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The Archive

January 2009

Senderos sees the light
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Philippe Senderos only made his Serie A debut for Milan two weeks ago, but is confident his injury woes are behind him.

The 23-year-old former Arsenal man was picked up in the summer to shore up the ageing defence, but has been sidelined by a series of fitness problems.

“I feel better and I hope the Coach also notices I am slowly returning to my usual levels,” he told the official Milan website.

“I hope to have other opportunities to prove my worth. In order to be secure on the field, a defender must have two or three games to get his rhythm.

“I would love to have the opportunity to step on to the pitch in a few more ties so that I can become completely match fit.”

Senderos only made his Serie A debut as a substitute for David Beckham in the 1-0 victory over Fiorentina on January 17.

He has now made three top flight appearances in Italy – only one in the starting XI – and expects to feature on Sunday night against Lazio.

This is because Paolo Maldini and Mathieu Flamini are suspended, while Kakha Kaladze and Alessandro Nesta are injured.

Daniele Bonera resumed training, but is in doubt with a flu virus.

Beckham off UEFA list?
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It is reported that David Beckham has been left off Milan’s UEFA Cup list, though Gennaro Gattuso hopes he will stay.

The player joined on loan from LA Galaxy until March 9, but this week the Rossoneri confirmed they were eager to buy him outright or extend the spell until the end of the season.

Their hopes have taken a blow with suggestions in the Gazzetta dello Sport that Beckham is not on the UEFA Cup list to be handed in this weekend.

By leaving him off that squad, he will be unable to participate in the competition this term, even if he eventually remains at San Siro.

It also rules Beckham out of the second round tie with Werder Bremen, as he would have been otherwise available on February 18 and 26.

“He never pulls out of a challenge, scores goals and works for the team,” said an admiring Gattuso.

“I think this makes him a great player and we hope he stays after March 9. He is giving us a real helping hand, it’s no joke.

“We need him to achieve important objectives. We all hope that he stays with Milan.”

Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena has been increasingly irritated at the speculation surrounding the England star’s future.

"No-one ever knows with exact certainty what will happen, everything becomes distorted, but we are not interested in other news," he told Sportmediaset.

"David will return to us on March 9. There is an agreement for a loan with Milan and the player, the club and his agent as well as Galaxy and the MLS know the details."

Lippi lines up Maldini testimonial
31.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paolo Maldini could be given one final Italy cap in a testimonial, confirmed Marcello Lippi, but not against Brazil.

The defender retired from the Nazionale after the 2002 World Cup and still holds the record with 126 appearances for his country.

“He is one of the greatest players I have ever seen and I spoke with him about his decision to leave the Azzurri,” Coach Lippi told Goal.com.

“He told me he was no longer interested in playing for the Nazionale, but I think an initiative like this final friendly is possible.

“Before it all he would have to announce his retirement from the sport, then we’ll see if we can organise it all.

“We would have to talk to him and see if he is interested, then discuss it with the Federation, but before all this it is crucial that he retires from club football.”

Maldini has said he will quit at the end of this season, by which time he will be 40 years old, but it would not be the first time he put off retirement for another term.

Some have called for the legendary Milan captain to receive his 127th and final cap in the February 10 friendly with Brazil at the Emirates in London.

“We would consider it, but at this moment it’s just impossible,” warned Lippi. “There are less than two weeks until that game and it will be difficult to organise something like that so quickly.

“I have great respect for Maldini, a great player and professional, but he has not yet retired from professional football and we don’t know when he will make that decision.”

Pirlo demands Lazio win
30.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo has stressed that this weekend's trip to Lazio is a must-win encounter.

The Rossoneri led Genoa on Wednesday evening, but they were hit by a late Diego Milito equaliser.

After Inter's win at Catania, Milan are now eight points behind the leaders and know that anything less than a win at Lazio could kill off their Scudetto chances.

“Lazio are having a tough time at present,” Pirlo told the Milan Channel.

“We must take advantage of that and try and build on our positive recent performances.

“We are going to win against Lazio because that is what we need to do.

“If we draw, like we did the other night, then we will lose more points and we could drop further down the standings.

“Even though it's a long season and there is still time, we must make our move now.”

AC Milan duo miss Lazio
29.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A total of 17 players face one-game suspensions for Week 22 with Milan missing Paolo Maldini and Mathieu Flamini for the trip to Lazio.

Maldini and Flamini both picked up bookings during yesterday's draw against Genoa.

The Diavolo pair will now be unavailable for Milan's visit to Lazio this weekend.

Opponents Lazio will also be without two key men in Pasquale Foggia and Stephan Lichtsteiner, who have been handed one-match bans.

Inter midfielder Sulley Muntari will miss one match after being sent off against Catania for a mistimed sliding challenge on Giacomo Tedesco.

Single-game suspensions: Fabiano and Zanchetta (Lecce), Mandelli, Marcolini and Pinzi (Chievo), Montervino (Napoli), Muntari (Inter), Storari and Zauri (Fiorentina), Dessena (Sampdoria), Doni (Atalanta), Flamini and Maldini (Milan), Foggia and Lichtsteiner (Lazio), Galloppa (Siena), Tedesco (Catania)

Galliani: Galaxy decide Beckham's future
29.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has conceded that the length of David Beckham's San Siro stay is dependent on LA Galaxy.

Beckham is currently on loan in the peninsula and is scheduled to return to Los Angeles on March 8.

However, as the English international has settled well and bagged two goals, Milan are keen to keep him on a permanent basis.

“I am happy for Beckham because we now have the proof that we wanted him as a footballer and for no other reason,” Galliani insisted.

“David is a great player and he also has a great deal of humility.

“Will he stay with us? At the moment that cannot happen - it all depends on the owners of his contract.”

There have been suggestions that Milan will offer LA Galaxy in the region of £5m for Beckham's signature.

Another option would see Beckham buy his way out of his contract in the USA and sign for Milan on a free transfer.

Beckham is ours, say Galaxy
29.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

LA Galaxy CEO Tim Leiweke has moved to quash rumours that David Beckham will leave the MLS outfit and join Milan on a permanent basis.

Beckham is just about to complete the first of his three months on loan at Milan where he has impressed, scoring two goals in four consecutive starting appearances.

“Beckham is under contract to the Galaxy and I had a good, straightforward conversation with him before he left and he loves it in LA,” said Leiweke in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

“We have a contract, we have a handshake, and his kids go to school here, end of story. There is no story. He’s going to return to Galaxy.

“He wants a better Galaxy team, we’re going to have a better team and David has no interest in going,” concluded Leiweke.

Beckham himself has intimated that he is enjoying his time in Milan and “will see” in March whether he wants to go back to Galaxy.

Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti and Vice-President Adriano Galliani are pleased with his progress and have gone public with their desire to keep him.

Ancelotti's Genoa regrets
29.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti has regrets over his “tired” Milan’s result, but Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini feels his men deserved the point.

“We played an excellent first half and pressured them high up the field, but this used up a lot of energy that we paid for at the end, when Genoa pushed us down the flanks,” mused Carletto.

“This is why I played a team with four midfielders, but the crosses were coming in anyway.”

David Beckham’s gem of a free kick gave the Rossoneri the lead, while Andrea Pirlo hit the woodwork twice, but Diego Milito netted the equaliser in the final minute.

“We were unable to win a match that we deserved to take all three points from. The regrets come from the fact the team is in good shape and yet still couldn’t get the victory.

“The season continues, even if we have to chase. At least we have four more points now than we did compared to our first meetings with Bologna and Genoa.”

The result leaves Milan eight points adrift of leaders Inter, although they do close up on Juventus in second place.

Genoa hold on to fourth and see their Champions League ambitions grow, even though Roma are now only a point behind.

“In the first half Milan did more, because we decided to sit back a little and go on the counter, especially with fresh legs in the second half,” said Gasperini.

“They were fantastic from set plays and we scored late on. We had other chances and overall it is a very good result.

“We seem to play better against the big clubs because there is more space for our characteristics. They have more quality, but that doesn’t mean we cannot get a result.

“What are our objectives this season? We’ll see after the next few weeks, as we have to face all the top sides. If we emerge from that run well, then we can think big.”

AC Milan 1:1 Genoa - match report
29.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Beckham 33 (M), Milito 87 (G)

David Beckham's splendid free kick gave Milan the lead, but Diego Milito's late equaliser leaves them eight points adrift of Inter.

It was third v fourth and the Rossoneri's chance for revenge after losing 2-0 at Marassi in Week 2. Daniele Bonera, Kakha Kaladze, Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso and Marco Borriello were out for the home side, while Matteo Ferrari's ban added to the absences of Matteo Paro, Andrea Gasbarroni and Alessandro Potenza.

Milan had won their last nine consecutive home games in Serie A, scoring 19 goals and conceding just three. Genoa had not won here since a 5-1 result in May 1958.

Beckham wanted to impress England manager Fabio Capello in the stands, as he forced a save out of Rubinho with a rising drive from the D after 25 seconds. Diego Milito's free kick went over the bar, but on 15 minutes a splendid Andrea Pirlo free kick curled on to the crossbar and Alexandre Pato fired the follow-up over the bar.

Beckham was determined to impress Capello and certainly did it with a fantastic free kick to give Milan the lead. He curled the cheekiest of efforts in from a very tight angle, only a few metres from the byline, that surprised Rubinho at the near post!

Genoa had to make changes and introduced Bosko Jankovic for Modesto. Thiago Motta's free kick squirmed through Christian Abbiati's arms and on to the upright, but ricocheted back into his grasp.

Milan also hit the woodwork moments later, as Pirlo once again thumped the crossbar with one of his trademark free kicks.

There was bad news for the Rossoblu as on the stroke of half-time Thiago Motta limped off, to be replaced by Anthony Vanden Borre. Giuseppe Sculli's header was off target and Vanden Borre wasted a good Raffaele Palladino cross.

Beckham had already felt a thigh twinge in the first half and was substituted when he limped again, replaced by Mathieu Flamini, receiving applause from San Siro.

Giuseppe Biava headed a corner into the ground that bounced over, but Ronaldinho came off the bench and his free kick was deflected inches past the far post.

40-year-old Paolo Maldini's acrobatic intervention cut short Milito in the area, while Abbiati's splendid save denied Milito a header.

Genoa were pouring forward in the final stages and wqualised with three minutes to go. Palladino's cross was knocked down by Ivan Juric for Milito's volley from five yards at the back post. Giuseppe Favalli was keeping everyone in play.
Milan: Abbiati; , Zambrotta, Maldini, Favalli, Jankulovski; Beckham (Flamini 71), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Seedorf (Senderos 79), Kaka; Pato (Ronaldinho 75)

Genoa: Rubinho; Modesto (Jankovic 39), Biava, Bocchetti; Mesto, Milanetto, Juric, Criscito; Thiago Motta (Vanden Borre 45); Milito, Sculli (Palladino 63)

Ref: Gervasoni

Ronaldinho to miss out again
28.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho will probably be limited to a substitute's role again against Genoa with Alexandre Pato playing in front of Kaka and Clarence Seedorf.

Dinho has been benched for the last two games and after last weekend's 4-1 triumph over Bologna, Seedorf is expected to be preferred again.

In-form Brazilian striking starlet Pato is set to play the lone striker role with Kaka and Seedorf on his shoulder.

Carlo Ancelotti may rest Swiss defender Philippe Senderos, who isn't 100 per cent fit.

The Rossoneri tactician must do without injured men Daniele Bonera, Kakha Kaladze, Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso and Marco Borriello.

Press reports suggest that Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini will start Diego Milito and Bosko Jankovic up front with Thiago Motta just behind.

Azzurri forward Raffaele Palladino is back from injury and ready to take a set on the bench.

Milan (probable): Abbiati; Zambrotta, Favalli, Maldini, Jankulovski; Beckham, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Seedorf; Kaka, Pato

Genoa (probable): Rubinho; Rossi, Biava, Bocchetti; Mesto, Milanetto, Juric, Criscito, Thiago Motta; Milito, Jankovic

Storari set for Chelsea
28.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan-owned goalkeeper Marco Storari is set to join Chelsea on loan to replace Carlo Cudicini.

Storari has been on loan to Fiorentina, but he has been an understudy to Sebastien Frey and seen precious little first-team action.

It now seems that the 32-year-old has another reserve role on the horizon at Stamford Bridge serving as a replacement to Petr Cech.

“The transfer isn't all denied, but we are waiting for confirmation sometime today,” Storari's agent Claudio Vigorelli told Tuttomercatoweb.

The move is unrelated to Fiorentina's attempts to sign Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

“I can say for sure that Ivanovic won't be involved in any deal,” Vigorelli concluded.

Italian 'keeper Cudicini left Chelsea for Tottenham on a free transfer yesterday.

Beckhams' AC Milan D-day approaches
28.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports in the English Press that David Beckham has just six days to decide whether he wants to stay with Milan.

The England international is on loan from LA Galaxy and is due to return to the MLS outfit on March 8.

However, Beckham has settled in quickly at Milan and it has been reported that the midfielder is keen to stay on longer at San Siro.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has admitted his desire to sign Beckham on a permanent basis and the ball is in Beckham's court.

According to reports in The Sun, Beckham has just six days to make his final decision because he cannot extend his loan deal and must compete a permanent move before the transfer window closes.

Ancelotti defends Beckham bid
28.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti prepares Milan for a crunch match with Genoa, but is distracted by David Beckham’s future and a new Marco Borriello setback.

Borriello had hoped to be in the squad from Thursday after a long injury lay-off, but aggravated the right thigh strain in training this afternoon and will need further tests.

The Rossoneri are fired up after their 4-1 win over Bologna, especially as it marked Beckham’s debut Serie A goal, prompting the club to admit it wanted to keep him past the March 9 loan expiry.

“I do not want to force him into any direction. I will just say that despite the brief time spent here, he has already understood what it’s like to be at Milan and what we all think of him,” said the Coach.

“Obviously if he were to stay, then we would all be happy, but he has a contract and only he can decide what he wants to do.”

LA Galaxy boss Bruce Arena lambasted Milan for trying to push Beckham into extending his loan spell past the agreed date, but Ancelotti had a firm response.

“Arena is talking rubbish. There is no new deal with David and the current contract holds him at Milan until March 9.

“After that the decision is up to him, so neither I nor the club want to get into this. Milan are a very professional club.”

The Rossoneri have closed to within six points of leaders Inter and face fourth-placed Genoa on Wednesday evening, a team that beat them 2-0 at Marassi back in Week 2.

“We have improved and are in good shape, as the problems in the first half of the season tied to injuries and poor fitness have gone.

“Kaka’s decision to stay also boosted everyone’s enthusiasm. I can sense a fresh of breath air around the squad, something that is growing and motivating everybody.

“Genoa play very dynamic football, have clear ideas on their tactics and great finishers. They may not have the same experience and belief to play the same way on their travels as they do at home, but they do maintain the same tactical shape.”

This midweek round poses a test for Milan’s ageing squad and Ronaldinho could find space after he was benched for two games on the trot.

“There should be no need to rotate the squad, but I won’t rule out a few changes,” said Ancelotti. “With each day Ronaldinho’s condition and tempo improves.

“He is not in bad shape, he just had a bit of a dip in form tied to the heavy training workload we did in Dubai. He is as relaxed as always and is well aware how important he is for this team.”

Milan squad: Abbiati, Dida, Antonini, Favalli, Jankulovski, Maldini, Senderos, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Beckham, Flamini, Pirlo, Inzaghi, Kakà, Pato, Seedorf, Shevchenko, Ronaldinho

Galliani: We want to buy Beckham
27.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani claims that David Beckham wants to stay on at San Siro after March and is ready to open the Rossoneri wallet.

Beckham is scheduled to return to LA Galaxy in March to begin the MLS season, but he seems to have settled in Milan.

LA Galaxy boss Bruce Arena has responded angrily to suggestions Beckham could stay in Italy, but Galliani isn't hiding his intentions.

“If the Galaxy can be persuaded then we will evaluate the situation and try and keep him,” Galliani said on Sky Sport Italia.

“We will have to wait and see what happens because if Beckham frees himself from his contract then we will be waiting with open arms.

“The player wants to stay with us, but he knows that he has to return. He would be happy to stay here because he has returned to a big club.

“Beckham and his representatives know that Milan are willing to buy him on a permanent basis,” he concluded.

AC Milan want Beckham for good
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's lawyer has discussed the possibility of signing David Beckham on a permanent basis when his loan deal expires.

The England international is only set to stay at San Siro until March 8 when he will return to owners LA Galaxy for the MLS season.

However, Beckham has made a big impact in the peninsula and scored his first Milan goal against Bologna yesterday.

“After March anything can happen,” Milan lawyer Leandro Cantamessa tod Sky Sport Italia.

“Beckham would first have to talk to LA Galaxy and tell them that he is happy here and only then could we begin negotiations for a transfer that went beyond a loan.”

The Italian transfer market will be closed when Beckham returns to America, but there are suggestions that he could get round this problem by buying himself out of his contract with LA Galaxy and becoming a free agent.

Ancelotti hails Beckham
26.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that David Beckham deserves all the credit for his instant Rossoneri impact.

The former England captain joined the San Siro giants on a three-month loan from LA Galaxy in late December and scored his first Italian goal in a 4-1 win at Bologna on Sunday.

“I am patient and sometimes very good,” said Ancelotti. “But even I can’t take a player and get him in the team after just 10 days [of training].

“The merit is all his and his desire to return to play important football. He has done it with intelligence. He is a protagonist for this reason.

“Will he remain? In football everything is possible,” stated Ancelotti. “We will not put any pressure on him, the choice is up to him.

“Sure, he knows our wish is that he stays here. The moment Beckham has to return to America will certainly be a sad one also because of the help he is giving the team, the quality of his play and balance.

“The position that he has in our midfield is ideal for him,” added Ancelotti, who expects to see England manager Fabio Capello at Milan’s game against Genoa on Wednesday.

Returning to the championship, Ancelotti said Milan are once again in the title race after two consecutive victories in Serie A.

“I foresee a wonderful duel between Juve, Inter and Milan. Every team have different characteristics.

“Inter focus on strength, Juve on team-play and enthusiasm,” he explained. “Milan focus on quality.

“Whoever does the best in the spring when the Cup competitions begin again could well win the Scudetto.”

Milan are third in Serie A and are back in action in the UEFA Cup in March when they face German side Werder Bremen for a place in the quarter-final.

Bologna 1:4 AC Milan - match report
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Di Vaio pen 9 (B), Seedorf 12 (M), Kaka pen 17, 44 (M), Beckham 59 (M)

David Beckham broke his Serie A duck and Kaka bagged a brace in a four-star performance against 10-man Bologna.

The Rossoblu already shocked the giants at San Siro in Week 1 and were still unbeaten under Sinisa Mihajlovic with Marco Di Vaio as Capocannoniere. But the Rossoneri were fired up after Kaka rejected a £107m move to Manchester City. Marek Jankulovski and new Bologna signing Daniel Pablo Osvaldo sat out bans, while injuries included Gennaro Gattuso, Kakha Kaladze, Daniele Bonera, Marco Borriello, Cesar Aparecido, Massimo Mutarelli and Davide Bernacci.

Mihajlovic was sent to the stands after his dismissal last week, but Carlo Ancelotti celebrated his 400th official match on the Milan bench. The Rossoneri were unbeaten at the Dall'Ara since March 2002.

Christian Abbiati had his palms stung by a Sergio Volpi angled drive, then Clarence Seedorf blasted over after a to-and-fro between Kaka and Alexandre Pato.

The referee pointed to the spot when Christian Amoroso burst between Paolo Maldini and Philippe Senderos. Marco Di Vaio converted the resulting penalty by firing into the roof of the net.

Milan fought back and equalised in this highly entertaining game. Francesco Antonioli only beat away a Kaka snapshot into the path of Seedorf from seven yards.

The referee awarded a penalty at the other end of the field in a very similar incident to the first. Gianluca Zambrotta tried to break between two players and clattered into Davide Bombardini. Neither spot-kick seemed particularly clear, so the decisions were on a par. Kaka stepped up and fired a central penalty past Antonioli to give Milan the lead. It was his first goal since turning down Manchester City.

Pato appeared to be tripped by Claudio Terzi, but this time the referee opted not to award a penalty.

Di Vaio threatened an equaliser as he sprinted past Senderos and hit the shot on the bounce, but Abbiati rushed out to narrow the angle and smother with his stomach.

Bologna went down to 10 men just before the break, as Gaby Mudingayi received a second yellow card for bringing down Pato.

Soon after, Kaka made it 3-1. He exchanged backheels with Pato outside the box and unleashed a sweet left-foot strike that slotted in at the near post.

Kaka hesitated on Seedorf's assist in the second half and his hat0trick went begging, but Bologna were still in with 10 men. Di Vaio spun round and unleashed a powerful strike that Abbiati flew to palm away.

Beckham broke his Serie A duck with a well-taken finish. Milan went on the counter with Kaka and Seedorf spreading the play to the right flank, where the England international lifted his shot from a tight angle over Antonioli.

Antonioli's save stopped Kaka from getting a fifth in similar circumstances, while Beckham skimmed the woodwork from distance and brought a save out of Antonioli.
Bologna: Antonioli; Zenoni, Terzi, Moras, Bombardini; Volpi, Mudingayi, Adailton (Rodriguez 88); Valiani, Amoroso (Casarini 72); Di Vaio (Marazzina 84)

Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta (Antonini 67), Senderos, Maldini, Favalli; Beckham, Pirlo, Ambrosini; Seedorf, Kaka (Inzaghi 73); Pato (Ronaldinho 72)

Ref: Tagliavento

Sent off: Mudingayi 40 (B)

Mihajlovic believes in AC Milan double
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bologna already beat Milan at San Siro and Sinisa Mihajlovic is confident he can make it a clean sweep. “They struggle if attacked.”

The opening weekend of 2008-09 saw the Rossoblu grab a shock 2-1 victory on Ronaldinho's Serie A debut.

Daniele Arrigoni was on the bench at the time, but since Mihajlovic took over, his team has been unbeaten.

“On paper there is no way we can get a result, but thankfully it is what happens on the grass that counts,” grinned the former Inter assistant manager.

“We cannot leave space to Kaka, [Alexandre] Pato or [Clarence] Seedorf, while [Andrea] Pirlo and [Massimo] Ambrosini can cause problems pushing up from midfield.

“You can prepare a game like this in minute detail, then a single moment of inspiration from a world class player can be decisive. Milan have plenty of people who can do that.

“This is why we must not just play at damage limitation and defending. We need to attack, especially as the Rossoneri tend to struggle when under pressure.”

Kaka will be fired up and the team mentality reinvigorated after the Manchester City offer was rejected.

“Personally, I am happy that Kaka has remained. He is a great player and it would've been disappointing if he had left. For once the man won out and proved not everyone can be bought. He represents football beautifully.”

Mihajlovic will be in the stands at the Stadio Dall'Ara, as he was sent off during the 2-1 win over Catania last week for dissent.

“It is disappointing not to be on the sidelines, as these are the kind of games that make me wish I was still playing,” sighed the ex-defender.

“This is football and the type of match that sticks in the memory. I remember when I was about to face a particularly strong team or player, I asked what he had more than me and couldn't wait to get out there and test myself.

“At the same time, my lads will have to use everything they've had in the past nine games - grit, determination, aggression, concentration and conviction.

“They already proved in Week 1 that they could defeat Milan and they can do it again.”

Ancelotti: Beckham may follow Kaka
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti is pleased with Kaka’s decision to stay and hints David Beckham could do the same, but has to focus Milan on tomorrow’s trip to Bologna.

A week ago the Coach was biting his nails while he waited to discover if Manchester City’s £107m bid would be accepted.

“The lead-up to this game is very different to the last, as the Kaka saga has ended in the best possible way.

“During this time Kaka maintained a very positive spirit and the resolution brought great enthusiasm. Ricky has always given the team a positive push and in this moment even more so.

“As for the rumours of a Real Madrid interest in Kaka, my feeling is that the matter is definitively closed.”

David Beckham has settled in well and Ancelotti hinted those claims of remaining at San Siro past the agreed spell from LA Galaxy are not entirely inaccurate.

“We are happy that Beckham enjoys being here and glad to have him because he is tactically intelligent, disciplined and altruistic.

“He will be the one to choose what to do in the future. For now it remains confirmed that he will return to America on March 9.

“He is very good at defending even if he has attacking characteristics and this is why he does not create a tactical imbalance in the side.

“I expected a player who would have more difficulties settling in, but his intelligence and qualities enabled him to come straight in and play.

“He is a great professional, but also a great man with noble sentiments, which is why he agreed to come with me and meet Stefano Borgonovo.”

This week Beckham accompanied Ancelotti to visit Borgonovo, a former Milan player who has been afflicted by motor neurone disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The tactician did not deny rumours that Ronaldinho will be benched against Bologna for the second consecutive match.

“He has no particular problems, he is fit and working with the team. He is relaxed and accepts without complaint all the decisions that the Coach makes.

“I will decide tomorrow whether to field him or [Clarence] Seedorf, but my decision is purely tactical and has nothing to do with fitness.”

Marek Jankulovski is suspended, with Emerson, Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso, Marco Borriello, Kakha Kaladze and Daniele Bonera injured.

“Bologna are a side who have found their balance. Tomorrow they’ll try to make the most of Marco Di Vaio’s qualities on the counter-attack. We’ve both changed since the Week 1 defeat. After that result Bologna hit problems and we improved.”

Ancelotti has other reasons to celebrate too, as he will mark his 400th official appearance on the Milan bench.

“This is an important moment and brings back so many memories. I really didn’t expect to get this far. I hope to continue even further. To last 400 games in Italy you need great synchronicity with the club and thankfully I have always had that, even more so because I also played here.”

Milan squad: Abbiati, Dida, Kalac, Antonini, Darmian, Favalli, Maldini, Senderos, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Beckham, Cardacio, Flamini, Pirlo, Inzaghi, Kaka, Pato, Seedorf, Shevchenko, Ronaldinho.

Shevchenko: Watch out, I'm back!
25.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko assures he is getting back to his best and feels “reborn at Milan,” but still plans to live in London.

The Ukrainian’s career went off the rails following his £30m move to Chelsea and consequent injury problems and some would say his return to San Siro has hardly been a roaring success either.

“I feel reborn,” he told the Corriere dello Sport. “Both on the field and off, I am a new man. I must thank Milan for that.

“Those who think I am a flop are wrong, because I openly said in the summer what my main objective was in coming back to Milan.

“It was to become a real player again after two difficult years, above all down to injuries.”

So far Sheva has been overshadowed by Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato and David Beckham, but expects 2009 to be his year.

“I am certain of it. One of my aims is to continue and in the end finish my career here at Milan, so I want this club to be my future.

“You will see the hitman back again very soon, because I think I have finally completed my recovery process, both physically and psychologically.”

Shevchenko confessed to giving teammate Kaka some advice when Manchester City made their £107m offer.

He knows all about bad moves to the Premier League, but maintains family and his English-speaking wife and children was the only consideration he ever had.

“Ricky did not need advice, as he knew full well what he could and indeed had to do. One cannot draw comparisons between Ricky and myself.

“In my case I was the one to go to Milan and personally ask to be sold. I did it for the good of my family, for my children.

“That is why at the end of my career I will return to live in London.”

Pato praises Lecce new boy
23.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato has heaped praise on Lecce's new signing Edinho. “He's a great player and like a brother to me.”

Lecce swooped to secure the services of Brazilian defensive midfielder Edinho on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old World Club Cup winner arrived from Internacional where he was a teammate of Milan starlet Pato.

“He is a really great player,” Pato told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Edinho's technical ability speaks for itself, but he is also a champion because of his personality.

“He is like an older brother to me. He saw me grow in the Internacional ranks and helped me - he was always there for me and his advice was useful.

“I think that Edinho will have a great career in Serie A. As well as being an inspirational player, he is a great lad who is part of the team.

“In that way he is like Gennaro Gattuso, someone who always raises the morale of the team with the right spirit.

“During the big games it was always him who charged the side and took the microphone on the team coach when it was the right moment for a joke.”

Silvio revels in Kaka stay
23.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi has relived his joy at Kaka's decision to reject a move to Manchester City.

The 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year resisted a contract that would have made him the highest earner in football history.

Berlusconi announced the news that Manchester City's efforts had been in vain live on TV on Monday evening.

“Keeping Kaka was like winning another Champions League,” Berlusconi told QN.

“I am happy and proud because I honestly feel that Milan are the only club where something like that could happen.

“The Sheikh is doing a great job in building a competitive side for domestic and European success at Manchester City, but he knows that I am in charge of Milan.

“We gave Kaka full freedom to make his decision, but I am happy with his choice.”

There have been regular reports in the Spanish Press that Kaka will sign for Real Madrid this summer.

“Kaka and Milan have already rebuffed the Spaniards once and I don't see why our stance would change,” Berlusconi roared.

“Kaka has clearly shown his bond to us and won't be demanding a pay rise either.”

Kaka enjoys giants' attention
23.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

In-demand Milan hero Kaka has confessed that he is flattered by the interest of Real Madrid and Chelsea.

The Brazilian international rejected a hugely lucrative transfer to Manchester City earlier in the week.

While Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani claims that Kaka is “Milan for life”, Spanish Press sources insist that Real Madrid, Barcelona or Chelsea will lure him at the end of the season.

“It doesn't upset me to hear that great clubs like Chelsea and Real Madrid are interested in me,” Kaka told AS.

“However, I haven't wanted to comment over the last few days because I felt a lot of pressure on me and the situation with Manchester City was too fresh.

“I'd prefer to stay calm because one day the Press send me to Real Madrid and the next it's Chelsea. I will talk properly when everything has calmed down.”

Abbiati extends AC Milan contract
23.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati has extended his contract with Milan until June 30, 2011, announced the official club website.

Abbiati made his Serie A debut with the Rossoneri on January 17, 1999 and had loan spells at Juventus, Torino and Athletico Madrid.

He was recalled to San Siro in the summer and has done well in replacing Nelson Dida, quickly securing his position as first choice goalkeeper.

This evening the 31-year-old put pen to paper on a contract extension until June 30, 2011.

That is a one-year extension on his previous deal with the Rossoneri.

Beckham visits Borgonovo
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham paid a visit to former Milan and Fiorentina star Stefano Borgonovo, who is suffering from Lou Gehrig's Disease.

The England international accompanied Carlo Ancelotti to Borgonovo's home in Giussano this afternoon and the photograph of their meeting was placed on the official Milan website.

Borgonovo was a hero for the Rossoneri fans and has become the public face of the fight against Lou Gehrig's Disease, also known as Amyotrphic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

This form of motor neurone disease primarily strikes athletes and is characterised by the slow wasting away, or atrophy, of the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord.

Borgonovo retired from football in 1995 and was diagnosed with the illness in September 2008, becoming the second major Italian player to be struck down after Genoa legend Gianluca Signorini died in 2002.

Milan and Fiorentina are continually holding charity events to raise funds for Borgonovo's foundation and Beckham met with the former player as part of the campaign to increase awareness.

AC Milan top fan League table
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have the highest average attendance in Serie A, according to the latest statistics.

There has been a slight increase in attendances this season with the Serie A average at 24,895 opposed to last year's 24,470.

A study has shown that Milan, boosted by the arrivals of Ronaldinho and David Beckham, attract 60,067 fans per game.

Inter are their closest rivals with 51,637, while Roma are third with 41,225.

Rome's other club Lazio attract 36,407 supporters per match and Napoli have 38,658 regulars.

Juventus, who are playing at the 25,000-capacity Stadio Olimpico, are near the bottom of the ladder with an average of 22,251.

Siena have beaten perennially under-supported outfit Chievo to bottom place with a meagre average of 10,630 fans.

Thiago Silva's debut delight
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian defender Thiago Silva was in a positive frame of mind after making his debut for Milan against Hannover.

The talented stopper joined the Rossoneri from Fluminense, but he isn't eligible for Serie A games because Milan have already filled their quota of non-EU players.

Carlo Ancelotti seized the chance to field Silva in last night's 3-2 friendly win over German side Hannover and he put in an impressive performance.

“I felt good because as I expected it was a pleasure to have the chance to wear the shirt,” Silva said.

“It's obvious that I have lots of work to do in the future and it won't be easy to have to wait for my first official match.

“However, I will have the chance to train and get myself to the same level as my teammates on a tactical level.

“It was an emotional evening, which I enjoyed a lot, and I am very optimistic for the future.”

Nesta sets recovery target
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Alessandro Nesta has returned from Miami and aims to be back on the pitch within a month.

Nesta hasn't been able to play any part in the Rossoneri's season as he has had a back problem since July.

The former Azzurri star was criticised for going to the USA to seek treatment, rather than staying in Europe, but he is back and raring to go.

“I'm going to Milanello to start work and when I am ready I will play,” Nesta told journalists at Linate Airport.

“I have been out for a long time and I had to take the problem seriously. I have done some hard work on my back and it has responded well.

“Now I am just lacking match fitness - that is the final test. I have a great desire to get back out there and I want to get back to the top level.

“I feel ready and I think it will take at most a month to recover fully. However, I have been out for eight months and we'll have to see how my body responds.

“In Miami I did exercises to reduce the damage in the lower back and I am happy with the things we did.”

Friendly: AC Milan win five-goal thriller
22.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian defender Thiago Silva made his debut as Milan beat German side Hannover 3-2 in a friendly this evening.

Former Fluminense stopper Silva, who isn't able to play in League matches because the Rossoneri have reached their quota of non-EU players, was given a debut.

But much of the attention was on substitute Kaka, who turned down a big-money move to Manchester City at the start of the week.

Milan made a sluggish start and fell behind after just 10 minutes to a penalty kick from Husztl.

The Italians had their first chance after half and hour when Andriy Shevchenko brought the ball down with his chest on the edge of the area and forced a smart save.

David Beckham showed some magic the next minute when he put through a beautiful ball for Pippo Inzaghi, but the defence just closed him down.

Kaka came on at half-time with Milan 1-0 down and he made an immediate impact when one-two with Inzaghi led to the ball finding Shevchenko to stroke home for 1-1.

Three minutes later, Milan went ahead through Inzaghi after sharp passes from Shevchenko and Luca Antonini.

Hannover levelled when Zizzo broke down the wing to feed Hanke, but Milan made it 3-2 almost immediately as Clarence Seedorf showed a magic touch to play in Inzaghi, who finished despite a suspicion of handball in his control.

Fahrenhorst should have equalised for the hosts but his header was stopped by Zeljko Kalac.

Inzaghi hit the post from close range after meeting a Marek Jankulovski cross, but Milan earned an entertaining win.

Silva turned in a creditable performance, as did Kaka, Inzaghi and Seedorf, but Ronaldinho was anonymous.

Hannover 2-3 Milan
Scorers: Husztl pen 10 (H), Shevchenko 52 (M), Inzaghi 55, 76 (M), Hanke 74 (H)
Hannover: Enke; Pinto, Eggimann, Fahrenhorst, Rausch; Rosenthal, Balitsch, C. Schulz, Huszti; Forssell, Hanke.
Milan: Dida; Bonera, Senderos, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Beckham (Seedorf 46), Emerson (Kaka 46), Flamini; Ronaldinho; Shevchenko (Darmian 66), Inzaghi.

Kaka is 'weighing up Real'
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka is “pondering a future with Real Madrid”, according to Milan teammate Emerson.

The Brazilian international ace turned down an enormous bid from Manchester City at the start of the week.

While Kaka claims his decision was dictated by his undying love for the Rossoneri, there have been reports that the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year is considering a summer move to Madrid.

“Kaka has made very intelligent decisions - he is very young and he doesn't worry about money,” Emerson told Spanish newspaper AS.

“The interest is not official, but he is considering a future in Madrid. For the last two years I have always said that the Merengues wanted Kaka and any real player wants to play there.

“Kaka wouldn't be able to take that chance lightly. It wouldn't be bad if he went to Real, but it's down to him.

“You cannot say no when a club like Real Madrid come knocking. If they arrive with £90m or so it would be hard to stay here. La Liga is easier for Brazilians.

“It has been tough for Kaka because everyone has been talking about a possible exit, but he is here for the moment and he is playing for a great club.”

Rino: Kaka was right to stay
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfield star Gennaro Gattuso has praised Kaka's decision to stay with the Rossoneri. “It's the right choice.”

Kaka turned down a hugely lucrative transfer to Manchester City, opting to stay with the San Siro giants.

His decision to stay has been greeted with enthusiasm from Gattuso, who is out for the rest of the season with knee ligament damage.

“He made the correct decision to stay,” Gattuso insisted on Italia 1. “He knows that the people in Milan love him.

“He is symbol of the club and he has opted to stay after thinking long and hard.

“Everyone here at the club has so much time for him and the team helped him win the Ballon d'Or last year.

“I was tempted by Bayern Munich last year, but I also cleared up the situation and stayed with Milan.”

Thiago Silva ready for debut
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan starlet Thiago Silva is set to make his debut tonight when the Rossoneri meet Hannover 96 in a friendly.

The 24-year-old Brazilian joined Milan from Fluminense in December, but isn’t eligible to play in Serie A until June because the Rossoneri already signed two non-EU nationals last summer.

“I am ready,” said the former Porto and Spartak Moscow defender. “Today is a very important moment for me, a moment that I have waited for.

“It’s a friendly but remains my first game in the Milan jersey. I hope it all goes to plan and that I play well.”

Thiago Silva went on to reveal that Milan’s many Brazilians have helped him to adapt quickly to life in Italy.

“[Alexandre] Pato is a great friend of mine, we got to know each other while playing for Brazil. I am also particularly happy, as I am sure all Milan fans are, that Kaka is still here.

“He is football,” explained Silva. “And with him I hope that Milan can celebrate a victory at the end of the season.”

Milan currently lie third in Serie A, six points adrift of leaders Inter. They travel to Bologna this weekend.

Spanish giants queue for Kaka
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Spanish League leaders Barcelona have joined Real Madrid in the chase to sign Milan’s Kaka at the end of the season.

The 26-year-old resisted a world record-breaking £107m transfer to Manchester City on Monday night which would have made him the highest earning footballer on the planet.

Spanish daily AS today reports that presidential elections at Barcelona and Real Madrid could spark a bidding war for Kaka’s services.

Candidates seeking to oust Barcelona President Joan Laporta and replace his disgraced Real Madrid counterpart Ramon Calderon know that a promise to sign Kaka would carry a lot of votes.

Former Real Madrid President Florentino Perez is expected to stand again and has already intimated that he wants to bring the former World Player of the Year to the Bernabeu.

While Kaka recently insisted that money was not everything to him, he could be tempted by a move to either of the Spanish giants after Milan appeared willing to sell him to Manchester City.

Kaka joined Milan from Sao Paulo in 2003 and has won everything as a player, most notably the Champions League and World Cup.

AC Milan ponder Kjaer option
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan look set to sign another defender after they registered their interest in Palermo starlet Simon Kjaer, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The 19-year-old centre-back has exceeded expectations at Palermo, making 10 appearances for the Rosanero since joining from FC Midtjylland for £4m in the summer.

“I only think about playing,” said Kjaer when asked about interest from Milan. “I have never heard anything, but it’s normal when a great club wants you that things can get interesting.”

Milan are said to be willing to pay £12m for the Denmark Under-21 international, but Kjaer insists his immediate future lies in Sicily with the Rosanero.

“For now, I have only just arrived at Palermo. I am very happy to be here and intend to grow up with this team.”

The Rossoneri have already reinforced their backline in the January transfer window, bringing in young Brazilians Felipe Mattioni and Thiago Silva.

The latter, though, can’t be used in competitive matches until next season.

De Laurentiis criticises AC Milan
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has called the Kaka transfer saga a hoax designed by Milan to grab the world’s attention.

Manchester City bid £107m for Kaka last week only for the 26-year-old Brazilian to reject the offer and announce his intention to stay at Milan.

“This figure perhaps never existed,” said an extremely talkative De Laurentiis. “Anyway, it was greatly inflated.

“It was perhaps a marketing operation to refocus attention on Milan. Let us not forget that [Silvio] Berlusconi is the king of communication.”

The movie mogul then revealed how he would have acted if one of his stars, namely Ezequiel Lavezzi, was subject to a transfer of similar proportions.

“I would have thought about what was best and would always have put the interests of Napoli above all others.

“Anyway, similar offers have yet to arrive,” he added. “So it’s difficult to imagine the emotion of such a moment.

“The fact remains, we no longer have to think about returning to Serie B or Serie C. Certain errors can only be made once.

“I don’t want to be remembered for having brought Napoli up from the lower Divisions. Before anything else, the club is financially healthy.”

De Laurentiis went on to reveal his plans for the club, stressing that he wants to keep Napoli’s stars and discover new talent.

“Our job is that of looking to develop lots of new Lavezzis with this jersey. That way we will become even stronger.

“As for contract renewals, I can confirm that each and every one of them will be respected. Everyone should just think about their work and that’s it.”

When asked about the defeat Napoli suffered at the weekend at lowly Chievo, De Laurentiis was not too hard on his players.

“I always ask my lads to attack,” said De Laurentiis. “But on Sunday, Chievo did the attacking. We were a little less compact. We waited and philosophised too much.

“But, in general, I have always said that we need to focus on qualifying for the UEFA Cup and working hard to conquer an objective that we are already well equipped to conquer.”

Napoli currently lie fifth in Serie A and welcome eighth placed Roma – who are just three points behind them – to San Paolo this weekend.

Leonardo: Kaka love grows stronger
21.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan director Leonardo feels the “love” between the club and Kaka “has grown stronger” after the Manchester City temptation.

Last night many were expecting the confirmation that he had signed on the dotted line for the £107m move, but instead the player opted to remain on his current wages.

“It was a happy ending,” Leonardo, who is technical director for the San Siro outfit, told Sky Italia television.

“We are tired because the emotions were running high, but there was a moment of reflection for everyone and at the end it all emerged stronger than before.

“Kaka was very relaxed and happy afterwards. He was in a difficult situation because there were so many people involved, including the fans, who proved decisive.

“President [Silvio] Berlusconi and Ricky's father [Bosco Leite] did well to consider every angle. There were so many things to evaluate and it all became very difficult, but they understood this love cannot come to an end.

“We all realised there were other things that had to be considered. We live for these emotions and that night was extraordinary.”

Even fashion guru Giorgio Armani - a friend of Kaka and his wife - was overjoyed at the decision to turn down £500,000 per week.

“I am happy that Kaka is remaining at Milan, this choice proves the kind of guy he is,” said Armani.

“Of course the temptation was strong, but it would have been very negative if the player had left.”

Sheva 'advised' Kaka on City
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andriy Shevchenko says Kaka “did the right thing” by rejecting Manchester City and hints he gave advice about the Premier League.

The Ukrainian's disastrous £30m move to Chelsea was often hailed as an example of why Kaka should not leave Milan.

“He did the right thing and I did not fear Milan would lose him,” explained Shevchenko after the £107m deal collapsed.

“I knew from the start what choice Ricardo would make. We had spoken about it a great deal.”

The former Stamford Bridge flop is great friends with Kaka and hints he discussed the Premier League experience with his teammate.

“I cannot say if he asked me advice. He asked me many things… Besides, our situations were different, certainly.

“I think he made a choice with his heart. With him Milan will get even stronger.”

Maldini: I feared for Kaka
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan captain Paolo Maldini admits he was “scared” of losing Kaka to Manchester City before Monday's turnaround.

“Yes, there was a moment when I was scared he would go, because I really was not expecting this whole thing to be stirred up, but fortunately it ended well,” said the Rossoneri legend.

Kaka rejected a record-shattering transfer fee and wages of £500,000 per week in order to remain at San Siro, where he hopes to one day replace Maldini as captain.

The situation was not so clear on Saturday evening, when each of Kaka's teammates hugged him after the 1-0 win over Fiorentina.

“It was a normal embrace after a victory and naturally we all hoped to play again with someone like Ricky.

“He was struck by the passion of the fans and so much affection. He is a special lad and has an incredible effect on children.

“My son Christian started crying when he heard the news and today you just couldn't contain him!”

Milan are still in the title race after closing the gap to six points and were encouraged by Inter's 3-1 defeat at Atalanta.

“There is the sensation that Inter are not unbeatable,” smiled Maldini. “We have to believe in this all the way and never get downhearted even when, as in fact happened, you go from leadership to nine points off the top.

“The season is long, our principle adversaries will be in the Champions League, so we can dream of the Scudetto.”

Milan lost the opening game of the season 2-1 to Bologna at San Siro and have the opportunity to return the favour this coming weekend.

“They deserved the result in Week 1 and were absolutely right to celebrate, even if we had a lot of scoring opportunities.

“Sunday's game does not have a sense of revenge, but is one of the many games that from Sunday onwards will be important for our position in the table.”

Cook blasts AC Milan behaviour
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook has accused Milan of “losing their bottle” and “thinking only of money” during negotiations for Kaka.

The Rossoneri seemed to have accepted Kaka's exit for £107m, but the Diavolo idol rejected the switch.

The 11th-hour drama seems to have left a bitter taste in the mouths of the City representatives who spent hours in meetings trying to secure Kaka's services.

“We were ultimately disappointed,” Cook told Sky Sports News this morning.

“We travelled out there yesterday with good intentions, but they bottled it.

“We entered into a confidentiality agreement several weeks ago because we wanted to go through the process in a professional manner - they didn't want that and were only thinking of money.

“We never spoke to the player. We never had our questions answered. The offer was made to the club, who wanted to sell Kaka, then their story changed.

“Their footballer was for sale, we engaged with the club in order to buy him, but their landscape changed,” he concluded.

Kaladze 'doesn't need surgery'
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's Georgian international defender Kakha Kaladze claims he doesn't need surgery on his damaged knee as he prepares to return to training.

The Rossoneri stopper saw respected Professor Marc Martens yesterday and insists that his knee injury is under control.

“They gave me an injection in my knee and I will now need to have a course of therapy over the next two months,” Kaladze said on Telelombardia.

“We will see what happens after that, but I will be back in training on Wednesday.

“There is no need for surgery at the moment and I think I will be ready for our next game.

“The medical staff at Milan know that I have been dealing with this knee problem for a few years, but I have reached a point of no return.

“When I was training in Dubai, the Coach and the club noticed it and that's why I didn't play against Roma or Fiorentina. Contrary to some stories, I wasn't angry at that decision.”

Milan could welcome Kaladze back for the weekend's trip to Bologna, as the Diavolo go in search of revenge for Week 1's humiliating reverse.

We ended Kaka talks, say City
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City have released a statement suggesting that they chose to end talks with Milan for Kaka.

The Eastlands outfit offered a world-record fee of around £107m for the Brazilian ace with a contract proposal that would have made Kaka the biggest earner in football history.

While Milan claim that Kaka turned a move to Manchester down, City state that they 'terminated discussions' because 'the club felt it was unlikely that the two parties could reach common ground for an agreement.'

“Whilst Manchester City Football Club has an obvious interest in world class players of the quality of Kaka,” a statement from director Garry Cook reads.

“We owe to it to our fans that such a transfer must work on every level - commercially, financially, in terms of results on the field and within Manchester City's broader community,” he concluded.

Kaka: My heart is with Milan
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan hero Kaka has explained his decision to resist a £500,000-per-week deal from Manchester City to stay at San Siro.

It had seemed that the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year was on his way out after a day of intense negotiations yesterday.

But late last night Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi announced that Kaka had decided to stay, prompting jubilant scenes in Italy's fashion capital.

“All the messages I received told me to choose with my heart and I think that was the right decision,” Kaka explained to the Milan Channel.

“Milan is my home and I didn't even think about joining Manchester City for 30 seconds.

“There were lots of news stories, lots of voices, lots of speculation and a bad impression of my father has been generated over the last few days as well.

“I never argued with my father. My decisions are always made with the family and nobody pushed me to decide one way or the other. My wife has been amazing and will support me whatever.

“In the end my past made the difference because I am tied to Milan where my heart lies.

“It wasn't an economic matter. I want to thank Adriano Galliani, Silvio Berlusconi and Leonardo, who is more than a friend.

“Now I just want to be calm and to win. Last Saturday's game wasn't normal because I was so emotional. When I left Sao Paulo, fans protested at me, at Milan they cheered my name.”

Kaka to stay at Milan!
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

In a sensational twist, Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi has announced that Kaka will be staying with the Rossoneri!

Talks have been taking place all day between Manchester City directors, Kaka's father and Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

It had appeared that a resolution had been found as reports stated that Milan had accepted City's £107m bid.

A statement confirming Kaka's departure was expected within the next 24 hours, but Berlusconi has made an amazing declaration.

“You can't force anyone to stay at a club against their will,” he said live on TV.

“A player who is getting paid half his potential earnings elsewhere runs the risk of becoming unhappy.

“Nevertheless, I will make an announcement - Kaka will stay at Milan because he prefers the Rossoneri and puts love above money.

“The negotiations were closed by myself and Kaka in person. All that remains to be said is long live Kaka!”

Armani: Sell Milan, not Kaka
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Legendary fashion designer Giorgio Armani would rather see Milan sell every other member of their team instead of Kaka.

The 74-year-old is adamant Milan can’t afford to part with the Brazilian, not even for the £107m offered by Manchester City.

“I would rather tell [Adriano] Galliani to sell all of Milan. It’s pointless to get rid of the single most important piece,” he said.

“Economically, it’s a possibility that will probably never happen again, neither to him, nor Milan. But this amount of money for such a young boy…

“The whole system is wrong. People pay stupid amounts of money for actors, photographers and other professionals. It’s not good.

“I would be sorry to see Kaka leave,” concluded Armani, who has used the 26-year-old in several of his fashion campaigns.

“We have a splendid relationship with Kaka and his wife. They are exquisite people. But I understand that an offer of this genre…”

Kaka, whose father is set for talks with the San Siro outfit this afternoon, is expected to make a decision today as to whether he will stay at Milan or leave for Manchester City.

Kaka will decide today
20.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports in the Italian Press suggest that Milan star Kaka will today decide whether to move to Manchester City.

The 26-year-old Brazilian has spent the weekend mulling over a world record £107m transfer to the English Premier League outfit.

The deal would make Kaka the highest earning footballer on the planet as Manchester City propose to offer him a £15m annual salary.

The former World Player of the Year has his doubts, though, and last week expressed his desire to grow old at Milan and one day captain the club.

Milan are also reluctant to sell their No 22, but admit that the offer put on the table by City is proving difficult to refuse.

Kaka complaints are 'ungrateful'
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As the protests over Kaka's potential move to Manchester City continue, general manager Adriano Galliani accuses Milan fans of being ungrateful.

“This club and this administration deserves respect and love from the supporters,” he told Radio Montecarlo this evening.

San Siro was packed with fans protesting against the £108m switch that Kaka is considering, although the situation is still up in the air.

“I don't know what Kaka will do, but as for me, I slept very badly last night. I have the same feelings as the fans, but being the general manager of Milan, I have to rev up my reasoning too.

“We'll see what happens. I can confirm absolutely nothing has been signed, not by us and not by the player. He is still absolutely a Milan player.

“I am, however, unable to make predictions. Kaka has done a great deal in these years, he is a real champion who has won everything.

“I am struggling to understand the way the fans are protesting against an administration that has taken Milan from the edge of bankruptcy to the top of the world.”

When patron Silvio Berlusconi bought the Rossoneri in 1986, they were on the verge of going bust, but he went on to build arguably the best club team ever, most notably Arrigo Sacchi's dominant side of the late 1980s and early 90s.

Galliani has hinted Kaka should make a sacrifice and join Manchester City in order to pay off Milan's debts.

Real Madrid are set to intercept negotiations and match City's offer, although the move would likely only be in June.

Is £108m Kaka bid a hoax?
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City sources suggest the £108m offer for Kaka is a “ridiculous” story drummed up by the media and Milan also refuse to state the figures.

“There is an official bid on the table and it has gone through all the proper channels, but I will not tell you what it entails,” said general manager Adriano Galliani.

The Observer newspaper has made remarkable allegations that Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi's media empire sparked the rumours so that he would gain positive publicity when Kaka turned it down.

If the Brazilian does quit San Siro, then the club can say it was because of a record-shattering transfer fee that more than doubles the £46m paid by Real Madrid for Zinedine Zidane from Juventus.

However, the reports in the English newspapers claim Manchester City's offer is closer to £50m than £108m.

"The reports are absolutely ridiculous and so far wide of the mark it's unreal," said a source close to City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

"Kaka would command a price around that of previous world-best players. But at the moment it is difficult to pick an exact number.

"A hundred million, in pounds or Euros, is ridiculous. It doubles the previous record for a transfer and, in the current economic climate, how could there possibly be a return on that or a salary of £500,000 a-week?

“You could do so much else with that amount of money. And, whatever happens, there would be no lump sum payment: payments would be over time.

"You have to remember also that the player has not even been spoken to by us - he is simply one of a list that interests Mark Hughes.

“We merely said, 'Ok, this might be nice.' It's a process like viewing a house. If you like what you see, then you take it on a stage. It should be remembered that Manchester City's owner is an intelligent man. He will not just throw money at anything.”

Intellectual property rights are another sticking point that could be worth £20m per year for Kaka, as he already has sponsorship deals with Armani and Adidas.

Real Madrid match Kaka offer?
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid are reportedly ready to match Manchester City’s offer for Kaka, so he could force Milan to wait until the summer.

Rossoneri general manager Adriano Galliani had refused to part with the Ballon d’Or winner when Real made a reported £80m bid last year, but times have changed.

“The world is now worth half of what it was a year ago,” he warned after last night’s 1-0 win over Fiorentina.

“I have the same feelings as the fans and love this club, but as general manager I have to keep sentiment and reasoning together.”

Milan are eager to cash in on Kaka, but Manchester City do not provide a draw for the player, as they are unlikely to qualify for the Champions League for at least another year.

The News of the World now claims that Real Madrid have told Kaka’s father and advisor Bosco Leite that they would match the £100m transfer fee.

The real difference would be the wages, as they could not hope to equal the £500,000 per week proposed by City, but that would be cancelled out by the prospect of football at the highest level.

However, as Real Madrid are without a President right now after Ramon Calderon resigned this week, the deal could not be done until the summer.

There could be one sticking point, as it is reported in Italy that Milan are only ready to sell to Manchester City because they are seen as ‘harmless’ in the race for top European honours.

Kaka among Calcio Oscar nominees
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka is expected to be at the Oscar del Calcio on Monday, where he is nominated as Best Foreign Player.

The £108m Manchester City target should attend the Italian version of the Players’ Association Awards, which are based on votes given by professionals in pre-season.

Kaka is a candidate to win Best Foreign Player for 2007-08, up against Inter’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Fiorentina star Adrian Mutu.

The Best Italian Player is between Alessandro Del Piero of Juventus, Roma hero Daniele De Rossi and Milan’s Andrea Pirlo.

Best Goalkeeper is a toss-up between Gianluigi Buffon, Sebastien Frey and Julio Cesar, while Best Young Player will be one of Mario Balotelli, Sebastian Giovinco and Marek Hamsik.

Giorgio Chiellini, Philippe Mexes and Alessandro Nesta are nominated for Best Defender in 2007-08, while the Best Coach title is between Milan’s Carlo Ancelotti, Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli and Luciano Spalletti of Roma.

And finally, the Best Referee nominations are Emidio Morganti, Roberto Rosetti and Massimiliano Saccani.

The Best Overall Player will be calculated from pitting together the winners of the individual categories.

There are also awards voted for by the general public for Best Goal of 2008, Fan Award for most popular player and Fan of the Year.

Corradi: Kaka, don't go to City!
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Manchester City man Bernardo Corradi has advised Kaka not to join the Eastlands side. “It always rains in Manchester!”

The Reggina striker had a disappointing spell in the Premier League and was asked what he would do in Kaka's position.

“When I was there it was a completely different club with other objectives. Now there is a Sheikh with a lot of money, so things have decidedly changed.

“If someone plays football for the love of the sport, then you are already lucky to earn a lot of money. Then if you want to challenge for certain objectives, then that is another matter.”

Kaka has been offered £500,000 per week in wages and Milan would receive £108m for the transfer.

“I have to say it rains constantly in Manchester! If I speak to Kaka then I will tell him that!” laughed Corradi.

“Plus there have been other Milan players who have followed the siren call from abroad and did not settle in well.

“Personally I'd choose Milan over Manchester City every time for the rest of my life. It's a good life in Italy.”

Corradi was hinting at Andriy Shevchenko, who demanded a £30m move to Chelsea only to struggle with the lifestyle and return to the Rossoneri.

Galliani: Kaka solves credit crunch
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan general manager Adriano Galliani was verbally abused by angry fans, but explains why he would never have sold Kaka a year ago and is now reconsidering.

“Milan and Kaka have not signed anything with Manchester City. As for me, I have the same feelings as the fans and love this club, but as general manager I have to keep sentiment and reasoning together.

“I believe a football club should live off its own resources and not a magnate, as when the patron is no longer able or willing to spend immense sums, things can crumble.”

Galliani was in the stands for Saturday night’s 1-0 win over Fiorentina and at half-time had to be protected by stewards as hoards of furious supporters shouted abuse and waved cash at the transfer guru.

He had said a year ago when Real Madrid made a record-breaking offer that he did not want to be remembered as the man who sold Kaka.

With £108m on the table Galliani is now apparently willing to accept that fate in the Rossoneri history books.

“Nothing has happened to push him towards Manchester. We are in a particularly difficult time with financial problems all over the world and those spread to football.

“What has changed from a year ago? Quite simply, the world is worth half of what it was. Things have changed.”

At the final whistle, all the Milan players took turns to hug Kaka in what felt increasingly like a farewell.

The banners at San Siro ranged from ‘Ricky, grow old with us’ and ‘This is your home’ to insults against the club.

Newspapers have suggested a shopping list with the £108m, including Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Michael Essien, but Galliani warned the money would not be splashed out.

“It is impossible to replace Kaka and there is no point getting a second-rate player. If he leaves then we would go on without him, but Kaka has not left yet.”

“There is no point making hypotheses over what Milan would do with the money, now we have to consider what to do.

“There are debts and they have to be paid. I think a virtuous club should cover its expenses with its own income.

“Unfortunately football is built in a certain way so now you cannot carry on without the cheques from a patron, as other clubs keep on raising the financial bar.”

Milan’s money comes from patron Silvio Berlusconi, but as he has been elected Prime Minister of Italy, he cannot direct so many resources to the side.

Galliani seemed tired and down after the 1-0 victory and emerged to hundreds of fans chanting slogans against his administration.

“No, it will not be an easy night for me, nor will those to come.”

Beckham on England and Kaka
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham was watched by England general manager Franco Baldini this evening and admitted the Kaka situation had made things tense.

“We won the game, I think that was the most important thing. We can play better, I can play better and we can pass the ball better,” he told Sky Italia television.

Baldini was in the stands at San Siro to see Milan defeat Fiorentina 1-0 thanks to an Alexandre Pato strike.

“The important thing was not who was watching, but how we played the game and I’m happy we won.”

The 1-0 victory over Fiorentina was overshadowed by the speculation over Kaka’s £108m move to Manchester City.

“Of course the players are aware of the situation. It was difficult going into the game with everything that was going on,” continued Beckham.

“You saw the passion of the fans and the players fighting for each other. Every club in the world wants Ricardo, not just because he is a great player, but he’s also the nicest man you’d ever hope to meet.

“We all want him to stay and I think he will stay, as he loves Milan and he loves living here.”

When asked if he had discussed life in the Premier League – and specifically in Manchester – Beckham was tight-lipped.

“We said good morning today and we said good luck before the game. There’s no need to speak about anything else, as the other things are not important, we just had to focus on the game tonight.”

This week Beckham said he would relish putting off retirement until middle age, although it remains to be seen if it will be at LA Galaxy or with the Rossoneri.

“I’d love to play till I’m 40, but we’ll see. I’m enjoying the football at the moment and enjoying being at Milan. We’ll see.”

Ancelotti: Kaka situation evolving
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti believes Kaka had “positive emotions” at San Siro and warns nobody has agreed terms with Manchester City.

“Of course I hope Kaka will stay. He is an important player for us. The situation is still evolving and anything can happen,” said the Milan boss after tonight's 1-0 victory over Fiorentina.

“It's true there has been an important offer for an important player and it is only right we take all the time needed to evaluate it.

“Tonight he had some very positive emotions, as all the Milan supporters showed him great love and affection.

“Did he cry? No, the media are reading things into everything. He was spotted with his suitcase yesterday because he was going into the pre-match ritiro, not for any other reason.”

It is reported the club is pushing Kaka to accept a £108m move to City so that they can cash in, effectively cutting Ancelotti out of the decision making process.

“There is an emotional attachment to this lad who has been here for many years. Professionally speaking I am honoured to train him and will wait to see what happens, but Milan will carry on with or without Kaka.

“For a move to go through we need the consent of the two clubs and the player. So far none of these things have happened.

“If he said no to City, then obviously he would not leave. If he did go then we would be dealing without an important player, so it would certainly prompt a tactical modification, as he has very special characteristics.”

Meanwhile, another Brazilian lit up San Siro, as Alexandre Pato bagged the winner against Fiorentina for his fifth goal in three games.

“Pato is an extraordinary talent who is now finding consistency and clinical finishing. I think he will improve a great deal and consistently score at these levels, as he has immense quality,” continued Ancelotti.

“We played a good first half both in attack and defence, then we just started to focus on too many long balls and that allowed Fiorentina back in.”

David Beckham played most of the game for the second week running and even acted as a trequartista at one point.

“He was very organised and disciplined. He doesn't have full match fitness yet and suffered under Fiorentina's pressure in the second half.

“What I like about him is that he is very disciplined and makes very few mistakes.”

Pato: It's up to Kaka now
19.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato admits the decision is in Kaka's hands whether to accept Manchester City's incredible offer.

The supporters at San Siro cheered throughout tonight's 1-0 win over Fiorentina, begging Kaka to reconsider.

“The fans were incredible today. He has a family and needs to do what he feels is best. We are all here waiting for him,” shrugged Pato.

The teenage Brazilian netted the winner for his fifth goal in three Serie A games, a precise angled drive off the inside of the far post.

“I did my job well and am happy Milan emerged with three points. Now we have to prepare for the next game.

“The credit goes to the team, who allow me to play in a relaxed manner and I just love playing football.

“We had a good game tonight and came away with three important points.”

AC Milan 1:0 Fiorentina - match report
18.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Pato 7 (M)

All eyes are on Kaka, but Alexandre Pato's fabulous strike gave Milan a precious 1-0 victory over Fiorentina.

Last week all eyes were on David Beckham, this time Kaka was in the spotlight after the club confirmed it was considering a £108m offer from Manchester City. The fans staged a protest calling for the Brazilian to stay and insulting the directors for even considering the sale, but there was the sense this could be his last game for the Rossoneri.

There was tension during the half-time break, as furious supporters tried to get into the VIP area to insult general manager Adriano Galliani and were waving money to suggest this was all the club cared about.

It was a must-win match for the Champions League race and Ronaldinho was dropped in favour of a more solid midfield, but Beckham started again. Fiorentina were without Adrian Mutu and Sebastien Frey, so former Milan flops Alberto Gilardino and Marco Storari returned to San Siro. Gila last scored in this stadium in Serie A in April 2007 and the Viola were fresh from a shock 2-1 home defeat to Lecce.

There was controversy after four minutes, as Stevan Jovetic ran on to Mario Alberto Santana's through ball and Christian Abbiati came sliding out to intervene. The referee had pointed to the spot and prepared the red card, but the linesman informed him that Abbiati clearly got the ball.

It proved a wake-up call, as moments later Milan took the lead with Alexandre Pato's fifth goal in three games. The 19-year-old was released by Andrea Pirlo's first time pass and curled a remarkable low effort in off the underside of the far post with the outside of his right foot. There was no chance for Storari on this snooker shot.

Storari beat away a Marek Jankulovski volley from the edge of the box, then it was Milan's turn for penalty appeals as a perfect Kaka ball found Pato but he was muscled off by Juan Manuel Vargas.

Jovetico's snapshot whistled past the upright and Clarence Seedorf drilled over when he should perhaps have spread it for Beckham. Vargas was booked for holding back Kaka as he launched one of his trademark counters.

Kaka went on a counter-attack from his own half after a poor Fiorentina corner and squeezed through two defenders, but lost his balance in the box.

Beckham went into the book for a late sliding tackle on Riccardo Montolivo. Fiorentina started to increase the pressure and Abbiati flew to palm a Montolivo screamer out from under the crossbar.

Moments later Gila was allowed a free header between the central defenders and yet nodded off target. At the other end a Pirlo free kick ricocheted around and efforts from Seedorf and Kaka were charged down.

A fantastic first touch from Jovetic hooked the ball dead at the byline, but Gianluca Zambrotta kept his cool to put it out for a corner. Beckham nearly got his debut Serie A goal when Pato intelligently floated across for the unmarked England midfielder out wide just inside the area, but his low angled drive brought a fingertip save out of Storari.

30 seconds after the restart Jankulovski rode a series of tackles to test Storari with a low shot. Kaka ran on to a loose ball and was blocked by Comotto, then another attempt from the Brazilian was charged down in the box by Felipe Melo's smart recovery.

Pato is in stunning form and his step-over left defenders for dead, but he was cut short by Per Kroldrup's challenge, though the Fiorentina man seemed to get the ball. Kaka again was charged down and a fine Zambrotta challenge intercepted a dangerous counter-attack for Gilardino.

Seedorf was jeered by the crowd as he repeatedly gave the ball away on an off night for the Dutchman.

Abbiati required a spectacular point-blank save to deny Santana's equaliser, as the Argentine volleyed a Vargas cross from the byline and Abbiati kept it out with pure instinct on 66 minutes.

Moments later the goalkeeper was called again, as he stuck out a foot to parry Montolivo's effort a yard from the near post. Milan were struggling and Mathieu Flamini replaced Seedorf, moving Beckham to a trequartista role alongside Kaka. Emiliano Bonazzoli made his Fiorentina debut after joining from Sampdoria this week.

Kroldrup didn't get enough power to his volley from a free kick and Abbiati got down to smother. Santana drilled a snapshot just wide from the D and Beckham combined with Zambrotta for a cross to the back post, where Comotto did just enough to put off Kaka.

Ronaldinho replaced Pato, who was struggling with a calf niggle. He immediately combined with Kaka and the 2007 Ballon d'Or winner fired straight at the goalkeeper. Beckham went off feeling tired, giving Philippe Senderos his Serie A debut.

Giuseppe Favalli and Paolo Maldini managed to charge down Jovetic after Bonazzoli's knock-down. Milan ended with 10 men after Jankulovski's second bookable offence, as he foolishly kicked the ball away.
Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Maldini, Favalli, Jankulovski; Beckham (Senderos 80), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Kaka, Seedorf (Flamini 69); Pato (Ronaldinho 77)

Fiorentina: Storari; Comotto, Gamberini, Kroldrup, Vargas; Kuzmanovic (Bonazzoli 71), Felipe Melo, Montolivo; Santana (Gobbi 81); Jovetic, Gilardino

Ref: Rosetti

Sent off: Jankulovski 91 (M)

Berlusconi: 'Unlikely' to keep Kaka
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi admits “it is very difficult to keep hold of Kaka,” but that nothing has been decided.

This is the clearest statement yet from the very top of the club hierarchy that negotiations with Manchester City for a £108m deal are at an advanced stage.

“Nothing is decided yet, but it is very difficult to keep hold of someone who would earn a lot more and asks you to respect the contract, as a club cannot suddenly double wages,” said the Milan owner and Prime Minister of Italy.

“Of course it would be disappointing if he left, but at the moment I do not know how negotiations are going.

“He is a lad whose career does not last forever, so if he has the chance to pick up a lot more than he has now, it is difficult to say no.

“We cannot increase his wages, as they are already at the top level. We would have to bump up everybody’s in the squad and frankly that is not possible.

“Having said all that, I do hope Kaka stays.”

The Brazilian is already the top paid player in the world with £7m per season until 2013, a contract signed in February 2008, but he would be offered a staggering £500,000 per week at Manchester City.

Kaka joined the Rossoneri in 2003 from San Paolo for £5m.

AC Milan draw up £108m shopping list
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As Kaka is pushed into accepting Eastlands, Milan are eyeing the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor and Michael Essien with their £108m bonus.

It is widely reported that the Rossoneri are the ones urging Kaka to make the January transfer to Manchester City, somewhat against the player’s wishes, as they want to cash in on this historic bid.

They are already drawing up a shopping list of where to spend the money and much of it will go to the Premier League.

Adebayor was in extensive negotiations with Milan in the summer before he opted to remain at Arsenal and the Italians went for Ronaldinho instead.

The 25-year-old Togo international would be available for around £30m, while Gunners teammate Gael Clichy is a bargain £12m.

The defence needs more restructuring than any other part of the team and Milan have already captured Thiago Silva – who won’t be available until the summer because of his non-EC status – and Felipe Mattioni.

In midfield Yoann Gourcuff will return from his loan spell at Bordeaux, having become a star of Ligue 1 during his time there.

As Gennaro Gattuso and Massimo Ambrosini are not getting any younger, it is believed another £30m bid for 26-year-old Chelsea man Essien is on the cards.

Ronaldinho begs Kaka to stay
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho has begged Kaka to reject Manchester City’s record-shattering bid in order to build more Milan success.

One of the reasons behind the former Barcelona man’s move to San Siro this summer was to work with fellow Brazilians Kaka and Alexandre Pato, so he turned down a bigger offer from City.

“The chance of Kaka leaving is a disaster because we need him desperately to win more titles at this club,” Ronaldinho was quoted as saying in the Daily Star.

“I have known Ricky for some years and I am convinced that money will not be the major reason why he would leave Milan.

“It is not up to the Milan players what he does but we are desperate for him to stay. He seems very calm so I hope that is a sign that he is staying.

“None of us want him to leave. He is so important for us. He will succeed wherever he goes because he is a monster in football. But he is a symbol of Milan.

“We need him to stay. I can understand that Robinho and Jo would want him to go to Manchester City, but we want to be back in the Champions League and we need him to do that.’’

If it goes through, this £108m deal will double the previous world record transfer for Zinedine Zidane.

Kaka is set to start tonight’s game against Fiorentina and will be greeted by a huge fan protest.

Kaka "crying" about City move
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka was spotted “in tears” at the Milanello training ground and could break down during tonight’s fan protests against Fiorentina.

According to several newspapers, including the Corriere dello Sport, the target of a £108m Manchester City bid was weeping as he left the locker room.

Tonight could well be his final match in a Rossoneri jersey and it may get emotional, as fans are planning a huge demonstration of love for the player at San Siro.

They hope to convince him – and the club – to turn down a record-shattering transfer fee of £108m plus another £108m in wages and £27m in fees.

The Corriere dello Sport also claims that City have accepted a clause in Kaka’s contract allowing him to walk away for £60m if any of the contract terms are breached.

Wages were boosted as recompense for not playing in the Champions League next season, so he would be earning around £16m per season.

Meanwhile, The Sun newspaper has dug up an old interview in which Kaka expresses less than flattering opinions about Manchester City.

“Arsenal and Manchester United are different from the other English teams. They play a bit more and are more open.

"They are different from the typical English teams who have a tall striker and hold on to the ball.

“That’s more typical of Liverpool and Chelsea, who are very tactical sides — more English. Man United and Arsenal are more agile. They let other teams play and they play, too.”

Spokesman: Kaka is an AC Milan man
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka’s spokesman has confirmed that “Ricardo is a Milan player” and has not been in negotiations with Manchester City.

There were reports from Arabian news channels that contracts had been signed for a £107m transfer, but Diogo Kotscho has a different story.

“There is no news,” he told calciomercato.it. “The offer is on the table and today Kaka has only spoken on the phone with his family. I spoke to him too and I can guarantee he is relaxed.

“It is not true that he has already signed. Ricardo is a Milan player and thinks only about stepping on to the field tomorrow against Fiorentina.

“City are talking to the Rossoneri, but I certainly cannot confirm what was written in the Arabic newspapers.”

Kaka is in the squad for Saturday night’s match and fans have staged a protest outside the club headquarters.

“He has not yet decided what to do. He is focusing on Milan,” continued Kotscho from Brazil. When asked if Kaka’s father (and agent) Bosco Leite would be in Milan on Monday for talks, there was a similarly dismissive tone.

“As things stand, I doubt it. Bosco is on holiday in San Paolo and I think that unless there are some massive surprises he will stay there until the end of the week. If he does arrive in Italy, it will be because something has changed.”

However, the spokesman did confirm that the matter is still evolving after Milan hinted they would allow Kaka to talk to City.

“It’s probable there will be a meeting, but Bosco will only move if there is a development. He has to talk to Milan first. Ricardo does not know if he will be at Milan for life.”

Kaladze: Kaka will stay
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kakha Kaladze has joined the list of teammates reassuring fans that Kaka will not leave Milan for Manchester City.

The Brazilian and his club are reportedly considering a £107m offer from Eastlands, with a contract worth £500,000 per week.

“In my view, Kaka will remain at Milan,” insisted the Georgian international defender.

Kaladze has other matters to think about, as he will fly to Antwerp on Monday for a specialist consultation with Professor Marc Martens.

“Let us just say that now I am not playing, the knee certainly feels better. I am not putting weight on it and we will see what Professor Martens says.

“I admit that I am afraid an operation will be considered necessary. It’s not a positive thing to go under the knife, but if I have to undergo an operation, then I will. What else can I do?”

Kaladze: Kaka will stay
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kakha Kaladze has joined the list of teammates reassuring fans that Kaka will not leave Milan for Manchester City.

The Brazilian and his club are reportedly considering a £107m offer from Eastlands, with a contract worth £500,000 per week.

“In my view, Kaka will remain at Milan,” insisted the Georgian international defender.

Kaladze has other matters to think about, as he will fly to Antwerp on Monday for a specialist consultation with Professor Marc Martens.

“Let us just say that now I am not playing, the knee certainly feels better. I am not putting weight on it and we will see what Professor Martens says.

“I admit that I am afraid an operation will be considered necessary. It’s not a positive thing to go under the knife, but if I have to undergo an operation, then I will. What else can I do?”

Fans stage Kaka protest
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Hundreds of furious supporters have gathered outside Milan’s headquarters to protest against a potential Kaka sale to Manchester City.

The club has allowed Kaka to talk with the Premier League side amid reports of an increased £107m bid.

The fans are not taking it well and are laying siege to the Rossoneri headquarters in Via Turati this evening.

They are chanting “Kaka cannot be sold” and displaying banners, including one that reads: “Kaka is untouchable. He has been declared a national treasure.”

The tension is palpable and some fans even threw a homemade firework on to the ramp of the garage just before general manager Adriano Galliani drove away.

For a little while earlier today, Arabian Business website claimed that “Sheikh Mansour, owner of Manchester City, has told friends that Kaka has signed.”

The item disappeared relatively quickly and Milan have confirmed Kaka is in the squad for tomorrow night’s Serie A game with Fiorentina.

Prandelli hopes for Kaka effect
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cesare Prandelli accepts the blame for Fiorentina's defeat against Lecce and hopes tomorrow's opponents Milan are distracted by the Kaka saga.

While the Viola have been able to focus solely on preparing to face Milan, the Rossoneri have been rocked by Manchester City's £107m bid for Kaka.

“I hope that Milan are put off by the Kaka situation, but I doubt that will be the case,” Prandelli told journalists.

“I think that a proposal like that puts you in difficulty and it's only natural to take some time to reflect, especially in the current economic crisis.”

Fiorentina slumped to an unexpected 2-1 defeat against Lecce in their first game of 2009.

“I take full responsibility for what happened last Sunday,” the Viola boss said.

“I got the preparations wrong. I mismanaged the pre-game period and the physical aspect never came into it.

“We know that we face a difficult game against Milan and we need to be calm, courageous and precise.

“It's crucial that we exploit their weaknesses and try to up the tempo with flowing moves.

“Milan are a great team with players who can give more than most.”

Much of the pre-game build-up has centred on Alberto Gilardino, who takes on his former side.

“I have left Alberto in peace because he has a great desire to do well and he just needs to avoid fear,” Prandelli explained.

There will also be a battle between Milan's young gun Alexandre Pato and Viola starlet Stevan Jovetic.

“Pato has something extra,” the Gigliati boss admitted. “He has more experience in Italy and he plays for a great team who support him.

“We have a very talented lad in Jovetic and he will grow. They are different players though.”

Ganz to Milan: Don't sell Kaka
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ex-Milan striker Maurizio Ganz has warned his old club not to sell Kaka to Manchester City.

The Diavolo are currently weighing up an offer of around £107m from the nouveau riche Premier League outfit.

There are rumours that Milan are ready to accept the offer, leaving the decision with the player.

“Milan should focus on winning and keep things as they are,” Ganz said in an interview with Tuttomercatoweb.

“Kaka is an important part of Milan's squad. Of course £107m is lots of money, but the Rossoneri will need to find a replacement.

“It wouldn't be easy to find a similar player who could come in and do the job.”

Ancelotti's AC Milan resolve
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan tactician Carlo Ancelotti hopes Kaka doesn't leave the club, but insists the Rossoneri “will go on with or without him.”

Ancelotti's preparations for Milan's crucial Serie A clash with Fiorentina tomorrow have been overshadowed by Manchester City's mega bid for star man Kaka.

“I think there are negotiations in progress and so the situation must be decided by the club and the player,” Carletto said.

“I hope that I will be able to work with Kaka for many more years, but we have to face the fact that there is a bid under consideration.

“It only natural that Kaka is given great importance because of the role he is playing for us at the moment.

“Times change and football is different from 20 years ago. We have these big investors and big offers that must be considered.

“However, the objectives of this team stay the same whether we have Kaka or not.

“We need to get into the Champions League and to win the UEFA Cup. Even if we lose an important player this squad will remain competitive.”

Pato: Kaka, please stay
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striking starlet Alexandre Pato has urged Kaka to resist the lure of Manchester City. “I would stay put.”

The Eastlands outfit are ready to offer Kaka around £500,000 per week if he trades Milan for Manchester.

But compatriot Pato is convinced the move would be a mistake and hopes Kaka stays put.

“His choice has to come from the heart and he has to consider it carefully,” The Duck told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“But if I were in his shoes I wouldn't have any doubts. I would stay put here at Milan because this is his home. I really hope he will keep playing alongside me.”

Pato was the hero in Milan's 2-2 draw with Roma as he provided a crucial brace.

“My objective is very simple,” Pato said. “I want to be the best in the world and to emulate my idol Ronaldo.

“When I was a kid I used to watch him play and try to imitate him. My dream is to achieve what he did at club level and with the Selecao.”

Kaka allowed to talk to City
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Latest reports suggest that Manchester City have upped their bid for Kaka to £107m and Milan have allowed the Brazilian to discuss terms.

Should a deal be agreed, it would shatter all transfer records and make Kaka the highest earner in the history of the game.

Milan are officially still considering the bid for the Brazilian star, but they have granted City owner Sheikh Mansour the right to talk to Kaka.

Kaka's father Bosco, who also acts as his advisor, has cut his holiday short to negotiate the terms of a possible contract with City.

The Manchester outfit are expected to offer around £500,000 per week plus bonuses and a signing on fee.

“Milan have authorised negotiations with Manchester City,” Kaka's personal assistant Diego Kotscho revealed. “The next step now is for Kaka's father to talk to City.”

Maldini fears Kaka loss
17.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan captain Paolo Maldini has admitted that it would be a huge blow to lose Kaka.

Manchester City have launched an audacious bid of around £100m to try and lure the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year.

Reports suggest that Milan are close to accepting the offer and that the transfer will rest on the player's choice of club, but the Rossoneri insists they are still “weighing up” the proposal.

“The decision rests with the club, but I can only stress that Kaka is very important and that his exit would be hugely negative,” Maldini is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.

“This deal sounds incredible to me. No player is worth this much, not even Cristiano Ronaldo. But he seems pretty calm about everything.”

Should Kaka complete the move to Eastlands he would become the highest earner in world football.

Gremio: AC Milan have signed Felipe Mattioni
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian side Gremio have announced that talented defender Felipe Mattioni is headed for Milan.

Felipe is one of South American football's rising stars and has been a target for a number of top European sides.

Initially it seemed that Juventus were close to Felipe's signature, but now he is expected to join the sizeable Brazilian contingent at Milan.

“Felipe is a Milan player and he will be for the next four-and-a-half years,” a statement on Gremio's website reads.

Mattioni's agent Mino Raiola, who also protects Zlatan Ibrahimovic's interests, told ANSA news agency last night that a deal has been agreed with the Rossoneri.

Gremio are yet to release any details about the transfer fee, but reports in Italy suggest Milan have paid around £5m.

Manchester City 'close' to Kaka
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City assistant manager Mark Bowen has told BBC Sport Wales that Kaka is “very close” to signing for the club.

City reportedly bid £100m for the 26-year-old Brazilian World Cup winner earlier this week and vowed to offer him £15m in wages.

“We believe the deal is very close,” said Bowen. “We are selling the future plans of the club to the player.

“I’ve read a lot about his love of Milan – and that goes without saying – but even when people said the deal was dead that was not our understanding.”

Kaka yesterday moved to reassure Milan fans that his future still lies with the Rossoneri. He insisted he wants to grow old at the club and eventually become its captain.

“We are still hopeful of signing Kaka,” added Bowen. “The situation has been a surprise to everyone but obviously negotiations have been going for a fair while.

“How close we are I don’t know, but our understanding is that it is very much a strong possibility that Kaka will be coming to Manchester City.”

Earlier reports suggested that the deal was off, however, Milan have apparently given Kaka permission to talk with the Premier League outfit.

If a deal was to go through, it would be the biggest in football history. Kaka would become the world’s most expensive player ever.

AC Milan sign Mattioni
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have reached an agreement with Brazilian club Gremio to sign Felipe Mattioni on loan until the end of the season.

The Rossoneri have brokered a deal whereby they have first option to sign the 20-year-old right-back on a permanent basis this summer.

“Felipe is already in Italy,” said Mattioni’s agent, Mino Raiola. “He’ll have a medical today. He has an Italian passport and can play soon.”

Mattioni becomes the second Brazilian defender to join Milan in the January transfer window after Thiago Silva moved from Fluminense earlier this month.

Their arrival could not have come at a better time as the Rossoneri continue to struggle with injuries at the back.

Juventus were also interested in signing the Brazil Under-20 international, as were Manchester United and Ajax.

Mattioni could make his Milan debut this Sunday as the Rossoneri host Fiorentina in Serie A.

Thiago Silva settles at Milan
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian defender Thiago Silva has taken part in his first training session as a Milan player and is looking forward to making his debut for the club.

The 24-year-old former Porto and Dynamo Moscow youngster agreed terms with the Rossoneri in the winter. He left last year’s Copa Libertadores runners up Fluminense.

“Before I began, I was anxious to understand just how things worked here,” said Silva, who won a bronze medal with Brazil at this summer’s Beijing Olympics.

Milan have given Silva the unenviable task of replacing club legend Paolo Maldini who might retire at the end of this season.

“It will be difficult to take his place,” admitted Silva. “He is an idol, but I am sure I will be able to play at his level.”

Silva went on to reveal just how he felt when he walked into the Milan dressing room for the first time.

“The initial impact remains in my mind, everyone received me well and I am sure that we will form a compact group capable of obtaining the successes Milan deserves.”

Silva joins four other Brazilians at Milanello and is likely to say hello to another one this morning as Felipe Mattioni completes his transfer from Gremio.

Kaladze has mystery knee injury
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kakhaber Kaladze will visit specialist Professor Marc Martens on Monday after tests failed to explain his knee injury.

The defender has been struggling with a knee problem for some time and pulled out just before last Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Roma.

However, the Milan website confirmed this evening that “tests did not show any difference from previous results.

“On Monday Kaladze will travel to Professor Martens for a consultation.”

The Georgian international has been complaining of intense pain in his knee, but no lesions or even strains have been found.

It is another worrying setback for the Rossoneri, who are already without Alessandro Nesta and Daniele Bonera.

General manager Adriano Galliani insists the club will not sign any players in the January transfer window, although fans are piling on the pressure to buy reinforcements in defence.

Meanwhile the other news from Milanello is that Bonera and Clarence Seedorf are almost fit and Ronaldinho was rested due to a cold.

Kaka: My future is with AC Milan
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka has moved to silence speculation that he will join Manchester City and committed his future to Milan.

There has been a media frenzy over the last few hours after it was reported that Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook had visited Milan to put a £90m offer on the table for Kaka.

Kaka's personal assistant Diego Kotscho poured fuel on the fire by admitting that a move “isn't impossible”, but the man himself is playing down the rumours.

“I want to grow old at Milan,” Kaka insisted to Sportmediaset. “I have already turned down some important offers.

“My objective for the future is to become captain of this team. I know that there is a hierarchy here and Paolo Maldini and Massimo Ambrosini are first, but after them…”

Milan will be hoping that Kaka's statement ends the current speculation over the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year's future.

Kaka move is 'possible'
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan ace Kaka's personal assistant Diego Kotscho has admitted that a move to Manchester City is “not impossible.”

Kaka has always stressed that he wants to stay at Milan and Rossoneri patron Silvio Berlusconi is adamant that the Brazilian star is staying put.

However, there are reports that Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook visited Milan yesterday to table a £90m mega bid.

“We know about this meeting yesterday in Milan,” Kotscho told Sky Sports News.

“We will just have to wait for an agreement between the two sides. It's not just about the money - we have to see a good project.

“If Manchester City can become one of the best teams in the world then we can talk about joining them.

“Kaka is very happy at Milan and loves who he works for. He is enjoying playing alongside David Beckham, Ronaldinho and all the other great players there.

“However, of course the Premier League is one of the best Leagues in the world and a transfer's not impossible if they complete a deal with Milan.”

English Press reports suggest that Kaka would become the best-paid footballer in the world if he agreed to a move with a salary of around £200,000 per week.

Mancester City launch Kaka mission
15.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Despite Silvio Berlusconi's assurances, there are reports that Manchester City have sent their chief executive to Italy to discuss a bid for Kaka.

The Citizens have been tracking Kaka for months and there have been regular rumours linking the wealthy Premier League side with a big-money move.

While Milan patron Berlusconi declared yesterday that Kaka won't be leaving San Siro, there are reports from Sky Sports News that City chief executive Garry Cook has travelled to Milan to begin transfer talks.

Milan have fended off advances from Real Madrid and Chelsea in recent times, but there are suggestions in La Gazzetta dello Sport that City would be able to bid around £90m.

FIFA World Player of the Year 2007 Kaka has always stressed his desire to stay with Milan, but Brazilian national side teammate Robinho has called him to Eastlands.

City's contract offer is also said to be in excess of £9m per season, which would make Kaka the highest earner in world football.

Beckham enjoyed AC Milan debut
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former England captain David Beckham has spoken of his joy at making his Serie A debut for Milan last night.

Beckham was given a starting place by Coach Carlo Ancelotti in the Rossoneri’s 2-2 draw with Roma and played 91 minutes before making way for Mathieu Flamini.

“I feel very good and in shape,” said Becks. “I was surprised to play from the beginning, but I enjoyed myself a lot. I played better than I believed.

“My objective is to play as many games as possible and to work on my form. I feel lucky. I will look to help Milan.”

The 33-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid winger, who is on a three-month loan from LA Galaxy, was keen to make clear that he will return to America once his deal with Milan expires.

Reports have suggested that Beckham could make his move to Milan permanent in order to prolong his England career.

“My contract is clear,” he explained. “I have to return for the start of the season with LA Galaxy. This is written in my contract.”

When asked if he considered moving to America a bad decision, Beckham said: “I have no regrets in my career. I am happy to have this chance.”

Returning to his business with Milan, Beckham turned his attention to the title race, admitting that the Rossoneri still have a chance despite being nine points behind leaders Inter.

“It’s difficult but not impossible,” he concluded. “Milan have some of the strongest players in the world. We can do it.”

The seven-time European Cup winners currently lie third in Serie A and host sixth placed Fiorentina at the weekend.

Galliani closes AC Milan wallet
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has somewhat shockingly revealed that the Rossoneri will not be buying anyone in the January transfer window.

With Kakha Kaladze, Alessandro Nesta, Phiippe Senderos and Daniele Bonera all out injured, Milan were expected to sign a defender.

“We won’t return on the market,” said Galliani after the Rossoneri’s 2-2 draw with Roma last night. “Kaladze has nothing wrong with him in particular.

“To me, it should mean he doesn’t have to have an operation. We’re also looking to recover Nesta and Senderos.

“The only thing Milan asks of 2009 is health, especially for our defenders,” he laughed. “We always score, yet still have some little problems there at the back.”

Galliani then turned to last night’s game against Roma, which saw David Beckham make his Serie A debut and Alexandre Pato score two vital goals.

“Beckham did very well,” admitted Galliani. “As did the rest of team in the second half with an extraordinary Pato who flies on the pitch.

“I really don’t believe that there is another 19-year-old as strong as him in the world.”

When asked whether Milan needed to win considering League leaders Inter slipped up against Cagliari, Galliani refused to be anything other than positive.

“It has not been a negative day,” he concluded. “Inter played Cagliari. We played Roma. The distance remains nine points. But let’s leave Inter be and think about ourselves.”

Milan are third in Serie A, five points behind second placed Juventus and nine adrift of Inter. The Rossoneri play Fiorentina at the weekend.

Pato points to Scudetto
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato has set his sights on the Scudetto after scoring twice in the Rossoneri’s 2-2 draw away to Roma last night.

Finding his team 1-0 down at half-time, the 19-year-old Brazilian got Milan level and then gave them the lead on 53 minutes before Mirko Vucinic equalised for the Giallorossi.

The point Milan take away from Rome goes some way to reviving their title challenge.

League leaders Inter drew at home to Cagliari on Saturday and are now just nine points in front of their cousins.

“The credit for my goals go to the team,” said Pato. “They helped me and allowed me to go about my business with the utmost tranquillity.

“I am happy to be a part of this team. It was a great game. We worked well in Dubai and now look to win the championship.”

Pato also had a few words to say about David Beckham, who made his Serie A debut for Milan last night, playing for 91 minutes.

“He is certainly better than me,” admitted Pato to the surprise of reporters. “I am happy that he came to Milan. Beckham is a great player.”

Milan remain third in Serie A, five points behind second placed Juventus and welcome Fiorentina to San Siro next weekend.

Ancelotti's sneaky Beckham tactic
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti admits he kept David Beckham's starting role a secret, but cannot decide if tonight's draw was positive or negative.

“I'm not sure if the glass is half-full or half-empty. The positives were all in the second half, especially going forward, but the negatives are the first half and the slow tempo with not a lot of movement. We were too static in possession.

“There is no point keeping the ball just for the sake of it, as that just invites counter-attacks,” he said after the 2-2 draw with Roma.

Ancelotti had told journalists in Saturday's Press conference that Beckham would not be in the starting XI, but surprised everyone when the England international played almost the entire 90 minutes.

“I spoke with the players and told them I intended to play Beckham. We all decided to keep a low profile and not advertise the fact, that way avoiding excessive media attention and pressure on his shoulders.

“Beckham has proved in the few days he has been with us that he is a tactically intelligent player who can provide balance. He also trained well and is in good shape physically, so this was his reward for settling in so quickly.

“I think everyone is happy that Beckham has arrived. I will never tire of pointing out he is an exemplary professional who works hard and everyone knows the situation, so there is no point penalising him because he will only be here for two months.”

Beckham whipped some of his trademark crosses into the box, but there are no real powerhouses for the Rossoneri.

“We need [Marco] Borriello in certain situations. Without him we have to play in a slightly different way, but [Alexandre] Pato is turning into a striker of extraordinary quality, so we'll enjoy his form right now.

“I asked Ronaldinho to play in a more central role and he needs to get used to that new position and the sacrifice for the team.”

Milan are still nine points adrift of Inter and are under increasing pressure from Napoli for third place.

“It was important to win and close up on the leaders, but a draw is a good result and allows me to look forwards with optimism,” said Ancelotti.

“It is true we have a lot of quality, but with some more sacrifices from everyone we can create a great Milan.”

AS Roma 2:2 AC Milan - match report
12.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Vucinic 22, 72 (R), Pato 48, 53 (M)

All eyes were on David Beckham's Serie A debut, but Mirko Vucinic and Alexandre Pato bagged a brace each as Roma held Milan 2-2.

The pre-match hype was all about David Beckham's Serie A bow and he was surprisingly placed in the starting XI and played almost the whole 90 minutes. There was more to it than that, as this was a showdown between two teams whose Scudetto ambitions were all but over. Roma lost 3-2 to Catania before the Christmas break and would be without Francesco Totti for another month, while Max Tonetto and Jeremy Menez were also sidelined. Milan lost Kakha Kaladze, Gennaro Gattuso, Alessandro Nesta, Daniele Bonera and Marco Borriello, while Massimo Ambrosini was also not 100 per cent fit.

Carlo Ancelotti was unbeaten in the first game of a new year in his entire career, but Roma had lost just one of their last 23 Serie A home matches. There was an amusing sideshow before kick-off, as Ancelotti said he wanted to be in charge of the Giallorossi and that he enjoyed "winding Spalletti up." So Spalletti waited for Ancelotti with a huge hug and offered his seat!

Marco Cassetti barged Alexandre Pato over, so Andrea Pirlo, Beckham and Ronaldinho lined up, the Brazilian hitting it against the wall. Christian Abbiati fumbled a John Arne Riise snapshot, while a long free kick found Philippe Mexes at the back post, but Gianluca Zambrotta did just enough to put him off.

Vucinic's header was cleared by Maldini and Beckham's long ball sparked a Kaka counter closed down by Juan.

Roma took the lead through Vucinic, who had already scored in his last two meetings with Milan. The Montenegrin turned on a sixpence to leave Marek Jankulovski stranded and smashed it above Abbiati from seven yards.

Beckham whipped in a cross and Alexander Doni got a hand to it, deflecting it out of Pato's path. Moments later Mexes took a Jankulovski ball off Ronaldinho's head, but on the counter Vucinic horribly wasted.

Abbiati smothered a Simone Perrotta volley from the D. Milan were holding on to the ball for much of the last 10 minutes of the first half, but had problems creating real scoring opportunities. Pato was dispossessed when he should've spread Ronaldinho's pass to Beckham and on the counter Vucinic drilled wide.

Milan drew level straight after the restart. Kaka got to the byline and cut back to lose Cassetti, his low ball across the face of goal missing Jankulovski but finding Pato at the back post.

Maldini charged down Vucinic's strike and Ronaldinho volleyed Beckham's corner over the bar.

Pato turned the game around moments later with a sensational solo effort! He turned on the turbo to burst past Mexes down the left flank and chip Doni from the tightest of angles. The change of pace left the Frenchman eating dust.

Kaka almost replicated it, but was denied by a last-ditch Juan sliding tackle. Riise's screamer flashed across the face of goal to skim the far post.

Pato combined with Ronaldinho and the former Barca man toe-poked it over the bar from the D. David Pizarro replaced Rodrigo Taddei, but Milan were in control and Doni had his palms stung by a long-range Pirlo free kick. From the resulting corner, the goalkeeper held a Beckham curler.

Ancelotti introduced Ambrosini for Ronaldinho, pushing Seedorf into a trequartista role. Within a minute Roma had equalised. The ball ricocheted around the box before it found Vucinic for a smart diving header at the back post, which left Abbiati stranded. It was a clever move from the striker, as the ball bounced and the goalkeeper was expecting a pause and shot rather than the immediate header.

It was now end to end stuff with Seedorf nodding Pato's cross over, then Juan charged down Pato's tap-in from seven yards. Roma went on the counter from the same move, but Pizarro's pass was too long for Vucinic and a Pizarro snapshot was smothered.

Seedorf's chipped pass found Kaka unmarked, but the angle was too tight and Doni flew to palm away the finish. Alberto Aquilani made his comeback after a long injury and Perrotta's deflected lob set up by Vucinic landed on the roof of the net.

Aquilani's absolute screamer from 30 metres whistled past the near post and settled on the side-netting. Mathieu Flamini replaced Beckham in the final minute and he was 'welcomed' to Serie A with a chorus of jeers from the Roma crowd.

In stoppages Pirlo intercepted a potentially great chance for Roma, while Seedorf's header was off target from Kaka's cross.
Roma: Doni; Cassetti (Cicinho 81), Mexes, Juan, Riise; De Rossi, Brighi (Aquilani 83), Taddei (Pizarro 64); Perrotta, Baptista; Vucinic

Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Favalli, Maldini, Jankulovski; Beckham (Flamini 89), Pirlo, Seedorf; Kaka, Ronaldinho (Ambrosini 70); Pato

Ref: Morganti

Berlusconi: Unleash Beckham!
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi has urged his Coach to field David Beckham from the start against Roma.

Carlo Ancelotti announced in yesterday's Press conference that it would be “very difficult” to place the new arrival in the starting XI.

However, and certainly not for the first time, patron Berlusconi very publicly disagrees with his tactician.

“If I were Ancelotti, I would make him debut in a stadium like the Olimpico on such a wonderful occasion,” he told Sky Italia.

“If Beckham is really not 100 per cent fit, then I would introduce him in the second half, when the opponents are getting a little tired.

“I will sit impatiently in front of the television to see if he plays.”

Beckham is on loan from LA Galaxy until March 9, when he must return for the start of the MLS season, so there are few real opportunities for him to play in Serie A.

Maldini: AC Milan better with Beckham
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paolo Maldini believes “Milan are stronger with David Beckham” going into tonight’s showdown against Roma.

The captain is confident that his team is in the right frame of mind to get back on track at the Stadio Olimpico.

“We are certainly in better shape than the previous editions of this big match. We are doing well and think positive.”

Last season Roma won both meetings with Mirko Vucinic goals proving decisive, but this time all eyes will be on debutant Beckham.

Many say his loan move from LA Galaxy was nothing more than a publicity stunt and even Bayern Munich chief Uli Hoeness criticised the media circus surrounding their Dubai training camp.

“His arrival is a very positive thing, because David settled in well right from the first day,” continued Maldini in the Corriere dello Sport.

“The media circus has been a little over the top and it may have seemed from the outside that our time in Dubai was wasted, but in reality we worked twice a day. Including Beckham.”

This is going to be Maldini’s final season as a player, hanging up his boots just before he turns 41 years of age.

“I’ve been saying it for a while now, but this time I really think the moment has come to stop playing football.

“I will remain in this sport in another capacity, but at this moment I am not sure whether I want to be behind the scenes or a Coach.”

Milan are struggling to construct a solid defence, but the captain thinks they already have his heir.

“In the future Thiago Silva will do a great job, but I still say that Milan must focus on Alessandro Nesta for the present and immediate future.

“I think he will be back stronger than ever. I spoke to him recently and he was fired up, enthusiastic and at last relieved his back problems are improving.

“Clearly if he returns, which I’m sure he will, then it is to play at the highest level. I’m betting on Nesta to take on my mantle. He is a real champion and the best centre-back around.”

Nesta has barely set foot on the field in a year due to a recurring back injury and is still undergoing specialist treatment in America.

Ancelotti sends Beckham to bench
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti insists “David Beckham is ready to play, but it will be difficult to start him” against Roma on Sunday night.

The world’s media is eagerly-awaiting his Serie A debut after making the loan move from LA Galaxy and Becks is expected to make an appearance at the Stadio Olimpico.

“He is ready to play,” assured Milan Coach Ancelotti in today’s Press conference. “He has worked very professionally and with real effort, but it will be difficult to start him.

“He will play if he is in the right conditions and if we consider he can give a positive contribution to the match.

“Beckham is a great professional, very committed and we are all happy with him, even if he will only stay at Milan for two months.”

The two clubs had agreed Beckham would be back for the MLS season on March 9, but this week former LA Galaxy chief Alexi Lalas suggested a permanent switch was possible.

“If Beckham decided to stay with us then we would all be happy, but his contract is clear and knowing his professionalism I’m sure he will respect it,” added Ancelotti.

“In these two months he will work very hard with Milan. The more we know him and his family, the more irritating it is to see all the gossip that surrounds him.”

It is a very special game for the Milan tactician, as he is a former Roma legend as a player and has said on numerous occasions he’d love to return on the bench.

“Tomorrow night I will come back to Roma as an ex, as I am very fond of the eight years I spent with the Giallorossi.

“As for a possible future on the Roma bench, I will just say that considering my sporting history they would be the only other club I could work for in Italy. In any case, I am happy at Milan.

“We worked hard in the training camp in Dubai and the team can’t wait to get back into the League. This match will test the work we have done over Christmas.”

Gennaro Gattuso and Francesco Totti are both out of action long-term, while there are major doubts over Massimo Ambrosini’s fitness.

“We will have to wait and see what condition he is in before the game, as Ambrosini’s fitness will dictate a great deal in terms of the team selection.”

Ronaldinho's New Year resolutions
11.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho sees an all-star Milan with David Beckham and has three objectives: “Win the Scudetto, return to the Champions League and win it in 2010.”

Some said the former Barcelona star was washed out when he left the Nou Camp five months ago, but he has been a roaring success for the Rossoneri with seven Serie A goals alone.

“I am happy and my family has settled in very well, which is the most important thing,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“There may be the beach in Barcelona, but I like Milan and the warmth of the people helps me forget about the cold climate.”

On Sunday evening he faces Roma at the Stadio Olimpico and we should see Beckham’s debut. Can Carlo Ancelotti really balance all these star names?

“I think so,” added Dinho. “Milan are made up of intelligent players who know they need to make sacrifices if they want to play together and have fun.

“Beckham is special. He has a way of kicking the ball with such precision and power that no other midfielder has. He is one of the best in the world and I really like him.”

Golden Balls is only with the club until March 9 when he must return to LA Galaxy and Milan are nine points behind leaders Inter, but Ronaldinho believes in the title.

“Why not? Inter have quality players and a great Coach. They are strong, but we can catch them. Aside from the Scudetto, our objectives for 2009 are to get back into the Champions League and then win it in 2010.

“On a personal level, I also hope to be back playing for Brazil soon. In these last few months it was important for me to concentrate on Milan, adapt to a new playing style and training regime.”

As a final note, Ronaldinho was asked about the famous advert that saw him repeatedly hit the crossbar in a training exercise. Some said it was digitally enhanced.

“It’s all true! If you don’t believe me then ask someone who is watching when I train. I did it again the other day.”

Pato: Beckham helps title push
10.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato is confident David Beckham can help Milan win the Scudetto despite their nine-point gap from Inter.

“Considering the way I have seen Beckham train and play, I can say he is a very strong figure on and off the field,” said the Brazilian teenager on Sky Italia.

“It is a great pleasure for me to play and train alongside him. I spoke with him and am happy to be his teammate. He’s a very talented player and can do a great deal for Milan.”

Becks is set to make his Serie A debut on Sunday night against Roma and it may well be their last chance to stay in the title race.

“It will be a fantastic game. Roma are a great squad and their Coach knows football very well, but Milan are strong and I am sure we’ll go there to play at the top of our game,” continued Pato.

“We have to win this Scudetto. Inter are strong, but so are Milan. There’s a long way to go yet and many matches to be played before we know who will win the title.”

Pato has been playing for the Rossoneri for precisely one year, as he made his debut in January 2008.

“I am happy and did my best, but I am sure that in 2009 I can do even better.”

Beckham 'won't extend AC Milan stay'
10.1 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham’s spokesman has ruled out a permanent move to Milan after former LA Galaxy chief Alexi Lalas’ comments.

Ex-general manager Lalas suggested today that despite a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between the clubs for a return to the MLS on March 9, he “would be worried about Beckham’s future” if still at Galaxy.

The England international’s spokesman was quick to dispel the already existing rumours that he is looking for a way to extend the loan spell at San Siro.

“Whilst we respect Alexi's right to an opinion, he has not been party to any contractual discussions on the loan agreement to Milan,” insisted spokesman Simon Oliveira.

"As David has said recently, he will be back in the US for March 9 and with LA Galaxy for the start of the MLS season."

Beckham is expected to make his Serie A debut on Sunday evening against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.

Oddo hopes for Bayern stay
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Source: Football Italia

Milan-owned defender Massimo Oddo has indicated that he would be happy to stay at Bayern Munich after his loan period expires.

The Azzurri stopper has thrived in the Bundesliga after a tough season in Serie A and has regained a place in the national side.

Oddo is due to return to Milan at the end of the current campaign, but it seems that he would happy to stay at the Allianz Arena.

“My time here at Bayern has been a real experience for me, both as a player and a person,” Oddo told Die Roten's website.

“I'm really happy in Munich. We have a great team with lots of good players. There's great team spirit and we all get on really well.

“The Bundesliga is also entertaining. In Italy there are normally three or maybe four teams looking for the Scudetto, but here there are lots more and the League is more open and exciting.

“My loan deal ends in the summer, but I could easily imagine myself staying in Munich.

“However, I can't make the decision by myself - it's up to my club, the Coach and the management.”

Agent: AC Milan for Felipe
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Source: Football Italia

Milan could overtake Juventus in the race to sign Gremio ace Felipe Mattioni, according to the player's agent.

Juve have been repeatedly linked with the Brazilian defender over the last few weeks.

But just as it seemed that the Old Lady were ready to negotiate a deal, Milan seem to have entered the equation.

“It's true that Juve are after him, but I would say that Milan are too,” Felipe's agent Mino Raiola told the Corriere dello Sport.

“He is a first-class player and he is ready to play on the big European stage.

“I think that he is the kind of player that Milan like and I would define him as such.”

Felipe has an Italian passport and so wouldn't count as a non-EU player, but Milan have already secured the signature of Thiago Silva from Fluminense and are unlikely to sign another stopper.

AC Milan is right for Beckham, says Lalas
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Source: Football Italia

Former LA Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas thinks David Beckham should opt to stay with Milan when his loan period ends.

Beckham arrived at San Siro on a two-month loan to keep in shape during LA Galaxy's pre-season.

But the England international is clearly enjoying life at one of the world's most prestigious clubs and there have been suggestions that the move could become permanent.

“If I were still a director at LA Galaxy, I would be worried about Beckham's future,” Lalas said. “David needs to do what's best for his career.

"It's his decision, but now he is at Milan he is playing with champions in a context that is more appropriate to his level as a player.”

Lalas' comments will add impetus to the rumour mill, which regularly produces stories linking Beckham with a permanent transfer to the Rossoneri.

Flamini: I must do better
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Source: Football Italia

French international midfielder Mathieu Flamini insists he still has a lot of room for improvement at Milan.

The talented 24-year-old signed from Arsenal during the summer and arrived with high hopes.

However, Flamini is yet to really show what he is capable of in a Milan shirt and has started just nine games this season.

“In London with Arsenal I was used to a 4-4-2 system and it's important now for me to find my place in the midfield,” Flamini told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I need to understand the team in order to get back to the level I was at when I wore the Arsenal shirt.

“I have a chance to play alongside lots of top-level teammates who know the game well and have great experience.

“I'm still young and I need to keep working in order to reach their level.”

Flamini concluded by discussing the arrival of England international David Beckham.

“He is a very nice lad and he's a pleasure to be around,” he said.

“I think it's a good thing for Milan to have a player like David in the squad.”





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