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The Archive

October 2010

Allegri: 'We didn't deserve to lose'
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri believes “Milan did not deserve this defeat and at the end of the season we’ll be challenging for the Scudetto.”

The Rossoneri were in second place going into this weekend, but the 2-1 home loss to Juventus has seen them already drop to third behind Inter.

“I think Milan played a good game and created many chances, allowing Juve a couple of shots from distance in the first half after we gave the ball away cheaply. We had plenty of opportunities to equalise, but the result certainly does not reflect what happened on the field. That’s football,” said the Coach.

“There was a mistake on a cross-field pass for Fabio Quagliarella’s goal, but until that moment Juventus had barely got out of their own half. We didn’t take our opportunities and were a little too hasty in trying to get the goal, so we paid for that.

“I think this is the first loss of the season where we really did not deserve it.”

Milan have shown a tendency to struggle against the big clubs, as they were defeated 2-0 at the Bernabeu in the Champions League.

“This is a completely different match from Real Madrid. We have to accept the defeat in a calm manner, aware that we didn’t deserve this and at the end of the season we will be challenging for the Scudetto,” argued Allegri.

“Tonight there were some individual errors, which can happen, but we paid a heavy price, as we dominated for the first 20 minutes and then gave the ball away cheaply. We could’ve done a lot better in attack too.

“I am disappointed, as we conceded some avoidable goals and should’ve been more patient in spreading the play.

“Alexandre Pato had a good game, but he certainly needs to do a lot more. He had a great start, then the Juventus defence did well to limit him.”

Daniele Bonera was stretchered off in agony, though initial reports suggest there is no knee ligament damage. He was only playing there because Massimo Oddo and Gianluca Zambrotta were already sidelined.

“Unfortunately at the moment the right-back is a tough role for injuries, but thankfully we have Ignazio Abate in good shape.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:2 Juventus - match report
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Quagliarella 24 (J), Del Piero 65 (J), Ibrahimovic 82 (M)

Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Del Piero snatched a shock 2-1 Juventus victory at San Siro despite Zlatan Ibrahimovic's late header.

This is an Italian classic and a Scudetto showdown between two teams challenging to go for the leadership after difficult starts. Both sides had injury problems, as Ronaldinho, Thiago Silva, Gianluca Zambrotta, Massimo Oddo, Massimo Ambrosini, Marek Jankulovski and Oguchi Onyewu were absent for the home side.

The Bianconeri had Milos Krasic sitting out a two-match ban for diving to earn a penalty, while Vincenzo Iaquinta, Alex Manninger, Gigi Buffon, Armand Traore, Leandro Rinaudo, Davide Lanzafame and Zdenek Grygera were sidelined.

Giorgio Chiellini pulled up with a calf problem in the warm-up, so Nicola Legrottaglie had to step in at the last minute.

Milan had a fantastic chance after seven minutes when Zlatan Ibrahimovic threatened to break the deadlock against his former club. He gathered from Alexandre Pato outside the box and immediately curled a right-foot effort over Marco Storari on to the crossbar.

Moments later Pato was stopped for an incorrect offside flag as he went clear on goal. The Duck again pulled back for Ibra, who hit it with the front of his boot and forced a save out of Storari at the base of the near post. From the corner Sokratis Papastathopoulos nodded wide.

Juventus also threatened, as on the counter Alessandro Del Piero tested Christian Abbiati low at the near post, though he perhaps should've passed it to Fabio Quagliarella.

It was the Bianconeri who broke the deadlock at San Siro with a moment of magic from Quagliarella. Papastathopoulos' poor backpass sparked the move and a Paolo De Ceglie cross was whipped in for Quagliarella's looping header into the far top corner.

Andrea Pirlo's free kick curled inches wide, but on another counter it was Alessandro Nesta who slipped this time. Del Piero went all the way from midfield and feinted a pass to Quagliarella, but instead Abbiati scrambled across to tip the daisy-cutter round the post.

There were more injury concerns, as Daniele Bonera got a nasty knock to the knee and was stretchered off for Ignazio Abate. The injury came from a clash with De Ceglie, who was also limping heavily and had to be substituted, so winger Simone Pepe was experimented in the right-back role, moving Marco Motta to the left.

It wasn't a reassuring start, as Pepe slipped straight away and was glad to see Kevin Prince Boateng nod over unmarked. At the other end Abbiati flapped a cross on to the chest of Martinez, but it bounced back into his arms. On the stroke of half-time, Ibra's header down was captured by Storari. The Swede then shrugged off Pepe from seven yards only to then drill over when he had found space.

After the restart Boateng sprinted down the left and pulled back for Ibra, who picked his spot, but didn't count on Felipe Melo flinging himself at it to clear in front of the line.

The injury crisis escalated further, as Martinez limped off with a cut to his foot, making way for Momo Sissoko.

Robinho burst down the left and rolled back for Ibra, whose dummy meant the ball couldn't quite reach Pato.

However, once again Juventus struck against the run of play. Sissoko somehow failed to score, as he was sent clear through the middle by chesting down a Quagliarella cross past Luca Antonini only to stumble and fumble, but in getting back up he realised Del Piero was right behind him and rolled it back for the captain's powerful finish. It was Del Piero's 179th Serie A goal, making him Juve's all-time top scorer in this competition.

Robinho thought he had scored, but flashed the shot across the face of goal. Clarence Seedorf replaced a disappointing Boateng and Pippo Inzaghi took over from Pato.

On the counter Quagliarella hit another angled drive past the far post. Papastathopoulos nodded just over from a corner and then bumped chests with Felipe Melo, who promptly flung himself to the ground holding his nose, earning a talking to from the referee.

Milan did get back into the game with eight minutes left on the clock. Ibra had never previously scored against one of his former clubs, but he rose to get his head to an Antonini cross from the left and steer it into the far top corner. The Swede had got in front of Pepe for the header from six yards.

The Rossoneri laid siege for the final stages, but Abate's cross came all the way to the back post just missing Inzaghi, then Robinho put it into the crowd until Storari eventually captured the loose ball.

During five minutes of stoppages, Abbiati beat away an Alberto Aquilani free kick, while Storari smothered a Seedorf snapshot. Inzaghi thought he had a penalty at the 95th, but Felipe Melo was fortunate that the striker was offside before he was hacked down.

Milan: Abbiati; Bonera (Abate 34), Papastathopoulos, Nesta, Antonini; Gattuso, Pirlo, Boateng (Seedorf 69); Robinho; Pato (Inzaghi 75), Ibrahimovic

Juventus: Storari; Motta, Bonucci, Legrottaglie, De Ceglie (Pepe 40); Martinez (Sissoko 56), Felipe Melo, Aquilani, Marchisio; Del Piero (Amauri 85), Quagliarella

Ref: Rocchi

Ronaldinho and Thiago Silva miss Juventus
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Amauri is back in the Juventus squad for tonight’s showdown, but Milan lose Ronaldinho, Thiago Silva, Gianluca Zambrotta and Massimo Oddo.

San Siro hosts the big game of the weekend this evening, but both sides are struggling with injury problems.

Juve welcome back Amauri after his Achilles tendon problems, though he probably won’t be able to start.

Alex Manninger is out after a nasty right ankle sprain, even though tests confirmed there are no fractures.

Vincenzo Iaquinta, Zdenek Grygera, Davide Lanzafame and Armand Traoré are also sidelined, plus the suspended Milos Krasic.

Milan have a fair few absentees to deal with too, as Ronaldinho, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Massimo Ambrosini, Oguchi Onyewu and Oddo are out of the squad.

Marek Jankulovski was not called up again, as his contract status remains an issue.

Oddo had made a good impression when replacing the injured Luca Antonini in the 2-1 win at Napoli, but the younger man has now returned.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Antonini, Bonera, Montelongo, Nesta, Papastathopoulos, Yepes, Abate, Boateng, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf, Strasser, Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi, Pato, Robinho

Juventus squad: Motta, Chiellini, Felipe Melo, Sissoko, Marchisio, Del Piero, Amauri, Aquilani, Quagliarella, Bonucci, Pepe, Martinez, De Ceglie, Storari, Costantino, Legrottaglie, Giandonato, Giannetti, Sorensen, Kirev

Allegri hides his cards
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Max Allegri has been coy ahead of tomorrow's clash with Juventus, naming just four players who are certain to start.

The 43-year-old was playing his cards close to his chest before such a big game.

When asked to reveal his team, Allegri said: “Abbiati is playing. There is also Ibrahimovic, Pirlo, Nesta…”

“Oddo, Bonera and Abate will fight for a shirt at left-back.

“Ronaldinho isn't fit. He will be back today and train in a different way. The objective is to get him back for the game against Real Madrid.

“We need the whole squad's contribution. Even the players who go on the bench can give an important contribution.

“It will be a difficult and intense game. We will need to play well with concentration and attention in order to win it,” he concluded.

Boateng hails AC Milan's title credentials
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfield Kevin-Prince Boateng believes his side is stronger than Inter and Juventus this season.

The 23-year-old Ghana international who is currently on loan from Genoa has emerged as an important player at San Siro.

Interviewed in Il Corriere dello Sport, he said: “If Milan play to 100 per cent of their potential, I don't see any obstacles: the three points will be ours [against Juventus].

“A win would be the consecration of our positive spell and the confirmation that the Scudetto is within our range. We mustn't be scared of anyone.

“We mustn't worry about our opponents, but only concentrate on doing our job in the best way possible.

“We didn't work well against Real Madrid, above all in defence. And our attitude wasn't right. You can't allow yourself to make mistakes against opposition of that nature because they know how to profit from every mistake.

“We were unlucky to concede two goals at the beginning, but fortunate not to concede another two in the rest of the game.

“A win against Juve will be the best response to that awful evening. Actually, we are aiming for a double victory against Juve and Real.

“We are working [for the Scudetto] every day. They games come week after week and every one, above all in Italy, is important.

“That's why you must always be concentrated so as not to lose points along the way. I consider the Champions League to be a bonus instead.”

Cristiano Ronaldo confident of beating AC Milan
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is wary of Milan but believes his side can beat them at San Siro in the Champions League next week.

The Spanish giants inflicted a humbling 2-0 defeat on Milan in Madrid nearly two weeks ago, which has sent Massimiliano Allegri back to the drawing board.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ronaldo said: “It will be completely different at San Siro.

“We'll have to play very well and give 100 per cent, otherwise it will be tough.

“Having said that, we respect them, but I strongly believe that we have a great chance to beat them again.”

When asked to reveal what Jose Mourinho has changed at Real Madrid since his arrival from Inter, Ronaldo said: “He has changed many things: the discipline, the aggression, the style of play, the benefit of working hard and all together for the same objective.

“Mourinho is a great Coach with enormous experience. Above all, he knows what it takes to win and he knows how to transmit it.

“It's a pleasure to work with him because I am sure that we will win something.”

Marotta on AC Milan and Krasic
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus director general Giuseppe Marotta has underlined the importance of the Milan game and again defended Milos Krasic.

The Old Lady travel to San Siro tomorrow night in an Italian classic without the suspended Serbian winger.

“Milan are doing really well and are in a League position of envy,” said the former Sampdoria official.

“That’s why if we get a result at San Siro, with a good performance, then it would be doubly important.

“Not only would it bring a point or three points, but it would strengthen our ambitions for the season.”

Krasic, a summer signing from CSKA Moscow, is, as it stands, out of the game after he picked up a two-match ban for diving to win a penalty at Bologna last weekend.

“No matter how the appeal goes, we feel strongly penalised because Krasic’s comportment can’t be deemed as unsportsmanlike,” Marotta added.

“We have closely examined the images and can confirm that the penalty is dubious, but it is not anti-sporting.

“That’s why we appealed, hopeful that the judges will overturn the decision.

“Nevertheless, we are convinced that whoever goes on to the field of play can replace those players missing through injury or suspension.”

A decision on Krasic’s appeal is expected at some stage today.

Storari: 'I owe it all to AC Milan'
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus goalkeeper Marco Storari admits he “can never thank Milan enough for changing my life, but we can beat them.”

The shot-stopper was brought in from San Siro as an understudy to Gigi Buffon, who is out until the New Year following back surgery.

“Saturday will be a very important match for me and I am fired up,” Storari told Sky Sport Italia.

“I owe so much to Milan. In 2007, Messina let me go and it wasn’t easy to get back on my feet.

“Milan believed in me and I can never thank them enough for changing my life. I learned so much at a very organised club and achieved some great things. The Rossoneri are like a big family and I was very happy there.

“I reached Serie A late in my career and joined Milan when I was 30, but I am happy with the path I took. It was a period of growth over the years.”

Now Storari is standing between the Juventus posts at San Siro and aims to beat his former teammates.

“It has been a pleasure to be here and cover the role that for so many years was Buffon’s. They are big shoes to fill, but at the same time that pressure motivates you to do better.

“I expect to face the usual Milan, who move the ball around well and know they have to win on home turf.

“However, when Juve play with the right spirit and confidence, we can trouble any team.”

Robinho looking forward to Juventus
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's summer signing Robinho is looking forward to playing Juventus at the San Siro this weekend.

The Brazil international is now thought to be an undisputed first team regular after shining in Milan's recent games.

Interviewed on Sky Italia, Robinho said: “My teammates have told me that it's the most important game of the season.

“We want to win everything. We are working towards having a good game. I have always played up front, but if the mister were to ask me to, I would defend without any problems.

“Serie A is a difficult and beautiful League. I like playing at Milan where the Brazilians have done well.

“I hope to stay here for many years,” he concluded.

Ibrahimovic hails Chiellini as toughest opponent
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic claims Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini is the 'roughest and toughest' opponent he has ever faced in his career.

The 29-year-old Sweden international spent a year playing alongside Chiellini at Juventus before leaving for Inter in 2006, which is when they became rivals.

Looking ahead to this weekend's clash between Juventus and Milan, Ibrahimovic said: “Yes, it's true. For me, Chiellini is the roughest and toughest marker, the one that I suffer the most.

“He is really difficult to play against. He doesn't leave you any space. He doesn't let you breathe.

“But I like 'Chiello'. He is loyal, a real fighter. The duels between us have always been beautiful.

“I came here to win and I guarantee you that Milan will win everything,” he concluded.

Pato celebrates centenary against Juventus
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato will celebrate his 100th game for the club against Juventus and insists that it must be a special occasion.

The 21-year-old Brazil international has started the season in fine form, scoring four goals in five games in Serie A.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Pato said: “It will be a special game. It's an important achievement.

“I am happy to be a piece of Milan's history. And I am happy to be here because my life is perfect here.

“I want to win. But I have the certainty that I will manage it with this team.

“Frankly I am only interested in playing - centre-forward, second striker or out wide, it's no problem. I am prepared to do everything. I like all the roles in attack.”

Asked to reveal what wish he would make on blowing out his 100th candle against Juve, Pato replied: “It seems obvious to me - scoring and helping Milan.”

Robinho: 'AC Milan can win everything'
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho can’t wait for his first clash with Juventus and trusts “Milan can win everything and I hope you’ll see the real Robinho soon.”

The Brazilian joined from Manchester City on the last day of the transfer window and at first struggled to find his feet in Serie A, but scored a crucial goal against Napoli on Monday evening.

“When will you see the real Robinho? I hope as soon as possible. I am in better shape physically and I’m happy. The team is doing well and so am I,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“Serie A is difficult and wonderful; I enjoy it and hope to remain for many years. Milan are a great side and we have the opportunity to win this season. It’s also good to play where many Brazilians have found success.

“We respect all the teams in the Scudetto race, but if Milan do well, then we can win everything.

“We know that we are the strongest and that if we do our work, our side will come out on top.”

The Rossoneri are now in second place behind Lazio and face a difficult test against Juventus on Saturday evening.

“It has been explained to me that it is a very important game, but I think our mentality is to win, always. It is a difficult match, but we are working to give it our best.”

There are reports that another Brazilian could return to San Siro, as Kaka is unhappy at Real Madrid.

“He is a great player and had so many years here. If he does return, it’s all the better for us,” concluded Robinho.

Ancelotti rates title contenders
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has cast his eye over the title race in Serie A, tipping Milan above Inter and Juventus.

The 51-year-old, who won the double in his first season at Stamford Bridge, is yet to be convinced by the new Juventus.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of this weekend's clash between Juventus and Milan, Ancelotti said: “Independently of whether Krasic is present or not, Juve must still improve a lot after all the changes in the summer.

“It's normal that it takes time to get organised. It's a Juve that aims for something new, focusing on youngsters who are still not at the top, so highs and lows are inevitable.

“Alex Del Piero is the only constant at Juve: He remains a great player.”

Turning his attention to Milan, Ancelotti said he has been most impressed with Rino Gattuso.

“Aside from Ibrahimovic and Robinho, and the others, who have been investments of great value, for me the big surprise is him.

“Rino has got back to his best. He is the real transfer coup.

“Pato doesn't disappoint. If he is healthy he scores goals. His highs and lows are only physical. Ronaldinho is adapting to a more central role.

“He can still give a lot. Boateng is a 'multi-role' player, the kind everyone wants. He is very interesting.”

When asked to rate the Serie A teams so far this season, Ancelotti said: “Lazio 10, Milan 7.5, Inter 6.5, Juve 5.5, Roma we'll come back to.”

Galliani on Oddo, Krasic and Kaka
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani hailed Massimo Oddo, left the door open for Kaka and warned “Juventus missing Milos Krasic might not be an advantage.”

Milan are clear in second place after their 2-1 victory away to Napoli, which was secured by two Oddo assists.

“He was fantastic last night when, sent on due to Luca Antonini’s injury, he gave Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic the assists for their goals,” said the Vice-President.

“He did the second cross exactly the way a full-back should. On the first, he lifted his head and saw Robinho coming from behind, so instead of crossing to the middle, he pulled it back to the left.”

The Rossoneri face another tough test when they welcome Juventus to San Siro, but are buoyed by news Krasic is out following a two-match ban for diving.

“Juve missing Krasic might not be an advantage, you know. I bet his replacement will score!”

Lazio are still the sole Serie A leaders and many wonder whether they can keep this up.

“I think they can challenge for the Scudetto and they have enthusiasm, even though it’s incomprehensible that the same team last year risked relegation. The only changes are Aleksandar Kolarov has gone and Hernanes came in.

“We had tracked Hernanes in the past, but at the time Milan had a great midfielder called Kaka,” continued Galliani.

“Can Kaka return from Real Madrid? I don’t know.”

Allegri saw another AC Milan
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri believes the Milan he saw beat Napoli last night was completely different to the one that lost to Real Madrid a week ago.

The Rossoneri came away from San Paolo with an impressive 2-1 win thanks to goals from summer signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

Allegri's side are now second in Serie A just two points behind League leaders Lazio ahead of Saturday's match against Juventus at San Siro.

“It was a completely different game with respect to in Madrid,” Allegri said. “We played badly there technically.

“I liked Milan, even if we were hurried in trying to close the game. We played a great match for 40 minutes, then we had three minutes of terror.

“Napoli only exploited our mistake in clearing the ball. We started with a trequartista, but then Robinho often went to the left because it was important to spread out their defenders and create spaces.

“We penetrated little with Boateng. We had several chances that should have been exploited better.

“We exploited our numerical superiority until we went 2-0 up, then there was a lapse in concentration on a long ball and Napoli opened the game again.

“We risked conceding an equaliser with 11 against 10. A team that has our qualities can't allow itself to do certain things.

“In those situations, you must only kill the game,” he concluded.

Serie A: Napoli 1:2 AC Milan - match report
25.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Robinho 22 (M), Ibrahimovic 71 (M), Lavezzi 77 (N)

Milan moved up to second place in Serie A with a 2-1 victory over 10-man Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo.

Goals from Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were enough to net a fourth consecutive League victory for the San Siro giants, while a generous Napoli were left ruing Michele Pazienza’s dismissal despite Ezequiel Lavezzi’s exquisite goal.

At a very wet San Paolo, the home side lined up without the suspended Paolo Cannavaro and the injured Cristiano Lucarelli who watched from the stands. Milan responded to Napoli’s 3-4-1-2 with a 4-3-3 that was starved of the ability of Ronaldinho, Thiago Silva and Gianluca Zambrotta.

Milan’s injury problems soon got worse after just 10 minutes when Luca Antonini was withdrawn following a violent clash of heads with Cristian Maggio, who himself would also be replaced on 23 minutes. As a result, Milan brought on Massimo Oddo and switched Daniele Bonera from right-back to left-back.

The Rossoneri had the better of the opening exchanges as an edgy Napoli had their difficulties in dealing with the visitors’ slick passing movement. Nevertheless, the Azzurri were proving tough to break down as Gennaro Gattuso’s seventh minute effort and that of Robinho on 15 hardly troubled Morgan De Sanctis.

The ‘keeper could do nothing about the goal though. Ibrahimovic switched the play from the left to the right and Robinho, after playing a one-two with Oddo, slotted the ball home across De Sanctis with the help of the far post.

That goal brought the home team to life. After an anonymous opening, Edinson Cavani, Marek Hamsik and Ezequiel Lavezzi started to get into the game. Cavani, twice, and Lavezzi shot wide as Milan were just limited to an Alexandre Pato effort.

Then, with three minutes of injury time on the board, the game erupted. Firstly Pazienza was sent off for two yellows – both received for handball. Milan then went close as Ibra invented an over-head kick, before Lavezzi thought his diving header was in before Christian Abbiati coolly tipped over.

The half-time oranges brought no changes, but the home side started brightly despite being one man down. Lavezzi, who was causing Papastathopoulos problems, went close on 48 minutes when his volley from a Dossena cross finished just over the bar.

In their eagerness to get back into the tie, Napoli were leaving space at the back, space which Milan should have exploited on 55 minutes. A cross-field ball found Ibra, but the Swede side-footed his shot straight into the body of the diving De Sanctis.

The latter, after seeing opposite number Abbiati make a stunning save from Hamsik, was then needed to block at the feet of Pato as Milan stretched Napoli’s three-man rearguard. Napoli boss Mazzarri then, surprisingly, replaced Hamsik with Sosa.

It was a brave move by the tactician, but just minutes after taking off their magician they found themselves 2-0 down. A fabulous cross from Oddo on the right was met by an unmarked Ibrahimovic who powerfully headed into the net from close range. It was to be Ibra’s last contribution as Massimiliano Allegri brought on Clarence Seedorf.

It should have been game over, but it wasn’t. Lavezzi took advantage of some hesitant defending to somehow scoop the ball over a number of defenders and Abbiati to make it 2-1 on 77 minutes.

Robinho and Walter Gargano wasted good opportunities in the closing stages which included a mass brawl that only saw Boateng and Campagnaro booked. As the clock ticked on, the home side looked for a repeat of their 2-2 from last season but Milan held on. They are now just two points behind Lazio and entertain Juventus next Saturday.

Napoli: De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Grava, Aronica; Maggio (Yebda 23), Gargano (Dumitru 84), Pazienza, Dossena; Hamsik (Sosa 68), Lavezzi, Cavani

Milan: Abbiati; Bonera, Nesta, Papastathopoulos, Antonini (Oddo 12); Boateng, Pirlo, Gattuso (Flamini 87); Robinho; Pato, Ibrahimovic (Seedorf 75)

Ref: Rizzoli

Sent-off: Pazienza 45 (N)

Bonucci wants San Siro spectacle
25.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo Bonucci hopes his Juventus will put on a show to remember when they face Milan next weekend.

The Turin giants will travel to San Siro in the hope of impressing after their disappointing 0-0 at Bologna on Sunday.

“We’re playing against Milan on Saturday,” the Italian international centre-back stated.

“They are a great side, but so are we and we hope to offer a great spectacle at San Siro.”

The Old Lady’s inconsistent form continues given that they followed up last weekend’s 4-0 win over Lecce with draws at Salzburg and Bologna.

“I think we played well at Bologna,” Bonucci added. “We created a lot of chances to take home the three points.

“We also had a penalty that we unfortunately missed, but Bologna constructed little in their attempt to win the game.”

Mazzarri fears AC Milan pride
25.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Napoli Coach Walter Mazzarri is wary that Milan might play like a wounded animal at San Paolo this evening.

The Rossoneri are looking to bounce back after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League last Tuesday.

“They are a stellar team,” Mazzarri said. “But above all I fear the pride of champions.

“They lost in Madrid and this can bring about the desire to start again.

“It’s difficult for teams like Milan to mistake two games in a row.

“Our condition is very good and it will be important to have the fans on our side.

“They must support us once again in an extraordinary way like always. We will give 120 per cent on the pitch.”

When asked to compare Napoli’s attack with Milan’s, Mazzarri said: “If Ibrahimovic has a salary that is equal to that of seven Napoli players it means he has a history that is indicative of exceptional value.”

UK Only: Win 2 VIP Tickets For AC Milan vs. Real Madrid
24.10 || webmaster

There's a contest for UK residents only: if you buy something from Kitbag or sign-up to their newsletter by midday October 27th 2010 UK time you get a chance to win two Champions League VIP tickets to AC Milan vs. Real Madrid. Here's what's included in the package:

Hotel Accommodation
Tour of Milan and AC Milan Store
Matchday tickets for 2 - AC Milan V Real Madrid
Tour of Milanello
View 1st team training session
Training session with Youth Team coaches
Lunch at Milanello
Visit to the AC Milan trophy room
Flights to and from Milan

Not bad at all. Good luck!

Allegri: 'Berlusconi agrees with me'
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists President Silvio Berlusconi did not criticise him after the Madrid defeat, as Milan prepare to face Napoli.

“I spoke to Berlusconi yesterday and he really relaxes the team. He told us to carry on working like that and did not make any criticism,” said the Coach.

“The Madrid loss was a one-off. We cannot let one defeat change our mentality. At the very most it could hit our confidence, but we should take it as a lesson to be learned.”

Their 2-0 defeat against Real was a big disappointment in the Champions League and they must now take on the Stadio San Paolo in the Monday evening kick-off.

“We got it wrong when defending a free kick as the wall split, and we conceded an own goal. It’s true we generally didn’t play well, but tomorrow evening we must do better.”

However, the Rossoneri make this trip without the injured Ronaldinho, Gianluca Zambrotta, Ignazio Abate, Massimo Ambrosini, Marek Jankulovski and Thiago Silva.

“I don’t think there will be many changes. I have a doubt between Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Mario Yepes, just as between Clarence Seedorf and Robinho. But that is all.”

Ronaldinho out of Napoli clash
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have left behind Ronaldinho, Thiago Silva, Ignazio Abate, Gianluca Zambrotta and Massimo Ambrosini for the trip to Napoli.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri has an injury crisis on his hands, as he had hoped to at the very least have Ronaldinho on the bench.

Instead he has not recovered from a muscular twinge in training and is left behind for Monday night’s trip to the San Paolo.

Abate and Zambrotta are late additions to the injury list, meaning a complete revamp in defence with Alessandro Nesta the only fit first choice.

Ambrosini and Marek Jankulovski are more long-term absentees.

It also remains to be seen if Christian Abbiati can start in goal after missing the midweek 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid.

With the squad reduced to such a degree, it’s very likely that Kevin Prince Boateng and Robinho will find space in the starting XI.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma, Antonini, Bonera, Montelongo, Nesta, Oddo, Papastathopoulos, Yepes, Boateng, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf, Strasser, Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi, Pato, Robinho

Zambrotta and Ronaldinho doubts for Napoli
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gianluca Zambrotta and Ronaldinho are both injury doubts for Milan's trip to the San Paolo on Monday night.

The Brazilian was already a question mark after pulling up during Milan’s training session this week with a right thigh problem.

Now Zambrotta has been added to the treatment list, as in today’s session he suffered a left thigh injury.

Massimo Ambrosini took part in only some of the training and went to work in the gym with Thiago Silva and Marek Jankulovski.

Doubts remain over whether Christian Abbiati can start after missing the 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid.

If he doesn’t make it, then Marco Amelia will again take the gloves.

Allegri: 'AC Milan can challenge anyone'
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri wasn’t downbeat after Milan’s defeat to Real Madrid. “It was just a bad day, but we can challenge anyone in Italy and Europe.”

The Rossoneri were beaten 2-0 at the Bernabeu and risked losing by a greater margin, but the Coach saw some positive aspects.

“After the Madrid game I got the squad together to analyse the reasons behind the defeat,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.

“Watching it back confirmed to me that we lost the game in the first 15 minutes, when we gave away possession 15 times. We made a myriad of mistakes.

“In my view it was just a bad day: with enthusiasm, hunger and grit we can challenge anyone in Italy and Europe. This is why I think I’ll field the same sort of side in the return leg at San Siro.

“If I had thought otherwise, I’d have taken our quality players off at the Bernabeu and introduced more tank-like figures for the midfield.”

In the next few weeks they will face Napoli, Juventus and Real Madrid.

“Milan can fight to the end both in Italy and Europe. From this run of games we’ll understand a few things. I intend to make choices, not simply rotating the squad.”

Ronaldinho pulled out of training with a thigh problem this week and is a doubt for the Monday night kick-off at the San Paolo.

“I don’t know if he will play, it depends on how he’s feeling,” continued Allegri. “The Trequartista role isn’t as important as the way he moves. He mustn’t give his opponents any reference points.

“Alexandre Pato has to grow in many respects. I told him that to do what he can he needs to play as if he were just a lad and not a champion. He needs to be more carefree.”

Ronaldinho makes the bench
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho has recovered from an injury suffered in training this week, but won't start against Napoli on Monday, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The 30-year-old strained a muscle and had to abandon a session on Wednesday, generating a degree of concern at Milanello.

However, he did manage to complete an entire training session today and is fit for the trip to San Paolo.

Nevertheless, Massimiliano Allegri looks set to keep him on the bench and play Robinho instead.

It also remains to be seen whether Kevin-Prince Boateng gets the nod at Clarence Seedorf expense.

Allegri is trying to tone down his side and give it more balance after Tuesday's disappointing 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani feared it could have been a rout such was Real Madrid's early dominance.

Lavezzi eyes AC Milan scalp
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Napoli striker Ezequiel Lavezzi can't wait for Monday's much-anticipated clash with Milan at the San Paolo.

Speaking after last night's stalemate with Liverpool in the Europa League, Lavezzi was keen to turn a corner and move on.

“We didn't play a great game,” he said. “We didn't manage to play our game. But we are still there.

“We can still get through to the next round and we'll fight until the end.

“Every game has its own story. The important thing is that we didn't lose.

“We are still unbeaten after three games.

“It will be a wonderful game against Milan. We must try to recover our best form as soon as possible,” he concluded.

AC Milan derby for Bale
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Corriere dello Sport claims that both Milan clubs want Gareth Bale following his heroics at San Siro on Wednesday.

The Welsh international netted a stunning hat-trick in Spurs’ 4-3 loss to Inter which only re-ignited the interest of Italian clubs.

A host of Serie A sides have been associated with the left-sided player in the past and the Rome-based newspaper thinks he is on the wish-list of Inter and Milan.

However, the story does come just a day after the San Siro giants seemed to suggest that Bale, also linked with Man Utd and Juventus, would be too expensive.

“I’ve always liked Bale,” Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani noted. “But the right time to sign him was when he was having a few injury problems.

“I spoke with Ariedo Braida about him, but it wasn’t possible to sign him.

“When he returned to full fitness he returned to being a fantastic player, but now he costs too much and it would be difficult for Milan to sign him.

“Certain players need signing before they explode.”

Inter chief Massimo Moratti expressed similar views to his city rival after admitting that his club too had followed the youngster.

“He had a great game and we were right to track him during the summer. You can see he’s an excellent player,” said Moratti.

“Now? After that hat-trick he’ll cost a lot more...”

The Italian media are speculating that Bale would be valued at around €40m by the London club.

Galliani feared a rout in Madrid
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani admits that at one point he feared Real Madrid would rout his side at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night.

The Rossoneri were completely out-played in Madrid and lost 2-0, but Jose Mourinho felt his side could have scored four or five.

“Let's not get all dramatic about a defeat, but in the first few minutes they shocked me,” Galliani said.

“We conceded two goals in two minutes and I feared that it would finish five or six nil.

“Luckily we got back into it and had Ibra scored the game would have taken a different shape.

“Anyway we are still second in Serie A and in the Champions League. The season is long.

“The important thing is to be first on May 22.

“Sure the performance in Madrid wasn't the best, but we were condemned by two casual goals and we'll have the opportunity to redeem ourselves in two weeks' time.

Ronaldinho in doubt for AC Milan
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho could miss this weekend's clash with Napoli after suffering an injury in training this morning.

The Brazilian playmaker complained of a muscle problem and had to abandon the session prematurely.

He will now undergo a series of tests, but Sky Italia believe he is a big doubt for Monday's trip to the San Paolo.

Massimiliano Allegri looks set to replace him with Robinho, but there is speculation that he will line up a much more conservative Milan side than in recent weeks.

The former Cagliari tactician is dismayed with Milan's performance against Real Madrid on Tuesday and was quoted in La Gazzetta dello Sport as saying that his players treated the encounter like a friendly and not like a Champions League match.

AC Milan set for revolution
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri will wield the axe after Tuesday's 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Allegri feels that the attacking formation Milan have recently used is no longer sustainable, especially at the highest level.

No one is untouchable as far as Allegri is concerned, as he now seeks to line up a more balanced starting XI.

This appears to bring an end to seeing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato, Ronaldinho and Clarence Seedorf all playing together from the start.

Il Corriere della Sera believes Seedorf or Ronaldinho are at risk of spending more time on the bench because of their lack of dynamism.

Mathieu Flamini and Kevin-Prince Boateng are being readied for this weekend's clash with Napoli precisely because of their stamina and running ability.

It remains to be seen how Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi digests Allegri's plans to tone down the team in terms of attack.

Berlusconi has repeatedly expressed his belief that all of Milan's attacking players can be on the pitch at the same time.

Seedorf: 'Let's forget Madrid'
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf wants to put the defeat to Real Madrid behind him, but Thiago Silva admits he might not recover to face Napoli.

Milan fell 2-0 at the Bernabeu in last night’s Champions League clash and are now level in second place with Ajax, ahead only on goal difference.

“I no longer want to talk about last night’s game in a generic manner. If we are to discuss it, then we must go into specifics,” said the Dutch midfielder.

“I too, for example, made a mistake on the first goal when the defensive wall opened up and let Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick through.

“We’ve all got to put it behind us and no longer think about this. There are other games to focus on, as we must concentrate on Napoli now.”

The Rossoneri take on Napoli next Monday evening at the Stadio San Paolo, but there is some bad news.

Thiago Silva admits he may miss out on the big Serie A game after he was forced into the stands against Real Madrid.

“I am worried. I don’t know if I’ll be able to recover to face Napoli,” the Brazilian centre-back told the official Milan website.

Kaka visited AC Milan dressing room
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ricky Kaka paid a visit to Milan's dressing room after their 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu last night.

The 28-year-old Brazil international played six seasons with Milan and has been strongly linked with a move back to San Siro after a difficult start to life in Spain.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Kaka wanted to console his former teammates and take the chance to see them all again.

Milan apparently appreciated the gesture, although it is unlikely to have softened the blow they took in Madrid.

Massimiliano Allegri's side are second in Champions League Group G and host Real Madrid at San Siro in November.

Pato: Madrid were very good
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato believes Real Madrid deserved to win last night's match in the Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil both saw their deflected efforts beat Marco Amelia in the Milan goal to record a comfortable 2-0 win for Real Madrid.

Speaking after the game, Pato was asked if he felt isolated up front.

“We suffered a lot and lost,” the Brazil international striker admitted.

“We conceded a quick and unexpected goal.

“Now we have to play the second leg better at home and forget this game.

“They were very good, but there is still the return leg,” he concluded.

Mourinho: 'Too fast for AC Milan'
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Jose Mourinho says he has “changed the psychological” state of Real Madrid and they railroaded Milan.

“I always expect a difficult game, but it seems to me that we started with a fantastic approach that was just too fast for Milan. We scored two quickly and could’ve got a third,” he said of the 2-0 win.

“It was a test of intelligence for my team to know how to handle the situation and the tempo.

“These are three valuable points for a very young side against a Milan outfit with immense experience.

“The team is working well and improving. The names may suggest they are not great professionals, but the so-called Galacticos are hard-workers who know they have to put the effort in.

“Right now the psychological aspect is crucial for me and they seem a completely different side to last season.”

The former Inter Coach also had a message for the other side of San Siro.

“It’s not a derby, as I always had a very positive rapport with Milan, their players and directors. There was always great respect.

“Besides, I think Inter are a step ahead. In previous years the Interisti might’ve been happy at seeing Milan lose, but now they are European Champions, so they don’t care. They’re on another level.”

Mourinho had many clashes with the media in Italy and confessed he was glad this post-match talk was unique.

“Do I miss Italy? Well…. I do watch the Serie A games, but as for my work… No interviews, just five minutes of Press conference and I go home. I certainly enjoy that more!”

Amelia analyses bitter debut
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Amelia made his Milan debut at the Bernabeu and was among their better players on the night.

The goalkeeper was yet to play an official game for the Rossoneri, but stepped in for the injured Christian Abbiati.

“Yesterday when Christian said during training he probably couldn’t make it, I realised I might have to play,” he said after the 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid.

“I tried to give my best; it’s a shame about the two goals. Real Madrid are an excellent side, but so are we, so before the end of the group phase I’m sure we’ll be up there too.

“Obviously it’s disappointing when the team loses and last season Milan had won here. A victory would’ve been great for the table.”

Ajax beat Auxerre 2-1, so the Dutch giants have caught Milan in second place with four points.

The next Champions League test sees Jose Mourinho’s Madrid come to San Siro.

“We must move on now and keep taking it one game at a time,” added Amelia.

“We’re talking about one of the strongest sides in Europe, so we have to focus on ourselves. If we play to our potential, we can beat anybody.”

Allegri: 'We weren't arrogant enough'
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists Milan “should’ve been more arrogant” against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

The Rossoneri were beaten 2-0 at the Bernabeu when Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick and a deflected Mesut Ozil effort scored in the space of a minute.

“It was a bad day at the office, not taking anything away from a world class side like Real Madrid,” said the Coach.

“But it’s without doubt the game changed after a 90-second spell in which the wall opened and there was a deflection.

“We were a bit sluggish at times, but really started playing after the second goal and had some great chances.

“I don’t think we should be at all depressed after this defeat – quite the opposite. We must above all analyse the good spells.

“We should look at the lack of grit and determination in some of our games, as that was missing again tonight.

“This evening we had the space to play the right way, with angled balls, but we didn’t do that and for the opening 15 minutes gave the ball away cheaply, allowing Real to pin us back.

“After the goals we started playing pretty well, spreading the play and so I think Madrid earned this victory and we also helped them to get it.

“We have great quality and technique, so should’ve been more arrogant and pushed harder at the Bernabeu. Basically we got the initial approach wrong.”

Champions League: Real Madrid 2:0 AC Milan - match report
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ronaldo 13 (R), Ozil 14 (R)

Milan conceded twice in 30 seconds to fall 2-0 at Real Madrid, as Andrea Pirlo hit the crossbar in their best chance. They were made to pay for a moment of madness that saw Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil seal the result.

It was almost a derby, as ex-Inter boss Jose Mourinho faced the Rossoneri with former Barcelona stars Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho and Gianluca Zambrotta. Kaka was on the bench against his old teammates due to injury problems, but Sergio Ramos, Fernando Gago and Ezequiel Garay were sidelined.

Christian Abbiati and Thiago Silva failed fitness tests, so Marco Amelia and Daniele Bonera stepped in, while Massimo Ambrosini was unavailable. Following on from the 3-1 win over Chievo, Ronaldinho started behind Ibra and Alexandre Pato.

Play was halted after less than a minute due to a pitch invasion - the same Italian who in previous months had worn his Superman shirt urging for Antonio Cassano's international recall.

As expected, Real took the early initiative and went in front from a set play, awarded for Gennaro Gattuso's push. Cristiano Ronaldo's free kick from the D split the very ineffective wall, whistling between Ibrahimovic and Clarence Seedorf to leave Amelia with no chance.

Play had barely restarted when it was 2-0. Again Amelia was helpless, as Mezut Ozil's scuffed shot took a massive deflection off Bonera to loop over the goalkeeper.

The Rossoneri began to come out of their shell and Bonera had penalty appeals for a push as Andrea Pirlo's corner came in. Cristiano Ronaldo also had complaints for a coming-together with Gattuso.

A clever pass from Luca Antonini allowed Pirlo to spring the offside trap and nod across for Ibra, but the Real defenders cleared at the last moment. From the resulting corner, Zambrotta's snapshot was off target.

Pirlo scored at the Bernabeu last season and very nearly did so again, as his free kick rattled the crossbar after 28 minutes, possibly with help from the fingertips of Iker Casillas.

Milan should've gone 2-1 moments later when Ronaldinho's through ball sent Seedorf clear, but the Dutchman incredibly ballooned over the bar from 10 yards to waste an excellent scoring opportunity.

Cristiano Ronaldo remained dangerous, though, as Amelia palmed his solo effort round the upright. Higuain's counter-attack was closed down for a corner by Bonera. Another fast-paced move saw Di Maria win back possession, give-and-go with Ronaldo and fire over under pressure from Gattuso's sliding tackle from seven yards.

Ibrahimovic should've been given a free kick when he skipped past Ricardo Carvalho inches outside the box, but the trip was not spotted by the referee.

At the other end Di Maria sprinted past Alessandro Nesta and Amelia did well to smother at his feet. Ronaldo set up Ozil for a classy side-foot finish that Amelia palmed away at full stretch.

The second half started much the same way, as Amelia blocked a Higuain header from close range and Higuain just failed to get on the end of Di Maria's pass. Kevin Prince Boateng replaced Gattuso, who had been one of the best performers of the first half.

Higuain hit a weak effort straight at Amelia, while Pato couldn't get Ibra's chipped pass under control in the area. Cristiano Ronaldo rather embarrassingly fell and rolled around clutching his back after the slightest of contacts with Boateng, but got back up when the Portuguese referee ignored him.

Marcelo went on a wonderful mazy run and rolled across for Ronaldo to fire very wide. Ronaldinho was substituted by ex-Real Madrid striker Robinho for the final 20 minutes, but Milan were increasingly pinned back into their own area.

Cristiano Ronaldo's free kick from the very edge of the box struck Bonera's back and Pepe failed to turn in the loose ball.

Pippo Inzaghi came off the bench and immediately created one of Milan's best scoring opportunities. He combined with Robinho and drilled a pass across the face of goal for Ibrahimovic at full stretch, the glancing touch skimming the far post. From the corner kick Boateng headed on to the side-netting.

A deflected Boateng shot turned into an assist for Robinho, whose fierce strike was palmed round the base of the post by Casillas.

Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Carvalho, Marcelo; Khedira, Xabi Alonso; Cristiano Ronaldo, Ozil (L Diarra 82), Di Maria (Granero 87); Higuain (Benzema 89)

Milan: Amelia; Zambrotta, Nesta, Bonera, Antonini; Gattuso (Boateng 58), Pirlo, Seedorf; Ronaldinho (Robinho 70); Ibrahimovic, Pato (Inzaghi 78)

Ref: Proenca (Por)

Amelia to start against Real Madrid
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Amelia looks set to start in goal for Milan against Real Madrid this evening after Christian Abbiati was ruled out.

Abbiati tweaked a muscle against Chievo and although he flew to Spain with the squad, he has failed a fitness test.

Thiago Silva is also a 'maybe' after suffering a knock at the weekend.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Daniele Bonera will step in for the Brazil international if needs must.

Sacchi gives AC Milan the edge
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arrigo Sacchi has tipped Milan as slight favourites in this evening's Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

The 64-year-old masterminded a famous 5-0 win over the Spanish giants during his time in charge of Milan in 1989.

He was later a director of football at Real Madrid before becoming a pundit.

Writing in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Sacchi claims Milan are more in form than their opponents.

“Real Madrid - Milan is the clasico of Europe,” he wrote. “Two great clubs with enormous history and tradition.

“The game is open to any result. The Rossoneri go into this encounter in good form while Los Blancos show that they have not resolved all the problems of metabolisation of Mourinho's play.

“The state of form of Milan's aces actually seems more reliable than that of Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuain, Ozil, and Di Maria.

“The class of Ronaldinho, Ibrahimovic, Pato, Pirlo and Nesta seems brighter.

“Everyone must collaborate in the defensive phase and then manage the ball with wise possession and with ruthless counter attacks by the three wonders.

“If the Rossoneri know how to position themselves well and help out in the defensive phase, the risks will be minimum.”

Galliani rules out Kaka bid
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani believes it would be 'impossible' to negotiate the signing of Real Madrid star Ricky Kaka.

The Brazil international has been frequently linked with a move back to Milan after a disappointing first season at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, both parties have denied any interest in the move and this evening's clash between Milan and Real Madrid in the Champions League will not be used as an occasion to start any talks.

“It's an impossible deal,” Galliani said, cutting short the assembled journalists.

When asked to reveal his expectations for tonight's game, Galliani said: “I hope that Allegri can lead the team for many years to come.

“Allegri is certainly a Coach worthy of a top club.”

Allegri ready for Real Madrid
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is in confident mood ahead of the game at Real Madrid. “This is the right time to play them.”

The two teams will come face to face in the Spanish capital tomorrow night, but the relatively inexperienced tactician has few nerves ahead of his first major Champions League game.

“This is the right time to play Real Madrid,” he noted on Monday evening. “We are in good physical and mental shape.

“In Serie A, we have collected three successive wins so we are ready for a fundamental and important game.”

Real will start the tie as favourites, but the former Cagliari tactician insists his team haven’t come to Spain to defend.

“I am not changing things because I have Real Madrid in front of me,” he noted. “It would be suicide to just defend.

“I think it is right to continue on this path, as we have done up until now. Then I could always change things during the match itself.”

The Italian giants are expected to start with a 4-3-1-2 system and Allegri has already told his troops what will be required.

“The game will need to be one of sacrifice and one of perfection,” he added.

Real boss Jose Mourinho sparked a few smiles during his pre-match conference by insisting that he fears Milan veteran Pippo Inzaghi.

“He is right because Inzaghi is a player who has scored a lot of goals on the domestic and international scene,” responded Allegri.

“The reality is that all of the players at Milan and Real are great champions. Their danger man? Ozil is their most important player.”

Allegri was also asked about Mourinho’s declaration that Kaka would not be rejoining the Rossoneri anytime soon.

“If that is what he says…”

Mourinho 'fears' hungry Pippo
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Jose Mourinho was playing games ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League meeting with Milan. “I hope Pippo Inzaghi doesn’t play.”

The two teams meet at the Bernabeu on Tuesday in a tie that the whole of Europe is eagerly awaiting.

And although the Rossoneri added Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho to their attacking ranks this summer, which already consisted of Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho, Mourinho insisted that he feared veteran hitman Inzaghi.

“As far as I am concerned, Milan can play with 10 attackers,” he noted. “The important thing is that Pippo Inzaghi doesn’t play, otherwise it will be difficult.”

The real threat will undoubtedly come from Ibrahimovic though, a player who left Barcelona in the summer and a striker who played under Mourinho at Inter.

“We are playing against a team and not just one player, but Ibrahimovic is different,” said the former Chelsea boss.

“They know him in Italy and I know him, but they don’t here in Spain. He wasn’t happy here and didn’t have faith in himself.

“I want to see Ibra happy because he is still in my heart, as are those players who have given everything for me on the pitch.

“Although, saying that, I still hope Inter win in Italy.”

Mourinho was also inevitably asked about the future of Kaka, his injured Brazilian playmaker who has been associated with a return to Milan in recent weeks.

“He’ll make the difference for us,” said Mourinho of the player who is recovering from meniscus surgery.

“Kaka will be our free signing in January. His return will be fundamental for us.”

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani was also mentioned by the tactician during the pre-match media conference.

“I want to thank Adriano Galliani for his kind words about me to Real President Florentino Perez last summer,” Mou noted. “What did he say? Thanks for taking him to Madrid...”

Real Madrid (probable): Casillas; Ramos, Carvalho, Pepe, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Khedira; Cristiano Ronaldo, Ozil, Di Maria; Higuain

Milan (probable): Abbiati; Zambrotta, Bonera, Nesta, Antonini; Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf; Ronaldinho; Pato, Ibrahimovic

Pirlo hopes for a repeat performance
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo hopes his side can repeat last year's stunning 3-2 victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.

The Rossoneri came back from behind thanks to a long distance effort from Pirlo and a brace from Alexandre Pato.

Interviewed on the club's official website, Pirlo said: “It will be a great game, fascinating even. We hope to repeat last year's performance.

“This team reminds me a lot of Ancelotti's Milan when we played with a trequartista, with Kaka or with Rui Costa. We are starting to play in this way again, something we did for many years which brought us great success.

“We hope it's a good sign.”

When asked to reveal how the team is coping at the moment, Pirlo said: “I am fine, and the team is fine.

“Now an important cycle of games awaits us, but the important thing is that the team gets a result like in the last few games.

“We must keep going down this path.

“Personally I am succeeding in managing my strengths well, in managing to be lucid and having energy until the last minute. I hope that my condition lasts,” he concluded.

Allegri: 'Pato will win the Ballon d'Or'
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri believes Alexandre Pato has what it takes to win the prestigious Ballon d'Or.

The 21-year-old Brazil international is having a tremendous month, scoring five goals in his last three appearances for club and country.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's Champions League clash with Real Madrid, Allegri said: “With respect to Cristiano Ronaldo, Pato is more of a striker.

“He is destined to win one of the next Ballon d'Or awards.”

Allegri then gave a short assessment of Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid.

“It's not a challenge with him. It's the teams that go out on the pitch. Anyway, Mourinho is modeling the team in his image.

“Real are a tough opponent. It's important to get points otherwise we risk going into the last two games running out of time.

“Ronaldinho has done very well as a trequartista because he moves a lot and doesn't give the opponents reference points.

“We need the desire to make sacrifices and my players are doing well,” he concluded.

Maldini: Real Madrid tried to sign me
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Paolo Maldini has once again recalled the time when Real Madrid President Florentino Perez tried to lure him to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The 41-year-old defender retired in 2009 after a glorious career spent entirely at Milan.

Speaking to AS ahead of tomorrow's Champions League clash with Real Madrid, Maldini said: “Once in 2002, we played in a knock-out round and Florentino said that he wanted me at Madrid.

“Then we won the Champions League and it was impossible.”

Maldini was then asked to reveal the best player he ever came up against.

“Maradona was the greatest,” he said. “And Ronaldo in his first year in Italy.

“And Zidane was also a delight. He left for Spain.

“This is what Madrid are still missing, a Zidane,” he concluded.

Robinho won't hold back in Madrid
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan playmaker Robinho insists he'll celebrate if he scores against his former club Real Madrid when the two sides meet in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Brazil international spent three years at the Santiago Bernabeu and won La Liga twice before making an ill-fated move to Manchester City.

Interviewed in Marca, Robinho said: “I am going to Madrid only with the desire to win because it's a very important game for our future in the Champions League.

“My intention is only that of helping Milan as much as possible to come away from the Bernabeu victorious, nothing more.

“I am going to do the best for Milan. I have always had a good relationship with the Real Madrid fans and I feel dear to them.

“But now I am defending the colours of another great team and I am coming with all my strength to win.

“I don't regret the decision to leave Madrid, only the way that I left, which wasn't the best. Life goes on and I am very happy at Milan.

“If I score. I will celebrate. Not doing so would show a lack of respect towards my fans of today,” he concluded.

Ibrahimovic ready to be a team player
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic insists he is prepared to sacrifice himself for the good of the team if it means Milan win.

The 29-year-old Sweden international turned supplier against Chievo on Saturday, earning praise for his team-play.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ibrahimovic said: “I am now looking to work a lot for the team.

“At the start of your career you want to get yourself recognized and you are more individualist, then you understand that the group is more important than the individual and that you can only go far with the team.

“When my teammates are happy, I am happy too. Because when I join a team I kill myself for my teammates. If they win, I win too.”

Ibrahimovic then gave his first impressions of Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“He seems like a tranquil guy, someone with less of an impact than Mourinho or Capello, but he knows when to get angry and when to raise his voice. He also has a great personality.

“Being in Italy motivates me again. The fans are different. They are more active with respect to the Spanish ones. They applaud you for something beautiful there as if you were in a theatre. In Italy, it's something else.”

Thiago Silva makes Madrid trip
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva is in Milan’s squad travelling to Real Madrid, but it remains to be seen whether he can play.

The defender was stretchered off during Saturday’s 3-1 win over Chievo with a suspected sprained ankle.

More tests are needed to see if he can play at the Santiago Bernabeu, but in the meanwhile Thiago Silva is in the squad.

If the Brazilian pulls out, then Daniele Bonera is expected to partner Alessandro Nesta in central defence.

UEFA have assigned Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca for Tuesday’s Champions League match at the Santiago Bernabeu.

In Group E, Aleksei Nikolaev of Russia will officiate Roma-Basel.

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

Bonera ready for Real Madrid start
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Daniele Bonera has put himself forward for a starting spot against Real Madrid following Thiago Silva’s injury.

The Brazilian was stretchered off during Milan’s 3-1 win over Chievo on Saturday with a suspected sprained ankle and is a major doubt to play in the Champions League.

“On Tuesday we will face Real Madrid and personally I am ready if Coach Massimiliano Allegri needs me,” said Bonera.

“Obviously I hope Thiago has nothing serious, as he forms a great partnership with Alessandro Nesta.

“In any case, the Coach will have a few days to decide, as there are other teammates who can do well in that role.”

The Rossoneri are temporarily top of the table following that 3-1 victory over Chievo.

“We did well to bring home the points, as it’s no coincidence that Chievo earned wins away to Napoli and Genoa this season,” continued Bonera.

“They were always in the running and got back into it during a tricky time, but we did well to defend and protect the advantage.

“Chievo make their work rate their strongest weapon, but we matched them blow for blow.”

Ronaldinho enjoys new position
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho admits he is “extremely pleased to be playing behind the strikers again” after a fine performance for Milan.

The Brazilian has struggled to find consistency at San Siro, but Coach Massimiliano Allegri has given him the trequartista role.

“I am extremely pleased to be playing behind the strikers again and my teammates are really helping me out, so I thank them,” he said after the 3-1 win over Chievo.

“Many years ago I used to play in this role, so being back there is a great pleasure.

“Playing wide on the left is also enjoyable, it’s not a problem for me. The important thing is that I help out the team.”

Many have criticised Ronaldinho for his work rate, but he has only one response.

“I answer my critics on the field. I just try to do my best for the team.”

Allegri: 'We relaxed in second half'
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri concedes Milan took their foot off the accelerator in the second half and is concerned about Thiago Silva.

“In the first half it was an excellent performance, while after the break we were a little less determined,” said the Coach of their 3-1 win over Chievo.

“Only in the final minutes did we step the pressure back up and we earned the result.”

Alexandre Pato bagged a brace and in stoppages Robinho scored his debut goal for the club, but Sergio Pellissier’s effort – with a deflection off Zlatan Ibrahimovic – left the tie in the balance.

“It was especially important to win today so that we could be in the best shape for Real Madrid.”

Thiago Silva may well miss Tuesday’s game at the Santiago Bernabeu after he was stretchered off with a suspected sprained ankle.

“We hope that he can recover in time, as the medical staff will give their verdict over the next couple of days,” continued Allegri.

“If he doesn’t play, then nothing changes as far as our tactics are concerned. Thiago Silva is world class, but we also have Daniele Bonera and Mario Yepes who are ready to play such an important game against Real Madrid.”

The lead-in to that match has been dominated by headlines on Kaka’s supposed return to San Siro.

“Who would make way for Kaka? Nobody, because he plays for Real Madrid. I am truly very happy with the team at my disposal.”

Thiago Silva to miss Real Madrid?
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are fears Thiago Silva could miss out on Milan’s Champions League showdown with Real Madrid after he was stretchered off.

The defender appeared to sprain his left ankle when he fell awkwardly with Cyril Thereau accidentally landing on top of him.

The incident occurred during the second half of today’s 3-1 victory over Chievo at San Siro.

Thiago Silva was stretchered off in evident pain and replaced by Daniele Bonera in the centre-back slot.

Milan make the trip to the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night, so it is a race against time to recover for the big match.

Replacement Bonera has only just returned from an injury himself and looks set to partner Alessandro Nesta.

Galliani books Madrid Kaka talks
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani admits he will talk to Real Madrid about Kaka, but only after their Champions League game. “It’d be rude beforehand.”

Milan have been heavily linked with bringing the Brazilian back to San Siro after his injury-ravaged spell at the Bernabeu.

Talks are expected on Tuesday when the two teams meet in Madrid, but the Vice-President is coy.

“Kaka? It is rude to talk about such things before the game with Real Madrid,” smiled Galliani.

“I am invited to dinner with President Florentino Perez and we will talk about it again in five days’ time.

“I must also warn fans that Kaka’s return will be difficult, as he has very high wages due to the usual difference in tax rates between Italy and Spain, although things have evened out somewhat recently.”

Galliani also confirmed the rumours that Barcelona wanted Alexandre Pato in an exchange deal for Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer.

“Pato is absolutely and utterly not for sale. Barca wanted to exchange him for Ibra, but we made a very clear refusal.

“With the arrivals of Ibra and Robinho we have new income from sponsors and fans, so that we maintain our financial fair play status.”

Serie A: AC Milan 3:1 Chievo Verona - match report
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pato 18, 30 (M), Pellissier 70 (C), Robinho 93 (M)

Alexandre Pato's brace and Robinho's first goal in a Milan jersey secured a 3-1 victory over Chievo, but Thiago Silva was stretchered off.

Despite the upcoming Champions League clash with Real Madrid, Massimiliano Allegri took no risks and started with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato and Clarence Seedorf. The Flying Donkeys are counter-attack specialists who had won 3-1 away to Genoa and Napoli. Sergio Pellissier was back to full fitness after a back problem, but missed Luciano and Gennaro Sardo.

Chievo had never won here in eight visits, managing just two draws in which they scored six and conceded 15.

Within 55 seconds Pato had tested Stefano Sorrentino from distance. A smart one-to between Pato and Ronaldinho was acrobatically intercepted by Andrea Mantovani.

The Rossoneri were probing and broke through after 18 minutes. Ibra gathered down the centre-left side of the pitch and floated a cross for Pato, who was able to volley low in acres of space from eight yards with his right foot.

Kevin Constant drilled well wide on the counter and Christian Abbiati smothered a Pablo Granoche header. Chievo had a great chance to equalise just shy of the half-hour. Mariano Bogliacino was closed down in the box, but the ball spread to the unmarked Constant who had two shots beaten away by Abbiati at the near post in quick succession.

Milan survived the scare and doubled their lead moments later. Ibrahimovic cleverly took a free kick quickly to surprise the Chievo defence and did not hesitate to blast it in from 10 yards despite Sorrentino getting a hand to it.

Abbiati blocked a Bogliacino effort, but when the home side went on a rapid counter, Ibra attempted a weak and arrogant chip. It was nearly a Pato hat-trick on the stroke of half-time, but at the end of the counter-attack Sorrentino flew to palm away the curling finish.

Chievo boss Stefano Pioli introduced two strikers for the second half and one of them, Cyril Thereau, unleashed a screamer from 30 metres that Abbiati fingertipped out from under the bar.

Milan were forced into a change, as Thiago Silva was stretchered off with a suspected sprained ankle to make way for Daniele Bonera. It was a worrying sight just days from the Champions League showdown with Real Madrid.

Luca Antonini put the ball in the back of the net, but only after the offside flag was correctly raised. Thereau's header whistled wide from a corner kick, but Chievo did get back into the game from another set play.

Pellissier got a glancing header at the near post from a Bogliacino corner, but it took a deflection off Ibrahimovic to leave Abbiati stranded as it flashed into the far bottom corner.

It was nearly 2-2 four minutes later as Thereau went on the counter and rolled back for Gelson Fernandes, who drilled inches wide of the upright. Pellissier scored long after the offside flag had been raised, but the visitors were now swarming around the Milan penalty area.

Sorrentino prevented the Rossoneri restoring their two-goal cushion when Ibra knocked Andrea Pirlo's pass down for an immediate Ronaldinho volley from the D, stinging the goalkeeper's palms.

Ibrahimovic dribbled brilliantly between four players, but then over-did it and risked a yellow card with a clumsy challenge. Ronaldinho also received some jeers when he tried to score from 40 metres out rather than hold the ball in the final minutes under pressure.

It was a tense finale, but Milan ended up celebrating Robinho's debut goal in a Rossoneri jersey. Ronaldinho's smart slide-rule pass allowed him to spring the offside trap and waltz round the goalkeeper to side-foot into an empty net from the tightest of angles.

Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Nesta, Thiago Silva (Bonera 63), Antonini; Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf (Boateng 78); Ronaldinho; Pato (Robinho 69), Ibrahimovic

Chievo: Sorrentino; Frey, Andreolli, Cesar, Mantovani; Bentivoglio (Gelson Fernandes 46), Rigoni, Constant; Bogliacino (Moscardelli 80); Pellissier, Granoche (Thereau 46)

Ref: Gervasoni

Pioli: 'Chievo can shock AC Milan'
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chievo Coach Stefano Pioli insists they can repeat their shock victories at Genoa and Napoli by taking the game to Milan today.

“We have to be perfect, I know that,” said the tactician ahead of this afternoon’s 17.00 UK time kick-off at San Siro.

“We already managed it with victories away to Genoa and Napoli, so why can’t we do the same against Milan?

“It is beyond doubt that this is a very difficult match, but it is equally true that nothing is impossible in football.

“The important thing is to put in a performance with belief, a positive approach and returning every blow our opponents send our way.”

The Flying Donkeys have been significantly more impressive on their travels this season, earning 3-1 victories at both Marassi and the San Paolo.

However, they have never won away to Milan with just two draws from eight visits.

“The important thing will be to remain united at all times and aggressive all over the pitch,” continued Pioli.

“We’ve got to be ready to burst on to the counter attack every moment we win back the ball.

“There are so many champions in Milan’s squad that it’s pointless singling out Ronaldinho when there’s Robinho, or Zlatan Ibrahimovic when there’s Pippo Inzaghi. Nonetheless, we’re not intimidated.”

Chievo squad: Squizzi, Sorrentino, Silvestri; Andreolli, Cesar, Jokic, Frey, Mandelli, Mantovani, Rincon; Bentivoglio, Bogliacino, Marcolini, Rigoni, Dettori, Fernandes, Constant; Granoche, Pellissier, Thereau, Moscardelli

Galliani breaks metatarsal
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani could miss his first game in a long time after breaking his metatarsal in New York at the weekend.

Galliani had flown to America to visit his daughter Micol and was stepping off the sidewalk when his foot got stuck in a small hole in the road.

The doctor of the New York Mets baseball team put his leg in cast and it now appears as though he will miss Milan's clash with Chievo this weekend.

“I can't find a doctor who will tell me that I can go to the stadium,” he sighed. “It's a real torment to be like this.

“And to think that as a youngster this was the foot that I used to play football with... badly, but I did play,” he concluded.

Allegri confirms Ibrahimovic will play
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will start against Chievo this weekend.

The Sweden international striker had been complaining of hernia-like symptoms, generating concern at San Siro.

Speaking at a pre-match Press conference, Allegri said: “We are ready to win and we must start again in the best of ways.

“Tomorrow's game will be fundamental for our progress this season. Among other things it will also be crucial to understand how we'll face this month, which includes the derby.

“We have improved because we have all been able to work together. I am sorry only for Ambrosini who is still out.

“The club has built a great team to fight in Italy and in Europe. I am lucky to have such an important team available to me.

“Ibrahimovic has never had a hernia. This international break has allowed him to rest and to train well.

“He'll be there tomorrow.

“Playing a game every three days is not easy and takes a lot of energy away.”

Allegri also said that he was reluctant to see Klaas-Jan Huntelaar leave the club this summer.

“He is a striker with great qualities. For me it was difficult to send him a way, but Ibrahimovic's arrival closed every space to him and it's right this way,” he concluded.

Mourinho set to keep Kaka
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho looks set to keep Kaka amid reported interest from both Inter and Milan.

The Italian media had claimed that Kaka would find it difficult to get back into the Real Madrid side once he returns to full fitness in the spring, and was considering his options.

His father was seen at Milan's training ground last week, fuelling speculation that a return to San Siro was on the cards.

However, Kaka tweeted a day or two ago that he is solely focusing on his recovery and that he intends to be at the Santiago Bernabeu at least until next summer.

Mourinho confirmed as much yesterday when he revealed that Real Madrid's transfer market is closed, meaning no one will be coming in or going out this season.

“At this moment I can say that our squad will remain like this until the end of the season,” Mourinho said.

“I have a great team. It's not the perfect squad because the perfect squad doesn't exist, but it's fine the way it is.

“The January transfer window is already closed for us, and you'll receive the same answer even if you speak with the general manager or with the President.

“Unless of course something catastrophic happens, our January transfer window is already closed.

“When our opponents are looking for reinforcements in January, we will have Kaka again, a player who is worth millions at zero cost,” Mourinho concluded.

Ibrahimovic set to play against Chievo
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic insists he is available for selection for tomorrow's clash with Chievo in Serie A.

The 29-year-old Sweden international has been playing through the pain barrier with a suspected hernia in recent weeks.

Yesterday it was suggested that Milan would rest Ibrahimovic and play Alexandre Pato up front on his own instead.

Quoted in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ibrahimovic said: “I am fine. I only needed a rest, although it's true that while on international duty I only missed one out of four training sessions because it was more useful to have another physiotherapy session.

“I will certainly be there against Chievo. I don't have any problems and if it were down to me I would always play,” he concluded.

Ronaldinho back to his best
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan playmaker Ronaldinho insists he is back to his best and that Silvio Berlusconi has told him that he can stay at San Siro for as long as he wants.

The 30-year-old World Cup winner also took the chance to hit back at his critics.

“I don't get angry if people say I don't run,” he told Il Corriere della Sera. “I might not participate in the play, but I give the others assists.

“Actually, you know one thing: they get narked because I do everything that I do from standing still.”

When told that the fans want to know when he'll get back to the level he showed at Barcelona, Ronaldinho replied: “I am already at that level.”

The former Ballon d'Or winner then reacted to doubts about his future at Milan.

“I am not thinking about any club that isn't Milan. Right now I have the luck of not being able to think about money.

“I can put my happiness in first place. I have no reason to be worried. The President told me that I could stay for as long as I want.

“Here's why I am calm,” Ronaldinho concluded.

No AC Milan move for Cissokho
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The representative of Lyon’s Aly Cissokho has ruled out a January 2011 move to Serie A giants Milan.

Stories linking the Italian club to the player have appeared with regularity over the past four weeks given the Rossoneri’s full-back needs.

Some stories went as far as to suggest that the San Siro outfit would offer €15m for the 1987-born player, just a year after the club pulled out of a deal to sign him from Porto.

“There is nothing with Milan,” Fabrizio Ferrari is quoted as saying. “I also don’t believe that they are ready to make a €15m bid in January.

“With regard to the summer market, though, we’ll see. Aly holds no grudges about the past.

“There is a lot of interest around him right now, but he has never stated that he wants to leave Lyon.”

Pato in peak form
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato believes this is the best moment of his career at Milan, perhaps convincing the club to rest Zlatan Ibrahimovic this weekend.

The 21-year-old is on his way back from international duty having scored against Iran and the Ukraine.

It appears he has finally recovered from the injury problems that plagued him at the start of the season.

“It's the best moment of my career,” Pato told “I am happy to have returned to the national team.

“I have confidence in my play. Moreover I am sure that by continuing to express myself to the maximum at Milan I will keep being called up to Brazil.”

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is delighted with Pato's performances and feels he can lead the line on his own against Chievo this weekend.

Allegri would like to rest Ibrahimovic who has been complaining of a hernia.

Robinho plans to go far
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's summer signing Robinho has revealed that he joined the club to go as far as possible in his career.

The Brazil international arrived from Manchester City in the final days of the transfer window.

“I have found the same happiness and the same desire to propose a spectacular [brand of] football as there was at Santos,” Robinho said.

“A Brazilian in Milan can't really suffer from nostalgia.”

The 26-year-old showed no hesitation in getting behind his fellow compatriots, and was soon sticking up for Ronaldinho.

“You need to stop writing that he is going to play in the United States. Dinho is staying with me, with us. I am also ready to tie him to the dressing room if necessary.

“He is not just a champion. He is also a leader. And, for me, a true friend.”

Robinho then gave his first impressions of Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri.

“He is helping me to understand Milan and Italian football. It's clear that it will not be easy to see a team with four attackers on the pitch. It's a question of balance. But our Coach always makes us feel like regulars, like we're all important.

“I assure you that I would never protest against a Sunday spent on the bench.”

Boateng looks to Ibrahimovic
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Kevin Prince Boateng is confident Zlatan Ibrahimovic will have his scoring boots on against Chievo and would welcome Kaka with open arms.

“Zlatan will be there on Saturday and I think he will score again,” said the Ghanaian international.

“Ibra is very important for Milan and in his last few games he has scored and played well.”

There were doubts around Boateng’s appearance in this weekend’s Serie A test, but he seems to be recovering from a muscular problem.

“I worked hard in the gym and with physiotherapists so now I am 100 per cent fit. We all expect a victory against Chievo and will give our all to earn the three points.”

There have been reports that Kaka will return to Milan either in January or at the end of the season after failing to settle at Real Madrid.

“I know nothing about this, but he is a great champion. He made history at Milan and a return would be grand.”

Boateng’s Italian international teammates returned to the training camp today after their Euro 2012 qualifier against Serbia was abandoned due to crowd trouble.

“It’s an ugly moment for football. In any case, I think Italy would’ve won anyway and so it is only right if they are awarded the three points.”

Kaka focusing on his recovery
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid star Ricky Kaka insists he is only thinking about recovering from a recent operation and not speculation linking him with Milan and Inter.

The Brazil international hasn't enjoyed the best year in Spain and is frequently the subject of transfer rumours claiming he could be on his way back to San Siro.

Kaka used his Twitter page to respond to the speculation, writing: “My concern at this time, is solely and exclusively with my physical recovery.”

The 28-year-old has repeatedly denied wanting to leave Real Madrid, even though it remains to be seen whether he fits into Jose Mourinho's plans.

Costacurta set to replace Casirgahi?
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Billy Costacurta is among the favourites to replace Pierluigi Casiraghi, the beleaguered Italy Under-21 Coach.

Casiraghi saw his side throw away a respectable 2-0 aggregate lead against Belarus last night in the European Championship Play-off.

They lost 3-0 and will miss out on the Euros and London 2012.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands that Arrigo Sacchi will be involved in the decision-making process to find a successor.

Italy Under-20 boss Francesco Rocca has been mooted for a promotion, but his candidacy is already below a pile of bigger names.

Costacurta, Gianfranco Zola, Beppe Bergomi and Davide Ballardini are the frontrunners, but it seems that Italy Under-19 Coach Daniele Zoratto is the absolute favourite.

When asked about the recruitment drive, FIGC President Giancarlo Abete said: “It's not the moment.”

Ibrahimovic would welcome Kaka
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic would have no problem with Real Madrid star Ricardo Kaka returning to the club in the near future.

The Brazil international has been strongly linked with a move back to Italy even though he has repeatedly stated his intention to stay in Spain.

Kaka's father was seen at Milan's training ground last week, leading to speculation that he was there to discuss a return to San Siro.

When asked about Kaka on Twitter, Ibrahimovic said: “I don't talk about negotiations that don't regard me, but if Kaka were to arrive it would be a great signing for Milan this season.”

The Sweden international also moved to reassure fans about a possible hernia problem, which has sparked a degree of concern at Milanello.

“I am not worried,” he wrote. “It's only a little injury. I am playing well for Milan. I can do better, but I am doing well,” he concluded.

Moggi backs AC Milan for Scudetto
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luciano Moggi believes Milan have what it takes to win the Scudetto this season after investing in Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The disgraced former Juventus general manager also thinks Napoli could be a dark horse.

Interviewed on Goal di Notte, Moggi said: “For me, Milan will win the championship this year. They are superior to Inter.

“But Napoli are strong above all thanks to the two striker Lavezzi and Cavani, who was the signing of the summer.

“Roma have one big weakness. Ranieri wants to imitate Mourinho and you have seen what he has got himself into.

“I admire De Laurentiis a lot because in a short period of time he has become a football expert.

“It's as if he has lived in this world of football for 40 years,” Moggi concluded.

Allegri eager to push on
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri feels the next month could be crucial in determining his side’s title aspirations.

The Rossoneri face Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus in the next three weeks in a schedule that should give a real indication as to this team’s strength.

Speaking at a sponsorship event, Allegri said: “It will be a decisive month for our season. We still lack a little in expressing all of our potential.

“Unfortunately, we seldom all work together. But the game against Parma left us with good indications.”

When asked about his first impressions of Ronaldinho as a trequartista, Allegri said: “He was happy and I was too.

“It was fun and then again he has all the qualities to play in that position. He can play everywhere. He is more at the heart of the play in that position with respect to when he plays wide-left.

“We can line him up this way or in a trident according to the opponent.”

Allegri also had praise for Alexandre Pato who scored again for Brazil last night in their friendly against Ukraine.

“He must give us a hand. He must grow and complete the jump in quality. He has all the means to do so.”

Finally, the 43-year-old was asked for his reaction to speculation linking Kaka with a return to the club.

“He is an extraordinary player, but I has not made any requests on the market. Milan are highly competitive as they are.

“We don’t have time to think about these things. The squad that I have is more than fine,” he concluded.

Pato strikes again for Brazil
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato looks in top form after scoring again while on international duty with Brazil.

The 21-year-old got his side's winner in a 2-0 victory over Ukraine at Pride Park in Derby.

It comes just days after Pato scored against Iran, and is yet more evidence that he is thriving under new boss Mano Menezes.

Pato spent much of the last 18 months in the international wilderness, as Menezes' predecessor Dunga wasn't convinced by his ability.

Milan are understandably happy with the player's progress, especially in light of his recent injury problems.

Massimiliano Allegri now has a selection headache ahead of Saturday's match against Chievo.

Seedorf doubts Kaka will return
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf feels reports linking Ricky Kaka with a return to Italy either with Inter or Milan are preposterous.

The Italian media strongly believe that the Brazil international is on his way back to San Siro after failing to make an impact at Real Madrid.

He has been frequently linked with Inter, but a visit from his dad to Milan's training ground last week has sent the rumour mill into overdrive.

Kaka left Milan last summer after six glorious seasons in red and black.

When asked about the speculation at a sponsor's event, Seedorf said: “It's unreal.

“Ricardo is a friend, but I don't believe there is any truth in this.

“He is recovering from injury. I hope he gets back in shape soon.”

The veteran Dutch midfield then reflected on his efforts to earn a new contract at Milan.

“I am trying to show my desire every time that I go out on the pitch. There are no problems. Right now, I see myself at Milan.

“I am not thinking about finishing my career, and this is an advantage.”

Ibrahimovic suffers groin problem
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed he has been suffering with a groin problem, which has recently prevented him from training.

The 29-year-old Swede has scored five goals in seven games since his move from Barcelona, leading some pundits to suggest Milan are already dependent on him.

“I couldn’t train last week in Milan,” Ibrahimovic said. “Every time that I went out on the pitch I had stomach cramps from the pain that I felt.

“I had to give up training and limit myself to playing the games.”

Looking ahead to Sweden’s encounter with Holland in Amsterdam, Ibrahimovic dismissed claims that it would be a grudge match between him and Rafael Van der Vaart.

“It’s like playing against Stekelenburg, Sneijder and Heitinga. We won together and I don’t feel anything negative towards any of them.

“I wish them all good luck and hope they have fantastic careers.”

Thiago Silva backs bid for Luiz
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva has backed Milan’s reported bid for Benfica centre-back David Luiz because ‘he is the new Alessandro Nesta’.

The 23-year-old Brazil international is widely regarded as one of the best young defenders in the world and has already attracted interest from Real Madrid and Manchester City.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Thiago said: “David Luiz has quality and power. He can become the new Nesta.

“For a little while I’ve partnered him in defence with Brazil so, as well as being friends, we also get on perfectly. Milan shouldn’t lose sight of it.

“Right now we are thinking about the present. At the start of the season we have shown that we can win the Scudetto. Despite the new signings we have quickly become a very tight group.

“Ibrahimovic is someone who doesn’t act like a phenomenon. He fights and he works for the team, not for himself. How can you not want him to do well?”

Finally, Thiago was asked whether he would prefer to win the Scudetto or the Champions League.

“Milan mustn’t set limits for itself. We must try and win everything. It has always been our obligation, and it’s logical that it’s like this for players who play for such a big club.”

Nesta set for Lazio return?
10.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are shock reports that Alessandro Nesta could finish his career back where it started – at Lazio.

The Milan defender left his hometown club in 2002-03 and has been at San Siro ever since.

The 34-year-old considered retirement last year when chronic injuries kept him sidelined for months at a time, but has now recovered to play consistently.

Reports emerged on Itasportpress this evening that Lazio are considering a reunion with their former captain.

Nesta was the star of their 1999-00 Scudetto triumph and his contract is set to expire.

A return ‘home’ would be a way for him to ease back into life in Rome, but it remains to be seen how the fans would react.

Nesta is usually jeered when he plays for Milan at the Stadio Olimpico, as he is considered a ‘traitor’ for leaving the club.

He began his career in the Biancocelesti youth system and progressed all the way to wearing the captain’s armband.

AC Milan offer €20m for David Luiz
10.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Portuguese media claim Milan are prepared to offer €20m for Benfica defender David Luiz, but there are cheaper alternatives.

The 23-year-old centre-back is known to be a target for the Rossoneri and, according to A’Bola, the club is lining up an audacious bid.

Luiz is Brazilian and could well form the defensive partnership of the future with Thiago Silva (pictured).

Milan are known for seeking a bargain, though, so he may well be considered too expensive.

Other alternatives include 21-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star Mamadou Sakho, according to the Corriere dello Sport.

Cagliari’s 25-year-old Michele Canini is another option.

Savicevic reveals Capello rows
9.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Dejan Savicevic admits he had “a very difficult relationship” with Fabio Capello at Milan as the two come face to face at Wembley.

‘Il Genio’ was a fan favourite and beloved by President Silvio Berlusconi, but struggled to find playing time under Capello’s strict tactical regime.

“At times, it was a very difficult relationship,” the 44-year-old, who is now President of Montenegro’s FA, told The Sun.

"I was not being picked and became very frustrated. I did not always agree with him. Maybe I approached things in the wrong way.

"But I've spoken with Mr Capello and there is no longer a problem. We look forward to going to England.”

Montenegro play England in a crucial Euro 2012 qualifier next week.

Although they found great success together at San Siro, including an incredible lob in the 4-0 Champions League demolition of Barcelona in 1994, Savicevic and Capello argued repeatedly.

Dejan refused to sit on the substitutes’ bench and would explain his frustration to President Berlusconi in private meetings.

Savicevic signed from Red Star Belgrade in 1992 and returned to that club in 1998.

Pato: 'I'd only leave for Barcelona'
9.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato has fuelled reports of an option as part of the Zlatan Ibrahimovic move. “I’d only leave Milan for Barcelona.”

The Brazilian has been at the centre of transfer gossip with huge offers said to be on the table from Manchester City and Chelsea.

“I am honoured by City’s interest, but I am a Milan player and I’m happy here,” Pato told German newspapers.

“If one day I do leave Milan, I’d like to wear the Barcelona jersey. I think I’d only leave Milan for Barcelona.”

This fuels already-existing reports that the Rossoneri got such a good deal on Ibrahimovic this summer because it included an option on Pato.

Ronaldinho: 'I'm staying at AC Milan'
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan playmaker Ronaldinho has underlined his commitment to stay at the club at least until the end of the season.

The 30-year-old Brazilian has been linked with a move away from San Siro in January with Flamengo and the LA Galaxy both interested.

“I will certainly not be leaving in January,” Ronaldinho said. “I am happy in Milan.

“I have the President's confidence. We'll see about the future. My wish is to get back into the Brazil team.”

Ronaldinho then reflected on reports linking Kaka with a return to Milan.

“Kaka made history with this club,” he said.

“He will be welcome if he returns.”

Abate happy to stay at AC Milan
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ignazio Abate says he never thought about leaving Milan this summer after establishing himself as a first team regular last season.

The 23-year-old made 30 Serie A appearances for the Rossoneri in the 2009-10 campaign and has featured under Max Allegri as well.

Speaking to the Milan Channel, Abate said: “I am here to be found ready when the Coach needs me.

“I changed position last year with Leonardo. I believe that it's normal to make mistakes, but this season I hope to do well.

“I work hard day after day. Milan expressed good football under the Brazilian Coach. We were in the race for the Scudetto when no one backed us.

“This year we can do better. Great players have arrived. We mustn't hide from it. We can go far.

“Someone wrote that I was on the market, but I have always been calm. Galliani and the mister wanted me and I am fine here.

“I hope to be here for as many years as possible.”

Ronaldinho linked with LA Galaxy again
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding Ronaldinho's contract talks with Milan have prompted the LA Galaxy into rekindling their interest in his signature.

The 30-year-old Brazilian playmaker is out of contract at the end of the season and will have to take a dramatic pay cut if he is to extend his time at San Siro.

Mediaset understands that Milan's last contract offer was a two-year deal with the offer of a third based on a sensible reduction from the salary he currently earns worth around €8m a season.

It's thought that Milan want the former Barcelona star to take a 40-50 per cent cut in order to comply with their new wage ceiling, although the recent signings of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho may make that difficult for him to swallow.

Mediaset claims Ronaldinho's representatives recently had a meeting with directors from the LA Galaxy in London and reached an agreement in principle.

However, the former Ballon d'Or winner would ideally like to stay in Europe and continue to measure himself among the world's best players.

Earlier this summer, Flamengo were said to have reached a similar agreement, but it subsequently came to nothing.

Ronaldinho has also started the season in fine form, and Silvio Berlusconi's love of his playing skills would make his exit that little more complicated.

Pato back among the goals
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato got back on the scoresheet in Brazil's emphatic 3-0 win over Iran last night.

The 21-year-old has made just three appearances in Serie A this season after suffering a muscle injury.

After falling out with Dunga, it appears Pato has a good relationship with his successor Mano Menezes.

The friendly, which took place in Abu Dhabi, was a one-sided affair with Brazil scoring in both halves.

Dani Alves opened the scoring with a wonderful free-kick before Pato doubled the Selecao's lead after the interval.

Villarreal striker Nilmar then put the result beyond any doubt with a third goal in added time.

Speaking after the game, Pato said: “We are satisfied with our performance in a match, which was difficult.

“The new players all did well,” he concluded.

Luca Antonelli: 'AC Milan are almost unbeatable'
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma's highly-rated full-back Luca Antonelli believes Milan are 'almost unbeatable' this season.

The 23-year-old, who has been linked with Inter, had to drop out of the Italy squad after picking up a foot injury when Parma lost 1-0 to Milan at the weekend.

Speaking to Sky Italia, Antonelli said: “Milan are a very strong team, no one is unbeatable, but Milan are strong and they deserved to win against Parma.”

When asked about his father who used to play for Milan, Antonelli said: “He doesn't give me advice anymore.

“He only tells me to listen to the mister and the most experienced players in the group. I took a big knock from Gattuso, who put a hole in my boot, after a few seconds against Milan.

“I didn't feel anything in the heat of the moment, but when I got home I started to feel a pain in my toe,” he concluded.

Balotelli rejects AC Milan shirt
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli turned down the offer to pull on a Milan shirt for the same TV show that caught him out earlier this year.

The 20-year-old striker once again received Striscia la Notizia’s infamous ‘Golden Tapir’, which is given to footballers and other famous personalities if they have made a gaffe.

Striscia’s presenter Valerio Staffelli had tracked Balotelli down again after it emerged that he had made an unscheduled visit to a women’s prison, which got him into a spot of bother.

When asked about the incident, Balotelli said: “I said to my brother: ‘Do you want to see a jail?’ And so I went in.”

Staffelli then pulled out a Milan shirt, just as he did earlier this year, only this Balotelli was wise to the fact and refused to wear it.

The former Inter youngster instead joked: “I don’t like the shirt.”

AC Milan 'missed Ilicic chance'
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Palermo’s new sensation Josip Ilicic “was very close to joining Milan on the last day of the transfer market,” reveals his agent.

The 22-year-old Slovenian midfielder was snapped up for just €1.8m after impressing in the Europa League play-off for Maribor against Palermo.

“On the last day of the season he was wanted by Cesena, Fiorentina and Napoli, but it was Milan who in my view lost a big opportunity,” agent Armin Ruznic told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“The Rossoneri had shown a strong interest in Josip and we talked it over with Coach Massimiliano Allegri, who had actually played alongside me at Pescara, but at the end of the day nothing happened.

“It’s better for Palermo that it went this way, but just you wait and see – within a couple of years Milan will come back fighting for him.”

It will be a very different scenario by that time, as Ilicic’s price-tag has reportedly tripled since his Serie A debut.

The midfielder has scored a remarkable three goals in just five games for the Sicilians.

Better news for Abbiati
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati could be back in action immediately after the international break following the latest tests on his thigh strain.

It was feared that the Italian could be out of action for up to a month after picking up the issue in the 1-0 win at Parma on Saturday.

However, the former Azzurri goalkeeper underwent a fresh scan earlier today which ruled out significant damage.

Sources in Milan report that the Rossoneri medical staff are cautiously predicting that he will be sidelined for between 15 and 20 days.

Nevertheless, there is a belief that they may have him back in match condition for the Week 7 test against Chievo.

Marco Amelia, signed from Genoa in the summer, remains on stand-by though should he be required.

AC Milan suffer Abbiati blow
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan could have to do without Christian Abbiati for up to a month after the goalkeeper was injured on Saturday.

The veteran custodian started and completed the 1-0 win at Parma, but picked up a suspected thigh strain.

Although tests are continuing on the former Juventus and Torino No 1, he is expected to be sidelined for between 20 and 30 days.

It’s a big blow for the Scudetto-chasing Rossoneri given the goalkeeper’s secure performances so far this term.

As a result, boss Massimiliano Allegri will now hand the gloves over to summer signing Marco Amelia.

The 2006 World Cup winner, on loan from Genoa, will thus appear in the forthcoming glamour ties against Napoli and Real Madrid.

Abbiati, if all goes well, could be back in action for the Milanese derby against Inter on November 14.

'Gattuso wasn't nasty towards Leo'
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has rejected claims that Rino Gattuso’s comments about Leonardo were nasty.

The veteran midfielder had said: “Who knows me knows that for me relationships are important and without them I find it hard work.

“There wasn’t a lot of feeling between Leonardo and I [last season].”

Gattuso was left out for much of the previous campaign and Galliani had to personally persuade him to stay at San Siro, offering him a new contract.

When asked to reflect on Gattuso’s statement, Galliani said: “I heard it, but it wasn’t nasty.

“He didn’t say anything against Leonardo.

“He simply said that he didn’t have a great feeling.”

Double injury woe for AC Milan
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There is a double injury woe for Milan, as Luca Antonini fractured his nose and Christian Abbiati suffered a thigh strain.

The Rossoneri earned a 1-0 win at Parma last night, but may well have paid a heavy price for those three points.

Antonini was stretchered off after accidentally being caught on the face by a flailing arm.

“The important thing was to get the points. My nose will be put back in place,” said the full-back.

“On Monday I’ll see a specialist and decide whether to undergo surgery. Right now at least we have the break for international duty to fully recover and work to improve.”

Abbiati finished the match without apparently picking up any physical problems, but the official Milan website confirmed today that he has suffered “a suspected right thigh strain.

“Tomorrow afternoon the goalkeeper will undergo tests with a specialist.”

The Rossoneri could have to rely on second choice shot-stopper Marco Amelia for a few weeks.

Gattuso: 'My bad rapport with Leonardo'
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso reveals he had a terrible rapport with Leonardo and was “already leaving for Greece” when Max Allegri changed his mind.

The Milan midfielder is finally finding his feet again after a poor campaign that was mainly spent on the bench.

“It takes a long time to get over a serious injury, but now the knee is responding well and I can train regularly,” explained ‘Ringhio.’

“Besides, human relationships are very important to me, so when those aren’t there... I am a lot more motivated than I was last year, as I had lost the will to play.

“I always respected Leonardo’s choices, but there just wasn’t a good rapport between us. He only saw things in black and white.”

Gattuso explained that the rumoured move to Olympiakos was at an extremely advanced stage before he pulled the plug.

“I was already leaving for Greece when Allegri stopped the transfer. It had all been finalised, but I understood that he needed me.”

Allegri likes leadership role
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri can see the victory at the Tardini being “important for the table and our self-esteem.”

Andrea Pirlo’s screamer from 32 metres secured a 1-0 win away to Parma after a game where numerous chances were wasted, putting them temporarily top of the table.

“It is very nice to see the table right now,” smiled the Coach on Sky Italia television.

“It was a wonderful goal, one of the best I’ve seen. Mind you, when I was a player, the ball was heavier...

“The team did very well, created a lot of scoring opportunities and held out firm when Parma came out of their shell.

“This Milan side has the potential to create a great many chances. We fell asleep a little bit after the break, even if we still could’ve scored more.”

Allegri has continually switched his tactics and personnel with a diamond midfield finding Clarence Seedorf a new role.

“It isn’t a definitive issue, it just depends on how I read each game. I think Ronaldinho did well, especially when we managed to go on a quick counter.

“The important thing was to win tonight, as it was crucial for the table and our self-esteem.”

There are still some disappointments, as Robinho was again wasteful.

“He worked very hard and played three games in a row. Don’t forget when he joined us, he was not in the best physical shape,” explained the Coach.

“Unfortunately now he’s going away again on international duty. At least we have Alexandre Pato back and Pippo Inzaghi, so everyone can give their contribution.”

Serie A: Parma 0:1 AC Milan - match report
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Pirlo 25 (M)

Andrea Pirlo's magnificent 30-metre screamer gave Milan a 1-0 victory in Parma, laying down the gauntlet to leaders Inter.

Ronaldinho returned to the starting XI after he was rested against Ajax midweek, joining Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho. There were reports Alexandre Pato would be thrown in at the deep end, but he only made his comeback from a thigh strain on the bench. Massimo Ambrosini and Daniele Bonera missed out, as did Parma's Sebastian Giovinco, Daniele Galloppa and Milan-owned striker Alberto Paloschi, so Hernan Crespo faced his former club. Angelo also replaced the not 100 per cent fit Francesco Valiani.

Ibra had a great record at the Tardini, having scored four goals in as many previous visits. The Swede threatened another, as within 90 seconds he had flashed an angled drive across the face of goal.

It was a fiery start with two bookings in the first seven minutes. Antonio Candreva's free kick wasn't far off, but Crespo was furious when he felt that he'd been fouled by Alessandro Nesta as he went for a diving header on Angelo's cross from the right, but seemed to misjudge the flight of the ball.

Ibra tested Antonio Mirante after a give-and-go with Clarence Seedorf, but it was a moment of magic that broke the deadlock.

Andrea Pirlo gathered a loose ball from all of 32 metres and unleashed a right-foot missile that arrowed its way into the top corner where Mirante simply could not reach, as it dipped mercilessly at the last second. It was a gem of a goal from the 31-year-old.

Ibrahimovic was about to make it 2-0 when he was sent through the middle by Ronaldinho's chipped pass over the defence, but Mirante used his body to charge it down from point-blank range. The move continued and Robinho's header was straight at the goalkeeper.

Ibra had a treble chance when he used his strength to shake off Massimo Paci on the counter, but all three shots were parried at point-blank range by a desperate Mirante, who kept getting to his feet.

Milan continued to create chances. Luca Antonini brilliantly trapped a Pirlo pass over the top and rolled across for Robinho, but Luca Antonelli performed a crucial interception.

Parma introduced Valiani, then lost Stefano Morrone to an injury. Robinho wasted a series of chances midweek against Ajax and horribly hacked wide with an effort that was somewhere between a shot and a pass for Ronaldinho.

Milan continued to dominate and Ronaldinho shook off Valiani before hitting a powerful strike that Mirante tipped out from under the crossbar.

The Ducali were making precious little impact, so Valeri Bojinov was thrown on for Angelo. When Antonini had been stretchered off after an accidental Bojinov elbow to the face, Crespo's header at least got on target, but was comfortably saved.

Ignazio Abate and Pato came on for the injured Antonini, moving Gianluca Zambrotta to left-back, and the disappointing Robinho. Marques went down in the area as soon as Abate went near him, but the referee had a perfect view and waved play on immediately.

Massimo Gobbi blasted well over, but Abbiati did have to get down to palm a Blerim Dzemaili daisy-cutter off the line from distance. After a sustained period of pressure, Crespo pounced on a loose ball, but Abbiati was quick to smother the ball at his feet.

Ronaldinho sprung the offside trap only to side-foot the ball across the face of goal and inches past the far post. Pato also tried to pass it into the net when Ibra was clear next to him.

Ibra combined with Pato in the box, but Paci dived in with a crucial challenge to take it off The Duck's foot.

Parma: Mirante; Zaccardo, Lucarelli, Paci, Antonelli; Morrone (Dzemaili 51), Gobbi; Angelo (Bojinov 66), Candreva (Valiani 46), Marques; Crespo

Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini (Abate 72); Gattuso (Boateng 76), Pirlo, Seedorf; Robinho (Pato 72), Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho

Ref: Orsato

Pirlo: 'I'd change for Ibrahimovic'
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Pirlo feels Zlatan Ibrahimovic is so important to Milan’s success that “for him I’ll change my own style of playing.”

The Swede has certainly had a huge impact on the side since his summer move from Barcelona, scoring a series of crucial goals.

“Ibra is really a great lad and settled in right away. Perhaps that wasn’t the case in other teams and that’s why he didn’t play so well,” Pirlo told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I think Zlatan is a decisive player and in time our overall football will improve. Milan have always adapted to players who come into the squad.

“It’s not a problem for me to change my own style of playing, as I can play diagonal passes, move quicker and send the ball towards goal rather than keep possession.

“Massimiliano Allegri often asks for the opinion of us ‘old’ folk, so in that he reminds me of Carlo Ancelotti, but has also brought in fresh ideas.”

Much has been said about the Rossoneri’s constantly changing system and how it will adapt to the presence of Ibra, Ronaldinho, Robinho and Clarence Seedorf.

“We have always played with three forwards, but as everyone says the essential thing is for the whole team to run and work hard,” continued Pirlo.

“Sometimes we midfielders can get angry because we run too much, but then we send a man clear in front of goal and it’s all good.”

The Italian also commented on the difficulties of 2010 for a Milanista.

“It hurt to see Inter in the Champions League Final rather than us, but at the end of the day I’m happy for them too.

“The World Cup was the biggest disappointment of my career. Now the presence of Cesare Prandelli on the Italy bench is exciting, but it’s difficult for me to think of another World Cup. After all, I’ll be 35 in 2014.”

Pato ready for Parma comeback
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato has returned to the Milan squad against Parma this evening and could make his comeback.

The Brazilian has been out of action since suffering a thigh problem during the 2-0 Champions League win over Auxerre on September 15.

Massimo Ambrosini also picked up an injury in that match and remains on the treatment table along with defender Daniele Bonera.

Ronaldinho should be back in the starting XI after he was rested for the midweek 1-1 draw at Ajax.

Once again, Massimo Oddo has been left out of the squad, but Marek Jankulovski is drafted in.

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

Allegri: I hope Ibrahimovic scores 100 goals
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri insists his side are not dependent on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but hopes he scores 100 goals.

Ibrahimovic has found the net five times already since joining Milan from Barcelona in the summer, leading some pundits to suggest that Allegri is dependent on him.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's clash with Parma, Allegri said: “Zlatan is a Milan player and his job is that of scoring goals.

“We are not dependent on him, but he is now fundamental. I hope he scores 100 goals, but I also expect some from the other strikers.

“We expect goals from Inzaghi, who has already scored against Catania, but also some from Robinho and Ronaldinho.

“Our central midfielders have had more than one chance to score. Thiago Silva is already off the market. Luckily there is also Ibra who guarantees you a certain number of goals, as well as strength and technique.

“It's clear that goals alone are not enough.”

Looking to underline the overall creativity of his side, Allegri said: “I am thinking about Ambrosini and Seedorf against Lecce, Seedorf again in Rome, Flamini against Genoa, Robinho and Boateng in Amsterdam.

“We are getting there. We need to be calm.”

When asked about Clarence Seedorf's criticism of Milan's long-ball tactic, Allegri said: “There isn't a problem with Clarence. He is and remains the leader of our dressing room.

“When the team is compact it's easy to go forward; you have seen that in Amsterdam, in a moment of difficulty after Ajax's goal.”

Looking ahead Milan's trip to Parma, Allegri said: “Marino has good attacking ideas. It's an important game. We need to give a spark to the table.

“Above all, what's important to me is the psychological aspect: winning guarantees you balance, strength, self-esteem and the confirmation of what you are doing.”

Marino prepares Parma for Ibrahimovic show
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma boss Pasquale Marino has drawn up a simple tactic to deal with Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic but admits that he'll be in trouble if it doesn't work.

The Gialloblu are looking to bounce back after last weekend's 2-0 defeat away to Fiorentina, but Marino isn't tense ahead of Milan's visit to the Tardini.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Marino was asked how he plans to beat Milan to which he replied: “I can be more precise after the game…

“The objective is to stop their quality players from playing without distorting ourselves. Parma must keep its identity.

“The tactic is simple: we need to ensure that Ibra doesn't get the ball. If not, I am in trouble! He is in a moment of sensational form.

“I watched him against Ajax. He runs and presses.

“We have forgotten the defeat in Florence. We must become more decisive in the final third.”

Finally Marino reflected on his decision to join Parma this summer.

“I am very happy here. I live in the city centre. I walk for hours. I go to see the Duomo and the Battistero and I eat like an animal.”

Iaquinta a fan of Ibrahimovic
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus’ Vincenzo Iaquinta has spoken of his admiration for Serie A rivals Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Fabrizio Miccoli.

“Ibrahimovic is the player who stimulates me the most,” the Italian international striker stated in an interview.

“He is 1m 90cm tall, but he moves like Pizarro who is just a metre and a half,” he added.

“I would also like to steal a few secrets from Miccoli, who impresses me with his class, for how much he has improved and the ease with which he shoots.”

Ibrahimovic and Miccoli both played for Juventus in their careers, now Iaquinta finds himself in black and white.

“I am a modern striker, I run a lot and I make myself useful for the team,” he noted. “Perhaps that is why Coaches seem to like me.”

Iaquinta has never really been a prolific striker, but he argues that he is playing in one of the toughest competitions around.

“It is always difficult to score in Italy,” he said. “The Coaches here are very prepared and the teams, especially the provincial ones, don’t give a lot away to opposing strikers.”

The former Udinese man did find the target last night with a rasping drive in Juve’s 1-1 Europa League draw at Manchester City.

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