too much after the first half domination.

A fine Milan team move came to nothing when Shevchenko's cross found Tomasson, but the Dane's pass to Kaka was intercepted.

But the Rossoneri have been poor at defending from set-pieces this season and Celtic equalised with Varga's header from a corner kick.

Carlo Ancelotti had to introduce some fresh legs and threw on Pippo Inzaghi and Massimo Ambrosini for Tomasson and a quiet Seedorf. The final change five minutes from time saw Manuel Rui Costa take over from Gattuso, as the Portuguese star sat behind the front two and moved Kaka down to midfield.

These proved decisive substitutions, as in the final minute Rui Costa sent Shevchenko running down the right and his low cross was tapped in by Pippo Inzaghi. It was his first goal since suffering that ankle injury five months ago and SuperPippo was almost in tears during his celebrations in front of the hardcore Milan supporters.

It opened the floodgates and deep into stoppages Andrea Pirlo's free kick took a deflection off the defensive wall and sent Marshall the wrong way.

Milan: Dida; Pancaro, Nesta, Maldini, Cafu; Seedorf (Ambrosini 76), Pirlo, Gattuso (Rui Costa 86); Kaka; Tomasson (Inzaghi 76), Shevchenko

Celtic: Marshall; Varga, Balde, Valgaeren; Thompson (Juninho 60), Petrov, Lennon, Agathe; Sutton; Camara, Hartson (Sylla 86)

Ref: Veissiere (Fra)

Shev wants Celtic present
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Birthday boy Andriy Shevchenko wants his Milan colleagues to gift him a victory against Celtic this evening.

"It certainly will be a very special occasion for me as you don’t often get the chance to play on your birthday," said the 28-year-old striker.

"However, I know that it will be extremely tough. I expect the game against the Scots to be even more difficult than the Lazio win.

"We need to remain fully focused until the very end and illustrate our character for the whole 90 minutes."

Shevchenko, who shares his birthday with President Silvio Berlusconi, is again expected to lead the Rossoneri attack in tonight’s Champions’ League tie.

He seems to have also hit form at the right time after his splendid brace ensured a 2-1 win in Rome at the weekend.

Shev hails team effort
27.9 || scharatz

Source: Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko handed Milan the three points at Lazio last night but he has quickly praised his teammates.

The Ukrainian netted two splendid goals as the 10-man Rossoneri came from behind to collect a precious victory.

"I was happy with my goals and with the fact that they were scored in such a wonderful stadium as this one," he stated.

"But this is a group victory and not just mine. We believed that we could win the game until the very end and we just never gave up."

It was looking like another bad day at the office for the Italian champions following Wednesday’s shock defeat to Messina.

Lazio took the lead through Fernando Couto and were then handed a one-man advantage after the dismissal of Massimo Ambrosini.

"I think we lacked the necessary concentration in the first half but fortunately things changed after the break," added Shev.

Milan are now in fourth place with seven points – but still one adrift of Serie A minnows Lecce and Messina.

"The table? It is a strange championship that seems very balanced right now. The Week 4 results simply confirm this," concluded the striker.

Ancelotti content with Milan reaction
27.9 || scharatz

Source: Football Italia

He had criticised the team’s attitude this week, but Milan reacted to Carlo Ancelotti’s comments by beating Lazio at the Olimpico.

“The Biancocelesti maintained a high tempo throughout,” noted the tactician, “and we had a fairly good first half. Once our opponents began to tire and reduce that aggressive edge, we found more space to manoeuvre.”

The reigning Italian Champions were 1-0 down and had Massimo Ambrosini sent off, but the introduction of Jon Dahl Tomasson and Andrea Pirlo gave them that extra spark to go on and win 2-1.

“I think Hernan Crespo played very well,” assured Ancelotti, “but Tomasson’s fresh legs and strength proved decisive in an important moment of the match.”

Lazio lose their unbeaten run, but Coach Mimmo Caso maintains they were merely unlucky.

“We didn’t make the most of the extra man and couldn’t keep hold of the ball,” conceded the Biancocelesti boss. “The first goal was also easily avoidable. Nonetheless, I wish to thank my players for their performance and I think we did not deserve to lose.”

The star of the show was without doubt Andriy Shevchenko, whose brace takes him up to five goals in his two meetings with Lazio this season.

“We always believed that we could win this match,” explained the Ukrainian. “It was a team effort and despite a difficult first half we reminded ourselves that Milan is a great side.”

This result takes Milan up to fourth place, level with Lazio, behind the likes of Lecce and Messina.

“This is a very strange Serie A Championship where everyone can beat everyone else,” added Sheva. “I really like it, as it makes everything much more interesting.”

Lazio 1:2 AC Milan - report
26.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Couto 37 (L), Shevchenko 70, 74 (M)

Ten-man Milan fought back from a goal down to grab a crucial victory away to Lazio with Andriy Shevchenko's brace.

These two teams have already met once before this season, when Milan thrashed Lazio 3-0 for the Italian Supercup in mid-August. However, much has changed since then and the Rossoneri are struggling to find their form.

Pippo Inzaghi and Jaap Stam did not make the trip down to the Capital, giving former Lazio star Hernan Crespo his first start with the reigning Italian Champions. Andrea Pirlo was also relegated to the bench in favour of Massimo Ambrosini.

The Biancocelesti were unbeaten in the League under Mimmo Caso, although midweek goalscorer Tommaso Rocchi was suspended and Paolo Di Canio surprisingly benched in favour of youngster Goran Pandev.

Lazio had the first chance when Massimo Oddo was allowed to put a deep cross in for Luciano Zauri's header and Dida took two attempts to smother it.

There were worried faces on the Milan bench when Fernando Couto clattered into Andriy Shevchenko and he required treatment for a head injury, but the Ukrainian was able to continue. From the resulting free kick Gennaro Gattuso's looping header shook the roof of the net.

The visitors were more aggressive to begin with, but Kakha Kaladze fired a rising angled drive wide of the near post and Angelo Peruzzi did well to pluck Kaka's cross off Crespo's head.

The first real chance of the first half came after 34 minutes, when Crespo's stinging half-volley was palmed out by Peruzzi at a tight angle. Soon after, Shevchenko's similar finish did not find the goalkeeper unprepared.

However, it was Lazio who took the lead from a set-piece. The ball came back out and an Antonio Filippini cross was met by the unmarked Fernando Couto's free header at the back post.

The Rossoneri immediately had the chance to draw level when Gattuso's curling cross just skimmed Kaka's head from six yards.

Peruzzi then performed a stunning one-handed reaction save as Shevchenko tried to squeeze the ball between the 'keeper and near post with the outside of his right foot.

Just before the break Clarence Seedorf's corner kick was nodded just off target by Paolo Maldini.

Milan needed some changes to boost their creativity and Andrea Pirlo replaced Gattuso in midfield. After five minutes Seedorf pulled back for Crespo and his shot was bravely charged down by Giuliano Giannichedda.

There was a clash between Massimo Ambrosini and Emanuele Filippini with the Milan man going in with his elbow and the midfielder was shown a straight red card.

Marcos Cafu's last gasp intervention deflected Zauri's effort at the near post, while Massimo Oddo wreaked havoc on the edge of the box.

Carlo Ancelotti completed his substiutions when Jon Dahl Tomasson and Giuseppe Pancaro replaced Crespo and Kaladze.

Within moments Milan had drawn level with Shevchenko, the man who had already put a hat-trick past Lazio in the Italian Supercup. A Pirlo corner kick was not cleared effectively and Sheva hooked in a splendid volley across the face of goal.

Tomasson then ran on to Pirlo's pass and saw his effort charged down, but Shevchenko struck again four minutes later with a stunning strike. Kaka hooked a pass towards him out wide on the right, then he skipped past Couto and slammed an angled drive into the top corner.

Now Lazio were chasing the game, so Paolo Di Canio and Fabio Liverani came on for Oscar Lopez and Antonio Filippini for a trident attack.

Shevchenko nearly grabbed his third, as a corner kick came out to him and his low drive was deflected inches wide of the post with Peruzzi immobile.

Lazio also went close to an equaliser moments later, as Simone Inzaghi's diving header ricocheted off the underside of the bar.

Mimmo Caso went for broke and threw on teenager Claudio De Sousa in place of Pandev.

Kaka attempted the cheekiest of finishes with six minutes to go, as he saw Peruzzi off his line and his chip was only just over the bar from a good 40 metres.

Simone Inzaghi was booked for diving after he fell far too easily under pressure from Cafu. The striker was then in more trouble after an altercation with Alessandro Nesta turned particularly childish as he bit the Milan defender's finger.

Milan nearly made it three when Shevchenko's pass cut through to Tomasson, but Zauri had that extra bit of pace to intercept.

At the other end a wonderful team move between Liverani, Di Canio and Inzaghi was closed down when Dida rushed off his line to hoof it up the field.

Antonio Filippini then slammed an angled drive inches past the far post, although Dida had the corner covered. Ten-man Milan camped out in their own half to defend their lead and poured forward on the counter-attack, but good work from Kaka and Shevchenko was wrecked by Tomasson's wayward finish.

Lazio were putting the pressure on in stoppages and Inzaghi was unable to turn his marker from six yards. On the counter-attack Kaka threaded through for Pirlo and the creative midfielder took far too long to pull the trigger and he, Kaka and Tomasson saw efforts closed down.

Lazio: Peruzzi; Oddo, Siviglia, Couto, Lopez (Di Canio 76); A Filippini (Liverani 76), Giannichedda, Zauri, E Filippini; Pandev (De Sousa 83); Inzaghi

Milan: Dida; Cafu, Nesta, Maldini, Kaladze (Pancaro 68); Ambrosini, Gattuso (Pirlo 46), Seedorf; Kakà; Shevchenko, Crespo (Tomasson 68)

Ref: Paparesta

Sent off: Ambrosini 53 (M)

Ancelotti slams Milan approach
26.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The reigning Serie A Champions need to buck their ideas up if they are to beat Lazio and relaunch their title campaign, warns Coach Carlo Ancelotti.

“There will be no revolution within the squad,” he explained, “because the problem lies with our overall attitude. There are no players more guilty than others in this case.”

The Rossoneri had already struggled to earn points against Livorno, Bologna and Shakhtar Donetsk before Wednesday’s shock home defeat to minnows Messina.

“We didn’t play the way we know how against Messina, and fully deserved to be punished for that,” confessed the tactician. “Since then we have all been looking at the movements needed to defend better, as most of our problems have been linked to how easily opponents can get scoring opportunities. All we really need is concentration.”

Throughout their first 17 games last season Milan had conceded nine goals, but after three matches they have already let in four.

“We have to change our approach to games as a team. The last two days of training have been important and the squad seemed to understand where and how their performance could be improved.”

There is already a stern test of their mettle, as Milan pay a visit to on form Lazio, who they demolished 3-0 in the Italian Supercup Final a month ago.

“The Biancocelesti have changed a great deal since we last played them,” warned Ancelotti. “Nonetheless, we have no alternative but to go there looking for the win, both for the club and for ourselves.”

They’ll have to do it without Pippo Inzaghi, Jaap Stam and Fabricio Coloccini due to slight niggling injuries.

At the end of the press conference Ancelotti was asked to rate his level of concern at seeing Juventus open up such an early lead over the other contenders. “From one to ten?” he smiled. “I’d say one.”

Caso confident of crushing Milan
26.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio boss Mimmo Caso claims there is no reason why they can’t beat Milan after the Champions fell to lowly Messina.

“The Rossoneri have a stratospheric squad,” conceded the Coach, “but if Messina were able to get three points off them then there’s no reason Lazio can’t as well.”

Carlo Ancelotti’s men have had a stuttering start to this campaign, but they had beaten Lazio 3-0 in the Italian Supercup on August 21.

“It’s the same Milan that beat us so comprehensively, but this is not the same Lazio. We are a team now and there are new players who can make the difference.”

The Biancocelesti bought nine players on the final day of trading, including the Filippini twins and the suspended Tommaso Rocchi.

“I remember that in the first half-hour we were able to really put them under pressure, then Andriy Shevchenko’s goals and some errors from my players made it an uphill struggle. Since then we’ve conceded just one goal in four competitive games, maintaining our concentration and clinical finishing.”

Milan desperately need the points for a number of reasons, including the fact that a victory would take them level in the table with Lazio.

“If someone had told me that at this stage we’d be ahead of the reigning Italian Champions,” smiled Caso, “then I would have thought them mad. Milan are not in a crisis, however, and they will punish every error we make.”

Rocchi is out suspended, while Cesar will be on the sidelines for six weeks with a calf strain. Sebastiano Siviglia and Angelo Peruzzi are back in action, but there are doubts over Roberto Muzzi and Massimo Oddo after they came down with flu.

Lazio : AC Milan - preview
26.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Not many people expected Lazio to have more points than Milan at this stage of the season but that is remarkably the situation ahead of their Week 4 clash. Lazio - despite their mass summer sales - are flying high, while the Italian champions have stuttered as they look to defend their title.

The Biancocelesti are undoubtedly one of the revelations of the championship so far. Having signed nine players on transfer deadline day, the inexperienced boss Mimmo Caso has gelled a side together. They may not be too pretty to watch right now but they’ve shown they can handle pressure and hit sides on the break.

After all, they won all three of their away games so far this term – including their UEFA Cup trip to Metalurg. They also comfortably beat Brescia in midweek, despite being down to 10 men for half of the game. The dismissed Rocchi is therefore suspended, while star man Cesar is still out with injury.

Milan held crisis talks on Thursday morning after a shock 2-1 home defeat to Messina. Chief Adriano Galliani was not impressed with the performance and will want a reaction at the Olimpico in Week 4.

Boss Carlo Ancelotti is set to make a few changes with Andrea Pirlo set to be relegated to the bench given his poor form. Former Lazio stopper Jaap Stam remains a doubt due to fitness, an absence which could be felt given Milan’s mediocre defensive displays this term.

Lazio (probable): Sereni; Oddo, Negro, Couto, Zauri; Dabo, E Filippini, Liverani, Di Canio; Inzaghi, Muzzi

Milan (probable): Dida; Cafu, Nesta, Maldini, Pancaro; Gattuso, Ambrosini, Seedorf; Kaka; Inzaghi, Shevchenko

Crespo craves Lazio clash
24.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Hernan Crespo could get his Serie A debut in a Milan jersey against his former club, as the Rossoneri plan major changes.

“I feel good and cannot wait to come back,” the striker told ‘Milan Channel’. “All the little aches and pains have gone away and I have such a strong desire to get my season started.”

The former Chelsea forward has played just 35 minutes of football, featuring as a substitute against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions’ League and in the 3-0 Italian Supercup victory over Lazio in August.

Crespo could be called into action this Sunday night, when Milan travel to the Stadio Olimpico.

“Lazio are not the same side we beat so comprehensively in the Supercup,” warned the Argentine. “As a squad, they are not to be underestimated.”

This is particularly true at the moment, as Milan have really struggled against the smaller opponents, drawing with Livorno and losing 2-1 at home to new boys Messina on Wednesday.

“We didn’t play the way we know how,” confirmed Crespo, “but I tell the fans to relax because that was an alarm call we needed. For the rest of the season you’ll hardly hear a peep out of it.”

Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti is rumoured to be making massive changes to the line-up. Andrea Pirlo is tired from international duty with the Athens Olympic squad and is likely to be dropped in favour of Massimo Ambrosini.

There are also claims that Andriy Shevchenko could make way for Crespo or Jon Dahl Tomasson, but following his hat-trick against Lazio in the Supercup last month that would be a revolutionary move.

Jaap Stam is also set to return in central defence, as Milan have kept just one clean sheet in Serie A all season, conceding four in the other two games.

Milan on the defensive
23.9 || scharatz

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti is concerned about his side’s uncharacteristic defensive frailties this season.

The Rossoneri have conceded four goals in three games, all at home, after a sluggish start to the new campaign.

"We are conceding more than we have in the past and more than we expected," he stated after last night’s 2-1 loss to Messina.

"We are currently less effective than we were last season and we need to play with more attention.

"Even if it is true that we are an attacking side and it is normal to give away a few chances to the opposition."

One of the Rossoneri’s main strengths last term was their defence as they conceded just 24 goals in 34 games.

Their rearguard was supposed to be even tougher to break down this season after the arrival of Jaap Stam from Lazio.

However, that has not been the case so far with some critics pointing the finger at the advanced average age of the defence.

Paolo Maldini, Marcos Cafu, Giuseppe Pancaro, Jaap Stam and Billy Costacurta are all the wrong side of 30.

Juventus and Udinese currently have the best defensive record in the top-flight with both sides yet to concede so far.

AC Milan 1:2 Messina - report
22.9 || scharatz

Source: Football Italia

Pancaro 54 (Mi), Giampa' 55 (Me), Zampagna 59 (Me)
Stadio San Siro

New boys Messina take another incredible scalp, as just days after hammering Roma they have conquered the San Siro.

The Rossoneri had already struggled here with a 2-2 draw against Livorno, and now welcomed Messina fresh from their enthralling 4-3 victory over Roma. Dida returned between the posts after his one-match ban, Jaap Stam and Hernan Crespo remain sidelined with injury, but above all Pippo Inzaghi had his first competitive start in five months.

The Sicilians had a very aggressive start and Milan's first real chance came after 23 minutes, as Andrea Pirlo's free kick was flicked just over the bar by Kaka with the aid of a deflection.

However, the Rossoneri began to take control and for the rest of the first half Messina were pinned back in defence. Inzaghi was placed at the centre of attack, but was well marked by Alessandro Parisi and only one of his first half efforts really troubled Storari.

Superpippo went increasingly closer to the goal and at the dawn of the second half his powerful drive was pushed out with Storari's chest in a bizarre reaction save.

The pressure eventually paid off when Milan took the lead after 54 minutes. A Kaka corner kick was met by Giuseppe Pancaro's angled header from eight yards that beat both the 'keeper and Zoro on the line.

However, less than a minute later Messina equalised with a fine team move. Riccardo Zampagna's through ball cut the defence in half and Domenico Giampa' placed an accurate low drive into the far corner.

It was an extraordinary game, as moments later the Sicilians took a shock lead. Zampagna was allowed a completely free diving header after Paolo Maldini failed to jump.

Manuel Rui Costa and Serginho came on and the Portuguese international fired just over the bar from distance, but as Milan poured forward it left room at the back and Salvatore Sullo nearly made it 3-1 for the visitors.

The Rossoneri were piling on the pressure with Shevchenko's header skimming the bar, but couldn't break down an organised Messina outfit.

Milan: Dida; Cafu, Nesta, Maldini, Pancaro; Gattuso (Serginho 61), Pirlo (Rui Costa 65), Seedorf; Kakà; Shevchenko, Inzaghi (Tomasson 69)

Messina: Storari; Conte, Zanchi, Rezaei, Parisi; Rafael (Donati 61), Giampà, Donati, Coppola (Cucciari 83), Sullo, Zoro; Zampagna (Amoruso 76)

Ref: Rosetti

Crespo to face Messina
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Hernan Crespo could make his League debut for Milan on Wednesday after recovering from injury.

The Argentine (pictured) has been struggling with his fitness since he arrived from Chelsea in the summer but returned to full training on Monday.

Crespo, on loan from the Stamford Bridge outfit, was used in a practice match alongside Pippo Inzaghi.

That has fuelled speculation that the duo may even start against Messina at the San Siro in midweek.

Boss Carlo Ancelotti is understood to be keen to rest Andriy Shevchenko and Jon Dahl Tomasson after their recent efforts in both Serie A and the Champions’ League.

Meanwhile, Alex Del Piero is a doubt for Juventus’ game at Sampdoria on Wednesday evening.

He was expected to start after he was rested for the 2-0 win over Atalanta at the Delle Alpi in Week 2.

However, the Italian didn’t play in a practice game on Monday and only took part in a light running session.

The Return Of Inzaghi
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan ace Pippo Inzaghi has spoken of his delight after he returned to action in the win at Bologna.

The Italian had been sidelined with an ankle injury for the last six months but appeared as a substitute in the 2-0 win.

"I was really touched by the applause that I received from both the Milan and the Bologna fans," he stated.

"I was a little nervous before the match but that vanished as soon as I was brought on, such was the desire to just play football again."

Inzaghi did relatively well at the Stadio Dall’Ara and almost found the back of the net in the Week 2 victory.

"Hitting the post with my first shot in six months wasn’t great to see but you can’t have everything in this game," he added.

Inzaghi, who admitted that he will need a little time to find his best form, also commented on whispers that he was considering retiring due to the injury.

"I never thought about quitting even if I had some real low points to deal with," he explained. "Fortunately everyone at Milan supported me throughout."

Italy boss Marcello Lippi is also happy that the international striker is available for selection again.

"I’m delighted that he has returned to action after such a long inactive period," noted the tactician.

Bologna 0:2 AC Milan - report
19.9 || scharatz

Source: Football Italia

Shevchenko pen 83 (M), Kaka 91 (M)
Stadio Dall'Ara

The Rossoneri battled against a brilliant Gianluca Pagliuca, but eventually grabbed their first win of the season in a fiery encounter.

Milan needed a victory after their surprise 2-2 home draw with Livorno, but they were without Jaap Stam, Hernan Crespo and the suspended Dida. Paolo Maldini returned to central defence, while Kakha Kaladze made his comeback and Pippo Inzaghi was on the bench.

Bologna were also looking to make up for a poor first outing, as ex-Milan midfielder Federico Giunti had missed a penalty in their 1-0 defeat to Cagliari. Valentin Nastase started in defence after Daniele Daino's muscular problems.

The Rossoneri were really pushing in the early stages and after 11 minutes Marcos Cafu rattled the underside of the crossbar with a splendid half-volley from 10 yards.

Bologna were squeezed into their own half, but Gianluca Pagliuca was alert on Cafu and Kaka, then Kaladze shook the side-netting from a touched-on corner kick.

Milan staged a spectacular counter-attack with Shevchenko and Clarence Seedorf combining before Pagliuca charged down Kaka's finish, then soon after the ex-Inter 'keeper performed an extraordinary reaction save on Shevchenko's diving header at the near post.

Bologna were a little more lively after the break with a Claudio Bellucci header going close, but Pagliuca ensured his Man of the Match status with another great point-blank save on Shevchenko at the back post.

There was controversy on the hour mark, as referee Salvatore Messina awarded a penalty to Milan, then changed his mind when realising that the handling offence had been committed by Alessandro Nesta.

Pippo Inzaghi made his comeback after five months on the sidelines with a persistent ankle problem, taking over from Jon Dahl Tomasson. Giuseppe Pancaro also replaced Kaladze after the Georgian was accidentally kicked in the head by Carlo Nervo.

Bologna were more adventurous and Christian Abbiati parried a fierce Bellucci effort from 20 metres.

But Inzaghi could not have gone closer to a goal on his comeback than on 67 minutes. His angled drive was slowed down by Pagliuca's fingertip and moved by the few millimetres that made it hit the upright instead of slot into the corner of the net.

There was further controversy when Giuseppe Pancaro's cross was blocked by Fabio Petruzzi's outstretched arm, but the referee waved play on.

Soon after Pagliuca plucked the ball off Inzaghi's head as he prepared to dive in from three yards, but the referee pointed to the spot with eight minutes to go when Leonardo Colucci hacked down Kaka in the box. Andriy Shevchenko stepped up and finally managed to beat the wonder-goalkeeper with an accurate finish in the right-hand corner.

The result was made safe in stoppages when Inzaghi stole the ball off Nastase in the corner and his deflected cross was turned in by Kaka'. The young Brazilian has extended his contract until 2009 this week and immediately broke his goal drought.

Bologna: Pagliuca; Nastase, Petruzzi, Torrisi; Nervo, Zagorakis, Giunti (Colucci 62), Capuano; Amoroso (Loviso 76), Bellucci (Locatelli 68); Tare

Milan: Abbiati, Cafu, Nesta, Maldini, Kaladze (Pancaro 58); Pirlo (Serginho 79), Gattuso, Seedorf; Kakà; Shevchenko, Tomasson (Inzaghi 60)

Ref: Messina

Ancelotti picks up stumbling Milan
19.9 || scharatz

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti is aware that Milan will fall behind in the Scudetto race if they don’t beat Bologna, though Hernan Crespo and Jaap Stam are out.

“I want to see the focus and effort put in against Shakhtar Donetsk mixed with the quality shown against Livorno,” explained the Coach. “We have started with a slight stumble, so it’s time to win and get back up there with the pace-setters.”

The reigning Italian Champions were held to a shock 2-2 home draw by new boys Livorno, further hampered by playing in ten men for 85 minutes. That red card means Dida is suspended for today’s trip to the Stadio Dall’Ara, while Stam and Crespo are also sidelined with slight knocks.

“This won’t be an easy game,” noted the tactician, “and you can never be certain of three points in Serie A. I think Bologna will be really fired up after their defeat to Cagliari.”

Former Milan midfielder Federico Giunti missed a late penalty in that 1-0 setback and will be particularly eager to impress. The Rossoneri also have a motivated star, as Filippo Inzaghi hopes to make his first competitive appearance since April.

“Inzaghi is working well and took part in full training all week. He’ll certainly be on the bench and might play if necessary, but the important thing is that he is back, not how many minutes he gets on the field.”

Gk: Abbiati, Fiori, Dei Forti

D: Cafu, Coloccini, Costacurta, Kaladze, Maldini, Nesta, Pancaro

M: Ambrosini, Dhorasoo, Gattuso, Kaká, Pirlo, Rui Costa, Seedorf, Serginho

F: Inzaghi, Shevchenko, Tomasson

Milan set Istanbul date
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Rossoneri chief Adriano Galliani and captain Paolo Maldini have made a pledge to play the Champions’ League Final in May 2005.

“Captain Maldini and I shook hands and took a solemn oath,” announced the Vice-President. “We will do everything in our power to reach that tournament showdown in Istanbul and conquer our seventh edition of the European Cup.”

Milan are among the most successful teams in the history of this competition and the most recent Italian winners with their 2003 victory.

They got off to a promising start in this new edition, earning a 1-0 victory away to Shakhtar Donetsk thanks to Clarence Seedorf’s late strike.

However, Galliani was eager to point out that the club is by no means snubbing the Serie A title just months after winning the Championship.

“The Scudetto is a fundamental part of any club’s campaign,” he assured. “But in no sport does the title Champions of Europe hold less sway than a purely national competition.”

“It is obvious that to become the best side on the continent is the ultimate objective for a football team and the Champions’ League holds a real fascination for players and directors alike.”

Kaka pens Milan deal
16.9 || scharatz

Source: Football Italia

Milan have confirmed that star man Kaka has extended his contract with the Italian giants until 2009.

The Brazilian becomes the third player in quick succession, after Andriy Shevchenko and Clarence Seedorf, to renew his San Siro deal.

Vice-president Adriano Galliani had openly admitted that he was keen to keep the player after rumours of interest from Real Madrid.

"I know what I must do with Kaka. It's the same that I did with Seedorf and Shevchenko," he stated recently.

The international has developed into a key player with the Rossoneri following his move from Sao Paulo last summer.

He quickly settled into the world of Serie A and helped Milan win the title, as he relegated Manuel Rui Costa to the bench.

Shakhtar Donetsk 0 - 1 AC Milan - report
14.9 || scharatz

Source: Football Italia

Seedorf 84 (M)

Clarence Seedorf was Milan's saviour once again with his third goal of the week, as his late strike saw off ten-man Shakhtar Donetsk.

Milan have made it clear their main priority this season is to reconquer the competition they won in 2003, but question marks over their form were raised after the 2-2 home draw with Livorno at the weekend.

This was a particularly special occasion for Andriy Shevchenko, who has come here many times during his years with Dynamo Kiev, but had never managed to score on Shakhtar's ground. There were some familiar faces among the Ukrainians, such as ex-Inter Coach Mircea Lucescu and former Brescia midfielder Francelino Matuzalem.

It was the home side that dominated the early proceedings and had the first chance after three minutes, but Dida kept his ground and smothered an angled drive from Vukic. The goalkeeper was again called soon after to palm out a fierce long-range drive from Matuzalem that was heading for the bottom corner.

Milan first troubled goalkeeper Lastuvka on 14 minutes with a taut Andrea Pirlo free kick, but didn't really manage a single shot on goal in the opening 26 minutes.

The Rossoneri finally brought a fine save out of Lastuvka on 28 minutes, as Jon Dahl Tomasson's diving header was fingertipped over the crossbar.

They began to come out of their shell and moments later it was Kaka who tested his reflexes with another well-taken header, but they were fortunate when Matuzalem only scuffed the ball in a promising position.

Kaka's splendid cross set up Tomasson with a golden opportunity, but the Dane's central finish allowed Lastuvka to parry.

The goalkeeper was beginning to show a lack of experience in the second half, as he fumbled a Shevchenko low volley out for a corner when he seemed to have it under control.

Milan took the initiative and increased the pressure even more when Srna's second booking for a handling offence left Shakhtar Donetsk in ten men for the closing 35 minutes.

Clarence Seedorf, who had scored two wonderful individual efforts against Livorno on Saturday, fired a piledriver wide of the far post.

On the hour mark Lastuvka flew to palm out Shevchenko's bullet header from a Seedorf set-piece, then used his reflexes to block another of the Ukrainian's efforts from 12 yards.

Carlo Ancelotti introduced Hernan Crespo in place of Tomasson. The former Chelsea star hadn't played since his seven-minute spell during the Italian Supercup win over Lazio in late August due to persistent thigh problems.

Shakhtar restricted their moves to counter-attacks and Vorobey turned his shot just over the bar, then Kaka saw three efforts in quick succession charged down by Duljaj from six yards.

Manuel Rui Costa and Vikash Dhorasoo replaced the tired Gennaro Gattuso and Pirlo. Another Shevchenko angled drive was parried, but the deadlock was eventually broken seven minutes from time.

Clarence Seedorf scored his third goal of the week, slamming in one of his trademark low drives from the edge of the box that shot past Lastuvka's outstretched hand.

Kaka could have made it two, but his finishing was again poor and Lastuvka flew to keep the scoreline down.

Shakhtar Donetsk: Lastuvka; Barcauan, Duljaj (Aghahowa 86), Lewandowski, Rat; Srna, Tymoschuk, Matuzalem, Vukic; Vorobey (Joao Batista 77), Marica

Milan: Dida; Cafu, Stam, Nesta, Maldini; Gattuso (Dhorasoo 71), Pirlo (Rui Costa 76), Seedorf; Kaka; Shevchenko, Tomasson (Crespo 62)

Ref: Fandell (Ger)

Sent off: Srna 53 (S)

[OFFICIAL] Abate & Pozzi loaned to Napoli
13.9 || webmaster

It's official: Milan have loaned out youngsters Ignazio Abate & Nicola Pozzi to Napoli until the 30th of June 2005.

Pirlo back for Milan
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Pirlo will be recalled to the Milan side for the Champions’ League tie at Shakthar Donetsk.

The midfielder was rested for the Livorno tie at the weekend but will return to the teamsheet for Tuesday’s clash.

"I’ve already decided on my team," said boss Carlo Ancelotti. "Andriy Shevchenko, Jon Tomasson and Kaka will be in attack.

"While the midfield will consist of Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso and Clarence Seedorf. I just need to check on the fitness of Marcos Cafu and Jaap Stam ahead of the game."

The Rossoneri started the new campaign with a difficult 2-2 draw against Livorno and Ancelotti fears the Ukrainian test.

"We need to be wide awake because they are a very rapid and dynamic side, especially in midfield. They are also unbeaten in their championship," he warned.

Ancelotti was also concerned about certain aspects of his side’s start to the campaign. "We are having trouble with dead ball situations but that can be resolved," he added.

One player who is particularly looking forward to the game is Ukrainian international Shevchenko.

"This is the first time that I’m playing in my homeland with the Milan shirt and I’m not sure how I will feel," he stated.

"I think it will be a great game and they will be ready to give their very best against us. But we are planning to win the Champions’ League this season."

Milan probable: Dida; Cafu, Nesta, Stam, Maldini; Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf; Kaka; Tomasson, Shevchenko

AC Milan 2:2 Livorno - report
11.9 || scharatz

Source: Football Italia

Seedorf 3, 47 (M), C Lucarelli pen 9, 67 (L)
Stadio San Siro

Milan's defence of their title got off to a sticky start as Dida's early red card made them fight for a 2-2 home draw with debutants Livorno.

It was a special occasion for the Tuscans, who make their Serie A comeback after 55 years in the wilderness.

Milan chose to risk Andriy Shevchenko despite a fitness problem midweek, while Manuel Rui Costa and Kaka played in the same line-up, as Andrea Pirlo was rested after his Olympic and Azzurri exploits.

It took just 150 seconds for the reigning Italian Champions to break the deadlock with a splendid Clarence Seedorf solo effort. The Dutchman took a free kick quickly, skipping past two static defenders and lifting the ball over the goalkeeper.

Milan were very aggressive in the opening stages and Marco Amelia flung himself at Shevchenko's feet to intercept a taut low Marcos Cafu cross.

However, at Livorno's first real attempt to trouble the Rossoneri defence, Dida held out his arm and tripped Vigiani as he ran past him. This was an inevitable penalty for the Tuscans and a red card for the goalkeeper, even if contact was minimal and Jaap Stam was nearby, so Christian Abbiati stepped on to the field in place of Jon Dahl Tomasson.

Abbiati's first touch of the game was to pluck the ball out of the net, as Cristiano Lucarelli drove home the spot-kick to equalise. The goalkeeper had guessed the right angle, but couldn't do enough to keep out the ball.

Shevchenko shaved the woodwork with a fierce angled free kick, but Livorno could so easily have taken the lead on 21 minutes. A corner kick came out to Pfertzel and his rocket of a shot was palmed on to the crossbar by a fantastic Abbiati reaction save.

On the half-hour mark Kaka swept in a dangerous cross-shot that Amelia just managed to scramble under control before Shevchenko could pounce on the loose ball.

Soon after Shevchenko's close-range effort was caught under Grandoni's body and appeals for a handling offence were rejected.

Amelia was riding his luck somewhat, again failing to get a firm grip on a long-range Seedorf effort, but once again Sheva was a little too late to take full advantage.

Despite playing in ten men, Milan remained more ambitious and Kaka's piledriver skimmed the upright, then Amelia flew to punch a stunning Rui Costa rising drive out of the top corner.

Carlo Ancelotti's men started the second half in much the same way as the first, with a goal from Clarence Seedorf within 60 seconds of play. Kaka charged through the centre and cut across for Seedorf, who placed a powerful finish into the roof of the net.

Livorno fought back and Abbiati flew to fingertip a Cristiano Lucarelli header out of the bottom left-hand corner.

Kaka began to step up the tempo and twice ran at Livorno defencers causing blind panic. The visitors remained dangerous from distance and Abbiati again fingertipped a Vigiani effort round the post.

However, it was Livorno who drew level on 66 minutes and ensured Cristiano Lucarelli's brace. A free kick on the edge of the box split the wall in two - as Passoni ducked to distract the Milan players - and left Abbiati stranded.

This equaliser boosted their confidence and an Igor Protti piledriver stung Abbiati's palms, while at the other end Amelia fingertipped Cafu's cross out of Shevchenko's path.

Carlo Ancelotti made two changes, throwing on Serginho for the not 100 per cent fit Pancaro, while Gennaro Gattuso made the midfield more solid in place of Rui Costa.

There was a terrible incident on 73 minutes when Abbiati fell after he was struck on the head by an object thrown from the stands. The Livorno supporters were camped out behind his goal in the second half, but the 'keeper was able to carry on. At the same moment, Livorno midfielder Giallombardo suffered a thigh strain and was replaced by David Balleri.

Amelia continued to have problems taking control of the ball and fumbled a Serginho cross, but again it went just past Shevchenko.

Livorno thought they had taken the lead in the final minutes with Lucarelli's header, but the move had already been halted as the corner kick swung out of play.

There was tension as Gattuso and Protti clashed in midfield, then Shevchenko was furious that he wasn't awarded a penalty for a Pfertzel shirt tug as he tried to take advantage of another Amelia fumble.

Six minutes of stoppages were awarded due to the Abbiati incident and a couple of injuries, but neither side was able to get a winning goal after Massimo Ambrosini volleyed over the bar. Instead, substitute Balleri evened out the numbers with his second bookable offence.

Milan: Dida; Cafu, Stam, Maldini, Pancaro (Serginho 71); Ambrosini, Rui Costa (Gattuso 71), Seedorf; Kakà; Shevchenko, Tomasson (Abbiati 8)

Livorno: Amelia; Grandoni, Vargas, A Lucarelli; Pfertzel, Vidigal, Passoni, Vigiani (Ruotolo 84), Giallombardo (Balleri 74); Protti (Colombo 89), C Lucarelli

Ref: Pieri

Sent off: Dida 8 (M), Balleri 96 (L)

Totti: Milan are favourites
10.9 || scharatz

Source: Football Italia

Francesco Totti has admitted that Roma may struggle to fight for Lo Scudetto in the new campaign.

"Milan are on another level from everybody else, then there is Inter and Juventus," he told the Corriere dello Sport newspaper.

"The Nerazzurri have signed a player like Edgar Davids who can make the difference, while Juve have bought well too.

"We are ready to fight for a place in the top four. There are a lot of youngsters in this squad who want to emerge. If we start the season with the right spirit then we can enjoy success."

The capital club have had a difficult summer after the loss of players such as Walter Samuel and Emerson.

They’ve also waved goodbye to two coaches after Cesare Prandelli, who replaced Fabio Capello, resigned due to his wife’s ill health.

"We haven’t worked too much with new boss Rudi Voller but he is one of us," added Totti. "He is a very determined person who has a great desire to win.

"He was the only person who could have replaced Prandelli, who was a great professional but also a great man.

"His gesture hasn’t been recognised enough. We are waiting for him to return one day because he hasn’t said goodbye but simply arrivederci."

Totti concluded by commenting on what to expect from teammate Antonio Cassano, Italy’s new hope for the future.

"Cassano is still very young, a player who needs to mature and understand many things," he explained.

"He now has even more responsibility after he was made vice-captain. I’m sure he will be up to the task though."

Milan have Shev doubt
9.9 || Seamus


Milan are confident that Andriy Shevchenko will be fit for this weekend despite an injury scare.

The Ukrainian picked up a slight muscle problem on international duty and missed his country’s game against Kazakhstan last night.

That led to fears that he may be ruled out of Saturday’s clash against Livorno but the Rossoneri are remaining optimistic.

"I’ve spoken to him on the phone and we will carry out all the necessary tests," Milan medic Massimiliano Sala told Milan Channel.

"He felt a slight twinge on Monday during training with his country and he didn’t play yesterday as a precaution.

"However, there shouldn’t really be anything to worry about."

If Shev isn’t given the green light for Week 1 then boss Carlo Ancelotti will only be able to call on the services of Jon Dahl Tomasson and young Nicola Pozzi.

That is because Pippo Inzaghi, given his ankle problems, and Hernan Crespo are still struggling with fitness issues.

The tactician would probably decide to use a 4-3-2-1 system, with Kaka and Manuel Rui Costa supporting Tomasson, if Shevchenko doesn't feature.

Milan ponder Gilardino bid
8.9 || Seamus

Parma transfer chief Luca Baraldi has failed to rule out a Milan move for Alberto Gilardino next summer.

"We are just thinking about this season right now," stated the Stadio Tardini official on Wednesday.

"Gilardino has decided to stay at Parma and he’s satisfied with the decision which he has taken.

"This is of great satisfaction to us as it was always our objective to keep a competitive squad together here."

Gilardino hit the headlines last season after he netted an amazing 23 League goals for the Gialloblu.

He then helped the Under-21 side win the European Championship and an Olympic Bronze medal.

That saw him heavily linked with moves to both Roma and Juventus but he decided to extend his Parma deal until 2007 instead.

However, speculation in the peninsula suggests that Milan have already contacted the club regarding a future offer.

The reigning Italian champions are apparently pondering a bid in an effort to land him for the 2005/06 season.

Tom pens Milan deal
8.9 || Seamus

Italian champions Milan have today extended the contract of striker Jon Dahl Tomasson.

The Dane had 24 months left on his previous deal but he will now be tied to the outfit until June 2009.

Tomasson is the latest player to renew after Andriy Shevchenko and Clarence Seedorf also recently put pen to paper.

The forward, 28, has been a surprise success at the San Siro since his free move from Feyenoord in 2002.

Despite not being a first team regular, he has developed into a key figure at the club.

Seedorf extends with Milan
8.9 || Seamus

After coach Carlo Ancelotti extended his contract earlier this week, Clarence Seedorf has followed suit and could now end his career with the Rossoneri.

The Dutchman, 28, has signed on until 2009 and after several moves in his career, it is reasonable to believe that he may finally be settled.

He signed from Inter in 2002.

Tomasson targets title
8.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Jon Dahl Tomasson feels that it is only right that his Milan side are favourites to win the Italian championship.

"We are even stronger than ever," said the Danish ace. "This squad has been together for two years and that is our great advantage."

However, Tomasson is well aware of the fact that it won’t be easy for Milan to retain their Scudetto crown.

"All of our rivals have strengthened by signing good players but we are very familiar already with our style of play," he added.

"Zlatan Ibrahimovic? Juventus have got themselves a good player but this is not the Dutch League," noted the former Feyenoord star.

The international, who is set to start against Livorno on Saturday, also revealed what the future holds.

"I still have two years left on my contract but we are already in talks with regards to an extension," he concluded.

Galliani has Adriano desire
8.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan chief Adriano Galliani says he dreams of Andriy Shevchenko and Adriano playing together – but a bid for the Inter ace isn’t imminent.

"We have four great strikers this season but it would be great to one day see Shevchenko and Adriano in the same team," he told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

"I would be curious to see how they would do together even if I think they would be perfect.

"Have we made Inter an offer? I don’t even want to hear such rumours. They will keep Adriano and we will keep Sheva."

The Vice-president also commented on the new season, claiming that his biggest fear is his own side.

"Having the title of favourites isn’t a role that helps us," added Galliani. "With all these compliments there is a danger of thinking that we are better than others.

"This is a problem that needs to be solved immediately, otherwise we risk finishing like the favourites of the last two campaigns."

Meanwhile, Clarence Seedorf has revealed how easy negotiations were over a new contract with the club.

"The talks were very pleasant and we discussed money for just three or four minutes," stated the Dutchman. "Both Milan and I wanted to continue together."

The former Real Madrid ace is now tied to the Italian champions until the summer of 2009.

Gattuso won over by Italy
5.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso has been among Italy’s strongest critics, but was won over by the new team spirit. Meanwhile, Francesco Totti has been sent home.

“It was tough,” he said after their 2-1 win, “but I saw a real willingness to make sacrifices and work hard from every member of the team. I was particularly happy with that aspect of it as well as the overall standard of football.”

The Milan man had slammed his teammates for being “a laughing stock” and “wastes of space” following their 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004 campaigns.

“I tried to give my usual contribution in the middle of the park and played a Gattuso style game,” he told ‘Milan Channel’ this afternoon. “My job is to give the side intensity and get the ball back for my teammates. I am satisfied with the whole match.”

Gattuso is also expected to start Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier in Moldova, but Francesco Totti’s presence is now ruled out.

The Roma star flew in to Palermo this afternoon after suffering an ankle injury during a friendly encounter with his club side and medical staff ascertained the bruising to his right ankle was too heavy to make this trip.

Totti was set to make his comeback after a three-match ban – handed down for spitting at Denmark’s Christian Poulsen on June 14 – expired.

Inzaghi resumes full training
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi will return to training with the Milan squad on Wednesday following his ankle problems.

"I can’t wait to start work again," said the striker. "I had to be patient but I just hope that the problems have gone away now."

The Italian international, who missed out on Euro 2004, has been struggling with an ankle injury for almost a year.

He underwent surgery in April but it wasn’t a complete success and he’s just spent the last six weeks on the sidelines.

However, he is expected to start training at Milanello today in a bid to be fully fit for the start of the season.

"I’ve suffered a lot," he added. "We have a strong squad and it is my dream to make a difference in the hope of winning more trophies, especially the Champions’ League."

The former Juventus ace is unlikely to be fully fit for the start of the season. He’s set to be at his club’s disposal by the end of September or early October.

Ancelotti pens new deal
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has extended his contract with the Rossoneri until the summer of 2007.

"I’m very happy," said the former San Siro midfielder. "I had no doubts about signing. The adventure and the dream continues."

The 45-year-old has been a massive success since his shock appointment in November 2001.

The former Juventus Coach was all set for a return to Parma before Milan swooped at the last minute to secure his services.

He’s led the club to the Champions’ League, the Coppa Italia and the Scudetto all in the space of two seasons.

"We are carrying on with tradition," said Vice-president Adriano Galliani. "Ancelotti is a part of our family."

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