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The Archive

September 2010

Boateng: 'So glad to be at AC Milan'
30.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Prince Boateng has settled in very well to Milan and thanked the fans, but admits “Tottenham was not a good time in my life.”

The Ghanaian had a great start to his San Siro career and has quickly become a firm crowd favourite.

“The fans immediately understood my efforts on the field and the moment I stepped on to the pitch I heard them shouting my name. It was an exceptional feeling,” he told Milan Channel.

“I’ve come close to scoring my first goal, especially against Auxerre, but I’m sure it will come soon.”

The Ghanaian who grew up in Germany arrived at Milan via Genoa and Portsmouth, but also had a spell at Spurs.

“My personality is more Ghanaian, as I’m always happy and smiling. The German side also comes through in my organisation and discipline.

“At Tottenham I had the nickname ‘Ghetto Kid,’ but it was part of my past down to the silly things a young man does that obviously I’m not proud of.

“It certainly wasn’t a great time of my life in England, even if it forced me to learn a great deal.

“I didn’t get on with the manager or some of my teammates, but my private life was also not going well.”

Boateng has a new nickname now – Train Without Brakes.

“Thiago Silva gave me that name after the first game I played with Milan. I also get along well with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as we joke around and I hope one day a beautiful friendship can come of it.”

Stankovic: 'AC Milan can't buy success'
30.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Dejan Stankovic sniped at rivals Milan in the Scudetto race. “You can’t buy success with one or two individuals.”

Many suggested the Rossoneri were now title favourites after signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho at the end of the transfer window.

“Their signings? You can’t buy success with one or two individuals,” said Inter midfielder Stankovic.

“We proved that with the introduction of Samuel Eto’o, who even worked as a full-back for the team.

“It is the squad, the team unit, that brings victories.”

Inter take on Juventus on Sunday evening, a side Stankovic nearly joined before the Turin fans put a stop to it with their protests.

“It is a game like all the others. For me it is worth either three, one or zero points. That’s all.”

Pato set for AC Milan return
30.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that Alexandre Pato could be back as soon as this weekend when Milan play Parma in Serie A.

The 21-year-old striker strained his adductor muscles in his left leg two weeks ago and hasn’t played since.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Pato will train with the first team again today while Zlatan Ibrahimovic will work apart after picking up a knock against Ajax.

Pato is expected to start on the bench against Parma this weekend, but could make a substitutes’ appearance, especially in light of Ibrahimovic’s fatigue.

Milan currently lie fifth in Serie A, two points behind League leaders Inter who face Juventus this weekend.

'AC Milan aren't Ibrahimovic dependent'
30.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A string of former players don’t believe Milan have already become dependent on Zlatan Ibrahimovic following his move from Barcelona.

The Sweden international striker has scored five goals in six games often proving the difference between winning and losing.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Franco Baresi believes Milan should be thankful to have such a headache.

“I believe that Ibrahimovic can never be a problem but an added value. And then again Zlatan knows how to score goals in every way.

“Milan must find the formula to play well and exploit their champion in the best way possible up front.”

Inter legend Beppe Bergomi also gave Ibrahimovic his backing despite the latter’s reputation as a turncoat.

“Whoever wants Milan to do badly thinks that Ibra is a problem. You can’t consider a problem to be someone who has won eight League titles in a row.

“Zlatan is indispensable for winning.”

Serie A sides line up for Suarez
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luis Suarez nutmegged Alessandro Nesta last night, raising interest from Italian clubs in the Ajax sensation.

The striker was suspended for the opening Champions League defeat at Real Madrid, but shone in Amsterdam during the 1-1 draw with Milan.

He nutmegged Nesta during the build-up to the goal and was a constant danger for the Rossoneri defence.

Suarez had already been linked with several Serie A sides after his impressive World Cup for Uruguay and solid scoring record in Holland.

“Ajax’s financial position is the only reason I’m even thinking of a transfer,” confessed the 23-year-old.

“But if I leave Ajax, I will go to a club where real football is played. I have never asked for a transfer.

“If I felt I was finished here, I would say that, but I don’t. I can achieve what I want here. We must win the championship and do something in the Champions League.”

Reports have his price-tag varying between £20m and £30m with a bidding war liable to break out.

Inter and Milan have joined Juventus in chasing Suarez, who was already of interest to Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Barcelona and Sevilla.

Ibrahimovic to be rested in Parma?
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be rested against Parma after ending the Ajax game with a muscular problem.

The Swede has been decisive for Milan so far this season and again scored a crucial goal in last night’s 1-1 Amsterdam draw.

It is reported he struggled on during the final minutes with a muscular problem and could well be rested for this weekend’s trip to Parma.

Ronaldinho was already given a round on the bench in the Champions League after playing consistently, so it is time for Ibra to step aside too.

It is likely that veteran Pippo Inzaghi will be given the opportunity to shine in Parma, one of his former clubs.

Robinho was disappointing against Ajax and missed several great chances, so there are rumours he’ll be dropped too.

Massimo Ambrosini remains sidelined by injury, but Milan are hoping to have Alexandre Pato back on the bench at the Stadio Tardini.

Galliani questions the referee
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani feels his team were hard done by in their match against Ajax last night.

The 66-year-old was upset that a number of decisions didn’t go Milan’s way.

“I would like to understand why the referee stopped our free kick that had sent Inzaghi clear,” Galliani said.

“The players told me that they did not ask for distance from the wall, so we could well have won it with that chance.

“That could’ve been a goal that changed the whole shape of the group. It is a very serious error. It pains me to protest, but it was a huge mistake from the referee.

“On top of that, Inzaghi would’ve matched Muller’s record.

“We are not a fairground. Milan have to be solid, efficient and to win. We’ve had enough of just playing entertaining football!

“We want to win too,” he concluded.

Ibrahimovic puts form down to confidence
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes he has settled into life so quickly at Milan because he feels the club has confidence in him.

The 28-year-old Sweden international has scored five goals in his first six appearances for the Rossoneri since his move from Barcelona in the summer.

Speaking after last night’s 1-1 draw with Ajax in which he scored the equaliser, Ibrahimovic said: “I want to win everything. This will be my best season of all.

“You say that in the Champions League I don’t know how to score? Now I will show you.”

Reflecting on the game itself, he said: “A point suits us fine. We should have been able to get the three, but I am not complaining about it.

“My goals mean that I am going well, also because I play with a lot of confidence.

“Seedorf gave me a really great pass [for my goal]. He played really well. Clarence is still a hero,” he concluded.

Allegri: 'We must work on tactics'
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is constantly changing his tactical approach despite conceding the difficulty of doing so.

“The team played well, we had chances to win and didn’t take them, so it remains positive to emerge unbeaten from Amsterdam,” he said of the 1-1 draw with Ajax.

Allegri has used a different trident attack in every game so far, but switched again with Clarence Seedorf as the top end of a diamond midfield behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

“We can use this system again or the three strikers, it depends on the characteristics of the players we put on the field.

“I think we could’ve made more of cross-field passes and players pushing up from behind. Our best chances came from simple moves that allowed us to go clear on goal.

“We need to improve the movements, but it’s difficult when you play every three days and barely have time to train. I am glad to see the side improving physically and psychologically.

“When people say Milan don’t run, it’s not true. We use up a lot of energy, but not all of it is organised or efficient, so if we learn to do that then we’ll be sharper when we have the ball.

“We trained until August 28, then with international duty and a game every three days it becomes very difficult to work on tactical training.

“When you are working with a team, it’s crucial to keep repeating the same movements over and over so they become natural. Of course, also having some individuals who can dream something up is very useful too.

“I have very clear ideas and always have done. You need balance in a side and certain characteristics to co-exist. I try to give my team a certain balance, but to do that I need everyone to work hard and tonight once again they proved that these stars are ready to sacrifice themselves for the team.”

Ronaldinho was rested and many ask whether the all-star Rossoneri can truly be successful as well as entertaining.

“At the end of the day what counts is to win. Milan have the characteristics to play great football, but we all know that we have to improve,” continued Allegri.

“We were under pressure above all because we didn’t clear the ball well. We all want to play great football, but the most important thing is to win.”

Seedorf: 'We can't rely on Ibrahimovic'
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf explains Milan’s latest tactical switch and warns against relying on Zlatan Ibrahimovic. “We don’t want to end up like Inter.”

Seedorf set up the goal for Ibra in the 1-1 draw away to Ajax this evening, a club where both of them used to play.

“At this moment we are still under construction. I am trying to keep everyone calm, as we need to focus and do everything in a solid fashion. As we saw again tonight, nobody will gift us anything.”

Ronaldinho was dropped to the bench for what seemed to be a 4-3-2-1 system, but Seedorf explains it was actually a 4-4-2.

“You can have a 4-4-2 in a diamond midfield, 4-3-3, whatever, the fact remains you have to take advantage of the spaces that open up in front of you.

“Milan have always played with this system over the last six years. In pre-season we had a few like this under Massimiliano Allegri, he knows he has a team that can play this system and tried to change.

“In general I didn’t like our style, as we play too many long balls and mustn’t make the mistake of thinking Ibra can resolve everything. Otherwise we’ll end up like Inter, especially in the Champions League.”

Real Madrid won 1-0 at Auxerre with a late goal, so they now lead the group on six points to Milan’s four.

“I think the draw is the right result. Maybe not in terms of scoring opportunities, but we didn’t control the tempo the way we usually do.

“There was some tiredness too, but all in all a draw away to Ajax in the CL is a good thing. We know that we must do better.”

It was a special moment for Seedorf, who was given a very warm welcome by the Amsterdam Arena.

“It was wonderful to come back here where it all started. The fans had a banner that read: ‘Clarence, you’re always a hero.’ It was a lovely moment and I’m so glad the club still remembers me with such affection.”

Champions League: Ajax Amsterdam 1:1 AC Milan - match report
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: El Hamdaoui 23 (A), Ibrahimovic 38 (M)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck against his former club to cancel out Mounir El Hamdaoui's goal, but Robinho wasted so many chances in Milan's 1-1 at Ajax.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri has changed his starting XI in every game this season and this time the men to make way were Ronaldinho and Kevin Prince Boateng. They were benched in favour of Clarence Seedorf in a trequartista role against his former club, behind Robinho and another ex-Ajax star, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Alexandre Pato and Massimo Ambrosini were still sidelined by injury.

Ajax missed Teemu Tainio, Evander Sno, Kenneth Vermeer, Thimothee Atouba and Nicolas Lodeiro, but welcomed Luis Suarez and Jan Vertonghen back from suspension.

These two sides had won the European Cup 11 times between them. Ibra controlled a fine Seedorf ball into the box, but Vertonghen managed to recover the situation before he could get the shot away.

Play was halted for a couple of minutes when smoke from the Dutch fans' flares made visibility difficult. Suarez had an audacious looping shot from 25 metres that flew over the bar.

Robinho had a great chance, again set up by Seedorf, and his left-foot daisy-cutter from a very tight angle was palmed away by Maarten Stekelenburg at the near post.

The former Manchester City man turned provider soon after for Mathieu Flamini, skipping past several players to set up the Frenchman for a smothered angled drive.

However it was Ajax who took the lead. Luis Suarez did most of the work with his sensational nutmeg on Alessandro Nesta down the left side of the box and pullback with the outside of his foot for Mounir El Hamadoui to spin round for the finish from six yards.

After a bright Milan start, the home side started to control the tempo and Suarez was a constant danger. However, Robinho had a great opportunity to equalise when Seedorf's inspired through ball sent him clear through the middle, but in a one-on-one with Stekelenburg the Brazilian drilled wide!

Ibrahimovic drew level against his former club. It was a classic counter-attack and Seedorf's flicked cross with the inside of his right foot was chested down for a tap-in from six yards. The Swede was not offside, as he was behind the flight of the ball, while Andrea Pirlo's long pass had started the move.

Ajax lost Vurnon Anita to an injury after an accidental collision with Gianluca Zambrotta, making way for Miralem Sulejmani.

Straight after the restart, Robinho wasted another golden opportunity, as following a give-and-go with Ibra on the edge of the box the Brazilian ballooned so wide that it even missed the corner flag.

Christian Abbiati had to flap at a dangerous Luis Suarez cross, while Boateng came on and was visibly furious with Enoh for a foul that was worth a yellow card.

Suarez was a constant danger and went on a double mazy run. The first was closed off by Nesta, then he won back possession and got past the centre-back, but this time Gennaro Gattuso was ready to slam the door.

Ibra knocked down a Boateng cross for Robinho to shoot off target, then the Ghanaian fired over from a Pirlo through ball. Vertonghen charged down a Seedorf volley and Stekelenburg smothered Ibra's effort.

There was a desperately close chance to win it at the 84th minute. Ibrahimovic used his strength to shrug off a Van Der Wiel challenge down the left and crossed for Boateng, whose screamer was somehow palmed off the line by the goalkeeper. Robinho ballooned the follow-up off target, but it was a remarkable save from point-blank range.

Seedorf got a standing ovation from the Amsterdam crowd when he was substituted five minutes from time. Pippo Inzaghi also replaced the disappointing Robinho.

Ajax: Stekelenburg; Van Der Wiel, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Anita (Sulejmani 39); Enoh, S De Jong, De Zeeuw (Lindgren 80); Suarez, El Hamdaoui, Emanuelson

Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Gattuso, Pirlo, Flamini (Boateng 52); Seedorf (Abate 85); Robinho (Inzaghi 85), Ibrahimovic

Ref: Brych (Ger)

Ibrahimovic: 'Usually I cheer on Ajax'
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic admits that he usually cheers on Ajax, but won’t be doing so this evening when the two sides meet in the Champions League.

The 28-year-old Sweden international made his name with the famous Dutch club, spending three years in Amsterdam before moving to Italy in 2004.

“Usually I cheer on Ajax, but I certainly won’t be doing that this time,” Ibrahimovic said.

“Today we have a light training session. Anyway, for me it’s an honour to face a team like Martin Jol’s.”

Ibrahimovic has started the campaign in fine form, scoring four goals in his first five appearances for Milan following his move from Barcelona in the summer.

His latest effort was a match-winning chip against Genoa on Saturday.

Often slated for not doing enough in the Champions League, Ibrahimovic has already scored twice in Europe’s elite club competition this season.

Galliani hopes AC Milan emulate Barcelona
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani hopes his team can one day reproduce the kind of football practiced by Barcelona.

The 66-year-old worked hard to give Milan plenty of attacking flair in the transfer window, bringing in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

However, he is keen to avoid comparisons with a performing circus, insisting that Milan want to win things rather than be a figure of fun.

“Barcelona are the team that play the best football in Europe,” he said. “I hope the Milan have the potential to become like this.”

When asked to explain Ibrahimovic's fantastic start to the season, Galliani said: “It helps that he practices martial arts.

“He has an extraordinary leg extension, but now we are only thinking about dedicating a victory to our President, who celebrates his 74th birthday tomorrow.”

Allegri hints at Ronaldinho absence
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has hinted the he is planning to leave Ronaldinho out of this evening's Champions League match against Ajax.

Allegri is worried that the Brazilian playmaker will burn out having been ever present for Milan so far this season.

“I will decide the formation after training,” Allegri said. “I am judging the outcome of changing something.

“Up until now Ronaldinho has played a lot. If he weren't to feature from the start I could also try another formation.”

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Allegri is keen to experiment with a 4-3-1-2, which would see Clarence Seedorf in the hole behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

Allegri used the same system in the second half of Saturday's 1-0 win over Genoa and would like to give it another try this evening.

Seedorf: 'We do not fear Ajax'
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf has indicated that Milan do not fear Ajax, but they do respect their Champions League opponents.

"We do not fear them, but we respect Ajax," explained the Dutchman. "Our objective, as at the start of all seasons, is to win every competition. We have many new players, we are trying to construct something important and our objective is victory."

Seedorf won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995. However, he does not foresee a return to the Netherlands.

"My future? It is more than probable that it will be in Italy," remarked the Rossoneri midfielder.

Jol: 'Ibrahimovic No 1'
27.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ajax Coach Martin Jol has hailed Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the No 1 striker in the world.

Ajax, a former employer of Ibra, host Milan on Tuesday night and their tactician has already outlined the player he fears the most.

"Ibrahimovic is the best forward in the world," explained Jol. "Milan as a squad are no less an offensive threat than Real Madrid."

Belgian defender Jan Ventonghen also offered up an appraisal of the Swedish striker.

"Against him we will have to concentrate 100 per cent for ninety minutes. Against a player of his class we will need to be defensively at our best."

Milan won their opening CL game against Auxerre while Ajax were defeated 2-0 by Real Madrid in the other Group G game.

Galliani: 'AC Milan must win the title'
27.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani thinks his side must win Serie A if they are to avoid comparisons with an amusement park.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow night's Champions League match against Ajax, Galliani made no secret of where his priorities lie.

“Milan must win the League,” he said. “We are not an amusements park.

“Milan are growing and fortunately the gap at the top is smaller - Ten points in five games means that there is great balance.

“In this balance, we are trying to recover some other positions in the table. In any case, there is balance.

“The smaller teams who once came to San Siro only to defend now play instead. They attack. I must say that from the Coaches nouvelle vague a great school of football has been born.

“Normally, in any case, the strongest team wins and we hope to be that team. Milan must be concrete as well as entertaining.

“Milan must win the championship. We are not at an amusements park. Tomorrow evening in Amsterdam we hope to dedicate a great victory to our President who must always be thanked for everything he has done for Milan.

Allegri: Ajax game is fundamental
27.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri believes tomorrow's clash with Ajax in the Champions League will be fundamental.

The Rossoneri got their European campaign off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory over Auxerre two weeks ago, but they need to amass as many points as possible to put pressure on Real Madrid.

“It's an important game against Ajax and one that's anything but easy,” Allegri said.

“It's always difficult to play at their ground. They are a very gifted young team.

“It's a fundamental game for us to get out of the group.”

When asked to reveal what his side will need to do to win the game, Allegri replied: “It will take a careful Milan that repeats the performance against Genoa in terms of sacrifice.

“We have to improve on a technical level, but I am also certain that the lads will do it. Yesterday at Milanello we only worked with those who played against Genoa.

“This evening will be the final training session and I will decide the formation.”

Ronaldinho set to miss Ajax tie?
27.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is planning to leave Ronaldinho out of his team for this week's Champions League clash with Ajax.

Allegri hasn't fallen out with the Brazilian - he merely wants to rotate his squad in view of Milan's congested fixture list.

That means some of the protagonists from Saturday's 1-0 win over Genoa are likely to be rested.

Il Corriere dello Sport understands that Andrea Pirlo and Kevin-Prince Boateng could also be on the bench, although that depends on the system Milan adopt in Europe.

There is speculation that Allegri could use a 4-4-2 with a diamond in midfield, featuring Clarence Seedorf in the hole behind the strikers.

Robinho should also start, either alongside Ibrahimovic in a 4-4-2 or out wide on the left in a 4-3-3.

Pato and Ambrosini miss Ajax trip
26.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have left behind Alexandre Pato, Massimo Ambrosini and Massimo Oddo for their Champions League trip to Ajax.

Pato and Ambrosini have been out for a couple of weeks with muscular problems and again miss out.

Oddo and youth team player Rodney Strasser are fit, but have been cut from the 21-man squad travelling to Amsterdam.

The squad sets out for Holland on Monday morning and will play at the Amsterdam Arena on Tuesday evening.

The referee assigned to this match is German official Felix Brych.

The Rossoneri won their opening Champions League game 2-0 against Auxerre thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma; Antonini, Bonera, Jankulovski, Nesta, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes; Abate, Boateng, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf; Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi, Robinho, Ronaldinho

Zlatan: 'We'll end up on top'
25.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has set his sights firmly on the Scudetto. “If we carry on like this, Milan can go top of the table.”

The Swede scored his second in as many games and was at full stretch to volley in the only goal of the game, defeating Genoa 1-0 earlier this evening.

“I am tired, but one has to make sacrifices in order to win,” he said.

“It was an important game and everyone worked so hard. Now is one of those times when even the easiest things become difficult, but the important thing is to win.

“This Milan does not just depend on one player. We are 11 on the field, five on the bench and another five who aren’t in the squad right now,” continued Ibra.

“It depends on everyone, as we all work together and go forward. If we all work and are concentrated, then I am not worried.

“In the last few games we were unlucky, but it went well today. If we carry on like this, then Milan can go top of the table.

“We mustn’t focus on what other teams are doing. If we do our job, we’ll end up on top.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan unfairly criticised'
25.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri believes Milan had been excessively criticised for their results, as the win over Genoa was their first since Week 1.

“I am happy with our victory, as we had been criticised far too much recently,” he said after the 1-0 result.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the only goal with an acrobatic effort at the dawn of the second half.

“Ibra scored many goals in his career and we hope he’ll get many more in a Milan jersey.

“We struggled in the first half, as it was difficult against a Genoa side that was above all dangerous on the counter-attack.

“After the goal, the team got over its mental block and I think the three points were deserved.

“It is important to have a good psychological state, as when the victories don’t come, you can start to get worried.

“In order to win it takes sacrifice and suffering,” continued Allegri.

“Today’s victory was important for the points and to move us up the table, but we still need to improve our performance and fitness levels.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:0 Genoa - match report
25.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic 49 (M)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic acrobatically got the only goal at full stretch to give Milan a 1-0 victory over Genoa.

Max Allegri changed his trident for the fifth time in as many rounds, giving Robinho his first start. Alexandre Pato, Massimo Ambrosini and Daniele Bonera were sidelined, while Clarence Seedorf was dropped to make way for Genoa-owned Kevin Prince Boateng. Genoa left Giuseppe Sculli on the bench and were without Raffaele Palladino or Bosko Jankovic.

Neither side had won since the opening weekend, despite spending big on a star-studded squad. For the first time since 1995, Genoa fans were able to attend this match, as relations between ultras were finally normalised after the stabbing death of Genoa supporter Vincenzo Spagnolo.

Genoa hadn't won here in Serie A since 1958 - the year Gian Piero Gasperini was born.

Rafinha threatened with an early snapshot that whistled past the near post, while Milan had a long passing move that never got a decent shot away, as Rafinha cut off Ronaldinho in the box.

On 18 minutes Milan went on the counter from a Genoa corner, as Gennaro Gattuso released Ronaldinho and he in turn sent Robinho down the right flank to test Eduardo with an angled drive.

Gattuso nearly scored a very rare goal when he burst into the box on Ronaldinho's through ball and forced Eduardo to smother at the near post from six yards.

Genoa had a fantastic scoring opportunity on 38 minutes. Rodrigo Palacio skipped past Luca Antonini down the right and his lob was meant to set up Luca Toni, but Christian Abbiati flapped it on to the woodwork of his own goal!

Boateng went very close on the stroke of half-time. Chico intercepted an Ibrahimovic through ball, but his first touch was poor and Boateng got behind him, firing at Eduardo.

It was end-to-end in these final moments of the first half. Toni chipped a cross to the back post for Chico, whose powerful header was somehow parried off the line by Abbiati in a reaction save.

After the restart Palacio's looping shot from a corner flashed off target, but it was Milan who broke the deadlock.

Ibrahimovic let an Andrea Pirlo long ball bounce and got his long leg between the two defenders to prod it just enough, a lob that sailed over Eduardo despite him getting a fingertip to it.

Houssine Kharja did well to charge down a Robinho strike, then Abbiati captured a Toni header from Rafinha's cross. Ronaldinho skimmed the bar at the end of a long move.

Giuseppe Sculli replaced Chico, moving Rafinha over to the left flank. Gattuso limped off for Mathieu Flamini and Ronaldinho made way for Clarence Seedorf. Kharja's fierce volley was deflected just wide.

It should've been 2-0 for Milan 10 minutes from time. A give-and-go between Seedorf and Robinho saw Eduardo use his foot to beat away the Dutchman's effort at the near post, then it fell to Robinho who was denied by a Mimmo Criscito goalline clearance!

Flamini blasted wide when he probably should've passed it to Robinho instead. The former Arsenal man did have a clear shot when Robinho's slide-rule pass set him up and he committed Andrea Ranocchia, but fired over the bar.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Gattuso (Flamini 66), Pirlo, Boateng; Robinho, Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho (Seedorf 71)

Genoa: Eduardo; Dainelli, Ranocchia, Criscito; Rafinha, Kharja, Miguel Veloso (Milanetto 65), Chico (Sculli 57); Palacio (Rudolf 82), Toni, Mesto

Ref: Valeri

Boateng 'would be on Genoa bench'
25.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Prince Boateng is a first choice at Milan because “he would be on the bench at Genoa,” said President Enrico Preziosi.

The Ghanaian was at the centre of one of the strangest summer transfers, as he was bought by Genoa from Portsmouth, then immediately loaned out to the Rossoneri.

“We had many attacking midfielders in our squad. Boateng would’ve been on the bench at Genoa, so I proposed him to Adriano Galliani,” Preziosi told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We reached an agreement for co-ownership and in exchange had cash plus half of Beretta.”

Genoa and Milan made other deals during the summer, so today Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Marco Amelia also face their former club.

“We were the kings of the transfer market, but with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho in the final days, I have to bow down to Galliani,” confessed Preziosi.

“Milan also wanted El Sharaawy, but that is out of the question. The lad is doing very well at Padova and will return to us.”

It is now reported that Inter are desperate to sign 17-year-old starlet El Sharaawy, who has Italian citizenship.

The Nerazzurri still own half of defender Andrea Ranocchia.

“Now he is worth at least €20m. If Massimo Moratti wants to talk about it now, then he’s welcome to, but let me be clear Ranocchia will stay at Genoa at least until the end of the season.”

Genoa: 'We paid for Boateng'
25.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa have explained the Kevin Prince Boateng situation. “We have paid both the first and second instalments to Portsmouth.”

This week the English club reportedly made a formal complaint over the missed payment of the first instalment, which was due at the start of the month.

“Genoa have paid both the first and second instalments to Portsmouth for Boateng,” insisted general manager Alessandro Zarbano.

“It is true there was a delay on the first, but it certainly wasn’t to be blamed on Genoa.

“The explanation for what happened is very simple. In the invoice, Portsmouth did not indicate the banking details and they were also incomplete in the contract.

“When we realised, we made a request and once we received the right details, we made the payment.

“In fact, we have even gone so far as to pay the second instalment around 10 days earlier than the planned deadline of October 5.”

Although the Ghanaian is owned by Genoa, he has been loaned to Milan for this season.

AC Milan aren't old, says Allegri
24.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has promised that Milan will show they are not old and slow, but rather a great team.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's match against Genoa, the charismatic tactician called for patience and a degree of realism after the signings of Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“I expected a start to the season like this,” Allegri said. “It would have been a lot simpler if I'd had everyone available to me from July 20 without the international breaks.

“That way I would have been able to work better on the pitch, but I am calm. The difficulties here are different from those of the medium and small-sized teams.

“I heard from Berlusconi after the game against Catania. He is very busy with the government, but he follows the team with passion.

“It's true that we are actually five points behind Inter, but it's also true that we are in construction. We have the absences of Pato and Ambrosini. Moreover, I've had few opportunities to coach all the regulars.

“Pato is fundamental for this team. You say that this team plays badly, but maybe if we'd won on Wednesday in Rome the comments today would have been different.

“In reality, there are problems, but we are on the right road to improvement. I repeat, Inter's five-point lead doesn't worry us. The team still has a lot to do.

When asked if Milan are still too old to win the League, Allegri said: “We have the job of getting rid of this tag. The team is proud and it knows it. We want to show that we are not old and slow.

“There are intelligent lads here and great champions,” he concluded.

Ibrahimovic is perfect for AC Milan, says Seedorf
24.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the perfect player for Milan but also feels the team needs time to get into its stride.

Ibrahimovic arrived late in the transfer window forcing Massimiliano Allegri to rethink his tactics just as the season was starting.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Seedorf said: “The fans do well to dream and we'll try to make them dream again, but we need to be realistic.

“We are building a house: it'll take time to see the Milan that we want. I ask everyone to have a little patience.

“Ibrahimovic is a good lad, he is generous and cares for the team. I knew him when he was at Juventus.

“I followed him since he arrived in Italy from Ajax because I liked him a lot. Coming to Milan sooner or later was his dream, but many things happen in football.

“Milan can go well in the Champions League and in Serie A, but the real test is Serie A. Certain things come automatically in the Champions League because you find teams who leave more space.

“It's in the League that you must measure yourself and find continuity game after game,” he concluded.

Portsmouth's Boateng complaint
24.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa are reportedly the subject of an official complaint from Portsmouth over payment for Kevin Prince Boateng.

The Ghanaian completed the transfer this summer and was immediately loaned out to Milan.

According to Sky Sports News, Genoa did not provide the first instalment of €1.55m by the September 5 due date.

Another instalment is due on October 5, so it is reported that Portsmouth have threatened an official complaint.

The story also suggests Genoa blamed the delay on administrative errors, as they did not have the correct bank details for Portsmouth.

Galliani: 'It's too soon to judge'
23.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani insists it’s too soon to make a judgement on Massimiliano Allegri after another mediocre result.

The Rossoneri were held to a 1-1 draw at Lazio last night and currently lie eighth in Serie A, five points behind rivals Inter.

“I had hoped that we would get something more [in terms of points],” Galliani said. “But it’s too soon to pass judgements.

“We play every three days and the judgements are influenced by the results,” he concluded.

Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf also tried to explain where his team went wrong.

“After taking the lead, Milan had the game in hand. We started to play deep, but then it became a different game to manage.

“We slowed down. They found an equaliser with more strength. We are sorry to be five points off the top, but Milan played a good game.”

Allegri: 'I'm happy with AC Milan'
23.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists he saw improvements in Milan’s performance despite another stalemate at Lazio.

“We showed signs of solidity,” he said of the 1-1 draw at the Olimpico.

“I liked the way Milan played, as the team worked hard and we didn’t concede counter-attacks.

“I think this evening was a very intense game and in the first half we had three clear chances.

“After the break it was more even, but we conceded with a man down suffering from cramp, hit a crossbar late on and had another great opportunity with Kevin Prince Boateng at the end.

“If we had emerged with a victory, then we’d be here saying Milan rediscovered itself. We’re on the right track.”

However, Allegri did acknowledge there is a lot of work to be done after changing his trident for the fourth time in as many games.

“We need to improve the mistakes that we keep making. For example, after taking the lead we released the pressure a little bit and didn’t hold possession.

“We must remember that there are opponents, so we cannot dominate for 90 minutes. The team worked well and we just need a victory, which hopefully will arrive on Saturday, but it was a good performance in my view.”

The Rossoneri are already five points adrift of Serie A leaders Inter.

“We just need to race ourselves and not anybody else. It’s true we are behind, but for example Roma and Milan last season fought their way back from bad starts. It’s a long season and we’re just at the beginning.”

Serie A: SS Lazio 1:1 AC Milan - match report
22.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic 66 (M), Floccari 80 (L)

The pressure was on the Rossoneri after one point from two Serie A games, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ronaldinho continued to misfire. With Alexandre Pato injured, Robinho was again left on the bench. Daniele Bonera and Massimo Ambrosini were also unavailable. Lazio were finding their feet with consecutive wins over Bologna and away to Fiorentina, even if it meant dropping Mauro Zarate.

Sergio Floccari returned from injury, pushing Tommaso Rocchi on to the bench, while Pasquale Foggia and Cavani were surprise starters. Javier Garrido and Mourad Meghni were sidelined.

In order to bring good fortune, Lazio had an eagle - the symbol of the club - fly around the Stadio Olimpico with the blue and white ribbons trailing.

Milan had a great chance after seven minutes when Ronaldinho sent Ibrahimovic clear and he sprinted past Andre Dias, but fired straight at Nando Muslera in a one-on-one.

Ibrahimovic nodded another chance wide, then got an Andrea Pirlo free kick under control to test Muslera. The Swede hit an angled drive towards the near post, forcing Muslera into another tricky save, as Milan continued to take the initiative.

Lazio had their first real chance on 27 minutes with Christian Abbiati beating away a powerful Hernanes free kick.

The Biancocelesti suddenly took control. Hernanes drilled just wide, then his through ball released Stefano Mauri and Abbiati stuck out a foot to parry the angled drive from close range.

Abbiati again had to beat away a Floccari strike after the restart, then smothered a Hernanes daisy-cutter.

Milan finally broke the deadlock with Ibra's first Serie A goal in a Rossoneri jersey. Clarence Seedorf sent him clear and the Swede dribbled past Muslera, anticipating an on-rushing defender to prod into the empty net.

Lazio threw on Rocchi and Zarate to force an equaliser and it worked, as the trident attack was more effective.

Hernanes was again crucial, as he went on a mazy run from the centre to the left, where he rolled across for Floccari to tap in from six yards at the near post.

Gianluca Zambrotta hit an absolute missile from 25 metres at the 87th minute that shook the woodwork with Muslera astonished.

Moments later at the other end a Hernanes daisy-cutter took a slight deflection and was fingertipped round the post by Abbiati at full stretch.

Lazio: Muslera; Cavanda, Biava, Dias, Radu; Mauri (Zarate 79), Brocchi, Ledesma, Hernanes, Foggia (Rocchi 74); Floccari

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Gattuso (Flamini 69), Pirlo, Seedorf; Boateng, Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho

Ref: Banti

Lazio can beat AC Milan, says Hernanes
22.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio's new signing Hernanes believes his side has what it takes to upset Milan when they visit the Olimpico this evening.

The Brazil international midfielder is already being treated as a star after settling well in the capital.

His move from Sao Paulo was something of a surprise given the interest in him from Europe's biggest clubs.

“We can beat Milan,” Hernaes told Il Corriere dello Sport. “I am very motivated.

“I want to play a great game in front of our fans. We'll face a great team, but for us this game is a trial by fire.

“We can show that we are really strong and that we are not just a sensation at the start of the season,” he concluded.

Strike off, but Round 18 moved
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Players’ Association suspended the strike for this weekend, but also got a deal to extend the winter break, moving Week 18 forward.

Negotiations between the Italian Players’ Association (AIC) and the Lega Serie A (a union of all the top flight clubs) broke the impasse this afternoon.

The proposed strike for September 25 and 26 has been called off, so those games will go ahead as planned.

However, the Lega also announced a surprise addition to the bargaining table.

The AIC has managed to extend the Christmas break, which was originally set to end on Thursday January 6.

Instead, that Week 18 round will now be played before the break, on Wednesday December 22.

It means the players will get back to work for Week 19 on January 9, 2011.

The strike was in protest at changes to the collective bargaining contract between clubs and players.

These negotiations have found an agreement on six of the eight issues, while the new deadline is November 30.

“We will keep on talking until November 30 as long as FIGC President Giancarlo Abete (pictured) acts as guarantor over the two issues we still have not agreed on: players frozen out of the squad and obligatory transfers,” said AIC President Sergio Campana.

Players call off Serie A strike
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Players’ Association has called off the strike set for this weekend after negotiations with the Lega Serie A.

The games for September 25 and 26 had been held hostage to a strike threat from the AIC (Italian Players’ Association).

It was a protest against the proposed changes to the collective bargaining contract between clubs and players.

Emergency negotiations were held today and seem to have done the trick at least to a degree, enough to call off the strike.

However, the matter is not entirely resolved, as there still need to be talks to reach an agreement on the collective bargaining contract.

The AIC and Lega (the union of every Serie A club) have set a deadline of November 30 to agree a deal.

Allegri to build AC Milan around Ibrahimovic
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri admits he is planning to build his side around new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Allegri has had to rip up his plans for Milan and start afresh following the arrivals of Ibrahimovic and Robinho late in the transfer window.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Allegri plans to shift from a 4-3-1-2 to a 4-4-2 with Kevin-Prince Boateng and Ronaldinho out wide.

“We must try and find him a little higher up the pitch with vertical passes and with balls to feet,” Allegri said.

“Ibra is very good at holding the ball up and playing his teammates through to finish a move off,” he concluded.

Give AC Milan a month, says Seedorf
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf believes Milan need a month before they start realising their considerable potential.

The Rossoneri made some high profile late additions to their squad in the transfer window, bringing in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho to add yet more firepower to their ranks.

Their surprise arrival at Milanello has forced Massimiliano Allegri into a tactical rethink especially in terms of balancing the team with so much attacking talent up front.

“We have only had perhaps three training sessions with all the new players,” Seedorf said.

“Then some were out injured [or on international duty]. I believe that within a month, you could see chemistry,” he concluded.

Milan currently lie 10th in Serie A after three games and are back in action tomorrow night when they travel to Lazio.

Ibrahimovic is a great soloist, says Sacchi
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arrigo Sacchi has stood by his comment that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is 'the greatest soloist in the world'.

Ibrahimovic attacked Sacchi live on TV after last week's match between Milan and Auxerre in the Champions League.

The Sweden international infamously told Sacchi to shut up, causing quite a stir in the Italian media.

“Ibra is the greatest soloist in the word,” Sacchi said. “If he adapts to a team's tactics he can become the greatest player in absolute.

“I hope that he has more success than I had in my years at Milan's helm. I am surrounded by affection and respect.

“I am sorry for this business [with Ibra]. My criticisms were only technical. It seems strange to me because I am Berlusconi and Galliani's friend and I believe that I did something for Milan as the fans' recognition demonstrates.

“Ibra didn't do any good PR for himself. But I believe he was just tired after the game,” he concluded.

Zarate wants to face AC Milan
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio striker Mauro Zarate would like to start against Milan on Wednesday after falling out of favour in the capital.

The Argentine striker has been criticised for his selfish playing style in recent weeks and was left out against Fiorentina at the weekend.

He apparently trained well this morning and appears desperate to impress ahead of Milan's visit to the Olimpico.

Speaking outside Lazio's training ground in Formello, the 23-year-old said: “I want to be there against Milan.”

However, so far this season, Edy Reja has preferred to play Tommaso Rocchi up front on his own.

Libor Kozak has often replaced him, though, and the Czech Republic striker scored from the bench on Saturday.

Galliani: 'I won't forgive Leonardo'
19.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani hit back at Leonardo’s claims President Silvio Berlusconi is ‘narcissistic’ and “will not forgive him if he joins Inter.”

The former Milan Coach laid into the club and above all President Berlusconi in an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport on Saturday.

“I have been working with Berlusconi for over 30 years and he accepts any kind of exchange of ideas with me,” insisted Vice-President Galliani.

“Over three decades we have debated, talked and explained. In 30 years, first working in television and then football, I’ve never heard him say: ‘We’ll do it that way because I said so.’

“I called Leonardo after reading that interview. We have worked together for 13 years and are great friends.”

Although he can debate the issue of Berlusconi’s management style, Galliani put his foot down on one issue.

“In that interview, Leonardo said ‘never say never’ and ‘if I go to Inter, I hope Galliani can forgive me.’

“I told him absolutely not! Are we ruling out Leonardo’s future at Inter? No, but we are ruling out my forgiveness!

“Of course I’m joking; let’s not get dramatic about things.”

Allegri: 'Counter trouble again'
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri moans that his Milan “keep making the same mistakes and conceding counter-attacks.”

The Rossoneri were held to a 1-1 draw by Catania, but in the first half the Sicilians had numerous chances to win it.

“Once again tonight we made the same mistakes and allowed too many counter-attacks, especially after we went a goal down,” said the Coach.

“We should not have fallen apart like that, as there was time to recover the situation. We’re still at the beginning and need to pass the ball around more cleanly.”

Milan are already dropping off the Scudetto pace with just one point from two games against minnows Cesena and Catania.

“We ought to win at home and must certainly do better, especially in terms of a work ethic. We know Serie A is tough and every game is difficult, so we must learn patience and play like a mature side.

“I don’t think it’s so much a concentration issue as the fact teams who sit back and only go on the counter-attack will inevitably preserve energy. When tiredness sets in, the technique is also affected.”

Allegri fielded an all-attack line-up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho and Pippo Inzaghi supported by Kevin Prince Boateng, Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo.

“We ought to give Ibrahimovic more of the ball. When we play with Robinho or Pato then he has more opportunity to roam.

“Boateng is an important player with good timing and can complete our midfield.

“We are on the right track, but we play every three days and there are many out injured, so clearly the others will have to work a little harder.”

Ronaldinho: 'AC Milan ought to win'
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho admits “Milan ought to win these games on home turf, but there’s a long way to go yet.”

The Rossoneri have just one point from their last two Serie A outings, having lost 2-0 at Cesena and drawn 1-1 with Catania this evening.

“It is always difficult when an opponent defends en masse,” the Brazilian told Sky Sport Italia.

“It could’ve been a good opportunity to win, but the important thing is to carry on working well.

“We have already forgotten Cesena, but there are still some mistakes that we need to improve upon.

“Now we’ve got to start winning with a certain level of consistency. Milan ought to win these games on home turf, but there’s a long way to go yet this season.”

Ronaldinho played in a new trident with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and goalscorer Pippo Inzaghi, as Alexandre Pato and Robinho are injured.

“I get along well with Ibra and he is among the best players in the world.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:1 Catania - match report
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Capuano 27 (C), Inzaghi 45 (M)

Pippo Inzaghi earned Milan a disappointing 1-1 draw, as Catania had taken the lead through Ciro Capuano's magnificent volley.

Alexandre Pato, Massimo Ambrosini and Mathieu Flamini were sidelined, while Robinho was still not given his first start after picking up a knock. Max Allegri opted for an all-attack solution, fielding Kevin Prince Boateng, Clarence Seedorf, Andrea Pirlo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho and Pippo Inzaghi together. Thiago Silva returned from injury to shore up the defence. Milan had lost 2-0 at Cesena, but beaten Auxerre by the same scoreline in the Champions League midweek, the Swede netting twice. Catania stuck with Maxi Lopez despite his failure to score yet this term.

The Rossoneri's weakness in defence was evident as within 90 seconds Adrian Ricchiuti had tested Christian Abbiati. The goalkeeper was also at full stretch to palm a wayward Ricchiuti cross-shot over.

Inzaghi was totally clear on goal and on side when he ran on to Ibrahimovic's assist from six yards, but incredibly ballooned over the bar! It was a shocking miss for SuperPippo.

Alessandro Potenza's tackle on Ronaldinho had to be timed perfectly to avoid a penalty on 23 minutes. The full-back then did brilliantly at the other end, as he skipped past Luca Antonini to test Abbiati low at the near post.

Catania broke the deadlock with a truly magnificent strike! Ciro Capuano waited for the deflected Pirlo clearance to come down and hit an extraordinary volley from almost 30 metres that flashed past a stunned Abbiati at the near post. It was a thunderbolt and in terms of technique worthy of a star like Ronaldinho or Ibrahimovic.

It should've been 2-0 moments later when Catania went on a quick counter, but Ricchiuti pulled the angled drive across the face of goal.

Maxi Lopez turned a lob over and Abbiati smothered a Mariano Izco daisy-cutter, as Milan saw plenty of the ball and did precious little with it, while the Elefantini surged forward with pace at every opportunity.

A free kick was floated infor Silvestre to nod a free header over, as Catania repeatedly threatened a second at San Siro. Ibrahimovic knocked it down for Seedorf to volley over.

When Milan did equalise, it was a rather chaotic move. There were crosses and counter-crosses until Ronaldinho feinted a shot, instead rolling the through ball across for 27-year-old Inzaghi to side-foot home from six yards.

Within 30 seconds of the restart Ibra's backheel set up Seedorf for a low drive that Mariano Andujar beat away with his legs. Ibrahimovic had the ball in the net, but was flagged offside.

Thiago Silva hit a blockbuster from distance that stung Andujar's palms and Abbiati controlled a whipped-in strike from Mascara.

The Catania goalkeeper rushed off his line to smother at Inzaghi's feet, as Milan were far more in control for the second half.

Andujar did well to capture a deflected Alessandro Nesta header from a corner, as Boateng came sliding in to get a potential rebound.

Ibrahimovic knocked it down for Ronaldinho's angled drive, which took a deflection off Matias Silvestre's desperate challenge to make it easy prey for Andujar.

Capuano clattered into Boateng for a stoppage-time free kick, which Pirlo whipped in towards Ibrahimovic, but Andujar managed to force him out for a goal kick.

Milan: Abbiati; Bonera, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Boateng, Pirlo, Seedorf (Gattuso 90); Ronaldinho, Inzaghi (Oduamadi 85), Ibrahimovic

Catania: Andujar; Potenza (Alvarez 82), Silvestre, Spolli, Capuano; Carboni (Delvecchio 75); Mascara, Izco, Biagianti, Ricchiuti (Ledesma 60); Maxi Lopez

Ref: Morganti

Balotelli: 'Yes, I'm an AC Milan fan!'
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli confesses he is a Milan supporter, admits to Inter regrets and is unimpressed with the lifestyle in Manchester.

The Manchester City striker is in Italy for rehabilitation after knee surgery that will keep him out for around six weeks.

“I am happy with my decision to move, but I came to Manchester to play. If I was looking for the nicest house in the world, I wouldn’t have come to England.”

Before going into the operating theatre, he teased journalists outside the hospital by shouting ‘Forza Milan’ out of the window.

“So, what’s wrong with that?” the former Inter star told Radio Deejay.

“I said Inter are the stronger team, but if I like Milan, what can I do about it? Did I suffer as a Milanista playing for Inter? No, I owe almost everything to Inter and spent some fantastic years there.

“It’s only recently that I understood I had to change scenery and that is what happened. I practically never had trouble with anyone in the team.

“I might tarnish my image once in a while, but I have absolutely no intention of ruining my career. I want to have a great career and nobody can deny me that.”

There were clashes with Jose Mourinho, most notably after SuperMario threw his shirt to the ground after the Champions League semi-final with Barcelona.

“Mourinho and Roberto Mancini are top managers, but as people everyone has their own opinion. It’s true Mourinho called me before I joined City.

“Did he want me at Real Madrid? Ask him. Once he told me I was so good that he only needed me on the field for 20 minutes...

“I would not do three things if I had my time over. I wouldn’t throw the Inter shirt to the ground, I would never again bite back at the fans, nor would I spend time with silly girls who just want to use me for publicity. I prefer to be alone than with such brainless people.

“Evidently I must be stupid as well, as I keep on finding these girls...”

Balotelli had a misadventure this week when ‘girlfriend’ Melissa Castagnoli announced she was dumping him live on television.

“She was never my girlfriend. Everyone tries to use me for publicity so they can be in the newspapers. I have a girlfriend who I care about very much, but I will never tell you her name.”

Maxi Lopez eyes new AC Milan upset
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Catania striker Maxi Lopez aims to break his duck against Milan this evening. “We can cause another upset, like last season.”

The Argentine is yet to score a single goal so far this season, having netted 11 in 17 games for the Elefantini following his January arrival.

“We know that we are facing a very strong side, but you never know, maybe we can cause another upset, like last season,” he said of tonight’s 19.45 UK time kick-off.

Catania held the Rossoneri to a surprise 2-2 draw at San Siro back in April. Maxi Lopez had opened the scoring for the Elefantini to lead 2-0 at one stage.

Milan aren’t new to upsets this season either, as they were beaten 2-0 at newly-promoted Cesena last week.

“I above all fear Ronaldinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, even if one always has to keep an eye on Andrea Pirlo,” concluded the Argentine.

Leonardo: 'Berlusconi is narcissistic!'
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Milan Coach Leonardo launched a stinging attack on “narcissistic” President Silvio Berlusconi and left the door open to join Inter.

The Brazilian spent the last 13 years with the Rossoneri as player, talent scout, director and finally Coach before walking away this summer.

“I never would’ve left after 13 years because of simply tactical reasons, especially as now Milan are playing in much the same way,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I made the decision to leave, giving up on a year’s wages in my contract so that I’d go in the best possible way.

“I left because of an incompatibility of character and style. These are all things I told to the President. Narcissus doesn’t like anything that is not a reflection of himself.

“There has to be something within Berlusconi that isn’t quite right. It’s impossible to co-exist with the President. He has another style of dealing with things and I don’t know why he criticised me so much during Massimiliano Allegri's presentation. Something's not right with that man.

“Allegri has a tough job and I hope he is left the time and space to work, otherwise in a year the club will get another Coach. It isn’t the Milan way to keep changing management like this.”

Leonardo also reveals he wanted to play a role in Brazil’s approach to the 2014 World Cup, where they will be the hosts.

“I said I was ready to help, without specifying a role. It’s a special World Cup for my country, but nobody ever got back to me. Therefore this season I’ll commentate on the Champions League for Sky in the UK and Canal Plus in France.

“I would like to work in England, where the role of manager allows a comprehensive control over the sporting product, rather than the Serie A Coach. I will spend a lot of time in England this year.”

There is also an intriguing option in Italy of a return to San Siro, as some linked Leo with a future on the Inter bench.

“I’ve known Massimo Moratti for years and we always had an affectionate rapport. Never say never...

“Milan was so much for me as a player, director and Coach. At one point during the 13 years I thought it would be my eternity. This year I must change and see things with neutral eyes, not those of a Milanista.”

Boateng sends Robinho to bench?
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato may be injured, but Robinho could again be benched against Catania this evening in favour of Kevin Prince Boateng.

The absence of Pato had apparently paved the way for the former Manchester City star to make his first start in a Milan jersey.

However, according to the latest reports out of the Milanello training ground, Coach Massimiliano Allegri has a different plan.

Boateng impressed a great deal when coming off the bench in the 2-0 win over Auxerre and is due a starting place.

Instead of staying in midfield, it’s believed the Ghanaian could be moved up to complete the trident attack with Ronaldinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Gennaro Gattuso would then provide a gritty shield in the middle of the park.

There is another reason behind the switch, as the Gazzetta dello Sport suggests Robinho picked up a knock to his knee against Auxerre and is lagging behind his teammates in terms of overall match fitness.

Allegri to stick with trident
17.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Max Allegri says he intends to keep on playing with an attacking trident even though Alexandre Pato is injured.

Sections of the Italian media thought he would change his tactics once Pato was ruled out for three weeks with a muscle injury, but Allegri insists otherwise.

“Changing things would be a mistake. We can try and find a different solution to adapt to but we'll keep going down the path we took on July 20.

“Zlatan will be our point of reference up front. He will guarantee us a jump in class with his strength and technique.

“We must be careful against Catania tomorrow also because we are playing only 72 hours after our exertions in the Champions League.”

Allegri was then asked for his opinion of Ibrahimovic's attack on Arrigo Sacchi.

“I can't say if Zlatan was mistaken. Everyone says what they think is right.”

Sacchi hits back at Ibrahimovic
17.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arrigo Sacchi has hit back at Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic telling him that he must learn to respect other people.

Ibrahimovic attacked Sacchi in an interview on Mediaset following Milan's victory over Ajax on Wednesday evening.

The Sweden international striker caused a real stir by advising the former Milan Coach to shut up.

Writing in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Sacchi said: “Ibrahimovic got his timing wrong.

“I certainly haven't argued with him and I am only limited to respond with the utmost calm that it's my right to express an opinion while clarifying that I have never offended him and I have never lacked respect.

“But perhaps Zlatan was tired after the match or maybe even badly advised. Perhaps he didn't even know of the great affection and the great respect with which Berlusconi, Galliani and the Milan fans honour me.

“Perhaps Ibrahimovic is offended because last year, I wrote and I said that Barcelona had signed the best soloist in the world as far as power, technique and physique are concerned, but that a soloist finds it difficult to fit into an orchestra.

“But I added that if Guardiola were to manage to make him play more with the team and for the team, something fundamental in modern football, he would have become the greatest player in the world.

“Without any rancour, I wish him the best and invite him to show greater respect towards technical opinions, especially if they are expressed by someone who has done something in football.”

Inter are favourites, says Maldini
17.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Paolo Maldini believes Inter are still the favourites to win the Scudetto this season.

The Rossoneri have significantly reinforced over the summer bringing in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

Speaking at a charity event last night, Maldini said: “Milan can win something this year.

“I have seen a team, which is still a little unbalanced, but it has everything needed to win something even if Inter are still the favourites in the League.”

When asked if his former team-mates had been in touch, Maldini replied: “They have all spoken well of Allegri.

“He is very respected by the group. There is a lot of confidence.

“It's right that he isn't setting any limits,” Maldini concluded.

Ancelotti: 'AC Milan and Chelsea's year'
16.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti believes Chelsea are ready to win the Champions League, but sees Zlatan Ibrahimovic ushering in “the breakthrough year for Milan.”

The Rossoneri welcomed their new Swede with his brace in the 2-0 victory over Auxerre last night.

“Ibra is not a surprise, as he will certainly do well and brings even more quality to Milan,” Ancelotti told Sky Sport Italia.

“He arrived with great enthusiasm and above all was welcomed with equal passion. The most important thing is to find a balance, so the team defends and attacks well.

“If you find that balance with a side of such quality, then you have a team that can win everything. It could be the breakthrough year for Milan.”

Ancelotti aims to beat his former club to the punch when it comes to the Champions League.

“Chelsea have never won this trophy, so we have a special eye for this competition, especially as last season we went out too soon.

“Chelsea have always gone very close and this season the team has the right maturity to win the Champions League. I hope we’re not at our peak after the 4-1 over Zilina, as we can still do a lot better.

“It’s true the season started well, the team knows what it has to do and that comes from a year’s work.”

Ancelotti also commented on the Champions League form of the other Italian sides, Inter and Roma.

“I consider Inter’s stuttering the normal process of adapting to a new Coach,” continued the Chelsea boss.

“Roma are struggling to rediscover themselves after the fantastic season and I think they’ll need more time than Inter. After their incredible comeback last term, perhaps there was a drop in concentration levels and the determination they need.”

Francesco Totti and Bayern Munich Coach Louis Van Gaal both criticised the Giallorossi’s approach last night.

“When a team is not in the best shape, the best thing to do is defend well. I think Claudio Ranieri has a grasp of the situation and is opting for the more prudent approach.”

Pato and Ambrosini out for three weeks
16.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan doctors have confirmed that Alexandre Pato and Massimo Ambrosini will be out of action for three weeks.

Both limped off during last night’s 2-0 Champions League victory over Auxerre.

“Captain Ambrosini was seen by expert sporting trauma specialist Dr Piero Volpi, who found a sprain of the left kneecap without ligament damage,” read a statement.

“The period for a full recovery is around three weeks.

“Tests on Pato identified a small pull on some fibres in the left thigh muscle. Pato will need two to three weeks in order to recover.”

It is bad news for the Brazilian, who has suffered from multiple recurring muscular problems in the last year.

Mourinho is 'too Inter' to coach AC Milan
16.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho insists he is too attached to Inter to ever coach Milan.

Mourinho was talking to Mediaset after Real Madrid's 2-0 victory over Ajax at the Bernabeu last night.

When asked if he would ever follow Zlatan Ibrahimovic's example and crossed the divide, Mourinho said: “I am not Ibra.

“I am too in love with the Inter family to be able to coach there.

“Then again anything is possible in football, but I don't believe that this will be the case.”

Mourinho left Inter in May after winning a historic treble in his second year at the club.

The Special One recently told La Gazzetta dello Sport that he often hears from Massimo Moratti and didn't rule out coaching Inter again in the future.

Pato faces a month on the sidelines
16.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato could be out of action for at least a month after he suffered an injury in Milan’s Champions League clash with Auxerre last night.

The Brazil international striker pulled his left abductor muscle and will have a scan this morning to assess the damage.

Milan’s treatment room is already filling up. Massimo Ambrosini hyper-extended his right knee last night and had to be substituted.

Thiago Silva was also in the stands and will undergo a series of tests today to see if he’ll be ready to face Catania.

Meanwhile, Max Allegri has told Pippo Inzaghi to calm down after he left San Siro in a huff last night.

Super Pippo had hoped to get the chance to equal Gerd Muller’s goalscoring record in Europe, but when Allegri brought on Ignazio Abate for Luca Antonio 20 minutes from the end, the striker stormed off to the dressing room.

“Pippo must be calm because there are many games still to play,” Allegri said. “It’s right that he’s angry also because I prefer him to react this way.

“If you’re happy to stay on the bench it means that you have nothing left to give.”

Ibrahimovic tells Sacchi to shut up
16.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a tremendous rant at Arrigo Sacchi following last night’s Champions League match against Auxerre at San Siro.

The Sweden international was being interviewed on Italian TV after scoring a brace and didn’t take too kindly to a joke Sacchi made about his shoe size.

Sacchi had made a rather innocuous comment suggesting that one of Ibrahimovic’s goals could only have been scored because he has such big feet.

“Sacchi should learn to shut up. He also seems jealous because he is speaking too much,” Ibra raged.

“He must speak less on TV and in the newspapers. If he wants something, he must come and see me.

“If you don’t like how I play, don’t watch me.”

The Mediaset studio was in total shock at Ibrahimovic’s backlash.

Sacchi could only reply: “Look it was only a compliment.”

There was then an awkward silence before Ibra ended the interview.

Boateng pleased with European debut
16.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Prince Boateng was pleased with his impressive Champions League debut for Milan after coming off the bench.

“It was difficult for me, as I came in and couldn’t warm up properly. This is football, it happens, and I think I did well,” said the Ghanaian.

He was on the sidelines for the first 15 minutes, but had to quickly make his way on to the pitch after Massimo Ambrosini’s injury.

“I just tried to do my best and help the team, as we lost at the weekend and had to show the fans we could get results and play good football.

“There’s a lot of competition for places in midfield, so all I can do is keep working and hope for the weekend.”

Ibrahimovic: 'A wonderful evening'
16.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw a “perfect second half” against Auxerre with his first two goals in a Milan jersey.

“We suffered under the aggression of our opponents, but it was a perfect second half,” said the Swede.

The Rossoneri had been woeful for the first hour, but Ibra netted twice in three minutes for the 2-0 Champions League victory.

“It was a wonderful evening. After the break our focus changed and we played so much better.

“This was my first game at San Siro for Milan and I really wanted to do well. I always want to win, every time.”

Allegri: 'We learned from mistakes'
16.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri conceded there’s a lot of work to do, but feels Milan “learned from the mistakes in Cesena.”

The Rossoneri beat Auxerre 2-0 with a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace, but repeatedly risked a repeat of their 2-0 loss at Cesena in the first half.

“I liked the patience the team showed during this game,” the Coach told Sky Italia television.

“Auxerre worked very hard in the first half and we had a few chances to take the lead, also risking on the counter to go behind. It was identical to Cesena, but fortunately they got the final ball wrong.

“After we took the lead, the team played very well, even if in the last five minutes we should’ve kept the ball better.”

Kevin Prince Boateng made a very strong Champions League debut, though he only came on after 15 minutes because of Massimo Ambrosini’s injury.

“Boateng is a dynamic, strong player with great technique and he settled straight into the match. He’s young and therefore an important buy for Milan.”

Allegri conceded his side is still very open to the counter-attack with their 4-3-3 system. Some may say Milan improved with Robinho on for Alexandre Pato, as he’s more accustomed to staying out wide.

“It’s a mistake we made against Cesena too, as against sides that clam up we tend to all crowd together into the box and block the spaces. Robinho needs to work in order to find his fitness, but he is an excellent alternative to Pato.

“We’re still working hard on finding the balance of the side, especially as two new players arrived at the end. It’s very important that we had a great spirit of sacrifice from the wide men. With the technique we have at our disposal, with the right movement we can hurt anyone.

“The first half was not what we wanted, but it’s also true that against a side that presses high up the field like Auxerre it is going to be tough.

“We went behind against Cesena, but learned from those mistakes and this time had the patience to find a way through.”

Champions League: AC Milan 2:0 AJ Auxerre - match report
15.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic 66, 69 (M)

Milan and especially Zlatan Ibrahimovic were woeful for an hour, but the Swede struck twice in three minutes to sink Auxerre 2-0.

The Rossoneri needed a boost after their shock 2-0 Serie A defeat to Cesena on Saturday, especially as that game saw the debut of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He missed a penalty at the weekend, but again partnered Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato. Thiago Silva, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Mathieu Flamini were injured, but Alessandro Nesta and Clarence Seedorf returned. This meant pushing Daniele Bonera into the centre-back position.

Auxerre had Roy Countout sitting out a one-match ban and Coach Jean Fernandez was making his first appearance in the Champions League. The team also required a step up after earning just four points from five games in Ligue 1.

It was Auxerre who had the first chance after two minutes when Massimo Ambrosini lost possession, allowing Valter Birsa to shoot straight at Christian Abbiati. Moments later more chaotic defending saw Steeven Langil test Abbiati at the near post.

Ambrosini limped off just 15 minutes into the match, giving Kevin Prince Boateng his Champions League debut. Ibrahimovic also needed to change his boots early on.

Olivier Sorin punched away an Andrea Pirlo free kick, which after 20 minutes was Milan's first shot on target. Boateng gave a more attacking edge to the midfield and was greeted warmly by the San Siro crowd.

However, Auxerre could not have gone closer to an opener after 22 minutes. A corner was whipped in for Adama Coulibaly's towering header over Nesta, which looped on to the top of the crossbar with Abbiati beaten.

Moments later the Rossoneri sprung to life. Ronaldinho's splendid slide-rule pass sent Luca Antonini down the left, his cross found Boateng's volley that was effectively cleared off the line by some desperate defending. The move continued and again Pato's shot was charged down by bodies in blue.

Ronaldinho tried, and failed, to curl in directly from the corner flag, but overall Milan struggled to create chances.

In fact, Auxerre went so close on the counter from a Milan corner kick. There were three players in the box, but Langil opted to go for goal by himself and blasted over when a pass would've set up an easy tap-in.

Pato protested with the referee after he felt he was elbowed in the face by Jean Pascal Mignot in the box, having run on to Seedorf's through ball.

Straight after the restart Ronaldinho's cross to the near post only got a glancing touch off Pato's foot, so Sorin was able to gratefully catch the ball.

Pirlo forced a corner when his angled drive was deflected off target. Boateng was the Rossoneri's most impressive player, as from a Ronaldinho corner Antonini flashed a ball across the face of goal, where the Ghanaian's strike was charged down by a defender's shoulder.

Robinho replaced Pato on 55 minutes to reshuffle the trident attack, as 'The Duck' seemed to be suffering from an injury.

Auxerre continued to threaten with Abbiati rushing off the line to clear from Langil, while Ibra burst through the middle only for Robinho to not make the most of the chance.

The Rossoneri finally broke the deadlock with their big summer signing Ibrahimovic. The Swede had been quite poor throughout, but Boateng knocked down a Ronaldinho cross with his head for Ibra to tap in from six yards.

Auxerre now had to push forward even more, which allowed Milan to go on the counter and Ibra doubled his tally! Ronaldinho surged up from midfield and his through ball found Ibrahimovic for a precise angled drive into the far bottom corner with the inside of his right foot.

It was a remarkable turnaround for a team - and a player - who had done so very little for over an hour. There was also bad news, as Antonini became the third forced substitution due to fitness problems.

Boateng nearly made it 3-0 after some stunning footwork as Seedorf and Ronaldinho combined, but the Ghanaian tripped at the crucial moment and tried to backheel it from six yards as he scrambled to get up.

Abbiati rather audaciously went to the corner flag to clear from Dennis Oliec after Pirlo lost the ball in midfield to spark a dangerous move.

Abbiati was at full stretch to palm an Oliec strike out of the near bottom corner. From the resulting set play, Auxerre got the ball in the net, but Antony Le Tallec was clearly offside.

Robinho nearly got his first goal in a Milan jersey in stoppages, but narrowed the angle too much after waltzing round Sorin.
Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Nesta, Bonera, Antonini (Abate 70); Ambrosini (Boateng 15), Pirlo, Seedorf; Pato (Robinho 55), Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho

Auxerre: Sorin; Hengbart, Coulibaly, Mignot, Grichting; Oliech, Pedretti, Ndinga, Birsa (Le Tallec 73); Langil (Chafni 81); Jelen

Ref: Balaj (Rom)

Ronaldinho credits Leonardo with turnaround
15.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan star Ronaldinho has credited Leonardo with turning his career around after falling off the wagon for a couple of years.

The former Ballon d'Or winner recaptured some his best form last season under Leo and feels he is back to his best.

Interviewed in L'Equipe, Ronaldinho said: “I am reborn thanks to Leonardo. And I am back to being the player I was at Barcelona.

“After having won everything with Barca, it wasn't easy for me. But last year, I re-launched myself thanks to a great coach: Leonardo.

“He gave me the freedom on the pitch to do what I like doing the most. Even when I didn't play particularly well, I can say that I did a lot more than the other players,” he joked.

“Now, I am back to the level that I was at Barcelona. When a footballer plays very well, the people end up getting used to it. And just when you play a little less well, they start asking questions and invent many things.”

Thiago Silva out of Auxerre game
15.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As expected, Thiago Silva has not recovered for Milan’s Champions League game with Auxerre, but Alessandro Nesta and Clarence Seedorf return.

The Brazilian defender limped off during half-time in Saturday’s 2-0 Serie A defeat to Cesena and is not even in the squad for tomorrow’s match.

Nesta does return after his injury and should partner Daniele Bonera at centre-back, leaving Gianluca Zambrotta and Luca Antonini on the flanks.

Seedorf also missed the Cesena tie and is available again, but Mathieu Flamini remains sidelined and is joined on the treatment table by Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri is expected to stick with the trident of Alexandre Pato, Ronaldinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Robinho and Pippo Inzaghi find their place on the bench to begin with.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma, Antonini, Bonera, Nesta, Zambrotta, Yepes, Abate, Ambrosini, Boateng, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf, Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi, Pato, Robinho, Ronaldinho

Pato: 'We can win the Champions League'
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato insists he wants “to go all the way in the Champions League with Milan. I’m sure we can do it.”

The Brazilian is confident despite Saturday night’s shock 2-0 defeat to Cesena, as his side prepare for their European debut against Auxerre.

“It is going to be a difficult game, as Auxerre beat Zenit in the play-offs, but we are ready to do well and must do on the field what the Coach asks of us in training,” said ‘The Duck.’

“Cesena deserved their victory. It was an off night, but now we must leave it behind us. Auxerre are dangerous.”

Pato thought he had scored in Cesena, but had two goals controversially disallowed.

“You saw the footage, I did score and did my job. Now I must only think about tomorrow’s match.

“I have always dreamed of the Champions League Final since the day I arrived at Milan. I hope to achieve it this season.

“I want to go all the way in this competition and I’m sure we can do it.

“After the 4-0 win over Lecce, everyone was happy. After Cesena it was the total opposite. Now we’ve got to focus on Auxerre, as tomorrow we’ll need a great performance.”

Allegri: AC Milan must forget Cesena
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri insists his side must forget their defeat to Cesena ahead of tomorrow night's Champions League opener against Auxerre.

The Rossoneri went down 2-0 at the Dino Manuzzi stadium in embarrassing circumstances despite fielding new signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

Speaking at a pre-match Press Conference, Allegri said: “I am certain we will not repeat the errors that we made in Cesena against Auxerre.

“I believe it was a strange week. We came off a clear victory against Lecce, then the arrivals of Ibra and Robinho created enthusiasm.

“Unfortunately the international break prevented us from working and their adaptation was more difficult.

“Winning in Serie A and in Europe takes the utmost respect of the opponent. In Italy, the small teams are very organised and have great enthusiasm.

“To get three points in the League, you need to also win games playing badly. We cannot have the assumption of always being able to play well.

“Spalletti's Roma played great football, they were always up there, but they didn't manage to win the League because they didn't win when they played badly.”

Looking ahead to Auxerre, Allegri said: “We'll have to be careful because they have quick players up front and on the wings.

“We must play well and be careful in defence: it's by no means an easy game. I have not seen Auxerre live. I have been able to study them on TV in their last two outings.

“Ibra will play from the first minute while we'll evaluate Thiago Silva today with him and the medical staff.

“Real Madrid and Milan will play to be favourites in the group; let's say that we have a 50 per cent chance of winning the group, but the team and I won't be content with finishing second.”

Referees hit back after AC Milan attack
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The President of the Italian Referees' Association Marcello Nicchi has hit back at Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi after he branded match officials 'left-wing'.

Berlusconi brought politics into football again on Saturday, alleging that the left's conspiracy against him was evident in the refereeing in Milan's 2-0 defeat to Cesena.

Milan even put a definition of the offside law on their official website, stoking the fire that little bit further.

“Referees like anyone else are right-wing and left-wing,” Nicchi said. “I have never been a member of a political party. I have only been a member of the Italian Referees' Association.

“The referees have been almost perfect [this season]. Instead there have been errors on the part of the assistants, but nothing that bad.

“We are talking about centimetres. It's something physiological that makes part of human error because we are not machines.

“I consider Berlusconi's outburst on left-wing referees to be only an unhappy joke that doesn't damage the job that the Italian Referees's Association is bringing forward.”

When asked for his reaction to Milan publishing the offside law, he said: “When a club remembers one of our rules it's always a pleasure.”

Cristiano Ronaldo isn't afraid of AC Milan
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo insists his side has nothing to be afraid of when they face Milan in the Champions League.

Milan have caused quite a stir after signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho during the summer.

“They have reinforced,” Ronaldo admitted. “They will be two difficult games, but we mustn't think about our opponents.

“We are Real Madrid and we are not afraid of anyone.

“We will win something, of that I'm sure. I have a very clear feeling inside. We can't keep winning nothing.

“I can't allow myself to bring nothing home for two years. I feel that with a new Coach and the signings that we have made, we are ready to change tack.

“In recent years in the Champions League things haven't gone well but this year it will be different.”

Thiago Silva doubtful for Champions League
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva is in doubt for Milan's opening Champions League match against Auxerre.

The Brazilian defender suffered a thigh injury against Cesena, which forced him off the pitch at the break.

Silva is unlikely to feature but Max Allegri may yet choose to take a risk on him. Daniele Bonera will deputise if the Rossoneri boss chooses not to gamble.

In positive news Alessandro Nesta should be back after suffering an inflammation of his sciatic nerve.

Allegri has carried out some new tactical practices but is likely to start with Ronaldinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexandre Pato - the same trio who started at Cesena.

Aside from Silva the Milan doctors will also be assessing the fitness of Clarence Seedorf and Kevin-Prince Boateng ahead of their trip to France.

Moggi blasts AC Milan
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luciano Moggi believes Milan's performance against Cesena on Saturday night was an exercise in how not to play football.

The Rossoneri lost 2-0 despite fielding both of their high profile new signings, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

“The game against Cesena was an example of how not to play football. It was a game played with little humility.

“I keep thinking that instead of investing in Robinho it would have been better to invest in a defender, but if Milan find the right tactical balance they could win the Scudetto.”

The former Juventus general manager, who was disgraced in the Calciopoli scandal, also had a few words to say on Inter.

“What they lack with respect to last year is Mourinho who protected everyone by speaking about himself. Instead with Benitez, Moratti has already started talking a lot again.

“Juventus' defence has shown itself to be full of holes, above all on the wings. Motta made Cassano dream a lot of the time.

“The central midfield lacks quality. Only Aquilani can improve in the future. Krasic did well. Yesterday's game showed that the level of Juventus' squad in terms of quality is more or less the same as Sampdoria's.”

Moratti: 'Ibrahimovic's miss made it a perfect day'
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Moratti believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic's penalty miss for Milan against Cesena on Saturday made it the perfect day to be an Inter supporter.

Ibrahimovic controversially moved back to Italy this summer, joining Milan from Barcelona despite spending three years with Inter where he was regarded as a talisman.

His debut didn't exactly go to plan as Milan lost 2-0, allowing Inter to overtake them in Serie A.

When asked for his reaction to Ibrahimovic's penalty miss, Moratti said: “From a certain perspective it was the perfect day to be an Inter fan, but personally no.

“I saw Ibra. It was interesting to watch the game. Honestly I was curious too.”

Moratti then gave his take on Milan's decision to blame the 'left-leaning' referee for their defeat at the Dino Manuzzi stadium.

“When things go wrong, it seems that everyone reacts in the same way. It's understandable. What I would like is that they don't complain when it happens to us.”

Berlusconi blames the referee
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi blamed the referee for last night’s 2-0 defeat in Cesena. “We had three good goals disallowed.”

The Rossoneri were comprehensively out-played at the Stadio Manuzzi with Zlatan Ibrahimovic missing a late penalty.

Alexandre Pato had two goals ruled out – one for offside, another for a handling offence – while the flag was often raised incorrectly.

“I said ‘Forza Milan’ yesterday, but it went badly. Never mind, these things happen in football,” said Berlusconi.

“Milan were unlucky, even if I think the referee disallowed three good goals.”

Berlusconi is the President of Milan, but also the Prime Minister of Italy.

Thiago Silva 'worried' by injury
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva admits he is “very worried” that he’ll miss Milan’s Champions League opener with Auxerre due to injury.

The Brazilian limped off at half-time in last night’s 2-0 defeat to Cesena with a thigh problem.

“Towards the end of the first half I felt pain in my right thigh after a change of pace, so I preferred to come off as I knew we have an important game on Wednesday night,” said the defender.

“I am very worried, as it’s been a long time since I’ve felt pain like that. I spoke to the doctor and he said we have to wait until Monday to make a detailed analysis.

“I hope to play against Auxerre, but first I have to evaluate my condition carefully with the medical staff.

“I am in any case hopeful that I can make it for the Champions league game.”

Alessandro Nesta and Mario Yepes are also dealing with injuries, while Sokratis Papastathopoulos had a nightmare game against Cesena.

“We stepped on to the field a little too relaxed. To win, we need to change our approach,” confessed Thiago Silva.

“It’s a shame, as it could’ve been a great night. Alexandre Pato also had two goals disallowed, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a penalty, which is unusual for him.

“We hope Wednesday will be totally different.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan lack team ethic'
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri hopes the drubbing in Cesena can teach Milan a valuable lesson. “You can have stars, but without a team ethic you’ll get nowhere.”

The Rossoneri gave Zlatan Ibrahimovic his debut, but were beaten 2-0 by the minnows who were playing their first Serie A home game in 19 years.

“It’s difficult to find positives from this game. We hadn’t started too badly, but we knew Cesena were strong on the counter,” said Allegri.

“The second goal was the real blow, as to concede like that on the counter-attack from our own set play was disappointing.

“We weren’t organised enough and didn’t move the ball around cleanly, wandering around the field without a specific plan in mind.

“I tried the new players who just arrived, but that’s no excuse. We were simply lacking in grit. This system requires everyone to work for everyone else, it’s something I’ve been trying to tell the team since the day I took over at Milan.”

The entire Cesena squad was bought for less than Ibrahimovic’s salary.

“Cesena play with real enthusiasm and if we allow them to do what they do best, we risk collapsing. That’s what happened tonight. To win in Italy and in Europe, we need a different attitude,” continued Allegri.

“When going behind and things become difficult, we have to work even harder. We can’t always think the other guy is going to solve the problem and sort things out.

“I always say every game starts at 0-0 and there are no easy teams to beat in Italy. We saw the proof of that tonight.”

Inter are now top of the table alongside Cesena and Cagliari on four points, so are Milan still favourites for the Scudetto?

“I don’t think we were ahead of Inter a week ago and we’re not behind them now. Of course I’m the first to be angry about this defeat, but it can do us good, as it’ll show us that a game must be won on the field as a team unit.

“You can have all the stars that you want, but without that team ethic, you’ll get nowhere.”

Serie A: Cesena 2:0 AC Milan - match report
11.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Bogdani 31 (C), Giaccherini 44 (C)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Milan debut was a nightmare, as he missed a penalty in a fully deserved 2-0 defeat to Cesena.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri opted not to go with the Fab Four straight away, so Robinho was the one to sit on the bench as Ibra partnered Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato. Alessandro Nesta and Clarence Seedorf were sidelined, so Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Gennaro Gattuso stepped in. Cesena didn't shelve their 4-3-3 formation for the first Serie A home game in 19 years.

Ronaldinho's dipping curler was heading into the far top corner before Francesco Antonioli, who turns 41 next week, flapped it away. Thiago Silva turned a free header over from a set play, but at the other end Erjon Bogdani's header was deflected off target.

Cesena were very dangerous down the flanks with Giaccherini and Ezequiel Schelotto wreaking havoc.

Pato put the ball in the back of the net after the offside flag had gone up on 24 minutes, but replays show Nagatomo was keeping The Duck in play. Pato also drilled wide from an Ibra assist, while Ibrahimovic just failed to get on the end of Luca Antonini's cross.

It was Cesena who took a shock lead against the superstar Milan. Giaccherini was behind it, as he crossed for Schelotto on the opposite flank, who then put it immediately back into the centre for Bogdani's glancing header from six yards into the far bottom corner.

Bogdani so nearly scored a second on the counter-attack by cutting in from the left, skipping past Thiago Silva and forcing Papastathopoulos into a desperate tackle inside the area.

It was 2-0 on the stroke of half-time, as Cesena went on a classic counter-attack from Milan's corner. Papastathopoulos was having a nightmare and he was caught out by Bogdani surging forward, then rolling across for the unmarked Giaccherini to roll a snooker shot across Abbiati in off the far post.

Thiago Silva suffered an injury during that first half and had to make way for Ignazio Abate, moving Daniele Bonera into the centre. Ibra knocked a cross down for Gennaro Gattuso to fire wide from the D, but Abbiati needed his wits about him to control a wayward Bonera backpass.

Milan thought they had pulled one back after 51 minutes when Pato put the ball in the net with a half-volley, but the referee ruled it was a handling offence as he chested it down. The linesman had given the goal, but the referee overruled him.

Ronaldinho was disappointing and made way for Robinho, as the former Manchester City star made his Serie A debut. He combined with Ibrahimovic for a good chance that was halted by an incorrect offside flag.

Ibra tried to do it all himself with a missile from distance that was clocked at 103km/h.

Allegri introduced the 4-2-4 system for the final 25 minutes, but it was Pippo Inzaghi who completed the Fab Four this time. Cesena remained dangerous, as Parolo's daisy-cutter flashed inches wide of the upright.

Antonioli rushed out to close down Inzaghi, who again was flagged offside in a very dubious decision. The former Milan goalkeeper also smothered a Pato angled drive, but effectively had little to do thanks to the excellent defending of his teammates.

Inzaghi's shot was charged down as he ran on to an Ibra through ball, but at the other end Abbiati was at full stretch to get his fingertips to a Colucci screamer of a half-volley from 20 metres. On the resulting corner, Abbiati had to use his legs to parry from Giaccherini at the near post.

Again Abbiati needed a desperate save with his foot to stop Colucci curling in directly from the corner flag!

Antonioli was also at full stretch to deny Ibra's curler from outside the area. With five minutes left on the clock, Inzaghi had turned in the box when he was pulled back by Nagatomo. The referee pointed to the spot and Ibrahimovic stepped up on his debut, but hit the upright!

Cesena: Antonioli; Ceccarelli, Pellegrino, Von Bergen, Nagatomo; Appiah, Colucci, Parolo; Schelotto, Bogdani (Malonga 80), Giaccherini

Milan: Abbiati; Bonera, Sokratis, Thiago Silva (Abate 46), Antonini; Gattuso (Inzaghi 65), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Pato, Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho (Robinho 56)

Ref: Russo

Missed penalty: Ibrahimovic 86 (M)

Ficcadenti: 'We'll attack AC Milan'
11.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cesena Coach Massimo Ficcadenti tells Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Milan “we won’t just defend, as we can get a positive result” this evening.

Ibra is set to make his debut in a Rossoneri jersey when his side travel to the Stadio Manuzzi.

“Milan are galvanised by the arrival of Ibrahimovic, but we’ll counter them with our sharpness and will certainly not make the mistake of just defending ourselves,” said the tactician.

“We too have experienced players, so with the right humility and playing at our full potential, we can have a great performance and earn a positive result.”

Cesena were absent from the top flight for nearly two decades, but caused an upset in Week 1 when holding Roma to a 0-0 draw at the Olimpico.

“On a psychological level it won’t be a problem for my players to have Cesena’s first Serie A home game in 19 years,” continued Ficcadenti.

“If anything it’ll be an absolute pleasure playing in front of so many fans. We want to prove to them that Cesena can fight to stay in Serie A.

“I still have a few doubts on the line-up, but there’s nothing to say I won’t confirm the same starting XI that held Roma.”

Allegri: 'All four could play'
10.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Max Allegri says he could play all four of his high profile attackers against Cesena this weekend.

There is a great desire to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho play at the same time.

“Hopefully during the game there will be the chance to play all four, but we need time,” Allegri said.

“They have only just arrived and the team has worked for two months finding its balance, so we now need time to find it again.

“Ibrahimovic is fine and he'll play from the first minute. Cesena run a lot, concede little and can spread fear on the counterattack.

“Games are never won before you play them. I said that last year with Cagliari when we played against the big teams and I say it now that I coach Milan and we play the small teams.”

Players' strike brings Serie A to a halt
10.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Italian Footballers' Association has announced its decision to strike on the weekend commencing September 25, bringing Serie A to a grinding halt.

The AIC is protesting at the renewal of Serie A's collective-bargaining agreement.

Milan full-back Massimo Oddo read out the following statement: “The AIC, in accordance with the teams in Serie A, has decided that they will not take to the pitch on the 5th round of the season on September 25 and 26 in protest at the introduction of the new contractual regime.”

The highest profile match to be effected will be that between Roma and Inter.

When asked to explain the decision, Oddo said: “The players are fed up with being treated like objects and not like people.

“We are dealing with human rights here,” he concluded.

Galliani text me, says Balotelli
10.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli said he received a text from Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani while in hospital in Pavia yesterday.

The 20-year-old was having an operation to repair the cartilage in his knee, although that didn’t stop him getting up to the usual high jinks.

Super Mario was heard singing Milan songs from his hospital window and reacted favourably to comments made by Galliani saying he would like to sign him for the Rossoneri.

Speaking to Sky Italia this morning, Balotelli said: “It’s true Galliani said me a text and he wished me a speedy recovery.

“I am fine, the operation went well. I hope to get back to playing as soon as possible. Yesterday Materazzi came to find me, but I imagine that my other former team-mates will see me at my house. I am still tied to Inter.”

When pressed on Milan’s interest, he said: “This is something else. I have still not played for City.”

Finally Balotelli gave his two shillings on the title race in Serie A.

“Inter are strong, but Milan are too. I don’t believe that the Rossoneri are superior, but I expect a great derby. Hopefully I’ll get to come and see it.”

Berlusconi won't interfere at AC Milan
10.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi insists he will not interfere with Massimiliano Allegri’s team selection after spending big in the summer.

Berlusconi got his wallet out after a couple of lean years and brought in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho to great fanfare.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Berlusconi was asked why he had suddenly fallen in love with the club again.

“It’s not true that I have re-found love for Milan, because I always had it. But in the last two years, I didn’t share the way with which the team was put on the pitch, first with Ancelotti and then with Leonardo.

“I have always respected the role of our Coaches, but I felt pain seeing that the resources available to them weren’t used opportunely.

“In some games we didn’t even have a shot in a half, because instead of being close to goal Ronaldinho and Pato were 45m away from it.”

Berlusconi was also keen to take the spotlight off his galacticos and turn it on some of Milan’s unsung heroes.

“Further to Pato, Ibra, Ronaldinho and Robinho there are other class players like Pirlo and Seedorf, but it will be up to Allegri to decide who play on the basis of form and the health of everyone.

“I am not the last person to arrive in football so I believe that I am able to say my piece. I have spoken with Allegri. I have told him what I think and he knows that I wanted to set up a very spectacular Milan, capable of entertaining, in which all the best players can play together if they are well. But, as always, he has the last word.”

When asked if he agreed with Ibrahimovic’s sentiment that Milan are now stronger than Inter, Berlusconi said: “I’ll let the others say something on that.

“I only know that, as always, we are aiming to be protagonists in Italy and in Europe. If there aren’t any injuries, our squad is of the highest order. It was last year and it is even more so this year.”

Finally Berlusconi gave his reaction to reports linking Inter with a move for former Milan talisman, Ricky Kaka.

“If Kaka were to go to Inter I’d also applaud Inter because he has always been a great player,” he concluded.

Eto'o: 'We don't fear AC Milan'
10.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Samuel Eto’o tells Inter they must win this weekend, but sends a signal to Milan. “The only sides we fear in Europe are Real Madrid and Barcelona.”

The Nerazzurri got off to a tricky start, losing the European Super Cup 2-0 to Atletico Madrid and held 0-0 in the Serie A opener by Bologna.

“We absolutely must win against Udinese so that we don’t drop important points on home turf,” said the Cameroon international.

“Jose Mourinho undoubtedly did a great job, but now we want to continue along the same path with Rafa Benitez. They are both excellent Coaches.”

Milan’s new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic put his side among the favourites for both the Scudetto and Champions League, but Eto’o is unconvinced.

“The only sides we fear in Europe are Real Madrid and Barcelona. They are the strongest and we proved that everything is possible. Nobody believed in us, but we defeated the titans of Europe and can also continue winning in Italy.

“If we are to lift that silverware again, it means taking it one game at a time with one key concept: humility.

“Everyone talks about Milan and Roma because of their new signings, but Inter have a great squad that can continue its success.

“I respect everyone, but fear nobody. Fear does not exist for me in football.”

Nesta out, but Ibrahimovic in?
10.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta looks set to miss Milan’s trip to Cesena, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to start alongside Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato.

The veteran defender has been training separately from the team for several days and is unlikely to be risked ahead of the Champions League opener with Auxerre on Wednesday.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos is expected to start at centre-back instead, while Clarence Seedorf and Mathieu Flamini are also not 100 per cent fit.

It is too early for Massimiliano Allegri to risk the ‘Fab Four’ together from the start, so Robinho is expected to sit on the bench to begin with.

The trident attack will consist of Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho and Pato, giving Zlatan his Serie A debut in a Rossoneri jersey.

Gennaro Gattuso is facing a challenge from Kevin Prince Boateng for a spot in midfield.

Sacchi doesn't see AC Milan success
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

People can’t wait to see the new all-star Milan, but Arrigo Sacchi is less than impressed. “Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho are soloists.”

The Rossoneri leapt to the top of the list of favourites after their summer spending spree.

“Massimo Moratti has given Rafa Benitez a highly competitive Inter without compromising the balance sheet,” wrote former Italy and Milan Coach Sacchi in the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“A super-motivated Inter still have the advantage in Italy and are our only possible favourite in Europe.

“On the contrary, the sudden change of strategy at Milan raised enthusiasm around a club depressed by the Inter victories and inadequate investment.

“Unfortunately, the ‘fan’ Silvio Berlusconi prevailed over the President. Ibra, especially in Serie A, is focused more on individuality than the collective.

“He is a great soloist who plays music at the highest level, but struggles to connect with his co-workers or benefit from that synergy,” continued Sacchi.

“Robinho is the classic Brazilian who has excellent technique, dribbling skills and pace, but is also accustomed to moving individually rather than as part of a collective.

“The Rossoneri fans may dream, but it’s a long way from when the club signed young talents (Roberto Donadoni, Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Franck Rijkaard, etc) and used Italians from the youth sector (Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Filippo Galli, Alberigo Evani, Demetrio Albertini).

“All these players were functional to the project, complimented each other with ascertained passion and professionalism.”

Sacchi, who now works co-ordinating the youth sectors for the Italian FIGC, was also unimpressed with Juventus.

“Their transfer campaign was plentiful, but lacking great names or possible young champions.

“I think at best Juve will be able to do OK. The lack of a midfield creative figure and the not extraordinary technique in the side will be a limitation for Gigi Del Neri’s football and their chances of success.”

Balotelli shouts 'Forza Milan!'
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli teased journalists by singing the Milan anthem out of the hospital window ahead of his knee surgery!

The Manchester City striker responded favourably to Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani confessing he’d like to sign the player in future.

SuperMario, who could be out for six weeks after surgery on the lateral meniscus ligament in his right knee, teased the journalists camped outside the hospital in Pavia.

First the former Inter hitman sang the Milan anthem out of the window, then leaned out and shouted ‘Forza Milan!’

“As a child he was a Milan supporter,” explained Galliani. “This morning I sent him a text message wishing him good luck, seeing as he’s one of our fans.

“Now that’s enough, otherwise we’ll create a diplomatic incident! At the very least I’d like to avoid causing trouble for Manchester City.”

AC Milan can win everything, says Ibrahimovic
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes Milan have what it takes to win the Scudetto and the Champions League.

The Sweden international striker joined Milan just days before the transfer window closed.

Robinho also arrived at San Siro creating great expectation under the Madonnina.

Speaking at his official unveiling, Ibrahimovic said: “In my opinion, we are stronger than Inter because now I am at Milan. With Robinho's arrival we are more complete, we are favourites to win the Scudetto and the Champions League.

“I came here to win. I hope to do better than I did at Juventus and Inter. It'll be a fantastic year. The fans will have fun.

“Everyone enjoyed themselves in training today.”

When asked if Milan will be the last club of his career, Ibrahimovic said: “When I signed for a club, it's always the last one: I thought that way last year at Barcelona, but you don't know what might happen, you never know.

“I have signed for four years, then it's up to the club and the Coach.

“For me last year wasn't the best, so I'm not lacking motivation. I feel great physically. I have to find my ideal form with a little training.

“With me and Robinho, two players arrive who know how to play football. We know that this team can play football and entertain. But aside from this, we obviously want to win and celebrate at the end of the season.”

When asked about the reaction of Inter's fans to his decision, Ibra said: “If you are a real fan, you are happy because you remember the player [I was for Inter], but if you hate me because now I am at Milan it doesn't interest me.

“I don't look back at the past. I look to the future and that's it. My future is Milan. Between Milan-Inter and Milan-Barcelona I would prefer to play Milan-Inter: I was only at Barcelona for a year. I had a great relationship with the fans and my team-mates. I was at Inter for three years. But they are Milan's rival.

“The derby is fantastic. This year we will be a match for them, but we will finish first and they will finish second.”

Galliani: 'Ibrahimovic and Robinho bring enthusiasm'
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani believes the signings of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho bring some much-needed enthusiasm to the club.

The Rossoneri stirred into life towards the end of the transfer window, committing over €30m in cash for the two star players.

Speaking at their official unveiling, Galliani said: “There is a renewed enthusiasm with the arrivals of Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

“I see it in the season ticket sales and the affection shown by the fans.

“They are two players who arrive from two nations that have made Milan's history.

“I hope Ibra's career in red and black goes the same way as his compatriot Gunnar Nordahl and Robinho continues the Brazilian tradition.”

Robinho: 'We can all play together'
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho has encouraged Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri to play with four attacking players this season, starting against Cesena at the weekend.

The Brazil international was speaking at his official unveiling following his move from Manchester City at the end of the transfer window.

“Milan put forward the only concrete proposal,” he revealed. “The other clubs only made inquiries. But my desire was to play at Milan.

“They are a great club with a great tradition as well as Brazilian players. I am happy that it all went through.”

When asked about Allegri's plans for him, Robinho said: “We can play with one, two, three or four strikers.

“You need to run, sure, but you also need to run to score goals. There is Pato and Ronaldinho. Everyone can give their contribution.”

Finally, Robinho gave an explanation as to why he flopped at Manchester City.

“Mancini and I have a good relationship and he is a good Coach. The truth is that English football doesn't do much for me, it's not very Brazilian, with a lot of balls in the air and few on the ground.

“It was complicated for me to adapt myself to this kind of play,” he concluded.

Huntelaar: Schalke move inevitable
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Schalke's new signing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar believes there were too many strikers at Milan for him to get regular first team football.

The Holland international moved to the Bundesliga in the final days of the transfer window despite expressing his intention to fight for his place.

“I'll probably return to Milan on Saturday to get my things and my car from the airport, then I'll prepare for the match in the Champions League away to Lyon,” Huntelaar explained.

“It's a pleasure and an honour to play alongside Raul. We know each other already.

“Obviously it's down to the Coach, but I hope to play many games by his side.

“With Ibrahimovic's arrival at Milan, there were four strikers, too many to think about players every week like I want to.

“I don't believe Schalke is a step back in my career. We can realise important objectives here,” Huntelaar concluded.

Balotelli encourages AC Milan interest
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has responded favourably to Adriano Galliani's comments that he would like to sign him for Milan.

Balotelli is a self-proclaimed Milan fan and has even been pictured wearing the red and black shirt, albeit during a sting on an Italian TV show.

The 20-year-old left Inter this summer in a £22.5m transfer plus add-ons. He is currently in Italy for a knee operation, which is expected to keep him out of action for six weeks.

When asked for his reaction to Milan's interest, Balotelli said: “I am happy with Galliani's words. I like Milan they are a strong team.”

His agent, Mino Raiola, who orchestrated the moves of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho to Milan this summer, played down the speculation though.

“Mario must now get his head in place and show himself to be a champion and he must do so with Roberto Mancini.

“Thinking about the future now is mistaken. Now he must only heal and stay at City for the length of his contract.

“Afterwards, we'll see. You can't exclude anything, neither Milan, nor a return to Inter, nor Juve, nor Real Madrid.

“But now is not the time."

Abbiati fears for other keepers
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati admits he wouldn’t like to face his team’s strikers this season.

The Rossoneri could start with a front four composed of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho.

If you add Pippo Inzaghi into the mix, the quintet has no fewer than 942 goals between them.

“There is reason to be afraid if you find yourself with those four in front of you,” Abbiati told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Not only for a goalkeeper: the entire defence will be full of apprehension.”

When asked if Milan are now the favourites for the title, he replied: “Let’s just say that the time for alibis is over.

“The fact that we are thinking big means we have conviction in our own means and that’s something positive.

“Right now the squad is really competitive. We can fight on all fronts until the end.

“One thing is certain: the gap with Inter has been closed. Now we play as equals.”

AC Milan 'can balance Fab Four'
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic “can play any attacking role” in Milan’s Fab Four, insists agent Mino Raiola.

There are question marks over how Coach Massimiliano Allegri will balance a side with Ibra, Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato and Robinho playing together.

“Zlatan can play in any attacking role,” assured agent Raiola on Antenna 3 television.

“The four strikers can play in many different ways and that includes all of them together at the same time, but the decision is up to Allegri.”

Raiola was the key to San Siro’s ins and outs this summer, as he also negotiated for Robinho and Mario Balotelli.

“Negotiations are made of ups and downs. All of these talks made me feel pessimistic and optimistic as time wore on. You need to stay cool to find a positive conclusion.

“I am happy that Balotelli went to England, as he needed a bit of a different experience abroad. Mario is relaxed and now has to focus on playing for Manchester City so he can grow.”

Galliani: 'I'd like to sign Balotelli'
8.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says he would like to sign Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli one day in the future.

It's no secret that Balotelli is a Milan fan, having been pictured at San Siro watching their games on several occasions.

Balotelli was even convinced to pull on a Milan shirt on a satirical TV show earlier this year, drawing criticism from Inter fans.

He moved to City last month in a £22.5m transfer, but given Milan's habit of signing former Inter stars, Galliani won't rule out a move for him.

When asked if he would like to sign Balotelli, he said: “Yes, I would like to.”

Galliani was also no stranger to the fact that Balotelli is represented by the same agent as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

“Ah, I didn't know,” he joked.

Pressure is normal, says Allegri
7.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri insists it's normal that he is under pressure given the expectation surrounding the club's new signings.

The Rossoneri brought in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho at the end of the transfer window, increasing talk of a title challenge.

Speaking to the Milan Channel, Allegri said: “It's normal that there is a lot of responsibility. You always try and give your best.

“It's gratifying to coach this team when the President has made such important efforts [in the transfer market].

“You must always focus on winning, especially now. I expected the club to sign a champion. It's in Milan's DNA.

“We have started this year well,” he added. “The lads have started very well.

“I believe that we will do something important,” Allegri concluded.

'Allegri should drop Pirlo'
6.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri should drop Andrea Pirlo, according to his former mentor at Pescara Giovanni Galeone.

Allegri has a selection headache after the signings of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho, although some would call it an embarrassment of riches up front.

It’s widely believed that Allegri will be obliged to play his new arrivals together with Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho in the same starting XI.

That would obviously render Milan very offensive, so in order to make the team more balanced, Galeone believes Pirlo has to be the fall guy.

However, the attack-minded tactician also believes Pirlo’s absence could present Allegri with another opportunity.

Speaking to Tuttosport, he said: “Taking out Pirlo from midfield would mean you’d be able to add a mastiff in front of the defence, or even better a trequartista in attack.

“You don’t need a deep-lying playmaker with those four. Pato should play behind Ibra. This team can win everything,” he concluded.

Thiago Silva swears allegiance to AC Milan
6.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan centre-back Thiago Silva insists he never thought about leaving the club, partly because he is certain they’ll win something this season.

The Brazil international had been frequently linked with Barcelona and Real Madrid this summer, but his allegiances lies with the Rossoneri.

“Milan are my home. I am happy. The club is like my family. I hope to stay here at least until 2014,” he told Sport Mediaset.

“The club has conducted a fantastic transfer campaign. I am not going to say that we’ll win the Champions League and the Scudetto, but we’ll realise at least one of these two objectives.

“As a defender, I would like to see Pato, Robinho, Dinho and Ibra on the pitch. I am ready to fight and maybe even play my part in this quartet of goalscorers.

“The important thing is that Nesta is by my side. He is a fundamental point of reference. A champion. We’ll have to find the right balance in defence and midfield.

“I don’t know why Ibra wasn’t happy at Barcelona. But he is perfect for Italian football. This year I believe that we’ll find the net easily and score many goals,” he concluded.

Brazil open the door to Ronaldinho
6.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazil’s new Coach Mano Menezes has opened the door to Milan star Ronaldinho after a prolonged period in the international wilderness.

Menezes’ predecessor Dunga made a habit of not picking the former Ballon d’Or winner, even though he returned to form at Milan last season.

Ronaldinho was left at home for the World Cup, but he hopes to be there in 2014 when the event will be hosted in Brazil.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Menezes said: “I work thinking about the 2014 World Cup. Ronaldinho is not old. He is not out of the age range for the World Cup in Brazil.

“But Dinho’s qualities aren’t up for debate. His last season at Milan was good, but the two or three previous ones were negative. I am looking for continuity.

“If Dinho returns to being the player who made all of us fall in love, I’ll call him up.”

Menezes also had positive words to say about Ronaldinho’s Milan team-mate Alexandre Pato.

“I confess, when I saw him in person I was left with my mouth open. He is more robust and taller than I had imagined watching him on TV. He has started down a path that will lead to him being a centre-forward.

“I would say that today he is a little less Careca and a little more Ronaldo.”

I'm never satisfied, says Inzaghi
6.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Pippo Inzaghi believes he has become such a good goal scorer because he is never satisfied.

The 37-year-old poacher is now in his 19th season as a professional and wants to beat Gerd Muller’s European goal scoring record against Auxerre.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inzaghi said: “I know myself and I have my routines, but the tension is always the same.

“I hoped to become less agitated with time, but this is also my strength. What changes is that the more time passes, the more you have to work to be at the top.

“The first objective is to be happy and ensure that I am ready. Then I would like to beat Muller’s record. I am missing just one goal.

“There are only a few days until Milan-Auxerre at San Siro. It would be wonderful to celebrate the goal in front of my fans.”

Inzaghi also believes that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Alex Pato and Ronaldinho can all play together.

“Allegri won’t have any problems, because he knows how to make people respect him and has the strength of speaking clearly with everyone.

“We can’t hide it that Milan are ready to win: we are competitive on every front,” he concluded.

Robinho: 'I can be happy at AC Milan'
5.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho reveals he can finally give his best at Milan after being unhappy at Manchester City. “They never understood me and it’s an awful place to live.”

He never quite delivered at Eastlands after his £32.5m signing and has now joined the Rossoneri for just £18m.

“Neither Mark Hughes nor Roberto Mancini understood me,” he told The People newspaper.

"Perhaps they only believed in the sporting side of things but that wasn't enough for me. There was a lack of contact between the players and the club.

"It was much like an office - to training and goodbye, to a match and goodbye. I am Brazilian and I can't offer my best performance if I'm not happy in every aspect of life.

"That was my problem. I am a special footballer and I need to be happy when I'm playing. That was the case at Real Madrid but never at City.”

The 26-year-old rediscovered his form at Santos and feels that loan spell rescued his World Cup chances.

“After Mark left and I don't think that Mancini had confidence in me. Going on loan to Santos was the best solution because, if I'd stayed at City, I would not have played in the World Cup.

"The loan was very successful. I recaptured my love of football, won a title and ¬confirmed my place in the Brazil team.

"It was an excellent experience and they tried to extend my loan, but City had made up their minds to sell."

Robinho was meant to be the big signing that started their domination of English football, but it never quite materialised.

"When I arrived, the directors at City told me that, in a couple of years, we would overtake United, but the time has passed and nothing has changed.

"Manchester is a sensational venue for football, but an awful place to live...the winter, the cold and the dark nights. It's very hard for a young Brazilian.

"The Premier League is one of the best in the world, without a doubt. The stadiums are always full and the atmosphere is incredible.

"But not every footballer is able to play in England. The character can be difficult for a foreigner."

Pato: 'Ibrahimovic is a Brazilian bigfoot!'
5.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato dubs Zlatan Ibrahimovic an honorary Brazilian. “He has very refined feet, considering they’re so big!”

The Rossoneri have a distinctly South American flair to them this season with Pato, Ronaldinho, Robinho and the Swede.

“Milan have signed some great forwards and now it’s up to us to prove to Massimiliano Allegri that we can all play together. We need to show we can make sacrifices,” Pato told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Ibrahimovic is truly a wonderful player. I am struck by his power and the fact he has very refined feet, considering they are so big! He really looks like a Brazilian.”

It remains to be seen what tactics Allegri will employ to balance the side with so many creative players.

“I have no preferences over my position. I just hope to score many goals and preferably top the Capocannoniere chart. Compared to the past I have lost 9kg and also grown in height, so I’m more powerful now.”

Pato is currently in Brazil on international duty with his new club teammate.

“Robinho is asking me everything about Milan. We get along perfectly on the field, as he knows the right movements and can also hide the ball from his opponents.

“Clearly I am also happy that Dinho has stayed with us, as he is truly great. I think that, aside from the forwards, to win something important this season we’ll need the ‘goals’ in defence from Alessandro Nesta and Thiago Silva.”

The Rossoneri are now among the hot favourites for the Scudetto and are targeting the Champions League too.

“Inter? We respect our opponents, but clearly we do not feel inferior to anyone,” concluded ‘The Duck.’

AC Milan stars eye Champions League final with Inter
5.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luca Antonini is already picturing a Champions League Final against Inter, while Gianluca Zambrotta feels Milan fans “couldn’t have asked for more.”

The Rossoneri have become joint hot favourites with their city rivals for the Scudetto after bringing in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

“We have a strike force that is without equal,” smiled full-back Antonini in Tuttosport newspaper.

“Can you imagine how exciting it would be to see a Champions League Final against Inter at Wembley!”

Teammate Zambrotta was also impressed by the transfer campaign, which added to existing talents like Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato.

“The new arrivals brought enthusiasm to the team and everyone around this club,” said the veteran.

“Nobody expected a transfer market like this. We held our breath right to the final minute and thankfully brought in two champions like Ibra and Binho.

“I already know Zlatan pretty well from our time at Juventus and I think he can give us that step up in quality. His physique also brings more options and weight to the front line, which we were lacking.

“Robinho is the icing on the cake. We really could not have asked for more.”

Pato salutes Robinho signing
4.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato welcomes Robinho to the increasingly samba-style Milan. “I’m so happy that he’s joining us.”

The Rossoneri have always looked to Brazilians and added to the list with the deadline day transfer from Manchester City.

“I am very happy that Robinho is joining us, even if we haven’t yet talked about Milan,” said Pato on international duty.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic also arrived from Barcelona, joining Ronaldinho and Pippo Inzaghi.

“Competition is not a problem, as we must all give our absolute best this season,” continued ‘The Duck.’

“We are a great squad and will try to go all the way both in Serie A and the Champions League.”

Robinho eyes 'AC Milan - Barcelona final'
4.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho expects Milan to face Barcelona in the Champions League Final, but first “I’ll definitely celebrate if I score in Madrid.”

The former Real star has since been to Manchester City and back to Santos, but is set to return to the Bernabeu on October 19.

“I know I won’t get a good reception from the fans at the Bernabeu, but I’ll definitely celebrate if I score in Madrid.

“I won at Real, but it would be wonderful for me to beat Jose Mourinho’s team while wearing the Rossoneri jersey. I don’t want to talk about City. I just focus on enriching my victories with Milan.

“I am not looking for any particular personal vendettas. I just want to get back to winning with a team.”

Robinho was a transfer deadline day arrival at San Siro, but he was originally set to replace rather than partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“It’s true that Barcelona were asking for me. With Milan we understood each other right away and I feel at home, thanks in part to the many Brazilians who are already here.

“We have such a strong side and in attack we’re amazing. I would very much like to play the Champions League Final against Barcelona.

“We’ve got to try to win every competition that we take part in.”

Ibrahimovic 'was a zombie' before AC Milan
3.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was “a zombie” in Barcelona and “never say never” about Mario Balotelli joining Milan one day, said their agent.

Mino Raiola represents both former Inter strikers who have now moved on to Milan and Manchester City respectively.

“At Barcelona, Ibra was about to become a zombie. Pep Guardiola didn’t consider him at all and he had his back against the wall.

“We left because Milan have given that joy back to Zlatan. In all honesty, we don’t know the reasons behind the breakdown of the rapport with Guardiola. That’s the truth.

“All of a sudden the situation changed and at that stage it was crucial to consider a different future.”

Raiola had been adamant that Ibra wouldn’t reduce his wages, accept a loan move or move for much lower than the €50m plus Samuel Eto’o that Barcelona had paid only a year ago.

However, the transfer eventually went through on loan with an option to buy for just €24m.

“This is a private matter between the clubs and I prefer not to get into it,” said the agent.

“Why didn’t Inter President Massimo Moratti introduce a clause before the move to Barcelona barring him from returning to Italy? You’d have to ask him.”

There were reports that Inter had put this clause in place when Balotelli joined Manchester City this summer.

“Mario is very happy in Manchester. I don’t want to talk about any clause, in case of a sale, in favour of Inter.

“Could he one day go to Milan? Never say never, there is no such thing as an impossible move.”

Allegri: 'We must get to the Champions League final'
3.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri believes his side must now reach the Champions League Final to meet the expectations generated by their transfer campaign.

The Rossoneri stunned their competitors by bringing in Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Manchester City playmaker Robinho in the final week of the market.

Speaking at a UEFA coaching conference in Nyon, Allegri said: “We have a squad of the first order. We must get to the Champions League Final.”

When asked if all of Milan’s stars can play together, he replied: “Sure they can, but it depends on the games. Let’s allow them to get to know each other better.”

Allegri also revealed that Ibrahimovic had enchanted him since his arrival from Catalonia because of “the enthusiasm and desire with which he came to Milan.”

One of Allegri’s predecessors, Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti believes his former side now has what it takes to mount a serious challenge both in Italy and on the continent.

“Milan are now equals. The four attackers can play together,” he concluded.

AC Milan duo want Poli
2.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria have revealed that the highly rated Andrea Poli is wanted by some of Italian football’s biggest clubs.

“Poli is of interest to both Milan clubs,” Samp director general Sergio Gasparin noted. “He has the potential to become the best Italian midfielder in the game.

“We’re just happy that he is with us for now even though we know that he is destined to play on some of the most important stages in the European game.”

Poli is a combative central midfielder and Italian Under-21 international who made his mark in Serie A last season.

Handed a regular shirt by then boss Gigi Del Neri, Poli proved himself to be a bright prospect for the future.

Poli, still just 20, is also understood to be of interest to Juventus given that Del Neri is now working in Turin.

Ibrahimovic: 'AC Milan best in Europe'
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is confident Milan “have the best strike force in Europe and Robinho is a magician with the ball at his feet.”

The Swede is back in Stockholm preparing for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Hungary, but his mind is firmly on San Siro.

“We have the best strike force in Europe. If I were the Coach of Milan, I’d be very happy,” smiled Ibra following his transfer from Barcelona.

“I have to thank Adriano Galliani, as he said he wouldn’t leave Spain without me. Milan did everything to get me and nobody had ever worked so hard for me before.”

The writing was on the wall exactly a week ago, when the Rossoneri played Barcelona for the Gamper Trophy at the Nou Camp.

“Ronaldinho came into the locker room and asked if I’d already packed my bags,” revealed the striker.

Ibrahimovic and Dinho have been joined at Milan by Robinho, who was bought for €18m from Manchester City.

“Robinho is a magician with the ball at his feet. He’s extraordinary.”

Pato on AC Milan's Champions League B list
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have unveiled their Champions League squad list – pushing Alexandre Pato on to the youth section to make room for their stars.

The Rossoneri went on a spending spree in the final days of the transfer window and now have an enviable selection of strikers.

To make room for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Ronaldinho and the ever-reliable Pippo Inzaghi, they have included Pato in the B List reserved for young players.

Pato is eligible, as he only turns 21 tomorrow and has been at the club since 2007, and it allows Milan to pack their Champions League squad with talent.

A List:
Gk: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma.
D: Nesta, Papastathopoulos, Oddo, Jankulovski, Zambrotta, Bonera, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Antonini.
M: Gattuso, Seedorf, Flamini, Abate, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Boateng.
F: Inzaghi, Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Ronaldinho.

B List:
Pato, Strasser

Ibrahimovic lashes out at Pep
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has lashed out at Barcelona Coach Pep Guardiola following his move to Milan at the weekend.

The Swedish striker once again expressed his bewilderment at the deterioration of his relationship with Pep.

Ibrahimovic didn't want to leave Barcelona, but once it became clear he no longer figured in Pep's plans, the writing was on the wall.

The former Interista joins Milan on a season-long loan after which Barcelona will get €24m spread over three years in transfer fees.

“No blame should rest with the club or the players,” Ibrahimovic said. “My problem was one person, the philosopher.

“I saw Thierry Henry in the stands last year. It didn't look fun. I don't have time to be watching the weather from the stands.

“A small coach runs away from his problems,” Ibrahimovic concluded.

Thiago Silva welcomes Ibrahimovic and Robinho
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan centre-back Thiago Silva believes the signings of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho are a signal of the club's intent.

The Rossoneri are brimming with confidence after their arrivals, not least because sandwiched between them was a 4-0 victory over Lecce.

Milan had been criticised for signing relatively modest players like Sokratis and Marco Amelia at the beginning of the transfer window, but ended it on a high.

“We are all happy with the arrival of Ibrahimovic and Robinho,” Thiago Silva said.

“I wish Robinho all the best success with us and I am sure he will feel at home here.

“In Robinho, we have a excellent player both on an off the pitch.”

Borriello gets 'dream move'
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma's new signing Marco Borriello says he has realised his life's dream in being able to play for the club.

The 28-year-old striker joined on loan from Milan last night with a view to a permanent transfer next summer.

When asked to give an insight into his deadline day experience, Borriello said: “Roma spoke to me about their plans, their strategies.

“Rosella Sensi spoke to me with heart, Roma didn't make me feel just like a number.

“I have Roma in my blood. I want to make the fans happy. I have realised my life's dream.

“I am happy. I chose Roma because I know that it's a permanent transfer.

“Roma believed in me and I count on repaying them,” he concluded.

AC Milan get top marks for transfers
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A number of Italy's most well respected tacticians believe Milan have significantly closed the gap with Inter after the end of the transfer window.

Having been dormant for much of the summer, Milan stirred into life last week, bringing in Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Barcelona on loan with a view to a permanent transfer worth €24m.

Adriano Galliani moved again yesterday, tying up a deal for Manchester City star Robinho.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Roberto Donadoni said: “With Berlusconi's gifts of Ibrahimovic and Robinho, Milan gain a little more ground. The other areas of the team are in place if you consider what they've got already.”

Mario Beretta, the former Lecce and Siena boss, agreed with Donadoni's assessment.

“The gap is reduced,” he explained. “Borriello didn't deserve to leave, but Ibra has experience and brings quality as an added value while Robinho…”

Former Milan player Walter Novellino still believes Inter will take some knocking off their perch.

“A very strong Milan are going forward with Robinho too. The defence depends on Nesta's fitness. If he returns to the top there'll be no problem.

“The gap has been reduced but I still say Inter,” he concluded.

Borriello is a 'present' for Roma
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan sold Marco Borriello to Roma at a discount because they are a ‘friend’, says Adriano Galliani.

The 28-year-old Italy international was being valued at €15m, but ended up costing cash-strapped Roma just €10m.

Borriello had rejected a move to Juventus earlier in the day, telling Sky Italia that he would leave San Siro if the transfer were permanent.

Roma have taken him on loan for the duration of this season, but they are obliged to sign him outright next summer for the pre-arranged fee mentioned above.

When asked why Borriello’s price had dropped so dramatically in the space of just a few hours, Galliani said: “President Berlusconi wanted to give a present to a club that he considers to be a friend.”

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