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The Archive

September 2009

Champions League AC Milan FC Zurich - match report
30.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Tihinen 10 (Z)

Leonardo risks the sack after a disastrous 1-0 home defeat to FC Zurich saw Milan jeered off the San Siro field.

The Rossoneri may be in crisis domestically, but won their first Champions League game 2-1 in Marseille and hoped to maintain their 100 per cent record. Pippo Inzaghi and Alexandre Pato had support from Clarence Seedorf, while Ronaldinho and Gianluca Zambrotta were pushed on to the bench. Zurich lost 5-2 with Real Madrid, but made few changes.

Ignazio Abate was picked for right-back and his cross-shot immediately caused problems for Johnny Leoni, a goalkeeper who committed a few howlers against Madrid. He bizarrely chose to kick it off the line with the inside of his left foot.

However, the Rossoneri confirmed their awful record from set plays and went behind 10 minutes in. A corner was curled to seven yards for captain Hannu Tihinen's spectacular backheel volley, but was also given acres of space by Kakha Kaladze. The Georgian was filling in at centre-back for the injured Thiago Silva.

Milan had a great chance to equalise when a Marek Jankulovski cross was placed to the back post where Inzaghi came sliding in at full stretch to toe-poke wide from five yards!

Zurich could rely on the counter and Kaladze needed an acrobatic clearance to prevent ex-Brescia man Johann Vonlanthen going clear on goal. Seedorf drilled over from a promising position, but on the counter Xavier Margairaz curled a good strike on to the roof of the net from the D.

Inzaghi nodded an Abate cross inches past the far post and Seedorf hit a snapshot just wide from 20 metres with Leoni rooted to the spot.

Alessandro Nesta had to sprint from behind to catch up and cut off Dusan Djuric as he was pulling the trigger from 10 yards, then in another move Djuric failed to get a decent first touch that would've sent him clear on goal.

Mathieu Flamini risked giving away a penalty for a nudge on Okonkwo and in first half stoppages it was Zurich who went closest, Marco Storari diving to his right to parry a Milan Gajic screamer. Naturally, Milan were jeered off the field.

Leonardo made two changes, introducing Ronaldinho and Gianluca Zambrotta for Seedorf and Flamini, moving Abate into a more advanced role. After the restart a wayward Massimo Ambrosini attempt fell into Inzaghi's path, but he prodded wide when one-on-one with Leoni.

The Zurich goalkeeper leapt to palm away a Ronaldinho free kick. A bullet Inzaghi header forced Leoni to fingertip the ball out from under the crossbar, then another Pato header went over the bar.

However, there was bad news when Nesta limped off to make way for Oguchi Onyewu. This meant they had none of their first choice centre-backs.

Leoni comfortably smothered a Pato effort, then the teenager sprung the offside trap on an inspired Ronaldinho sliderule pass to fire over as the goalkeeper came charging out.

Moments later there was another Rossoneri opportunity, as a cutback from the byline found Inzaghi's low drive and Leoni parried from point-blank range.

Zurich were still dangerous on the counter, as Storari needed an outstretched foot to deny Margairaz's left-foot angled drive.

Inzaghi ran into the box only for his first touch to let him down and the chance went begging, but Zurich were now sitting back in defence with Milan unable to raise the tempo or find space.

Ambrosini's daisy-cutter from the D whistled past the base of the upright and Inzaghi ballooned a corner over. In five minutes of stoppages, it was nearly 2-0 for Zurich as Okonkwo went on the counter and flashed an angled drive inches wide of the far post.

In the final kick of the game, Zambrotta hit a snapshot against the upright from the edge of the box, but it was too little, too late to save an embarrassing Milan.
Milan: Storari; Abate, Nesta (Onyewu 60), Kaladze, Jankulovski; Flamini (Zambrotta 46), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Seedorf (Ronaldinho 46); Pato, Inzaghi

Zurich: Leoni; Koch, Barmettler, Tihinen, Rochat (Stahel 80); Lampi; Okonkwo, Aegerter, Gajic; Margairaz; Vonlanthen (Nikci 76), Djuric (Alphonse 86)

Ref: Meyer (Ger)

Berlusconi denies 'disaster' story
30.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Silvio Berlusconi has denied calling Milan a 'disaster' and blamed the Italian Press for being all too eager to find sensational headlines.

This morning's La Gazzetta dello Sport carried a story by one of its journalists who approached Berlusconi some time during his birthday celebrations yesterday.

Believing the reporter to be a fan, Berlusconi answered his questions and is said to have called Milan a 'disaster' in between giving him a bear hug.

On finding out the man was a reporter, Berlusconi sought him out and clarified his statement, apparently saying: “When I said disaster, I meant to say it's a difficult moment, but football is like this, it'll pass.”

Speaking to Sky Tg24 this morning, Berlusconi rubbished the story and tried to big up Milan ahead of tonight's game against Zurich in the Champions League.

“[The team] isn't going through a positive phase, even if it is still No 1 in the world,” Berlusconi said before reflecting on the story in La Gazzetta.

“I was asked: “if it were a disaster”, and I said that these days aren't giving us much cause for satisfaction.

“As usual, the Press is doing its job and always looking for headlines,” Berlusconi explained.

The news is particularly embarrassing for Milan Coach Leonardo who is under pressure to deliver after a poor start to the season.

Milan currently lie 11th in Serie A and were booed of the pitch on Sunday after a 0-0 draw at home to newly promoted Bari.

Berlusconi calls AC Milan a disaster
30.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Silvio Berlusconi appears to have distanced himself from Leonardo by saying Milan are a disaster and that he is suffering together with the fans.

Milan have endured a poor start to the season and currently lie 11th in Serie A having already been destroyed by Inter in the derby.

Sunday's stalemate at home to newly promoted Bari was a new low and piles the pressure on Leonardo going into tonight's game against Zurich.

Famous for his gaffes, Berlusconi appeared to make another one yesterday when he mistook a reporter for a Milan fan.

Asked about the state of his team, Berlusconi replied: “It's a disaster. Milan make you suffer and they make me suffer.”

On being told the fan was actually a reporter from La Gazzetta dello Sport, Berlusconi tried to dig himself out of a hole, saying: “When I said disaster I meant to say it's a difficult moment, but football is like this, it'll pass.”

Yesterday Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani told journalists Leonardo's position was 'absolutely not' up for discussion.

Berlusconi's comments certainly haven't done anything to add credibility to that argument and with Luciano Spalletti free and available following his resignation from Roma, Leonardo's place on Milan's bench appears ever more insecure.

Zurich still respect AC Milan
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

FC Zurich Coach Bernard Challandes is not convinced by talk of a Milan crisis. “They are still a great squad.”

The Rossoneri are a shadow of their former selves at the moment, fortunate to manage a 0-0 home draw with Bari at the weekend.

“We can try to take advantage of their current difficulties, but Milan are still Milan. They are still a great squad,” said Challandes.

The Swiss outfit was defeated by Real Madrid in Matchday 1, but had caused the Spaniards quite a few problems.

Milan won their opener 2-1 away to Olympique Marseille thanks to a Pippo Inzaghi brace.

“We know that we can put in a great performance and are capable of facing down a world class team. We already did it with Real Madrid.

“Tomorrow will be a huge game for us. I know we are ‘only’ Zurich, but our objective is to get points and we dream of at least a draw at San Siro.”

Leonardo admits his future is in doubt
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo says that being sacked is part of a trainer's life so his position at Milan is never beyond discussion.

The charismatic Brazilian is under pressure after a poor start to the season, which grew worse on Sunday when Milan drew 0-0 at home to Bari.

Earlier today, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani responded to speculation surrounding Leonardo's future, saying his position is 'absolutely not' under threat.

Milan are back in action tomorrow night when they face Zurich in the Champions League.

“Up until now we have endured a season of highs and lows, and beating Zurich is important. They are different games faced in different ways with teams that play with different formations and objectives,” Leonardo explained.

“For us, it's very important… Zurich have great motivations playing at San Siro. It doesn't matter if they are sixth in the Swiss Super League. We have to think about ourselves. It's not easy after a lot of close games, but one thing is for sure and that is we can improve.

“We cannot always be here to mill over what we haven't done. A trainer is always in discussion. I have spoken with the team in order to find the right solutions.

“Rather than focusing on the training sessions, it's the discussions between us that count the most towards our improvement. With those discussions complete, we are now thinking about how we can play better in the next game rather than looking at what didn't work in the last.”

Leonardo then responded to those pundits who have criticised Milan for not running enough.

“To say that Milan don't run is not true. I don't believe that it's only a question of fitness. Rather I think we have a problem building the play and keeping the ball in attack.

“With this attacking formation we suffer on the flanks. The problem is not the attack, but stealing the ball higher up the pitch and staying in the opposition's half. You create chances like this,” Leonardo concluded.

Galliani has faith in Leonardo
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has given his support to Leonardo amid rumours he will be sacked after a poor start to the season.

The Brazilian is under fire after leading Milan to an underwhelming 0-0 draw at home to newly promoted Bari on Sunday.

Milan currently lie 11th in Serie A after the opening six games of the season.

Asked if Leonardo is at risk of being fired, Galliani replied: “Absolutely not. I heard the same things regarding Ancelotti after we lost the Champions League Final in Istanbul and then we won it all over again.

“I have my own vision of football; when we win, the club, the trainer and the players win and when we lose, we all lose together.

“All the games are potential turning points. The championship is made up of 38 games and each of them is worth three points. They are all important in the same way.”

Galliani then defended the decisions the club has made over the last year.

Milan fans were deeply upset that the club hardly invested any of the money received from the Kaka deal this summer.

“We have been here for 23 years, so we have the patience and the maturity to lead this club,” he said.

Milan are back in action tomorrow evening when they face Zurich in the Champions League.

AC Milan in talks for Mariga
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan chief talent scout Ariedo Braida has arrived in Parma to discuss the transfer of McDonald Mariga, the talented 22-year-old box-to-box midfielder.

Braida was in the stands at the Tardini on Sunday to watch Mariga play in Parma's 2-0 defeat to Cagliari.

Milan were linked with Mariga throughout the summer, but an offer never materialised presumably because all their attention was focused on signing a striker.

Mariga has made quite a name for himself since joining Parma from Swedish club Helsingborgs in 2008 following a successful spell on loan.

The Kenya international is renowned for his stamina and has attracted the attention of Manchester United, Arsenal and both Madrid clubs.

This explains Milan's decision to try and tie up a deal for Mariga well before the January transfer window officially opens.

Braida also wants to talk about the future of Alberto Paloschi, the 19-year-old Parma striker who is part-owned by Milan.

The Rossoneri view Paloschi as the heir to Pippo Inzaghi and would like to evaluate how much it would cost to buy 50 per cent of his contract back.

Paloschi has started the season in fine fashion, scoring two goals in six appearances for Parma this season.

Leonardo: 'We deserve your insults'
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo holds his hands up after a dismal 0-0 with Bari that saw Milan jeered off the pitch. “We deserve those insults.”

The Rossoneri have scored only three goals in Serie A this season and amassed eight points, just one more than tonight’s newly-promoted opponents.

“Bari played very, very well and we struggled a great deal,” confessed the Brazilian Coach.

“At the end of the day the jeers or applause is always deserved and we deserve those insults.”

Marco Storari’s heroics prevented the Galletti from grabbing a shock victory at San Siro, while Ronaldinho and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar were again disappointing.

“Bari based a lot of their play down the wings and did really well. At the end of the day we have to be happy with the work we did in defence, as we risked losing this game.

“It’s true that we find it very difficult to create scoring opportunities, so it’s only normal the fans want to see a positive result at San Siro.

“We had the motivation tonight, but just couldn’t seem to create chances.”

Milan’s next test is also in this stadium for Wednesday’s Champions League tie with FC Zurich.

Serie A: AC Milan 0:0 Bari - match report
27.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Only Marco Storari's heroics prevented an impressive Bari from beating Milan at San Siro in a 0-0 draw.

The pressure was piling on Leonardo after two defeats in the opening five rounds and a pitiful three goals scored. Mathieu Flamini sat out a ban, while Thiago Silva, Marco Borriello, Daniele Bonera and Christian Abbiati were injured. Bari lost their unbeaten record in a shock midweek home setback to Cagliari, but had already held Inter to a 1-1 at San Siro in the opening game. Alessandro Parisi, Mariano Donda, Lorenzo Sforzini and Riccardo Allegretti filled the treatment room.

Leonardo launched an all-new front line of Ronaldinho, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Clarence Seedorf. In the opening minutes Dinho failed to make the most of a defensive error, but Bari also forced a corner with their dangerous counter-attack.

The pace of the Galletti immediately posed a problem with Massimo Ambrosini booked for blatantly hauling back Paulo Vitor Barreto. Bonucci nodded the resulting free kick over.

Huntelaar got to the byline and intelligently cut the cross back for Seedorf to fire wide, but he claimed there should've been a corner for a deflection. Seedorf then combined brilliantly with Ronaldinho, exchanging several passes inside the area for the Dutchman's shot to be charged down.

Yet Bari had the best chances and most of the initiative, Gazzi firing over at the end of a well-worked move. Rivas should have put them in front on the half-hour mark when he burst between Kakha Kaladze and Ignazio Abate, rode a third tackle and blasted over from the edge of the box!

Moments later Marco Storari misjudged a backpass and Edgar Alvarez pounced, forcing Alessandro Nesta into a goalline clearance.

On 35 minutes Storari needed an absolutely stunning point-blank reaction save to deny Bonucci's header from a corner kick, as he acrobatically palmed it off the line.

Ronaldinho's cross was just too long for Huntelaar, Gennaro Gattuso fired over and Ranocchia cleverly intercepted a Pirlo through ball for Ambrosini. An audacious Alvarez lob whistled over just before the break.

After the restart Jean-Francois Gillet comfortably held a scuffed Ronaldinho attempt, but Kutuzov curled inches wide after good work from Alvarez and Donati.

Pirlo's long-range free kick dipped viciously and Gillet punched it into the path of Dinho, whose header clipped the crossbar.

Alexandre Pato replaced Seedorf, who had been suffering from stomach trouble, moving Ronaldinho into a trequartista position.

However, Storari again had to fly across his goal to slap a curling Rivas effort out from the far corner, then Donadel slipped as he pounced on the rebound and the chance went begging.

At the other end Gillet performed an even more impressive save. Pato sprinted down the right flank and cut back for a deflected Dinho rocket, which the Belgian goalkeeper palmed out from under the bar.

Rivas fired another one over after shaking off Gattuso's tackle, so Pippo Inzaghi replaced a disappointing Huntelaar. Storari grabbed another Alvarez angled drive at the end of a well-worked team move, then Barreto spread the play for another Salvatore Masiello shot that the goalkeeper caught with his fingertips.

Massimo Oddo replaced Ronaldinho for a 4-4-2, pushing Abate further forward. But Bari had another incredible opportunity when Barreto went on the counter and threaded through for substitute Riccardo Meggiorini, but the angled drive struck Storari's feet.

Moments later Inzaghi knocked down a cross and Abate hit it first time to force a low save out of Gillet.

Inzaghi's diving header from an Oddo cross earned a corner, which Gattuso blasted well over, while Gillet smothered a Pirlo angled drive.

Milan: Storari; Abate, Nesta, Kaladze, Zambrotta; Gattuso, Pirlo, Ambrosini; Seedorf (Pato 55); Ronaldinho (Oddo 70), Huntelaar (Inzaghi 64)

Bari: Gillet; A Masiello, Ranocchia, Bonucci, S Masiello; Rivas (Meggiorini 70), Donati, Gazzi, Alvarez; Kutuzov, Barreto (Langella 86)

Ref: Brighi

Pato tied to AC Milan until 2014
27.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan aim to reassure Chelsea target Alexandre Pato by extending his contract until 2014 and doubling his wages.

The teenage striker has been heavily linked with Stamford Bridge and a reunion with his former Coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Although the Rossoneri turned down all offers and stated he was not for sale, the rumours have persisted and his performances this season have been below par.

This weekend Vice-President Adriano Galliani confirmed in an interview with Milan Channel that the club had agreed to extend his contract until June 30 2014.

“I am happy to announce that Pato has renewed his contract with Milan for the next five years,” stated the transfer guru.

There are reports Pato’s wages will also be doubled.

‘The Duck’ made the move from Porto Alegre in the summer of 2007, but was only able to make his debut in January 2008 because he was still under age when signing the contract.

So far he has scored 29 goals in 68 official matches, but this season there have only been two.

Baresi believes in AC Milan
24.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Franco Baresi believes the Rossoneri have found the right combination but need to step up their level.

Il Diavolo was defeated in Udine in midweek but won their two previous clashes against Marseille and Bologna.

“I think they found the right strategy and it was really important to win in Champions League and then against Bologna,” said Baresi.

“Those scores boosted the team’s morale and now they just need to get the results regularly. It was a pity to suffer defeat against Udinese but they need to go through that and challenge both Juve and Inter.

“Milan will for sure be up there at the end of the season. But it’s early yet.”

Baresi also spoke about the Rossoneri back line and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

“Thiago Silva is doing well and with Alessandro Nesta they are forming a good partnership. They will be really good together.

“Playing up front is not easy, Huntelaar needs time. But he has to do much more and when the team gets better he will take advantage of it too.”

AC Milan to rekindle interest in Dzeko?
24.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Wolfsburg Coach Armin Veh says star striker Edin Dzeko has a price, giving Milan some food for thought ahead of the January transfer window.

The Bosnia international was Milan's No 1 transfer target this summer, but Wolfsburg had absolutely no intention of selling their prize asset.

Milan turned their attention to Luis Fabiano, but couldn't strike a deal with him either so they ended up settling on Klaas-Jan Huntelaar instead.

Dzeko is believed to have a minimum fee release clause worth around €20m in his current contract, which hasn't escaped the attention of Sevilla, who are also said to be lining up a bid.

Speaking about Sevilla's interest, Dzeko said: “That information hasn't arrived here. I think it's too early to talk about it. I don't know what to say if I get an offer from Spain.

“The new season has just begun and I am not thinking about what will happen in the winter.”

It is clear Veh has other ideas though.

“There is always a possibility that a player of Edin's class will attract interest from other teams. You have to be prepared for that as a team,” Veh told the Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung.

“Players such as Dzeko will not come in on the cheap though.”

Leonardo: 'AC Milan aren't in trouble'
23.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo is not downhearted despite the defeat at the Stadio Friuli, insisting “Milan deserved a draw tonight.”

The Rossoneri were beaten 1-0 by an Antonio Di Natale goal, their second loss in the opening five rounds.

“We got off to a strong start and then conceded a goal 20 minutes in, so it all became very difficult as Udinese were focusing on the counter,” said the Coach.

“In the second half we created chances, but unfortunately as is happening a lot to us, we had possession and couldn't finish off those opportunities.

“In any case, I certainly cannot say we weren't sharp or impressive. Milan deserved a draw tonight.”

They have only scored three goals in the opening five games, while Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato have been on particularly poor form.

“At the moment perhaps we are lacking a little something at the front. Pato is always marked very tightly and he has difficulty finding space,” added Leonardo.

“Ronaldinho did well, he sped up the pace of the team and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar also tried to do his job as a goal poacher.”

Serie A: Udinese 1:0 AC Milan - match report
23.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Di Natale 22 (U)

Antonio Di Natale's seventh goal of the season sent Milan tumbling to another defeat and Mathieu Flamini saw red.

The Rossoneri had won two on the trot against Olympique Marseille and Bologna, both since dropping Ronaldinho and bringing Clarence Seedorf into the side. Thiago Silva joined the injury list with Daniele Bonera, Marco Borriello, Davide Di Gennaro, Christian Abbiati and Massimo Ambrosini. Udinese had just one win from their opening four despite Antonio Di Natale grabbing six goals. Chris Obodo, Asamoah, Cristian Zapata and Damiano Ferronetti were out for the home side.

Seedorf drilled a fierce right-foot strike just past the top corner from over 20 metres, as Milan held most of the possession early on, but that pressure did not last long. Antonio Floro Flores tested Marco Storari from close range.

Udinese hit the back of the net, as Mauricio Isla came down the right flank, cut back past Massimo Oddo and hit the near post, but the ball ricocheted into the path of Antonio Di Natale for a seventh goal in five games.

Isla picked up an injury soon after and was stretchered off for Basta and on 33 minutes Milan had their best chance of the game so far, as Alessandro Nesta nodded a corner kick on to the crossbar with Samir Handanovic beaten.

Milan had possession, but Udinese created chances, such as when Storari flew to beat away a Gokhan Inler snapshot. The Rossoneri also threatened with Mathieu Flamini's daist-cutter from 35 metres.

After the restart Storari had to smother a Di Natale strike, then on 50 minutes Di Natale sprung the offside trap on a Floro Flores pass to go clear on goal, his shot cracking the outside of the upright with Storari beaten.

A weak long-range Andrea Pirlo effort was easy for Handanovic, so Leonardo introduced Ronaldinho and Ignazio Abate. Dinho's first job was to take a free kick for a foul on Pippo Inzaghi right on the edge of the penalty area, which was deflected out for a corner.

Abate hit the side-netting with a volley into the ground in a move created by Ronaldinho and Gianluca Zambrotta. Milan's best chance saw Seedorf pounce on a loose ball with the goalkeeper beaten, but it was bravely charged down by Maurizio Domizzi in the six-yard box.

It got worse for the Rossoneri when Flamini picked up two bookings in just over a minute of play.

Ronaldinho held off a Basta challenge inside the area to shoot from close range, but his angled drive was weak and parried by Handanovic.
Udinese: Handanovic; Isla (Basta 27), Coda, Domizzi, Lukovic; Inler, D'Agostino, Lodi (Sammarco 83); Pepe (Sanchez 77), Di Natale, Floro Flores

Milan: Storari; Oddo, Nesta, Kaladze, Zambrotta; Gattuso (Abate 59), Pirlo, Flamini; Seedorf; Inzaghi (Huntelaar 73), Pato (Ronaldinho 59)

Ref: Banti

Sent off: Flamini 84 (M)

AC Milan sign Krasic?
23.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports coming out of Russia suggest Milan have signed CSKA Moscow winger Milos Krasic for a fee of around £13.5m.

The Serbia international, who plays on the right side of midfield, has apparently been proposed a three year contract worth just over £2m a season.

If, as reported, Krasic joins the Rossoneri in January, he will become the fifth signing of the post-Kaka era after Oguchi Onyewu, Gianmarco Zigoni, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Flavio Roma.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed a very successful career with CSKA, winning the UEFA Cup, three Russian Premier League titles and a hat trick of Russian Cups.

He was also a member of the Serbia side that finished runners up at the European Under-21 Championship in 2007.

AC Milan line up Cahill bid
23.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It is claimed Bolton have slapped a £20m price-tag on Gary Cahill after Fabio Capello sparked interest from Milan and Juventus.

The Daily Mail makes the surprise claims that England manager Capello – a former boss at both clubs – advised them on Cahill’s qualities.

The 23-year-old was included in the Three Lions squad in June and attracted attention from Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham on home turf.

They were put off by a staggering £20m price-tag, which could be raised further if Milan and Juventus decide to make a play for the defender.

The Rossoneri are more likely to enter into the fray, as Leonardo has repeatedly called for new full-backs.

Massimo Oddo was originally set to be sold, but brought back into the line-up after Marek Jankulovski’s poor form.

With Kakha Kaladze and Giuseppe Favalli also on the verge of departing, a January push for Cahill is entirely possible.

AC Milan season ticket sales crash
23.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have sold just 25,984 season tickets this year, giving some indication of what the fans make of the club's ambition after a summer of austerity in the transfer market.

The number shows Milan have flogged just 63 per cent of the tickets they sold last year following Ronaldinho's arrival in Milan.

La Gazzetta dello Sport believes the figure measures the true impact of Milan's decision to sell Kaka to Real Madrid earlier this year.

The other big losers were Napoli who saw season ticket sales fall by 17.6 per cent despite a busy summer in the transfer market.

Fiorentina also recorded a decline of 24 per cent, losing nearly 5000 season ticket holders.

Meanwhile, Inter appear to have the most loyal fan base in Serie A.

The Italian champions have already equalled last year's total of 40,000 season tickets sold and are still selling them as we write.

Juventus have also seen a rise in sales, which is largely thanks to a transfer campaign in which they strengthened their team across the board.

The Bianconeri registered an increase of 5.4 per cent, which translates as just over a 1000 more fans at the Olimpico this season.

The team that saw the biggest increase is Bari, whose season ticket sales are up 52.2 per cent.

Galliani targets third spot
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has confessed that the Rossoneri will have to go from strength to strength to reach the top three.

The Diavolo have had a poor start to the season, but beat Bologna 1-0 at the weekend and will face Udinese in midweek.

“We will have to battle in Friuli,” noted Galliani. “It will be a tough game against a solid team, who do a lot of running and are tactically organised.

“If we stay focused, like we do in Europe, I think we can win the Scudetto.

“The Champions League is a different type of competition because there are teams who play open football,” he explained.

“But in Italy the small sides tend to close up and play very tight. One way or another we must finish in the top three and qualify for the Champions League.”

Before the Bologna game, Galliani played the Champions League music to inspire his men and the final result was positive.

“It was funny. I am not so silly as to think that a tune can make us win a game…” grinned the Milan official.

Music makes AC Milan win
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo has revealed how Adriano Galliani played the Champions League music to Milan's players before their match against Bologna in order to pump them up.

Galliani is a firm believer that Milan produce their best performances when playing in Europe and wanted to bring a piece of that into their domestic calendar.

It clearly had the desired effect as the Rossoneri recorded their first win in Serie A since the opening day of the season, beating Bologna 1-0 at San Siro.

“It's true, Galliani made us listen to the music in the dressing room. Luckily we have an atmosphere that allows us to do certain things,” Leonardo said.

“The Champions League and Serie A are two different things with very different opponents, but the important thing for us is to always maintain the same approach and the same concentration.”

Milan currently lie eighth in the table. They travel to Udinese on Wednesday before returning home for a match against Bari at the weekend.

Leonardo: Ronaldinho is not the issue
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo insists Milan's run of two straight wins was not down to the absence of Ronaldinho. “He will still give us a great deal.”

The Brazilian was dropped from the midweek 2-1 Champions League victory in Marseille and ruled out of today's 1-0 result against Bologna thanks to a cold.

His replacement, Clarence Seedorf, has had two assists and a decisive goal in these two encounters.

“There is no Ronaldinho situation,” assured Leonardo. “It was a complicated derby for him against Inter and that affected him a bit.

“He will still give us a great deal throughout the season and I have a good rapport with him. He was running a temperature on Thursday and, like [Gianluca] Zambrotta, trained today so he'll be available for Wednesday's game with Udinese.

“We are a squad and therefore need to rotate the line-up so we can all preserve energy for the long campaign ahead of us.”

Ronaldinho was in the stands to watch the 1-0 win at San Siro, which ends a run of one point from their previous two Serie A games.

“I asked for concentration and the lads provided that,” continued the Coach. “They did well on a psychological level to have patience.

“We had 70 per cent possession and just needed to find that way through. Alessandro Nesta was wonderful and [Kakha] Kaladze also impressed after a long lay-off.

“I really liked Massimo Oddo on the right side of midfield, it is an option we can try again in future.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:0 Bologna - match report
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Seedorf 75 (M)

Clarence Seedorf's smart strike gave Milan a much-needed victory against Bologna after his teammates hit the woodwork twice.

The Rossoneri had a confidence boost midweek when winning 2-1 away to Olympique Marseille, aiming to translate that verve into Serie A. Pippo Inzaghi bagged the brace, but was rested in favour of Klaas Jan Huntelaar, while Ronaldinho was sidelined by a cold. Daniele Bonera, Marco Borriello, Davide Di Gennaro and Christian Abbiati filled the treatment room, while Thiago Silva and Marek Jankulovski took a breather.

Last season Bologna won here 2-1 in the opening round, but had just two points so far and one goal scored. Vangelis Moras missed out through injury, but hitman Marco Di Vaio returned.

A splendid Huntelaar volley from Clarence Seedorf's headed assist skimmed the bar from a tight angle. Alexandre Pato wasted a good chance set up for him by Andrea Pirlo. Gennaro Gattuso horribly ballooned over with only the goalkeeper to beat, evidently unaccustomed to being in that position.

Miguel Britos had to intercept a wonderful Pirlo cross before Pato could get the free header from six yards. Just before the break Pato knocked down a Pirlo ball over the top for Huntelaar, but Daniele Portanova intervened.

Milan rained crosses into the box and Pato's effort was deflected out for a corner. Champions League hero Inzaghi replaced Huntelaar and Massimo Oddo came on for Gattuso.

Pato went closer than he had before with a daisy-cutter that beat Viviano, but thumped the base of the upright. Oddo had penalty appeals waved away for a tackle right on the line, as the referee did not stop play.

Viviano had his palms stung by a powerful Inzaghi strike following Marek Jankulovski's assist.

The deadlock was finally broken by Clarence Seedorf. He went down the left flank on the counter and looked ready to cross, but when he dribbled his way to the byline he put it across the face of goal with the inside of his right foot, beating Viviano at the near post. Bologna were furious, as they felt Seedorf had started the move by winning back the ball on the edge of his own box with a foul on Davide Bombardini.

Inzaghi came so close to 2-0 on 83 minutes, as he sprung the offside trap on a Pirlo through ball and was clear on goal, but his first shot was straight at Viviano and the follow-up on to the upright!

Bologna were still in it and Storari flew to push a Mingazzini blockbuster out of the top corner in the final minutes. From that corner, Portanova turned a free header inches wide.
Milan: Storari; Abate, Nesta, Kaladze, Favalli (Jankulovski 70); Gattuso (Oddo 61), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Seedorf; Pato, Huntelaar (Inzaghi 61)

Bologna: Viviano; Raggi, Portanova, Britos, Lanna; Zenoni, Mingazzini, Guana (Mutarelli 54), Valiani; Di Vaio (Osvaldo 64), Zalayeta (Bombardini 70)

Ref: Valeri

Berlusconi distances from Ronaldinho
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho is increasingly marginalised at Milan, as even President Silvio Berlusconi is toning down his praise for the Brazilian.

The patron had stated publicly on several occasions that Dinho would be the new leader of the squad following Kaka’s sale to Real Madrid.

However, in the last few days the former Barcelona man has been dropped for the Champions League trip to Marseille and is out of the Bologna game due to a cold.

“Ronaldinho is a resource for this squad, but it is not necessary to give a verdict on him after every game,” said Berlusconi.

“I understand he is a Ballon d’Or winner, but there is no need to constantly keep him under observation. In any case, I think when we talk about him, there are many things to keep in mind.

“I have a direct rapport with Ronaldinho and talk about everything, even though I don’t consider it opportune to discuss how late he gets in at night. I must concentrate on the aspects of Dinho the player.”

Much has been said about the Brazilian’s partying tendencies and there were even incidents when fans confronted him at a club by ordering him to go to bed early.

His lack of commitment and work ethic in training has increasingly been an issue and Milan are visibly tiring of this attitude.

This week Coach Leonardo also stated he was “not the Ronaldinho of three years ago,” while general manager Adriano Galliani noted he was “a player like all the others.”

There are even reports in Spanish newspapers this weekend that Ronaldinho is considering retirement at the age of 29.

Nesta claims he is reborn
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan centre-back Alessandro Nesta has spoken of his relief at finally putting his injury troubles behind him.

The 33-year-old hasn't played regularly since 2006 when he suffered a back problem that threatened to end his career.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Nesta said: “When they gave me up for dead, they actually brought me luck.

“I felt very bad away from the pitch. The worst moment I went through was when I suffered a setback in the winter of last year.

“I thought that I was finally in place and instead the relapse arrived. They got me anxious with this talk of an operation. It seemed a risk not worth having and for this reason I waited around for a long time.

“I don't have any regrets. The past is the past. Now I even have a little appreciation for the most bothersome things, like being in training camp. I have the desire to start afresh,” Nesta explained.

Asked about Milan's impressive showing against Marseille in the Champions League, Nesta replied: “They are games that we like and it's also wonderful to win like we did on the pitch of a strong team under the rain.”

The former Lazio talisman also revealed that he believes Milan can qualify from the group stages despite the presence of Real Madrid.

“When I saw the draw, I thought that we could do it. Games like those against Madrid are the most beautiful that a player can play. I am happy.”

Nesta then turned his attention to the new regime at Milan and gave his backing to Leonardo, the team's rookie trainer.

“He is getting used to his new role. It's something new even for him, but he has personality and this is important.”

Finally Nesta gave his prediction of where Milan will finish this season.

“In the championship we haven't started well and we can do better. We will do better,” he concluded.

Di Vaio ready for AC Milan
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Di Vaio thinks Bologna will find it 'easier' to play against Milan this weekend than in previous years.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the 33-year-old striker believes Sunday's match comes at the perfect time for his side.

Bologna have started the season poorly and are without a win in their opening three games.

Asked if the Rossoblu would be better off facing Milan later in the season, Di Vaio replied: “No, on the contrary. Paradoxically, it will be an easier job with respect to recent matches [against Milan] because we will have to adapt ourselves to the play of the opponent.

“Last year it went well. We won the first game and I got off the mark quickly.”

Di Vaio has suffered with a heel problem over the last few weeks, restricting him to just one appearance, but he insists that his troubles are now behind him.

“The heel no longer gives me any problems. I only need to re-find my match fitness. My return was difficult. I started without enough real games in my legs,” Di Vaio explained.

Later on in the interview, he revealed just how disappointed his team-mates felt after losing to Chievo at the weekend.

“There was a very constructive internal meeting in which everyone assumed their own responsibilities. We have watched the errors we committed all over again. Unfortunately they are the same as the year before. A couple of good games are not enough to make you forget a tough season.”

Asked if that meant there is tension in the dressing room, Di Vaio replied: “I would say disappointment for the defeat to a direct rival and above all for the fear, because the ghosts of the past re-emerged against Chievo. That is we aren't capable of making a game of it with a team of our level.”

Bologna currently lie sixteenth in Serie A just two points off the bottom.

Galliani worried about Italian football
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has expressed his concern at the form of Italian sides in the Europa League.

Teams from Austria and Switzerland beat Lazio and Roma while Genoa romped to a comfortable 2-0 win over Slavia Prague.

Italy are at risk of losing a fourth spot in the Champions League to Germany if its teams keep underperforming in Europe.

“We need to play not just for ourselves in Europe but also for Italian football. Luckily the German teams have also not done very well, but there is a serious risk that Italy could lose a place [in the Champions League] by continuously getting negative results.

“It is my intention to propose to the Lega Calcio that they make an economic contribution to those clubs who get points in the Europa League.

“It's useless to pretend nothing happened, putting your head in the sand like ostriches. This is a problem that has to be faced,” Galliani said.

He then turned his attention to speculation suggesting Leonardo will play Clarence Seedorf instead of Ronaldinho in this weekend's match against Bologna.

“I hope Ronaldinho gets back to the player he was two years ago. If the Coach considers it opportune he will play him on Sunday.”

Galliani then appeared to give his backing to Seedorf.

“This is not a novelty. If Seedorf plays well it is very probable that Milan will also have a great game.”

Inzaghi wary of Chelsea threat
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Beware of Chelsea in the Champions League – that’s the cry from Milan hotshot Filippo Inzaghi after Europe’s premier competition kicked off this week.

Although Super Pippo admits that reigning champions Barcelona will be hard to beat, he feels the London club will be contenders for the ultimate prize.

“Barcelona remain the favourites for me, but I think we’ll have to pay attention to Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea,” said the veteran.

Inzaghi knows Ancelotti well having been bossed by the tactician at both Juventus and Milan in the past.

The Rossoneri themselves opened their European account with a 2-1 win at Marseille thanks to a double from the Peter Pan of Calcio.

“It is a peculiar tournament,” added Inzaghi. “We won the first game, but we are now obliged to win the second before the two massive encounters against Real Madrid.

“It’s great for me to score for Milan in Europe though.

“It’s very satisfying because players like George Weah, Marco Van Basten and Andriy Shevchenko have played for this team. To be ahead of them is an honour.”

The San Siro giants were desperate for victory on Tuesday after a mixed start to the Serie A campaign at home.

“Milan shouldn’t start making plans for a project, we just need to live one day at a time and grow,” he urged.

“We started the season well [with a win at Siena], but then we lost badly in the derby [4-0 to Inter] and then didn’t play brilliantly at Livorno [0-0].

“We’ve now picked ourselves up again, but we need to be more consistent.”

Milan face Bologna at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Sunday.

Thiago Silva hails Milanese duo
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

New Milan signing Thiago Silva has singled out two of his teammates for praise after victory in Marseille on Tuesday.

The Rossoneri silenced their critics with a 2-1 victory in their Champions League opener and the Brazilian has hailed two-goal hero Pippo Inzaghi and goalkeeper Marco Storari.

“To play alongside someone like Inzaghi is very satisfying,” he told Milan Channel. “He is a great player, a great person, who is always ready when called upon.”

Scoring in Europe is nothing new for Super Pippo, but it’s a different matter for Storari who has limited experience at such a level.

But the former Messina man is proving his worth after the club lost Christan Abbiati to serious injury last term.

“Every great team needs a great goalkeeper,” continued Silva. “Storari has demonstrated that he has the ability and quality to play for Milan.

“He’s a great guy, I admire him a lot and he transmits strength on the field of play. Having a ‘keeper in form gives security to the defence and the whole team.”

Milan have had a sluggish start to the season after losing 4-0 to rivals Inter in the derby and being held 0-0 at the weekend by Livorno.

“I think the Velodrome game was our best since the season started,” commented the central defender.

“I’m very happy, not just for the victory, but for the way the whole team played. It was important to start the European campaign with a victory.”

Milan are next in action on Sunday when they host Bologna – a side who shocked them in Week 1 last term.

“It will be an important game, where we’ll have to look for a victory in the League again because we haven’t won since Siena on the first day of the season.”

Champions League: Olympique Marseille 1:2 AC Milan - match report
15.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Inzaghi 28, 75 (Mi), Heinze 49 (Ma)

Pippo Inzaghi confirmed his Champions League pedigree as his brace gave Milan a 2-1 victory in Marseille.

The Rossoneri have been struggling badly all season, so Coach Leonardo took drastic measures on his Champions League debut by benching Ronaldinho and summer signing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. He went with the experience of Pippo Inzaghi, Massimo Oddo, Clarence Seedorf and ex-Marseille midfielder Mathieu Flamini. Bakari Kone was out with a knee injury for the home side, while Gennaro Gattuso was recovering from an ankle problem.

These clubs met in the first ever Champions League Final in 1993, which saw the French side win 1-0, even though they were later stripped of their Ligue title the same season for match-fixing.

Milan had a good start, as a free kick took some deflections around the box until Kabore' needed a goalline clearance, a dangerous situation in the pouring rain.

Inzaghi's smart counter was threading through for Pato, but a brave defensive intervention intercepted to prevent a certain goal. Moments later Niang sprinted on to a long pass over the top and as Storari rushed out his lob was over the empty net.

Pato drilled wide on the counter from a very tricky angle, but a Niang angled drive took a deflection to skim the crossbar.

Milan took the lead 28 minutes in at the Velodrome with their veteran Inzaghi. Pato spun round between three defenders to pass it to Seedorf, who crossed for the unmarked Inzaghi to volley low at the back post. There were suspicions of offside, so it was a 'classic' SuperPippo style goal.

Pato had a good chance, but was leaning back and only scuffed the shot from nine yards on Oddo's splendid pass.

Inzaghi almost got a second, as the Thiago Silva free kick was curled in and missed his head by inched, prompting some panicked defending.

Niang curled over from the edge of the box after Oddo gave the ball away cheaply. In first half stoppages, Storari's palms were stung by a dangerous Cheyrou snapshot.

Gabriel Heinze equalised for Marseille after the restart, rising to nod in a Cheyrou free kick from seven yards. Once again, Milan struggle to defend against set plays and in this case it was Oddo who lost his man.

Lucho hit a powerful half-volley over the bar from distance, as Olympique were pouring forward. Gattuso came off the bench to replace Massimo Ambrosini, as the French outfit was now pouring forward and fired up by that equaliser.

Flamini was booked for a two-footed tackle and Lucho ballooned a Niang counter well over with his right foot. Inzaghi had penalty appeals for a Heinze push waved away as a corner was floated in.

Niang was a constant danger and his deflected pass found Lucho, effectively hitting his shin to go wide from seven yards.

Just as Milan were struggling, Inzaghi restored their lead in France. Andrea Pirlo took a free kick quickly and Seedorf placed a brilliant cross with the outside of his right foot for SuperPippo to get his toe in front of Diawara from six yards.

Niang turned a Cheyrou free kick past the near post, but Milan were furious when Mandanda appeared to handle outside the box. The referee waved play on, as the ball took an irregular bounce.
Olympique Marseille: Mandanda; Kaboré, Diawara, Heinze, Taiwo; Cissé (Morientes 88), Mbia, Cheyrou; Lucho (Ben Arfa 76); Brandao, Niang

Milan: Storari; Oddo, Thiago Silva, Nesta, Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Pirlo, Flamini; Seedorf (Abate 93); Pato, Inzaghi (Huntelaar 87)

Ref: Bo Larsen (Den)

Flamini suggests Marseille cure
15.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mathieu Flamini notes it is “truly a special match” against Olympique Marseille and believes it will do Milan good to get right back on the field.

“Things are not going the way we wanted them to,” said the midfielder on the official Marseille website.

“We drew against Livorno, but playing another big game straight away could help us wipe out the last few not entirely impressive performances.”

The Rossoneri were held to a goalless stalemate at Livorno on Saturday, which followed their 4-0 demolition at the hands of Inter.

Tonight they step in to the Stade Velodrome for the Champions League opener, a familiar setting for Flamini.

“I am happy to be back here and it is truly a special match for me. I spent many years in Marseille, this is a city that loves football and I hope the fans can watch a great game. We will give it our all.”

It has been confirmed that Milan will play in their all-white away kit, while Marseille have an all-black outfit.

Galliani: No Gourcuff regrets
15.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani claims Yohann Gourcuff is a thing of the past and they do not regret their decision to sell.

The French starlet had a troubled first season at San Siro before moving to Bordeaux on loan.

At the end of last term the Ligue 1 champions took advantage of a clause agreed in the deal with the Rossoneri and signed him permanently for a fee of £13m.

“Milan believed in his talent and signed him for just £2m,” explained Galliani.

“Then we sold him for £13m, but we still believed in him. I spoke to Yohann before he completed his switch and he told me he was afraid to be a reserve in Milan.

“That is the real motive behind his transfer. This summer there is the World Cup and he wants to be called upon,” said the Rossoneri official.

“In France he knows he will always play while with us there would have been plenty of competition. So he took this decision with his father.

“I have no regrets. Although I would have preferred it if he'd returned to us, I completely understand his choice.

“That is the end of the story. I am sorry, but for Milan it was a very good piece of business.”

Gourcuff will play against Juventus tonight in the Champions League and back in France he continues to be labelled as the new Zinedine Zidane.

Deschamps wary of AC Milan
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marseille Coach Didier Deschamps has warned his side against underestimating Milan ahead of their encounter in the Champions League tomorrow night.

Milan have started the season poorly under Leonardo, losing the Derby della Madonnina 4-0 and picking up just a point away to Livorno.

Meanwhile, Marseille are unbeaten in Ligue 1, having won three and drawn two of their opening five games under Deschamps.

“Many people are fooled by the 4-0 defeat against Inter, but I have seen and reviewed that game. In the first half hour only Milan were on the field and Inter were struggling,” Deschamps told Marseille's official website.

“You say that with a score of 4-0 Milan were being dominated but I saw the game against Siena where they were also quite good.

“On Saturday they drew 0-0 at Livorno with three or four international players like Pirlo and Zambrotta on the bench. There will be a great team in front of us with talented internationals who are accustomed to these matches.

“It does not make me smile when I hear it's a weak Milan team. Milan are Milan. We can take the players one by one: Pato, Ronaldinho, Huntelaar, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Flamini, Zambrotta, Jankulovski… They are a great team with great players,” Deschamps concluded.

Deschamps is an authority on Italian football having played for and later coached Juventus.

He is in his first season as Coach of Marseille.

Galliani defends dour Ronaldinho
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani insists Ronaldinho is not responsible for Milan’s lacklustre start to the campaign. “He’s not to blame,” said the club’s Vice-President.

Much was expected from the Brazilian after the club sold Kaka to Real Madrid in the summer and ‘Dinho shined in the Serie A opener at Siena.

However, the South American disappointed in the 4-0 loss to Inter and failed to inspire at Livorno during Saturday’s 0-0 draw.

But Galliani, speaking ahead of the Marseille clash and amidst rumours that the player would be dropped for the game, backed the former Barcelona man.

“Ronaldinho isn’t to blame for all of Milan’s troubles, but let’s be careful when talking about these ‘troubles’ as we are only at the beginning of the season,” he stated.

“I saw a good Milan performance in the second half at Livorno and we ended the tie strongly. It was a game of two halves. We could have lost the first, but won the second.”

He added: “This weekend all the big sides, the favourites, won. We didn’t though and that is something we have to reflect on.

“I think just a few mechanisms need sorting out, but the Coach knows this.”

Milan are next in action on Tuesday when they return to the Champions League after missing out on the competition last season.

“The Champions League is Milan’s natural habitat. Out of all the Italian clubs, Milan is, without doubt, the club that has done the best,” proudly boasted the former Lega Calcio chief.

“In this millennium we have lifted five international trophies against the zero-zero-zero of the others. Let’s hope tradition helps us.”

Galliani, and his outfit, have been criticised by the club’s demanding fans for their transfer campaign and the lack of form of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, their star buy, is worrying some.

“Huntelaar missed the first match through suspension, he came on in the second when we were down to 10-men and so Saturday was his first game.

“When a player arrives here judgements are made after 30 seconds. He needs time and a bit of patience.”

AC Milan not promised Marchetti
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cagliari have denied reports that goalkeeper Federico Marchetti will be sold to Milan at the end of the season.

The custodian was a revelation in Serie A last term and has broken into the Italian national set-up.

Recent whispers claimed that Milan had an agreement in place with the Sardinians for his signature, but that has today been denied.

“It is not true,” Cagliari director general Francesco Marroccu stated. “Marchetti has not been promised to Milan.”

The official, however, did admit that he wouldn’t be surprised to see the net-minder move on at the end of the season.

“It will be difficult to keep a hold of him,” Marroccu continued. “A goalkeeper of his ability would be of interest to clubs such as Juventus, Inter and Milan.

“Outfits of such statute need goalkeepers who are of the highest level.”

Marchetti, born in 1983, has limited Serie A experience given that he only joined the Rossoblu from Albinoleffe in the summer of 2008.

Ronaldinho to be dropped
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian enigma Ronaldinho is set to be benched as Milan return to the Champions League against Marseille on Tuesday.

The South American disappointed in the 4-0 derby defeat to Inter and endured more difficulties against Livorno at the weekend.

The former Barcelona sensation was replaced by Andrea Pirlo in Tuscany just 55 minutes in the 0-0 draw.

With the pressure increasing on boss Leonardo, Ronaldinho is expected to be dropped in favour of Clarence Seedorf.

Speculation in the peninsula on Monday suggests that the Dutchman will play behind a front two of Alexandre Pato and Pippo Inzaghi.

The latter’s inclusion could see Klaas-Jan Huntelaar left out of the starting XI too.

The midfield three may consist of Pirlo, captain Massimo Ambrosini and Mathieu Flamini at the Velodrome.

Much was expected of Ronaldinho this season after the club opted to sell the creative duo of Kaka and Yoann Gourcuff, whilst confirming their faith in the attacking midfielder.

AC Milan linked with Alex
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports in Italy on Monday morning are suggesting that Milan are interested in signing Chelsea stopper Alex.

The player, whose full name is Alex Rodrigo Dias da Costa, could be assessing his options after stalling on a new contract at Stamford Bridge.

With his deal set to expire in June 2010, rumours suggest that the Italian giants could tempt the Blues with a bid in January seeing as the latter could potentially lose him on a Bosman next summer.

Milan have been interested in the 27-year-old since he was at PSV in Holland, but are set to face competition from other clubs.

Chelsea’s Premiership rivals Liverpool, for example, are understood to also be monitoring the Brazilian’s situation.

The Rossoneri’s current central defensive pairing are Alessandro Nesta and Thiago Silva. The latter has replaced the retired Paolo Maldini in the Milanello ranks.

AC Milan lose patience with Ronaldinho
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo and Adriano Galliani have lost patience with Ronaldinho and hint he will be benched in the Champions League against Marseille.

While President Silvio Berlusconi declared he wanted to build the team around the Brazilian, another dismal performance in the 0-0 draw at Livorno sapped confidence further.

“If Ronaldinho is in good shape, really wants to play and behaves in a certain manner, then he can be important for the team,” said Leonardo.

It was a very backhanded compliment, suggesting once again that the former Barcelona star is lazy and does not have the right attitude.

There was a marked difference in the team when Ronaldinho was substituted in the second half to make way for Andrea Pirlo and even his staunch supporters noticed.

“I saw a game of two halves. We were much better in the second half after Pirlo and [Pippo] Inzaghi came on,” said Vice-President Galliani.

“Towards the end I saw a good Milan with scoring opportunities that could have won. In the first half there was no service and no real forward play.

“Now we have to focus on Marseille, our real rivals in the Champions League considering Real Madrid will certainly qualify with one of the two top spots in the group.

“We need to be on the game right from the start and win starting from Tuesday.”

This all suggests there is no time to wait around for Ronaldinho to find his form, so the Brazilian could be sensationally benched along with summer signing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

The Dutch youngster also stuttered in his first Serie A start at Livorno and Inzaghi has more of a pedigree in Europe.

Leonardo looks on the bright side
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo blamed bad luck and poor finishing for Milan's failure to break down Livorno. “We could easily have won.”

The 0-0 draw at the Stadio Picchi represents another damp squib for the Rossoneri, who were thrashed 4-0 by Inter a fortnight ago.

“In the first half we were pinned back into our own half and struggled to get support in to the strikers,” confessed the Coach.

“After the break we really wanted to win and created so many scoring opportunities. We could easily have won today, considering all we did.”

Andrea Pirlo was on the bench, but created their best chance late on when his free kick thumped the underside of the crossbar.

“When Pirlo came on he played well, but what counts is the performance of the collective. In the first half we struggled, we did better in the second.”

Livorno President Aldo Spinelli did not agree with Leonardo's summation of the match, though.

“Our performance was wonderful and everyone played well today. I saw an excellent Antonio Candreva, who can achieve great things alongside Francesco Tavano and Cristiano Lucarelli.”

Serie A: Livorno 0:0 AC Milan - match report
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The crossbar denied Andrea Pirlo as Milan stutter once again to a 0-0 draw at Livorno with Ronaldinho and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar disappointing.

The Rossoneri needed to get back on their feet after the 4-0 derby debacle. Gennaro Gattuso was sent off in that game and therefore suspended as well as injured, joining Marco Borriello, Davide Di Gennaro, Daniele Bonera and Christian Abbiati on the sidelines. Livorno had Mirko Pieri banned and Nelson Rivas ruled out, but Mozart's international transfer came in at the last minute.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Clarence Seedorf and Massimo Oddo got their first starts, as Gianluca Zambrotta and Andrea Pirlo were rested. There was a bizarre note as two Livorno players - Candreva and Perticone - had their names mispelled on their team shirts.

Livorno had the brighter start and Marco Storari flapped away a rising Raimondi snapshot. From a corner Cristiano Lucarelli turned a free header well over.

Milan's defending from set plays has not improved and Lucarelli turned another free header wide from six yards in acres of space.

Mathieu Flamini hit a hopeful snapshot over from 20 metres, then at the other end Huntelaar just failed to get on the end of a free kick thanks to Alfonso De Lucia's badly timed run.

Storari had his palms stung by a fierce Candreva free kick. The move continued and the goalkeeper again had to beat away a powerful Raimondi angled drive from nine yards with the defence scrambling clear for a corner.

However, on 38 minutes Alexandre Pato nearly punished Livorno with a classic counter-attack. He sprung the offside trap in midfield and skipped back past Raimondi to bring a great one-handed low save out of De Lucia.

Storari again flew to push away a wickedly deflected Candreva free kick from distance. A weak Huntelaar header was comfortably held and the Dutchman was not quick enough to react to a Flamini cross-shot.

Livorno went very close straight after the restart when Candreva's sliderule pass sent Lucarelli clear, but his chipped cross was too long for Francesco Tavano and the follow-up charged down for a corner.

Pippo Inzaghi and Pirlo replaced the very quiet Huntelaar and Ronaldinho, the midfielder taking on a new left-midfield role. Within minutes Pirlo had Milan's best opportunity of the game so far, curling a free kick over the wall and off the underside of the bar with De Lucia beaten.

Pato went on the counter and threaded through for Inzaghi, but his first touch let him down and De Lucia came flying out to deflect it over the bar. Inzaghi threatened again soon after, missing the final touch to a wayward Flamini cross-shot by a matter of inches.

Ignazio Abate made his seasonal debut for a positive Flamini and immediately crossed for Pato, who attempted a very difficult scissor-kick volley. Tavano had penalty appeals in a coming-together with Thiago Silva, but the referee waved play on.

Inzaghi hit the side-netting and Luigi Vitale charged down Seedorf's shot in the box as Milan poured forward in the closing minutes, but this also left gaps at the back for counter-attacks.
Livorno: De Lucia; Raimondi, Perticone, Miglionico, Vitale; Pulzetti, Mozart (A Filippini 64), Candreva, Moro (Bergvold 69); Tavano (Marchini 83), Lucarelli

Milan: Storari; Oddo, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Jankulovski; Flamini (Abate 78), Ambrosini, Seedorf; Ronaldinho (Pirlo 55); Pato, Huntelaar (Inzaghi 55)

Ref: Orsato

Ancelotti evaluates Champions League odds
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti denies the Champions League is “an obsession” for Chelsea, tips Inter as one of the favourites and hopes for a Final against Milan.

“The Champions League is not an obsession. It is considered on a par with the Premier League title, there is no difference between them,” he insisted on Sky Sport Italia.

“Chelsea played five semi-finals in six years without winning the trophy, so there is a bit of regret over what happened. I say they are among the favourites with the other English sides, the two Spaniards and the Italians.”

Ancelotti was also offered the Real Madrid job in the past, but even with Kaka there he does not think they’re ready for success yet.

“At the moment I’d prefer to face Real rather than Barcelona. The Blaugrana are already a team, whereas Real Madrid have to become one. It is easier to take on a team of great individuals rather than a strong team.”

Naturally he is keeping an eye on his old club as well as the other Serie A contenders on the continent.

“Inter are the side who, at the moment, have a better chance in Europe compared to Milan and Juventus. Having said that, I would only ever want to face Milan in the Final.

“It would be wonderful to see a Milan-Chelsea Final in Madrid. Real Madrid-Chelsea sounds pretty good, too.

“The Rossoneri have tradition in this competition and that really counts. It is something that Inter do not have. Above all it’s an issue of courage and character in the knockouts, which is where the Italians faltered last season by facing the first leg in too timorous a fashion.

“You need to play for the win, not make too many calculations. That’s the mistake Inter made against Manchester United, Juventus here with Chelsea and Roma at Arsenal.”

Milan are struggling badly since Ancelotti’s departure, in particular losing the local derby 4-0, but he has faith in his successor.

“It was for 30 minutes a very balanced encounter, then two or three incidents changed the course of the game.

“Leonardo won’t have problems settling in and working at Milan, just as I won’t struggle to replace Guus Hiddink even though he was well-loved here.”

Leonardo: I'm learning lessons
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo tries to put the derby debacle behind him and focus on Saturday’s trip to Livorno with an eye on Andrea Pirlo’s new position.

“I was accused of lacking experience, which is the easiest criticism that could be aimed at me,” said the newcomer after a 4-0 defeat to Inter.

“Even if we had won the derby 5-0, the next day they could have written the same thing. In my position there are obviously pros and cons, but I carry on along my path and I know that being criticised also helps my growth.

“This is an experienced team and they can absorb the derby blow easily enough. We don’t want to forget the derby, as we can learn from it about our strengths and weaknesses.”

The crushing loss was added to dismal pre-season performances, but Milan return to Tuscany tomorrow, having beaten Siena 2-1 in the opening weekend.

“Livorno play a pretty similar style to Siena, although of course every game has its own tale to tell. We had to prepare for this match without our internationals.”

One of those was Pirlo, who rediscovered his form at the advanced point of a diamond midfield in the 2-0 win over Bulgaria.

“I have spoken to Andrea a lot recently about his position,” admitted Leonardo. “He played a great game for Italy in a different way from what he usually does at Milan. I think it is something we can evaluate gradually and see what options we have for the future.”

Marco Borriello, Daniele Bonera, David Di Gennaro and Gennaro Gattuso are injured, so Klaas-Jan Huntelaar should get his first Serie A start, even if that means leaving Pippo Inzaghi to take over in the Champions League.

“Inzaghi and [Clarence] Seedorf are in good shape and Pippo has the same hunger for goals that he did aged 11. My choices are made game by game and Pippo has remarkable motivation, he is an important player for us.”

Onyewu drops off AC Milan radardrops
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Oguchi Onyewu has been dropped from the Milan squad for Saturday’s trip to Livorno, while Marco Borriello joins the injury list.

American centre-back Onyewu is yet to make his Serie A debut since joining the Rossoneri over the summer.

He is the only player to not even be called up for tomorrow’s match, despite the fact he played for the USA in Wednesday’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory in Trinidad.

The other absentees are all dealing with injuries, as Borriello has joined David Di Gennaro, Christian Abbiati and Daniele Bonera on the treatment table.

Striker Borriello is out for at least 10 days after suffering from back problems, so Klaas-Jan Huntelaar should receive his first official start.

However, there are reports Leonardo will go for the old guard in the Champions League against Olympique Marseille on Tuesday.

This means bringing in Pippo Inzaghi and Clarence Seedorf, who have barely featured yet this season.

Milan squad: Dida, Roma, Storari, Antonini, Favalli, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Nesta, Oddo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Abate, Ambrosini, Flamini, Pirlo, Seedorf, Huntelaar, Inzaghi, Pato, Ronaldinho

AC Milan face Kacar competition
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It is reported Milan are battling Juventus and Inter for the signature of wide midfielder Goiko Kacar of Hetha Berlin.

The Serbian international is one of the key players in the Bundesliga side and has been compared to a young Sinisa Mihajlovic.

Coach Leonardo has asked for reinforcements on the flanks since taking over from Carlo Ancelotti in June, but so far the club has failed to fulfil those requests.

Milan director Ariedo Braida was in the stands for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier between Serbia and France in Belgrade.

However, other figures present at that game included scouts from Juventus and Inter, who are also interested in Kacar.

The Rossoneri have the advantage with an EU space available thanks to the termination of their contract with South American Tabarè Viudez.

Ancelotti - Pato share dream reunion
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti called in to Milan Channel during an interview with Alexandre Pato, as both expressed the wish they’ll meet in the Champions League Final.

The Chelsea manager may have left Milan in the summer, but he is finding it very difficult to let go after eight years at San Siro.

During an interview with Pato on Milan Channel, Ancelotti picked up the phone in London and rang in to chat with the striker.

He had tried to bring the Brazilian to the Premier League, only to see multi-million pound offers declined.

“I hope we get to meet up again at the Champions League Final,” grinned ‘The Duck.’

“Funnily enough, just yesterday I said in an interview that I dream of a Final between Milan and Chelsea in Madrid,” replied Ancelotti.

Pato heaped more praise on to his former Coach during a time in which the Rossoneri are struggling.

“We have to get back to the great Milan that you left behind,” continued the youngster.

“Ancelotti introduced me to Italian football and had faith in me, so I must always thank him. My targets for this season are to score enough goals for Milan to win the Scudetto and Champions League.”

AC Milan invite Beckham back
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan “would like David Beckham back” in January and it’s reported a deal has been struck already.

The midfielder was on loan from LA Galaxy last term from January to May, paying out of his own pocket to extend the original March deadline.

“David is considered by many to be an icon, but for us he is above all an excellent player would like back,” commented Milan director Umberto Gandini.

Becks said this week that he has received numerous offers around Europe in the months leading up to the World Cup.

According to Sky Italia, the Galaxy have already agreed a deal with Milan for his return in January 2010.

It is possible Beckham will be able to buy himself out of his contract in October 2009, but there are reports the Rossoneri couldn’t offer a long-term contract to make that worthwhile.

Borriello adds to AC Milan woes
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s chances of starting against Livorno receive a boost, as Marco Borriello suffers a new Milan injury.

The Italian barely set foot on the field last season due to a series of setbacks, but started both Serie A matches so far this term.

This afternoon the club released a statement on its official website confirming “Borriello is suffering from lumbago and will be on a personalised training schedule for the next few days.”

Summer signing Huntelaar had already urged Coach Leonardo to give him his full debut against Livorno.

The Rossoneri also gave updates on some of their other injured stars, as Gennaro Gattuso continues physiotherapy for a sprained ankle.

Daniele Bonera has been told he can start running again in 10 days and will undergo further tests at the end of the month.

The defender underwent specialist treatment to correct a recurring hip problem.

His name was left off the Champions League squad list because it is not clear when he will be able to play again.

AC Milan handed Paloschi warning
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have been warned by Parma that they’ll have to dig very deep into their pockets if they want to re-sign Alberto Paloschi.

The young striker has been a revelation at the Tardini since his 2008 co-ownership switch from Milan and is now a recognised Under-21 international.

Both clubs currently own a 50 per cent share in the hitman, but his value has rocketed in just over a year with the Gialloblu.

“He is an extraordinary player,” beamed Parma President Tommaso Ghirardi. “He has the kind of character which will take him far.

“I have already told [Milan Vice-President Adriano] Galliani that it will cost his club dear to sign him back.”

Paloschi plays on the shoulder of the last defender in much the same way as Rossoneri legend Pippo Inzaghi does.

The 19-year-old played in last night’s 2-0 Under-21 international win over Luxembourg but didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet.

However, he does have a superior goals to minutes ratio than Inter striker Mario Balotelli with the Azzurrini.

Huntelaar wants Livorno chance
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has called for Milan boss Leonardo to start him in this weekend’s game at Livorno.

The Rossoneri’s big summer signing was suspended for the Week 1 win at Siena and was only used in the derby as a substitute, with Inter already in a commanding position before the game ended 4-0.

Huntelaar, however, is now pleading for a chance from the kick-off after his promising career at Ajax stalled following a frustrating switch to Real Madrid.

“It is clear that I have no guarantees, but on my return to Italy I hope to be fielded from the start with more regularity,” said the Dutchman who is currently on international duty.

“I was banned for the first game, then [boss] Leonardo opted to keep faith with the same side against Inter that won in Week 1.

“However, the time has now arrived to change and I am certain that I will finally be given my opportunities.”

The former Under-21 international added: “I just want to be given the chance to do what I was signed to do – play football.”

Huntelaar is in competition with Italian striker Marco Borriello for a place in the starting XI as the Rossoneri look for a positive reaction after their demolition derby.

AC Milan sold 'Zidane', says Ribery
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Not only did Milan sell Kaka in the summer, Franck Ribery insists they also lost a Frenchman with the qualities of Zinedine Zidane.

The Rossoneri released their Brazilian superstar to Real Madrid for £56m, but they also let go of Yoann Gourcuff.

The latter was signed by Bordeaux after they took up the option to net him outright for £13m after his stunning 2008-09 Ligue 1 campaign on loan with the French outfit.

Now a regular at international level for Les Bleus, Ribery has been impressed with the attacking midfielder’s progress.

“When I play with Gourcuff in the national side, I feel the same sensations as I did when I featured alongside Zidane,” the Bayern Munich player told France Football.

Milan signed Gourcuff in 2006 after he spent three seasons with Rennes. However, he struggled with competition at San Siro and was allowed to leave.

Ambrosini pens new AC Milan deal
8.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have officially extended captain Massimo Ambrosini’s contract until June 2011.

The midfielder inherited the armband when Paolo Maldini retired in the summer and has tied his future to the side.

The official Milan website announced he had put pen to paper on a new contract holding him to San Siro until June 30, 2011.

It is only a one-year extension, as the Rossoneri are trying to cut costs and make these offers as standard practice.

The 32-year-old first joined Milan in 1995-96 and has spent his entire career here since, with the exception of a brief season-long loan spell at Vicenza in 1997-98.

With the club he has won three Scudetti, two Champions League trophies, two European Super Cups, the Club World Cup, Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup.

Van Basten slams AC Milan policy
8.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Van Basten has warned Milan that they are making all the wrong decisions. “You can’t win without investing.”

The club has been criticised by fans and media alike for its transfer campaign, selling Kaka to Real Madrid and bringing in only Thiago Silva and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

“How can you be happy losing 4-0,” he said of the recent derby debacle. “They have only played two games and it’s certainly a difficult moment, but how can you be competitive when the others reinforce and you don’t buy players?

“Huntelaar is an excellent striker, good in the box and I hope he’ll do well in Italy. But he is alone. Have you seen how many players Juventus and Inter have brought in? They invested far more than Milan.”

Van Basten’s arrival along with fellow Dutchmen Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard in the 1980s sparked the birth of Il Grande Milan that conquered Italy, Europe and the world.

But President Silvio Berlusconi has recently taken more care of the club’s finances and pulled the purse strings tight.

“I have to say I was really not accustomed to this,” the Ballon d’Or winner told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“You can’t win without investing, so if the players to reinforce the squad aren’t brought in, it’s tough to get back to the top level.”

Van Basten was tipped to be the new Coach after Carlo Ancelotti, but the job went to debutant Leonardo, who has also complained at the lack of new signings.

“The whole club should take itself back to the success of the past. The Coach cannot be made responsible if there have been few investments.

“Leo does his job and it won’t be his fault if Milan do not win. He does what he can with the squad at his disposal.

“Would I take on the Milan bench? Who knows what will happen in the future, but I haven’t thought about it.”

Luis Fabiano: No AC Milan, but Juventus...
8.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

After he was “let down by Milan,” Brazil star Luis Fabiano is “ready to listen to offers from other Italian clubs” like Juventus.

The Sevilla striker was on the verge of joining the Rossoneri in the summer, but the two clubs could not decide on a fee and eventually chose Klaas-Jan Huntelaar instead.

“Fabiano was very upset by the failure of that transfer and felt let down by Milan,” explained agent Jose Fuentes in the Corriere dello Sport.

“Now he has decided not to talk about transfers until there is something solid behind it. He is focusing on doing well for Sevilla and the Selecao, I’ll think about the rest.”

It seems Fuentes is already hard at work, as just a week after the close of the summer session he is looking to January.

“If there is interest from an Italian club, then we are here to listen to their proposal,” he added.

“I haven’t had any direct information from Juve, but it is still pleasing to know such a big club is interested.”

The Bianconeri need a replacement for David Trezeguet, who has already announced he will leave Turin at the end of the season, possibly earlier.

One of the reasons why Milan’s bid collapsed was they tried to lower the £18m price by negotiating directly with Rio, the company that owns 65 per cent of Fabiano’s contract.

“My client belongs to Sevilla and anyone who wants to buy him must first talk to Sevilla and then to me,” warned the agent.

“Rio have absolutely no impact on a sporting or decision-making level.”

Trezeguet was close to AC Milan
7.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Trezeguet was close to leaving Juventus to sign for Milan this summer, claimed agent Antonio Caliendo.

The Frenchman, who has long been unsettled in Turin, is still set to move on and could leave the Bianconeri next January.

“David was really, really close to the Rossoneri but he didn’t want to upset the fans and go against the Board’s will,” revealed Caliendo.

“I think that he won’t sign for them now, at least for this year they have no chance to get him. But in the future you never know.

“The transfer market is always unpredictable but I think he will stay until June and then go. His comments over a possible return to France or Argentina were a way to tell the Board to be prepared to sign someone else.

“He is used to be a protagonist so sitting on the bench is not ideal and it hurts him. But Juventus play week in week out and there should be enough space for him too.”

AC Milan zoom in on Marquinhos
7.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are already on the trail of ‘the new Kaka’ – youngster Marquinhos – according to rumours in France.

The Rossoneri failed to bring in a replacement for the £56m Ballon d’Or winner over the summer and are making plans for the January transfer window.

French site ‘Les Transfers’ claims that Palmeiras starlet Marquinhos is the prime target to continue their Brazilian flair.

Another reason for the troubled transfer market was the limit on non-EU players in the squad, but Milan have resolved that issue by terminating the contract of seldom-used Uruguayan Tabare Viudez.

He has freed up the spot and so makes way for Marquinhos, a creative midfielder with an eye for goal from distance.

Cannavaro feels for Kaladze
7.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fabio Cannavaro admits he feels for own goal ‘villain’ Kakha Kaladze and that Italy must do better against Bulgaria.

“It’s a shame for Kaladze, as to see a game decided by two own goals is always ugly for a player,” he said of the 2-0 victory in Georgia.

Before this result, the Azzurri had failed to score in three consecutive games.

“Aside from the first half where the team struggled to create chances, we were far more attacking and creative after the break. The goals arrived as a consequence of all that.

“It is a tough time for everyone, as there was an incident where both [Fabio] Quagliarella and [Vincenzo] Iaquinta hit the woodwork in quick succession.

“The team is pushing and the important thing is that we rediscover our spirit on the field.”

Coach Marcello Lippi complained this week that the media was distracting the players and fans from this match by courting controversy.

“Perhaps you have forgotten, but we were criticised even before and during the World Cup. The media has always tried to focus on other issues,” added Cannavaro.

The Republic of Ireland are only one point behind the Azzurri now in Group 8, although Italy have a game in hand.

“Giovanni Trapattoni doesn’t frighten me, no, but of course we have respect for him and Ireland. Now we must focus on Bulgaria.”

AC Milan deny Berlusconi sale
5.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have issued statements denying that President Silvio Berlusconi will sell shares to Colonel Muammar Geddafi or any other foreign businessman.

The reports circulated by newspaper La Repubblica this morning claimed that a much-criticised Berlusconi would sell portions of the club off slowly for the Libyan leader to eventually complete his takeover.

“Once again there is absolutely no option to sell Milan shares,” read a statement from Berlusconi’s Fininvest company.

Vice-President Adriano Galliani also rushed to defend the patron from stories the club had abandoned plans to build its own arena.

“Any quotes attributed to me about the sale of shares are completely false. We have always planned to stay at San Siro and, if possible, to buy the stadium.

“I also rule out the allegations that the good behaviour of the Curva Sud was ‘bought’ by 5,000 free tickets. We never gave away a single ticket to the ultras and their actions are entirely spontaneous.”

AC Milan juggle Puyol, Kaladze, Bale
5.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As Carles Puyol confirms he “admires” Milan and would love a move there, Kakha Kaladze’s refusal pushes Gareth Bale towards San Siro.

“Milan seem to be struggling, but they remain one of the most important clubs in the world,” said Puyol’s agent.

“Carles appreciates and admires the Rossoneri.”

The Barcelona legend’s contract expires at the end of the season, so he could move in January for a small fee rather than wait to become a free agent.

Leonardo’s calls for new full-backs during the summer transfer market went unheeded and the 4-0 defeat to Inter showed there are serious problems in that area.

Marek Jankulovski was particularly poor and he could be the first casualty of the post-derby revolution.

It’s reported that Kaladze – who had until now been left out of the squad pending a transfer that never came – could be pushed out wide on the left side of defence.

However, the Georgian international is said to be furious at this shift and refuses to leave his centre-back role.

“If I am needed, then I can play at left-back, but not for more than two or three games,” he warned from the training camp in Tblisi.

“After international duty I will return to Milanello and challenge Alessandro Nesta and Thiago Silva for their positions.”

Kaladze is included in the squad list for the Champions League, as Daniele Bonera is struggling with a long-term injury.

The only other option right now is to introduce Massimo Oddo, who also failed to find a new club this summer, and shift Gianluca Zambrotta to the left.

As for the future, The Times claims that Milan have offered Jankulovski plus £5m cash to bring in Bale from Premier League leaders Tottenham in January.

It is certainly not the first time that the Rossoneri have been linked with Bale, a Welsh international who just turned 20 and has been beset by injuries.

Gaddafi in AC Milan takeover?
5.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As calls for his exit continue to mount, Silvio Berlusconi is reportedly ready to sell Milan to Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

It would not be the first time that Gaddafi has invested in Italian football, as his son Al-Saadi played for Perugia and held a minority shareholder’s stake in Juventus.

It’s believed the club would be available for around £400m, so an outright takeover would be tricky and also potentially damaging.

For that reason, the reports in La Repubblica suggest Gaddafi would at first invest in the side and then slowly buy up more and more stock.

President Berlusconi is the subject of numerous protests from fans about the transfer policy and future of the club following the 4-0 defeat to Inter.

As Italian Prime Minister as well as a media and business magnate, Berlusconi has had fewer funds to contribute to the football side of his empire, which culminated in Kaka’s £56m sale to Real Madrid.

Supporters are eager for new investors and it’s reported in La Repubblica today that man could well be Colonel Gaddafi.

Already in the news for the controversial celebrations that greeted freed Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, this week Gaddafi held his own festival that saw only Berlusconi attend among the major western political leaders.

Berlusconi: 'If I picked the team...'
2.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi has publicly corrected Coach Leonardo’s tactics, saying he would not have lost the derby 4-0.

The patron had said before the match with Inter that he would’ve fielded Clarence Seedorf as a trequartista behind Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato.

“I have in mind a precise tactical error I had advised was a mistake we should not make,” said the patron and Italian Prime Minister.

“People accuse me of dictating the line-up. I would love to, but there is a Coach and it’s only right he does his job.”

Berlusconi was well known for publicly criticising his tacticians, above all Carlo Ancelotti, and suggesting possible changes.

Ronaldinho is the President’s favourite player and he continually states the Brazilian should be the focal point around which the team is constructed.

There are reports in the Gazzetta dello Sport today that Leonardo is tied down to Dinho and this affects his choices for the rest of the squad.

It’s believed this is why Klaas-Jan Huntelaar only played the final stages of the derby and Pippo Inzaghi has not stepped on to the pitch yet this season.

As Massimo Oddo was not sold this summer and is in the Champions League squad, it’s possible he will be brought in and move Gianluca Zambrotta to left-back.

AC Milan name reduced European team
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have included Nelson Dida and Massimo Oddo in their Champions League squad, but still only went up to 24 players rather than 25.

The goalkeeper has barely featured all summer, leapfrogged in the pecking order by Marco Storari and Flavio Roma.

The full-back was told in no uncertain terms he was not a part of Coach Leonardo’s plans, but could not find another club before the transfer deadline.

So both have been included in the squad for the 2009-10 Champions League.

Curiously, the Rossoneri have named only 24 players rather than the usual 25.

Milan squad: Dida, Abbiati, Storari, Roma, Kaladze, Onyewu, Nesta, Zambrotta, Jankulovski, Thiago Silva, Oddo, Antonini, Gattuso, Seedorf, Flamini, Abate, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Pato, Inzaghi, Huntelaar, Borriello, Di Gennaro, Ronaldinho.

Berlusconi: 'Ronaldinho is a winner'
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Despite the derby debacle, Milan President Silvio Berlusconi urged fans to have patience with Leonardo and “winner” Ronaldinho.

The supporters were furious at the 4-0 defeat to rivals Inter on Saturday and many walked out of San Siro a half-hour before the end of the match.

“I am convinced that we made the right choice with Leonardo and he will do well,” said the patron.

“He is a Coach who is just starting out and we all need to give him some time.”

Berlusconi has hailed Ronaldinho as the heir to Kaka and wanted the Milan team built around him, but so far the Brazilian has been disappointing.

“Dinho is a winner,” smiled the President. “I am certain he can make Milan into a winning team.”

The former Barcelona star was jeered off the field when he was substituted during the 4-0 thrashing.

Seedorf explains Gattuso chaos
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf is furious at the “offence against my professionalism” following his chaotic missed substitution with Gennaro Gattuso.

The Dutchman took so long to come off the bench during the derby on Saturday night that an injured Gattuso carried on and received two yellow cards for mistimed challenges.

“I had a very strong desire to play and get out there, to be ready for anything the Coach needed, and that is what happened,” insisted Seedorf after Milan’s 4-0 defeat to Inter.

“When we were 1-0 down [Massimo] Ambrosini was meant to come on. When the penalty happened I went to warm up in the players’ tunnel, which is probably about 50 metres long.”

A great deal of confusion continues to surround that substitution, as it took Seedorf several minutes to change into his football boots and pull on his shirt. By the time he was ready, a furious Gattuso had been sent off.

“I was wearing trainers and not slippers, as some newspapers claimed. This is all an offence against my professionalism. I warmed up inside before anyone actually told me to. Therefore I anticipated a decision that would later be made by the Coach.

“I was returning from a 40-day injury lay-off and in the last week had a calf problem, which is why I had the trainers on.

“I also read comments on the issue of the shirt. If I must apologise for this, then I will, but I think I proved the desire I had to play in the second half when I did well.”

Seedorf is offended that some fans and elements of the media have accused him of dragging his feet to come off the bench, perhaps irritated that he has not been in the starting XI recently.

“Just ask Leonardo how I behaved in Siena when he didn’t let me on the pitch and we discussed it. In my career I have always tried to act professionally and give my all to the team.”

Milan have investigated the incident and decided not to hand fines to any of the people involved.

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