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The Archive

October 2011

Boateng banned for two games
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Prince Boateng has been handed a two-game suspension for his off-pitch dismissal against Roma in Week 10.

Boateng was shown a red card immediately after being substituted during Milan's 3-2 win against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico after appearing to over-vocalise his frustration at the match officials when walking off the pitch.

Accordingly, the player has been found guilty of directing an insult at an assistant and been handed a two-game ban for his action.

Massimiliano Allegri, meanwhile, has been given just a warning and a €5,000 fine for his stoppage-time dismissal in the same game.

His sending off was adjudged to have been for 'flagrantly challenging a decision of the match official using a disrespectful expression'.

Walter Mazzarri receives the same punishment as Allegri for 'at the end of the game [between Catania and Napoli], turning to the fourth official and disputing the work of the referee in a disrespectful manner'.

Mario Santana of Napoli, Bostjan Cesar of Chievo, Cristian Chivu of Inter, Roberto Guana of Cesena, Antonio Nocerino of Milan, Simone Padoin of Atalanta and Daniele Portanova of Bologna have all received a one-match ban for accumulating yellow cards.

Elsewhere, three of the five Juventus players that were booked during the weekend's clash with Inter - Andrea Pirlo, Simone Pepe and Giorgio Chiellini - have been warned of their future conduct as each player's caution was his third of the season.

Similarly, after the weekend a number of other players have been warned of accumulating yellow cards.

These include Gianluca Comotto of Cesena, Djamel Mesbah and Massimo Oddo of Lecce, Cesare Natali of Fiorentina, Giampiero Pinzi of Udinese and Gaby Mudingayi of Bologna.

Matri sees AC Milan in pole position
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus may be top of the League, but Alessandro Matri has labelled Milan as favourites for the Italian championship.

Matri’s Juve maintained top spot in the Division at the weekend with a 2-1 victory at Internazionale. Milan are fourth, two points behind.

“Milan are the champions, they have great players and that is why they are still the favourites for the title,” the striker told Studio Sport.

“We just have to concentrate on finishing the campaign in the best position possible. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”

Juve are the only unbeaten side in the championship, but Matri has warned fans that they’ll face another big test next weekend.

“Things are going well and we want to continue on this path,” added the former Cagliari man. “But we have a very important game at Napoli coming up.

“The fact that Napoli are playing in Europe and we aren’t could be an advantage for us on a physical level, but there are certain games where motivation helps to get rid of fatigue.”

Matri has netted four goals in eight appearances so far as new boss Antonio Conte has used a variety of formations – 4-4-2, 4-1-4-1 and 4-3-3.

“The Coach is keeping us focused,” the international said. “We are working on various formations which allow us to change mid-game.

“We’re working hard to give our very best in training and in the matches themselves.”

AC Milan squad for BATE
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has picked 20 players for the BATE Borisov tie – including youth team forward Simone Andrea Ganz.

Ganz, son of former Milan and Inter striker Maurizio, has been included given Allegri’s lack of options in attack.

The Rossoneri tactician only has Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho available up front given the injury to Alexandre Pato, Antonio Cassano’s mystery illness and Pippo Inzaghi’s ineligibility to play in Europe.

Milan are also missing centre-back Philippe Mexes with a hand problem, as well as central midfielder Mark Van Bommel.

Squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma; Abate, Bonera, De Sciglio, Nesta, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes; Ambrosini, Aquilani, Boateng, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Seedorf; Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Ganz.

Cassano illness update from AC Milan
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have reassured anxious fans that Antonio Cassano is on the road to recovery after being struck by a mystery illness.

Cassano has been hospitalised after he started to feel unwell on the flight home to Milan after Saturday’s 3-2 win at former club Roma.

The Italian international is understood to have encountered speech problems on the plane, as well as difficulty in moving.

The 29-year-old has and will continue to undergo tests in a Milan clinic, but the Rossoneri are confident that the player is doing well.

“I spoke to Cassano five minutes ago and he was in a good mood,” Vice-President Adriano Galliani told Sky Sport Italia. “He seems calm.

“Cassano is strong and will certainly recover. The whole squad is supporting him.”

Galliani, though, refused to go into too much detail regarding what has actually happened to the former Sampdoria player.

“Every patient has a right to privacy and this is the case for Antonio too,” Galliani continued in the interview.

“There are doctors there and they are looking after him. I can’t give a diagnosis.

“I don’t know how long it will take for him to return. I’m not a medic, that is not my profession. He’s being looked after.”

Mexes needs hand surgery
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

New Milan defender Philippe Mexes will go under the knife to help heal a small fracture to his left hand.

The stopper picked up the injury on Thursday which ruled him out of a return to former club Roma on Saturday.

After tests, Milan have now opted to operate on the player in an effort to get him back into action as soon as possible.

Without surgery the centre-back would have been out for around 45 days, but it is hoped that he’ll now be available for the November 19 tie against Fiorentina.

Mexes, signed from Roma on a Bosman during the summer, had only just returned to action after recovering from knee ligament damage sustained last April.

Cassano 'needs further tests'
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There is some confusion over Antonio Cassano’s condition, as Milan confirm he “is not well yet and needs further tests,” while his agent is more reassuring.

It’s still not clear what happened when the 29-year-old was taken ill as the team arrived at Malpensa Airport from Rome after Saturday’s 3-2 win.

There are reports he had a fainting spell in which he struggled to speak or move effectively, so was kept in hospital overnight and will be in the Policlinico in Milan for at least another night.

“Cassano is still not well and we need to perform further tests,” confirmed Milan chief medic Rudi Tavana.

However, Cassano’s agent was more reassuring, even if he released further details of what exactly happened.

“Antonio has recovered all his normal functions,” Beppe Bozzo told Sky Sport Italia.

“Now he can speak normally and no longer has problems, not with his sight nor his balance.”

Clearly Cassano will not travel with the rest of the Milan squad for Tuesday’s Champions League trip to BATE Borisov.

This is the second strange injury to strike the Rossoneri, as Gennaro Gattuso could require surgery and an early retirement after suffering from Sixth Nerve Palsy, a condition that turns one eye outwards and causes double vision.

Second night in hospital for Cassano
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano is set to spend a second night in hospital as tests try to ascertain what caused his fainting spell.

Milan have only confirmed that the striker was “taken ill” as the team returned from Rome and landed at the Malpensa airport and is at the Policlinico hospital in Milan.

According to the latest reports, Cassano had a fainting spell in the airport, his vision was blurred and he had difficulty speaking.

The 29-year-old was kept overnight in the Neurology department of the clinic and will be there for at least one more night to undergo tests.

Clearly, Cassano will not fly out with the rest of the Milan squad for Tuesday’s Champions League trip to BATE Borisov.

Cassano in hospital after scare
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have confirmed Antonio Cassano is in hospital after he was taken ill on the flight back from Rome.

The striker came off the bench for a brief appearance in last night’s 3-2 win at the Stadio Olimpico.

“AC Milan announce that Antonio Cassano was taken ill as the plane reached the Malpensa airport from Rome,” read a statement.

“The player is being kept at the Policlinico in Milan for tests.”

It is not clear what happened to Cassano and the news only filtered through from Milan’s official statement.

It also remains to be seen whether he’ll be cleared fit to play in the Champions League on Tuesday against BATE Borisov.

Clarence Seedorf and Kevin-Prince Boateng are also battling injury and may well not feature.

Ibrahimovic: 'We could've won 5-1'
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic bagged a brace in Milan’s 3-2 win away to Roma, but insists “we could’ve won 5-1.”

The Swede netted with two headers around Alessandro Nesta’s goal at the Stadio Olimpico this evening.

“They are three crucial points, as we put in a great performance and could’ve won 5-1 with a little more luck,” said Ibra.

“Roma only really threatened at the end, because they were losing and desperate to get an equaliser. That’s only normal.

“Alberto Aquilani is doing very well and I’m happy for him. I dedicate my goals to the whole team, because we all want Milan to win and it was a very important victory for us.”

Awaiting the other results, above all Juventus away to Inter tonight, the Rossoneri are top of the table.

“Scudetto? We are only at the start.”

Allegri sends AC Milan message
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri believes Milan’s fourth consecutive victory is “a good response to everyone.”

The Rossoneri had a poor start to the season, but are temporarily top of the table after conquering Roma 3-2.

“Today the team gave a good response to everyone, as we didn’t really suffer very much, although Roma’s late goal kept the tie in the balance to the end,” said the Coach.

“Zlatan Ibrahimovic was fantastic today and the same goes for Christian Abbiati, who made a very important save. It’s just a shame we conceded on a corner and weren’t decisive enough on the second.

“The important thing was to win and the victory takes us closer to the top, but even more so this was our first head-to-head victory after two defeats against Napoli and Juventus.

“When we had to soak up pressure, we stayed united and I really liked that approach.”

Serie A: Roma 2:3 AC Milan - match report
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic 17, 78 (M), Burdisso 28 (R), Nesta 30 (M), Bojan 87 (R)

Alessandro Nesta and a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace gave Milan an impressive 3-2 victory at the Olimpico that adds to Roma's crisis.

The Rossoneri were back on form with six wins from their last seven games in all competition, including three Serie A victories on the bounce. They gave Robinho his first start of the season and Alberto Aquilani faced his former club, even though fellow ex-Romanisti Antonio Cassano (bench) and Philippe Mexes (injured) missed out. Clarence Seedorf, Alexandre Pato and Gennaro Gattuso were among the absentees. Patience was running thin at Roma after a midweek defeat to Genoa, so Luis Enrique reshuffled his side again, as Miralem Pjanic shook off a knock to replace the injured Francesco Totti.

The last three League editions of this fixture ended in draws. As expected, before the opening whistle Milan assistant manager Mauro Tassotti shook Luis Enrique's hand, apologising for having broken his nose during the 1994 World Cup.

Marco Cassetti blasted wide of the near post, while Fabio Borini's turn and strike was charged down for a corner.

Mark Van Bommel needed a crucial intervention to stop David Pizarro tapping in a deflected Pjanic cross totally unmarked.

A not dissimilar move occurred at the other end when Jose Angel cleared a dangerous low pass across the six-yard box.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic put Milan in front after 17 minutes by beating his former Ajax teammate Maarten Stekelenburg. The Swede rose in front of both Juan and Nicolas Burdisso for a powerful header at the near post from Aquilani's cross.

Roma fought back, as Christian Abbiati flapped at a Cassetti cross. Robinho saw Stekelenburg off his line from a Roma corner and tried to audaciously lob from midfield, but it was off target.

The Giallorossi equalised from a set play, which has always been a weakness for Milan's defence. The corner from the left found defender Burdisso, who used his strength to get in front of Gianluca Zambrotta and power home the header from nine yards.

The situation did not last long, as moments later Alessandro Nesta restored Milan's lead. It was another corner from Robinho and the former Lazio man was allowed a free header from eight yards against the team he faced so many times in the Rome derby. Nesta had never previously scored against Roma, while his last goal was in January 2010.

Abbiati needed two attempts to get a Pizarro snapshot under control, but Roma lost Fabio Borini to a muscular problem as he stretched to reach a Jose Angel assist, making way for Bojan Krkic before half-time. The young Spaniard drilled wide, then set up Cassetti only for his first touch to let him down.

Antonio Nocerino was booked and will be suspended for the next Milan game with Catania.

Bojan had a great chance after good work from Osvaldo through the middle, but Abbiati and Zambrotta combined to send him wide and Nesta dived in with a crucial clearance from a yard.

Abbiati flew to palm a screamer of a long-range Pjanic free kick round the far post. From that corner, Burdisso's diving header was fingertipped out from under the bar after a tussle with Kevin-Prince Boateng.

Ibrahimovic was furious with Aquilani when totally unmarked and the midfielder's cross went wayward. Boateng limped heavily when leaving the field for Urby Emanuelson, but strangely he was shown a red card as he got to the bench, perhaps for something he said to the fourth official.

Juan also had an injury, while substitute Erik Lamela's daisy-cutter was deflected wide. From the corner Osvaldo got his head to it from point-blank range, forcing a splendid save from Abbiati.

Aquilani hit a rocket from distance that skimmed the upright and substitute Cassano skipped past Burdisso with some fantastic footwork only to blast the finish well wide.

Milan extended their advantage after a period of pressure. Again it was a corner played short for Cassano, then Aquilani chipped it back into the middle for an Ibrahimovic twisting header. However, replays suggest the Swede was marginally offside.

Ibrahimovic attempted his hat-trick by volleying Cassano's cross over at the back post. Cassano created another on the counter that Nocerino only had to tap in from a couple of yards, but the midfielder incredibly ballooned off target.

It still wasn't over, as Lamela's angled drive was only palmed away by Abbiati into the path of Bojan Krkic to pull a goal back, making it 3-2.

Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri was sent off from the touchline for dissent, joining Boateng, in stoppages. There was panic in the Milan box, as crosses rained in and Abbiati flapped one off the head of Daniele De Rossi, another out of the six-yard box and eventually managed to smother at the near post.

Roma: Stekelenburg; Cassetti, Burdisso, Juan (Heinze 71), Jose Angel; Pizarro, De Rossi, Gago (Lamela 62); Borini (Bojan 38), Pjanic, Osvaldo

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Aquilani, Van Bommel, Nocerino (Ambrosini 88); Boateng (Emanuelson 65); Ibrahimovic, Robinho (Cassano 73)

Ref: Damato

Sent off: Boateng 65 (from the bench)

Serie A: Roma vs. AC Milan - lineups
29.10 || webmaster

ROMA: Stekelenburg, Cassetti, Burdisso, Heize, José Angel, Perrotta, De Rossi, Gago, Pjanic,Osvaldo, Borini.

AC MILAN: Abbiati, Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Aquilani, Van Bommel, Nocerino, Boateng, Ibrahimovic, Robinho.

Roma unveil squad for AC Milan
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luis Enrique has left out Rodrigo Taddei, Simon Kjaer, Fabio Simplicio, Francesco Totti and Aleandro Rosi against Milan.

As always, the Roma Coach only announces his squad on the same morning as the game.

Totti, Kjaer and Bogdan Lobont are out with muscular problems, while Taddei, Simplicio, Cicinho and Rosi were left at home.

Miralem Pjanic has been included despite fitness concerns and could even start.

Roma squad: Bojan, Borini, Borriello, Burdisso, Cassetti, Curci, De Rossi, Gago, Greco, Juan, Heinze, Lamela, Osvaldo, Perrotta, Pjanic, Pizarro, Stekelenburg, Valdes

Udinese react to Inzaghi rumour
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Udinese have cooled suggestions that they could make a bid for Milan veteran Pippo Inzaghi.

“I’ve read that story too, but it is just fantasy football for now,” Udinese President Franco Soldati told TMW on Friday.

“He’s a footballer who doesn’t really come close to our footballing philosophy when it comes to buying players.

“It would be an extremely difficult move to pull off even if he’s a player who I admire very much,” added the Friuli chief.

“We are a small club from the provinces and we can’t take strides that are bigger than our steps. We have to work with total balance.”

The former Italian international, now 38, is contracted to the San Siro giants until June 2012. He’s also been paired with a move to former club Parma.

Udinese’s transfer policy revolves around unearthing stars of the future before selling them on for significant fees.

Nocerino: Why did Palermo sell me?
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Antonio Nocerino has told the Corriere dello Sport that he doesn’t understand why Palermo opted to get rid of him.

The midfielder was sold on transfer deadline day to Milan for just €500,000 given that he was in the final year of his contract.

“I’m still not sure why Palermo allowed my contract to run down into its last 12 months,” the Italian international noted.

“I wasn’t at an age or had significant enough wages which would have forced Palermo to sell me in that way.

“I don’t know if there was someone there who didn’t believe in me. I was disappointed at the start as I left behind some good friends.”

Nocerino, who scored a hat-trick against Parma on Wednesday, added: “You’ll have to ask President Maurizio Zamparini about the decision.

“I was expecting to sign an extension to my contract and I was ready to. It looks like it was my fault that I left, that I wanted more money or that I wasn’t happy. All of that is not true.”

Despite being surprised by his move, the former Juventus player maintains that he’s now happy at Milanello.

“Things are going incredibly well,” he added. “I’ve been here for two months, but it seems as if I’ve been here for three or four years…”

Enrique excited by AC Milan test
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luis Enrique is looking forward to seeing how his Roma side perform against champions Milan on Saturday.

The two teams meet at the Stadio Olimpico tomorrow in what will be a tough test for the Spaniard’s Giallorossi.

“I’m curious to see how my boys will do,” the former Barcelona B tactician noted on Friday afternoon. “The aim is to play our brand of football like it always is.

“Milan have started the season a little differently to the last campaign as they haven’t been as consistent as they were.

“Saying that though they are now going through a good spell.”

The Rossoneri have won their last three Serie A ties which has re-launched their bid to retain the championship.

“Milan are going for the Scudetto and it’ll be a good test for us,” continued the ex-midfielder.

“I’m happy with what my side is doing and we want to play well against the Rossoneri. We’ll now have to see if we can do that.”

The tactician, who noted that Miralem Pjanic is available again, also responded to Vincenzo Montella’s outburst yesterday that he would have been sacked by Roma had he picked up Enrique’s results.

“I have nothing against any Coach,” he responded. “All of us depend on the League table, even if I don’t look at it.

“It has always been like that and it always will be.

“Am I privileged? Of course, I do a job that I love and I’m the boss of Roma. I’m not worried about my future.”

AC Milan boss rates new Roma
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri believes that Roma, who they’ll play on Saturday, have a chance of winning the title this season.

Roma are five points away from leaders Juventus after eight games, but Allegri believes in the project being undertaken in the capital.

“Roma-Milan is a game that is part of the fight for the Scudetto,” the former Cagliari tactician noted on Friday.

“It is a game between two teams who will be battling for the title. You have to consider the game in this way.

“Roma are playing some really good football and they didn’t deserve to lose at Genoa on Wednesday. It’s a young team, one of quality and Luis Enrique has a good idea about how to play football.”

Milan, though, are a side in form given that their recent run of wins has seen them close to within two points of the Old Lady.

“There are just two games to go before the international break and we both have to remain attached to the top part of the table,” Allegri continued.

“It’ll be hard to play against Roma and we’ll have to put in a great performance on a technical and dynamic level.

“There are three points on offer and we have to take home a positive result after three straight wins. We want to get to the mini-break in the best condition possible.”

Turning to team issues, Allegri admitted that he has decisions to make, while Philippe Mexes has been left out of the squad.

“Nesta will return in defence, but I have doubts. One is at left-back between Taye Taiwo and Gianluca Zambrotta, the other is in attack between Robinho and Antonio Cassano.

“Cassano is having the best season of his entire career. He just needs to continue working with tranquillity.

“In midfield, Mark Van Bommel could come into the side instead of Massimo Ambrosini.

“Mexes picked up a knock to his hand in training yesterday and suffered a micro-fracture. He’ll have to rest for a bit.”

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma, Abate, Bonera, Nesta, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes, Ambrosini, Aquilani, Boateng, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Van Bommel, Cassano, El Shaarawy, Ibrahimovic, Robinho.

Luis Enrique - Tassotti to make peace
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma boss Luis Enrique is ready to accept an apology from Milan’s Mauro Tassotti – 17 years after the Italian broke his nose.

Tassotti, now an assistant to Rossoneri boss Massimiliano Allegri, clashed with Luis Enrique during the 1994 World Cup quarter-final when Italy beat Spain.

The then defender elbowed the former midfielder in the face and was subsequently given an eight-match ban by FIFA.

“Seventeen years have passed and that means that we are, unfortunately, 17 years older,” Enrique said ahead of the Roma-Milan game on Saturday.

“I have no problems with Tassotti. What happened on the pitch back then ended on the pitch,” he continued.

“I know what kind of man Tassotti is, he played with Frank Rijkaard who then went on to boss me.

“I know that he is sorry for what he did and I’ll shake his hand.”

Tassotti himself has admitted that he’s been wanting to apologise in person to Enrique for some time, but would understand if he wasn’t forgiven.

“I tried to clear things up with him that time in Washington when we played Barcelona in a friendly, but he was upset at the end of the game and so I couldn’t,” Tassotti told the Corriere della Sera.

“I understand him and it is his right to not accept my apology. After all, I was the one who was in the wrong…

“If I get the chance to meet him at the Stadio Olimpico then I’ll happily try to make peace by saying sorry.”

Cafu: Barceloa right to be on T. Silva trail
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian legend Marcos Cafu says it’s only natural for Barcelona to be tracking Milan centre-back Thiago Silva.

The latter has been linked with the Nou Camp outfit for over a year and they are still monitoring his situation at San Siro.

“It’s not wrong for Barcelona to be thinking of Thiago Silva,” Cafu, formerly of Roma and Milan, told Mundo Deportivo.

“He’s a great player.

“I respect Carlos Puyol, who has had a wonderful career with the club, but Barcelona’s defence would be sorted out for years to come with Pique and Thiago Silva.

“The latter can also play in midfield, as he has done at Milan with Massimiliano Allegri,” continued the World Cup winner.

“We are talking about a player who has it all – aerial ability, technical skill, speed and power. However, Milan won’t want to let him go…”

The centre-back, who joined the Diavolo from Fluminense in January 2009, signed a new contract with the club until June 2016 last May.

Mexes expects Roma whistles
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Philippe Mexes is preparing himself to be jeered by the Roma fans when Milan arrive at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

The Frenchman joined the Rossoneri on a Bosman in the summer and he will face his former club for the first time tomorrow night.

“I was whistled even when I wore their colours, but I’m not bitter,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday.

“That’s just one of the passionate ways to live football.

“Let’s say that I expect to be jeered, but I do hope that they are then transformed into applause.”

The Frenchman, 29, joined the Giallorossi in 2004 after seven years in his homeland with Auxerre.

“I don’t consider my Roma exit as a divorce,” he added. “I spent seven wonderful years there. At a certain point the club’s management changed and my renewal was no longer a topic for discussion.”

Mexes is now back in action after recovering from a knee ligament problem that kept him out for six months.

“I still need a bit more training to return to my best,” he added. “I think that I’ll be ready for 90 minutes in about two or three weeks.”

Legrottaglie backs champions AC Milan
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will end this campaign as Italian champions for the second season running, claims Nicola Legrottaglie.

After a problematic beginning to the term, the Rossoneri are now just two points behind leaders Juventus.

“I was only at Milan for a few months, but I know what potential that squad has,” the Catania defender, who joined the San Siro giants in January from Juventus, noted.

“Milan are, without a doubt, the strongest side in the Italian championship,” the former Italian international continued.

“I’m sure that they will win the Scudetto again.”

The Rossoneri have won four of their last five Serie A game and they’ll face Roma in the capital on Saturday.

AC Milan close January window
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vice-President Adriano Galliani says that Milan will, in all probability, ignore the January transfer window.

The Rossoneri have been paired with a January bid for Riccardo Montolivo of Fiorentina, but Galliani has rejected that idea.

“Montolivo? I don’t believe we will conduct any business during January, no buying or selling,” Galliani commented.

“Last year we only made the additions that we did because of the number of injuries that we had sustained.

“This season though, once the likes of Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso and Mathieu Flamini have recovered, we’ll be fine in midfield.”

Gattuso is currently sidelined with vision problems caused by a paralysis of a cranial nerve.

“We want him to get back to playing football again,” continued the Milan official. “The doctors say that the problem can spontaneously resolve itself between two and six months.

“I’m hoping that in the next few weeks Rino will ring me up and tell me that his eye is fine again.

“He’s training so he would therefore be available relatively quickly once his eye problem is sorted out.”

AC Milan see Roma as title rivals
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan chief Adriano Galliani has labelled Roma as candidates to win the Italian Championship this season.

Although the Giallorossi are only at the very start of a fresh era under new owners and management, Galliani respects them ahead of Saturday’s clash in the capital.

“It’ll be a very difficult game,” the Vice-President noted. “It’ll also be a match between two sides who have Scudetto aspirations.”

Roma are eighth in the standings, while Milan are back in the title race after winning their last three encounters.

“We knew that if we could go on a run of victories then we could go from the bottom half of the table to the top positions.

“The championship race is now wide open again.”

Milan are joint fourth with Napoli, only two points behind leaders Juventus.

Bonera at AC Milan's total disposal
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Daniele Bonera says he’s ready to play in any position for Milan even if he insists he prefers a centre-back role.

The Italian international can be fielded across the entire backline, but he was used alongside Thiago Silva against Parma on Wednesday to cover for the absent Alessandro Nesta.

“I feel at home in the middle of the defence,” the former Brescia man told the club’s official website.

“Saying that, I’ve told the Coach that I’ll play wherever he wants to use me. The most important thing is that the side scores goals and doesn’t concede them.”

The champions are getting back on track after a problematic start to the season. Their third win in a row now means they are just two points shy of leaders Juventus.

“I think that the League table is starting to show our true worth,” continued Bonera after the 4-1 victory.

“We made a few mistakes earlier this season, but it is clear that we were not the side who lost to Juve in Turin.

“But now we have to recuperate for this weekend because it won’t be easy to go and face Roma in the capital.”

Roma will go into the tie having lost 2-1 at Genoa on Wednesday, despite the fact that they dominated the game.

Galliani: How I signed Nocerino
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have admitted that they were ‘lucky’ to sign unlikely hat-trick hero Antonio Nocerino over the summer.

Nocerino grabbed three against Parma in Wednesday’s 4-1 win, just a matter of months after his switch from Palermo.

“Nocerino was a lucky swoop,” Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani told the Corriere dello Sport. “If you decide to go on holiday then you can’t take advantage of certain situations.

“When I was informed that Palermo were ready to sell Nocerino I made them an offer, one that was considered as too low.

“I didn’t give up though and the situation was eventually unblocked.”

The Italian international joined the San Siro giants on transfer deadline day for just €500,000. His fee was so low because he was in the last year of his contract at the Stadio Barbera.

Allegri delays contract talks
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri says he’s ready to wait until the end of the season before putting pen to paper on a new Milan contract.

The tactician has began talks with the club over an extension to his agreement that is set to expire in June 2012.

However, the former Cagliari Coach, who won the Scudetto in his first season with Milan, is ready to postpone talks.

“I would prefer to wait until June and then we’ll see what happens,” the former Pescara midfielder stated.

“I have already spoken to Vice-President Adriano Galliani and I have decided that I won’t talk to him about my situation again until June.”

It’s understood that terms have basically been agreed between the two parties which will see his salary rise from €1.5m to €2m a season.

Nocerino stunned by hat-trick
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino is struggling to comprehend that he scored a hat-trick for Milan on Wednesday night.

The summer signing from Palermo, who is known more for his tackling than shooting, grabbed three in a 4-1 win over Parma.

“To be honest, I still don’t really know what has happened,” the Italian international told the Corriere dello Sport.

“I’d previously only scored three goals across an entire campaign…”

Nocerino was a transfer deadline day capture and, after last night’s heroics, is actually his side’s top scorer in the League with four goals.

“It’s not even worth talking about that statistic,” the ex-Juventus man noted. “Our forward players will get a lot of goals that will take us to the top of the table.

“That is our objective, one that we can hopefully achieve before the international break in November.”

Nocerino followed in the footsteps of Kevin Prince Boateng after the latter scored a treble in the 4-3 win at Lecce on Sunday.

Milan are now just two points behind leaders Juventus.

Allegri still not happy with AC Milan
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri was still not happy with Milan’s performance after crushing Parma 4-1 for a third consecutive victory.

“We had a decent game, but could’ve done better in certain moments,” moaned the Coach.

“It was important to win and give a sense of consistency to our recent results, especially as the table is beginning to stretch out and so it was crucial to stay close to the top.

“When you play every three days it is natural to feel a little tired. We were sluggish in the first half, then picked up after breaking the deadlock.

“When the lads play the way they know how, it’s difficult not to create scoring opportunities. However, we still allow our opponents too many shots from distance.”

Antonio Nocerino was the unexpected hat-trick hero, having previously scored only seven goals in his entire Serie A career.

“He is doing well and we’re all happy for him,” continued Allegri. “Nocerino is playing in his role and giving his best. It may seem strange, but changing position affects everything, from runs into the box to reference points and even posture.”

The Milan Coach won the Scudetto last season, but has still not signed a contract extension.

“I have spoken to the club and we agree on everything. There’s no rush, as the important thing is to reach the top of the table, then we can talk it over during the winter break.”

PSG consider Montolivo bid
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paris Saint-Germain are pondering a January bid for Fiorentina ace Riccardo Montolivo, according to reports.

The 26-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and PSG are hoping to add him to their squad for the second half of this campaign.

Fiorentina had previously claimed that the midfielder, who has refused to sign an extension, would remain until June 2012.

However, it is being suggested that the French giants could tempt the Viola into a sale by offering a fee for a player who will be available on a free next summer.

Montolivo, an Italian international, is still being monitored by Italian giants Milan who were interested in netting him last summer.

Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg are also said to be considering a New Year bid for the Atalanta youth product.

Napoli or AC Milan for Zola
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The 2011-12 Scudetto will be a battle between Napoli and Milan, says Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola.

Although both clubs have stuttered at times in the League this season, the Italian believes they’ll rise to the top.

“I think the title could be between Napoli and Milan,” the former Azzurri player told the Corriere dello Sport.

“It’ll be a clash between a club who are insisting with their project and a club who are used to winning, a team who have a squad to be respected and a Coach who has been able to immediately settle.

“Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri, meanwhile, is proposing something new and interesting. They finished third last season and are doing well in the Champions League, he has a richer squad now.”

Zola added that he likes the look of a few other top-flight sides, but believes they don’t have enough to challenge until the very end.

“I’m intrigued by Roma,” he added. “The arrival of Franco Baldini, one of the most knowledgeable when it comes to international football, is a guarantee.

“I wouldn’t ignore Lazio either. Inter have quality players, but they are a bit behind in the standings.”

The former Parma fantasista and ex-West Ham boss was also inevitably asked for his thoughts on the new Juventus.

“They are in a phase of construction,” he continued. “But I’m attracted by the decision to hire Antonio Conte.

“He has very clear ideas. But let us give him some time to give an identity to this side. Everyone is, sadly, always in a rush in Italy.

“You need a good dose of patience in football.”

Serie A: AC Milan 4:1 Parma - match report
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino was the unexpected hat-trick hero as Milan notched up a third consecutive Serie A victory against Parma.

The Rossoneri hoped to continue their strong run of form to climb back up the table. They stunned everyone on Sunday when trailing Lecce 3-0 at the break only to win 4-3. Thiago Silva returned, but Alessandro Nesta dropped out with Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso, Alexandre Pato and Mathieu Flamini. Parma were smarting from a shock home defeat to Atalanta, a game they had largely dominated. Sergio Floccari and Manuele Blasi missed out.

Taye Taiwo flashed an angled drive across the face of goal and Zlatan Ibrahimovic threatened with a fierce strike from a good 30 metres away that whistled wide of the near post.

Parma were dangerous from a corner on 28 minutes, as Cristian Zaccardo nodded it back across the face of goal, striking Christian Abbiati's knee to prevent the Jaime Valdes tap-in.

Antonio Nocerino broke the deadlock at San Siro. Ibra trapped a long ball and pulled it across the box for Nocerino, whose first touch was deflected, but the ex-Palermo midfielder was quickest to react and prodded in the loose ball.

Incredibly, Nocerino got another 120 seconds later! It was a sensational strike, as he chested down and volleyed a fierce left-foot finish into the near top corner from the edge of the box.

Valdes had a chance for Parma, but skimmed the bar with his sudden snapshot. Antonio Mirante was at full stretch to palm an Alberto Aquilani screamer off the line.

Ibrahimovic sprung the offside trap and drew Mirante out wide, but when skipping round the goalkeeper his shot was charged down by Gabriel Paletta.

Cassano should've scored when Ibra knocked back an Ignazio Abate assist, but FantAntonio tried to dribble past two defenders and eventually fired over under pressure.

Ibrahimovic made it 3-0 moments later. Cassano flicked on a long ball for the Swede, who shrugged off Rolf Feltscher to go clear in the box and pass it across the on-rushing goalkeeper.

Parma did get one back with their star player Sebastian Giovinco. Jonathan Biabiany's cross found him at the back post, where he nutmegged Abbiati to put the Ducali on the scoresheet.

Nocerino was the most unexpected hat-trick hero in the Milan squad, as he had only ever scored seven in his entire Serie A career up to date. In stoppages Cassano chipped a cross to the back post for Nocerino's cushioned header.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate (Mexes 79), Bonera, Thiago Silva, Taiwo; Aquilani (Emanuelson 73), Ambrosini, Nocerino; Boateng; Ibrahimovic (Robinho 74), Cassano

Parma: Mirante; Zaccardo, Paletta, Feltscher, Gobbi; Valiani (Biabiany 55), Morrone, Nwankwo (Jadid 61), Modesto (Pelle' 73); Giovinco; Valdes

Ref: Russo

Colomba: 'Parma can test AC Milan'
25.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Franco Colomba is eager for Parma to put the Atalanta defeat behind them, as “we’re not beaten before we start against Milan.”

The Ducali went from heroes to zeroes, as in the space of eight days they beat Napoli at the San Paolo and lost at the Tardini to Atalanta.

“Getting back on to the field three days after that defeat is better than sitting here going over it in our minds,” said the Coach.

“It can happen to win without deserving it, so you can lose against the run of play too. Now we go to face Milan, the reigning champions of Italy and an extraordinary collective who, as we saw in Lecce, when firing on all cylinders leave no chance for anyone.”

The Rossoneri were losing 3-0 at half-time in Lecce, but fought back to win 4-3 with a Kevin-Prince Boateng hat-trick.

“Having said all that, we are not beaten before we even begin against Milan. Our effort must always be optimal, whether facing Milan, Napoli or Atalanta, so it shouldn’t make a difference. There are points up for grabs, even at San Siro.

“They’re not worth double the way points might against another relegation candidate, but are still important. We will try to repeat our good recent performances.”

Sergio Floccari is out of action, while Jonathan Biabiany is struggling with an ankle injury.

“What is the secret to beating Milan? Repeat Sunday’s performance against Atalanta, but without making mistakes.”

Thiago Silva in, Nesta out
25.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva returns to the Milan squad for tomorrow’s meeting with Parma, though Clarence Seedorf and Alessandro Nesta are out.

The Rossoneri hope to continue their climb back up the table when welcoming the Ducali to San Siro.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri can count on Thiago Silva after he missed the last two games with a muscular injury.

However, fellow centre-back Nesta has been left at home along with Seedorf.

Other absentees are Gennaro Gattuso, Alexandre Pato, Mathieu Flamini and Marco Amelia.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Roma, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Mexes, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes, Ambrosini, Aquilani, Boateng, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Van Bommel, Cassano, El-Shaarawy, Ibrahimovic, Robinho

AC Milan want revival to continue
25.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has set his Milan side an immediate task. “I want us to be favourites for the Scudetto again.”

The reigning champions were widely tipped to dominate Serie A this season, but they won just one of their first five games.

Nevertheless, the Rossoneri seem to be getting back on the right track after consecutive wins against Palermo and Lecce.

“The League table will start to break up over the next two rounds,” the Italian tactician noted on Tuesday afternoon.

“We have to be in an excellent League position before the November break and we need to wrap up Champions League qualification as soon as possible.

“The championship is very balanced. I thought that we could catch up with the teams in front and we just have to continue on this road.

“We have an important objective and that is to return to being favourites for the title.”

The San Siro giants won 4-3 on Sunday at Lecce, but only after they went in at half-time 3-0 down.

“At the interval I just told the boys that they had to put the first half to one side and that they had 50 minutes to play at 1,000mph and to play like Milan.

“We showed great character and it was a sign of our strength, but let’s hope that was just a blip. It’s obvious that we have to concede less goals, but the important thing was to win the game.”

Parma are their next opponents when the Stadio Tardini outfit arrive to take on Milan tomorrow night.

“Parma didn’t deserve to lose on Sunday against Atalanta,” the tactician added.

“They played well at Napoli too, whereas their only bad match was at Juventus. They have a lot of quality and they never stop running. It’ll be a difficult game.

“My line-up? Thiago Silva should make it, but we’ll have to see about Alessandro Nesta. Robinho or Antonio Cassano will play in attack, while I will probably rest Mark Van Bommel.”

Gattuso refuses to quit
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan warrior Gennaro Gattuso says he won’t retire despite the fact that he’s still suffering from double vision.

The 2006 World Cup winner, 33, hasn’t played since the opening league game of the season after it was revealed that he’s struggling with a paralysis of the seventh cranial nerve.

“There was a time when I thought the worst, but I want to get back to playing football,” he said during a Press conference on Monday.

“It’ll take more than this to beat me. The important thing is to not give up. I can train, but I can’t play because I have double vision.

“After 50 days out, I’ll need to wait another four months before an operation can take place to resolve everything.

“About 25 days ago there was the risk that I could be forced to retire. The first thing that Vice-President Adriano Galliani said to me was to not worry because the club could use me in other ways.”

There was speculation that Gattuso damaged his eye in an accidental clash with Alessandro Nesta during the 2-2 draw with Lazio.

“I was advised not to play as something had already occurred four days earlier, but I wanted to and I stepped out on to the pitch with vision problems,” Gattuso added.

“I didn’t see Sandro at all. I looked drunk for the first 20 minutes of that game, they were horrible. I saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic in four different positions…”

Milan have turned to top doctors in Italy and America to help Gattuso, but it’s going to take some time before we can see Gattuso back in action.

“At this time I’m not thinking about football, but about daily life,” the former Rangers man noted. “It’s horrible to not be able to drive because you see double.

“The important thing is to get back to normal life and to come out of this stronger than ever.”

Taiwo rejected Real Madrid option
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Taye Taiwo claims he rejected an approach from Real Madrid over the summer in order to sign for Milan.

The Nigerian put pen to paper on a Rossoneri deal after his contract with French outfit Marseille expired.

“I chose Milan because to play in Italy was always a dream of mine,” the left-back, 26, revealed.

“Real Madrid also tried to sign me, but I am sure that I made the right decision in saying yes to Milan,” he added.

“It’s great to be here surrounded by so many champions and I want to stay for some years to come.”

Taiwo has had his problems settling in, but he’s sure that he and his club can have a successful season.

“Football is more physical in France,” said the player who spent six years with his previous Ligue 1 outfit. “In Italy, things are more tactical and I need to improve my movement off the ball.

“As for Milan, I think that we can win both the Italian championship and the Champions League.”

Milan beat Lecce 4-3 on Sunday to move on to 11 points in Serie A – four behind current leaders Udinese.

Lecce in shock
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lecce Coach Eusebio Di Francesco and captain Guillermo Giacomazzi can’t quite believe they fumbled a 3-0 lead to lose against Milan.

“It’s difficult to talk about a game like this, despite the fact Milan are a great side,” said the tactician.

“I didn’t expect a second half performance like that, as I hoped we’d continue to be aggressive and battling.

“We allowed too much and were disastrous, especially from set plays.”

Lecce were 3-0 up at half-time and appeared to have the win in hand, but incredibly fell 4-3 to a Kevin-Prince Boateng hat-trick in 14 minutes and Mario Yepes header.

“In the second half we didn’t have the same grit as the first and felt the sting of Boateng getting such an early goal,” explained Giacomazzi.

“We did not underestimate Milan, it’s just that they changed their approach with Boateng knowing how to open up space to strike.

“We made many mistakes and against the Rossoneri you will pay for them.”

Allegri: 'Substitutions changed the game'
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri says it was “an important victory” as Milan showed immense character to fight back from 3-0 down in Lecce.

“We got a bit chaotic on the first goal, then the penalty and an unlucky third made life very difficult for us,” said the Coach of their 4-3 thriller.

“When looking at the footage at normal speed, it did seem like a penalty, but the replays show there was no contact. Still, referees can get things wrong, as that is football.

“The fact remains we were too stretched out and couldn’t do anything in the first half, partly because Lecce worked harder and constantly doubled up on us.

“We scored straight after the restart and rode the wings of enthusiasm to put the game back on track.”

Kevin-Prince Boateng came off the bench and scored a hat-trick in the space of 14 minutes, then Mario Yepes nodded in a late winner.

“It is an important victory in a difficult arena, even if we conceded too much in defence. The substitutions were the only way to change the game,” assured Allegri.

“I knew this squad had the potential to do it. After the break, with Lecce losing intensity, Milan put in a great performance.”

Serie A: Lecce 3:4 AC Milan - highlights
23.10 || webmaster

Serie A: Lecce 3:4 AC Milan - match report
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Giacomazzi 4 (L), Oddo pen 30 (L), Grossmuller 37 (L), Boateng 49, 55, 63 (M), Yepes 83 (M)

Milan performed an astounding comeback from 3-0 down at half-time to beating Lecce 4-3 with Kevin-Prince Boateng's hat-trick!

The Rossoneri's injury crisis is abating and with it the results begin to roll back in. In the last week they beat Palermo 3-0 and BATE Borisov 2-0, so confidence was returning, though Alexandre Pato, Gennaro Gattuso, Thiago Silva, Clarence Seedorf and Mathieu Flamini were sidelined. Kevin-Prince Boateng and Alberto Aquilani were only fit for the bench. Lecce also had absentees, including Julio Sergio, David Di Michele, Stefano Ferrario and Souleymane Diamoutene, but could count on ex-Milan men Massimo Oddo and Rodney Strasser.

The Salentini had lost all three of their home games this season, scoring one goal and conceding six. However, Milan's last win at the Via del Mare was in 2001.

There was a minute's silence and appluse before this and all Sunday's games for the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli in the Malaysian MotoGP this morning. Milan also wore black armbands, as 'Sic' was a huge Rossoneri fan.

It took just four minutes for Lecce to take a shock lead. A fierce Carlos Grossmuller free kick from the outside left edge of the box was whipped into the six-yard box, where Guillermo Giacomazzi got in front of Mario Yepes for a glancing header.

Milan seemed shell-shocked, as moments later Yepes and Christian Abbiati fumbled with a backpass that almost let Daniele Corvia in.

Lecce were clearly more aggressive, much faster and always first to the ball. After a series of crosses were charged down, Christian Obodo stung Abbiati's palms at the near post with a rising strike.

From the corner Grossmuller lopped a pass back into the six-yard box for Corvia's spectacular volley over the bar, though he was offside anyway.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a great chance to equalise on 15 minutes when Robinho placed in the low cross from the left, but Mesbah performed a crucial block at the Swede's feet as he pulled the trigger.

Robinho's cross-shot was cleared practically off the line by Nenad Tomovic before it could reach a totally unmarked Antonio Cassano. At the other end, Cuadrado's screamer flew wide. There did not seem to be a deflection, but a corner was awarded.

From that corner, the referee pointed to the spot, as Abbiati fumbled the ball and bumped into Corvia as he went to recapture it. Replays are inconclusive, as Corvia appeared to be slipping over before there was any contact at all. Ex-Milan full-back Oddo stepped up and converted into the near top corner.

Antonio Nocerino's lob was fingertipped out from under the bar by an acrobatic Benassi.

However, Milan conceded a third following more chaotic defending. Mark Van Bommel gave away the ball in midfield and Luca Antonini redirected a Giacomazzi through ball, meaning Grossmuller was kept onside to slot calmly past Abbiati in a one-on-one.

Massimo Ambrosini's header was off target, but the Rossoneri were totally ineffective in attack and left huge gaps at the back.

Boateng and Aquilani replaced Robinho and Ambrosini at half-time and within 15 seconds the Ghanaian had thumped a half-volley from midfield that Benassi palmed out from under the bar.

Boateng's daisy-cutter of an angled drive was deflected just past the far post, then the corner was put back into the box by Aquilani for Boateng, who smacked a left-foot missile under the bar from eight yards. Milan were back in it with their substitute.

They looked like a completely different team and Boateng pulled another back six minutes later! He received on the edge of the box from Cassano and smashed a remarkable shot with the outside of his right foot that swerved into the near top corner, leaving Lecce stunned.

Boateng totally transformed the match and completed his hat-trick to make it 3-3! Cassano's free kick set up Ignazio Abate and the shot was deflected into the path of Boateng, who did not hesitate to spin round and thump the loose ball in at the near post. Benassi got a hand to it, but not enough to keep the ball out.

Ibra's shot was charged down in the box, as Lecce appeared just as shell-shocked as Milan were in the first half. Nocerino's screamer skimmed the crossbar with the aid of a deflection.

Aquilani's through ball found Cassano, who aimed a delicate angled pass towards Ibra at the back post, but at full stretch he just couldn't get a toe to it.

Milan overturned the game completely with eight minutes left on the clock. A set play was not dealt with and Cassano chipped his pass to the back post for Yepes' cushioned header. They went from 3-0 down to 4-3 up in 34 minutes!

Lecce: Benassi; Oddo, Tomovic, Esposito, Mesbah; Obodo, Strasser, Giacomazzi; Cuadrado (Ofere 81), Grossmuller (Bertolacci 59); Corvia (Giandonato 72)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Yepes, Nesta, Antonini; Ambrosini (Aquilani 46), Nocerino, Van Bommel; Robinho (Boateng 46); Cassano (El Shaarawy 89), Ibrahimovic

Ref: Peruzzo

Serie A: Lecce vs. AC Milan - lineups
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lecce: Benassi; Oddo, Tomovic, Esposito, Mesbah; Obodo, Strasser, Giacomazzi; Cuadrado, Grossmuller, Corvia

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Yepes, Nesta, Antonini; Ambrosini, Nocerino, Van Bommel; Robinho; Cassano, Ibrahimovic

Di Francesco ready for AC Milan
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Eusebio Di Francesco tells Lecce they can maintain their taboo status for Milan “if we work twice as hard as them.”

The Rossoneri have not conquered the Stadio Via del Mare since Jose Mari’s only goal in January 2002.

“Milan are a great side and it will be difficult to deal with the push from their full-backs and runs from midfield,” said the Coach.

“As for us, we have to play very tight and limit Milan’s capability when in possession. During the week we have worked on details, which can make the difference in a game like this.

“In order to do well against Milan, we’ve got to bring out something more from ourselves in terms of physicality, determination and tempo. Basically, we need to work twice as hard as them.

“The draw away to Genoa was an improvement and showed we’re on the right track, but we can still do better.”

David Di Michele, Julio Sergio, Stefano Ferrario and Souleymane Diamoutene are among the absentees for Lecce.

Lecce lose stars for AC Milan match
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lecce must do without David Di Michele and Julio Sergio when welcoming Milan in the Sunday lunch-time kick-off.

The Stadio Via del Mare hosts this Serie A match starting from 12:30 CET.

Di Michele, Souleymane Diamoutene and goalkeeper Julio Sergio all missed last week’s test and are still out of action.

Stefano Ferrario and third choice shot-stopper Davide Petrachi are also absent, so Francesco Benassi is again in goal.

Lecce have lost all their home games so far this season, but can count on the fact Milan haven’t won here since January 2002.

Lecce squad: Gabrieli, Benassi; Brivio, Esposito, Tomovic, Carrozzieri, Oddo; Giacomazzi, Mesbah, Olivera, Grossmuller, Piatti, Obodo, Strasser, Bertolacci, Giandonato; Corvia, Ofere, Cuadrado, Pasquato, Muriel

Allegri: 'AC Milan have to improve'
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri adds Kevin-Prince Boateng and Alberto Aquilani to the injury list, but “Milan need the three points against Lecce.”

The Rossoneri are struggling so far this season in Serie A and travel to the Stadio Via del Mare without Thiago Silva, Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso, Alexandre Pato and Mathieu Flamini.

“Aquilani and Boateng are in doubt, but we hope to have them ready for Sunday’s game,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“Massimo Ambrosini has now fully recovered. This is a difficult test, as Milan haven’t won away to Lecce in 10 years, so we have to break this taboo.

“Lecce will cause problems for us and have players of quality. We absolutely need the three points. At this moment we need a result away from home, but above all we really need the points.”

Milan are boosted by the fact the Salentini have lost all their games at the Stadio Via del Mare this season.

“We’ve got to be aware of the importance of this match and respect Lecce. They played well even when losing. Every Serie A fixture is tough.

“We’ve got to reach the break for international duty in a better position than the one we have now, as it’s not great.”

Allegri won the Scudetto in his debut season at San Siro, but was asked about his contract that expires in June 2012.

“I am not thinking about that. Along with the club we will evaluate what to do, but there are no big problems on my part. Right now we have to focus on the team and improving our position.

“We are getting better and have started playing for each other again. We create many scoring opportunities and it was a good performance against BATE Borisov on Wednesday.

“What we do need is to maintain that grit and concentration that gives our opponents no respite. Last season we wouldn’t even let the other team near our penalty area.”

El Shaarawy wants AC Milan for life
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy has committed his career to Milan just a matter of months after arriving from Genoa.

The youngster, who will turn 19 on October 27, joined the Rossoneri in the summer on a co-ownership deal.

“If I have to be honest, I want to stay at Milan forever rather than one day playing my football abroad,” he told Leggo.

“At the end of the day I have always had a weakness for Milan, ever since I was a little boy,” added the Italian Under-19 international.

The attacking midfielder, who has an Italian mother and an Egyptian father, has been used sparingly so far by boss Massimiliano Allegri.

“I want to convince Allegri that I am a first team player,” he added. “I hope to play and score as much as possible, that is my objective.

“I want this Milan chance. Even if I don’t play that often, at least I will still have the opportunity to train with champions.”

El Shaarawy made his debut in the 3-1 loss at Napoli, before scoring in the 1-1 with Udinese three days later.

AC Milan have duo concern
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan may be without Thiago Silva and Clarence Seedorf for their Week 8 game at Lecce on Sunday.

Whispers coming out of Milanello suggest that the two are major doubts for this weekend because of fitness concerns.

The pair trained away from the squad on Friday and they’ll face late fitness tests before a decision is made on whether or not to include them in the squad.

Alberto Aquilani and Kevin Prince Boateng also took part in personalised sessions, but they are expected to be ready.

Massimo Ambrosini returned to full training, but his recovery may have come too late for use at the Stadio Via del Mare.

Back to school for Taiwo
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Taye Taiwo has revealed that he’s trying to adapt to Serie A by watching DVDs of the Italian championship.

The left-back joined the Rossoneri in the summer from Marseille, but he’s been used sparingly so far by boss Massimiliano Allegri.

“Serie A is very difficult,” the defender told Milan Channel. “I’m looking to improve my knowledge about the Italian game by watching DVDs.

“In Europe, there is a different kind of game which is being played and I’m more familiar with that style.”

Taiwo did appear in midweek for the San Siro giants, though, as he started and finished the 2-0 Champions League win over BATE Borisov.

“I was finally able to put myself in the spotlight,” he continued. “I’m very happy.”

No January exit for Montolivo
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina will not consider selling Riccardo Montolivo in January despite him being in the last year of his contract.

The Italian international is only tied to the club until June 2012 and the Viola’s attempts to get him to sign a new deal have failed.

It was thus being claimed that Montolivo would be sold for a nominal fee after Christmas, but it now seems as if he’ll only move in the summer on a Bosman free.

“I don’t think that Montolivo will go in January,” Fiorentina President Mario Cognini told Rai Tre on Friday.

“That’s because it is Fiorentina’s aim to actually reach some important objectives at the end of the campaign.”

The former Atalanta playmaker has been strongly paired with a switch to Italian giants Milan.

It’s understood that Montolivo actually turned down the chance to join Roma during the summer.

Oddo predicts Ibrahimovic stay
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has no reason to leave Milan, says former teammate Massimo Oddo. “Why would he want to go?”

There is talk that this could be Ibra’s last season with the Rossoneri after he stated earlier this month that he’s starting to get tired of the game.

“He plays in one of the most important clubs in the world and I don’t see why he would want to go anywhere else,” said Oddo, who is on loan at Lecce from Milan.

“He’s won a lot and he’ll continue to win a lot.

“I know the Milan environment very well and it would be difficult to find somewhere else where you can be so happy.”

After an injury-plagued start to the season, the former Ajax man is starting to make a difference for his team again.

“I’m feeling good,” Ibra told Aftonbladet. “You can struggle with highs and lows after injury, but I feel in good shape now.

“I want to maintain myself at these levels for the future.”

Milan travel to Lecce in Serie A this weekend.

Taiwo to stay at AC Milan
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Taye Taiwo will not be leaving Milan during the January transfer window, his agent has underlined.

The summer signing from Marseille is taking his time to settle in Italy, given that he’s played for just 53 minutes in Serie A so far.

The Nigerian did play for all of the game against BATE Borisov on Wednesday, though, which has encouraged his representative.

“His performance was more than positive,” stated Fabio Parisi to Milan News. “That game will give him some confidence.

“I saw him at the end of the match and he was very happy,” Parisi continued. “The fans gave him an extra push.

“Let’s hope that he gets a chance to confirm himself because the more he plays, the more belief he acquires.

“As for his future, he is definitely staying at Milan.”

Mexes needs AC Milan action
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Philippe Mexes says he’ll only be able to rediscover his top form if he is given regular games at Milan.

The Frenchman returned to action last night after recovering from knee ligament damage which he sustained in April.

“It wasn’t easy after so much time out injured,” the Frenchman, who came on as an 84th minute substitute against BATE Borisov, stated.

“However, I’m now at the disposal of the Coach and I’ll look to give my all,” he continued. “I just need to play football from now on in order to get back into my best shape.”

The former Auxerre centre-back, 29, joined Milan in the summer on a Bosman after five years at Roma.

Galliani: 'Del Piero to AC Milan?'
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has opened the door for Alessandro Del Piero to continue his career at Milan. “Many of our stars retired at 40.”

Juventus announced this week that Del Piero would leave the club at the end of this season, although he might not necessarily retire from football.

“We nearly signed Del Piero in 1993 and failing to do that remains one of the great regrets of my career,” confessed Vice-President Galliani to Sky Sport Italia.

“The fact remains that before he went to Juve, Milan were interested in the player.

“Is it never too late? I have learned to define players as talented or mediocre, not young or old. I always prefer a talent to a youngster.

“After all, many of our stars like Paolo Maldini and Billy Costacurta retired at 40. Pippo Inzaghi is 38 and still playing for us.”

Del Piero had hinted he would not play for another Serie A side after Juventus, but with Milan legend Andrea Pirlo moving to Turin this summer following a decade at San Siro, anything is possible.

'Lecce must try to impose on AC Milan'
20.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Esposito is aware of the strengths of weekend opponents Milan but is keen that his Lecce teammates do more than just defend.

Lecce welcome the Rossoneri to the Stadio Via del Mare this weekend in need of the points, but as Esposito points out, having just broken three-game a losing streak with a strong performance away to Genoa.

The defender also maintained that the improvement was by the team as a whole, rather than just the defence.

“Rather than to say we have improved defensively, in my opinion, it is more correct to say that in Genoa there was an increased focus and aggression. We will continue to do so on Sunday even as we face a game on paper that is almost impossible. Facing us is maximum concentration and to do nothing wrong.

Esposito revealed to the club's official website he watched Milan's Champions League win over BATE last night, but is unconvinced that their midweek action will have any bearing on their performance against Lecce.

“Yesterday I followed the game and in my opinion, they did not push hard, after the first goal they controlled the game. I do not think that their midweek commitment will give them any disadvantage on Sunday.”

Back in April 2009, Esposito scored an injury-time equaliser at home for the Salentini against Milan.

“Facing Milan cannot be without my goal coming to mind. It is my only goal in Serie A, I still remember very well the action, with the cross from [Andrea] Zanchetta and my header.

“If I have to pick a particular player to watch out for from Milan, then [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic is a complete player. I think he is the strongest striker we have seen in recent years in Italy.

“As Obodo said, given the quality of the Rossoneri's players we should run more for each other, although we cannot only think of defending. We must try to impose our game.”

Galliani: 'AC Milan are competitive'
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani assures Milan “are competitive in the Champions League and Serie A” without their injury crisis.

The Rossoneri saw off BATE Borisov 2-0 this evening to stay joint top of Group H with Barcelona.

“BATE had only a couple of chances and all of them ‘gifted’ by us,” said the Vice-President.

“We’ve had to deal with numerous injuries, so if we have a normal number of absentees, then we are competitive in the Champions League and Serie A. I cannot understand why the media didn’t remind people of that in recent weeks.

“We are improving over time and with these players Milan can do well.”

Allegri: 'Now to win the group'
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri can see Milan improving and after the victory over BATE “we want to win the Champions League group.”

The Rossoneri are joint top with Barcelona after a draw and two successes, but in front thanks to their 2-2 result at the Nou Camp.

Tonight’s 2-0 win over BATE Borisov means they will qualify if they pick up three points in the next game in Belarus.

“This evening it was important to win so we could put a deposit down on qualification,” said the Coach.

“Now our objective is to win the Champions League group, as that would be a great result for us.”

There were some nervous moments, as when still goalless Mark Van Bommel gave away a potentially disastrous backpass.

“These things can happen over the course of a match and Christian Abbiati made a wonderful save. From then on it was fairly smooth sailing, but when things look too easy that is when you can get distracted.

“We are rediscovering ourselves. There is an important month ahead in Serie A and the Champions League, so we need to close in on the top of the domestic table.

“I wanted to introduce Philippe Mexes earlier, but it’s important he made his comeback after six months out.

“Taye Taiwo still needs to improve, while Antonio Nocerino and Alberto Aquilani have settled in very well.”

Ibrahimovic: 'This will help confidence'
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring this evening and feels Milan’s win over BATE is “important for our confidence.”

The Swede hit the back of the net in the first half and Kevin-Prince Boateng sealed the 2-0 Champions League success after the break.

“We created so many chances and thankfully the goal arrived in the end,” Ibra told Rai Sport.

“We played well and this game is important for our confidence. If the team plays well, then so do I, and we can carry on like that. We combine a great deal in attack and that makes us all more dangerous.”

The results in Group H mean the Rossoneri could already qualify in the next game if they beat BATE Borisov in Belarus.

Meanwhile, Milan visit Lecce in Serie A on Saturday in a bid to close on the top of the table.

“We don’t just want to beat Lecce, but we intend to win every game. If we play like we did tonight, then we can go all the way.”

Champions League: AC Milan 2:0 BATE Borisov - match report
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic 33 (M), Boateng 70 (M)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a stunning Kevin-Prince Boateng strike saw Milan comfortably beat BATE Borisov 2-0.

The Rossoneri were joint top of the group along with Barcelona and expected to win this match, though injuries ruled out Thiago Silva, Clarence Seedorf, Massimo Ambrosini, Gennaro Gattuso, Alexandre Pato, Mathieu Flamini and the ineligible Pippo Inzaghi and Stephan El Shaarawy. Taye Taiwo and Daniele Bonera had rare starts in defence.

Belarus side BATE Borisov had also faced Milan in the UEFA Cup 10 years ago, losing 2-0 at home and 4-0 at San Siro.

There was a good chance after four minutes, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic only grazed a corner and Alberto Aquilani blasted the poor clearance just over the bar.

Ibra tried to score a wonder goal moments later, his sudden screamer on the bounce from the centre-circle not far off target.

Aquilani went even closer on 11 minutes, as he was given all the time he needed from the edge of the box to pass it towards the net, thumping the base of the near post with Aleksandr Gutor rooted to the spot.

Ibrahimovic volleyed over the bar from nine yards as Antonio Cassano's searching pass found his right boot. Boateng rose to nod in a Cassano cross, but play was halted for a push on the goalkeeper.

Mark Van Bommel might've had penalty appeals for a clumsy Artyom Radkov challenge, but the referee waved play on.

Taiwo's pull-back found Aquilani for a shot straight at the BATE 'keeper. Taiwo went for goal himself with a stunning volley that flashed wide from an improbable angle.

Milan almost gave a goal away on the half-hour mark, as the awful Van Bommel back-pass was straight to Renan Bressan on the edge of the box and only a desperate Christian Abbiati save denied him when one-on-one.

The Rossoneri took the hint and broke through with Ibrahimovic. Abate's cross for Aquilani was charged down, but only into the path of Ibrahimovic for a fierce low finish. It was his 25th Champions League goal.

It should've been 2-0 moments later, as Cassano and Ibra combined for the Swede to chip an angled drive across the face of goal.

Straight after the restart, Milan again risked giving away a goal when Abate's pass was intercepted in midfield, but Mateja Kezman tried to go for goal himself and was charged down by Alessandro Nesta, then Bressan fired the follow-up over the bar.

Abbiati also had to get down to fingertip a Maksim Bordachev angled drive inches past the far post.

Taiwo pulled back for Cassano in the box, but the weak shot was easily blocked by Marko Simic. Aquilani drilled wide as he slipped, but Ibrahimovic ballooned well over from just inside the area.

Robinho was introduced for Cassano and went on the counter from a BATE corner kick, but fired wide after a step-over committed Aleksandr Yurevich.

Ibrahimovic chested an Abate chipped pass, but had the volley charged down by Simic.

Milan did double their lead thanks to a stunning strike from Boateng. The Ghanaian trapped a cross-field pass with a divine first touch on the edge of the box and smacked a rocket that bounced off the underside of the bar. It was absolutely unstoppable.

The game was petering out when Philippe Mexes was given his debut in a Milan jersey, his first match since undergoing knee surgery in April.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta (Mexes 84), Bonera, Taiwo; Van Bommel, Aquilani, Nocerino; Boateng (Emanuelson 78); Ibrahimovic, Cassano (Robinho 61)

BATE Borisov: Gutor; Yurevich, Simic, Radkov, Bordachev; Kontsevoi, A Volodko, Likhtarovich (Olekhnovich 65), Baga, Bressan (Pavlov 77); Kezman (Skavysh 72)

Ref: Hagen (Nor)

Champions League: AC Milan vs. BATE Borisov - lineups
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Bonera, Taiwo; Van Bommel, Aquilani, Nocerino; Boateng; Ibrahimovic, Cassano

AC Milan bench: Amelia, Mexes, Zambrotta, Yepes, Antonini, Emanuelson, Robinho

BATE Borisov: Gutor; Yurevich, Simic, Radkov, Bordachev, Kontsevoi, A Volodko, Likhtarovich, Baga, Renan Bressan; Kezman

BATE bench: Chesnovski, Gordeychuk, Pavlov, Aleksiyan, Olekhnovich, Rudik, Skavysh

PSG consider Montolivo
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo is out of contract in June, so there are reports Paris Saint-Germain are lining up a January bid.

Fiorentina have terminated renegotiation talks with the midfielder and are resigned to losing him mid-season, or for a free transfer next summer.

Milan, Inter, Arsenal and Roma have all been heavily linked with the Italian international.

However, according to TMW the latest club to show interest in Montolivo is Paris Saint-Germain.

Their transfer policy is run by ex-Inter and Milan Coach Leonardo, while they have several faces familiar to Serie A.

These include Javier Pastore, Salvatore Sirigu and Jeremy Menez.

Kutuzov signed at half-time!
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bari striker Vitali Kutuzov has revealed that he was signed by Milan during half-time of a game against BATE Borisov.

The two teams meet in the Champions League on Wednesday in a tie that brings back memories for the forward.

“It was September 2001 and my BATE Borisov were playing against Milan in the UEFA Cup,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“In the first half I impressed playing against Paolo Maldini.

“At the interval the BATE President received an offer from Milan and at the end of the game he told me that I had been sold to them.

“I put pen to paper on a five-year contract and my new salary was five times bigger than it was previously.”

The Belarus international went on to only feature in two competitive games for the Rossoneri, who then sent him out on loan to Sporting Lisbon and Avellino.

He also featured for Sampdoria, Parma and Pisa, before his 2009 switch to Bari.

AC Milan lose trio against BATE
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have an injury crisis on their hands against BATE Borisov, as Thiago Silva, Clarence Seedorf and Massimo Ambrosini are out.

The trio did not pass fitness tests during today’s final training session at Milanello.

Thiago Silva limped off during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Palermo, while Seedorf and Ambrosini missed that match completely.

Also out of the 20-man squad named by Coach Massimiliano Allegri are Gennaro Gattuso, Alexandre Pato, Mathieu Flamini and the ineligible Pippo Inzaghi and Stephan El Shaarawy.

Kevin-Prince Boateng returns after he was suspended against Palermo, while Mario Yepes and Philippe Mexes are also passed fit.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Nesta, Taiwo, Zambrotta, Yepes, Aquilani, Boateng, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Van Bommel, Cassano, Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Ganz

Thiago Silva wants European trophy
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva has fitness problems ahead of Milan’s match with BATE Borisov, but won’t discuss those Barcelona rumours.

The defender limped off during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Palermo and remains in doubt for the Champions League tomorrow evening.

“I am feeling better, though we’ll evaluate my condition after the afternoon training session. I could also play in midfield, as I am at the complete disposal of the Coach,” he said in a Press conference.

“We aim to do well tomorrow, as we have to repeat Saturday’s performance. We had a great game with Palermo and must give a sense of consistency to our season.

“Our objective in Europe is to win the trophy. We are a big club with a wonderful Coach and aim to go right to the end.”

Yet Thiago Silva has repeatedly been linked with a move to reigning Champions League holders Barcelona.

“I prefer not to discuss this. My agent and Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani deal with my contract and transfer issues.”

However, the Brazilian did give his club a tip for the January window.

“Casemiro is talented and has excellent technique. He is ready for a big club and would be welcome at Milan.”

Allegri requests AC Milan victory
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has warned his Milan side to not underestimate BATE Borisov if they want to win their Champions League group.

The Italian giants, currently joint top of section H with Barcelona, host the Belarus minnows at San Siro on Wednesday night.

“If we want to finish first in the group then we have to win tomorrow,” the tactician noted this afternoon.

“BATE defend in a very organised manner, they are a young side who counter-attack very well. We have to play with great intensity and especially technique.

“Coming top is not just a prestigious objective, but it will then allow us to take on a team that finishes second in another group.

“We have to take it one game at a time though. Let’s beat BATE and then think about Barcelona.”

The Italian champions have had a testing start to the season, but they recovered from a 2-0 setback at Juventus to beat Palermo 3-0 on Saturday.

“We got the game against Juventus wrong and that is also down to the merits of Juve. But we have time to recover in the championship and a nice victory arrived on Saturday.

“Yet the month ahead will be key for the championship and the Champions League,” continued the former Cagliari tactician.

“The criticism of us this season? It seemed as if Milan had turned into a poor side, but that hasn’t changed my evaluation – or that of Vice-President Adriano Galliani – of the team.”

Milan were boosted at the weekend with the return of Brazilian international Robinho following injury.

“Robinho has extraordinary quality, while Alberto Aquilani is a class player who still has to settle even if he played well on Saturday,” he added.

“I need to verify the condition of certain players like Clarence Seedorf, Thiago Silva and Mark Van Bommel. I don’t think Massimo Ambrosini will be at my disposal.

“I’ll decide what team to field by tomorrow morning. At the moment the only player sure of a place is goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.”

On the possibility of Antonio Cassano being rested, Allegri opted to keep everyone guessing.

“I have to look at how everyone is, but it is probable that Antonio will play tomorrow. I’m happy that Cassano is doing so well and he’s in great condition, but he’s played a lot so far this season.”

Raiola on Ibrahimovic, Balotelli and Hamsik
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Super agent Mino Raiola has discussed the transfer status of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Balotelli and Marek Hamsik.

The representative works with all three players and he was asked for his thoughts on the trio by Controcampo.

Kicking off with Milan ace Ibra, Raiola rubbished speculation that the Swede was angling for a move to Real Madrid.

“Ibra is happy at Milan,” he stated. “He has no desire to leave and there is no negotiation with Real Madrid.

“I don’t know if he’ll end his career at Milan, but he’ll certainly respect his contract and play for Milan over the next two seasons.

“I don’t know what will happen after that, but he won’t be going to Real. After all, they have a young attack.”

Turning to Balotelli, who has often been linked with a switch to Milan, Raiola also silenced those rumours.

“Mario’s value is so high that nobody in Italy can afford him,” he added. “There is an economical crisis in the country, so if he left Manchester then he wouldn’t go back to the peninsula.

“It’s the same situation for Hamsik because the transfer fee figure that [Napoli President] Aurelio De Laurentiis has in mind is massive.”

Napoli ace Hamsik was linked with a switch to Milan over the summer, but he remained at the Stadio San Paolo.

Ogbonna will stay, say Torino
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Serie B leaders Torino insist they won’t consider any January offers for the talented Angelo Ogbonna.

The defender, born in May 1988, is of interest to a number of top clubs inside and outside of Italy.

However, responding to suggestions that the versatile stopper could be sold mid-season, the Granata maintain he is going nowhere.

“We don’t have the fear or the intention of revolutionising the squad in January,” Torino sporting director Gianluca Petrachi told Tuttosport.

“This is our squad and this is how it will remain…

“Ogbonna? He’s already made it clear that he doesn’t want to leave Torino during the course of the season.

“As a result, he’ll definitely be with us until June.”

Ogbonna: I like AC Milan, but...
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

In-demand Torino stopper Angelo Ogbonna has revealed a weakness for one particular Serie A giant.

Ogbonna is widely regarded as one of Italy’s brightest young defenders and he’s expected to join a big club at some stage in the future.

“I do like Milan,” he admitted when asked about his footballing preferences. “However, that doesn’t mean that I will end up going there...”

Ogbonna, who has been called up to the full Italian international squad despite his Serie B status, has been paired with a host of clubs over the last 12 months.

Juventus were associated in the summer, as were the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal. Liverpool, over the last few weeks, have also been mentioned.

“I didn’t know about the Liverpool link,” he responded when quizzed on his future. “I don’t follow the transfer market…”

Torino President Urbano Cairo did value him as highly as €20m during the summer.

Allegri: 'AC Milan's turning point'
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri hopes tonight’s victory can be a turning point for Milan’s campaign. “It was clear how important this game was.”

The Rossoneri only had five points from the opening five rounds before cruising past Palermo 3-0.

“Everyone had a good game, although perhaps we weren’t spreading the play enough in the opening minutes,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“Obviously the quality of individuals like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Antonio Cassano and Robinho made the difference and we picked up the pace in midfield.

“Regardless of what the other teams do, the important thing was that we got back to winning ways in a convincing fashion. We have to make up ground for the points we dropped in the first five rounds.

“Tonight’s victory is above all for the three points so we can slowly start climbing the table.”

Allegri wanted a boost after going into the break for international duty with a 2-0 defeat to Juventus.

“Over the past two weeks we have worked more on fitness and hopefully it’ll improve our general performance.

“We were facing an organised Palermo and the overall level of Serie A is very high, so there are no easy tests.

“It’s true we were tired against Juventus, but also played very deep and didn’t move the ball around, so we played badly in Turin.

“Robinho is a player with technique who doesn’t give the opposition any reference points, so it was good to have him back.”

Pippo Inzaghi could not even find a spot on the bench at San Siro.

“Everyone will be useful for this Milan. I had to make choices, the same way I did last season, for the good of Milan. Sometimes I get the decisions right, sometimes wrong, but I understand those who are sent to the stands are upset. They are professionals and understand the situation.”

Serie A: AC Milan 3:0 Palermo - match report
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Nocerino 40 (M), Robinho 55 (M), Cassano 64 (M)

Antonio Nocerino, Robinho and Antonio Cassano pulverised Palermo, as Milan are back in business.

The Rossoneri were desperate to make up for a poor start to the season and were remarkably had only half Palermo's points going into the game. They had also lost three of their last four Serie A meetings with the Rosanero and were knocked out in the Coppa Italia semi-finals last term.

Robinho returned from a long lay-off, but Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf, Alexandre Pato, Mathieu Flamini, Mario Yepes, Massimo Ambrosini, Gianluca Zambrotta and the suspended Kevin-Prince Boateng missed out. Fabrizio Miccoli passed a late fitness test to start for the Sicilians, while Antonio Nocerino faced his former teammates.

The home side went very close after 12 minutes when a Mark Van Bommel pass took a ricochet to drift into Antonio Cassano's path, but his angled drive flashed across the goal and skimmed the far post.

Alessandro Nesta was inevitably booked for hauling back Miccoli on the counter in midfield. Matias Silvestre charged down a Robinho strike, then Cassano combined beautifully with Nocerino, but Tzorvas used his body to parry at the base of the near post.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic pounced on a poor backpass and immediately sprinted into the box, but the angled drive only shaved a coat of paint off the far stick and he was flagged offside.

More bad news for Milan, as Thiago Silva picked up a knock after 15 minutes and tried to carry on, but eventually limped off to make way for Daniele Bonera.

Robinho had a fantastic double opportunity on 37 minutes set up by an Ibrahimovic cross. His first volley into the ground was beaten away by Tzorvas, then the Brazilian got back on to the ball and once more Tzorvas palmed it out for a corner.

The Rossoneri did break the deadlock with Nocerino, the man who left Palermo in the final minutes of the summer transfer session. Ibrahimovic's chopped cross found Alberto Aquilani's diving header at the back post to put it back into the six-yard box, where Nocerino was unmarked to tap in.

Cassano curled over the bar just before half-time as Milan continued to push, while Miccoli's free kick was off target.

Miccoli was clearly not 100 per cent fit and made way for Edgar Alvarez after the break. There was a long move that Milan failed to finalise by trying to make the finish too spectacular. First Cassano scuffed the volley from Ibra's assist, then the Swede did the same on the follow-up.

At the other end, Bonera had to charge down an Abel Hernandez strike after good work from Eros Pisano.

Milan doubled their advantage with the returning Robinho. It was a well-worked move, as Ibrahimovic's inspired through ball released the Brazilian, who prodded it past Tzorvas with the outside of his right foot from seven yards.

Cassano had the ball in the back of the net, but was clearly offside when completing his give-and-go with Ibra. Cassano's through ball found Ibrahimovic for the Swede to poke over the bar.

Cassano did get his goal eventually with a classic team move. There were a series of passes, concluding with Robinho spreading the play for Ignazio Abate, who pulled back from the by-line for FantAntonio's daisy-cutter finish.

Aquilani pounced on a poor clearance and unleashed a fierce strike that stung Tzorvas' palms. Stephan El Shaarawy came off the bench and his splendid finish from a long Nocerino pass was beaten away at the near post.

Ibrahimovic tried to fire a low free kick directly in at the base of the near stick, but Tzorvas managed to parry for a corner.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva (Bonera 34), Antonini; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Aquilani; Robinho (Emanuelson 65); Ibrahimovic, Cassano (El Shaarawy 78)

Palermo: Tzorvas; Pisano, Silvestre, Migliaccio, Mantovani; Bertolo (Acquah 74), Barreto, Della Rocca, Ilicic; Hernandez (Pinilla 65), Miccoli (Alvarez 46)

Ref: Valeri

Serie A: AC Milan vs. Palermo - lineups
15.10 || webmaster

AC MILAN: Abbiati, Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini, Nocerino, Van Bommel, Aquilani, Robinho, Ibrahimovic, Cassano.

PALERMO: Tzorvas, Pisano, Silvestre, Migliaccio, Mantovani, Bertolo, Barreto, Della Rocca, Ilicic, Hernandez, Miccoli.

AC Milan fly out for Casemiro
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan emissaries are reportedly in Brazil to negotiate the January arrival of Sao Paolo starlet Casemiro.

It is suggested by various newspaper sources that director Ariedo Braida has flown out to South America to pave the way for the mid-season transfer session.

The Rossoneri are eager to get in there early with a deal, as they face stiff competition from Inter and Juventus.

The 19-year-old’s price-tag is thought to be around €25m and there are also problems regarding his non-EU status.

Casemiro has a buy-out clause worth €30m, but Milan are hoping to pay only half that sum for the midfielder.

Zamparini: 'No alibis in Milan'
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

President Maurizio Zamparini demands Palermo “have no alibis” when taking on Milan at San Siro this evening.

“It won’t be an easy game, that is certain,” commented the patron. “However, I expect consistency and confirmation of recent good results from my team.

“It’s true Federico Balzaretti is suspended and Fabrizio Miccoli in doubt, so there are difficulties, but I don’t want them to become alibis. We can do well anyway.”

Palermo are unusually ahead of the reigning Serie A Champions in the table and have beaten Milan in three of their last four top flight encounters.

“The Rossoneri are a top team and will want to make up for recent performances. We lost 3-1 here last season, so I wouldn’t say we are their bête noir,” added Zamparini.

Galliani: 'AC Milan will buy in January'
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani confirms Milan could bring in January reinforcements after their injury crisis, but Mario Balotelli “is just a friend.”

The Rossoneri are struggling and face Palermo this evening without Alexandre Pato, Gennaro Gattuso, Massimo Ambrosini, Clarence Seedorf, Gianluca Zambrotta, Mathieu Flamini, Mario Yepes and the suspended Kevin-Prince Boateng.

“Starting the season very early for the Italian Super Cup may well have caused us problems, as we’re now paying the price for that schedule,” Vice-President Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“We cannot forget the numerous injuries. They are not alibis for our difficult start, but simply facts.

“It is true we could take advantage of the January transfer window to reinforce the midfield. The attack does not need any adjustments, so Carlos Tevez will not arrive.”

Milan have also been linked with another Manchester City hitman, namely self-confessed Rossoneri supporter Balotelli.

“Mario is just a friend,” added Galliani. “As for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he is fine and there is no problem. I spoke to him and we cleared the air. He is not tired of football.”

Philippe Mexes is included in the squad for the first time since joining on a free transfer from Roma, as he has taken six months to recover from knee ligament surgery.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Mexes, Nesta, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Aquilani, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Valoti, Van Bommel, Carmona, Cassano, El-Shaarawy, Ibrahimovic, Robinho

Allegri demands AC Milan victory
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists Saturday’s tie against Palermo is a must-win encounter for his Milan side.

The champions have started the Serie A season poorly after collecting just five points from the opening five games.

They also didn’t leave a good impression before the international break after they were defeated 2-0 in Turin by a dominant Juventus.

“We got the game wrong at Juve,” the Coach said on Friday. “The Bianconeri played well, whereas we didn’t.

“But don’t forget that it was still 0-0 with three minutes of the game to go…

“Palermo? They are an organized and aggressive side, a team who is playing reasonably well and has enthusiasm.

“This is a very important game for us, one that we have to face in the best possible manner. And we also have to win because we’ve only done so once this season. We have to get three points.”

The build up to the tie has been dominated by the recent statements made by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Cassano, players who already seem to be thinking of retirement.

“These things are blown out of proportion,” Allegri noted. “Cassano has to continue the excellent things that he is doing for Milan and Italy.

“Ibra is in good physical shape, he’s positive and that is what counts for me. He’s a player that can still make the difference for three or four years.”

Allegri added that Massimo Ambrosini and Philippe Mexes won’t make the Palermo game, but he defended the struggles of goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.

“He’s serene and there are no problems,” the former Cagliari boss added. “He showed last season that he was one of the best goalkeepers around.

‘He’s had a couple of moments this term, but he hasn’t turned into a bad ‘keeper and he has my faith.”

C. Maldini: Montolivo good enough for AC Milan
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo would be a good addition to the Milan squad, says club legend Cesare Maldini.

The midfielder, 26, will leave Fiorentina either in January or at the end of the season after refusing to extend his contract.

Montolivo’s deal expires in June – which means he will be available on a Bosman at the end of the season – and the Rossoneri have been linked.

“I thought Montolivo did well for Italy in the recent games,” the former Milan player, father of Paolo Maldini, told Lady Radio.

“He’s comporting himself in an excellent manner. Despite the fact that he is coming towards the end of his contract, he’s still giving his all to Fiorentina.

“It is obvious to everybody that he is a player who could do well for Milan.”

Montolivo, who has been stripped of the Viola captaincy this term, has also been linked with Inter, Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

AC Milan ad for Nivea
14.10 || webmaster

The ad:

Short making of:

Serie A: AC Mian vs. Palermo - match preview
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan could fall nine points adrift of the pacesetters unless they overcome their bogey team Palermo on Saturday night.

Palermo always raise their game for calcio’s giants, but their recent record against Milan is remarkable. The Rosanero have won three of the last four Serie A meetings and also prevailed over the Rossoneri in last season’s Coppa Italia semi finals.

That was before they lost Delio Rossi, hired and fired Stefano Pioli, gambled on the untried Devis Mangia, and sold Javier Pastore, Salvatore Sirigu, Cesare Bovo, Mattia Cassani and Antonio Nocerino (who will start for the opposition at San Siro). Yet in spite of all that upheaval, the Sicilians have made a flying start. Tipped for relegation by some, Mangia’s men are sharing third place with Napoli and Cagliari having gathered 10 points already - just one less than leaders Juventus.

Milan meanwhile are languishing in 15th with five points. “Of course we expected to have more points at this stage, but the season is long and we have time to recover,” said Coach Massimiliano Allegri. The international break was timely for Allegri, giving him a chance to recover some of the players struck down by the club’s latest injury epidemic and devise solutions to the problems that were so evident in the Diavolo’s 2-0 loss to Juventus a fortnight ago. The most pressing of those problems was a lack of pace and mobility, an issue that could be remedied by the return of Robinho. The jet heeled Brazilian is in contention to start after two months on the sidelines.

Milan’s list of injury victims has been trimmed to five names – Ignazio Abate, Gennaro Gattuso, Matthieu Flamini, Massimo Ambrosini and Alexandre Pato. Palermo miss Luca Di Matteo and there is a player suspended on both sides – Kevin-Prince Boateng for the hosts and Federico Balzaretti for the visitors.

Keep an eye on: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Milan) – Ibra managed to hog the headlines from thousands of miles away on international duty, with his admission that he’s growing tired of the sport. “His comments were blown out of proportion,” insisted Allegri, whilst others speculated that the Swede was angling for a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. Another possibility is that he was trying to distract from his poor form – the 2009 Capocannoniere has scored just twice from open play since February.

Last five in Serie A: Milan (D L D W L) Palermo (W L W D W)

Last season: Milan 3-1 Palermo

Stat fact: Milan’s Antonio Cassano and Palermo’s Fabrizio Miccoli are joint top of the assist rankings, with three each thus far.

Milan (probable): Abbiati; Bonera, Thiago Silva, Nesta, Zambrotta; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Robinho; Ibrahimovic, Cassano

Palermo (probable): Tzorvas; Pisano, Silvestre, Migliaccio, Mantovani; Bertolo, Barreto, Della Rocca, Ilicic; Hernandez, Miccoli

Ref: Valeri

Manchester United watch Montolivo
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester United are battling Milan for the signature of want-away Fiorentina man Riccardo Montolivo.

The midfielder’s contract expires at the end of the season and talks have broken down irrevocably, so a January sale is very likely.

The Rossoneri have been heavily linked with Montolivo for many months and are widely expected to make a swoop for him mid-term.

However, according to the Daily Mail, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson sent scouts to view his performance during Italy’s 3-0 win over Northern Ireland.

They were impressed with the 26-year-old in the final Euro 2012 qualifier and could join the race for Montolivo along with Inter and Bayern Munich.

Rossi: 'Cassano blowing off steam'
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giuseppe Rossi believes Antonio Cassano “was blowing off steam,” but tips Napoli and Juventus for the Scudetto.

The Villarreal star commented on his Italy teammate’s suggestion he’d give up football within the next four years due to stress.

“I think he was just blowing off steam. It would really be a shame if he did stop in three and a half years, if of course that does happen,” Rossi told Radio Kiss Kiss.

“Cesare Prandelli has done great things with Italy and the results prove it. It was very important that we qualify top of the group.”

Rossi had been close to joining Napoli over the summer and cast his eye over the current Serie A situation.

“I am focusing only on Villarreal, so we can do well in Serie A and the Champions League. I don’t know anything about a possible future at Napoli.

“This season I think Napoli and Juventus are in good shape and have excellent Coaches, so they can win the Scudetto.

“Inter and Milan will get back on track and resume the race for the title too. I think we’re going to see a fantastic Serie A season.”

Handanovic wants top club
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Udinese’s Samir Handanovic has still not given up on his dream of moving to a giant of the European game.

The goalkeeper has consistently been linked with a move away from the Stadio Friuli, but no switch has ever materialised.

Although he says he’s content with his present outfit, the 27-year-old has bigger ambitions than what Udinese can seemingly offer him.

“I’m happy at Udine, but it is clear that at my age I am thinking about a big club,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I like to take forward steps in my career, not backward ones,” he continued.

“If I do move on to a different team then it will be to better myself. If that is not really an option then I will stay at Udinese.”

The Slovenian international is widely regarded as one of the best ‘keepers in Italy. He’s been linked with the likes of Milan, Juventus and Arsenal in the past.

Nainggolan ignores AC Milan interest
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Radja Nainggolan has committed his future to Cagliari despite reported interest from Milan.

The Rossoneri have been paired with the Belgian international recently, but the midfielder is keeping his feet on the ground.

“It’s always nice to know that you are being considered by great teams,” he told Sport Mediaset when asked about the links.

“Nevertheless, I have a dream and that is to become a great player while wearing the shirt of Cagliari.”

Nainggolan is still just 23-years-old and has been at the club since his 2010 move from Piacenza.

The youngster has been one of the Rossoblu’s most impressive payers so far this season, scoring one goal in five League games to date.

Robinho ready for Palermo tie
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian ace Robinho has declared himself fit for Milan’s Serie A game against Palermo this weekend.

The South American has yet to appear in competitive action for the Rossoneri this term after struggling with a thigh problem.

“I’m well, I’m happy and I have recovered,” he told Milan Channel on Wednesday.

“I’m now training with the squad and I hope to give a helping hand to my teammates as soon as the next game.

“When I felt the first pains in August I didn’t think that I would be sidelined for so long with the problem,” he added.

“I’ve never suffered any serious injuries in my career, but this one went the way it did,” continued the 27-year-old.

“It’s all over now though and I can’t wait to step back on to the pitch at San Siro and return to victory with Milan.”

The Stadio Meazza giants are next in action on Saturday night when they entertain their Sicilian rivals.

Milan have struggled without Robinho, and their various other injured players, so far during the 2011-12 campaign.

Galliani: I'm no psychologist
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani insists all is well in the Milan camp despite the recent declarations of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Cassano.

Ibra raised some doubts over his long term future last week by suggesting he was getting tired of the game, while Cassano last night revealed that he plans to retire in three years.

“I don’t know what’s happening to Ibrahimovic and Cassano,” said the Rossoneri Vice-President on Wednesday. “I’m not a psychologist.

“However, I talk to the players and everything is going very well. There is nothing to be worried about.

“Ibrahimovic was desperate to come back to us after international duty, despite what some people were suggesting.”

The reigning champions have had a tough start to the season after picking up just five points from five games amidst an injury crisis.

“We knew that we would have some complications,” he added. “The early date for the Super Cup Final [August 6] caused us some problems.

“Alexandre Pato? He’s doing better, but he won’t be ready for Saturday. However, he’s on the mend.”

Cassano: 'I'll quit in three years'
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano thanked Cesare Prandelli for saving his career, but revealed he “will quit in three or four years at the most.”

The Italy striker scored a brace in tonight’s 3-0 victory over Northern Ireland and has been essential during the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

“The important thing was to have a good game tonight, which we did, but now we have to keep this consistency and style in Euro 2012. I think we can continue like this and achieve great things,” he told Rai Sport.

“It was my first time playing with Sebastian Giovinco. We’re both tiny, about 1.40m between us, but got on well together and it’s always easy to play alongside someone with quality.

“My volley was good. Every now and then a compliment is handy, seeing as I’ve been massacred in the media for 13 years!”

However, Cassano revealed he has no intention of taking his career beyond the next few years.

“I’ve been a clown since birth, I’m not capable of being serious! This morning I told Gigi Buffon I’m one of the oldest in the side, but only have 25 caps.

“I keep coming in and out, but in three or four years I’ll stop with the Nazionale. I think I’ll play football for only that time, have a good Euros and a good World Cup, then at the age of 33 call it a day so I can enjoy my family.

“I want to be gone when I’m in good shape, not when I’m struggling. Will that be it for me and football? Of course, playing is the only thing I know how to do! I can’t talk, I can’t do anything.

“For years I have been stressed out, as all I have to do is scratch my nose and I get turned into a problem. Football has been the most wonderful thing in the world for me, but I am a little tired, so I’ll give another three and a half years, then that’ll do.”

When told he hadn’t won much in his career, Cassano took responsibility for his many mistakes.

“Sport gives you back what you put into it. I didn’t put enough in, so I didn’t get much out. If Buffon won 10 times as much as me, it’s because he was the absolute number one in his role. I was one of many.

“Next year I’ll be 30. I would like another three years at the top and then that’s it. Things are becoming routine for me and I’m no good with that kind of situation.”

The Milan man thanked Italy Coach Prandelli for rescuing him during his many problems with Sampdoria and then the Rossoneri.

“I must above all thank Prandelli, as in my moment of difficulty before Spain, I talked to him for half an hour. He gave me his faith and was close to me. It was what I needed to get a strong start with Milan, too. Aside from football, we have a wonderful rapport and I want to thank him, as when everyone criticised me, he stood by my side.

“As for journalists, I’m entirely sure 70 per cent of the problem is me, but when I get it right 30 per cent of the time, the media still say I’m wrong.

“Besides, after me you’ll have Mario Balotelli to talk about for the next 10 years! He’s another good character for you.”

El Shaarawy to stay at AC Milan
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Stephan El Shaarawy doesn’t believe the “strange” transfer rumours circulating around the Milan youngster.

Stories over the past week have suggested that the 19-year-old could be sent to Fiorentina in January as part of a deal that would see Riccardo Montolivo arrive at Milanello.

“I’ve read the stories too, but I don’t know anything about them,” representative Roberto La Florio told TMW.

“However, it would be strange for Milan to let go of a player who they have recently invested so heavily on.

“I don’t think that Milan will let him go just six months after his arrival. The agreed project was that he would mature and be managed at Milanello.”

The attacker joined Milan from Genoa in a co-ownership deal worth €7m and which also saw Alexander Merkel move to Marassi.

He’s made three Serie A appearances for Milan so far this term and scored in the 1-1 draw with Udinese.

Mexes ready for AC Milan debut
10.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Philippe Mexes is hoping to make his Serie A debut for Milan against Palermo at the weekend.

The 29-year-old joined the Rossoneri in the summer on a free transfer after his contract at Roma expired.

However, he’s so far been unable to play given that he’s spent the last six months recovering from knee ligament damage.

“It will be an honour to replace Alessandro Nesta, one of the greatest defenders in the world,” said the former Auxerre man.

“We’ve endured a difficult period, but we’ll pick ourselves up. I’m at 100 per cent and I’ll be there at San Siro against Palermo.”

Mexes, who joined Roma in 2004, hasn’t played a competitive game since the Giallorossi’s tie against Juventus in April.

The Rossoneri have had a tough opening to the season. They lost their last Serie A game at Juve which means they’ve collected just five points from five League games so far.

Allegri sure of Ibrahimovic desire
10.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri is convinced that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still hungry for success with Italian giants Milan.

The striker raised doubts about his long-term future last week in a revealing interview which suggested he was getting bored of the game.

Allegri, though, has told Sky Sport Italia that he’s not concerned about the former Barcelona player’s statements.

“Ibrahimovic, like all of us here, has the desire to start picking up good results again,” the tactician underlined.

“His words were blown out of proportion. We all just have to work hard and continue the things that we did last year.”

Reports over the weekend suggested that the Sweden international may be looking for a new challenge, possibly with his former Inter boss Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.

“I believe in what I say and am sure in what I say,” added the former Cagliari boss when asked about the transfer hypothesis.

“Ibrahimovic has the desire to stay at Milan and he wants to continue winning things with us here.”

Gullit on Pirlo-less AC Milan
10.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ruud Gullit has become the latest former Milan player to criticise the club’s decision to let go of Andrea Pirlo.

The Italian international, now at Juventus, left the Rossoneri on a free transfer in the summer after the club opted against renewing his contract.

“It’s always handy to have someone like Pirlo in your team,” Gullit, who had two stints at San Siro as a player, told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Pirlo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are two champions who can make the difference. I’d always like to have them both in my side.”

Last week, Zvonimr Boban also questioned the Rossoneri’s decision to allow the playmaker to quit San Siro.

Milan have struggled without Pirlo and have started the League campaign with just five points from five games.

“Milan lack pace,” Gullit added when asked about the side’s struggles in 2011-12 so far.

“Coach Massimiliano Allegri has gone back to the Milan of Carlo Ancelotti – a diamond with two strikers.

“The problem is that there is no speed in their play and the ball doesn’t get to the forwards at the right time.”

AC Milan consider Nainggolan
9.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are looking towards Cagliari star Radja Nainggolan to reinforce their midfield in January.

The Rossoneri have been dealing with an injury crisis and have concerns over the fitness levels of Kevin-Prince Boateng, Mark Van Bommel, Clarence Seedorf and long-term absentee Mathieu Flamini.

According to the latest reports in the Italian media, Coach Massimiliano Allegri hopes to pick from his former club.

Belgian international Nainggolan is only 23 years old, but has already made an impact on Serie A at the Stadio Sant’Elia.

Milan would like to bring him to San Siro on loan in January in exchange for Stephan El Shaarawy, who would find more first team football with Cagliari.

Agent rules out Ibrahimovic to Real Madrid
9.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid consultant Ernesto Bronzetti laughs off reports Jose Mourinho is trying to reunite with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

There are reports the striker’s unhappiness at Milan is fuelled by his ex-Inter boss calling him to Spain.

“This is a typically Italian soap opera around Zlatan,” FIFA agent Bronzetti told Radio Sportiva.

“I am convinced Adriano Galliani is right, in that there’s no need to worry. I can categorically rule out he’s looking for a transfer.

“Ibrahimovic is happy at Milan and I don’t know a single player who speaks ill of the Rossoneri. He was simply having a moment of disappointment when he said he was bored of football.

“As for the Liga clubs and their managers, they have nothing at all to do with this issue. Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has a rule, he never buys players over 30. He only made an exception for Ricardo Carvalho and does not intend to repeat it.

“This is also why Real didn’t sign Douglas Maicon from Inter.”

Nocerino: 'This Italy has fun'
9.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino praises Cesare Prandelli for creating an Italy side where “we have fun, enjoy our football and focus on possession.”

The Coach said he would take on a new approach to the Azzurri when he replaced Marcello Lippi in the summer of 2010.

“In this Nazionale we have fun, enjoy our football, work hard and focus on possession,” said Nocerino in today’s Press conference.

“It is a very good concept of football, which is confirmed by the results we achieved in this qualifying group.

“When the team has fun and can rely on a precise approach, everything becomes easier. The Coach has to be given credit for creating such a good group with consistent football.”

Milan midfielder Nocerino is expected to start against Northern Ireland in the final Euro 2012 qualifier on Tuesday evening.

Claudio Marchisio took part in today’s training session, but probably won’t be risked after spraining his ankle in Friday’s 1-1 draw with Serbia.

“One of my objectives was to win over the faith of the squad and the Coach. I am very happy to have come quietly into this group and earning my place in it.”

TV soars as season tickets plummet
9.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Season ticket sales have plummeted 20 per cent over the last three years, but pay-per-view television viewers rose 69 per cent.

The Gazzetta dello Sport today claims since 2008 the fans with season tickets at the stadium have dropped by 20.4 per cent.

In the same period, those signed up to Sky Italia television have gone up by 69 per cent.

Unlike in Britain, there are no rules limiting the transmission of live football, so every single Serie A and B game is available live on pay-per-view television, often at a cheaper rate than in the UK.

However, these statistics do not count those who watch games on terrestrial digital platform Mediaset Premium, which provides even easier access to Serie A and Europa League football.

In the most recent Serie A round, the total combined pay-per-view television viewers for games burst through the 10m mark for the first time.

Highlights on free to air television are also readily available within an hour of the match coming to a close, though this is reduced to mere minutes when it comes to evening games.

This all goes to explain why Italy’s stadiums are only on average 61 per cent full compared to 69 per cent in France, 73 per cent in Spain, 88 in Germany and 92 per cent in England.

Mourinho calls Ibrahimovic to Real Madrid?
9.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are increasing reports Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s frustration at Milan is fuelled by Jose Mourinho calling him to Real Madrid.

The Swede has given several interviews recently expressing his boredom with football, training and the lack of hunger he now feels for success.

According to the Corriere dello Sport and other sources, Ibra is irritated at his failure to win the Champions League and believes he’s unlikely to achieve this at Milan either.

Mourinho has won the trophy with both Porto and Inter, but notably lifted the latter a year after Ibrahimovic had gone to Barcelona.

It’s claimed Mou is calling the striker to Real Madrid with promises of challenging for the European trophy.

Allegri: 'AC Milan haven't lost worth'
9.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri is not worried by Milan’s poor start to the season. “We haven’t lost our worth because of two defeats.”

The Rossoneri won the title last term, but have already lost heavily to Scudetto contenders Napoli and Juventus.

“We haven’t put together many points in these first five rounds, so we have to get back on track by evaluating the negative and positive aspects,” the Coach told Milan Channel.

“Luckily when the Serie A season resumes we’ll also have some players back from injury and the calm that allows us to play with the right attitude, so without too much tension.

“Milan haven’t suddenly lost our worth because of two defeats in Turin and Naples. Of course we expected to have more points at this stage, but the season is long and we have all the time to recover.”

Allegri has been dealing with an injury crisis and Kevin-Prince Boateng picked up a knock during Saturday’s friendly with the youth team.

“Robinho is already at a good fitness level and we’ll see over the next few days if he’ll already be available against Palermo.

“Zlatan Ibrahimovic will return from international duty with the hunger to win. The whole team needs everyone to work hard and keep calm.”

El Shaarawy key to Montolivo?
9.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have reportedly found the key to taking Riccardo Montolivo in January – by handing Stephan El Shaarawy to Fiorentina.

The Rossoneri have made it clear they want to sign Montolivo, whose contract expires at the end of the season, and a January sale is the only way the Viola will pick up any money from the player.

It is reported Milan have figured the best way to sign Montolivo is to offer Italian Under-21 international El Shaarawy on loan as part of the move.

The ‘Little Pharaoh’ has barely featured since the Rossoneri paid €10m to take half his contract from Genoa.

According to the latest rumours, El Shaarawy will be loaned to Fiorentina for six months in order to release Montolivo.

His arrival would also allow Adem Ljajic to leave Florence for the Premier League, where Aston Villa and Everton are showing an interest.

Nocerino nets four in Italy training
9.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italy played a game between ranks this afternoon with Antonio Nocerino and Alberto Aquilani on target.

The Azzurri flew back from Belgrade after last night’s 1-1 draw and those who didn’t play a full match had a kickabout.

The teams of five against five saw Nocerino score four goals and Aquilani a hat-trick.

Antonio Cassano sat behind one of the goals to watch the encounter, while Federico Balzaretti focused only on gym work after his back injury.

Moggi: 'I had an AC Milan deal'
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Disgraced former Juventus director general Luciano Moggi reveals he had a deal to join Milan in 2006, “but Calciopoli changed everything.”

The transfer guru resigned from the Bianconeri during that trial, in which he was banned and Juve demoted to Serie B with two Scudetti revoked.

“If the scandal hadn’t exploded, I’d probably be at Milan right now,” Moggi told LiberoTV.

“It was all agreed and my experience with Juve would have come to an end in the summer of 2006 anyway.

“I had met with Milan President Silvio Berlusconi at Palazzo Grazioli and we had agreed everything.

“He proposed that I come to the Rossoneri and I accepted. Adriano Galliani doesn’t exactly love me, so he was probably happy this rapport never got off the ground.”

Galliani denies Ibrahimovic delay
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani denies reports Zlatan Ibrahimovic will delay his return to Milan from international duty.

The striker had already caused controversy this week when saying he felt bored of football and no longer had the hunger he used to.

This lead to Swedish manager Erik Hamren hinting Ibrahimovic had asked to stay with the squad until Tuesday’s game against Holland despite the fact he’ll be suspended.

“Ibrahimovic will return to Milan on Monday and there are no problems,” assured Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

“I spoke to him on the telephone and we’ll try to get him back. It all depends on the Sweden manager Hamren, but we hope to have him back, as it would be important to have the player training with us.

“We will have to wait and see what happens.”

Inzaghi: 'I deserve to play'
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi insists he has recovered from a devastating injury. “I deserve to play and the Milan fans deserve it too.”

The veteran hitman always gets a standing ovation when he even begins to warm up at San Siro, but has barely featured this season.

He was also left off the Champions League list, a decision that infuriated him, and is not shy about expressing his frustration to Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“My objective is to get back to being the player I was,” he told So Foot magazine after several months out with knee ligament damage.

“I deserve to play and the fans deserve it too. Besides, I don’t know how to live without football, as I’m like a kid who always wants to play and learn even more.

“Without doubt the striker who resembles me the most is Alberto Gilardino, but also Alberto Paloschi.

“The toughest defenders I’ve faced are certainly Alessandro Nesta, Paolo Maldini, Ivan Cordoba, Ciro Ferrara and Walter Samuel.”

Boateng in new injury scare
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng’s injury problems drag on, as he limped off during today’s test with the Milan youth team.

The Ghanaian midfielder was out for three weeks with a combination of groin and rib strains, then made his comeback against Juventus.

However, it’s reported he pulled up during today’s training session after a collision with one of the Primavera youth team players.

It is another concern for Boateng, who has been struggling with various injuries all season.

He would not have been available for the next Serie A game against Palermo anyway, as he was sent off against Juve and is therefore suspended.

Aquilani targets Northern Ireland start
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Aquilani only had a brief run-out in Belgrade, but “of course” aims to play 90 minutes against Northern Ireland.

“Of course I hope to start in Pescara on Tuesday, but the important thing is to focus on the group,” said the Milan midfielder after Italy’s 1-1 draw with Serbia.

“I want to play more, but so does everyone and it’s not an issue. I am happy to wait for my chance.

“Once again we had a good result and have been on the right path for a long while now.

“These are tough games in difficult atmospheres, but we maintained our unbeaten run and it all builds up for the future. I think we had a good match and the point is a valuable one.”

Zoff predicts Milanese resurgence
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italian legend Dino Zoff insists that it is too soon to dismiss Milan and Inter as title contenders this season.

Both clubs have had a nightmare start to the campaign which has left the Rossoneri six points behind the leaders, with Inter seven shy.

“Inter and Milan will both start to climb back up even if they’ll have problems,” Zoff, the 1982 World Cup winning captain, told Radio CRC.

“It’ll be tough, but you certainly can’t rule them out of the Scudetto race at this point of the campaign.”

While the San Siro giants have disappointed, Napoli and Juventus – Zoff’s former clubs – have impressed.

“It’s nice to think that Napoli and Juve can fight for the championship,” continued the former Juve boss.

“I’m proud that Napoli are doing some excellent things, while Juventus this time seem to be going forward with a positive project.”

Juventus, along with Udinese, lead the standings, while Napoli are just one point further back from the two Bianconeri outfits.

AC Milan believe in Ibrahimovic
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are unconcerned by the declarations made by Zlatan Ibrahimovic this week. “He’s serene,” stated Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

The Swede, 30, did raise doubts over his long-term future after admitting that he’s getting old and he no longer has the same determination for the game as he once had.

However, Galliani has told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday that he’s undaunted by Ibra’s quotes.

“Zlatan is very serene,” the official stated. “We even smiled a little when we read how his interview was interpreted.

“There was no sign of rejection towards Milan at all.

“In fact, I’m sure that he’ll throw himself back into his work with the grit that we all recognise he has.

“Let’s all stay calm, because he will be the one to reload Milan.”

Galliani’s words come just a day after the player’s agent, Mino Raiola, dispelled fears of an early retirement.

“Milan can stay calm,” the representative noted. “He’s upset with the loss against Juventus, but he’ll return to being the real Ibrahimovic in a couple of days.

“It’s clear that he doesn’t have the same motivation as he had three years ago, but he’ll play on until he’s 35.

“I don’t know if he’ll stay at Milan for another five years, as that depends on the club really. You need two parties to be in agreement, but if the club make an offer…”

Khedira in AC Milan link
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Corriere dello Sport suggests that Milan will make a January move for Sami Khedira of Real Madrid.

The Rossoneri’s midfield has been criticised over recent weeks after a sluggish start to the campaign.

Khedira is understood to be of interest to the Italian giants and they may make an offer in the New Year if results don’t improve.

Khedira, back in the Germany squad for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Turkey and Belgium, could be made available for transfer.

Aged 24, he joined the Spanish giants in 2010 from Stuttgart after an impressive 2010 World Cup.

He made 25 appearances in La Liga last term, 40 appearances overall.

Trio target Ogbonna
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan, Juventus and Napoli are all showing an interest in Torino stopper Angelo Ogbonna, reports suggest.

The Corriere dello Sport claims that all three of the Italian giants are keen on acquiring the 23-year-old.

Ogbonna, valued at around €16m by Toro, was a wanted man during the summer, but the Serie B outfit kept hold of their centre-back.

Nevertheless, the three Scudetto contenders are said to be lining up summer bids for the defender.

Ogbonna, along with Rolando Bianchi, is a key player in the Toro set up as they look to win promotion back to Serie A.

Ogbonna is currently on Euro 2012 international duty with Italy after receiving a late call to cover for injuries.

Five more years of Ibrahimovic
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is at least five years away from retirement, the Milan player’s agent has insisted.

Ibra’s long-term future in the sport was placed into doubt on Wednesday after the striker suggested he was getting old and tired of the game.

However, speaking to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Mino Raiola has underlined that his client isn’t about to hang up his boots.

“Milan can stay calm,” the representative noted. “He’s upset with the loss against Juventus, but he’ll return to being the real Ibrahimovic in a couple of days.

“I spoke to him yesterday and he isn’t as down as some of his words would suggest,” continued Raiola.

“It’s clear that he doesn’t have the same motivation as he had three years ago, but he’ll play on until he’s 35.

“He hasn’t lost the desire to put himself under discussion. He’s an honest guy with himself and others.

“I don’t know if he’ll stay at Milan for another five years, as that depends on the club really. You need two parties to be in agreement, but if the club make an offer…”

Ibra, now 30, has had a tough start to the season as injuries have limited him to just two Serie A games so far.

He scored in the 2-2 draw against Lazio in the opening game of the season, but was kept out by Juventus on Sunday as the Old Lady won 2-0.

Cassano insults journalist
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano insulted a journalist at the Italy training camp today and apologised along with Cesare Prandelli.

The Milan striker is well known for his ‘Cassanate,’ those silly gestures that have got him into trouble throughout his career.

He was at the Coverciano training camp preparing for Friday’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Serbia when he insulted a journalist.

Corriere dello Sport writer Andrea Santoni found himself in the bar section of the training camp, which is usually closed to journalists.

Cassano spotted him there and insulted the writer, although the FIGC confirmed this afternoon that the incident had been resolved.

Before the afternoon training session, Cassano shook hands with Santoni and apologised in the presence of Coach Prandelli.

Miccoli will face AC Milan
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fabrizio Miccoli should be fit in time for Palermo’s tricky Serie A trip to Milan once Serie A resumes after the international break.

The club captain was a doubt for the Week 7 game after picking up a muscle problem in the game against Siena.

However, the former Italian international has undergone a series of tests which have ruled out any serious injury.

Miccoli is Palermo’s top scorer in Serie A this season thanks to his three goals in four games for the Barbera outfit.

The Rosanero have collected 10 points so far this term, double the amount that the Rossoneri have netted.

Milan and Palermo meet on October 15, with a 20.45 local time kick off.

Boban blasts AC Milan over Pirlo loss
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zvonimir Boban has criticised former club Milan for allowing Andrea Pirlo to join Juventus over the summer.

The Italian international signed for the Old Lady on a free transfer after the Rossoneri opted against handing him a new deal.

“It was a resounding mistake to lose Pirlo on a Bosman,” the four-time Scudetto winner told the Corriere della Sera.

“We have seen in these first few games of the season how he is playing for Juventus and how useful he still would have been for the Rossoneri.

“Once upon a time Milan signed the best players in the world, now, though, they look at their balance sheet and club politics.”

Pirlo underlined his ability on Sunday evening when his new club defeated his old one in a 2-0 victory.

“The Milan midfield was overwhelmed by Juventus,” continued the ex-Croatian international playmaker.

“We are talking about a slow and ageing department of the team. When Milan come up against a team like Juventus played on Sunday then they’ll find it hard to hold on.”

Ibrahimovic getting bored of football
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan ace Zlatan Ibrahimovic has raised doubts about his future in the game. “Football was everything to me, but now I’m interested in other things.”

Speaking candidly, the striker said that he would continue to play on for a while, but hinted that he’s already thinking about retirement.

"Before football was everything to me,” stated the 2010 signing from Spanish giants Barcelona.

“I did not think about anything else and sometimes I didn’t even go to school so that I could play. Now it is not like that, I'm interested in other things.

“It even takes a great deal of effort for me to play football with my kids in the garden – I now leave it to the babysitter.”

The former Juventus and Inter star turned 30 on Monday and he’s admitted that he’s finding it tough to defeat the sands of time.

“With age you have to care for yourself more,” he added. “When I was young, if I felt any pain or had any problems then I could still shoot at goal from 40 metres away.

“That’s not the case today. I have to take great care in my warm up before even kicking a ball. I’m getting old.

"I'm not kidding about my situation. I hate to say it, but I don’t have the same determination as I had before and I enjoyed myself a lot more a few years ago.”

Ibra almost went as far as saying that he’s actually getting bored of the game.

"Today everything has become routine even though I still enjoy it, but you won’t see me playing with white hair and I won’t play on until the verge of destroying myself.

“I won’t be retiring soon, I’ll play on for a while, but I want to retire when I am still at the top. That might not happen, but that is my objective.”

Zambrotta predicts AC Milan revival
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italian champions Milan are still very much in the title race this season, insists Gianluca Zambrotta.

The Rossoneri’s 2-0 loss at Juventus on Sunday saw them move six points adrift of Juve and Udinese at the top of the table.

However, the 2006 World Cup winner has cooled talk of a crisis by insisting his outfit will strike back.

“We played one of our worst games for some time against Juventus,” said the veteran full-back.

“But now there is the international break where we can recharge the batteries because we have played a lot of games in the last month.”

Milan have collected only five points from their five games in Serie A and they’ve also lost to title rivals Napoli this term.

“We are only six points behind,” continued the former Bari and Juve man. “With three points for a win, you just have to win three or four games on the trot to climb back to the top.

“You also have to remember that we have faced some strong sides, but we’ll play Napoli and Juventus at home in the second half of the campaign.”

Buffon still favours AC Milan
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus ‘keeper Gigi Buffon insists that Milan are still favourites to win Serie A this season.

Despite the Old Lady’s 2-0 win over the Rossoneri on Sunday, which saw them move to the top of the table, the custodian still rates the Diavolo.

“Milan are paying the price for their injury problems,” the Italian international noted on Tuesday afternoon.

“They are not out of the race. I do believe that Milan are still favourites to win the League title in the end.”

Juve are unbeaten in Serie A so far, with three wins and two draws helping them move six points clear of the reigning champions.

“I’m happy with how things are going,” added the former Parma man. “We played well against Milan and I really liked the spirit that we showed as we looked for the win.

“However, we only won three points on Sunday night. If we don’t face all of the games in such a manner then we will become a normal team unable to take a step up in quality.

“If you finish seventh in the League for two seasons running, as we have, then it is because you don’t have any consistency in your results.

“I don’t want to make any predictions because we started the last few seasons well, but then we ended them badly.”

Juve are next in action after the international break when they take on Chievo in Verona.

Sacchi 'recommended Cavani to AC Milan'
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arrigo Sacchi has revealed he once recommended Carlo Ancelotti to sign Edinson Cavani for Milan.

Sacchi was talking to Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli about Napoli's strong start to the season when revealing this.

“Mazzarri was good to surround himself with capable and reliable people and the fact is that he is complemented by the club getting important players.

“I recommended Cavani to Ancelotti, he and Hamsik have extraordinary elements.

“The great performances against Manchester City, Milan and Inter have shown that Napoli is a great team that, although incomplete in some aspects, remains highly competitive.

“The Azzurri need only fear a loss of motivation and physical condition.

“Napoli in the Champions League? It has allowed them to enter the world football stage, not to mention the economic value of the competition. De Laurentiis has done well to get them to the top.”

Ibrahimovic: 'I'm starting to age'
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has admitted on his 30th birthday that time is passing quickly for him, but that he believes he has a few years left yet.

The Swede was talking to Sportbladet and reflected on entering his 30s as a footballer.

“I'm starting to age, the time has passed quickly, but I definitely plan on playing for a few more years.

“Now, I feel more mature because I have two children. Time has passed quickly, I moved between several teams and that made things go quickly.

“Once I stop playing I will begin to enjoy life. When will I retire? I do not know, but I want to go on for a while.”

Ibra then passed comment on the Juventus defeat.

“I do not think we had the potential to do more in that game. I will celebrate with my family, and then focus on my commitments with the national team.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan's worst performance'
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri gave credit to Juventus and conceded an exhausted Milan had “our worst performance of the season.”

The Rossoneri were beaten 2-0 in Turin with two late goals from Claudio Marchisio, though there had been many chances before then.

“Juve certainly played very well and tonight we weren’t up to the task, as we made a lot of mistakes in the one-on-ones. It’s a shame to concede so late in the day, but Juventus deserved it, truth be told,” said the Milan Coach.

This was their second defeat of the season, the other being against another Scudetto contender, Napoli.

“I don’t think we have a problem in head-to-head matches. Tonight we simply weren’t clear-headed, despite having some good chances and going close to taking home a point.

“In order to win here, you have to play at a certain tempo and we didn’t do that, on top of the individual errors. The team did not play well, both going forward and in defending.

“Juventus deserved it, Milan played badly, it’s only normal that after a month and a half with the same players always having to take to the field, fatigue will set in. There is absolutely nothing to worry about.

“Seeing as we were tired and knew Juve would put on the pressure, we wanted to keep hold of possession, but couldn’t do it. We also saw moves break down because we were always late to the ball.

“Sometimes you take these games to the end with a result and sometimes you don’t. I think this was our worst performance of the season, as we played far better in the defeat to Napoli, but a lot of the credit goes to Juventus.”

Serie A: Juventus 2:0 AC Milan - match report
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Marchisio 87, 93 (J)

Claudio Marchisio grabbed two late Juventus goals to beat Milan after Kevin-Prince Boateng saw red.

This was the first real test of Juve's Scudetto credentials and they needed a victory to keep up with Udinese at the top of the table. Pirlo shook off a knock to the knee so he could face his former teammates, but Giorgio Chiellini was moved to left-back with Mirko Vucinic the lone centre-forward. Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned midweek against Viktoria Plzen, though Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Gennaro Gattuso, Philippe Mexes and Mathieu Flamini were still sidelined. Kevin-Prince Boateng made his comeback, but felt the problem in his ribs again during the warm-up and only decided moments before kick-off whether to start the game.

The Rossoneri had won their last two trips to Turin, scoring four goals and keeping clean sheets. Their most recent defeat was 4-2 in December 2008, while the fixture hadn't ended in a stalemate since March 2006. This was, however, Milan's first ever visit to the new Juventus Stadium.

Christian Abbiati tipped a Stephan Lichtsteiner cross-shot over the bar, while Claudio Marchisio blasted over and the goalkeeper smothered a long-range Pirlo strike.

Abbiati punched a Pirlo free kick off the line, but Simone Pepe got back to charge down Ibra's half-volley for a corner. Abbiati also smothered when Mirko Vucinic spun round to fire low.

Vucinic went extremely close to an opener on 36 minutes when he lobbed from outside the box, which Abbiati at full stretch fingertipped on to the crossbar, as the ball bounced back off the ground and out.

Juve were dominating as time went on, but Marchisio failed to get power on the finish after a wonderful take and volley on Vidal's ball over the top. Vucinic flashed a shot across the face of goal, whistling past the far post.

Straight after the restart Pirlo's cross found Leonardo Bonucci to try to bundle it over the line with a combination of thigh and chest, but Abbiati somehow managed to keep the ball out from point-blank range.

At the other end, a Cassano pass found Boateng at the back post for a low volleyed cross-shot that Gigi Buffon fingertipped round the far stick.

Vucinic pounced on a poor Mark Van Bommel backpass to run into the box, but Thiago Silva got back and did just enough to put him off.

Alessandro Nesta had been struggling with a knee problem for the entire second half and eventually requested a substitution, so Luca Antonini came in with Daniele Bonera moving to centre-back.

Vidal flashed a dangerous daisy-cutter inches past the far post after Pirlo's dummy let the pass through. Vucinic went even closer, as his curler shaved a coat of paint off the same stick.

Juventus finally took a deserved lead with just four minutes to go. Marchisio burst forward and had a double give-and-go with Vidal and Vucinic to enter the box, then Bonera's desperate attempt at an interception ricocheted in off his shin.

Boateng then received a second yellow card for a bizarre foul, as he seemed to try to slap the ball off Chiellini's head and poked him in the face, requiring a bandage for a cut.

Juve doubled their lead with another odd strike, as Marchisio's volley was probably under control, but Alessandro Matri might've got a toe to flick it on, as Abbiati let the ball squirm between his legs. It was a howler from the goalkeeper.

Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Pirlo, Marchisio; Krasic (Giaccherini 54), Vidal (Pazienza 94), Pepe; Vucinic (Matri 88)

Milan: Abbiati; Bonera, Nesta (Antonini 73), Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Nocerino (Ambrosini 83), Van Bommel, Seedorf; Boateng; Ibrahimovic, Cassano (Emanuelson 61)

Ref: Rizzoli
Sent off: Boateng 88 (M)

Vidal: 'Why I chose Juventus over AC Milan'
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arturo Vidal faces Milan tonight, but admits he was about to join them this summer. “I chose Juventus, the most successful club.”

The Chilean midfielder arrived from Bayer Leverkusen in August and had been in negotiations with many other sides, including Bayern Munich and the Rossoneri.

“I chose Juve, because they are the most successful club in Italy and now also the hungriest,” Vidal told Tuttosport.

“This is a very important game. Some matches have a certain aura about them, but above all can send a clear signal.

“If we beat Milan, then the other teams have to view us with different eyes.”

The Rossoneri have an injury crisis that rules out the likes of Robinho, Alexandre Pato and Gennaro Gattuso, while Kevin-Prince Boateng and Massimo Ambrosini return from long injury lay-offs.

“The players we have to fear the most are Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Clarence Seedorf,” concluded the Juventus star.

Knee injury scare for Pirlo
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Pirlo has an injury scare ahead of Sunday’s Juventus-Milan match, while Paolo De Ceglie is ruled out.

The official Bianconeri website confirms in the final stages of today’s training session, Pirlo “received a knock to the left knee.

“The midfielder’s conditions will be evaluated over the next few hours, but his name is included in the squad named by Antonio Conte.”

It would be a huge blow for Juve if Pirlo were to miss out, not to mention on a personal level, as he is set to face his former teammates.

De Ceglie has been left out as a precautionary measure following another knock, while Mirko Vucinic has returned from his ban.

Juventus squad: Buffon, Chiellini, Pazienza, Grosso, Pepe, Marchisio, Del Piero, Vucinic, Barzagli, Elia, Quagliarella, Bonucci, Pirlo, Vidal, Giaccherini, Lichtsteiner, Krasic, Estigarribia, Storari, Matri, Morrone

Boateng and Ambrosini fit for Juventus
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng and Massimo Ambrosini are back in the squad for Milan’s match with Juventus.

The Rossoneri injury crisis is dissipating, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Daniele Bonera and Luca Antonini already returned to the side for Wednesday’s Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri added Boateng and Ambrosini to the list after several weeks on the sidelines with groin and shoulder problems respectively.

However, Ignazio Abate is out with a muscular strain, joining Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Gennaro Gattuso, Philippe Mexes and Mathieu Flamini on the treatment table.

AC Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Nesta, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Aquilani, Boateng, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Seedorf, Van Bommel, Cassano, El Shaarawy, Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi

Berlusconi hails Ibrahimovic - Cassano
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi visited the team ahead of their Juventus clash, praising Antonio Cassano and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“In these 25 years that I have owned the club, we’ve been able to make Milan the side with the most international trophies in the world and I have become the President with the most silverware in the history of world football. I think the fans like that too,” said the Italian Prime Minister.

“I’d love to build a stadium just for Milan, but there is a lot of red tape to get over before that can happen. Juventus deserve praise for being able to achieve it.”

There is still an injury crisis at San Siro, but Berlusconi is confident Milan can trouble the Serie A leaders.

“The team does change with Ibra on the field, as he brings strength and physicality to the side that builds for its strikers,” he told Milan Channel.

“Cassano has rediscovered his quality, which nobody doubted, but has given it a sense of consistency throughout the game and the season that he had previously lacked.

“I expect Milan to step on to the pitch to control the tempo and win convincingly, with the full respect of their opponents.”

Van Bommel on AC Milan future
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mark Van Bommel has pledged himself to Milan, but warned they ought to focus on Serie A rather than the Champions League.

“We had clear scoring opportunities as well as the two we netted against Barcelona, so this team certainly did not play catenaccio,” the Dutch international told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Winning in Europe is very difficult, so I think it’s easier to win the Scudetto again. It’s true we didn’t get off to a good start in Serie A, as we often get too stretched out.

“Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a great player, but we cannot depend too much on him. As for Clarence Seedorf, I see him more as a manager than a Coach in future.”

Van Bommel has to consider his own future too and already has it mapped out.

“When I retire, I want to be a Coach, as I’ll take the two tests I’m missing and start in the youth teams in Holland. I’d like to end my career at PSV Eindhoven, but I have a contract here and am very happy to play another season.

“Milan must know they can count on me, as they had guts to sign a player of my age.”

He was teammates with Andrea Pirlo last season, but they’ll be battling in midfield when Milan visit Juventus on Sunday night.

“Pirlo is a great player and it’s only normal to miss someone like him. I’m not surprised he is doing so well at Juventus. However, now he is our opponent, so we can only focus on winning Sunday’s game.”

Conte: 'AC Milan are Juve's big test'
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Conte warns Milan that Juventus will go for it in Turin. “We have a lot of respect for them, but no fear.”

The Bianconeri are joint Serie A leaders with Udinese, but have so far not faced any of the potential title challengers.

“Having respect for a side is one thing, and we have a lot of it for Milan, but fear is another,” said the Coach.

“Our attitude must never change, regardless of who we are facing, because we must always take the initiative. Clearly we are playing against a team of great quality, but that has to represent further motivation.

“It is our first game against a big club, but certainly not our first big game, because every encounter must be treated the right way. They are all ultimately worth three points.

“We are still studying to be among the big teams. We must never forget where we came from, nor what happened to Juventus. That’s all we need to avoid kidding ourselves and provide the grit we need to get back to the top level.

“When we are there, then we can talk about a Scudetto showdown. For now, we just want to understand what level we are at.”

Conte has shown his tactics are adaptable, fielding the 4-2-4 or other systems depending on the occasion.

“I am fortunate enough to have different options in midfield. It has to be an advantage, because having an alternative to the basic system allows us to be unpredictable.

“We know Milan try to win by keeping possession, so there will be moments when we are under pressure. We’re aware of our strengths and weaknesses, so curious to see how we perform in a big match situation.”

Allegri: 'Juventus are Scudetto rivals'
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri looks ahead to Sunday’s Juventus-Milan clash. “We’re playing a team that will fight to the end for the Scudetto.”

This has not been a title showdown for some years, but Juve go into the game as joint leaders with Udinese.

“Juventus are a new squad who are doing well and can certainly do even better,” said Allegri.

“We’re playing a team that will fight to the end for the Scudetto. Juventus will also be highly motivated and can count on the support of the home crowd in their wonderful new stadium.

“It’s great to see a stadium without barriers, as that represents a step forward for Italian football.”

Milan’s defence of their Serie A title has not started well, notching up only one victory against Cesena.

“At the moment we are still coming back together, because we had so many injuries. Tomorrow will hopefully be the last game with so many players out, as they should return after the break for international duty.

“It’s a good side, as at last we can start to get into the season properly after six games. We would’ve had 12 points by now without the injuries, but that didn’t happen, so we have five points.

“We must continue along this path and build on the fact we’ve kept two consecutive clean sheets and are back to winning ways. A match like this needs to be prepared on a mental level more than a physical one.”

Kevin-Prince Boateng should return for this game, but the likes of Gennaro Gattuso, Alexandre Pato, Robinho and Massimo Ambrosini are still sidelined.

Allegri agreed to Andrea Pirlo’s departure over the summer and comes face to face with the former Milan hero in Turin.

“Andrea is a champion and is doing well, as he plays for a team that makes the most of his qualities. If we leave him space to play, then we’ll be making it easier for him and the strikers.

“I am impressed with Coach Antonio Conte, as he is pushing forward his ideas of football.”

Aquilani: 'AC Milan is like paradise'
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Aquilani thanks Juventus for giving him a chance, but “Milan is like Paradise” as he returns to face his former teammates.

The midfielder is still owned by Liverpool, but was welcomed back to Serie A last year in a loan spell with Juve.

The club would not pay the agreed buy-out clause and failed to haggle a lower fee, so he joined the Rossoneri instead in a similar deal.

“Milan is like paradise, as there are the ideal conditions to live well and play football,” Aquilani told the Corriere dello Sport.

“Now I understand why all the players who came to Milan said they felt happy. Now I want to become a key player for this team.

“I didn’t get to play with Liverpool very much and it was difficult to settle in. I thank Juventus, who gave me the chance to play regularly again and to make it back into the Italy squad.

“I came to Milan when it was still possible to resume talks with Juventus, but the Rossoneri confirmed my contract until 2014. I chose to cut my wages so I could thank them for the opportunity they were giving me.

“I am very happy to have made this choice.”

Aquilani returns to Turin to face Juve on Sunday evening and takes on his replacement, former Milan star Andrea Pirlo.

“The fact we swapped clubs this summer is just a coincidence. I don’t think the game will be decisive for the Scudetto, as it’s still too early to say.”

Vucinic: 'I was an AC Milan fan'
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Source: Football Italia

Mirko Vucinic is back from his ban and the Juventus striker reveals he used to be a Milan supporter.

“I admired Dejan Savicevic, just as all the kids in Montenegro did, so it was only natural to support the Rossoneri when he was there,” he confessed ahead of Sunday night’s game.

“It is going to be a battle between top teams. We want to win in order to gain more confidence and self-belief.”

They need the boost, as after a sensational start the Bianconeri have been held to two consecutive 1-1 draws against Bologna and Catania.

“Those results did leave a bitter taste in the mouth. My red card was partly to blame for the Bologna draw and I was so upset. I was convinced I was going to get the ball with that tackle. It’s so strange, as I’ve not been sent off in five or six years,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.

“My first goal in a Juve jersey was against Milan in the Trofeo Berlusconi this summer. I also scored against them in the past, including a brace, so I hope to continue that trend. However, the result and the team are the most important things.”

Vucinic also faced Juventus as an opponent many times and reveals what Milan might be thinking.

“In the past I was always struck by the fact Juve would often fumble a lead to draw or even lose. This season, from within, I can sense much more determination.

“I am very happy to have come to Turin. The negotiations with Roma seemed to go on forever, but in the end it all went well. I had five happy years in Rome, but then had a few problems with the fans and wanted new challenges.”

Abate likely to miss Juventus - AC Milan
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Source: Football Italia

Milan announced Ignazio Abate is likely to miss Sunday’s trip to Juventus with a thigh problem.

The full-back had come out of Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Viktoria Plzen with a knock and recovery time has been slower than expected.

“AC Milan announce that Ignazio Abate is suffering from a thigh problem that has prevented him from taking part in yesterday’s and today’s training sessions,” read a statement on the club website.

“Over the next few days his condition will be re-evaluated through further medical tests.”

This suggests it is highly unlikely Abate will be able to recover in time for the Sunday night Serie A clash with Juventus.

Also expected to miss out are Robinho, Alexandre Pato, Gennaro Gattuso, Massimo Ambrosini, Philippe Mexes, Mathieu Flamini and Kingsley Boateng.

Ibrahimovic enjoys new Juventus - AC Milan
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Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is impressed with the new Juventus, but also feels he has found his ideal position at Milan.

Although he netted many times in Turin when wearing the Bianconeri jersey, the Swede has never scored here as an opponent and hopes to rectify that on Sunday evening.

“I played in a position that I really like in the Champions League,” he told Milan Channel.

“I can make many movements forward and back, even to help out my teammates. I have more opportunity to do my thing and the more I get the ball, the more dangerous I can be.”

Juve are currently joint top of the Serie A table and this is their first real Scudetto test.

“They are a very strong side and improved so much compared to a year ago with new players and a new Coach,” continued Ibra.

“Plus they have our man, Andrea Pirlo, who is having a great campaign. We have got to be wary, as it’s going to be very difficult and a big game, but we remain the favourites and must therefore take the initiative.”

The injury crisis is subsiding somewhat with the probable return for this game of Kevin-Prince Boateng, but the likes of Alexandre Pato, Robinho and Gennaro Gattuso are still sidelined.

“Antonio Cassano is doing very well, as he has played in every game and scored important goals. We hope he continues this way. He makes an excellent strike partner because he scores, but also provides many assists.”

Galliani blasts Udinese's Euro snub
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Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani is furious with Udinese after fielding a second string team against Celtic. “This is why Italy are ranked below Cyprus!”

The Milan Vice-President has long been critical of clubs who snub the Champions League and Europa League, which led to the fourth Champions League qualifying spot being taken away from Serie A.

Udinese Coach Francesco Guidolin drew a great deal of criticism when resting almost all his stars in the 1-1 draw in Glasgow on Thursday.

“Every time we play a round in the Champions League, I get a print-out of the current European ranking,” explained Galliani.

“Despite the three victories from Inter, Milan and Napoli, we are in 11th place and even lag behind Cyprus. Do you know why? It’s because some clubs show a lack of interest in the Europa League.

“We even set aside a contribution payment in the Lega to motivate them, but when the games arrive, they rotate the squads.

“The problem in Italian football is not knowing who wins Juventus-Milan this Sunday, but rather the 22-point difference from the English ranking.”

Another reason for Serie A’s downturn in recent years has been the state of stadiums, as only Juventus have inaugurated an arena that they own.

“If all Italian clubs owned their own stadiums, the income would change radically. Unfortunately, we are light years away from this change. What happened in Turin cannot be repeated.

“The only thing we can try to do at Milan is modernise San Siro so we can soon hope to host a Champions League Final.”

Milan visit the brand new Juventus Stadium on Sunday evening and Galliani was at the inauguration ceremony.

“A club that changes its stadium also changes its crowd. Since the Allianz Arena in Munich was rebuilt, Bayern have been consistently sold out, because people are interested in the stadium and not just the match.

“My compliments to the Juve directors who have been able to achieve this great feat.”

Allegri: 'Pirlo left for the challenge'
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Source: Football Italia

Ahead of facing him in a Juventus shirt, Milan Coach Massimilano Allegri has reflected on why Andrea Pirlo left the Rossoneri this summer.

The 32-year-old ended a 10-year spell at San Siro to make the move to Turin, after enduring a frustrating final year with il Diavolo under Allegri's coaching.

Allegri confirmed why Pirlo left, suggesting it was not because of contract or tactical issues.

“Andrea said the truth: that he was looking for other challenges.

“When you are in the same place for 10 years, you need a change, and he is proving that on the field, understanding that last year he was great when he returned against Bologna to a mezzala role, before losing the season to injuries.”

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