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The Archive

October 2009

Serie A: AC Milan 2:0 Parma - match report
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Borriello 12, 93 (M)

Marco Borriello bagged a spectacular brace to give Milan a morale-boosting 2-0 victory over Parma, both set up by Ronaldinho.

Fifth welcomed fourth as the Rossoneri hoped to resume their positive streak after dropping a 2-0 lead in Naples midweek. Ignazio Abate was suspended with Alessandro Nesta, Marek Jankulovski, Daniele Bonera, Christian Abbiati, Marco Storari, Oguchi Onyewu and Davide Di Gennaro sidelined. Parma missed MacDonald Mariga, Andrea Pisanu, Jonathan Biabiany, Antonelli and Russo, but started with Alberto Paloschi, who is still co-owned by Milan.

Ronaldinho went on a mazy run down the left, but Gennaro Gattuso couldn't steer the header on target. In the same move Blerim Dzemaili went on the counter and unleashed a screamer from 30 metres that Nelson Dida fingertipped on to the crossbar. It was a crucial save, as otherwise the ball would've shot into the net.

Milan took the lead with a wonderful team goal. Ronaldinho did most of the work, surging forward from his own half to the edge of the box, where his slide-rule pass between two defenders allowed Borriello to nutmeg the goalkeeper.

Dida performed another stunning save to bat Valeri Bojinov's header off the line from six yards at the back post. The former Manchester City striker flashed an angled drive across the face of goal.

Massimo Oddo's searing cross only grazed Pato's head when clean contact would've put it in the back of the net. Daniele Galloppa was unmarked on the edge if the box during a counter, but aimed a weak effort straight at Dida.

Parma risked an own goal with a deflection, but it looped wide and Borriello was unable to make the most of it.

After the restart Dida blocked a Galloppa snapshot and Antonini pulled up clutching the back of his right thigh, making way for Gianluca Zambrotta. A long team move was terminated by Pirlo's shot charged down, then Antonio Mirante did well to beat away a Clarence Seedorf turn.

Striker Nicola Amoruso replaced midfielder Dzemaili. Dellafiore prevented Borriello from tapping in Pato's pull-back. There was controversy on 68 minutes when Pato tried to burst between Lucarelli and Lunardini and was cut off, but the referee waved play on.

Paloschi so nearly scored against his former club moments later. He sprung the offside trap and went one-on-one with Dida, but the goalkeeper narrowed the angle to force the shot inches over the bar.

Milan were considerably more sluggish in the second half and, despite still leading 1-0, the San Siro crowd started to jeer their players. A free kick went to the byline where Pato volleyed it back in for Borriello, but Mirante just about got there first.

The Rossoneri went so close to killing the game off four minutes from time. Thiago Silva came charging up the field and exchanged passes with Borriello, but turned the header on to the crossbar from six yards.

Borriello finally put the result beyond doubt in stoppages with a sensational finish. Ronaldinho burst through two defenders, chipped the cross from the left and his scissor-kick volley bounced off the ground into the far top corner.

Milan: Dida; Oddo, Thiago Silva, Kaladze, Antonini (Zambrotta 52); Gattuso (Ambrosini 74), Pirlo, Seedorf (Flamini 81); Ronaldinho, Pato, Borriello

Parma: Mirante; Dellafiore, Panucci, Lucarelli; Zaccardo, Lunardini; Morrone, Dzemaili (Amoruso 61), Galloppa (Budel 75); Bojinov (Lanzafame 70), Paloschi

Ref: Russo

AC Milan close in on Adiyiah
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ghana Under-20 World Cup winning hitman Dominic Adiyiah is heading towards Milan, hints his agent.

There are strong reports the breakout star of the recent tournament, which saw Ghana beat Brazil in the Final, is on the verge of completing a move to the Rossoneri.

“Adiyiah is ready for a top club,” agent Julian Hammond told “At the moment there is nothing official.

“Milan? I can only say that Adiyiah is of interest to many teams. It’s true he has received offers from Italy, but also England and other European countries.”

The forward turns 20 in November and scored a staggering eight goals in seven games during the Under-20 World Cup.

That gained him the triple triumph of the Golden Shoe, Golden Ball and winners’ medal.

“His price-tag has not been decided yet, but Fredrikstad will certainly let him go if the right bid comes along. We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.”

As Milan have been struggling to score goals and look set to sell Klaas Jan Huntelaar in January, the powerful young Ghanaian would give them a whole new dimension in attack.

“He is a good player, was awarded Man of the Tournament award for the Under-20 World Cup and is ready to prove himself in more competitive Leagues.

“Between the Liga, Premier League and Serie A is not a bad choice.”

Galliani: AC Milan, Trapattoni and Capello
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani looks back over 30 years as Silvio Berlusconi’s right-hand man, from buying Milan to Giovanni Trapattoni, Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello.

On November 1 1979 Galliani began working with patron Berlusconi, who is now President of the Rossoneri as well as Prime Minister of Italy.

“Berlusconi changed my life 30 years ago,” said Vice-President Galliani in the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I remember when we bought Milan, as I had warned him about the costs involved. He made the decision during a flight on his way back from Saint Moritz. The moment we landed he gave me the task of looking after the new Milan.”

The club was in dire financial straits when Berlusconi swooped on February 20 1986 and immediately began forming lofty ambitions.

“After Nils Liedholm was sacked, we had initially gone for Trap, but he had already pledged himself to Inter,” revealed Galliani.

“Sven Goran Eriksson was the next in line, but Berlusconi had a stroke of genius. During a friendly with Parma we admired the entertaining football of Sacchi’s squad.

“That is where the idea came from to hand Milan over to essentially a debutant. Capello’s promotion was also Berlusconi’s intuition.”

The Diavolo found great success under Sacchi from 1997 to 1992, becoming what is widely considered to be the best club team of all time.

Sacchi won a Scudetto, two European Cups, two European Super Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and the Italian Super Cup.

He was followed by Capello, who at the time was a director at Milan and – like Leonardo – thought to be a ‘yes man’ introduced to do Berlusconi’s bidding.

The current England manager continued the great success of Sacchi’s side by winning four Scudetti, the 1994 Champions League trophy and reaching the Final in 1993 and ’95.

Guidolin takes game to AC Milan
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The only way to defeat Milan is to go on the attack, insists Parma Coach Francesco Guidolin ahead of tonight’s game.

“We are a team in a wonderful position right now and we earned it through our hard work,” said Guidolin of their fourth place berth.

“The side goes to Milan with the right cocktail of aggression and a relaxed state of mind. We know that we’re facing a side who, playing to their strengths, are among the best in Europe. It is going to be tough.”

The Rossoneri have hit a rich vein of form, although they ground to a halt on Wednesday night when throwing away a 2-0 lead against Napoli in stoppages.

“We have tested out both three and four-man defences, so we are ready whatever tactic we choose to adopt.

“However, it is not systems that will let us beat Milan. You need energy, stamina and the ability to put the last win over Bari behind us. Even all this might not be sufficient,” continued Guidolin.

“The team needs to take the game to Milan. I want a very different approach from when we played Inter, as then we were diligent, did well enough, but were too timid.”

A few years ago Parma were challenging for the Scudetto, UEFA Cup and Italian Super Cup. It is their first season back in Serie A after relegation and they are already in fourth place.

“We aim to pick up as many points as possible, then eventually we will be the first to change objective for this term.

“We must respect the primary objective – avoiding relegation – and then we’ll see what happens after that.”

Leonardo unconcerned by Huntelaar form
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Leonardo has moved to reassure Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, telling the Dutchman that he will get his chance to shine.

The 25-year-old has not made the sort of impact people expected from him since joining the club from Real Madrid in the summer.

He has made just five starts for the Rossoneri and is even being linked with a move away from the club in the January transfer window.

“I have seen him be very calm. Goals are fundamental to a striker and it's normal, having only arrived this year, that he is being judged,” Leonardo said.

“I am sure that his moment will arrive.”

The Brazilian then turned his attention to tomorrow's game against fourth placed Parma.

“Tomorrow I expect the fans to be happy and that they will support us until the end. There is still a bitter taste in the mouth following Wednesday's draw at Napoli, but at the moment we shouldn't be making any mathematical calculations, but evaluating every performance for what we have managed to express.

“I don't believe we ended up drawing because of tactics, but for the emotions of the game. Perhaps if I had substituted Abate before I would have avoided the draw, but taking off a full-back would have revolutionised the team so I brought on Borriello,” Leonardo concluded.

Galliani set to announce Beckham deal
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says the club will announce the signing of David Beckham on loan from LA Galaxy in the next few hours.

The Rossoneri have been trying to bring the England international back to San Siro after a successful six-month spell with the club last season.

Earlier this month, Beckham told journalists that negotiations were 95 per cent complete. A few days late, Galliani topped that, saying they were in fact 100 per cent done.

However, a formal announcement has yet to be made, but that looks all set to change this afternoon.

“David Beckham will arrive. We will announce the agreement with the Galaxy. We are just awaiting the final documents,” Galliani said as he arrived for a meeting of the Lega Calcio.

Finally Galliani responded to speculation linking Milan with a move for Dominic Adiyiah, the star of Ghana's Under-20 World Cup winning team.

Asked if he would be signing a non-EU player, Galliani replied: “We will see. A Ghanaian? We will see.”

Nesta cleared to play Real Madrid
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan fans are breathing a big sigh of relief this afternoon, as Alessandro Nesta has been passed fit to play Real Madrid next week.

The veteran centre-back, who has been the Rossoneri's best player this season, injured his right hamstring against Napoli on Wednesday.

It was feared he would be out for some time. However, initials tests have revealed that the injury isn't as bad as first thought.

The former Lazio talisman will miss the weekend's match against fourth placed Parma, who beat Bari in midweek.

That said, Milan's medical staff have every confidence Nesta will make in time for Real's visit to San Siro on Tuesday.

Zapata is staying in Udinese, for now...
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Udinese defender Cristian Zapata is staying in Friuli for now, but anything could happen, according to his agent, Massimo Italiani.

Fiorentina have been linked with a move for the Colombia international in the January transfer window, as they continue their search for a commanding centre-back.

“I have not had any type of contact with Fiorentina, I don't know anything. Anything can happen,” Italiani told TuttoMercatoWeb.

“Anyway Zapata is fine in Udine. It's a great place. However, it's normal for someone to have the desire to improve. Udinese could also do without him, seeing the competition for places.”

Asked about reported interest from Milan in the summer, Italiani replied: “No concrete requests came to me, only inquiries. I don't know if the two clubs spoke.”

Zapata is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in Serie A. He joined Udinese from Deportivo Cali in 2005 and is still only 23.

Leonardo: 'I can't explain it!'
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo admits he “cannot explain” how Milan threw away a 2-0 lead during injury time, but considers it a positive performance.

“The result is disappointing and leaves us with a bitter taste in our mouths,” he said of the 2-2 draw at the San Paolo.

“We had such a strong start and scored two goals in the first six minutes. In a way the goals were too early, as we knew that controlling the match for 85 minutes was going to be tricky.

“The finale was just incredible. [Ignazio] Abate's red card is the only reason I can think of as to why we ended up drawing this game with Napoli.

“With hindsight I could've avoided it by substituting him with Massimo Oddo, as I knew Abate was already on a yellow card.

“Nonetheless, the team is aware it played a great game and this result will not hit our confidence. The draw is a bit disappointing, but the performance remains positive.”

Some would suggest the Rossoneri were a little too sluggish in those final moments of the match.

“We were in no way arrogant or superficial,” insisted Leonardo. “There are situations that need to be read properly. The team gave its all.”

Ronaldinho stormed off and insulted his Coach when he was substituted, but Leo also insisted there was nothing to worry about.

“I have an excellent rapport with him. We have already talked it over, he is fine and it's positive that he is so eager to stay on the field.”

Serie A: Napoli 2:2 AC Milan - match report
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Inzaghi 3 (M), Pato 6 (M), Cigarini 90 (N), Denis 93 (N)

Milan were leading 2-0 for 84 minutes, but conceded twice in stoppages for a heart-stopping San Paolo draw!

This has always been a battle royal, going back to their Scudetto showdowns in the 1980s and 90s. Napoli have won both games since Walter Mazzarri took charge, curiously both with a last-gasp Christian Maggio strike. The Rossoneri also pipped Chievo to the post 2-1 thanks to an Alessandro Nesta brace, making it three wins on the trot in all competition.

Fabiano Santacroce, Juan Zuniga, Roberto De Zerbi and the suspended Matteo Contini were out for the home side, while Marco Storari, Christian Abbiati, Gennaro Gattuso, Marek Jankulovski, Daniele Bonera, Oguchi Onyewu and David Di Gennaro stayed away.

Pippo Inzaghi broke the deadlock almost immediately. He sprung the offside trap on a Clarence Seedorf flick over the top and smashed the angled drive into the net from just inside the box.

Napoli tried to fight back, but left themselves open to the counter and Alexandre Pato made it 2-0! From their own box Milan poured forward with a well-worked move, as a clearance and two headers flicked it on for Pato to sprint clear on goal.

However, there was bad news for the Rossoneri too, as Nesta limped off with a muscular problem and was replaced by Kakha Kaladze. Nelson Dida also complained that someone in the stands was aiming a laser pen at his eyes to irritate him.

Ronaldinho failed to make the most of a Grava error, but Napoli took control and poured forward for the rest of the first half, unable to get a shot through to Dida. Marek Hamsik hit the side-netting and Fabio Quagliarella's chip was off target.

After the restart Dida performed a stunning double save to deny both Lavezzi's fierce strike and the Maggio follow-up from point-blank range.

Lavezzi's fine volley flashed inches over the bar and Dida continued his heroics with a triple save - parrying from Walter Gargano, Lavezzi and Hamsik.

Inzaghi hit the back of the net, but was flagged offside, while Ronaldinho was visibly furious when he was substituted. Inzaghi was in play for a second chance, but this time Morgan De Sanctis did enough to narrow the angle in a one-on-one.

Dida blocked a German Denis header and Milan ended the game with 10 men for Ignazio Abate's second bookable offence, a late tackle on Gargano.

Napoli finally got back into the game in the final minute with a stunning Luca Cigarini goal! The corner came out to the D, where the Under-21 international's perfect volley dipped under the bar.

There were five minutes of stoppages with Milan reduced to 10 men, so the San Paolo was fired up.

It worked, as deep into injury time substitute Denis rose above the crowd for a soaring header that looped over Dida into the top corner! Since Mazzarri took charge, this team has scored four goals in stoppages. Maggio flicked up the cross from the right.
Napoli: De Sanctis; Grava, Rinaudo, Campagnaro; Maggio, Pazienza (Cigarini 63), Gargano, Aronica; Lavezzi, Hamsik; Quagliarella (Denis 71)

Milan: Dida; Abate, Nesta (Kaladze 9), Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Pirlo, Seedorf; Pato, Inzaghi (Borriello 73), Ronaldinho (Flamini 61)

Ref: Rizzoli

Sent off: Abate 85 (M)

Cristiano Ronaldo to miss AC Milan again
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are enjoying the news that Cristiano Ronaldo will not be fit for the second leg of their Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

The Portuguese star, who shattered the world transfer record in the summer with his £80m move from Manchester United, already missed the first encounter at the Bernabeu.

The Rossoneri won that fixture 3-2 with a dramatic late Alexandre Pato brace and the two teams meet again at San Siro next week.

Ronaldo sprained his right ankle during international duty against Hungary on October 10 and recent tests show he has still not recovered.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid have issued a public apology through captain Raul on their official website after a 4-0 defeat to Third Division Alcorcon in the Copa del Rey.

“First of all, we must apologise to the Madrid fans. We set an example they do not deserve and that this club has never had in its entire history.

“This team has pride and quality. On such a disappointing day, we must look to the positive aspects: we really can’t do worse than that. If there’s a club that knows what a fightback is, that’s Real Madrid.”

Oddo believes in AC Milan
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Oddo believes his Milan side are match for anyone now they have three straight wins under their belt.

The Rossoneri recorded more victories in seven days than they did in the first two months of the season, beating Roma, Real Madrid and Chievo.

They now travel to face a resurgent Napoli for a match that is being billed as a test of Milan's title credentials.

The Rossoneri currently lie sixth in Serie A, although they are level on points with fourth placed Palermo and seven points behind leaders Inter.

Speaking to TuttoMercatoWeb, Oddo said: “We feel good at the moment. We're coming off three consecutive victories and we want to continue our positive run to try and go as high as possible in the table.

“In front of us we have a side that is also in form, ensuring that it will be a difficult game, but we are always confident.

“I strongly believe in this team. I believe that we have great potential and as I have repeated for some time, I am of the idea that we can beat anyone.

“We have to have confidence and work hard,” Oddo concluded.

Leonardo ready for Napoli 'chess match'
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Leonardo believes tomorrow night's game with Napoli will be something of a 'chess match'.

The Brazilian is brimming with confidence after recording three victories in eight days against Roma, Real Madrid and Chievo.

His side are now sixth in Serie A, although they are level on points with fourth placed Palermo who take on Inter on Thursday.

Asked if he would adapt his formation ahead of Milan's trip to Napoli, Leonardo replied: “The Partenopei could also modify their own system on the pitch.”

Reflecting on Milan's recent form, Leonardo said: “There isn't a general euphoria. However, there is a consciousness of what we have achieved and a degree of happiness. Yes, we're going through a moment of happiness right now.”

Asked to reveal the secret of his recent success, Leonardo replied: “Not making a drama if things are going badly and not gassing too much if things are going too well. The banana skin is always behind the corner.”

Finally Leonardo gave his thoughts on Milan's chances of winning the Scudetto. The Rossoneri currently lie seven points behind Italian champions Inter who are in first place.

“We live to win it, but I insist, we have to go step by step,” Leonardo concluded.

Cannavaro: Nesta, Italy needs you!
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has revealed how he would like to try and convince Milan defender Alessandro Nesta to come out of international retirement.

Nesta called time on his international career in 2006 after the World Cup in Germany when his chronic back problems really started in earnest.

The 33-year-old has only recently returned to full fitness and is currently the best defender in Serie A by some distance.

He scored both goals in Milan's 2-1 win over Chievo at the weekend and was excellent at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid.

Writing in La Stampa, Cannavaro expressed his displeasure at Nesta's decision not to re-enter the international fold.

“I respect it and I understand it. He has been out for a year. He was afraid of having to stop and the memories of the last World Cup [in which he was injured and replaced by Marco Materazzi] are not good, seeing that he was almost always hurt,” Cannavaro wrote.

“He suffered a lot and doesn't want to run any risks. That said, who wouldn't want him in La Nazionale? Nesta is an exceptional player.

“If I can make an attempt to convince him to come back, I will do it,” Cannavaro concluded.

Beckham deal is done, says Galliani
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani claims David Beckham will definitely rejoin Milan on loan from LA Galaxy in January.

Beckham is keen to return to Milan where he played for six months last season in a bid to return to the England setup.

“It’s 100 per cent certain. The only thing missing is the signatures. The agreement is done,” Galliani told Sky Italia this afternoon.

After initial skepticism, the Italian Press viewed Beckham’s loan as a success so much so they welcomed Milan’s decision to extend his time at the club from three to six months.

The 34-year-old scored two goals in 18 appearances for the Rossoneri last season.

He will be eligible for Milan’s Champions League matches as well should they qualify for the latter stages of the competition.

Moratti enjoys AC Milan rivalry, but...
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Moratti insists he is pleased Milan now look like they are going to challenge Inter for the Scudetto, but would rather they remain seven points back.

Milan recorded their third win in a week on Sunday evening when they came back from behind to beat Chievo in the dying minutes.

The Rossoneri now lie sixth in Serie A, however, they are also level on points with fourth placed Palermo and Fiorentina.

“I hope that Milan remain our chief antagonist, but stay at the same distance for the rest of the season,” Moratti said.

“Anyway, we knew at the start of the championship that this Milan side is a dangerous team.”

Asked about the criticism Inter have received for their recent performances in Europe, Moratti replied: “It’s normal that unfortunately in life you can’t have everything.

“But I believe that beyond the psychology, one of the secrets, like Mourinho said, is rotation that allows us to have fresh players.”

Moratti then denied being angry after Inter’s 2-2 draw at home to Dynamo Kiev.

“Perhaps you are confused with last year’s draw against Manchester United. This time I didn’t make any kind of scene, because in the end I understood that the game went rather well.

“Anyway it’s still not the decisive moment. There is still time to do well,” Moratti concluded.

In other Inter news, Jose Mourinho will have to do without Wesley Sneijder for next week’s Champions League match against Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine.

The Dutch international playmaker has sprained his right thigh muscle.

Galliani hails AC Milan's self-esteem
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says his side’s 2-1 victory over Chievo last night is indicative of its new found self-esteem.

The Rossoneri had to come from behind to win after Giampaolo Pinzi put Chievo ahead within the opening 10 minutes.

Alessandro Nesta became Milan’s unlikely goal scoring hero, finding the equalizer and the winner in the 81st and 92nd minutes.

The victory takes the Rossoneri up to sixth place in Serie A, level on points with Palermo and Fiorentina.

“Once again, for the third time in a row, we have finished the first half behind by a goal and then in the second we have overturned the result,” Galliani said.

“Once again, we have played a wonderful second half. In the interval I though: ‘there isn’t two without three,’ and it happened this time, too.

“They said that we score little, and instead in the last three games we have scored eight goals, I say eight because Thiago Silva’s goal against Real Madrid should have been allowed.

“They said that we are tired and old. Well, we’re showing that it not like this at all. This group has increased its own self-esteem. It is united and that showed in the team’s embrace of Dida at the end of the game. He made us win the game.

“As for Nesta, he is fantastic. After the injury and the risk to his career, he has changed. He has improved a lot as a man.

“Today we can say that he is even better than the already brilliant Nesta before the injury,” Galliani concluded.

Dida was miraculous, says Pellissier
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chievo striker Sergio Pellissier believes Nelson Dida’s “miracles” were crucial to Milan’s 2-1 victory over his side yesterday evening.

The Brazilian shot stopper kept Milan in the game, allowing them to overturn a 1-0 deficit and win in the last 10 minutes.

Chievo had taken the lead after just seven minutes through Giampaolo Pinzi and piled on the pressure, but Dida matched every effort.

Milan rallied in the second half and Alessandro Nesta scored twice in the last 10 minutes to give the Rossoneri the points.

“There is great regret, but I believe it’s normal. We had three points in the bag until the 80th minute, and then conceded two goals,” Pellissier told TuttoMercatoWeb.

“We had an important chance through Granoche, but Dida made a miracle. Milan are a wonderful team, they play well and don’t seem to me to be in crisis.

“You can’t define a team that reacts like that to be in crisis. On Wednesday we have a relegation battle with Catania. We have to get a result. It’s a very important game,” Pellissier concluded.

Nesta: 'I never score!'
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta admits this was an extraordinary evening for him with his first Serie A brace. “I never score!”

The defender had not hit the back of the net for two years and never bagged two in one game, but he completed the late comeback as Milan won 2-1 at Chievo.

“It's a wonderful night and a new thing for me - I never score! We had to win tonight to latch on to fourth place, so it all went well,” smiled the veteran.

“I think we're on the right track now and have won a series of important games. We have players who need to attack in order to give their best, so the others must work a bit harder.

“We do need to work on our starts, as we always concede early and have to use up a lot of energy to fight back.”

Nelson Dida was the other unexpected hero, making up for his Bernabeu howler with an extraordinary stoppage-time save to deny Pablo Granoche.

“Dida was fantastic, he saved the game for us tonight. If we'd conceded then, we would've lost, no doubt.”

With his splendid form, many are calling for Nesta to reconsider his international retirement for the 2010 World Cup.

“I have already said I won't go back to the Nazionale. I spent a horrible year on the sidelines and if straining my body too much will lead to another season like that, I just won't do it.

“Besides, Marcello Lippi knows what I think and vice versa, we don't even need to discuss it.”

Leonardo pins halo on Nesta and Dida
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo praised Nelson Dida and Alessandro Nesta for Milan's heroics at the Stadio Bentegodi. “Nesta needs a halo.”

Chievo took an early lead, but Nesta's brace in the final nine minutes turned it around for a 2-1 victory.

“We conceded after seven minutes and that was a mistake. Maybe we felt the pressure early on, but overall we played a good first half,” said the Coach.

“At the break I told them we were doing well, but needed to play very well and that means the final push in attack. It's true we did better in the second and pinned Chievo back into their own half, so it became more difficult for them to hit us on the counter.”

When it was still 1-1 in stoppages, Dida performed a stunning point-blank reaction save on Pablo Granoche, wiping out memories of his Real Madrid howler.

“Dida's save was extraordinary and explains why we celebrated like that with him. He has a remarkable ability to put a huge mistake behind him and move on, proving decisive for the team.

“Dida's error in Madrid was partly my fault, as I told him to immediately restart the attacking play the moment he got the ball. He was looking for who to pass it to and rushed it, so the ball bounced off his knee,” explained Leonardo.

“As for Nesta, what more can I say? He has become far more than a player for us and he's indescribable. He needs a halo at the moment.

“He started this season not really knowing if he would ever play again. That is a very big thing to have in a players' mind and it shines through in his performances, as he gives everything he's got.

“I think the foundations of any project are your enthusiasm and ambition. This squad is finding its joy of playing and the more we win, the more than grows within us.

“Right now we are starting to find our balance, even if the games themselves are dramatic, and just looking at the way they celebrate says it all.”

Serie A: Chievo Verona 1:2 AC Milan - match report
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pinzi 7 (C), Nesta 81, 92 (M)

Alessandro Nesta's late brace and some Nelson Dida heroics completed Milan's comeback to beat Chievo 2-1.

Milan continue their bizarre inability to start games properly, as this season if they only played the first half of their matches, they'd have earned seven points. If they only played the second half, they would have 23.

Leonardo felt he'd found his feet at last with back-to-back wins over Roma and Real Madrid. The 4-3-3 was reshuffled with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar receiving a rare start upfront. Massimo Ambrosini was suspended with Gennaro Gattuso, Daniele Bonera, Oguchi Onyewu, Christian Abbiati and Marco Storari injured, so Nelson Dida kept the gloves despite the midweek Bernabeu howler. Chievo were a point behind Milan and had lost only one of their previous five games. Mario Yepes began a two-match ban, plus Luca Rigoni and Fabio Moro were both sidelined.

Chievo went close in the opening 90 seconds. as Luciano's cross was not dealt with effectively and bounced around in front of the goal before Huntelaar cleared. Moments later Michele Marcolini unleashed one of his trademark screamers that Dida pushed wide.

The Flying Donkeys were dominating the early phases and took a deserved lead. Mantovani got to the byline and crossed in, Pellissier's dummy let it through for Giampaolo Pinzi's strike from nine yards.

Moments later Erjon Bogdani got down the right and cut back for Pellissier's daisy-cutter, which Dida smothered at the second attempt.

Clarence Seedorf had the first real Milan opportunity, as Luca Antonini sprinted to the byline and pulled it back for the Dutchman, who hesitated just a split second and saw his shot charged down by Sorrentino.

Andrea Pirlo flashed a long-range effort wide of the upright, while Mantovani's acrobatic clearance prevented Pato going clear on a Ronaldinho cross. Sorrentino had to leap above the crowd to flap a looping Alessandro Nesta header out of the top corner, but Ronaldinho was unable to make the most of the rebound.

Pellissier got away from Massimo Oddo to latch on to Pinzi's cross, the volley swinging over the bar.

Straight after the restart a well-worked team move saw Ronaldinho thread through for Pato and Sorrentino ran out to charge him down, the ball fell to Pirlo in the D for a lob off target.

Huntelaar ran on to a splendid Pato flick with the outside of his boot, but defender Morero's sliding tackle did just enough. Moments later a Pato pull-back for Ronaldinho was deflected just wide of the near post and from the corner Dinho was again blocked.

Somehow the Rossoneri failed to score at the 53rd minute. A series of shots rained in during the same move from Pato, Seedorf and Ronaldinho, but Sorrentino pushed the ball off the line when he was practically inside the goal.

Marco Borriello replaced the ineffective Huntelaar, but Chievo threatened on the counter when Pellissier pushed past Thiago Silva and Nesta waited for the right moment to tackle him in the box.

Borriello's glancing header from an Oddo cross was gathered with some difficulty by Sorrentino. Borriello trapped the ball and spun round, but couldn't get enough power to beat the goalkeeper.

Seedorf carried on a cross with his chest to get past the defender and a fierce snapshot from the penalty spot was palmed away by the excellent Sorrentino. From the corner Iori charged down Oddo's strike, as it was turning into a siege.

Leonardo threw on Pippo Inzaghi for Ronaldinho and Milan equalised moments later. Pirlo's free kick was charged down, but he curled it back into the six-yard box for Borriello's header onto the underside of the bar. Nesta nodded in the loose ball for a rare Serie A goal.

Pirlo threaded through for Mathieu Flamini and in to Inzaghi, but Sorrentino parried the flick from point-blank range.

Dida may have embarrassed himself midweek, but he made up for it with an incredible save in stoppages. He was going the other way when Granoche's header went towards the far top corner, but he stuck out a hand for a reaction save from a yard!

It proved decisive, as moments later a corner was whipped to the back post for another Nesta header! It took a slight deflection to beat Sorrentino, but the Milan defender really didn't mind.
Chievo: Sorrentino; Frey, Morero, Mandelli, Mantovani; Luciano, Iori (Bentivoglio 85), Marcolini (Ariatti 79); Pinzi; Pellissier, Bogdani (Granoche 66)

Milan: Dida; Oddo, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini (Zambrotta 88); Flamini, Pirlo, Seedorf; Pato, Huntelaar (Borriello 60), Ronaldinho (Inzaghi 79)

Ref: Bergonzi

Leonardo: 'I have faith in Dida'
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo is putting his “faith” in Nelson Dida despite the Madrid howlers as Milan try to maintain their momentum against Chievo.

The goalkeeper was left red-faced when he fumbled the ball for Raul’s opener at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night, although his team went on to win 3-2.

“I keep everything from Dida’s performance, which means the mistake and also the decisive saves,” said the Coach.

“It was a shocking error, but also fuelled by his desire to get back on track. I don’t say this just to defend him, but I feel there are few in the world who know how to react to something like that the way he does.

“After such an incident, he kept calm and performed a decisive save. Don’t forget Dida hasn’t trained properly pre-season due to injury, he hasn’t played in months and was unexpectedly introduced because Marco Storari is out of action.

“He has the character to react psychologically to the Bernabeu error and has not reached a point of no return. Besides, the situation is clear: with Storari and [Christian] Abbiati injured, I have faith in Dida.”

There is another option, as during the summer Milan signed ex-Monaco goalkeeper Flavio Roma, once an Italian international, but he is yet to feature.

The Rossoneri are targeting their third consecutive victory against Chievo after notching up dramatic late wins over Roma and Real Madrid, a game you can watch LIVE from 19.45 UK time Sunday on ESPN and online.

“We need to find some level of consistency and that is what we are doing, which includes adapting to circumstances the way we have recently,” added Leonardo.

It’s likely the 4-3-3 will again be used, though this time Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is expected to start upfront with support from Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho.

Gennaro Gattuso, Daniele Bonera, Oguchi Onyewu and David Di Gennaro round out the injury list, with Massimo Ambrosini suspended, so Mathieu Flamini steps in.

Galliani thanks AC Milan again
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has written an open letter published on the club’s official website praising his side’s performance against Real Madrid.

The Rossoneri were underdogs on Wednesday night when they arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu for a Champions League tie with the Spanish giants.

However, they shocked everyone by coming away with an impressive and fully deserved 3-2 victory that makes qualification for the latter stages all the more possible.

“Last week we met at San Siro for our traditional AGM. On that occasion I had the pleasure of illustrating the winning system that links the sponsors to Milan,” Galliani wrote.

“Well thanks to all your support, Milan managed the other evening to realise another great objective; triumphing away at the home of the club that has won the prestigious Champions League trophy more than anyone else.

“Never before Wednesday evening had our team managed to conquer the Bernabeu, an achievement worthy of the most decorated team in the world!

“The game between Real Madrid and Milan was transmitted across the world, from Europe to North and South America, from Africa to Asia, reaching hundreds of millions of people; once again we have written a memorable page in the history of football presenting spectacle and passion.

“This is our answer to your trust. This is the Rossonera magic! Best Wishes. Adriano Galliani,” he concluded.

Seedorf: Don't stop us now!
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf sees the Real Madrid triumph as a starting point for Milan. “We mustn’t stop now.”

The Rossoneri were in a crisis last week, but with back-to-back wins over Roma and Real they are on Cloud Nine.

“We really needed an important victory like this. These satisfactions help to overcome difficult times, but we mustn’t stop now,” said the Dutchman.

“The success against Real Madrid has to be the starting point from which we can build our future.”

Milan now lead the Champions League group on a par with Real and welcome the Spaniards to San Siro in the next round.

Before then they face a double Serie A test away to Chievo and Napoli.

“We have won an important game, but must immediately get back to focusing on Serie A. Every single victory helps the team to grow.”

Leonardo’s squad have struggled domestically this season with just six goals scored and 12 points amassed in eight rounds.

Ronaldinho: We did it for Dida
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho reveals the spark that pushed Milan on to conquer Madrid. “We didn’t want people to blame” Nelson Dida.

The Rossoneri fought back from a goal down to win 3-2 at the Bernabeu after possibly the worst howler of the goalkeeper’s career.

“I couldn’t say the most difficult moment the team went through, I think we did well for large portions of the game,” Dinho told Sky Italia.

“Perhaps Dida’s mistake stimulated us into doing better, as we didn’t want people to blame him.”

Dida was third choice between the posts this term, but both Christian Abbiati and Marco Storari are injured for at least another month.

It remains to be seen whether he will keep his spot for the weekend or make way for summer signing Flavio Roma.

“We returned from Spain so excited and happy, even if we haven’t slept much,” continued Ronaldinho.

“I am happy to have won in Madrid, the first time that Milan have ever achieved this. It’s a very important result to continue in the Champions League and three crucial points.

“We’re not qualified yet, but are in a good position, as now we have two home games that are difficult, but with the help of our fans.”

Milan are joint top of the group with Real Madrid on six points, followed by Olympique Marseille and FC Zurich with three.

The next meeting in a fortnight sees Kaka’s Real come to San Siro.

Pirlo hails Pato performance
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo believes that his team-mate Alexandre Pato can do a lot more damage in his new position.

The 30-year-old was being interviewed by Milan Channel the day after the Rossoneri’s 3-2 victory over Real Madrid.

Pirlo and Pato scored all three of Milan’s goals, the latter bagging an impressive brace that sealed the win.

The 20-year-old Brazilian is now finding a lot more freedom up front after Leonardo changed Milan’s system from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3.

“Pato has scored two important goals, both for him and the team. He is a great champion and will show himself to be even more so throughout the course of the season,” Pirlo said.

“Now he is playing in a new position and from there he can do a lot more damage,” he concluded.

Pato has hit a rich vein of form, having scored the winning goals against Roma on Sunday and then Real on Wednesday.

He is back in action at the weekend when Milan take on Chievo, another possible banana skin.

Kaka regrets leaving, says Oddo
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Oddo says Ricky Kaka probably regrets leaving Milan after seeing his Real Madrid side lose 3-2 at the Bernabeu last night.

Kaka ended a six-year love affair with Milan in the summer when he agreed to a £64m transfer to the Spanish giants.

Many pundits felt he got out at the right time as Milan have really suffered in his absence, winning just three of their opening eight games in Serie A.

However, Milan’s performance last night really surprised him and the Italian Press are now wondering if Kaka is having second thoughts.

Asked to give his opinion on what Kaka was feeling after the game, Oddo replied: “Probably this evening he thought why didn’t I stay in Milan?”

The 33-year-old went on to lavish praise on his team-mates for their performances.

“In a game like yesterday evening’s, the support of everyone is important. We take great satisfaction from this evening.

“It’s the first time Milan have won in Madrid. We arrived here in a positive frame of mind after the victory over Roma at home in Serie A,” Oddo concluded.

Mexes happy with Roma, says agent
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Roma defender Philippe Mexes says his client is happy in the capital amid apparent interest from Milan and Fiorentina.

Mexes has struggled for consistency so far this season, starting on just four occasions in Roma’s opening eight games.

Long time admirers Milan and Fiorentina were alerted to the situation with a view to making bids in January.

Italian newspaper La Nazione spoke earlier this week of ‘gentleman agreements’ between Roma, Milan and Fiorentina for an exchange of Mexes and Dario Dainelli.

Speaking to TuttoMercatoWeb, Olivier Jouanneaux said: “He’s happy to stay in Rome, so I don’t understand these rumours.

“The club hasn’t said anything, so how can we think Mexes will be moving to another team in January?

“Moreover there isn’t a deal between Milan and Fiorentina, because the Rossoneri don’t have the player’s rights.

“There has only been interest in the summer,” Joanneaux concluded.

AC Milan surprised me, says Kaka
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid star Ricky Kaka admits Milan surprised him last night by coming away from the Santiago Bernabeu with a famous 3-2 victory in the Champions League.

The 27-year-old former World Player of the Year left Milan in a £64m transfer this summer as part of the new Galácticos era at Real Madrid.

He made his name with the Rossoneri, winning the Champions League and the Scudetto in six years and 193 appearances for the club.

Many pundits feel Milan have yet to recover from Kaka’s sale or invested the money from his sale wisely enough, but last night’s result might just have changed their minds.

“It has been an evening full of many emotions. I found many friends again on the pitch. But the result has been less than beautiful. We wanted to win,” Kaka told Sky Italia.

“At the moment we lack identity and the right automatism. Knowing Milan well, I expected a team out of commission. Sure, they surprised me played so aggressive in principle.”

Kaka then lavished praise on Alexandre Pato, his former team-mate, who scored two of Milan’s three goals.

“He is only 20, I have already said as much. You don’t need to give him too many responsibilities. Give him time and you’ll see his talents.

“It’s a shame that already this evening he has made us understand something about them…” Kaka concluded.

Galliani: Leonardo's courage won game
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani described watching tonight’s game as “an immense suffering,” but credited Leonardo’s “courage” with the triumph.

“It was an immense suffering, as I was surrounded by Michel Platini, the Real President and a lady from Madrid,” said the notoriously enthusiastic figure from the Bernabeu stands.

“I bit my lip throughout and didn’t even celebrate at Pato’s winner, which is unusual for me!”

Leonardo was under fire this season and ran a huge risk by fielding Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato, Pippo Inzaghi and Clarence Seedorf together, but emerged with the 3-2 win.

“It is absolutely the victory of our Coach, who had the courage to come and play in Madrid with three strikers and Seedorf. The credit goes to Leonardo.

“We have players of immense talent and it’s no coincidence we do better in the Champions League, as it’s in our DNA and above all every opponent plays and lets you play. That is what allows our talent to emerge.”

President Silvio Berlusconi was not at the dramatic encounter, which saw Real take the lead, fall 2-1 behind and eventually succumb to a last-gasp Pato volley.

“The President was in Russia and couldn’t see the game, so he begged me to text him every time the result changed.”

When asked if he and the players would be celebrating long into the night, Galliani revealed a cunning plan.

“We’re flying back tonight and will arrive in Milan at around 4am, so I hope even our most unrepentant party boys will find the clubs closed!”

Leonardo: 'We knew we'd win!'
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo insists Milan “never for a minute thought we'd lose this match” after a thrilling 3-2 victory away to Real Madrid.

“What can I say? The game spoke for itself. We approached it the best way, even with a very difficult start and conceding that goal, but the team always believed and our second half was extraordinary,” said the Coach.

He ran a huge risk by fielding Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato, Pippo Inzaghi, Andrea Pirlo and Clarence Seedorf together.

“At the end of the day a line-up has to be done in a balanced fashion and what this side has is the maturity to understand many different approaches.

“It's not just because this was the Champions League and the Bernabeu, but facing an attacking side I felt the best thing we could do was push them really hard.

“Even after going a goal down we never thought we'd lose this game. We faced a good team, but one that suited us perfectly as opponents.”

Nelson Dida's howler gave Raul the opener, but the Rossoneri fought back with Pirlo and a Pato brace.

“Mistakes happened to Madrid too, but Dida is an experienced player who knows how to deal with these situations.

“It's easy to talk now, but in my initial plans for the season it was 4-3-3. However, there are games and games, moments and moments.

“I cannot deny this victory was born from the second half against Roma, where we were forced to push forward and fight back, understanding this system.

“It is impossible to play this way without the midfield doing the right work and the strikers moving the right way. Real play in a similar fashion and so this turned out to be a direct confrontation.”

Leonardo's job was hanging by a thread last week, but with back-to-back victories over Roma and Real Madrid - both fighting back from a goal down - will he remain on the bench?

“I don't think of my story or what will happen in future. I just think this is a moment we should frame and memorise. Above all it is the spirit, the determination to never give in, that is what we can rely on at Milan.

“I live in the present and today is extraordinary. I don't think of the future.”

Leo was the talent scout who took Kaka to Milan nearly seven years ago and they embraced on the touchline at the start of the second half.

“It was between us and I really can't say. It wasn't easy for him after winning everything it was possible to win at Milan to come here in a squad under construction and start again.”

The Rossoneri had never previously won a Champions League game away from home after conceding the first goal.

Champions League: Real Madrid 2:3 AC Milan - match report
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Raul 18 (R), Pirlo 62 (M), Pato 67, 88 (M), Drenthe 76 (R)

Alexandre Pato's brace saw Milan conquer the Bernabeu 3-2 in a spectacular match filled with goalkeeping disasters!

There were 16 editions of this trophy shared between the most successful clubs in the history of the competition. The Rossoneri were in poor shape after a 1-0 home defeat to FC Zurich, but went on the attack with the trident of Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato and Pippo Inzaghi. Nelson Dida started, as both Christian Abbiati and Marco Storari were sidelined along with Gennaro Gattuso.

Real also missed Cristiano Ronaldo, Guti, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Christoph Metzelder and Fernando Gago, but Kaka faced the club he left in the summer after six years.

Alessandro Nesta charged down a Karim Benzema effort and Madrid wanted a penalty on 14 minutes for Gianluca Zambrotta's risky challenge on Benzema, but the referee awarded a goal-kick. It was an extremely lucky decision for Milan, as he did not seem to get the ball.

Albiol intercepted a Clarence Seedorf cross with Inzaghi waiting in the centre.

Dida was effectively third choice goalkeeper for Milan this season and showed exactly why, giving Raul the opener. It was a classic howler, as he caught a weak Esteban Granero shot from distance and was bouncing the ball on the ground when he fumbled it, allowing Raul to tap into an empty net.

It was Raul's 68th European goal, only one behind Gerd Muller and Inzaghi. SuperPippo was incorrectly flagged offside when sliding to meet a Seedorf cross, but didn't get decent contact on it anyway.

Milan had a promising counter wasted by Ronaldinho firing straight at Sergio Ramos. The Real man asked for a penalty when his cross struck Zambrotta's elbow, but he was clearly protecting his face.

Marcelo dribbled past a couple of players to force a punch save out of Dida, while Lassana Diarra blasted over.

After the break Kaka embraced Leonardo, the man who talent scouted him for Milan over six years ago. The Brazilian forced a fine save out of Dida with his angled drive at the near post that was flashing towards the far corner.

Dida also tipped a Benzema long-range effort over, while Raul fired wide. Raul threatened again on 54 minutes when he sprinted away from Alessandro Nesta on an Iker Casillas goal kick, but opted for a weak lob that Dida comfortably gathered.

Ronaldinho horribly wasted a good move from Pato and Inzaghi was replaced by Marco Borriello.

Milan were pushing a bit harder in the second half and equalised with the aid of another goalkeeping howler, this time from Casillas. Andrea Pirlo was 30 metres out and hit it like a free kick, dipping mercilessly towards the near post, taking Casillas by surprise. It was the first time the Real shot-stopper was really called into action and he was distracted on Pirlo's first Champions League goal in two years.

Real seemed in shock and Zambrotta flashed a daisy-cutter inches past the far post.

Incredibly, Milan turned it all around five minutes later! Pato sprung the offside trap on a Pirlo pass over the top, Casillas came tearing outside the box and tried to palm it off his foot, but realised he'd be sent off if he did, so pulled his hand back. This allowed Pato to go clear and deposit into an empty net!

A Xabi Alonso free kick was charged down and Kaka turned wide, but Dida wanted to even the scores in howlers with Casillas. Real equalised when a corner came out to substitute Royston Drenthe, whose daisy-cutter slipped past Dida at the base of the near post. It was not a very powerful shot and the goalkeeper should've been quicker to react.

Seedorf could've made it 3-2 moments later with the first real Ronaldinho spark, fine work down the left and a cross with the outside of his right foot, but Seedorf ballooned it over.

Dinho had been dismal, but seemed to wake up in the final 15 minutes. However, Dida fumbled another Kaka effort and Raul tapped in, but he was clearly offside.

Absolutely anything could happen in this game and Casillas used his legs to parry a Pato strike. From the resulting corner Thiago Silva nodded in at the near post, but the referee disallowed it for a push on the goalkeeper, sparking a furious series of scuffles. Milan had every reason to be angry, as replays show Casillas crashed into Sergio Ramos and made absolutely no contact with Thiago Silva. Nesta, Raul and Ronaldinho were all booked for their part in the row.

It was only a warning, as moments later Pato scored! No howlers this time, as Seedorf chipped the ball over the defence to an unmarked Pato for a spectacular volley at the back post!

It still wasn't over, as Dida palmed a Xabi Alonso strike wide, but the final whistle blew with Milan's first ever victory away to Madrid!
Real Madrid: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Albiol, Marcelo; L Diarra, Xabi Alonso; Kakà, Raul, Granero (Drenthe 68); Benzema

Milan: Dida; Oddo, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Pirlo, Seedorf; Pato, Ronaldinho (Flamini 91), Inzaghi (Borriello 60)

Ref: De Bleeckere (Bel)

Leonardo believes in Madrid victory
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo knows Real Madrid-Milan is “a meeting of tradition and I truly believe we will get a positive result.”

The Coach effectively salvaged his job with a 2-1 win over Roma at the weekend, but in the Champions League must make up for the disastrous 1-0 home defeat to FC Zurich.

“This game arrives at a positive time for us,” insisted the Brazilian. “The win over Roma gave us some very important answers.

“Real have great players and are a team going through a good period of form, while it is also a special occasion for them to be facing Milan.

“Would I bet on a positive result? No need to bet, I truly believe we will get a positive result,” he smiled.

These are the two most successful sides in the history of the Champions League/European Cup.

“Tomorrow it will be a meeting of tradition and obviously there are great expectations. Milan and Real are clubs that respect each other a great deal, know each other and there’s always something extra in these games.”

More so this time than any other, as Kaka takes on his former teammates for the first time since the £56m summer transfer.

His ‘replacement’ Ronaldinho has so far failed to deliver, but Leonardo is not disappointed.

“Ronaldinho and Kaka are two different players, even if they are both attacking figures. Ricky has a special speed and pace to him, while Ronaldinho is equally special when playing the ball. They are both complete, but different.”

There are rumours the Coach could drop Alexandre Pato to the bench so that Pippo Inzaghi can partner Ronaldinho.

“I have already decided on the line-up, but the only thing I can tell you is that Alessandro Nesta will play.”

Nesta: 'Kaka fears AC Milan'
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta has welcomed Kaka wanting to eliminate Milan from the Champions League. “It’s because Real Madrid fear us.”

The former Rossoneri star moved to the Bernabeu this summer for £56m and will come face to face with his old teammates for the first time on Wednesday night.

Although he said he will not celebrate, Kaka did state he wanted to win the match and knock them out of the competition.

“It’s because Kaka knows us and Real Madrid fear us,” smiled Nesta in a Press conference. “They realise we have always done well in the Champions League.

“It will be exciting to see him again and play against him. He left wonderful memories in all of us in the locker room. We know his style, but players like him are unpredictable.”

It will also be a battle between the top scorers in Europe, Raul and Pippo Inzaghi.

“Pippo has not promised us any goals, but I know he cares a great deal about his record. Raul is similar, they are players who in the box can be smarter than the rest.”

Nesta’s strong performances this season after finally putting a long-term injury behind him have prompted calls for an Azzurri comeback.

“Absolutely not, I confirm my decision to retire. I will always cheer on Italy and have an excellent rapport with Marcello Lippi, but I have made my choice.

“As for injuries, this is my seventh ‘comeback’ and I hope it’s also the last. I am happy to be back and above all to be healthy. I knew I could do it.”

AC Milan lose Storari for a month
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will be without goalkeeper Marco Storari for a month due to a thigh injury, so Nelson Dida takes over the gloves.

The Italian pulled out of Sunday night’s 2-1 win over Roma after sustaining a problem in training and the test results are now back.

“Storari tore the tendon in his left thigh muscle and the recovery time is expected to be 30 days,” read a statement on the club website.

He had been the fourth choice during the summer, but with Christian Abbiati injured and poor friendly performances from Dida and Zeljko Kalac, Leonardo reshuffled his priorities.

Dida (pictured) had not made a single appearance in official games this season before he played in the 2-1 victory against Roma.

He will make his Champions League comeback against Real Madrid tomorrow evening.

The goalkeeper on the bench will be 19-year-old Antonio Donnarumma, one of three youth academy members in the squad travelling to Madrid.

Oguchi Onyewu, Gennaro Gattuso and David Di Gennaro are also absent.

Milan squad: Dida, Donnarumma, Roma, Antonini, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Nesta, Pasini, Oddo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Abate, Ambrosini, Flamini, Pirlo, Seedorf, Borriello, Huntelaar, Inzaghi, Pato, Ronaldinho, Verdi

I have to beat AC Milan, says Kaka
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid star Ricky Kaka says he will not celebrate if he scores against Milan but insists he has to beat them tomorrow evening.

The former World Player of the Year left the Rossoneri in the summer after six very successful years in Italy.

He won Serie A and the Champions League while with the Rossoneri and became an idol to the club’s fans.

Pundits credit Milan’s decline with his departure, criticising the Rossoneri for not adequately reinvesting the £64m they received from his transfer.

“It’s an important game for me. It the first time that I have faced one of my former teams and I hope that it will be a great game,” Kaka told Marca.

“I will not celebrate out of respect for everything that Milan have given me, but I will do everything to score as many goals as possible.”

The 27-year-old then offered his inside knowledge of the Milan team, warning Madrid of the threat posed by Pato and Ronaldinho.

“Pato is a great player. Together with Ronaldinho, he is the most dangerous opponent. Ronaldinho is not going through his best moment. I don’t know what is happening to him. I know that he works a lot, but things aren’t going as well as he would like.”

Kaka went on to reveal his respect for Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi.

“I have been with Berlusconi for six years and he was very important for me. He signed me from Sao Paulo when I was a boy and he helped me grow. Florentino Perez is helping me keep on growing,” Kaka explained.

Finally Kaka said he hopes Milan’s fans will give him a good reception when Real Madrid travel to Italy in November.

“I believe that the reception they’ll reserve for me will be good because my behaviour was good and sincere,” he concluded.

Galliani rejects claims of referee bias
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has rejected claims that referees feel a psychological subjection towards Italy’s big clubs.

The weekend was marred by a number of controversial refereeing decisions, leading some to suggest there is a conspiracy.

Sampdoria director general Beppe Marotta was incensed, saying that because the big clubs get more air time and column inches, referees are much more likely to give a decision in their favour than to one of the ‘provincial’ teams.

Milan were in the thick of the controversy, as they benefitted from two dubious decisions during their 2-1 victory over Roma on Sunday night.

The Rossoneri were awarded a rather soft penalty while their opponents were denied a blatant one, prompting Claudio Ranieri to call the referee a ‘disgrace.’

Speaking ahead of Milan’s Champions League match against Real Madrid tomorrow night, Galliani said: “All the televisions in the world will tune in to this challenge tomorrow.

“It’s the game of games, with two teams that together have won 16 European Cups between them. We are certainly not going to Madrid with psychological subjection.”

Returning to talk about Sunday’s win over Roma, Galliani dodged a number of bullets and said: “It was fundamental for our place in the table, for our self esteem and for everything.

“The team played well in the second half notwithstanding the contested and contestable episodes,” he concluded.

Inzaghi chases Bernabeu goal
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Filippo Inzaghi can't wait to play his first official game at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu and is looking forward to taking on Real Madrid captain Raul.

Inzaghi is not sure whether he will feature in the starting line-up, as Milan Coach Leonardo is yet to decide on his best team for the game.

“I have played in all the best European grounds but never at the Bernabeu,” explained SuperPippo.

“I have never played against Raul either and now I will get the chance to face him in his own stadium.”

Inzaghi and Raul are also battling it out for the title of European competition's all-time top scorer, with the Italian currently edging out the Real star by just three goals.

“The fundamental thing is that Milan win the game and return home with all three of the points at stake,” insisted the Rossoneri veteran.

Marco Borriello is part of the squad that will travel to Spain, but Inzaghi is the established regular in European competition.

“The boss decides whether I am playing or not but I feel good and I am ready if I am called upon.

“I always try to contribute, even when I start from the bench like I did against Roma,” concluded the former Juventus man.

Serie A: AC Milan 2:1 AS Roma - match report
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Menez 3 (R), Ronaldinho pen 56 (M), Pato 67 (M)

Despite Massimo Ambrosini's dismissal, Milan fought back from a goal down to beat Roma 2-1 with Alexandre Pato's strike and a soft penalty.

This was the moment of truth for both sides, as Leonardo risked the sack after just three Serie A wins and the Giallorossi faced their first big test on Claudio Ranieri's watch, having won three of the last five games. Important stars were out for both sides, as Francesco Totti did not recover from a knee injury in time, so stayed home with Juan, Marco Motta and Julio Sergio, but Alexander Doni made his first appearance in six months.

Milan missed Marco Borriello, Gennaro Gattuso, Oguchi Onyewu, Christian Abbiati and Marco Storari, so Nelson Dida made his comeback. Ronaldinho partnered Alexandre Pato in a new 4-4-2 system.

Roma had won on their last three trips to San Siro and within 150 seconds had taken the lead at San Siro! Jeremy Menez intercepted an awful Thiago Silva backpass to go clear on goal and side-foot to send Dida the wrong way. It could've been worse, as the defender tried to pull his shirt and risked a red card.

Moments later Menez did exactly the same thing, bursting through the middle and this time Dida smothered the shot.

Milan tried to fight back, but Pato's first touch let him down and a Massimo Oddo effort was deflected out for a corner. Menez had penalty appeals for a tussle with Thiago Silva, but seemed to lose his balance when firing wide from seven yards.

Daniele De Rossi surged forward from midfield and smashed an angled drive from 20 metres that Dida fingertipped round the post.

Ronaldinho curled a free kick over the bar. Pato failed to turn in the box and the ball came out to Andrea Pirlo for a high strike. Seedorf fired wide after a poorly cleared free kick.

Roma continued to be extremely dangerous on the counter, as Mirko Vucinic burst between two defenders on Simone Perrotta's cross and fired straight at Dida's legs at the near post.

Incredibly, from that corner Milan had their first real chance of the game on 38 minutes. Pato surged forward from end to end, the ball ricocheted around and Seedorf smacked a shot against the upright from nine yards, then Massimo Ambrosini ballooned the follow-up over the bar.

The Rossoneri were jeered off the field at the half-time whistle. Pippo Inzaghi replaced Ignazio Abate and within 70 seconds he had very nearly scored the equaliser. Pirlo whipped in the corner for his bullet header from six yards, which David Pizarro cleared off the line at the near post.

There was controversy on 55 minutes when a set play came to Alessandro Nesta and Burdisso went in with a sliding tackle. The referee awarded a spot-kick, but it looked as if the Roma defender might've got the ball. Ronaldinho took a stuttering run-up to beat Doni despite the goalkeeper guessing the right angle.

John Arne Riise hit one of his trademark thunderbolts from distance, which Dida parried with an outstretched leg. Milan should've gone 2-1 up on a classic counter sparked by Pato, but he cut in for an unbalanced Seedorf to poke it wide with the aid of a deflection.

Pirlo's awful free kick allowed Roma to go on the counter, but Ambrosini did just enough to stall Rodrigo Taddei.

Milan took the lead with Pato scoring a wonderful goal. Ronaldinho skipped between three players in midfield and placed the searching pass over he top for Pato to dribble round Doni and deposit into an empty net.

Inzaghi went clear on goal, but was a little harshly halted and booked for a push on Burdisso. At the other end Dida meekly parried a Perrotta snapshot and was fortunate nobody was ready to tap in the loose ball.

Stefano Guberti came off the bench and his dangerous cross was turned out for a corner before Julio Baptista could pounce. Baptista's overhead kick turned into an assist for De Rossi, but the midfielder smashed over under pressure from Thiago Silva.

Doni spilled a Seedorf blockbuster, but got it back before Inzaghi arrived for the tap-in. However, Milan were reduced to 10 men for the final 10 minutes when Ambrosini received a second booking for jumping with his elbow raised on Burdisso.

Yet a minute later they nearly scored a third, as Ronaldinho robbed Riise to thread through for Pato, but the teenager's touch let him down. Mathieu Flamini replaced Ronaldinho to bolster the midfield.

Guberti's angled drive took a deflection, but not enough to confuse Dida. In stoppages Pizarro's free kick led to a couple of shots charged down in Roma's last chance to level the scores.
Milan: Dida; Oddo, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Abate (Inzaghi 46), Pirlo, Ambrosini, Seedorf; Pato, Ronaldinho (Flamini 83)

Roma: Doni; Cassetti, Mexes, Burdisso, Riise; Taddei (Guberti 71), De Rossi, Pizarro, Perrotta; Menez (Julio Baptista 75), Vucinic (Okaka 72)

Ref: Rosetti

Sent off: Ambrosini 80 (M)

Leonardo: AC Milan 'not a disaster'
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo insists Milan “do not have more problems than any other team. We’re not a disaster,” ahead of their San Siro showdown with Roma.

The Coach is hanging by a thread after just nine points from the first seven rounds in Serie A and on Sunday night welcomes the Giallorossi in a game you can watch LIVE on ESPN and online.

“All sides have issues and we do not have more problems than any other team,” declared the Brazilian in today’s Press conference.

“If we are able to express ourselves to our potential, then Milan can do a lot better. We need to get our ideas straight in our heads, as the only reference point is ourselves. Consistency will be the key, as we do have flashes of good form.

“I don’t think it’s right to term Milan ‘a disaster.’ Of course anyone with expectations will have been disappointed, but I feel positive we will come out of this difficult moment. It is only a disaster when there is no escape.”

Nonetheless, Leonardo concedes his position could well be at risk if he does not improve against Roma and Real Madrid over the next few days.

“My position is very clear and, if they wanted to, the club could change management because the results are not good. I am carrying on in a calm manner.

“This is the ideal moment to prove ourselves, facing off against Roma on our home turf. We have so much potential and need to use it without complaining. We have an excellent squad at our disposal and must do better with what we’ve got.

“Roma play in their own particular style and have players who don’t leave you reference points in attack, even if Francesco Totti is absent.”

Will AC Milan act on Onyewu threats?
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan demanded that the Americans pay compensation for Oguchi Onyewu’s injury, but according to the Federation no official claim has been made.

Onyewu has been ruled out for six months after damaging the tendon in his left knee while on international duty this week.

“I am very angry because the national teams once again take our players and we have to deal with their injuries,” slammed Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

“This is a problem that needs to be resolved. Milan demand compensation from the American Federation. We cannot give wages for six months to a player who cannot play.

“Enough is enough, we are penalised by sending our champions on international duty. They don’t pay, but when there is an injury, we are the ones to suffer the consequences.

“Our lawyers are verifying if there are grounds to request compensation based on the wages paid while the player is out of action.”

That was a few days ago, but according to the Gazzetta dello Sport and US Soccer, it was so far at least all talk.

“We will respond when and if Milan contact us. For now that hasn’t happened,” a spokesman from the Federation was quoted as saying.

“For now we are only focusing on helping the player recover.”

AC Milan interested in Pavlyuchenko
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Tottenham and Russia striker Roman Pavlyuchenko says Milan are one of the clubs interested in his client.

The 27-year-old target man has struggled to adjust to life at White Hart Lane and expects to be sold in January.

He has scored just five goals in 30 appearances for Spurs, but continues to find the net on a regular basis for Russia.

“I will meet Tottenham's directors in the next few days to understand the lad's future,” Pavlyuchenko's agent is quoted as telling Il Corriere dello Sport.

“Spartak and Zenit are interested in him, but Milan could also reveal themselves to be an interesting option to everyone involved.”

The Rossoneri are still on the lookout for a big presence up front as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has floundered since his arrival from Real Madrid.

Milan have really struggled for goals this season. They have the third worst attack in Serie A, having scored just four times in seven games.

Totti likely to miss AC Milan game
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma have suffered a massive blow this afternoon with the news that Francesco Totti is struggling to be fit in time for Sunday's trip to Milan.

The 33-year-old suffered an injury to his knee the weekend before last in Roma's 2-1 victory over Napoli. He scored both of the Giallorossi's goals in that fixture.

The initial diagnosis looked bad, but a scan at the Villa Stuart clinic in Rome suggested Totti would be back straight after the international break.

Despite good reports coming out the Roma camp, La Repubblica understands Totti has not made sufficient progress to warrant a place in Ranieri's side.

He could apparently only train for 15 minutes during the team's most recent training session.

The news is particularly worrying for Roma as Totti has repeatedly suffered problems with the same knee over the last 18 months.

He had an operation on it last year and was used fitfully for the first half of the season.

Critics said Totti had been rushed back by the club's medical staff, causing him to break down every two or three games.

Pato promises to end goal drought
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato says that once he ends his goal drought he won't be able to stop scoring.

The precocious 20-year-old opened the season in impressive fashion, scoring both goals in Milan's 2-1 victory over Siena.

However, he hasn't found the net since and Milan have struggled in front of goal, scoring just four times in seven games in Serie A.

Speaking to Sky Sport 24 ahead of this weekend's match against Roma, Pato said: “I know that the Giallorossi are a great team, they are strong. When Roma come to San Siro, it's always difficult to face them.

“We have had a great week in preparation for this game. This week Leonardo really did a great job. As for me, I am sure that I will start scoring again and that once I start I won't be able to stop anymore.”

Asked to explain why Milan have the third worst attack in Serie A, Pato replied: “Things have changed and we are lacking a little luck. I hit the post against Atalanta. Their goalkeeper was very good.

“I have not mistaken the things I have done up until now. I am sure that a goal will arrive considering how much I have worked,” Pato concluded.

Berlusconi: 'AC Milan not for sale'
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

President Silvio Berlusconi assures he never even considered selling Milan. “It’s about affection, not economics.”

There had been reports in recent weeks that the Prime Minister of Italy was set to sell up after 22 years because of the increasing financial strain.

“Selling Milan? No, we never even considered it,” said Berlusconi during a political meeting in Sofia. “This club is about affection, not economics.”

He also commented on David Beckham’s likely return to San Siro on loan in January.

“We hope he can arrive as soon as possible.”

Vice-President Adriano Galliani reiterated that Milan are not looking for new investors.

“Nobody has ever talked about Milan being put up for sale, it was invented by the media. I can confirm that officially on behalf of the club.”

The prime candidate to take over was Albanian business magnate Rezart Taçi.

Beckham deal is done, says Galliani
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has confirmed David Beckham will re-join the club in January.

Negotiations have been going on for some weeks and last night Beckham intimated that they were 95 per cent done.

“David Beckham's return on loan in January is already a done deal,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

The England midfielder joins from LA Galaxy with a view to getting enough regular first team football at the highest level to justify a place in Fabio Capello's World Cup squad.

Beckham joined Milan for a six-month loan spell earlier this year and while it was initially greeted with scepticism, he soon won over the critics.

Meanwhile Galliani has reacted angrily to news that Oguchi Onyewu will be out for three to four months after suffering a knee injury while on international duty.

He has asked for the USA Soccer Association to pay his wages while he receives treatment.

AC Milan lose Onyewu for months
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have lost defender Oguchi Onyewu for between three and four months after he suffered a severe injury to his left knee last night.

The 27-year-old was playing for the USA against Costa Rica when he went down and needed to be stretchered off after 83 minutes.

Onyewu was Milan's first post Kaka signing in the summer, but he has yet to make an appearance for the Rossoneri in Serie A.

The 27-year-old made his competitive debut for Milan against Zurich in the Champions League.

“He is young, well trained and our doctors are good. I am sure that he'll return to fitness and be ready to come with us to South Africa,” USA Coach Bob Bradley said.

It remains to be seen how costly Onyewu's injury could prove for Milan.

However, Leonardo did not turn to him even when Thiago Silva was on the sidelines.

Ambrosini sets sights on Roma
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini warns Milan they must beat Roma to stop the slide and reveals Ronaldinho “has never lacked self-esteem…”

The Rossoneri are in dismal form both domestically and in Europe, so a tough week awaits them against Roma and Real Madrid.

“We are going through a tough time and this is a very important game against a team that is above us in the table,” he said of this weekend’s Serie A clash.

“The situation is a delicate one and I really don’t need to add anything to that. We mustn’t look at the statistics or the fact that Roma have often brought me luck.

“Nor should we assume that simply because we have had a series of poor home performances that means things have to change. We are stepping on to the field for the first in a series of very difficult games.”

Real Madrid stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Guti are out of next Wednesday’s match and the club website notes Christoph Metzelder is also struggling with an ankle injury.

Milan have amassed just nine points from their first seven Serie A games and Coach Leonardo risks the axe if things don’t improve.

Ronaldinho has been pinpointed as one of the most disappointing players in the current campaign, but this week celebrated winning the Golden Foot award for his career.

“Will this award boost his confidence? Knowing Ronaldinho I can’t say he has ever lacked self-esteem…” smiled Ambrosini.

“He has never been arrogant, though. Everyone at Milan has always had faith in him and that is something he should work with, regardless of the trophy, as that is just a bonus.

“I think he’s experiencing this time in the right frame of mind.”

AC Milan enjoy more Real Madrid injury woes
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are going to face an increasingly depleted Real Madrid side, as after Cristiano Ronaldo was ruled out, Guti is also now injured.

The Rossoneri travel to the Santiago Bernabeu next week and hope to turn around their dismal current form in Serie A and the Champions League.

Real star player Ronaldo picked up an ankle injury on international duty with Portugal and has been ruled out for three to four weeks.

This means he’ll miss both legs of the Champions League meetings with Milan.

Now news filters through from Madrid that Guti is also out of action for that first encounter next Wednesday.

The midfielder pulled up during training today and has been diagnosed with a sprained left ankle.

Huntelaar will remain at AC Milan
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar says his client will not be leaving Milan in January just months after joining the club from Real Madrid.

The Holland international striker hasn't scored in his first seven appearances for Milan and speculation suggests he will be sold sooner rather than later.

Il Corriere dello Sport carried a story this morning suggesting Huntelaar will form part of a swap deal for Tottenham centre-forward Roman Pavlyuchenko.

Asked about his client's future on, Arnold Oosterveer replied: “I don't want to comment on things that are just rumours.

“The truth is that Milan have not given us any signs in that respect. It's a difficult moment for Milan, and Huntelaar is feeling it too, but I think both the club and the player will come good,” he concluded.

There is a definite feeling that Huntelaar wasn't Milan's first choice in the transfer market this summer.

The Rossoneri pursued Edin Dzeko and Luis Fabiano for much of the transfer window, but when the fans got angry at a lack of new arrivals they immediately unveiled Huntelaar, who was being offered by Real Madrid.

AC Milan plan January revolution
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

According to Il Corriere dello Sport, Milan are ready to make no fewer than four big moves in the January transfer window to shock their season into life.

The Rossoneri have suffered a terrible start to the season, winning just three games in Serie A and losing to Swiss minnows FC Zurich at home in the Champions League.

At the top of Milan's list of priorities is concluding a deal that will see David Beckham return to San Siro on loan from LA Galaxy until June 30.

Yesterday Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani announced that the said deal would “very probably” go through in the near future.

Second on the agenda is finding a target man to partner Alexandre Pato up front, as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has so far failed to make an impact.

Last week, Milan were linked with a sensational move for Adriano, the former Inter striker, who has done well to resurrect his career at Flamengo.

However, the 27-year-old suffered an ankle sprain on his return to the Brazil squad for their World Cup qualifier against Bolivia.

Attention has now turned to Roman Pavlyuchenko, as Tottenham are keen to get rid and could be tempted into exchanging him for Huntelaar.

Perhaps the most intriguing piece of news this morning surrounds Milan's strong interest in Lyon attacking midfielder Ederson, which has been picked up by all of Italy's sports papers.

“Ederson has all the qualities to become the natural heir to Kaka at Milan,” Antonio Caliendo, the so-called super agent, is quoted as saying.

The 23-year-old Brazilian has also compared his style of play with Kaka.

“I aspire a lot to be like Kaka and my style of play is very close to his own. I have the same movements, I interpret the same roles as a trequartista or a second striker with great personality and I still have great margins for improvement,” Ederson says.

Milan will apparently face competition for Ederson from rivals Inter, as Jose Mourinho has long been an admirer of his football skills.

Galliani says Becks loan is probable
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says it's “very probable” that David Beckham will join the club on loan in January.

The LA Galaxy and England international midfielder made the same arrangement last year just as the MLS season finished.

After initial scepticism, the Italian Press warmed to Beckham, calling his six-month stay in Italy a real success.

Speaking at the Sportel convention in Monte Carlo, Galliani fielded questions on the club's negotiations with Beckham and the Galaxy.

“There are many probabilities that Beckham will arrive in Milan on loan until June 30, but I cannot give anything for fact until there is a signature,” Galliani explained.

Beckham needs regular first team football at the highest level if he is to remain in Fabio Capello's mind for next summer's World Cup in South Africa.

His 18 appearances for Milan last season certainly helped in that respect, as Beckham was recalled to the national team set up after a long absence.

Leonardo gives in to old guard
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's old guard have asked Leonardo to change the team's system back to a 4-4-2 and he has duly obliged, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Rossoneri have started the season poorly, winning just three games in Serie A and losing at home to Swiss minnows FC Zurich in the Champions League.

Leonardo is under increasing pressure to deliver results even though Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani insists he will get a full season on the bench.

The Brazilian bases a lot of his management on dialogue with the players and they have reportedly told him to abandon the 4-3-1-2 to a more compact 4-4-2.

While the 4-4-2 might render Milan more predictable, the players feel it is the best way forward as the defence feels more protected and the lines are not so far apart.

The news is bad for Ronaldinho, as it appears Milan will no longer make room for a traditional No 10 behind the strikers, which is where he has played so far this season.

Instead Leonardo will line up a very solid midfield composed of Ignazio Abate, Rino Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo and Clarence Seedorf.

The success of the move will be determined this weekend when Milan welcome Roma to San Siro.

Roma made a likeminded change in September when Claudio Ranieri replaced Luciano Spalletti. They have yet to lose under his guidance in Serie A.

AC Milan haggle over Beckham loan
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham’s return to Milan in January could be in doubt after LA Galaxy refused to haggle over the price of the loan.

The England midfielder has stated they are his “number one choice” for a move to Europe in the lead-up to the World Cup.

However, according to the News of the World, this time Galaxy are unwilling to make things too easy for him.

It is reported that the Americans want £70,000 per week to loan Becks out to the San Siro outfit, but the Rossoneri are willing to pay no more than £40,000.

Last season the player paid out of his own pocket for an undisclosed fee, said by some to be in the millions, to extend his stay past the March deadline to the end of May.

The 34-year-old is seemingly not prepared to make such sacrifices again, so could listen to other offers.

Tottenham Hotspur have been consistently interested in bringing Beckham back to the Premier League and could meet Galaxy’s price-tag.

Milan have already come under attack from their fans for not reinvesting the £56m earned from Kaka’s sale to Real Madrid.

AC Milan line up Adriano meetingup
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that Adriano’s agent has booked October 29 for a decisive meeting with Milan directors.

The club denied it had sent scouts over to Brazil for news on L’Imperatore, who has rediscovered his form and sobriety at Flamengo.

However, the rumours of a link persist with Coach Leonardo eager to get the best out of him in Serie A once more.

According to several newspapers, agent Gilmar Rinaldi will fly in to the city for talks with former club Inter and, while there, plans a meeting with Milan.

Vice-President Adriano Galliani and transfer chief Ariedo Braida are set to have dinner with Rinaldi to discuss Adriano’s potential return to Italy.

The striker left midway through last season by rescinding his contract after he refused to return from international duty, going missing for several days,

The Rossoneri are still looking for a strong centre-forward, as summer signing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is struggling to make an impact.

Milan have other options too, such as Bayern Munich benchwarmer Luca Toni, Tottenham’s Roman Pavlyuchenko and Palmeiras striker Obina.

Leonardo rings the changes
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo is implementing major changes to the way Milan do business in a desperate attempt to turn their season around.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport today, the Coach is scrapping many of the habits the team was accustomed to after eight years of Carlo Ancelotti’s reign.

He is changing the training sessions so that they always involve use of the ball and not pure physical work, something that Jose Mourinho has already introduced at Inter.

These sessions will also be held in the morning rather than the afternoon, so late nights from top stars like Ronaldinho will not be tolerated.

It is reported Leonardo is combating the numerous injury worries by introducing a new group of physiotherapists.

Following in the footsteps of former Milan Coach Arrigo Sacchi, Leo is also eager to use assistants in the stands who track all the individual players’ movements on a computer for later analysis.

As Ancelotti explained in his autobiography, that used to be done entirely by hand, but new technology makes it a far easier proposition.

The Brazilian only announces his line-up a few hours before kick-off, demands all the staff wear smart suits and ruled that the squad must return to base the same night as Champions League games rather than stop over.

AC Milan given Beckham ultimatum
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have been told they need to “get it done” quickly for David Beckham’s loan from LA Galaxy.

The England international has said he is very close to securing a return to San Siro in January so he can play in a competitive League going into the 2010 World Cup.

"We want to get it done, for him and for us, because we have work to do over the next few weeks and I don't want any confusion,” said Tim Leiweke, chief executive of Galaxy owners AEG.

"It's the same with Landon [Donovan], there are a lot of rumours of whether he is staying or going. We're going to clear that up in the next two weeks because we want the team to be focused.”

Last year Beckham was only meant to stay in Milan from January to March, but paid out of his own pocket to have that period extended to the end of May.

He will remain in Europe to begin preparations for the 2010 World Cup, but is warned he won’t be having a summer holiday.

"We're not going to give him as much time off this time. He's going to have to earn his keep! He will have a little time off,” added Leiweke.

“We have a deep appreciation of what he is doing over here with his national team. I wanted him to know that we will support him so we are going to lend him out."

L'Equipe slams Ronaldinho
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

French newspaper L'Equipe now considers Milan star Ronaldinho an ex-player after he was caught partying again, this time in Paris.

The former World Player of the Year flew to France after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Atalanta so he could watch a Samba concert.

He got on stage and started playing percussion at L'Ermitage, a venue that charged just £6 a ticket for an event organised by Roda de Cavaco.

According to L'Equipe, Ronaldinho has been a frequent visitor to L'Ermitage in recent months.

Last week reports claimed the Brazilian had been fined for partying just 48 hours before Milan's Champions League fixture against Zurich, a match they lost much to their embarrassment.

L'Equipe speculates that his decision to party in Paris stems from his desire not to be seen doing so in Milan.

Ronaldinho was caught partying by a group of Milan fans last year who promptly told him to go home.

The 29-year-old earns £10m a year after tax at Milan and has a contract until 2011. He also has a sponsorship deal worth over £3m with Nike that runs out in 2016.

Eric Lovey, a Parisien friend of Ronaldinho, is quoted as saying: “Ronnie is still deeply in love with football, but he has to ask himself if he still has the desire to sacrifice himself for it.”

AC Milan extend Storari contract
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have rewarded goalkeeper Marco Storari by extending his contract until 2012, announced the club.

The 32-year-old added another two years to his current deal, which was set to expire at the end of the season and will now run out on June 30 2012.

Storari was signed from Messina in January 2007, but within six months loaned to Levante, then Cagliari and Fiorentina.

This summer he was on the list of players to be sold, but injuries to Nelson Dida and Christian Abbiati saw him go from fourth choice to first pick.

Zeljko Kalac had also been ahead of Storari in the pecking order, but plummeted after the poor summer friendly performances and his contract was terminated by mutual consent.

AC Milan is not for sale
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Silvio Berlusconi's holding company Fininvest has issued a statement denying reports suggesting Milan is up for sale.

La Gazzetta dello Sport published an interview this morning with Albanian oil magnate Rezart Taci in which he said he had spoken to Berlusconi about the sale of Milan.

While admitting that Berlusconi had no intention of selling the club, Taci did say that he would listen to offers of a certain magnitude.

The news comes just days after Italy's most prestigious tribunal ordered Fininvest to pay £690m in compensation to CIR for its controversial takeover of the Mondadori publishing house in the 1990s.

The Italian Press has taken this to mean that Fininvest might look at offloading certain assets in order to pay the damages.

“Fininvest sees itself forced once again to deny, in the most authoritative and absolute way, that any hypothesis of selling shares in Milan, even partially, exists,” a statement read.

Milan has been subject to interest from consortiums based in Libya and the Arab Emirates in recent months.

Berlusconi bought Milan in 1986 and ushered in an unprecedented era of success.

However, his position in politics makes it very difficult for him to spend money on the club, especially given the global financial crisis.

Adriano linked with AC Milan
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan director of sport Ariedo Braida has returned from a scouting mission in Brazil with a dossier on a number of players including Adriano.

The 27-year-old striker formally rescinded his contract with Inter in April after struggling with alcoholism and depression.

He originally intended to take a sabbatical from the game, but joined hometown club Flamengo little over two weeks after leaving Italy.

Adriano has scored 15 goals in 22 games for the Mengo and was recently called up for Brazil's upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.

According to Il Corriere dello Sport, Milan have a good relationship with Adriano after trying to sign him when his career was stalling at Inter.

Gilmar Rinaldi, the player's agent, is quoted as saying: “We spoke to Milan when he was at Inter and he could have also gone there.

“I confirm that there isn't a clause in his contract impeding him from doing so.”

However, the likelihood of Adriano returning to Milan appears unlikely especially after an interview he gave last week in which he said he was right to leave the city.

“I never stopped drinking and the situation became unsustainable, up to the point that I started getting into fights with Roberto Mancini and I had to leave Inter,” Adriano told R7.

Despite his troubles, Adriano is still remembered fondly in Italy where fans call him 'the Emperor.'

Ancelotti surprised by AC Milan collapse
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is surprised Milan have started the season so poorly, but thinks it'll be hard for them to do well without Kaka.

Ancelotti spent eight years with the Rossoneri before leaving for Stamford Bridge in the summer.

He won the Scudetto and two Champions League titles.

“I did not expect to see them so far down the table. I think there are the conditions for the team to climb back up, but without Kaka…” Ancelotti said in an interview with Tuttosport.

Kaka was sold to Real Madrid for £68.5m earlier this summer and while Milan did reinforce the team, there are still areas that desperately need improvement.

Milan currently lie 12th in Serie A after the opening seven games of the season and things could get worse when they meet Roma on October 18.

Leonardo is under intense pressure to deliver results especially given that the Italian Press believes Luciano Spalletti is being lined up as his potential replacement.

Berlusconi thinks about AC Milan sale
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Silvio Berlusconi is seriously considering selling Milan as one of his companies is in big trouble.

Berlusconi's holding company Fininvest has been ordered to pay around £690m in compensation for its controversial takeover of the Mondadori publishing house in the early 1990s.

Considering Fininvest's annual turnover, Berlusconi needs an injection of cash if he is to deal with this decision quickly and easily.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milan are currently valued at around £650m, a figure that doesn't frighten Albanian oil magnate Rezart Taci.

The 38-year-old was very close to buying Bologna in the summer, but pulled out at the last minute.

La Gazzetta now believes Milan strongly influenced his thinking.

There is also interest from the Arab Emirates, but nothing from inside Italy.

If Milan were to be sold they would become the first Italian club to fall into foreign ownership.

Berlusconi has been in charge of Milan since 1986 when he picked the club up from near bankruptcy and ushered in an unprecedented cycle of dominance.

His entrance into politics has hampered his ability to run the club, though, as he can no longer be seen to spend lots of money on Milan when the economy is suffering.

Tassotti: "AC Milan can't be happy"
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As Leonardo completely lost his voice, Mauro Tassotti spoke for Milan and admitted, “We shouldn't be happy with this draw.”

The Brazilian could barely croak two words into the media microphones after the 1-1 with 10-man Atalanta, so his assistant manager took over.

“We shouldn't be happy with this draw. It's a game we should've won. We approached it badly in the first half and weren't aggressive, did better in the second and created many chances albeit against 10 men.

“The team did what it had to in the second half, but we took too long to score a goal. If [Alexandre] Pato's shot had gone in, we would've probably gone on to the victory.

“Ronaldinho is criticised because he is a great champion and there is pressure around him, just as there is around the team. The results aren't coming.

“We changed the system to a 4-4-2 in order to spread out over the field better and concede fewer counter-attacks.”

Atalanta had taken the lead through Simone Tiribocchi and were reduced to 10 men after just 39 minutes, but it took until late on for Ronaldinho to equalise.

“It's obvious we've got some problems. I think so far the side has played well in a couple of games, against Siena and Marseille,” confessed Tassotti.

“That heavy derby defeat sparked a crisis. But don't forget we lost players of great quality and even last season Milan didn't exactly dominate Serie A.”

Ronaldinho set for partying fine?
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that Ronaldinho was fined when he partied less than 48 hours before Milan’s embarrassing defeat to Zurich.

The Brazilian has a reputation for going out on the town, something that also prompted headlines during his time at Barcelona.

According to both the Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport this morning, Dinho was spotted at the Shocking club in Milan at 2.30am on Monday night.

This was less than 48 hours before the Rossoneri’s Champions League encounter with FC Zurich, which ended in a humiliating 1-0 home defeat.

The newspapers claim Vice-President Adriano Galliani is bringing the hammer down and ready to impose a heavy fine.

Ronaldinho could well be benched this afternoon against Atalanta.

Beckham: "AC Milan my first choice"
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham has confirmed “Milan is my first choice and it is close to being finalised” despite offers from the Premier League.

The LA Galaxy star spent half of last season on loan at San Siro and is ready to repeat the experience from January.

“There are other options available, but Milan is my first choice,” he told the Mail on Sunday newspaper. “It is close to being finalised.”

Fabio Capello has told the 34-year-old he must be playing football in a competitive League in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup.

Beckham has also received offers from a string of sides, above all Premiership figures Tottenham, but is turning them down for Milan.

“I had a marvellous time there. They're a great club,” he said of the Rossoneri.

“I've always said since I left United that to play for another English club would be difficult.”

Serie A: Atalanta 1:1 AC Milan - match report
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Tiribocchi 21 (A), Ronaldinho 83 (M)

Ronaldinho's late volley avoided a defeat against an Atalanta side that played for 50 minutes with 10 men.

Leonardo was feeling the pressure after a disastrous few weeks, culminating in Wednesday's 1-0 home defeat to FC Zurich. Mathieu Flamini returned from suspension, although Thiago Silva, Daniele Bonera, Marco Borriello, Davide Di Gennaro and Christian Abbiati were still sidelined. Atalanta were still unbeaten since Antonio Conte took charge, but lost Ferreira Pinto, Edgar Barreto, Paolo Bianco and Leonardo Talamonti.

Between them these sides had scored just five goals in Serie A so far this season, so a stalemate was more than likely.

Atalanta had the first chance after eight minutes when Simone Padoin's ball found Valdes at the back post for a cross-shot that flashed all the way across the face of goal, skimming the woodwork.

Simone Tiribocchi hit the back of the net, but the whistle had already been blown for a shove on Alessandro Nesta. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar also scored with a diving header that was clearly offside.

Atalanta finally got a goal that counted with Tiribocchi. A Padoin cross got caught under Cristiano Doni's feet, but Tiribocchi was alert to fire in from the penalty spot.

Doni flashed a shot just over the near top corner, as Milan were continually troubled down their left flank.

Atalanta were furious when Radovanovic received a second booking for holding back Alexandre Pato as he sprinted in midfield. Moments later Giampaolo Bellini avoided a yellow card for an easily worse foul on Flamini, as the tension spiralled in Bergamo.

Despite playing with 10 men, Tiribocchi volleyed over after good work from Padoin.

Ronaldinho replaced Flamini for the restart and Milan created a great chance immediately. Pato spun round his defender to shoot from nine yards, forcing a remarkable reaction save out of Andrea Consigli.

Gennaro Gattuso ran the risk of a second booking too, as Doni felt the brunt of it and limped off with a knee problem.

Tomas Manfredini had the chance to put 10-man Atalanta 2-0 up when Massimo Ambrosini mistimed his header and the cross fell into his feet from six yards, but he wasn't expecting it and clumsily slashed wide.

Milan were also unlucky, as Ronaldinho's shot was palmed into the path of Pato, whose follow-up bounced off the ground and on to the crossbar.

In the last half-hour it was a siege on the Atalanta box, but Seedorf toe-poked a low drive that flashed across the face of goal to skim the woodwork.

Milan finally got back on level terms with Ronaldinho's first goal of the season. Alessandro Nesta's chipped pass over the defence found Dinho for a chest and volley at full stretch in at the near post.

There was controversy at both ends, as Atalanta wanted a penalty for a sliding tackle, then on the counter Seedorf claimed his shot had been charged down by Ceravolo's hand.

Pato also requested a spot-kick for Ceravolo's nudge.
Atalanta: Consigli; Garics, Pellegrino, Manfredini, Bellini; Radovanovic, Padoin, Guarente, Valdes (Peluso 74); Tiribocchi (Ceravolo 56), Doni (Caserta 61)

Milan: Storari; Abate, Nesta, Favalli, Zambrotta; Flamini (Ronaldinho 46), Gattuso (Ambrosini 67), Pirlo, Seedorf; Pato, Huntelaar (Inzaghi 58)

Ref: Rocchi

Sent off: Radovanovic 39 (A)

Spalletti juggles Zenit and AC Milan
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zenit St Petersburg confirm their proposal to Luciano Spalletti, but there are reports he could turn them down to await Milan’s call.

“We are evaluating several Coaches and Spalletti is one of them,” announced director general Mitrofanov.

“We outlined our project to him, he showed us how he wants to play and what he would need. A decision will be made shortly, but in any case will be ready for the next season.”

The Russian campaign kicks off in March 2010, so the former Roma boss has plenty of time to consider his options.

Spalletti resigned from the Giallorossi bench last month after a very poor start and made way for Claudio Ranieri.

However, he is considered one of the most innovative tactical minds in European football and has already attracted the interest of Milan.

According to this morning’s edition of Tuttosport, Spalletti could turn down the Zenit job after receiving a proposal from Milan.

The Rossoneri are in dire straits following their 1-0 home Champions League defeat to FC Zurich and Leonardo risks the sack.

Even if Leo was to be fired, Spalletti could not take over until the 2010-11 campaign because of the Italian rules.

A Coach cannot work for more than one club in a single season, but could in theory already help plan behind the scenes preparations on the transfer market.

Galliani snubs the press
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has snubbed the media's questions after leaving a meeting of the Lega Calcio this afternoon.

Galliani is sick and tired of the Press misquoting him, especially in light of the difficult situation Milan are going through at the moment.

“I will not speak too much because the newspapers always write the opposite of what I say.

I say white and then you write black,” Galliani explained.

The Italian media believe Leonardo is close to getting the sack even though Galliani has repeatedly said that he is safe.

This morning they reported that Galliani has already contacted Marco Van Basten about the job despite giving Leonardo his personal assurances to the contrary.

Milan have struggled under the Brazilian, winning just four of the 19 games in which he has been at the helm.

Sunday's match against Atalanta is being regarded as decisive in determining his future.

Leonardo facing AC Milan D-Day
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan may have insisted that Leonardo is going nowhere, but the Italian media are convinced that defeat to Atalanta on Sunday and the Brazilian will be out.

The club again underlined their belief in the tactician yesterday following a shock 1-0 home loss to FC Zurich in the Champions League.

However, the Gazzetta dello Sport and the Corriere dello Sport both lead with claims that Leonardo will be dismissed should their trip to Atalanta turn sour.

Milan have picked up just eight points from six games in the League since Leo replaced Carlo Ancelotti in the summer.

The pressure was already on the South American after a poor 0-0 home draw to Bari on Sunday evening before Wednesday’s setback.

Marco Van Basten, despite his agent’s denial, is regarded as a real contender for the position should Leonardo be shown the door.

Van Basten, the ex-Dutch boss and a former Golden Ball winner with the Rossoneri, has been out of a job since leaving Ajax.

However, he’s not the only contender with reports suggesting that Milan could turn to youth team Coach Filippo Galli. Like Van Basten, Galli is a former player.

Walter Mazzarri has also been associated with the role after he left Sampdoria for the unemployment queue at the end of last season. Likewise Delio Rossi, who was dumped by Lazio.

Nevertheless, some reports this morning are suggesting that Alessandro Costacurta could be an option.

The former Italian international, known as Billy, was part of Ancelotti’s staff in 2007-08 alongside Mauro Tassotti.

He was handed the Mantova job in October 2008 but he quit after a negative run of results with the Serie B side in February 2009.

Van Basten denies AC Milan talks
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Van Basten’s agent has denied talks with Milan over replacing Leonardo, but left the door open from January.

The Dutchman has been pinpointed as the favourite to take the reins should Leo continue his losing streak on the Rossoneri bench.

“I can only deny the rumours regarding Milan already having contacted me or Marco Van Basten personally,” agent Perry Van Overeem told Infostrada Sports.

“At the moment Marco is not interested in a Coaching position, having left Ajax in June.

“He is thinking of the future and will probably only start considering a new job from January.”

Van Basten had been a prime contender for the job before Leonardo was appointed in the summer as a replacement for Carlo Ancelotti.

Other candidates on the horizon now include youth team chief Filippo Galli, ex-Lazio boss Delio Rossi and former Sampdoria tactician Walter Mazzarri.

Leonardo: No more Mister Nice Guy
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo is fighting back and warned his Milan stars “there is a difference between being nice and being stupid.”

The Coach is facing the axe after a disastrous 1-0 Champions League home defeat to FC Zurich last night, as his underperforming players continue to struggle.

However, the Brazilian is set to change his tune in order to win back control of the locker room ahead of the trip to Atalanta.

“During the break for international duty we will have time to reflect, to train, to improve,” said Leonardo.

“I will maintain my rapport with the players and my treatment of them will not change, but I want to point out there is a difference between being nice and being stupid. We mustn’t get the two confused.”

Leo is known as the ‘nice guy’ of Italian football and is also well respected overseas as a television pundit.

“I took on this responsibility and am here because I believe in this club. I am not afraid of being burned. I say it once more: I was not forced to accept the Milan job.”

However, the reports continue to circulate that the game with rock bottom Atalanta could be his last, paving the way for a replacement.

Marco Van Basten is the hot favourite along with unemployed Walter Mazzarri and Delio Rossi, but some also suggest former defender Filippo Galli could be promoted from his role with the youth team.

Galliani has ideas for AC Milan
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has revealed how he proposed four solutions to the team as to how they can get out of their current predicament.

The Rossoneri have really struggled this season. They currently lie 11th in Serie A and were beaten by FC Zurich in the Champions League last night.

Milan Coach Leonardo is under fire, but Galliani has stood by him in the last few hours.

The two will meet for crisis talks later today, but before then Galliani had time for an interview with the Milan Channel.

“I expressed four fundamental concepts to the group. Above all I reminded them that this is a winning group of players. I calmed them all down by underlining that no one is going to touch this group and that these players and the current staff will go forward until the end of the season,” Galliani revealed.

“Milan are a team that absolutely has to qualify for the Champions League and finish in the top three. It's obligatory for the costs of the club. In the end we have to do more and do better. I am sure that this group will manage to reach all of our objectives.”

Asked if he had heard from Silvio Berlusconi, Galliani replied: “Yes, and he once again expressed his trust in the players and in Leonardo.”

Milan are back in action on Sunday when they travel a few miles down the road to Bergamo where they will face Atalanta.

Zambrotta curses the post
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gianluca Zambrotta hit the post in stoppages and says Milan deserved far more than defeat to Zurich.

“It’s not just the upright that will stick with us, but rather the numerous chances we had in the second half,” he said of the 1-0 loss at San Siro.

“We poured forward and gave our heart and soul to the very end, trying not just to equalise but also to win.

“At the moment things aren’t going our way and we hope this period will soon pass.”

Zambrotta was a second half substitute and thought he had earned a precious point against the Swiss side with the last kick of the game, but his shot from the edge of the box cannoned off the upright.

Nonetheless, the versatile full-back saw this as a step forward from the 0-0 Serie A result with Bari in this stadium.

“The objective was to win back the ball in their half, sometimes we managed it and sometimes we didn’t. The problem at the moment is we run too many risks on the counter.

“I felt this was a more positive performance and reaction to Sunday’s game with Bari.”

Galliani: 'We have faith in Leonardo'
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A clearly irritated Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani reiterated his faith in Leonardo, but said precious little else.

“I have little to say other than to confirm our faith in Leonardo. We had many wonderful years and things aren't going well right now,” said the de facto club chief.

The 1-0 home defeat to FC Zurich was an embarrassing result, especially as Galliani had stated Milan gave their best in the Champions League.

“I think even a draw would've been a small result considering the performance, so a defeat was very harsh.

“We have to keep working and turn this situation around.”

Galliani was also snappy with the TV crew who pointed out the small crowd at San Siro with 10,000 tickets sold and 22,000 season ticket holders.

Leonardo: 'Unacceptable AC Milan'
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo admits Milan's performance was “unacceptable” and their problems are all in the failure to score goals.

“It is a bad result and a missed opportunity, as we would've been in a great position with a win considering Real's victory,” he said of the 1-0 home defeat to FC Zurich.

The Swiss minnows took the lead when a corner was not cleared effectively, allowing Tihinen to tap in with a volleyed backheel flick.

“We conceded an early goal, came up against a team that only tried to defend and we failed to take control of the situation.

“You can talk about bad luck and other elements, but we did not have the idea approach at the start and from then on it was an uphill struggle.

“This is one of those moments when it all turns into a chain reaction. Sometimes that goes for you in a positive sense, this time it is negative.

“We need to be more relaxed, calm and united. We cannot keep conceding these avoidable early goals, as they change the entire course of the match.

“The only way out is to keep calm, work hard and realise we can't struggle like this all the time.”

Leonardo admitted this week his position was not entirely safe and a very small crowd at San Siro jeered him off the field.

“If I could go back, I would accept this job again. I love Milan and am not worried about myself right now. My concern is what we as a club are proposing, focusing on my work and aware that these results are negative.”

The Coach confessed the problem is in their failure to score goals, as so far this season Milan have managed only three in Serie A and two in the Champions League.

“I think this team can do a lot better than it is now. The squad was constructed to damage the opposition, played like that for many years and qualified for the Champions League with that approach.

“When we cannot make an impact upfront, we are not constructed to defend effectively and so when we don't score goals, we end up suffering more than most at the back. Ironically the defence is the area of the team working most effectively at the moment.”

Leo has been accused of being too 'nice' to rile up the sluggish Rossoneri, some of whom were once his teammates.

“I have my way of working, even if I've only been doing this job for three months. I do get angry with the players in the locker room, but I keep it there.

“I didn't even need to say anything after conceding a goal from a low corner, as they knew full well it was unacceptable.

“In the first half after conceding we were too frenetic and that made the situation even worse. We were a little more organised and intelligent in the way we built up the play in the second half.”

It remains to be seen if Leonardo will still be on the bench when this competition resumes against Kaka's Real Madrid.

“We have a Serie A game and then a break for international duty, which will help us to work, re-organise and come together.

“Madrid will be a very difficult test against a team that lives for victories with extraordinary players. We must work to our strengths and cause them problems.”

Real beat Olympique Marseille 3-0 at the Bernabeu to maintain their 100 per cent record, so Zurich are now level second with Milan on three points.

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