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The Archive

September 2008

Berlusconi savours birthday gift
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan chief Silvio Berlusconi has thanked the Rossoneri players for delivering the perfect birthday gift at San Siro last night.

The Rossoneri secured a crucial 1-0 win in the Derby della Maddonina to erase memories of their stuttering start to the campaign thanks to a Ronaldinho goal.

And the win had a special significance for Berlusconi, who turns 72 today.

“It was really a great gift,” he beamed. “It wasn't just a present from Ronaldinho but from the whole team who honoured me with this great win.

“It wasn't a bad result was it? I want to congratulate all my players for the way they played with heart, strength and great determination.”

Berlusconi finished with a sarcastic quip as journalists tried to suggest that he had demanded a say in team selection last night.

“Who picked the 11 on the pitch? Just as the years gone by the team was chosen by Mr Silvio B… Sorry I meant Ancelotti,” he concluded with a grin.

Kaka laughs off Mourinho comments
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka shoots down all Jose Mourinho’s claims, saying Milan “dominated” the derby and explains why Ronaldinho is getting back to his best.

Inter Coach Mourinho had stated that “neither side deserved the win” and the only difference between the teams tonight was the goal.

“It’s true we scored the goal, but other than that I think Milan dominated the match and always tried to play attacking football,” he said after the 1-0 victory.

“Mourinho makes me laugh, like when he said Dejan Stankovic’s foul was really me pretending to be injured as a tactical choice. It’s funny.

“We are all professionals and off the field everyone is friends. We defend our colours on the pitch, but ultimately we all know each other.”

It was a much-needed result after Milan’s disastrous start of two straight Serie A defeats and they are now just three points adrift of leaders Lazio.

“That negative moment has passed, as now we have notched together a series of four victories and are playing very well.”

The Rossoneri winner was netted by Ronaldinho, who forged an impressive all-Brazilian trident with Alexandre Pato and Kaka.

“It’s wonderful to see Ronaldinho so happy and determined to become a decisive player again. He is working so hard and is on his way back.

“We may make different lifestyle choices, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends and play together. I am very glad he’s here, as he has brought many things the team was missing.”

Ronaldinho: It's a dream come true
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho admits it was a dream come true for him to score the winner in his first Derby della Madonnina.

“I hoped for a goal and it is an incredible story. We all went on to the field so charged up tonight.”

The Brazilian was a surprise starter, but netted his first goal in a Rossoneri jersey to defeat Inter 1-0.

“I feel wonderful, like this is my home and I dedicate the goal to the Milan fans. I feel better every day.

“We are playing together with such joy and that is what Milan is all about. I am happy to continue giving joy to the fans, my teammates and everyone at the club.”

He also dedicated the goal to President Silvio Berlusconi, who was in the stands the day before his birthday.

“Ronaldinho gave us a great goal in his style,” commented Berlusconi.

“He said afterwards he dedicated the goal to me for my birthday, the whole team did, and I am very happy with this gift.

“It was a good result and a game played with great strength, determination and heart along with technique.”

Ancelotti: AC Milan are cured
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti assures Milan are “cured” from their dismal start, but Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko have much more to give.

“I think we're cured. Even if usually one says at this point that nothing has been achieved yet, the truth is we weren't going in the right direction and in 10 days we have turned the situation around.”

The 1-0 derby victory over Inter has put the Rossoneri just one point adrift of their city rivals despite losing the opening two Serie A games - their worst start in 22 years.

Dinho was a surprise starter in the Brazilian trio with Alexandre Pato and Kaka, the former Barcelona man scoring the winner with a towering header.

“Ronaldinho is not 100 per cent fit yet, but what he does in training is different to what he does on the field. The adrenaline of the match situation makes him pick up the tempo considerably.

“He needs to keep working hard. He is an atypical player and we have to find his right position, but tonight he was decisive.”

Ancelotti reportedly did not request Ronaldinho and instead wanted the club to sign Emmanuel Adebayor or Samuel Eto'o.

“We all wanted Ronaldinho. He is a great champion, we know what he can give and as we get to know him better realise he isn't just a goalscorer, he works hard for his teammates and to create goals for others.”

Shevchenko came on as a substitute and brought a great save out of Julio Cesar, but Ancelotti warned he too can only improve.

“Shevchenko is in the same condition as Ronaldinho and soon it will be his turn. It all depends on the style of football we're going for.”

With Andrea Pirlo out injured, Ancelotti adjusted his system so that either Gennaro Gattuso or Clarence Seedorf takes on that role.

“My tactical decisions are affected by the opposition, so I tried to put Seedorf there to keep the team level against a side that plays 4-3-3. Both Gattuso and Seedorf interpreted that role very well in their own way.

“It's our first clean sheet of the season! We struggled a little at the end because Inter were piling forward in numbers, but for the rest the whole team moved as a unit and defended very well.”

There is the worry that the Rossoneri got off to such a poor start with defeats to Bologna and Genoa because they thrive on the mentality of a big game.

“It is certainly true that Milan have always shown a lack of consistency in their mental approach. The fact we started so badly can be a positive aspect, as it is an alarm bell when preparing for matches that some might consider 'easier.'”

Ancelotti has met Mourinho twice and won both encounters, as his Milan defeated Porto in the European Super Cup in 2003.

“I never considered this a challenge with Mourinho, it is far more important than that. We closed up on the top of the table, beat a great team and in theory have ended that negative period with wins over Lazio and Inter. That is what it meant to us.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:0 Internazionale - match report
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ronaldinho 37 (M)

Ronaldinho's debut Serie A goal gave Milan the Derby della Madonnina to end Inter's undefeated record, but Nicolas Burdisso saw red!

This was an all-star derby and both teams brought out the big guns. Carlo Ancelotti was without the injured Marco Borriello, Andrea Pirlo, Alessandro Nesta and Pippo Inzaghi, so he unveiled the Brazilian trio of Ronaldinho, Kaka and Alexandre Pato. Jose Mourinho went with Ricardo Quaresma, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Amantino Mancini.

This was Mourinho's first derby, although he had met Ancelotti once before, losing the European Super Cup with Porto. The Rossoneri had a disastrous start to the campaign, but were coming off three straight wins between Serie A and the UEFA Cup. San Siro was sold out and the Inter end was covered in a banner that read: 'Ladies and Gentlemen, tonight the city of Milan is proud to present...'

In the opening three minutes Kaka and Mancini had shots on goal, but when Milan pushed forward, Inter put 10 men behind the ball and prepared to pounce on rapid counter-attacks.

An acrobatic Marco Materazzi clearance prevented Pato going clear on goal from nine yards on Ronaldinho's chipped pass, but at the other end an Ibrahimovic cross-shot was kicked out by an outstretched Christian Abbiati foot.

Kaka had penalty appeals waved away for a Materazzi arm on his face as he tried to jump for a deflected ball. Gianluca Zambrotta scored a stunning screamer last week and tried to repeat the trick, firing just over from 30 metres.

Inter had a great chance on 17 minutes, as Douglas Maicon threaded a splendid pass through for Ibrahimovic and his first touch let him down so Abbiati could fly out to smother at his feet.

Kaka's shot was charged down, ricocheted into the path of Pato, who also had a strike clatter into Nicolas Burdisso from 10 yards. At the other end Abbiati got a hand to a long pass to take it off Ibra's foot, but was fortunate that the loose ball did not reach an Inter player before he backpedalled.

Maicon hit the side-netting, but Milan had a fantastic chance on 25 minutes. Ronaldinho and Kaka combined down the left flank for the former Barcelona man's angled drive, bringing a splendid save out of Julio Cesar at the near post.

Pato pounced on a Quaresma error, but Cristian Chivu's sliding tackle prevented a very dangerous counter.

Abbiati got down to have his palms stung by an Ibrahimovic rocket, but on the counter-attack Kaka sprung the offside trap down the right flank and chipped up a pass for Ronaldinho's towering header from eight yards! Dinho out-jumped Cambiasso and went mad in his celebrations, dancing and riling up the crowd after his first Serie A goal.

Abbiati came flying out to kick a misplaced Gennaro Gattuso backpass away from Ibrahimovic, as the goal forced Inter to change their game plan and pick up the pace. There was curious moment as Gattuso and Ancelotti had a shouting match on the sidelines following a booking, the Coach telling his player to calm down.

Pato went on a blazing run down the right channel, but was closed down at the last second by Julio Cesar. Materazzi would've risked a red card if his collision with Pato was considered to be a foul, as the Brazilian was clear on goal, but the referee waved play on.

Moments later Kaka again wanted a spot-kick for a coming together with Materazzi as he combined with Ronaldinho.

There were no changes at the break and Kaka ballooned well over from an impossible angle. Chivu's free kick skimmed the top of Mancini's head to fall into the grateful arms of Abbiati. Pato was clear on goal, but halted for a very tight but accurate offside flag.

Kaka went down the right channel and his shot was deflected out for a corner off Materazzi. A lucky ricochet threatened to leave Mancini free in the six yard box, but Maldini was able to clear.

Mourinho made a double change with Adriano and Julio Cruz in for Materazzi and Mancini, moving Cambiasso to central defence in a 4-2-3-1 system. Ibrahimovic went on a mazy run through four Rossoneri shirts, but eventually Gattuso and Kaladze managed to squeeze him out for a goal kick.

Ronaldinho threaded through for Kaka, who cut back for Pato, but Cambiasso anticipated with a crucial intervention. Cruz surged forward and blasted a yard wide from distance after a Zambrotta error.

Moments later Cambiasso won back the ball and sent Ibra running, but the Swede's strike with the top of his boot whistled just wide from 20 metres. Gattuso is not 100 per cent fit and is wearing a cast for the hand that suffered multiple fractures in a freak injury. However, he insisted on carrying on after more treatment and Mathieu Flamini replaced Pato.

Quaresm's trivela cross found Ibrahimovic and the shot was charged down at the last second, then Adriano put the ball in the net after play had already been halted for a push on Maldini.

Ambrosini got the crowd on its feet with a series of tackles in quick succession to clear the danger and as Kaka was going on the counter, Burdisso hacked him down for a second bookable offence, leaving Inter with 10 men for the final 14 minutes.

Kaka skipped past Maicon and blasted a strike at Julio Cesar's palms. Dejan Stankovic replaced a tired Vieira in Inter's final substitution.

The game was still wide open, as Abbiati parried a rocket from Adriano, the ball ricocheted back out for Adriano to fire over. Tensions spilled over, as Javier Zanetti was booked for dissent, claiming Flamini had elbowed Adriano, and Materazzi was sent off from the bench for his furious protests. Replays show there was contact, but it was very similar to the first half incident between Materazzi and Kaka, so the referee remained consistent.

Andriy Shevchenko came on as Ronaldinho was given a standing ovation by San Siro. Sheva has an excellent record in the derby, scoring 14 goals in 15 games against Inter.

The cards were flying and Stankovic was booked for a cynical tackle from behind on Kaka that could well have been worthy of a straight red. Flamini had a shot charged down, then Kakha Kaladze knocked the ball down for Flamini and again the Inter bodies flung themselves in the way to prevent a tap-in.

Gattuso threaded through for Shevchenko, who horribly scuffed it well wide. It was Gattuso's final contribution, as his hand was still hurting and he made way for Daniele Bonera. Sheva did considerably better a minute later, as he ran into acres of space and brought a fantastic save out of Julio Cesar to tip the powerful rising right-foot strike out from under the bar.

It was still 1-0 and Inter poured forward with bedlam in the box, as Adriano, Quaresma and Ibrahimovic had attempts charged down in a patch of grass around the six-yard line. There were five minutes of stoppages and Maicon chipped a splendid cross to the back post, but Adriano didn't make perfect contact and nodded it wide from a yard!

In the final seconds Adriano knocked down a Cruz pass for Ibrahimovic to volley well over.
Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Maldini, Kaladze, Jankulovski; Gattuso (Bonera 88), Seedorf, Ambrosini; Kakà, Ronaldinho (Shevchenko 83); Pato (Flamini 74)

Inter: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Burdisso, Materazzi (Cruz 59), Chivu; Zanetti, Cambiasso, Vieira (Stankovic 80); Quaresma, Ibrahimovic, Mancini (Adriano 59)

Ref: Morganti

Sent off: Burdisso 76 (I), Materazzi 82 (I - from bench)

Gattuso: AC Milan Confidential
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso gives the low-down on the derby, why he nearly left Milan and the truth about Carlo Ancelotti’s temper.

“It’d be so great to score in the derby, especially this season when the media thinks we seem to be playing against Jose Mourinho rather than Inter,” joked the midfielder on Milan Channel.

“We had a rough start this year, but in reality the only result we didn’t deserve was the first match against Bologna. It was an incredible defeat, as we earned a win and instead lost. If we played it again 10 times it’d always end 4-1 or 5-1 for us.”

Kaka said this week that the Rossoneri’s problems were caused by complacency and the belief their talent would get them through.

“We have so many champions and can bring in another 100,000, but if there isn’t the desire to fight together then you won’t win a game,” agreed Gattuso.

“Things are changing now because we are more united and have the willingness to battle. We cannot afford to keep embarrassing ourselves – we are Milan. We haven’t got guaranteed points just because we have three Ballon d’Ors in the side.”

That fighting spirit is certainly not something that the 2006 World Cup winner has ever lacked, but he was close to quitting the club.

“If I am still here, it is thanks to Adriano Galliani. He didn’t even let me speak at the meeting, he just said ‘You are Milan and you’re staying here.’

“Nobody wanted me to leave, including my wife, but at that moment I had lost the necessary concentration and belief I was an important player for the side. It wasn’t anything to do with my teammates, it was just my own issues.”

Another firm fixture at the club is Coach Ancelotti, although recent results have again raised reports he’ll be axed and replaced with a ‘stronger’ personality.

“They say he is too friendly with the players and every now and then a story emerges that he’ll be fired, but it won’t take long before they build him a statue like Nereo Rocco.

“The truth is he knows how to do his job very well and, when it is necessary, he can get pretty angry.”

Shevchenko and Ronaldinho's D-Day
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko can't wait to be back in the derby atmosphere and Ronaldinho is looking forward to his first.

The Ukrainian has famously scored 14 goals in 15 derby matches, including the 2005 Champions League semi-final that was abandoned due to crowd trouble.

“I am truly happy to be back in the derby atmosphere,” grinned Shevchenko on Sky Italia television.

He has been at Chelsea for two years, but is not sure of a starting spot against Inter this evening, as there are reports Clarence Seedorf will partner Kaka and Alexandre Pato in a Christmas Tree formation.

“Will I play? You'll have to ask the Coach that. In the meanwhile I'll enjoy the affection of the fans, who always give me so much motivation and confidence.”

If Sheva is an old hand at the derby, and one who received an award for his 300th Milan appearance this week, then it is a new experience for Ronaldinho.

“I am still in a period of adjustment and I am adapting to Italian football after so many years in Spain. I think soon everything will be easier,” said the Brazilian.

“The fans have shown such a wonderful attitude and I am so happy to be here. I can't wait to score a goal and my first in the Milan jersey will be dedicated to the fans.

“They give me affection when I am playing or even walking down the street. I feel it constantly.”

Borriello and Maxwell miss derby
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan and Inter have unveiled their squads for the derby, missing Marco Borriello, Philippe Senderos, Maxwell and Luis Jimenez.

The Rossoneri have the biggest injury worries going into the Sunday evening clash at San Siro.

On top of long-term absentees Alessandro Nesta and Andrea Pirlo, they have Pippo Inzaghi still out of action, Borriello sidelined with a thigh problem and Senderos still not 100 per cent fit.

Inter are missing Luis Figo after a fracture in the metatarsal in his right foot was discovered, while Jimenez and Maxwell have not recovered for this match.

Maxwell had hoped to be at the derby, but a calf injury is dragging on longer than expected and he will be rested as a precautionary measure.

This suggests Douglas Maicon will return to the full-back role after he was rested against Lecce midweek.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Dida, Antonini, Bonera, Favalli, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Maldini, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Cardacio, Emerson, Flamini, Gattuso, Kaka, Pato, Seedorf, Shevchenko, Ronaldinho.

Inter squad: Toldo, Julio Cesar, Orlandoni, Cordoba, Zanetti, Maicon, Burdisso, Materazzi, Rivas, Chivu; Stankovic, Vieira, Cambiasso, Mancini, Bolzoni, Quaresma; Ibrahimovic, Cruz, Adriano, Crespo, Balotelli.

Ancelotti's derby mind games
27.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti sees the derby result contributing more “psychologically” than in terms of the table for Milan.

“This is an important game on a psychological level, above all for us,” said the Rossoneri Coach ahead of Sunday night’s showdown.

“If we beat Inter tomorrow, then we will put a definitive end to the negative period we have been going through and begin a new era.

“If we lose, then it means we still have a lot of work to do, but it won’t be decisive for the Scudetto race either way.”

Milan had a woeful start to the campaign with two straight defeats, but have won their last three between the UEFA Cup and Serie A.

Inter are still unbeaten and top the table, even though their performances have not been 100 per cent impressive.

“I am convinced you win these games not by trying to mould yourself to your opponents and finding their weak spot, but by imposing your own tactical, mental and physical characteristics on to them.

“These are what you need to win. I repeat, you can only beat Inter by commanding the play.”

It is the first Derby della Madonnina with Jose Mourinho at the helm, a very different figure to the quiet and mild-mannered Ancelotti.

“I think he is a talented Coach who proved with his results at Chelsea that he knows how to do his job. It is too early to pass judgement on how he is doing in Italy.

“I believe him to be an intelligent person and, despite the fact the media is pushing me to say he is unlikeable, I won’t say it because it isn’t true.

“This Inter has changed from Roberto Mancini’s era, as they focus more on the counter-attack. Mancini tried to go for a more rounded approach.”

Ancelotti was one of those tipped to replace Mourinho at Stamford Bridge and admits some of the stories were true.

“I did have a meeting with the Chelsea directors, but these claims of a massive pay deal are complete lies. We discussed football, not money.”

Marco Borriello is out with a muscular problem, so Andriy Shevchenko is expected to start, although Ronaldinho could still be on the bench.

“Dinho is training well and the fact he’ll stay with us during the break for international duty will allow him to recuperate his fitness levels quicker,” continued Ancelotti.

“Sheva looked good too and the derby is very special for him, as he has always done well against Inter. I know my starting XI, but will keep it to myself. I’ll only reveal eight names: Abbiati, Zambrotta, Maldini, Kaladze, Jankulovski, Gattuso and Kaka.”

Although Milan have turned a corner in terms of results, they are still without a clean sheet this season.

“It is true we conceded in every game, but I have seen improvements over the last few days, especially in the way the team works together to defend. If we continue like this, we’ll stop leaking goals.”

Kaka: Sheva never liked Mourinho
27.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka praised Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but fired a broadside at Jose Mourinho. “Everyone speaks highly of him, except Andriy Shevchenko…”

This will be the first derby for the Portuguese boss and due to Marco Borriello’s muscular injury, ex-Chelsea star Sheva will be in the starting XI.

“I like the way Mourinho seems to deal with the squad as a whole,” Kaka told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“All my friends who have worked with him, from Adriano to Belletti, were happy with him. Well, everyone except Sheva…”

The Ukrainian left Chelsea in bitter circumstances after two disastrous years and it was widely reported his signing was ordered by Roman Abramovich rather than the Coach.

Mourinho is now flying high at the top of the Serie A standings with Inter, but Kaka believes this Sunday evening there will be a change of direction.

“The derby remains different to any other match, even if it is difficult to explain why. At the start you don’t understand, it takes a little while to grasp the sense of expectation in the city.

“You need to win, otherwise it’s tough living here afterwards. Perhaps the derby can be a turning point for those who have doubts on Milan.

“So far we have won three on the trot in Serie A and the UEFA Cup, picking up important points. Beating Lazio and Inter is great, but one has to find the motivation to defeat Reggina on a rainy Wednesday evening and we did it.

“At the end of the day, it’s the points won or lost against the little clubs that makes the difference.”

Of the star-studded Nerazzurri squad, Kaka has no doubts over who he fears the most.

“Ibra is decisive and has astonishing quality. Could he succeed me in the Ballon d’Or? Yes, as long as he gives it back in a year or two!

“I think Cristiano Ronaldo will get the prize this year, he deserves it for everything he has done throughout the last 12 months.”

Maldini has derby perspective
27.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Paolo Maldini prepares for the derby and warns even a defeat to rivals Inter won’t put a major dent in their campaign.

“It is an important game, but it comes early into the season and so there will be time for everyone to recover lost ground,” said the captain.

“Naturally our position in the table makes us a little anxious because we didn’t start out well, but we want to change direction.”

They have already achieved that as, after two straight defeats in what was their worst Serie A start for 22 years, the Rossoneri have won their last couple against Lazio and Reggina.

A lot of that switch was down to the role of Marco Borriello, but with the striker out injured with a thigh problem, they may have to change again.

“Well, Andriy Shevchenko has often done rather well in the derby,” smiled Maldini.

“He has resolved many games in our favour, but things have changed for everyone. At the same time I say Sheva is physically ready now, while Ronaldinho is still penalised by the fact he didn’t play for three months at Barcelona and couldn’t train with us because of the Olympics.”

It’s likely Dinho will again be on the bench, while Shevchenko faces a figure from his past at Chelsea.

“I like Jose Mourinho,” continued Maldini. “I think he came to Italy in order to continue his career trajectory that went from Porto to Chelsea and now Inter.

“With a strong personality like him at the helm, sometimes you forget that it’s the players who put in the performance.

“Right now I am more concerned about the Inter attack than who is on the bench, although Mourinho is definitely different from the others in how he handles the media.”

This is Maldini’s 55th Derby della Madonnina and he will shake hands with Javier Zanetti, who captained Inter in his 600th official appearance for the club this week.

“It is wonderful to be there with someone who made Inter history, just as it was in the past with Beppe Bergomi.

“I think we are two important figures in Italian football, especially at a time when players are increasingly likely to move around.”

Vieira: Inter better than AC Milan
27.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Patrick Vieira cranked up the Derby della Madonnina tension by insisting “Inter are stronger than Milan and are on a winning streak.”

The Frenchman is a former Rossoneri player, albeit thanks to a very brief spell in 1995-96 in which he made two Serie A appearances.

“I think I qualify as an ‘ex’ in this game, as although I didn’t play very much, I learned a great deal at Milan,” he told Studio Sport.

“I was training with people like Franco Baresi, Billy Costacurta, Paolo Maldini and George Weah.

“I decided to leave because in life there are choices you have to make and I opted for Arsenal, where I played for nine years. Besides, I got the feeling Milan wanted me to go.”

After a time at Juventus, Vieira is back at San Siro and preparing for Sunday’s Milan derby.

“We are stronger than Milan because we are on a winning streak and playing well at the moment,” he assured.

“Jose Mourinho always asks his players to put the effort in. I remember him from his time at Chelsea, as two or three players had spoken to me about him and I expected precisely what I have seen now.

“Mourinho has come to Inter in order to win a great deal.”

Seedorf snipes at Roma market
27.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf feels a below par transfer campaign has been instrumental in Roma's sluggish start to the season.

The Giallorossi have looked a shadow of the side that pushed Inter to the wire in the Scudetto race last term.

After a quiet start to the summer, Roma signed John Arne Riise, Simone Loria Jeremy Menez and Julio Baptista but the additions didn't impress Milan man Seedorf.

“In my opinion Roma were always going to have a difficult season,” Seedorf said on Radio Incontro.

“They sold a player like Amantino Mancini, who in my opinion was crucial for them, and the signing they made weren't what was expected.

“Furthermore the lack of Francesco Totti goes a long way to explaining their poor start to the campaign.

“But they do have a Coach with clear ideas in Luciano Spalletti. Once they find the right mentality they will play great football.”

Roma will try and put things right as they host high-flying Atalanta this weekend, while Seedorf's Milan face Inter in a derby on Sunday night.

AC Milan deny Obregon move
27.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have released an official statement denying that they have signed Mexican nine-year-old Edgardo Obregon.

There were widespread reports yesterday that the Rossoneri had swooped for the tiny trequartista from Chivas of Guadalajara.

It was suggested that the Diavolo had beaten competition from Barcelona to bring the precocious talent to San Siro.

However, it seems that the story isn't true because Milan have rubbished the claims.

“We would like to deny categorically that we have ever agreed the signature of Obregon,” a statement on the club's website reads.

Flamini: What crisis?
24.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mathieu Flamini claims that Milan's problems were blown out of proportion but admits that the Rossoneri must win the Derby della Maddonina.

The Diavolo were left in the blocks at the start of the season after defeats against Bologna and Genoa.

But Carlo Ancelotti's men bounced back with the thrashing of Lazio last Sunday and an air of positivity has returned.

“There was never a crisis,” Flamini insisted in Il Giorno.

“Of course when you play for a great team like Milan you are expected to win consistently.

“Now we must carry on down this road by securing a win this evening.”

Milan have made the long trip to Reggio Calabria to face Reggina tonight but the weekend's derby is large on the horizon.

“The derby is a very important game,” Flamini said. “We will do everything to win, just as we will against Reggina.

“It will be interesting to take on Jose Mourinho's team. He is a great Coach and he has proved that over the last few years.

“From what I see in the newspapers he hasn't changed. He is always the same and he has a unique character that sets him apart from the others.”

AC Milan agree Albanian date
24.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have agreed to take part in a charity friendly in Albania in mid-October for UNICEF.

The Rossoneri will play against KF Tirana on the evening of October 14 at the Qemal Stafa Stadium.

KF Tirana are currently top of the Albanian Superliga after four games.

The game is part of UNICEF's 'Albania Reads' project, which is trying to promote literacy in young Albanians.

There is a worrying dearth of books in Albanian schools and the hope is that enough funds will be collected by the project as a whole to open 850 school libraries.

AC Milan vs. Inter restrictions imposed
24.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Milan derby on September 28 hasn't been labelled “high risk”, but there will be some ticketing restrictions.

A number of games across the peninsula have been hit by supporter sanctions to try and reduce the risk of football-related violence.

However, Inter fans will be allowed to attend what is technically Milan's home game at San Siro on the evening of September 28.

But Milan councillor Gian Valerio Lombardi has announced that ticket sales for both sides will be restricted to one per person after a ruling by the Osservatorio - a committee set up to tackle violence at matches.

Serie A: Reggina 1:2 AC Milan - match report
24.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Borriello 23 (M), Corradi 59 (R), Pato 73 (M)

Milan are finding their feet again with a second straight win thanks to Marco Borriello and Alexandre Pato.

The Rossoneri's crisis seemed to be over after beating Zurich 3-1 in the UEFA Cup and leaders Lazio 4-1. Injury problems remained with Alessandro Nesta, Pippo Inzaghi, Andrea Pirlo, Philippe Senderos and Viudez out, but Carlo Ancelotti had to balance maintaining consistency with preparing for Sunday's huge Milan derby. Reggina were one of three teams still without a win and lost Ciccio Cozza, Giosa, Emanuele Cascione and Carlos Valdez to injury.

Christian Abbiati smothered a Carmona free kick and Franco Brienza's low snapshot skimmed the base of the near post.

However, Milan took the lead through Marco Borriello, who rose above the crowd to get his head to a Clarence Seedorf set piece. He had also netted in the UEFA Cup last week, but this was his first Serie A goal of the season.

Borriello should've had a second on the half-hour mark, but goalkeeper Campagnolo came flying out to clear from his feet.

Reggina had a great opportunity to equalise, as Brienza controlled a chipped pass with his thigh and volleyed it back into the centre, but Bernardo Corradi hesitated and Daniele Bonera was able to clear.

Campagnolo palmed away a Clarence Seedorf effort, but moments later Emil Halfreddsson's rocket bounced off Abbiati's chest.

There was a double dose of bad news for Milan in the space of 60 seconds. First Borriello pulled up during a counter-attack with a thigh problem and had to go off, then Reggina equalised. Santos nodded the ball back into the centre for Corradi at full stretch to tap in from six yards.

Andriy Shevchenko replaced Borriello for his 300th appearance in a Milan jersey. Sheva wasted a good chance right away and then Campagnolo parried Alexandre Pato's right-foot strike.

Milan restored their advantage on 73 minutes with a fine move. Shevchenko's long pass sent Kaka down the right channel, who cut back for Pato's low right-foot drive into the near bottom corner. Campagnolo got a hand to it, but not enough to keep out the young Brazilian's third goal in as many games against Zurich, Lazio and Reggina.

Seedorf flashed a shot across the face of goal and at the other end Ceravolo hit the side-netting.
Reggina: Campagnolo; Lanzaro, Cirillo, Santos (Alvarez 89); Vigiani (Ceravolo 78), Barreto, Carmona, Hallfredsson, Costa (Barilla' 80); Brienza, Corradi

Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Bonera, Kaladze, Favalli; Flamini (Ambrosini 60), Gattuso, Seedorf; Kaka; Pato (Emerson 83), Borriello (Shevchenko 60)

Ref: Saccani

Zambrotta relives super Sunday
22.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Gianluca Zambrotta is still smiling after last night's 4-1 win over Lazio, including a rare wonder goal from the Azzurri ace.

The pressure on the Rossoneri was intense ahead of the game against the Biancocelesti after a stuttering start to the season.

But Carlo Ancelotti's men responded in style with Zambrotta's 30-yard blast just one of four superb goals.

“It all went well last night and my goal came at just the right time because we had just conceded an equaliser,” Zambrotta recalled.

“It gave us the chance to come back into the match and it all ended well because we took the three points.

“We played a great game because we had the right desire and concentration.

“We used the wings a lot and Marek Jankulovski impressed, especially when he provided the pass for Alexandre Pato's goal.

“Rino Gattuso should be an example to us because of his sacrifices and determination.”

Borriello: Everything but the goal
22.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Borriello is pleased with the way he is playing for Milan, even though he is yet to open his Serie A account this season.

A revelatory 2007-08 campaign with Genoa earned Borriello the call to San Siro but his start to the season was delayed by injury.

The talented hitman was a crucial figure in yesterday's 4-1 rout of Lazio and was happy with the way he played, albeit without finding the net.

“The adrenaline has been pumping and I'm really happy,” Borriello grinned.

“I was delighted with my performance but the only thing that was missing was a goal. My teammates helped me and were always there to link up.

“It feels really good to be here at Milan. I feel important here and it's a unique sensation.

“The fans were also important - I can feel that they are close to me and they always give me a boost.

“I hope that I'll be able to make them cheer by scoring some goals in the future.”

Berlusconi hopes for D-day gift
22.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi has praised the Rossoneri for last night's win over Lazio and is already looking ahead to the Derby della Maddonina.

Carlo Ancelotti's men finally showed what they are capable of by sweeping Lazio aside 4-1 at San Siro last night to open their account for the season.

It was a huge relief for everyone at the club and now the world champions will be looking to build on the three points.

“This is the real Milan,” Berlusconi enthused. “I'm really satisfied because I saw four really great goals.

“Now we are waiting for the derby and the lads have promised a present for my birthday, which is on September 29.”

Milan travel to Reggina in mid-week before their derby encounter against Inter on September 28.

“We have to grow but this is a squad with so many champions,” Berlusconi continued.

“Some people have said that we have too many stars, but I argue that you can never have too many.

“Alexandre Pato is a great champion and he scored a superb goal. Marco Borriello played very positively as a centre forward, which we always need.

“Ronaldinho came on and gave a show and Andriy Shevchenko is getting back to form after two years and I'm sure we will see the old Sheva soon.”

Galliani: Carletto's the one!
22.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan general manager Adriano Galliani blasted the naysayers who wanted Carlo Ancelotti sacked. “You need patience in sport.”

The Coach was under fire after two straight defeats, but following crisis talks he was confirmed and notched up back-to-back wins over Zurich and Lazio.

“We all kept a cool head and understood this terrible period had to come to an end.

“Can you imagine if we had hired a new Coach who then beat Zurich and Lazio, then everyone would've said it was Ancelotti's fault and this new guy was a genius!

“You need patience in football. This is Ancelotti's eighth season with us and we are sticking with him.”

The 4-1 victory over Lazio saw Kaka support Alexandre Pato and Marco Borriello, with Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso and Massimo Ambrosini in midfield.

“We are very happy, as not only did we win, but we did so convincingly,” grinned Galliani.

“I find this is a very organised side and this is the tactical system we should adopt. The players can rotate, but the tactics suit the squad and we should stick with them.

“Ronaldinho can do very well either out wide or as a support striker. Kaka is our prime trequartista, no doubt about it.”

“I must praise Borriello, as I have never seen a Milan centre-forward run all the way back to defend against a potential Lazio goal.

“The only negative aspect of the night is that I just saw Gattuso and he has pain, the hand has swollen up again. We have to do more tests and see how that is progressing.”

The midfielder was making his comeback with the aid of a special protective cast after suffering multiple fractures to his hand and wrist when falling into the dug-out during an Italy friendly test.

Meanwhile, President Silvio Berlusconi also had words of praise for Ancelotti and his squad.

“I was disappointed by the Milan of the first two games, but this is the real Milan we had been expecting for years,” said the patron.

“Football is often a case of luck and in the previous two matches fortune did not smile on us.

“Ancelotti was a great player, he is a great Coach, a great friend and one of the family.”

Ancelotti explains AC Milan cure
22.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti explains how he revolutionised Milan in the space of a week. “We co-operated and moved as a unit.”

The Rossoneri were yet to get off the mark after two straight defeats, but the 4-1 win over Lazio tonight seems to have ended the crisis.

“The difference was we tried to play with more depth and movement, spreading the play, and I think we did it well. There was less close passing and more pace.

“We have been playing this way for many years and when Marco Borriello or Pippo Inzaghi are fit, they provide the ideal centre-forward characteristics. Unfortunately they've not been fit recently so we had to find alternatives.

“Milan are an attacking side and will always take risks at the back. Our only real error tonight against a quality team was leaving ourselves exposed on what was our own corner kick.”

This result follows on from Thursday's 3-1 UEFA Cup victory over Zurich, so Ancelotti's job is once again safe.

“I don't know if the negative period is over and I say it isn't because we cannot be complacent. Everyone took on their own share of the responsibility without seeking a scapegoat.

“What Kaka said was probably right, as we all perhaps put too much faith in the great talent of this team and forgot that to play football you need organisation and hard work.

“Everyone was very aggressive and co-operated to ensure the squad worked at its best. There were definite improvements in defence because everyone else helped to win back the ball.

“It was a general attitude. Today the team was running and last week against Genoa they looked static. So it wasn't just a fitness issue, one has to run in an organised fashion, or you end up wasting energy.”

This victory was achieved without Andrea Pirlo - who is out for two months with a thigh strain - while Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko were on the bench.

“Pirlo is irreplaceable, so you have to play in a different way. In fact we put Gennaro Gattuso in his position and he has very different characteristics, but he did it brilliantly and was very precise, more so than when he plays out wide on the right.”

Kaka: We are a team again!
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka believes Milan have turned a corner simply by realising “we are not a bunch of individuals, but a united team.”

The Rossoneri were propping up the table after two straight defeats against Bologna and Genoa, but got back on track by thrashing Lazio 4-1 tonight.

“We discussed this week that we are not a bunch of individuals, but rather a united team and that is what we proved tonight,” said the Brazilian.

“There is a long way to go yet, but you can already see the improvements and this will be a good example for the future.”

It is Milan's second win in four days, as they also beat Zurich 3-1 at San Siro in the UEFA Cup on Thursday evening.

Kaka scored one of their four goals against Lazio along with Clarence Seedorf, Gianluca Zambrotta and Alexandre Pato, while substitute Ronaldinho hit the bar in stoppages.

“It's wonderful to play with my countrymen Pato and Ronaldinho, but even more so playing in a squad with such champions as Maldini, Ambrosini, Seedorf, etc.”

Gattuso spirit doesn't convince Jose
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani believes Milan would “do well to have Gennaro Gattuso’s determination,” but Jose Mourinho provokes another row.

Gattuso suffered multiple fractures to his hand and wrist when accidentally falling into the dug-out during an Italy training ground test at Gradisca d’Isonzo.

He was expected to be out for at least a month, but is already back in action with the aid of a protective cast for tonight’s encounter with Lazio.

“If everyone at Milan had his determination and character, then the whole club would be the better for it,” smiled general manager Galliani.

“I can tell you that Rino was meant to guest on a television programme this week, which also pays very well for appearances.

“He called the producers and told them he had to turn down the invitation because he was injured and needed to focus on recovery.”

However, Inter boss Mourinho has sparked further controversy by hinting that the state of Gattuso’s arm was greatly exaggerated.

“Dejan Stankovic can recover before the derby and should already be in the side on Wednesday against Lecce,” said the Coach.

“I like telling it like it is and giving out the correct predicted recovery times for players. Others prefer to suggest far longer lay-offs so it’s all wonderful and marvellous when someone manages to return ‘ahead’ of schedule.”

The Milan derby is next weekend and the verbal battle has already begun.

Kaka confesses to complacency
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka admits many of Milan’s current problems were self-imposed, but that they’ll turn it around against Lazio. “We thought we could make do on auto-pilot.”

This has been the Rossoneri’s worst start in 22 years after back to back defeats with Bologna and Genoa, although Thursday’s 3-1 UEFA Cup win over Zurich was a step in the right direction.

“We have to adjust a few things. This is what happened to Milan: we thought that we could just go out there, play and win on auto-pilot,” he told Il Giornale.

“That’s just not the case. In certain moments you need to suffer, make sacrifices and fight for results.

“We lost sight of our defects and consoled ourselves with our virtues. Now we must rediscover our identity by aiming for precise objectives.”

The arrival of Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko has forced a tactical reshuffle and Carlo Ancelotti has not yet settled on a system.

“I am ready to play as a support striker or trequartista, it is not a problem. I will only say that I don’t want to play with my back to goal, as that destroys all my characteristics,” continued Kaka.

“The squad is right behind Ancelotti, not out of habit but because we have faith in him. In a hundred other moments like this he always managed to get us out of that tunnel and lead us towards success.

“You can tell he is disappointed, but optimistic. Above all he is relaxed and never speaks out of turn.”

The Ballon d’Or winner has struggled more than most with fitness worries this summer, including a knee operation and fears more surgery would be required.

“It was such a difficult time and I had to make a tough decision. I had ignored my knee problem for too long and had to stop, so I missed out on the Olympics, the World Cup qualifiers and the Serie A opener.

“This is the first time I’ve really had to deal with a fitness issue and I certainly did not enjoy the new experience.”

Andrea Pirlo is out for at least two months with a thigh strain and Philippe Senderos is also sidelined by a toe injury on his left foot.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the Swiss international lied about the pain so that he could play against Zurich, but during the game it intensified and he had to be replaced.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Dida, Antonini, Bonera, Favalli, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Maldini, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Cardacio, Emerson, Flamini, Gattuso, Borriello, Kakà, Pato, Seedorf, Shevchenko, Ronaldinho, Viudez

Serie A: AC Milan 4:1 Lazio - match report
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Seedorf 8 (M), Zarate 25 (L), Zambrotta 35 (M), Pato 48 (M), Kaka 61 (M)

Milan are back in business as Clarence Seedorf, Gianluca Zambrotta, Alexandre Pato and Kaka screamers sank leaders Lazio 4-1.

Unusually, this was a clash between the top and bottom of the table, as the Rossoneri hadn't picked up a single point and Lazio had a 100 per cent record. Milan were boosted by Thursday's 3-1 UEFA Cup victory over Zurich and the return of Gennaro Gattuso ahead of schedule after fracturing his wrist. Andrea Pirlo, Alessandro Nesta and Philippe Senderos were injured, but Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko were surprisingly dropped. It was a special game for Cristian Brocchi, who returned to face his old club just weeks after the transfer.

In the opening 30 seconds Lazio had timid penalty appeals as Stefano Mauri went shoulder-to-shoulder with Gianluca Zambrotta.

Milan created a great chance five minutes in, with Alexandre Pato's backheel flick from Kaka's pass caught by Juan Pablo Carrizo.

It was a warning, as soon after they took the lead with a stroke of luck. Clarence Seedorf was trying to combine with Kaka, but it ricocheted off Cristian Ledesma's chest back into his path, so he did not hesitate to smash an unstoppable strike under the bar from 10 yards with the inside of his right foot.

Lazio went close to an equaliser, but Mauro Zarate got in the way of Goran Pandev. Christian Abbiati smothered a Mauri snapshot, but the Biancocelesti scored with a classic counter-attack.

It was a corner for the Rossoneri, but Lazio broke with pace and Pandev threaded through for Zarate to place a left-foot daisy-cutter past Abbiati at the near post. It was his fourth goal in just three Serie A games.

Moments later Pato went on a mazy run past two defenders to test Carrizo. Kaka did much the same on the left flank only to fire wide of the near post.

It was an unexpected hero who emerged for the home side, as Gianluca Zambrotta pulled a screamer out of nowhere. He was 35 metres away and seemed ready to cross, but instead unleashed an incredible right-foot strike into the far top corner! It was measured travelling at 103km/h.

Marco Borriello cut back for Kaka to blast over and before the break Kolarov's free kick was off target.

After the restart Zambrotta was sent totally clear into the box on Seedorf's pass only to place a cross-chip off target. The move continued and from the left flank Marek Jankulovski crossed for Pato's marvellous diving header from six yards.

Borriello was a makeshift defender who came flying in to take advantage of Ledesma's hesitation on the edge of the box. Mauri wanted a penalty when he tried to chest down the ball as Zambrotta accidentally tumbled into him, but the referee waved play on.

Milan were passing the ball around well now as Seedorf, Borriello and Kaka combined for the Brazilian's curler palmed round the post by Carrizo.

Kaka was spurred on by the Zambrotta wonder goal and decided to try it himself, as he smashed a fantastic curler from 25 metres into the far top corner. Carrizo wasn't expecting it and was just a step away from getting his fingertips to it, but the finish was still marvellous.

The San Siro was on its feet in anticipation as Ronaldinho replaced fellow Selecao star Pato for the final 20 minutes. Borriello sprung the offside trap on a Dinho ball over the defence - as he looked the other way - and saw his shot beaten away by Carrizo.

Massimo Ambrosini's unorthodox defending style caused a few concerns in the box, then on 76 minutes Zarate sent Pandev clear and brought a wonderful one-handed save out of Abbiati from point-blank range.

Kaka went on a counter from his own half and was eventually closed down by Kolarov for a corner.

Ronaldinho was unlucky not to get a fifth in stoppages, as his solo effort was deflected on to the crossbar off Sebastiano Siviglia! As the move continued, Borriello's header skimmed the upright.
Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Maldini, Kaladze, Jankulovski; Gattuso (Emerson 78), Ambrosini, Seedorf (Flamini 64); Kaka; Pato (Ronaldinho 71), Borriello

Lazio: Carrizo; Lichtsteiner, Siviglia, Rozenhal, Kolarov; Brocchi (De Silvestri 79), Ledesma, Matuzalem (Meghni 68); Mauri (Foggia 62); Zarate, Pandev

Ref: Rizzoli

Ancelotti imports Euro AC Milan
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti is confident Milan can recreate their UEFA Cup performance in Serie A against Lazio on Sunday.

The Rossoneri have had their worst domestic start in 22 years with two straight defeats against Bologna and Genoa, but impressed in a 3-1 victory over Zurich on Thursday.

“I would like to see the same Milan that played against Zurich – attentive, with the desire and spirit you need in these cases,” said the Coach.

“Lazio are in good shape and did very well in the opening two games. They have good players and the new faces immediately settled in.

“Juan Pablo Carrizo is a fine goalkeeper and Mauro Zarate is proving all his worth. Naturally, we know Cristian Brocchi well and will give him a warm welcome.”

The veteran midfielder left the Rossoneri for Lazio in the final days of the transfer window and sees San Siro again already.

“Obviously, after a few minutes of awkwardness at being back so soon, everything will go back to normal and we are all on that field to win.”

It was a front three of Kaka, Andriy Shevchenko and Alexandre Pato in that Zurich tie, although Marco Borriello made a good impression and scored despite being on the field for only 25 minutes.

“This has been the first time I have seen Ronaldinho train for an entire week. He increasingly gives me the idea of a generous player who works hard and is absorbing our working practices in a relaxed manner.”

Ancelotti has many choices at his disposal and can welcome back Gennaro Gattuso after suffering multiple fractures to an arm when falling into the dug-out, but Andrea Pirlo is out for two months with a thigh strain.

“Gattuso is ready to play 90 minutes because he has the protective cast that both prevents damage to his arm and ensures it cannot hurt opponents, as it is soft and will not cause problems in collisions.”

Milan outcast Alberto Gilardino failed to win over the fans or Coach, but after a few weeks at Fiorentina is already scoring for fun in Serie A and the Champions League.

“I am happy to see he is doing so well. There is some regret, because we could not find the best conditions for him to express himself,” said Ancelotti.

“Fiorentina may have tactical systems that favour him, but we had to think through our own approach very carefully and for the most part they worked for Pippo Inzaghi, who helped us win the Champions League.”

Rossi eager for San Siro test
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio top the table and could further compound Milan’s crisis this Sunday. “This’ll tell us what we’re really made of,” said Coach Delio Rossi.

The Biancocelesti are off to a wonderful start with two straight Serie A victories over Cagliari and Sampdoria.

They travel to a Milan side without a single point so far and aim to end the San Siro taboo, as Lazio have not won here since a 1-0 result on September 3, 1989.

“On Sunday night we will be facing a Rossoneri squad with pride and quality, who have not hidden their objective of winning the Scudetto,” said Rossi.

“We must live this season one day at a time. This is going to be a very useful test to understand how our development is progressing and what we are really made of.”

Rossi was on the verge of being fired last term after Lazio failed to qualify for the UEFA Cup, but he remained on the bench and the team has been completely reinvigorated.

“We must go to San Siro with humility and courage. Are we aiming for a Champions League place? We are living this season one day at a time.”

Some of that is down to the arrival of summer signing Mauro Zarate, who has scored three goals in two games.

“He is a very young lad and was coming to us from a different style of football, but he showed character and proved he was ready when called upon.”

Pirlo problem is serious, admit AC Milan
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The injury to Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo is more serious than expected, a statement from the Rossoneri has announced.

Pirlo's injury, which he sustained in training three days ago, has been a big blow to under-fire tactician Carlo Ancelotti.

The Diavolo website has confirmed that Pirlo has: “a complete muscular tear of the second degree in his right thigh.”

Ancelotti had been resigned to doing without the Azzurri ace for around a month, but now it seems he will be sidelined for longer.

Milan have suggested an estimated recovery time of between 45 and 60 days, which will leave Carletto hoping for Gennaro Gattuso to regain match fitness quickly.

Gattuso is expected to start the game against Lazio on Sunday, while Seedorf or Flamini will cover the middle of the park with Kaka and Ronaldinho behind Marco Borriello.

Shevchenko: I'm getting there
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko believes he's on the way back to his best after his contribution against FC Zurich.

Sheva was a Rossoneri hero between 1999 and 2006 when he fired 127 goals in 208 games.

After a miserable spell at Chelsea, the Ukrainian international is back at San Siro and he played 73 minutes of the Diavolo's UEFA Cup victory over Zurich last night.

“It was the first game I have felt good in for such a long time,” Sheva declared.

“I feel like I am on the right track, but I'm aware that I still have a lot of work to do.

“We played well against Zurich. We were aggressive and the work we did over the last few days helped us a lot.

“Now it will be important for us to win against Lazio on Sunday so that we don't fall further behind in the championship.

“It will be a tough game but we are looking to get some results for our efforts.”

Sheva is likely to start on the bench against the Aquile with Kaka playing behind Marco Borriello and Alexandre Pato.

Carletto sees UEFA springboard
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti breathed a sigh of relief as his struggling Milan side beat FC Zurich last night, but he admits there's work to be done.

After a terrible start to the Serie A season, Ancelotti knew he could afford nothing less than victory in the Rossoneri's first UEFA Cup clash.

Swiss side Zurich, who put Empoli out of the competition last term, pushed the Diavolo in the first half and had a goal controversially ruled out for offside.

And Milan took advantage and ran out 3-1 victors after taking the lead on the stroke of half-time through Marek Jankulovski's deflected effort.

“We were better than we have been, but we need to make lots more steps forward,” Ancelotti told Milan's website.

“It's important that we maintain this attitude and spirit that allowed us to beat Zurich.

“We managed to create more chances because we recovered the ball and moved better from the back.

“One of the positive aspects of the game was that we managed to get the strikers going in on goal.”

There was a modest but passionate crowd at San Siro to cheer their side on in Europe's second competition.

“It is a different kind of European experience,” Carletto said.

“But the affection of our fans who came to support us in spite of our problems was important and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

“We want to show the same mentality against Lazio this weekend - it will be a tough game but it's the perfect chance to get back on track.”

Brocchi's sentimental over San Siro
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio midfielder Cristian Brocchi admits it will be an emotional occasion when he plays former side Milan on Sunday.

The 32-year-old was a product of Milan's youth system and had three spells with the Rossoneri.

Brocchi only completed his £2.5m switch to Lazio on August 28 and still has an attachment to his former employers.

“I was a Milan player 20 days ago and now I will be playing against them for Lazio - of course that has a certain effect on me,” he said.

“It will be a crucial game for the Diavolo and we will have a hard time against such great champions.

“Of course I would have been happier had they beaten Bologna and Genoa, but I am a Lazio player now.

“I was valued by everyone at Milan but I made the decision to seek a fresh challenge and a new experience.

“I have two or three more years at the top and my objective is to prove my worth at Lazio.”

UEFA Cup: AC Milan 3 - 1 FC Zurich - match report
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Jankulovski 45 (M), Pato 56 (M), Borriello 73 (M), Djuric 78 (Z)

Milan didn't always convince but they eased the strain on Carlo Ancelotti with a crucial 3-1 win over FC Zurich at San Siro.

The pressure on Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti was intense after the Rossoneri's dismal start to the Serie A season.

Defeats against Bologna and Genoa had left the Diavolo in crisis and in dire need of a winning start to their European campaign against the side that dumped Empoli out of the competition last year.

Nelson Dida returned between the posts in place of Christian Abbiati, while Gianluca Zambrotta was rested.

Gennaro Gattuso recovered from a fractured wrist to sit on the bench, while Andrea Pirlo, Pippo Inzaghi and Alessandro Nesta were sidelined.

Kaka was fielded behind Marco Borriello, who was preferred to Andriy Shevchenko, and Alexandre Pato.

Milan were fired up and they poured forward from the first whistle with the goalkeeper getting to a through ball just ahead of Shevchenko.

Kaka won a corner and Zurich struggled to hook the ball clear but eventually saw off the danger.

Dida was back in the Rossoneri goal and he caught a cross with authority before Marek Jankulovksi forced a corner at the other end.

Kakha Kaladze reached the ball first from the corner kick but his effort was blocked by the 'keeper.

Ancelotti's men were making all the running and couldn't be faulted for effort but they struggled to find the breakthrough as the game reached the half-hour mark.

Milan were handed a huge let-off in the 36th minute as Stahel netted only to see his headed effort disallowed for a highly debatable offside decision.

The Diavolo were under pressure but they struck right at the end of the first half half when Shevchenko's shot was pushed out to Jankulovski, who tucked the rebound away via a defender.

After a tough half, Milan were slightly fortunate to be ahead but they should've been 2-0 up immediately in the second period when Ambrosini misfired from close range after Kaka's run.

The home side were looking more confident but Zurich so nearly levelled when Alphonse hit the post with a header from a free-kick with Dida floundering.

And Milan made the Swiss side pay when Pato blasted home from a free-kick move from 25 yards out to make it 2-0.

The young Brazilian left the pitch to a warm ovation 10 minutes later to be replaced by Borriello.

The ex-Genoa man was determined to make an impression but he saw his hopeful appeals for a penalty waved away.

But Borriello did strike when Shevchenko dribbled to the by-line and cut the ball back for the Neapolitan marksman to fire home for 3-0. Ronaldinho then entered to replace Sheva as the celebrations ended.

Just as the home fans started to relax, Zurich grabbed an away goal with a spectacular strike from Djuric from distance. It was a rocket that beat Dida to his left and bulged the net.

Zurich tried to reduce their arrears still further and came forward in numbers, but it was Milan who nearly scored when Kaka and Jankulovski linked up and a whipped ball was headed towards goal by Seedorf. Only a miraculous save frokm Leoni denied the Dutchman.
Milan: Dida; Antonini, Bonera, Kaladze, Jankulovski; Ambrosini (Emerson 67), Flamini, Seedorf; Kaka, Shevchenko (Ronaldinho 73), Pato (Borriello 65)

FC Zurich: Leoni; Stahel, Tihinen, Barmettler, Stuckl; Djuric, Aegerter, Okonkwo, Alphonse; Abdi (Mehmedi 87), Hassli (Nicki 76)

Ref: Gonzalez (Spa)

Serie A: Genoa 2:0 AC Milan - match report
14.9 || webmaster

Scorers: Sculli 30 (G), Milito pen 90 (G)

Diego Milito scored on his comeback to Genoa, but Milan suffer a second consecutive defeat that piles pressure on Carlo Ancelotti.

Talk of Ancelotti's dismissal was in the air after the disastrous 2-1 home defeat to Bologna and midweek 2-0 friendly loss with Swiss outfit Lugano. He needed time to make the new-look team gel, but it was something he could not afford.

With Pippo Inzaghi, Gennaro Gattuso and Alessandro Nesta sidelined, he at least welcomed back Kaka from a recurring knee problem to form a Ballon d'Or winning trident with Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko. Former Genoa hero Marco Borriello was on the bench. The Rossoblu also lost their opening game, but gave returning legend Diego Milito his 'debut' three years after he moved to Real Zaragoza.

Milan supporters were banned from travelling to Marassi due to the intense rivalry and bloody history between the clubs following the death of Genoa fan Vincenzo Spagnolo in the 1990s. The Grifone hadn't won this match since 1983-84, followed by seven draws and a defeat.

Ronaldinho had an opportunity in the first minute, but Genoa slowly started to increase the pressure with Christian Abbiati smothering a long-range Andrea Gasbarroni effort.

Kaka went on a counter from his own penalty area, but Giuseppe Biava did enough to steer him wide and he eventually fired off target. Andrea Pirlo tried from distance and Ronaldinho's ambitious free kick missed the near post.

Instead, Genoa took the lea with a well-worked move. Milito brilliantly chested a Gasbarroni cross into the path of Giuseppe Sculli, who placed an angled drive past Abbiati.

Like in Week 1, the Rossoneri went behind despite seeing a lot of the ball. Mathieu Flamini and Kaka tried to fight back immediately with long-range shots.

The goal boosted Genoa's confidence and they began passing it around beautifully at great speed. Abbiati smothered a Milito angled drive.

Carlo Ancelotti caused shockwaves when he dropped the two big summer signings, as Sheva and Ronaldinho - who had been on international duty this week - made way for former Genoa hero Borriello and Clarence Seedorf.

Almost immediately Borriello had a spin charged down by Matteo Ferrari, but there was a scare as Abbiati had to fly to fingertip a cross off the head of Milito from six yards.

On 57 minutes Kaka was furious when he was booked for simulation as he tried to shrug off Giuseppe Biava in the box. He seemed to lose his footing, so it was a fairly harsh decision.

Abbiati had his palms stung by another Sculli counter-attack created by Gasbarroni's through ball with Giuseppe Favalli left stranded. At the other end Borriello sprung the offside trap to test his former teammate Rubinho.

Gasbarroni was sent clear and Gianluca Zambrotta nodded his chipped cross off the head of Milito to prevent a certain goal.

Alexandre Pato came on for a 4-2-3-1 system and his header was immediately off target. Kaka and Gasbarroni had efforts charged down, but Milan had a great chance to equalise on 83 minutes. Pato pounced on a lucky ricochet to bring a tough point-blank save out of Rubinho and Borriello's overhead kick turned the loose ball wide.

Massimo Ambrosini had been able to score against Bologna, but his turn in the box hit the side-netting, then Rubinho caught a Zambrotta piledriver. Milan were pouring forward, but it left space at the back where Antony Vanden Borre's counter was palmed away by Abbiati.

In the final minute the Rossoneri's ambitions were crushed as Paolo Maldini tripped Milito in the box. El Principe stepped up to take the penalty on his Serie A comeback after three years in Spain and blasted it into the roof of the net.
Genoa: Rubinho; Biava, Ferrari, Criscito; Mesto (Rossi 46), Milanetto, Juric (Vanden Borre 66), Modesto; Sculli; Milito, Gasbarroni (Palladino 85)

Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Bonera, Maldini, Favalli; Flamini (Pato 68), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Ronaldinho (Seedorf 46); Schevchenko (Borriello 46), Kaka

Ref: Rocchi

Ancelotti: I can fix this
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti insists Milan “can fix things and we will” despite propping up the table with Cagliari after two straight defeats.

The Coach is under fire following a string of poor results in summer friendlies and Serie A matches, culminating in today’s 2-0 loss at Genoa.

“Looking at the table, there is precious little to be optimistic about,” confessed Ancelotti, as only Cagliari have done as badly so far this season.

“We have time to fix things and I am certain that we will. This is my Milan. I have nothing to clarify with the President or general manager, as the club is very close to me and is eager to be as reassuring as possible. I carry on along my path and am not interested in what is written in the newspapers.”

This is his eighth season at the helm and whispers of a dismissal to make way for Roberto Donadoni or Frank Rijkaard are starting to irritate Ancelotti in the Press room.

“If you know something more than I do, then please go ahead and tell me. At Milan we are not accustomed to seeking out scapegoats.

“Instead we analyse our own situation and seek solutions. Will we manage it? I say we will.”

The 2-0 defeat to Genoa again highlighted problems in defence and the difficulty of balancing a side with Kaka, Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko.

“There were two games today. In the first half we struggled a great deal, but after the break we pushed a lot more. Our fitness levels aren’t great and so we are not as sharp as we should be, but remember we haven’t had much time to work together as a squad.

“Now we can work to resolve these issues with international duty and injuries out of the way. We need to fit the players together better and we have the time to do that.”

Ancelotti raised eyebrows when he substituted both Sheva and Ronaldinho at half-time at Marassi, fuelling reports they were signed only on the orders of the President.

“I asked to sign Ronaldinho and this is my Milan,” he insisted.

The mood in the Grifone camp was obviously very different, as Gian Piero Gasperini praised his squad.

“Aside from the result, it was a very good performance,” said the tactician. “It was a difficult game for us, because Milan arrived with all their stars and were so eager to make up for the defeats to Bologna and Lugano.

“Diego Milito has added extraordinary quality to the side, even if he’s not 100 per cent fit. Andrea Gasbarroni often performs at this level and should be considered for the Italy squad.”

While the media rushes to lambast sorry Milan, Gasperini insists it wasn’t all their fault.

“Today Milan lost against a team that would’ve troubled many top sides. They tried hard, but we were in great shape and never wasted a ball.”

Galliani issues Ancelotti warning
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

General Manager Adriano Galliani sent a stark warning to Carlo Ancelotti. “He doesn’t risk the sack, but he’d better stop losing.”

The comments were made before the final whistle of this afternoon’s 2-0 defeat at Genoa, which left Milan propping up the table on zero points alongside Cagliari.

“Ancelotti is starting his eighth campaign with Milan and I think few tacticians can boast such a long run at a single club,” said Galliani.

“Ancelotti does not run any risk, even if we lost today, but he would do well to stop losing. This isn’t an issue with the Coach, it is a problem that we have played eight games since the end of July and lost seven of them. This just won’t do.

“The Coach running a risk is not what is up for debate here, but undoubtedly Milan’s performances right now are insufficient. That doesn’t mean I want to change the Coach, but it is the job of a director to give his technical staff some guidance.”

Ancelotti might’ve infuriated President Silvio Berlusconi and general manager Galliani today when he substituted summer signings Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko at half-time.

There are also concerns over the performance of some of the old guard who may be getting complacent.

“I don’t think so. There are examples of Coaches who remain at the same side for a long time, such as Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger in England. That is what we’re trying to follow.

“I repeat, Ancelotti does not risk the sack, but he’d better stop losing.”

Ancelotti sees the light
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Under-fire Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti assures he’s used to this level of pressure by now and that the team’s revival is at hand.

Talk of Roberto Donadoni or Frank Rijkaard taking over has been circulating since the 2-1 home loss to Bologna and 2-0 friendly defeat to Lugano this week.

“I am the Coach of an important club and know I must make the team competitive. I’ve been here for six years and every time the same issues come up,” he said in a Press conference.

“I did not react, I just smiled, the same way I always have done. I remember the 2002 Champions League semi-final or the game against Bayern Munich when Marcello Lippi was supposedly standing at the door…”

Ancelotti said after the Bologna defeat that he felt “optimistic” about the season ahead and maintains that approach.

“This is a completely renovated Milan side. We need time to give the side a precise identity compared to what we saw in the friendlies. Tomorrow is an important opportunity to get back on track.

“This team will do well, but it has to do so immediately, even if we have very little time to prepare. The packed fixture list is coming up and attitude makes all the difference in official games.”

Once again he has been forced to train without many stars due to international duty and dives right back into the action against Genoa on Sunday afternoon.

“We can only talk about this as a team when we have all the players at our disposal. We had too many problems to train properly, although having said that those who did train this week could certainly have done better.

“I am aware this is my job and I have to create a competitive squad. I am optimistic, because I know this side will get back to being competitive.”

Kaka is in the squad for the first time this season after a recurring knee ligament inflammation, but Gennaro Gattuso, Pippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Nesta and Viudez are sidelined.

“Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko, just like all the internationals, could plausibly play 90 minutes, but that isn’t certain.

“Sheva has only had three training sessions with us. He’s very motivated and passionately wanted this return, so he is experiencing it with enthusiasm and conviction. He is a different Shevchenko to the one that left for Chelsea two years ago.”

Milan squad: Abbiati, Dida, Kalac; Antonini, Bonera, Favalli, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Maldini, Senderos, Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Cardacio, Emerson, Flamini, Pirlo; Borriello, Kaka, Pato, Seedorf, Shevchenko, Ronaldinho.

Ambrosini slams Lippi snub
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini admits he was upset that Marcello Lippi froze him out of the Azzurri squad. “I do not agree with his decision.”

The Milan midfielder had become a regular under Roberto Donadoni, but even after Gennaro Gattuso’s injury Lippi opted to call Antonio Nocerino instead.

“He has decided to focus on other players instead and I was upset,” he told Tuttosport.

“I was made to believe I would get back into the side, but Lippi has been clear. You don’t always agree with a Coach’s decisions, but they must be respected.”

Ambrosini must instead focus on reviving Milan’s campaign after a series of disastrous results, including a 2-1 Serie A home defeat to Bologna and 2-0 friendly loss to Swiss outfit Lugano this week.

“We have gone all round Europe giving a bad impression of what Milan are about,” confessed the midfielder.

“We are the first to be annoyed about this, but there is not a general sense of doom. Above all, we are all 100 per cent behind our Coach.

“We paid a heavy price for the absence of several players and a new project such as ours needs to be tested out in training. We were simply unable to do that.”

Ronaldinho on Marassi mission
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho has returned to Milan after playing for Brazil against Bolivia and hopes to play alongside Kaka against Genoa on Sunday.

The pressure is on the Diavolo to bounce back from their Week 1 humiliation against Bologna with a win over the Grifone.

And it has been an especially tough time for Dinho, who was part of the Brazil side that were booed by fans following a mid-week stalemate with lowly Bolivia.

Ronaldinho has flown back to the peninsula and is hoping to feature on Sunday with Kaka possibly fit to start.

“Will I be ready to play on Sunday? I will have to talk to Carlo Ancelotti and I will do so right away so that we can see if I can make it,” the ex-PSG man told Sky Sport 24.

“Obviously I want to play as soon as possible alongside Kaka and I'm hoping that we can do something special together.”

Dinho is aware that his club and country are going through tough times, but he is hopeful for the future.

“Both Milan and Brazil have problems but the Rossoneri have lots of games to go and the Selecao are still amongst the top sides in their Group.

“I have great faith that things will improve for my club and my country.”

AC Milan trio on road to recovery
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Milan medical team have given an update on the condition of injured stars Pippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Nesta and Gennaro Gattuso.

Inzaghi picked up an injury during the Rossoneri's friendly defeat against Lugano on Wednesday.

The veteran hitman limped off after just 17 minutes with a muscular problem, which has now been diagnosed as a first-degree muscle tear.

“Inzaghi is healing and we are evaluating his progress on a day-to-day basis,” Milan medic Massimo Menara revealed.

Menara also gave the latest on former Azzurri defender Nesta, who is yet to feature this term.

“Nesta is progressing but he isn't ready to return yet,” he stressed. “We are hoping that he will be able to return in the middle of October.”

Gattuso suffered a freak fracture in his wrist after falling into the dug-out during a friendly game with the Azzurri.

“Rino is recovering well,” Menara insisted. “He is undergoing a course of physiotherapy and he started running again today.”

Donadoni hovers as Carletto struggles
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti's position on the Milan bench looks increasingly unsafe as rumours circulate that Roberto Donadoni is ready to step in.

The Rossoneri made a miserable start to the season with a shock defeat at home to Bologna on the opening day.

To make matters worse, the new-look Milan also lost to Lugano in a friendly and turned in a performance that left Carletto fuming.

After a crisis meeting between Ancelotti and Vice-President Adriano Galliani, La Gazzetta dello Sport believes there is an air of tension and uncertainty.

In the event of defeat against Genoa this weekend, Ancelotti could be relieved of his duties.

Former Italy boss Donadoni pulled out of the running for the West Ham job and there are rumours that the ex-Milan midfielder did so in order to chase his dream job at San Siro.

However, ex-Barcelona tactician Frank Rijkaard, who wore the Rossoneri shirt between 1998 and 1993, is believed to be Milan's first choice.

Modesto respects misfiring AC Milan
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa wide man Francesco Modesto isn't underestimating the task of facing Milan on Sunday and insists the Rossoneri aren't in crisis.

The highly rated 26-year-old joined the Grifone from Reggina in the summer after over 100 outings for the Calabrians.

Genoa started their season with a disappointing defeat against Catania and will look to erase the memory against Milan, who were humbled by Bologna and lost a friendly to Lugano yesterday.

“I really don't think that Milan are a side in crisis,” Modesto told Radio Kiss Kiss.

“Despite their defeats against Bologna and Lugano I really don't think that they are struggling.

“The Diavolo have the players who don't accept defeat and they will arrive here looking for the win.

“Obviously we will give everything to get a result and we are preparing the best we can so that we can limit the importance of Milan's individuals.”

Modesto concluded by welcoming Argentine hitman Diego Milito who has returned to the club looking to recreate his prolific 2004-05 campaign.

“He is an important striker who has already shown his value and can give us a hand in reaching our targets,” he stated enthusiastically.

Kaka back, AC Milan AWOL
11.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka and Philippe Senderos were in action this evening, but Milan still lose their friendly against Swiss side Lugano and Pippo Inzaghi to injury.

The Brazilian was the centre of attention, as it was his comeback from a recurring knee ligament injury, though he only played the second 45 minutes and almost scored from distance.

As one forward returns to fitness, another is sidelined, as Inzaghi limped off after 17 minutes with a muscular problem.

Former Arsenal defender Senderos made his first appearance in a Rossoneri jersey in the centre alongside Paolo Maldini, while Emerson and Alexandre Pato also returned.

However, the team looked tired and went 1-0 down to Rennella's long-range strike after 53 minutes. Goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac kept the scoreline down until stoppages when Laborde secured Lugano's 2-0 victory.

Considering the poor form of the Milan forwards and news that Andriy Shevchenko scored for Ukraine in today's World Cup qualifier, it is likely the former Chelsea man will start against Genoa.

Milan: Abbiati (Kalac 46); Bonera, Senderos (Pasini 46), Maldini (Favalli 46), Antonini; Cardacio, Emerson, Ambrosini; Seedorf; Inzaghi (Angelilli 17) (Kaka 46), Pato

Nesta misses UEFA cut
2.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta has been left out of Milan's squad for the first two stages of the UEFA Cup.

The former Azzurri defender has struggled with injury over the summer but is nearing recovery from a back problem.

However, Coach Carlo Ancelotti has decided only to use Nesta in Serie A once he is fully recovered as he doesn't feel he can stand up to the strains of mid-week fixtures.

Nesta has been left out of the initial 25-man squad for the first round and the Group stage if the Rossoneri see off FC Zurich.

The ex-Lazio man is currently undergoing a course of physiotherapy but hopes to be back in action by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Kaka, Philippe Senderos and Marco Borriello are healing well and are likely to feature in a friendly against Lugano tomorrow.

Milan (squad): Dida, Abbiati, Kalac; Maldini, Kaladze, Zambrotta, Jankulovski, Favalli, Senderos, Bonera, Darmian, Pasini, Antonini, Emerson, Gattuso, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Flamini; Pato, Inzaghi, Seedorf, Borriello, Kaka, Shevchenko, Ronaldinho

Ancelotti: I'm optimistic
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti remains “optimistic” despite Milan’s shock home defeat to Bologna, as he needs time to settle in the new stars.

Much was expected of the Rossoneri in their Serie A opener this afternoon, but they fell 2-1 to newly promoted Bologna despite unveiling Ronaldinho, Andriy Shevchenko, Gianluca Zambrotta and Mathieu Flamini.

“It was a bit of a strange game, but I think there have been quite a few surprise results at the start of the season when the teams aren’t entirely up to speed,” mused the Coach.

“I don’t think the side played badly or was lacking in any area. We attacked for 90 minutes and were punished by the only two chances Bologna created.

“Clearly we still need to settle the new players in and try out the tactics. The impression I got is that this team can do great things.”

The second half performance did light up San Siro with Ronaldinho churning out assists in a Roma-style 4-2-3-1 system with the Brazilian, Clarence Seedorf and Shevchenko supporting Pippo Inzaghi.

However, the usual problems suffered by Milan last season remained – failure to convert opportunities and weaknesses in defence allowing counter-attacks.

“We had an excellent start to the second half. I remain optimistic and there’s no need to laugh at me for saying that,” continued Ancelotti.

“The 4-2-3-1 is a system we need to work on, but have to improve the defensive movement so we can play games in the opposition half. We weren’t very lucky either, as Bologna’s second goal really knocked the wind out of our sails.

“Considering Shevchenko hasn’t really played in two years, he too will need a little time to get back into shape.”

Bologna were understandably overjoyed to make such a mark on their return to Serie A after three years. Curiously, their last visit to San Siro also ended in a win, 1-0 in January 2005.

“We played an extraordinary match,” grinned President Alfredo Cazzola, who is stepping down for new owners next week.

“I compliment all our players and the Coach. We worked very hard and scored two great goals. It went better than expected and we’re still stunned by this win. Considering it’s my last match as President, I could have asked for no better goodbye.”

Cazzola revealed the likely candidate to replace him at the helm is Francesca Menarini, who would become the second female President in Serie A history.

Roma chief Rosella Sensi was appointed this week to replace her father, Franco Sensi, who died earlier in the month aged 82.

Shevchenko 'moved' by AC Milan welcome
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko has thanked the Milan fans for “a fantastic welcome that really moved me.”

The Ukrainian admitted he was afraid some would jeer his return two years after demanding a £30m move to Chelsea and that he would have to win back their faith.

“I really must thank the supporters for the fantastic welcome. It really moved me and I wish to thank them from the bottom of my heart,” said the striker.

He was hoping for a better ‘debut’ than a 2-1 home defeat to newly promoted Bologna, although he had a great chance on Ronaldinho’s assist.

“I honestly did not expect this type of match. Milan created so many chances and played well. We had the opportunities to go in front.

“We will do better in the next round and I’ll score another time, as Francesco Antonioli did very well to deny me today.”

President Silvio Berlusconi was in the stands at San Siro for the unveiling of his new Galacticos squad and remained impressed despite the result.

“The President was happy with the type of football we played and said it can happen to lose a game,” revealed Shevchenko.

“Now we have to work hard to create the right balance. I’m sorry, but next time will be better.”

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