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The Archive

February 2009

Ancelotti: It's my fault
27.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti accepts responsibility for last night's shock UEFA Cup exit, but insists his position isn't under threat.

The Rossoneri were stunned by Werder Bremen as they let a two-goal advantage slip to lose on away goals.

The result increases the pressure on Ancelotti, who was expected to deliver European glory.

“Bremen deserved to qualify in spite of the fact that we led for most of the tie,” Ancelotti admitted.

“As the Coach, I am responsible for the result and I will not hide from the blame.

“They played better than us from the beginning in last week's match and they never let us in the game.

“Now we need to look at the mistakes that we made and to try and improve quickly.

“I am not disappointed with the players because they gave their all, but I am gutted to exit the competition.

“I still don't feel that my position is up for debate, but we need to achieve our objective of finishing second, even if that won't be easy.”

Milan's injury problems continued as Clarence Seedorf limped off during the second half.

“I have to say that the injuries to three key players - Kaka, Alessandro Nesta and Seedorf - clearly have had a negative effect on our performances this season,” Carletto claimed.

“Injuries have hampered our campaign, but we didn't play well while Bremen were physically superior on the night.”

UEFA Cup: AC Milan 2:2 (3:3 on agg.) Werder Bremen
26.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pirlo pen 26 (M), Pato 33 (M), Pizarro 68, 79 (B)

A stunning second-half comeback saw Werder Bremen send Milan crashing out of the UEFA Cup on away goals courtesy of a Claudio Pizarro double.

The tie was wide open as the two teams lined up at San Siro as Diego cancelled out a Pippo Inzaghi goal in the first leg.

The pressure was intense for Coach Carlo Ancelotti who knew he was expected to deliver UEFA Cup glory.

The two sides were meeting for the sixth time with the Diavolo having so far secured three away draws and two home wins.

Ronaldinho was out injured. Inzaghi started up front with Alexandre Pato and Philippe Senderos was preferred to Daniele Bonera in defence.

The start of the game was very aggressive with tackles flying in from both sides.

Diego produced the first meaningful attempt on goal but Nelson Dida saved easily.

The Brazilian midfielder's soft ball to Claudio Pizarro resulted in another comfortable save from Dida.

Andrea Pirlo's free-kick bounced off the wall and Pato looked lively as he took on the defence.

Gianluca Zambrotta saved Milan as he deflected an Hugo Almeida strike for a corner after good work from Pizarro.

The Germans demanded a penalty for a reckless challenge from Massimo Ambrosini, but the appeals were waved away.

And Milan took the lead when they were awarded a spot-kick. Thorsten Frings was adjudged to have handled in the box and Pirlo stepped up to convert.

Shortly afterwards it was 2-0 to Milan after some Pato magic. Paolo Maldini found him with a precise ball and Pato thundered the ball past Christian Vander.

Dida made an excellent save to stop an Almeida header as Werder looked to claw their way back into the tie.

The Brazilian No 1 also saved Almeida's left-footed hit and an Alexandros Tziolis header to keep it 2-0 at the break.

There were no changes at the break. Diego's shot was blocked for a corner by Dida.

Seedorf had to limp off early in the second period and was replaced with Mathieu Flamini.

Pato tried an impudent lob over Vander, who was out of his box, but he didn;t trouble the custodian.

Senderos did well to block shots from Pizarro on two occasions but the pressure was mounting.

And it was 2-1 when Pizarro got his head to a Diego free-kick and left Dida stranded.

The Germans seemed to have new belief and they pushed forward. Substitute Sebastian Boenisch shot over but they pegged Milan back, increasing the tension around San Siro.

Pizarro nearly made it 2-2, but Dida was equal to his shot in a scramble in the box.

Amazingly, Werder did score with just 11 minutes remaining!

Again it was Pizarro who did the damage with a header that beat Dida and put the Germans in control.

Mesut Ozil wanted a penalty for Zambrotta's challenge, but his shouts were ignored.

Diego hit a powerful shot, but it was too central and easily cuaght by Dida.

Per Mertesacker missed an incredible chance in the 90th minute when Diego's free-kick found him unmarked from close range. Milan's set-piece defending was shambolic.

Time was running out and Pirlo's free-kick was deflected for a corner with 92 minutes played.

And Milan's UEFA Cup run ended in crushing disappointment after a stunning comeback from Werder Bremen.

Milan: Dida; Zambrotta, Senderos, Maldini, Favalli (Jankulovski 77); Beckham, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Seedorf (Flamini 54); Inzaghi (Shevchenko 62), Pato

Werder Bremen: Vander; Fritz, Mertesacker, Naldo, Pasanen (Boenisch 67); Tziolis, Frings, Ozil (Jensen 91), Diego; Pizarro, Almeida (Rosenberg 62)

Ref: Eriksson (Swe)

AC Milan mourn Silvio's loss
26.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There will be a minute's silence at this evening's UEFA Cup clash between Milan and Werder Bremen in memory of Silvio Berlusconi's sister.

The Rossoneri face their German opponents with the tie evenly poised at 1-1 after the first leg.

But the club's preparations for the game have been overshadowed by the death of the sister of club patron Berlusconi.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Maria Antonietta Berlusconi had a seizure and ambulance crews were unable to revive her.

“All of Milan as well as the club's directors and staff have come together to sympathise with our President and his family after the loss of Maria Antonietta,” a statement on the Diavolo's website reads.

“The thoughts of all Milan fans will also be with the Berlusconi family today.”

Ronaldinho out of Werder clash
26.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho and Kaka are not in the Milan squad to face Werder Bremen in the UEFA Cup, so Pippo Inzaghi looks set to partner Alexandre Pato.

The two Brazilians also missed last weekend's 1-0 win over Cagliari and Dinho is still nursing that muscular injury.

Kaka has been out of action for several weeks with a strain, but there are reports he could make an appearance this coming Sunday.

Long-term absentees Zeljko Kalac, Alessandro Nesta and Gennaro Gattuso are out, but Andriy Shevchenko returns.

With this squad available, it is likely that Inzaghi will partner Pato at San Siro.

Inzaghi scored in the first leg, which ended 1-1 in Bremen.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Dida, Antonini, Bonera, Darmian, Favalli, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Maldini, Senderos, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Beckham, Flamini, Pirlo, Inzaghi, Pato, Seedorf, Shevchenko.

Ancelotti fixed on Bremen battle
25.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan tactician Carlo Ancelotti claims tomorrow's UEFA Cup game against Werder Bremen is worthy of the Champions League.

The Rossoneri missed out on qualification for Europe's premier club competition after finishing fifth last season.

So now Milan are expected to deliver UEFA Cup glory, but their tie with German side Werder Bremen is level at 1-1 ahead of tomorrow's second leg.

“It's only a UEFA Cup game but we see it as a Champions League battle,” Ancelotti said in today's Press conference.

“Our primary objective at the moment is to finish in the top three in Serie A, but we also want to reach another European Final and have to first negotiate Bremen.

“We are used to dealing with pressure and that doesn't scare me. On the contrary, that will give us an added push.”

Carletto then gave his view on city rivals Inter's Champions League stalemate with Manchester United yesterday.

“You have to have courage to play a waiting game as well,” he said. “Yesterday I saw a good game dominated by the English side in the first half and by Inter after the break.”

Gattuso: Azzurri isn't second choice
25.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has advised Juventus hitman Amauri to play for Brazil rather than Italy.

Amauri is set to become an Italian citizen but is still awaiting a call from his homeland Brazil.

The former Palermo man was nearly called up to play against Italy in a friendly on February 10 and Gattuso thinks he is better off choosing the Seleção.

“Amauri is undeniably a champion, but he has managed the whole business badly,” Gattuso explained.

“First he waited for Brazil, but we aren't Azerbaijan or Finland, we are Italy.

“We have won four World Cups and we don't have to envy anyone. It's only right that Amauri plays for Brazil.”

Gattuso concluded his interview by discussing the situation at Milan and his goals for the season.

“If we didn't qualify for the Champions League and didn't win the UEFA Cup it would really be a failure.

“Clarence Seedorf? It's difficult to hear a teammate jeered from the first mistake he makes.”

Pippo is gunning for Bremen
25.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Pippo Inzaghi is fired up and ready to take on German side Werder Bremen in Thursday's UEFA Cup clash.

The Rossoneri were held 1-1 in the first leg after Diego struck late to cancel out Inzaghi's goal.

The pressure is on Carlo Ancelotti's men to deliver on home soil and to secure a place in the last 16.

“I am ready, even though I am not used to playing two or three consecutive games these days,” Inzaghi told MilanNews.it.

“Nonetheless, I don't want to miss out on such an important game against Werder Bremen. I am ready to have a great second half of the season.”

Inzaghi also stressed his support for under-fire tactician Ancelotti, whose future is the subject of constant speculation.

“Carlo still has the support of the club and my relationship with him is fantastic,” he said.

“Surely you noticed that I ran to hug him as soon as I scored against Bremen?”

AC Milan rubbish takeover talk
24.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have made an official statement denying rumours that the Arab group that own Manchester City had started negotiations for a stake in the club.

The Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment is controlled by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who owns Manchester City.

There were reports in the Corriere della Sera that Mansour was trying to buy a 40 per cent share in Milan and that Marina Berlusconi, the President of the Diavolo's parent company Finivest had agreed.

However, Milan have categorically denied that any such talks are taking place.

“Regarding the reports printed in the Corriere della Sera this morning about potentially selling stakes in the club, Finivest and Milan want to communicate that there is no truth in the stories,” a statement reads.

Beckham believes in AC Milan move
24.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham still refuses to give up hope of a permanent transfer to Milan despite a lack of progress in talks.

The Rossoneri have the 33-year-old on loan until March 9 when he is scheduled to return to Los Angeles Galaxy.

Beckham has stressed his desire to stay at San Siro and Milan are currently in talks with his owners.

“Nothing is impossible if you really believe in something,” the England international declared at Adidas' boot launch.

“Most of the time, the thing that you want can happen. We will just have to wait and see.”

However, the latest indications are that the Diavolo's bid and Galaxy's demands are vastly different figures.

Milan director Umberto Gandini is expected to fly to Los Angeles tomorrow to continue talks.

Ancelotti: Italians have no fear
23.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti believes Italian clubs have nothing to fear in the Champions League and once again expressed his desire to train the Ivory Coast.

Speaking in an interview with Radio Anch'io Sport, Ancelotti told listeners he believes Inter, Roma and Juventus can beat their English opponents.

“The teams that play with fear risk the most. I advise them to play with an open mind and without worry,” Ancelotti explained.

The 49-year-old, who has won the Champions League twice as a player and twice as a Coach, then compared himself with his peers.

“Sir Alex Ferguson is an extra man on the pitch,” Ancelotti enthused. “He is a technical director, more detached from daily work on the training ground. However, I feel closer to Jose Mourinho.

“All his life Luciano Spalletti has been ill-tempered, Arsene Wenger has certainly done great things, he always trains young players and he has won a lot because of this.”

When asked about Juventus' game with Chelsea on Wednesday night, Ancelotti replied: “With Guus Hiddink in charge, Juve have one more obstacle to overcome.”

Ancelotti then went on to discuss his desire to lead the Ivory Coast in the next World Cup, which will be held in South Africa in 2010.

“I would like to train a national team,” he revealed. “There has been no contact with the Ivory Coast, but I would like there to be.

“The idea would be that of preparing a team for the World Cup ideally between one League championship and another.

“But I have no intention of leaving Italy and wouldn't go abroad to lead a national team full time,” he concluded.

Ancelotti is rumoured to be leaving Milan this summer after mounting a lacklustre title challenge. The Rossoneri are currently 11 points behind League leaders Inter with just 13 games left this season.

Seedorf to fans: Help us or shut up!
23.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf has hit out at the San Siro crowd for jeering him. “The fans have to stay behind us, not make it more difficult.”

The Dutchman scored the only goal in today’s 1-0 victory over Cagliari, but it was not enough to save him from the tifosi’s ire.

“This is a very important win, because all the others had picked up full points and so the pressure was on us to do the same,” he told Sky Italia.

“The fans have to learn to stay behind the team and not make things more difficult for us during a game.

“We need their support, it is pointless to sit there and jeer when someone makes a mistake. When I am in good shape, I do my best.

“The jeering does not motivate me in the slightest, but I have to work for the team and that is what I did today.”

The Rossoneri won despite missing all their Brazilian stars, as Kaka, Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato were sidelined.

“The squad held out well today, as Cagliari are a difficult side to face and are very organised. We did well to limit the danger they posed.”

Beckham: "Good news" from Galaxy
23.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham has reiterated he wants to stay at Milan and reveals there is “good news” coming out of the Galaxy camp.

His loan move expires on March 9 and the MLS club insist they will not accept the Rossoneri’s $3m offer to extend the spell until the end of this season.

“I want to stay at Milan. I have not heard from Galaxy, but from what has been said, I gather there could be good news,” revealed Becks.

“I really don’t know what will happen, but I do know that next week will be very important.”

When asked if returning to America would harm his chances of playing for England, Beckham had a telling phrase.

“Obviously that could affect [Fabio] Capello’s decisions. I love playing football and therefore I want to stay here.”

The latest reports suggest Milan will strike a deal to take Beckham on loan until May 31 and hand him back to Galaxy for the MLS season during the summer.

That ends in November, at which point there is a clause in his contract allowing him to walk away without compensation.

Considering that clause, the Rossoneri see absolutely no need to splash the cash for a player who will be a free agent soon anyway.

Ancelotti: Fans are fed up
23.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti insists Milan did what they had to do today, but concedes the fans might be “a little fed up with me.”

The Rossoneri held the 11-point gap from leaders Inter intact thanks to their 1-0 victory over Cagliari at San Siro, but the crowd was still far from celebratory.

“It was a difficult game, but we had that winning moment and held out to the end. That is what we had to do,” commented the Coach.

The jeers were particularly loud in the final minutes when Pippo Inzaghi was replaced by Massimo Ambrosini.

“If they were aimed at Inzaghi then those insults were wrong, because he played well. If they were aimed at me, then it’s a shame, as I had no other strikers at my disposal.

“Perhaps these jeers are a sign they are getting a little fed up with me and they react the same way to [Clarence] Seedorf.

“When you see the same face for many years, you need a little more patience. As for me, my rapport with the club is the same it was seven years ago with unblemished affection and respect.”

Rumours of Ancelotti’s departure intensified after the derby defeat and 1-1 UEFA Cup draw at Werder Bremen, when President Silvio Berlusconi publicly complained at the fact they tend to concede late goals.

“It irritates me too when Milan are in the lead and get caught out. It’s only normal that the President would say such things, I see nothing unusual in that.

“My relationship with the President is always blown up by the media, but in truth it is a very different discussion to the one painted in the papers.”

AC Milan 1:0 Cagliari - match report
22.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Seedorf 65 (M)

A single Clarence Seedorf strike probed enough to put Milan back on track against plucky Cagliari, who hit the woodwork.

With the derby defeat and both Inter and Juventus winning on Saturday, anything less than a victory would further extend their 11-point deficit. So it was very bad timing to welcome seventh-placed Cagliari, who had already held Milan to a 0-0 draw earlier this season and won five of their last six. Kaka was still out along with Ronaldinho, Gennaro Gattuso, Andriy Shevchenko, Marco Borriello, Felipe Mattioni and Alessandro Nesta. Alexandre Pato pulled out on Sunday morning, so Clarence Seedorf supported Pippo Inzaghi with David Beckham out wide on the right.

The Rossoneri were without a win on home turf since a 1-0 over Fiorentina on January 17, but had beaten Cagliari in their last four meetings here. The Sardinians had not even picked up a point at San Siro since a 2-2 result in 1999.

Michele Canini needed an early clearance to stop Inzaghi nodding in and on nine minutes a wonderful Super Pippo volley brought a tough save at the near post out of Federico Marchetti.

There was a scare at the other end, as Andrea Cossu found Robert Acquafresca from six yards, who turned Daniele Bonera to shoot and find Christian Abbiati's feet on the line.

Inzaghi scored from Seedorf's assist, but the goal was correctly disallowed for an offside position. Beckham earned applause from San Siro for a series of crosses that kept the Cagliari defence on edge.

Acquafresca was halted for a dubious offside position, then his looping header was fingertipped out from under the bar. Another fine Beckham ball flashed across the face of goal with neither Jankulovski nor Inzaghi able to get the final touch.

Andrea Pirlo's fierce effort was off target, while Inzaghi couldn't get enough power on his volley and then came sliding in a second too late to redirect Jankulovski's pass at the back post.

Abbiati had to fly to palm a Cossu cracker out from under the bar after Acquafresca had held up the ball. After the break Cossu went even closer, as his powerful strike from distance smashed against the inside of the upright with Abbiati beaten.

The Rossoneri wanted a penalty for an alleged Daniele Conti push on Mathieu Flamini, but the video images are inconclusive.

Milan took the lead on 65 minutes. Inzaghi kept the pressure on Diego Lopez anad Marchetti, the ball not dealt with effectively and giving the on-rushing Seedorf the entire goal to aim at.

The goal boosted confidence, as then Inzaghi turned his defender only to scuff the shot, while Seedorf's angled drive was deflected out for a corner. Inzaghi was tired and Milan had no other strikers available, so Massimo Ambrosini played as centre-forward for the final minutes.

The tension escalated and there was a scuffle late on with Beckham, Daniele Conti and Michele Fini at the centre of it.
Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Bonera (Senderos 70), Maldini, Favalli; Pirlo, Flamini, Jankulovski; Beckham (Antonini 92), Seedorf, Inzaghi (Ambrosini 84)

Cagliari: Marchetti; Pisano, Canini, Lopez, Matheu (Agostini 84); Fini, Conti, Biondini (Lazzari 73); Cossu; Jeda, Acquafresca (Matri 63)

Ref: Saccani

Allegri not scared of AC Milan
22.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cagliari tactician Massimiliano Allegri warns his side is “ambitious” as they step into San Siro to face Milan today.

“Milan are technically the strongest team in Italy, but we are coming here with the same spirit as always. It’s the only way we know how to get a result.”

The Sardinians looked dead certs for relegation after starting the season with five straight defeats, but have since soared into seventh place.

“Are we within reach of the UEFA Cup? I don’t know, I do not like to make these calculations,” said the Coach.

“Our position in the table is excellent, but there are still 14 games to go and it only takes a moment to ruin everything. We must continue with this hunger and determination, then see where we are on May 31.

“Having said that, you don’t get to 37 points in Serie A with a fluke. There are players of real quality in this squad and clearly we have ambition. We have to maintain our focus to the very end.”

Ancelotti: A win can cure AC Milan
21.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti admires Cagliari, but warns Milan need a victory tomorrow, even if Kaka, Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko are out.

The Rossoneri have dropped 11 points behind leaders Inter after their derby defeat last week and were held 1-1 at Werder Bremen in the UEFA Cup midweek.

“This is an important time of the season for Milan, as we need to get back on track in Serie A and rediscover our confidence so we can end the season among the top spots,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“Milan have changed the trend from the first half of the season, as the team is playing better, we just need more concentration in certain moments.”

The test with Cagliari will be a tough one, as the Sardinians have already stalled the Rossoneri earlier this term and are now in seventh place.

“Cagliari are an excellent squad and have done very well up until now, especially away from home. Tomorrow's tie will be delicate and we have to approach it the right way.

“We need a victory in Serie A. I fear this match because our opponents are strong and will come here to play an open game. Compared to our last meeting, they have gained in self-belief.”

Ancelotti confirmed that Kaka and Andriy Shevchenko are out, while Ronaldinho is “unlikely to recover in time. I am considering giving Andrea Pirlo or Massimo Ambrosini a rest.

“If we managed to have Kaka fit for the second leg against Werder Bremen on Thursday, then we would certainly have an added advantage, especially considering their tactical system.

“Werder are a very specific shape and are excellent in the air. It will be an open game with everything to play for, without thinking that 0-0 could be enough for us to qualify.”

The derby defeat prompted reports that Ancelotti had offered his resignation and Leonardo could be lined up as his successor or even a caretaker Coach.

“Every year there is a moment in the season when people talk of my possible departure and 2009 will be no different,” shrugged the tactician.

“I have a good rapport with the club, am very tied to them and feel a great deal of affection towards me. I have made a few mistakes, it is possible I'll make more. The best Coach is the one who makes the least errors.”

AC Milan plan part-time Beckham
21.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham could remain at Milan on a part-time basis after Adriano Galliani warned, “I won't increase the $3m offer.”

Los Angeles Galaxy protested this week that the Rossoneri were not taking it seriously and needed to make a firm bid in order to make it a permanent signing.

The two clubs are struggling to reach an agreement, but it is reported Beckham has found a compromise - he will stay in Serie A until May 31 and then return to America for Galaxy's game with Toronto on June 6.

His current loan deal only lasts until March 9, although the MLS season kicks off on March 22 against DC United and ends on October 20.

By taking this new route of remaining until May 31, Beckham would see out the Serie A season with Milan and 'only' miss 11 MLS games.

This is a crucial step, as Beckham's contract includes a clause allowing him to walk away without compensation at the end of the MLS campaign.

“Milan have made an effort that we consider right for an eight-month loan deal because, as [AEG chief Tim] Leiweke confirmed, David will become a free agent on November 30,” pointed out Vice-President Galliani.

“I don't want to cause any controversy and in fact thank Galaxy for allowing us Beckham on loan during these months.”

When asked if he would increase the reported $3m offer to Galaxy's $12m demands, Galliani was firm.

“Absolutely not. I have the experience to know the value of a player. According to the European parameters, it is senseless to pay any more.”

Leiweke complained that the offer would not even cover the loss in shirt sales, but the Milan chief pointed out there were different considerations.

“In the States they look at the commercial aspect, while in Europe our transfers are above all based on technique. The budget at my disposal is already at breaking point between wages and fees.”

The Gazzetta dello Sport suggests Beckham has already agreed a contract until June 2010 and the $3m to Galaxy represent all that is left over, so in order to facilitate the transfer, the England international would need to take a pay cut.

The Rossoneri have every reason to feel confident, as they know that whatever happens, Beckham will be a free agent and can join them in January 2010.

Ronaldinho adds to AC Milan worries
21.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho is a major doubt to feature against Cagliari, as Carlo Ancelotti’s Milan have a striker shortage.

The former Barcelona hero only worked in the gym today and is unlikely to recover from a muscular niggle in time for Sunday afternoon’s Serie A game.

Kaka resumed working with the ball for 15 minutes in the training session before returning to the gym to continue rehabilitation for a sprained ankle.

Although the Brazilian is recovering, he is still not expected to be ready for the clash with the Sardinians.

Ancelotti risks being left with no strikers, as Marco Borriello is out for the rest of the season, while Andriy Shevchenko is also struggling with injury.

Gennaro Gattuso, Zeljko Kalac, Felipe Mattioni, Viudez and Alessandro Nesta round out the treatment list.

Pippo Inzaghi impressed as a substitute in the derby and scored in their 1-1 midweek UEFA Cup tie in Werder Bremen, but admitted he “cannot play every three days.”

AC Milan line up Ancelotti's successor
20.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo and Roberto Donadoni are the favourites to take over from Carlo Ancelotti at Milan should he leave in the summer.

The pressure is rising on Ancelotti after a 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen in the UEFA Cup left Rossoneri chief Silvio Berlusconi far from happy.

And Ancelotti is also being courted by Chelsea as a possible permanent replacement for Luiz Felipe Scolari once Guus Hiddink's caretaker spell ends.

One way or another, Carletto's time at San Siro could soon be over and the Diavolo will need to find a new man for the hot seat.

There were suggestions that former Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard would be approached, but he now seems to be out of the frame.

The latest name doing the rounds is that of former Rossoneri player and current director Leonardo.

The Brazilian is currently studying for his coaching badges and could be given his first chance as a Coach on the biggest stage.

However, former Azzurri boss Donadoni, who also played for Milan, is another candidate for the prestigious post.

The ex-Livorno tactician has been unemployed since his contract with Italy ended after Euro 2008.

Galaxy: We want real Beckham bid
20.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Los Angeles Galaxy chief Tim Leiweke has blasted Milan's attempts to sign David Beckham. “Why don't they make a proper bid?”

The Rossoneri are looking to cut a deal to keep England midfielder Beckham on a permanent basis after his loan expires on March 9.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani declared yesterday that positive steps had been made, but the news from the other side of the Atlantic is very different.

“Are we close to reaching an agreement with Milan? Not really,” Galaxy head Leiweke stated in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Milan put a ridiculous offer on the table two weeks ago and I turned it down within seconds. That amount of money wouldn't have even covered the losses in shirt sales.

“Nobody has approached us since and there are no meeting with Milan scheduled.

“However, they have contacted other people, including the MLS commissioner and Beckham's agents. This is a mistake because we own his contract.

“Maybe they don't understand that we have fans threatening to give up their season tickets and sponsors asking for compensation.

“If Milan really want him then why are they dragging things out? Do they think we will settle for less money? They are wrong.

“I have read that Milan director Umberto Gandini will arrive over the next few days. I have a great rapport with him, but the important thing is that they make us a real offer.”

Galliani: We're closer to Beckham
20.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani claims the Rossoneri have taken steps towards securing the signature of David Beckham.

The former Manchester United midfielder has been with the Diavolo on loan, but he is scheduled to return to Los Angeles Galaxy at the start of next month.

However, Beckham has stressed his desire to stay in Milan and the club are working to negotiate a deal with the Galaxy.

“Over the last few hours we have made some progress and I am getting more and more hopeful,” Galliani boomed when questioned by journalists this afternoon.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, many Galaxy fans are angry at Beckham for his open flirtation with Milan and are ready to create a hostile atmosphere should he return.

Talks are expected to conclude one way or the other next Tuesday when Milan officials hold D-day talks in Los Angeles.

UEFA Cup: Werder Bremen 1:1 AC Milan - match report
20.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Inzaghi 36 (M) Diego 84 (W)

Milan come away from Werder Bremen with a vital away goal but without a victory as the German side equalised to draw 1-1.

Filippo Inzaghi had opened the scoring just before half time, but Diego popped up to equalise with just six minutes remaining.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti left David Beckham on the bench and Alexandre Pato in the stands, unveiling a line-up different in emphasis to the one that lost to Inter on Sunday.

The Rossoneri opened the game in a cautious fashion, conceding possession to Werder Bremen who started brightly.

The home side signalled their intent early on when Alexandros Tziolis tested Dida with a shot from right in the middle of the area after just one minute.

Milan settled down soon afterwards and took a few pot shots of their own. Inzaghi had a header saved by Tim Wiese after seven minutes and continued to threaten throughout the half.

The Rossoneri's next chance fell to Mathieu Flamini who sent an effort from distance into Wiese's hands.

Pushing and probing Milan eventually got their breakthrough with just nine minutes remaining in the first half.

The Rossoneri launched a counter attack and found Inzaghi in his natural habitat, the centre of the penalty area, where he angled a shot into the left hand corner of Wiese's net.

Bremen almost replied immediately through Juventus target Diego who stung Dida's hands with a long-range thunderbolt.

Hoping to equalise before half time, Bremen poured forward and nearly got on levels terms in added time as Mesut Ozil went close.

The German side left their momentum in the dressing room, though, as Milan started quickly in the second half.

Inzaghi cut in again after 58 minutes and forced another save. Barely 60 seconds later, Flamini tried again from distance, but left Wiese with nothing to worry about.

Werder decided to change things four minutes later by bringing on the more offensive minded Daniel Jensen for Frank Baumann.

The substitution rendered the home team more fluid in the final third and Naldo went close after 69 minutes, heading a Clemens Fritz cross to Dida's left.

The Brazilian goalkeeper dealt with it comfortably, though, and inspired confidence throughout the team.

Bremen increased the pressure, though, and eventually equalised with just six minutes remaining when Diego latched onto a Hugo Almeida header and angled it into the bottom left-hand corner.

Werder Bremen: Wiese; Fritz (Harnik 74), Mertesacker, Naldo, Boenisch; Baumann (Jensen 62), Tziolis, Ozil, Diego; Pizarro, Almeida

Milan: Dida; Bonera, Senderos, Favalli, Zambrotta; Flamini, Pirlo, Ambrosini; Seedorf (Jankulovski 87), Ronaldinho (Beckham 89); Inzaghi

Ref: Atkinson

Beckham makes AC Milan list
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

England international David Beckham has been chosen in Milan's UEFA Cup squad to face Werder Bremen.

It looks like Beckham will be forced to return to owners Los Angeles Galaxy on March 9 when his loan spell ends.

But the former Manchester United man will have a chance to make a further impact on the Rossoneri's season.

Despite picking up a thigh injury during last night's derby defeat against Inter, Beckham has been selected in the squad to take on German outfit Werder Bremen on Wednesday evening.

Kaka is out of action with a foot problem, but striker Andriy Shevchenko has been included after coming through training this morning.

Milan (squad): Abbiati, Dida, Perucchini; Antonini, Bonera, Darmian, Favalli, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Maldini, Senderos, Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Beckham, Flamini, Pirlo, Seedorf; Inzaghi, Pato, Ronaldinho, Shevchenko

Nesta's career in jeopardy
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Alessandro Nesta could be forced to retire early, as he goes under the knife again to resolve a chronic back problem.

The 32-year-old former Lazio captain has made just one appearance for the Rossoneri this season in a friendly against Albanian side Tirana in October.

Nesta was expected to make the squad for last night's Derby della Madonnina but it has now been revealed that he suffered a severe pain in his back on Wednesday.

The Italy international reportedly had trouble sleeping throughout the week and a decision to operate was made this morning.

It is the third time in the last year Nesta has suffered a relapse and frequent trips to a specialist in Miami appear to have done little good.

Milan have already moved to cover his position should he retire. Philippe Senderos is on loan from Arsenal and Thiago Silva will be available to play at centre-back next season.

Beckham: AC Milan move is not over
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham has reiterated the negotiations with LA Galaxy “are not over,” despite what the MLS side says.

When Milan failed to sign him on a permanent basis after the Friday deadline, his American club announced that they would not consider any more offers.

“The negotiations are not over,” assured Beckham after the 2-1 derby defeat this evening.

“I know that the clubs will talk again over the next couple of weeks. We have to wait and see.”

Galaxy also claimed Beckham would “not be as disgruntled as people say” if he was forced to return on March 9.

However, the England international midfielder’s comment left absolutely no room for interpretation.

“I hope that things will go the way I want them to and I have already said it is my desire to stay at Milan.

“Having clarified that I want to stay here, it might be difficult to go back to playing in the States.”

It is reported Beckham will aim to buy himself out of his contract – which has a clause allowing him to leave without compensation at the end of the MLS 2009 season – if Galaxy do not reach an agreement with Milan.

Ancelotti: Title ambitions are over
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti believes the referee penalised Milan, but is ready to concede the Scudetto is no longer an objective.

“We should've had two penalties, not just one. As for Adriano's goal, I'd say his header was certainly not going into the net,” he said of the Brazilian's opener, which bounced in off an arm.

“The hand was decisive for the goal. Whether it's voluntary, I cannot say, but the ball was clearly not going on target.

“I would call that a fairly clear incident. The player is totally clear to jump and under no pressure. It's easy to judge.”

The 2-1 derby defeat leaves Milan 11 points adrift of the leaders and Ancelotti admits the title race is over as far as they are concerned.

“We can't think about that right now, as we are 11 points behind. Our objective is to finish in the top three and we are playing well, but we have to be careful, as this will be a long season right to the end.”

“11 points is a great deal, so we have to focus on the other objective, which is qualifying directly for the Champions League and then of course the UEFA Cup. I think the team is in good shape right now and we have to keep going.”

Alexandre Pato scored late on to set up a very tense finale, but the Rossoneri were unable to equalise.

“He has to keep playing like this and is destined to become one of the best strikers in the world.

“It was a game we started fairly well and suffered under Inter's strength and long ball, but we knew that would happen. We ran the risk of going 3-0 down, but the latter stages were all Milan and we deserved a draw.

Ronaldinho was particularly inspired in Kaka's absence, ending a run of poor performances and spells on the bench.

“He is back to his usual levels, the way he was playing in the first half of the season, and was always in the thick of the action.”

“[Clarence] Seedorf was perhaps the most consistent on the field. We played well and only really had problems in terms of physique with Ibrahimovic and Adriano.”

Some have said this will be Ancelotti's final derby, as the failure to win the title and interest from Chelsea could see him quit San Siro at the end of the season.

“I already answered this. It was not my last derby and nothing has changed since yesterday.”

Internazionale 2:1 AC Milan - match report
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Adriano 30 (I), StankovicInter won a dramatic derby 2-1, but there will be controversy as Adriano's opener was scored with his arm.

The 270th Derby della Madonnina was the Rossoneri's last chance of staying in the Scudetto race after falling eight points behind, but they had won in September with Ronaldinho's header. Kaka joined the injury list of Alessandro Nesta, Marco Borriello, Gennaro Gattuso, Zeljko Kalac, Andriy Shevchenko and the suspended Daniele Bonera. Inter had Mario Balotelli on a ban, but Douglas Maicon completed a remarkable recovery from a thigh problem.

Paolo Maldini was playing his 55th derby and probably his last, as he is due to retire at the end of the season. There was a touching moment before kick-off, as the Inter supporters unveiled a banner: 'For 20 years you were our rival, but in life you've always been fair.'

San Siro was sold out with 80,018 tickets sold, but there was a five-minute delay for a hole in the net. In the opening 45 seconds Ibrahimovic was totally unmarked to nod an Esteban Cambiasso free kick over from six yards!

A well-worked move was finalised by Gianluca Zambrota's overhead kick after Alexandre Pato had slipped at the crucial moment. Christian Abbiati was late to a couple of corners and Sulley Muntari drilled well wide. Pato's header was over from Marek Jankulovski's cross, as he jumped between two defenders.

Massimo Ambrosini performed a goal-saving tackle on 18 minutes! Cambiasso's pass had found Dejan Stankovic totally unmarked from six yards, but he Serb hesitated and Ambro came sliding in from behind!

Milan wasted a golden opportunity moments later, as Ronaldinho's inspired pass with the outside of his foot allowed Pato to spring the offside trap and run round Julio Cesar, but the angle was too narrow and Cristian Chivu was able to clear.

Ronaldinho's cross found Pato, but teenage defender Davide Santon got a crucial deflection, allowing Julio Cesar to save. Ronaldinho went on a surging run, but clattered into Chivu. From the corner Dinho's sublime first touch teed it up, but Chivu cleared at the last second.

Andrea Pirlo and Clarence Seedorf combined with first-time passes to send Pato clear, but the young Brazilian slipped. Seedorf blasted over from distance.

Inter took the lead against the run of play, as a Maicon cross swept into the six-yard box for Adriano to tap in. However, replays show he clearly turned the ball in with his arm after a slight ricochet off his head! L'Imperatore seemed to mistime his jump and the ball dipped on to the crook of his elbow to bounce past Abbiati, as the header was seemingly going off target. Last week in the 1-1 draw with Reggina, Seedorf had a similar goal disallowed.

Ronaldinho's cross was knocked down by Zambrotta for Seedorf, whose shot was deflected over. Abbiati blocked a hopeful Adriano shot from 25 metres, while Pato could only hit the side-netting from yet another Ronaldinho assist.

However, a defensive distraction allowed Inter to double their lead on the stroke of half-time. Ibra knocked the cross down and nobody tracked Stankovic, who came through the middle for a fierce low right-foot volley.

Inter had a great chance to kill the game 90 seconds after the restart when Adriano pounced on a Kakha Kaladze error, but he incredibly fired wide one-on-one with Abbiati. Ibrahimovic went on the counter and his ball across the face of goal was just too long for Adriano.

Seedorf couldn't get the first touch he needed on Ronaldinho's through ball and allowed Julio Cesar to smother. Seedorf fired over at the back post, but Pirlo turned a free kick well wide.

Milan wanted a penalty for Stankovic's mistimed tackle on Ambrosini, but the referee awarded a goal kick. Moments later Ambrosini escaped a second booking for bringing down Maicon just outside the box. Ibrahimovic hit the free kick straight at the wall.

Carlo Ancelotti's first substition was Pippo Inzaghi for Beckham, who seemed to have a slight thigh problem, moving to a 4-4-2 with Ronaldinho on the left. Adriano hit the wall with a free kick and then flashed the rebound across the face of goal.

Abbiati stuck a strong hand up to palm Ibrahimovic's rising strike out from the near top corner. A magificent Adriano scissor-kick volley was just over at the back post.

Muntari fired a good Ibra assist off target from eight yards, as Inter were now slicing through the Milan defence. At the other end Maicon nodded a cross off Ronaldinho's head and Chivu needed a last-gasp intervention to stop Seedorf scoring from close range. From the corner Maicon went on the counter only for Abbiati to rush 20 metres off his line to clear.

Milan got one back with Pato, but it was mainly Ronaldinho's credit. The former Barcelona man's pass with the outside of his foot sent Jankulovski clear and the cut-back found Pato to side-foot home.

A minute later it could've been 2-2, as another Ronaldinho through ball sent Inzaghi clear in the same area and Julio Cesar had to rush out to parry with his feet. Walter Samuel charged down Pato's turn and another Inzaghi run set up by Ronaldinho found nobody ready for the tap-in.

At the other end Adriano was clear on goal and his angled drive struck Abbiati's elbow to bounce away! The game was wide open now and Dinho's step-overs left Samuel stranded only for Chivu to intercept the pass for Inzaghi.

Philippe Senderos replaced the exhausted Kaladze, who was returning from a long injury lay-off.

Inzaghi hit the back of the net with a magnificent volley from Pato's cross, but it was offside and he ran the entire width of the pitch to shout at the linesman. SuperPippo was in an offside position.

Milan were furious again when Chivu appeared to drag back Inzaghi as he tried to control a pass, but the referee again waved play on and Julio Cesar parried Pato's effort with a leg.

Inzaghi was offside again as his diving header turned Zambrotta's cross over. Nicolas Burdisso replaced Stankovic for a more defensive midfield. Within a minute of coming on, Burdisso was booked. Abbiati palmed a Maicon cross-shout out from under the bar on the counter and Maxwell replaced Muntari for a six-man Inter defence.

Seedorf's shot from a cheeky Pato cross was charged down for a corner. In the final minute Inzaghi was sent clear and his angled drive was heading for the far bottom corner before Julio Cesar stuck a foot out! The goalkeeper was booked for time-wasting and will be suspended.
Inter: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Samuel, Chivu, Santon; Zanetti, Cambiasso, Muntari (Maxwell 88); Stankovic (Burdisso 83); Ibrahimovic, Adriano (Vieira 79)

Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Maldini, Kaladze (Senderos 77), Jankulovski; Beckham (Inzaghi 57), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Seedorf, Ronaldinho; Pato

Ref: Rosetti 43 (I), Pato 71 (M)

Beckham: I have to stay at AC Milan
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ahead of his first – maybe not the last – Milan derby, David Beckham reveals how he was won over by Serie A.

“I am fortunate, as after Manchester and Madrid I will get to play in the Milan derby,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I expect an incandescent atmosphere. This time San Siro is Inter’s ‘home’ game, but I can’t wait for it to start.”

According to Los Angeles Galaxy it will be his only experience of this fixture, but Beckham and Milan maintain there is time to sort out a permanent move despite the MLS declaring the deadline over.

“I have said it before and I’ll say it again: I hope to stay at Milan. I hope the negotiations with the Galaxy can go the way I want them to.

“Just after I arrived here, I realised Milan were the team for me. I can assure you that when I agreed the loan I did not think I would stay past March 9.

“But after a week and playing my first game, I understood I have to keep playing at this level.”

Back to the Derby della Madonnina, Beckham was asked for his opinion on the two tacticians leading the teams into battle this evening.

“Jose Mourinho is one of the best Coaches in the world. Not many have his confidence and ability.”

Is Mourinho better than Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, Inter will face in the Champions League?

“Sir Alex is the best, absolutely the best.

“As for [Carlo] Ancelotti, he puts the emphasis on tactics. All the work we do is targeted on tactics, except for one day per week.

“It is a novelty for me and I really like it. It’s well known that in terms of tactics the Italians are at the top of the sport.”

Borriello under the knife again
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan confirmed that Marco Borriello has undergone surgery to remove a cyst in his thigh, while Kaka is not in the derby squad.

Borriello has been extremely unlucky since joining the Rossoneri in the summer, as he was preparing for his comeback after several months out with a thigh strain when he sustained a new setback.

Today the former Genoa striker went under the knife to remove a cyst on the tendon of his right thigh. “We will set the recovery time after the check-up in 20-30 days.”

Alessandro Nesta could also require surgery after his back problem flared up again, but for the moment Milan have only said he will undergo “more consultations” over the next few days.

There were hopes that Kaka would recover from a sprained foot in time for Sunday night's derby and Carlo Ancelotti said in his Press conference that the Brazilian would be in the squad.

However, Kaka's name does not appear in the list of players for the clash with Inter. “He is working every day at Milanello to return to the side in the predicted time-frame,” continued the club statement.

“The symptoms of pain have significantly reduced.”

Felipe Mattioni, Andriy Shevchenko, Gennaro Gattuso and Zeljko Kalac are also sidelined, while Daniele Bonera sits out a ban.

Milan: Abbiati, Dida, Antonini, Favalli, Jankulovski, Kaladze, Maldini, Senderos, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Beckham, Cardacio, Emerson, Flamini, Pirlo, Inzaghi, Pato, Seedorf, Ronaldinho.

Ancelotti looks to more D-Days
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti assures this will not be his or David Beckham’s last Milan derby. “We can take advantage of Inter’s weaknesses.”

The Rossoneri camp has been picked apart by the world’s Press this week with reports Chelsea want Ancelotti for next season and LA Galaxy have slammed the door on negotiations.

“We have another 20 days to close the deal. Galaxy tried to force the situation, but we have time until March 9 and I hope Beckham will play in more derbies,” said the Coach.

“As for me, there is absolutely a zero per cent chance that this will be my last derby against Inter. As for the club, you’d have to ask them what they think.

“The talk about my future did not disturb me in the slightest and I have another year and three months to sign a contract renewal, so it’s not a priority right now.”

Jose Mourinho joked that one day he could be in charge of Milan, which made Ancelotti smile.

“It is natural that he would have the ambition to coach a great squad. I couldn’t take over at Inter, though. It would go against my history and I care about it too much.”

While Douglas Maicon has recovered to perhaps start Sunday night’s match, Kaka is unlikely to make it after spraining his foot during last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Reggina.

“I don’t think he will play the derby, but he’ll be in the squad anyway. Milan are ready to take the game to Inter. We have to think back to the time we beat them earlier this season.

“In those circumstances we played an excellent match, as Inter fielded two wingers and we took advantage of the space for our central midfielders,” explained Carletto.

“I don’t think that situation will repeat itself tomorrow, but we have to play intelligently. We know Inter’s strengths and weaknesses so, just like the first meeting, we can take advantage of their defects.”

There is no room for error now, as Milan are eight points behind the leaders and anything less than a victory would most likely rule them out of the title race.

“I still believe in the Scudetto. This team has rediscovered consistency in its performance and has many aces up its sleeves – starting from the derby, obviously.”

Mourinho: Ancelotti doesn't know me
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As Douglas Maicon makes a remarkable recovery, Jose Mourinho says Carlo Ancelotti is “wasting his time” trying to decipher The Special One.

There were fears Maicon would be out for both Sunday’s match with Milan and even the first leg of the Champions League clash with Manchester United, but his muscular problem is not as serious as first thought.

The Brazilian will require a last-minute fitness test to see whether he can start the game, but he is in the squad and underwent a full training session this morning.

“I have no doubts over my starting XI and I don’t care how Milan play,” said the ever-confident Mourinho.

“The only question marks are over the bench, as I must reflect on how the game could pan out, so this is why I called up everyone who is available.”

Inter are eight points clear of Milan and even a draw would rule their rivals out of the Scudetto race.

“I would not accept a draw, but what really counts is winning the title, not the derby.

“We have to score when we have the chance, because it’s difficult to get an advantage in matches that are this finely balanced, so we need to be very efficient.”

Mourinho has only played the Milan derby once and lost 1-0 to Ronaldinho’s header earlier this season.

“A team that defends well cannot concede a goal like the one we let in last time, with Ronaldinho alone among five defenders. This is a game that demands great concentration in every detail, because usually the difference is minimal.”

The Rossoneri will be without Ballon d’Or winner Kaka as well as Gennaro Gattuso, Alessandro Nesta and Marco Borriello.

However, The Special One was in no mood to answer questions on what he thought of colleague Carlo Ancelotti.

“I will not respond to this. Every Coach does what he wants. I do not criticise his work ethic and he can say what he wants about mine.

“I don’t waste time thinking about his characteristics as a tactician. If he spends energy analysing me, then that’s his problem.

“I respect his career, but he is Ancelotti and I am me. Perhaps he has some things that he does better than me and vice versa. We are both two important Coaches.”

Ancelotti has lifted the Champions League trophy twice in 2003 and 2007, whereas Inter are without a victory in this tournament since the 1960s.

“I don’t know why in recent years Inter have won more often in Italy and Milan have done better in Europe. I think the best team wins a League title, but the best does not always win the Champions League,” snapped Mourinho.

“As for Milan, I say the truth. I like the team, I like many of their players, but they are eight points behind us.”

Beckham 'in no hurry'
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham’s spokesman says his future will only be addressed “early next week,” while Milan refuse to give in.

LA Galaxy declared negotiations over late Friday night after the Rossoneri failed to provide an “acceptable” offer before the MLS deadline.

However, most believe the matter is far from over and he’ll have until the expiry of his loan deal on March 9 to work it out.

"David is focused on the Milan derby this Sunday. We will be addressing this early next week," said Beckham's spokesman Simon Oliveira.

In the Milan camp Vice-President Adriano Galliani was also unimpressed by Galaxy’s declaration.

“For the moment he is ours. Next month we will see what is future holds,” smiled Galliani.

It is increasingly likely Beckham will now have to buy himself out of his contract or try to push forward the clause allowing him to walk away without compensation at the end of the 2009 MLS season.

Seedorf: AC Milan want it more
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf thinks Milan have more motivation to win the derby – for the Scudetto, for the rivalry and for Paolo Maldini.

“Defeat is not an option, we know that,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “We will step out there with the right mentality to win. We are lacking nothing to get the victory, despite our recent setback.”

The Rossoneri had closed to within six points of Inter before last week’s 1-1 home draw with bottom of the table Reggina, so their title aspirations hang by a thread.

“We felt bad about that, as the points were in the bag. Against Genoa we conceded five minutes from time, while Reggina scored with their only shot on target. Luck has not been on our side, but you need to make your own fortune and we were not consistent enough,” confessed Seedorf.

There is extra motivation in the Milan camp, as this is set to be Paolo Maldini’s final derby match, assuming he retires at the end of the season.

“I want to enjoy all the time we have left playing alongside this champion and I hope the team can give him the gift of the derby victory. Having said that, are we really sure this is his last one?”

Seedorf is a former Inter player and has experienced the Derby della Madonnina on both sides of the San Siro divide, so he knows full well how the tension stretches well beyond the match situation.

“When a game is over, it should be over, but now there’s this tradition of talking about incidents for days on end. This way we end up forgetting the rest, including what is good about football.

“The derby isn’t ‘nastier’ per se, it’s the whole world that is getting nastier and we all have to work together for a better existence.

“Football can have an effect on society and we should be the first to set a good example, as fair play is morality for everyday life.”

Beckham offer 'unacceptable'
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

LA Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena made an official statement pointing out Milan’s offer for David Beckham was not “acceptable.”

Late Friday night the club confirmed it was no longer ready to hold negotiations with the Rossoneri for a permanent move to San Siro.

"Today's deadline imposed by Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber regarding a resolution of David Beckham's potential transfer to AC Milan has passed and we did not receive an acceptable offer for the player,” read Arena’s statement.

“As a result, David remains an LA Galaxy player and we look forward to having him back with the club starting March 9."

President of AEG, the company that owns Galaxy, Tim Leiweke also reiterated the reason behind their irritation with the Serie A side.

"We didn't receive an offer today. We will abide by the Commissioner's wishes, so we are clear at this point that we don't want to have any further conversations.

"They clearly were looking at this as a football decision and we were looking at it as a football and business decision.

“I'm not sure they ever quite understood the magnitude of the losses the Galaxy and the league would have had to bear this season.

"They were very respectful discussions. We're fine. There's no issues here."

However, the matter is not over, as Beckham is set to return to LA on March 9 when his loan period expires, but he has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave without compensation at the end of the 2009 MLS season.

"Clearly the risk is we may lose him at the end of the year," admitted Leiweke. "We need David to honour the contract and come home, and let's stop the distraction."

Galaxy: AC Milan have lost Beckham!
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

LA Galaxy have ended negotiations for David Beckham to remain at Milan. "He will be back here on March 9 and we don't want to entertain any more conversations now.”

The Rossoneri had always said they had until March 9, the expiry of the loan deal, to work out a permanent move, but the MLS Commissioner Don Garber set Friday as the deadline.

"He will be back here on March 9 and we don't want to entertain any more conversations now," AEG President Tim Leiweke told the LA Times late Friday night.

"It is a distraction to [Galaxy Coach] Bruce Arena, the team and the fans and we move on. That's the last we're going to talk about this."

Milan are reportedly ready to raise their initial £5m to £10m, but Leiweke insists no figure will be enough now.

"They'll come back. Sure they will. But we owe it to our fans [not to consider it]. They've been reading all these stories and we lose credibility by the day.

“That's not fair. We owe it to Bruce and we owe it to the rest of the team. We're a month away from our season.

"They've never been in the ballpark. What they've tried to do is use David and use us. We're not going to play that game any more.

“This has been extremely damaging and distracting for our team. I've been as courteous and as gracious as I possibly can out of respect for David, but now it's time to move on.

“We need to get David excited about the team we're building here and coming back."

It is unlikely, as the England international has made it clear on numerous occasions that he wants a permanent switch to San Siro in order to target the 2010 World Cup.

This means any hope of a transfer has been dashed, but Beckham has still got his lawyers looking at ways to buy himself out of his Galaxy contract.

"I doubt it," Leiweke said. "I don't think that's his intent. Nor would I encourage him to even think about that."

Zac expects AC Milan victory
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Zaccheroni has been in charge of both Milan clubs, but backs the Rossoneri in the derby and takes a sideswipe at Jose Mourinho.

“Both tacticians are good at dealing with the squad, but Carlo Ancelotti protects his players without saying it. Jose Mourinho declares to all and sundry that he’s protecting them, but then doesn’t,” mused Zac.

“With Ivan Cordoba in particular he definitely did not stand up for the player.”

Mourinho publicly blasted Cordoba following a defensive error in the 3-1 defeat to Atalanta and dropped him from subsequent games.

Milan are trailing by eight points going into the Derby della Madonnina and need a victory to stay in the Scudetto race, but they are missing the injured Kaka.

“Ancelotti won’t change his squad, nor his way of seeing football. Carlo focuses on the man who can dictate the play and release the creativity of the strikers.

“Mourinho, on the other hand, favours the football of strength and long balls. He would’ve wanted someone like Frank Lampard in his squad and definitely not a Cesc Fabregas.”

Zaccheroni won the Scudetto with Milan in 1998, but was fired by Inter after less than one season despite qualifying for the Champions League and stringing together seven straight wins.

“At the time [President Massimo] Moratti said he wanted entertaining football as well as results. Now it seems he’s just happy to win,” sniped Zac in Il Giorno newspaper.

“As for the derby itself, Inter were the favourites in the first meeting and Milan won, so history could repeat itself.”

The Rossoneri picked up a 1-0 victory thanks to Ronaldinho’s first Serie A goal back in Week 4.

“Inter will take the title as long as they learn to steal back possession before their opponents get to the final third. If not, they run a strong risk of conceding and then it is too much strain for them to score.

“The reason they are out in front is because their champions are at the peak of their careers. In the last 10 years Milan’s signings have been either very young or pretty old.”

Gattuso: The good, the bad, the ugly
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso looks back over his career, the ultimate joy of the Champions League victory and why he “looked a right plonker” when breaking his arm.

The midfielder sat down with Sky Italia programme ‘I Signori del Calcio’ and began with the hugely successful 2002-03 season in which Milan won the Coppa Italia, Champions League and European Super Cup.

“Winning the Champions League against Juventus was a joy I really can’t describe. I had always dreamed of that trophy and it felt like a weight off my shoulders,” he said of the penalty shoot-out at Old Trafford.

“I remember every second. I thanked my parents for letting me be born and giving me the chance to play football so I could experience it. For the first time in my life I felt fulfilled.”

Emotions of a similar intensity were felt by Gattuso after the Rossoneri threw away a 3-0 lead to lose the Champions League Final to Liverpool in Istanbul.

“I felt responsible for that defeat because I believed I was not up to the task in that Final. I thought perhaps it was the right time for a change of scenery.

“I had immense guilt over that, I didn’t feel right with myself and couldn’t even train with the same enthusiasm as previous years.”

Gattuso and his teammates took revenge on Liverpool in 2007 with a Champions League Final triumph followed by the European Super Cup and World Club Cup titles.

“The old Intercontinental Cup was another ‘revenge,’ although we struggled more with the Japanese semi-finalists than Boca Juniors. It was great being able to get that second chance against both sides.

“We were playing really badly for the first five months and people said the World Cup winners no longer had the necessary grit. After our winter training camp in Malta, the team started putting in some incredible performances.

“I don’t think it was our best year, though, as the greatest times were 2003 and 2004 when we lost at La Coruna. In those seasons we’d go anywhere in Europe and win.”

That infamous exit from the Champions League saw Milan take a 4-1 first leg victory and still go out after a 4-0 thrashing in Spain.

Gattuso will not be able to take part in the rest of this season because he underwent surgery for ruptured knee ligaments.

Ever eager to consolidate his hard man status, it emerged he had done the damage four minutes into the game with Catania, but carried on playing for 86 minutes!

“After that match I thought to myself, ‘God really helped me out here, as I really risked smashing up my knee.’

“It turns out it was already wrecked and I just hadn’t noticed. I felt a bit of pain during the game, but nothing compared to what happened afterwards.”

That wasn’t his first bizarre injury, as Gattuso had previously fractured his arm and wrist while on international duty by falling into the dug-out.

“I looked like a right plonker there,” confessed the former Rangers hero. “I had to wait 31 years to require surgery that meant total anaesthesia, but considering everything football has given me, I’d have to get smashed up 10 times to pay back this sport.”

Galaxy in crunch Beckham talks
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that LA Galaxy and Milan will not decide on David Beckham’s future until next week, despite the MLS setting a Friday deadline.

According to Sky Sports News, Galaxy’s “leading figures” are meeting in Colorado to discuss the situation.

AEG President Tim Lewieke has reportedly flown to meet with club owner Philip Anschutz.

It is a point in Milan’s favour, as their Vice-President Adriano Galliani has repeatedly stated they have until March 8 – the final day of Beckham’s loan deal – to reach an agreement with Galaxy.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber had insisted that was not the case and set a deadline for Friday evening to decide one way or the other.

"They don't have until March 9. They need approval from us on a transfer. That's our timetable, not Milan's timetable,” said Gerber this week.

“So if Milan believes they have until March 9, then I'm basically correcting that assumption. They have until this Friday. On this Friday, we need to know whether they want to buy David Beckham or not. I'm upset that this process continues to drag on."

Maicon ruled out for AC Milan
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It has been confirmed that Inter ace Douglas Maicon will miss the derby on Sunday and he may also skip the first date with Manchester United.

The Brazilian international had to pull out of training earlier today due to a muscular problem in his right thigh.

And Jose Mourinho faces a headache because Maicon won't be fit to face Milan in the Derby della Maddonina.

More will be known tomorrow about the extent of the talented right-back's injury, but he could be out for quite a long period.

There are suggestions that Maicon will even be forced to sit out Inter's Champions League last 16 first leg against Manchester United at San Siro on February 24.

Maicon's problems may have been exacerbated by the strain placed on him by playing in every Serie A game but one and also for Brazil against Italy on Tuesday evening.

Defensive starlet Davide Santon is likely to start in his place in the derby with Cristian Chivu on the left.

There had been fears that striker Adriano would miss out on facing Milan due to a niggling injury to his thigh.

But scans have given L'Imperatore the all clear and he now looks likely to start alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Maldini prepares for final derby
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan captain Paolo Maldini has revealed that Sunday's Derby della Maddonina will be his last and hopes to go out with a bang.

The 40-year-old has played in many derby matches during his long and prestigious career.

There had been doubts over whether Maldini would retire this summer, but it now seems he is ready to hang up his boots.

“It will be my last derby on Sunday night,” Maldini told the Corriere della Sera.

“In the second half of the season every game against every team will be my last, but I feel proud.

“My dream is to win this final derby and that is the only thing that matters to me.

“We need a win so that we can rekindle our hopes of winning the Scudetto.”

Milan are eight points behind leaders Inter as they approach the must-win San Siro encounter.

AC Milan to increase Beckham bid
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that Milan are ready to up their bid for David Beckham and LA Galaxy boss Bruce Arena admits a large offer will be considered.

Beckham is running out of time to make his loan switch to Milan permanent and is due to return to America on March 9.

And yesterday, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber told Galaxy CEO Tim Leiweke that Beckham's future should be resolved as soon as possible.

According to the latest reports in The Sun, Milan have increased their offer from around £5m to closer to £10m.

While Galaxy are keen to keep their prized asset at the club, Coach Arena has admitted that a significant bid would be considered.

“When the Milan directors make an offer that we see as the best possible we will consider it and weight it up looking at the interests of the club,” the former USA tactician said on BBC Radio Five Live.

Ancelotti confirms he'll stay
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti has expressed his intention to stay with the Rossoneri and say 'no' to Chelsea and Roman Abramovich should they come calling this summer.

Chelsea sacked Luiz Felipe Scolari earlier this week and replaced him with Russia Coach Guus Hiddink on an interim basis.

“The only club that has come forward for me has been Chelsea,” Ancelotti told calciomercato.com. “I met Abramovich in the summer and I didn't want to leave Milan.

“The same thing happens now, I don't want to leave,” Ancelotti explained, “These stories always come out at this stage of the season.”

Ancelotti then turned his attention to Milan's recent form in Serie A, which has come under some criticism.

“Milan have problems in determining games when they face teams with certain characteristics. We don't have big players up front and against tight defences we have difficulties.

“You can look at the data in a thousand different ways,” Ancelotti added. “We lost points even when we played well and thought we'd won. I refer to the games against Lecce, Genoa and Torino.”

Ancelotti was then drawn on the subject of the Derby della Madonnina, which takes place this Sunday and could prove decisive in the title race.

“I don't think it will be a walk in the park. But I think that we'll play our cards in the same way we did against them earlier this season.”

Milan beat Inter 1-0 in September thanks to a Ronaldinho strike but now find themselves eight points adrift of their rivals in Serie A.

Inter Coach Jose Mourinho has been playing mind games all week, telling journalists he believes Milan play good football.

When asked what affect Mourinho's comments had had, Ancelotti replied: “Neither hot, nor cold. Mourinho has used an ironic tone but told the truth.”

Ancelotti then moved on to talk about the future of England midfielder David Beckham who has expressed his desire to stay with the Rossoneri beyond his three-month loan from LA Galaxy.

“In my opinion we can make sacrifices to keep Beckham because he is an important player for the team.”

Ancelotti: Real or Chelsea?
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Speculation continues to mount over the future of Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti, who is being courted by Real Madrid and Chelsea.

The Spanish and English giants recently made interim appointments, prompting some to report they are waiting to contract Ancelotti in the summer.

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez and his Chelsea counterpart Roman Abramovich hold the 49-year-old Ancelotti in exceptionally high regard.

Abramovich allegedly met with Ancelotti last summer to talk about the then vacant bench at Stamford Bridge, but nothing came to fruition.

Ancelotti recently completed his 400th game in the Milan job and has been with the Rossoneri for over seven years.

However, the Italian Press believe the former Juventus and Parma tactician to be closer than ever before to leaving the club.

Divergences over transfer policy have been cited and the Milan hierarchy are apparently annoyed that Ancelotti keeps getting distracted by these offers.

Ancelotti told Il Corriere dello Sport in the winter that the only team he would like to train other than Milan would be Roma.

Should Ancelotti leave, the Rossoneri are reportedly eager to replace him with a tactician that has history with the club.

Frank Rijkaard, Marco Van Basten and Roberto Donadoni have all gone on to have successful careers as coaches after leaving Milanello as players.

Leonardo is also said to interest Milan ‘President’ Silvio Berlusconi who wants to give his side a more Brazilian feel.

Ancelotti has a contract with the Rossoneri until 2010 and the outcome of this weekend’s Derby della Madonnina could decide his future.

Beckham matches Moore record
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan star David Beckham has equalled Bobby Moore’s record of 108 caps after making his England comeback against Spain.

“I’ve always said I’d be honoured to be up there with the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore. I’m very honoured by that, of course,” said Beckham on ITV after a 2-0 friendly defeat in Spain.

“I’ve always worked hard at my game and what I enjoy doing. I’ve had some great managers along the way who have had faith in me.

“I’m enjoying my football, so as long as I’m enjoying myself and keeping fit, this is what I enjoy doing. I hope it continues.”

When asked if he would still be wearing a Milan jersey when he receives his 109th cap, the midfielder admitted it was not in his hands.

“We’ll have to wait and see. I’ve expressed my feelings, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

The midfielder had fallen out of favour with manager Fabio Capello, but was recalled following his fine form in Serie A.

Beckham was not in the starting XI for tonight’s 2-0 friendly defeat to Spain, but he came on for the second half.

The 33-year-old was one of the more impressive England players in this loss in Seville, boosting his hopes of featuring in the upcoming 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

He set up England’s best chance of the night for Carlton Cole, but it was cleared off the line by Carlos Marchena.

However, the Rossoneri man was also booked for dissent in the final minute. David Villa and Fernando Llorente scored the goals.

Becks is on loan to Milan until March 9, although the club is in talks with LA Galaxy to make the move permanent.

Kaka's derby doubts escalate
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka’s hopes of making a record recovery for the derby took a knock, so Gianluca Zambrotta is looking to Ronaldinho.

The Milan star limped off during the 1-1 draw with Reggina on Saturday evening due to a sprained left foot and was told he’d be out of action for at least two weeks.

He resumes training on Tuesday and surprised many onlookers by working without pain, leading to suggestions he would begin running again today and perhaps recover in time for Sunday night’s derby.

However, Kaka continued to work only in the gym on Wednesday and if he is to make it back for the clash with Inter, it will only be decided at the last minute.

“I don’t know if Kaka will be on the field, but I hope so,” said Rossoneri full-back Zambrotta, fresh from a 2-0 defeat in Italy’s friendly with Brazil.

“It was an entertaining game and I think it was a positive performance for all the Inter and Milan players out there.

“Ronaldinho is in good shape and we hope he can make the difference over the next few games.”

The former Barcelona forward scored the winner when Milan last met Inter earlier this season and hopes to replicate that on Sunday night.

Milan must win, says Ganz
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Milan and Inter striker Maurizio Ganz has warned the Rossoneri to forget the Scudetto if they don't win on Sunday.

The Diavolo are eight points behind Jose Mourinho's leaders after only managing a draw with Reggina last weekend.

And Ganz, who experienced derbies on both sides of the city, believes Milan must make up ground immediately if they are to stay in the title hunt.

“It will be a decisive match,” he told Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport.

“Three points will keep the light of hope shining for Milan, but defeat would mean another bad season.

“If Inter draw or win then the Serie A title race will be over. The key for Milan is the defence, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is crucial for the Nerazzurri.

“The Swede does everything - he doesn't just score goals, he creates, wins free-kicks and drags the team along.

“I think it will be a great game and it will go down to the final whistle because there are so many champions ready to do battle.”

Galliani: We're as good as Inter
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As the build-up to this weekend's Milan derby intensifies, Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani insists his men are firmly in the title race.

After a run of decent results, Milan surprisingly slipped up against lowly Reggina last weekend, only managing a 1-1 draw.

The Diavolo are now eight points behind city rivals Inter at the top of Serie A going into this Sunday's derby.

“At the moment we are all very calm and are dealing with the problems caused by our bad performance against Reggina,” Galliani told Sportmediaset.

“We have to remember that the difference in the League table is due to the results we obtain against the weaker sides.

“In fact, against the bottom five teams in Serie A we have picked up just 12 points from seven games, while Inter have taken 19.

“Against the top 15 teams we have only picked up one point fewer than the Nerazzurri.

“Luckily we get the chance to play Inter this weekend and I am sure that we will get a result.

“In 2008 we won both derbies, so we are hoping to repeat that feat this time around. When we are at our best it is extremely difficult to stop us.”

Milan beat Inter back in Week 5 to end the Beneamata's unbeaten record courtesy of a Ronaldinho goal.

Kaka 'out for two weeks'
9.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka will be out of action for two weeks, announced Milan, missing the derby showdown with Inter and Brazil’s friendly against Italy.

The Ballon d’Or winner limped off in evident pain during last night’s 1-1 draw with Reggina at San Siro.

He was rushed to hospital for X-Rays after Coach Carlo Ancelotti admitted he was “worried,” but no fractions or lesions were found.

However, this morning more tests confirmed the diagnosis of a sprained left foot that will keep him out of action for “at least two weeks,” according to a note released by the official club website.

This means Kaka will miss out on Tuesday’s international friendly between Brazil and Italy, to be played in London’s Emirates Stadium.

He will above all be ruled out of next Sunday night’s Milan derby and most likely also the home Serie A game with Cagliari on February 22.

It is a bitter blow for the Rossoneri, but means Ronaldinho is now the favourite to start the derby.

Dinho has positive memories of this match, as he scored his debut Serie A goal against Inter earlier this season.

Kaka sprain leaves derby in doubt
8.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan breathe a sigh of relief as Kaka has not sustained any fractures, but his foot injury could still keep him out of the derby.

The Brazilian limped off during Saturday evening’s 1-1 draw with Reggina and was taken to hospital for X-Rays.

There were fears he had fractured a bone in his left foot, but the official Milan website confirmed the news was nowhere near as serious.

Kaka has instead sprained the left foot with painful bruising, so although it is not a long-term problem, it could still rule him out of the derby.

The Rossoneri go head-to-head with Serie A leaders Inter on Sunday February 15 and Kaka has a race against time to be ready.

A bruised or sprained foot can be a very painful injury that can make training or even pulling on football boots extremely difficult.

Daniele Bonera will definitely miss out on the derby, as he picked up a yellow card against Reggina and will be suspended.

Galliani confirms Beckham talks
8.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has confirmed LA Galaxy turned down Milan's offer for David Beckham, “but we have a month to discuss it.”

Although no figures were stated, it's believed the Rossoneri placed an initial bid of £4.3m, but it is less than half what the MLS side are looking for.

“We made a formal offer to Galaxy and they did not accept it,” confessed Vice-President Galliani on Sky Italia.

“In any case, there is the willingness to talk about it, with one club making a proposal and another evaluating it.

“For the moment we are very far away from an agreement, but we have a month to discuss it.”

There were reports that a deal would be announced this evening ahead of the Serie A game with Reggina, but that proved premature.

"Clearly, if David's in a position where he wants to finish the season in Milan, and Milan in turn compensates the Galaxy so that we can suffer no damages to our fans or to our team, then we'll take a look at it,” said AEG chief executive Tim Leiweke.

Victoria Beckham flew in to Milan today with their three children and both sets of parents to see David in action.

Ancelotti fears Kaka fracture
8.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti feels Milan were too sluggish against Reggina, but reveals Kaka will undergo X-Rays for a suspected foot fracture.

The Brazilian limped off during tonight's 1-1 draw and the prognosis is not good a week ahead of the derby.

“He needs an X-Ray and feels a lot of pain. We will need to wait and see what happens, but it is a problem in his foot and not muscular.

“It was a difficult game because we had so many crosses, but no real strength in the box. When [Filippo] Inzaghi came on we had a bit more weight in there, but we really did try every which way we could.

“When Reggina are so clammed up, the only alternative is to keep putting those crosses into the box.

“We tried to have shots from distance, but after taking the lead Reggina locked down even more.

“Our only defect was conceding a goal we could easily have avoided, as we were caught napping on Reggina's only real chance. After that it is difficult to get back against teams that are so closed.”

This result means Milan are eight points behind Inter going into next Sunday night's Derby della Madonnina.

“There are another two points between us and it gets more difficult, but we had to win it when we were six points behind and now have even more urgency to get that victory.”

Ronaldinho got his first start after four games on the bench, but Milan scored their goal moments after he left the field.

“He did what he was capable of right now and considering the tight spaces and doubling up of marking on him throughout the game,” insisted Ancelotti.

Before Kaka's penalty, Clarence Seedorf had a goal disallowed for a handling offence.

“It is involuntary, as there is a challenge and the ball ricochets up on to his arm. It has everything required to consider it involuntary. I won't judge the referee, but this was a tense game for everybody.

“I think it is true we started the match in control, but not with the necessary pace, aggression and determination. That is not a tactical issue, it's one of approach and tempo.

“There is no specific reason for it. Against Genoa we had a fierce start, but this time probably assumed that sitting regularly in Reggina's half we would eventually break through.”

Andrea Pirlo was suspended, though Mathieu Flamini impressed in a central midfield role.

“Flamini played very well, was aggressive and clear-headed, winning back many balls in midfield. That is his favoured position in the middle and so he felt more at ease there.”

AC Milan 1:1 Reggina - match report
8.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Di Gennaro 33 (R), Kaka pen 67 (M)

Davide Di Gennaro held Milan to a 1-1 draw at San Siro, as Kaka's penalty was not enough to stop them going eight points behind Inter.

The Rossoneri needed a victory to maintain the six-point gap from Inter and were unbeaten since David Beckham joined. He was at the centre of tense negotiations with LA Galaxy to make his move permanent and waiting for an England recall. With Andrea Pirlo suspended, it changed Beckham's position slightly to send him a little more central.

Ronaldinho made his comeback after nearly a month against bottom of the table Reggina, who had Franco Brienza, Luca Vigiani and Emmanuel Cascione sidelined.

There was heavy rain in Milan and that contributed to the poor state of the pitch. Mathieu Flamini tried to take advantage of the zippy surface with a snapshot from distance that Andrea Campagnolo got down to smothere.

Kaka's overhead kick from a flapped Beckham cross. Ronaldinho's ball flashed across the face of goal and found Beckham unmarked, but his first touch was poor and the chance went begging.

On 18 minutes Milan had a great opportunity, as Kaka's shot was charged down, the Flamini follow-up stung Campagnolo's palms and Alexandre Pato could not convert the third attempt.

Di Gennaro tested Christian Abbiati from distance, although Bernardo Corradi was offside and interfering with play. Campagnolo beat away Marek Jankulovski's stinger, then Beckham combined with Ronaldinho, but the Brazilian tried to dribble past one too many players in the box.

Daniele Bonera was booked for a tackle on Di Gennaro and will be suspended for next week's derby.

Pato's glancing header hit a defender on its way through and Beckham's free kick flashed inches past the far post with a deflection taking it off target.

Reggina were threatening on the counter-attack and eventually took the lead with a long-running move. Abbiati managed to parry the first effort from Carmona, but Bernardo Corradi touched back for Di Gennaro's low drive into the bottom near corner. He had mixed emotions, as Di Gennaro is a former Milan youth product and self-confessed Rossoneri supporter.

Moments later Pato's header went wide and Gianluca Zambrotta blasted over. Ronaldinho went on a classic move where he ran at three defenders, but the finish flashed past the far post.

There were penalty appeals for a Santos tug on Massimo Ambrosini, but it looked like a tussle between both players. In the second half Pato mistimed his jump to meet Ronaldinho's chipped pass.

Milan were pouring forward and Dinho's effort was charged down, but Reggina continued to threaten on the counter. Jankulovski was having a bad game and his poor back header set up Di Gennaro to skim the woodwork from the D.

Kaka's angled drive was weak, so Clarence Seedorf replaced Ambrosini. The Dutchman thought he had equalised when Kaka's shot came off the inside of the post and into his path, but the goal was disallowed for a handling offence. It was a controversial decision, as the ball ricocheted on to his hand off a poor defensive intervention, so it could not be considered voluntary.

Pippo Inzaghi replaced an inconsistent Ronaldinho and moments later Pato was brought down from behind by Krajcik for a penalty. Campagnolo is a specialist at saving spot-kicks, but Kaka sent him the wrong way to draw level.

Inzaghi nodded a Beckham curling cross over as he attacked the near post, but there was bad news when Kaka suddenly pulled up and limped off the field. He made way for Luca Antonini, so Seedorf took his tactical position.

Pato tried to squirm between three defenders and was brought down on the edge of the D. This was Beckham territory, but he hit the wall. Pato's right-foot snapshot sailed over from 20 metres, but Sestu wanted a penalty for a coming-together with Antonini in with both appeared to slip.

Jankulovski headed a Beckham cross straight at the goalkeeper, while Inzaghi just failed to get the final touch to another assist from the England international. It was a siege on the Amaranto area as Zambrotta's knockdown for Inzaghi was intercepted and a Pato cross-shot skimmed the far top corner.

Pato volleyed another Beckham ball over the bar from a very promising position. Yet Reggina could've won it, as Corradi on the counter cut back from the left wing to flash a shot inches across the face of goal five minutes into stoppages!
Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Bonera, Maldini, Jankulovski; Beckham, Flamini, Ambrosini (Seedorf 56); Ronaldinho (Inzaghi 65); Kaka (Antonini 77), Pato

Reggina: Campagnolo; Lanzaro, Valdez, Santos; Krajcik, Carmona, Cozza (Cirillo 89), Barillà, Costa; Di Gennaro (Sestu 58), Corradi

Ref: Pierpaoli

Galaxy officially reject Beckham bid
7.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

LA Galaxy have formally rejected Milan’s opening bid, but are continuing negotiations. "We need to end the distractions, the circus and the zoo."

After Wednesday night’s 2-2 friendly draw at Glasgow Rangers, Beckham told the media for the first time that he wanted to remain beyond his March 9 loan expiry and was in talks to make the move permanent.

"We just received an offer," said Tim Leiweke, chief executive of Galaxy owners AEG. "It was rejected."

It’s reported the bid was for around £4.3m, whereas the American side want at least £9m, possibly as much as £16m.

"If David ultimately is an asset for this team, we want him back," Leiweke continued in the LA Times.

"If David ultimately has a hunger and a desire to come help us make the impact on the pitch that we wanted to make with him but haven't done yet, then he's an important member of this team and our intention is to bring him back.

"Clearly, if David's in a position where he wants to finish the season in Milan, and Milan in turn compensates the Galaxy so that we can suffer no damages to our fans or to our team, then we'll take a look at it.

"But we have made it very clear to them that we expect David back here March 9. They agree and understand we own the contract.

“They understand the only way we do this is if, when this is all said and done, the Galaxy benefits. If the Galaxy comes out better without David than with David, then we'll take a look at it."

The MLS side knows it has nothing but money and the contract to bargain with, as Beckham has been won over by San Siro and his probable return to the England squad for next week’s friendly against Spain.

"We understand his infatuation with playing on the world's most popular club team right now, and we understand his trying to mentally get around the idea of coming back to play with a team that didn't make the playoffs in MLS last year," added the chief executive.

However, he denied reports Beckham had brought in the lawyers – something claimed by Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani – to find a loophole so he could be released.

"That said, David and us actually are talking. He has never forced our hand on anything. This is not a legal conversation and has never been a legal conversation. He does not have lawyers looking at the contract.

"David has made it very clear that if our decision is to bring him back here, he will return. Period.

"Last time I checked, we're the ones that have the contract. So the decision as to where David's going to play this year is as much ours as anyone's."

There is another hiccup, as Leiweke confirmed talk of extending the loan was out of the question, but as the transfer window has closed, how would that be possible?

"I think they would look at either [a loan or a permanent buy]. We wouldn't. If David comes back, it will be because there were decisions made by all involved and he'll accept that.

"I don't think he'll be as disgruntled as the media makes it out to be."

There is an alternative, as when Beckham first arrived Galliani stated the contract was until the end of the season with “a gentlemen’s agreement” to release him on March 9.

Foti keeps the faith in Milan
7.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reggina surprised Roma and President Lillo Foti is confident his minnows can do the same to Milan on Saturday.

The Amaranto held Luciano Spalletti’s side to a 2-2 draw last week and seem to have rediscovered their form since bringing back boss Nevio Orlandi.

“We are stepping on to the field well aware that we are facing a great squad,” said President Foti of tomorrow’s big game.

“But we hope to stop Milan’s run, just as we did last week with Roma.”

Reggina are still propping up the Serie A table and risk ending their own streak of nine years in the top flight.

“In these nine years Reggina have always struggled to reach the objective of safety, but I am optimistic and think we can do it this season, too.”

The Calabrians make the trip without a host of injured players, including Franco Brienza, Fabio Ceravolo, Luca Vigiani and Edgar Barreto.

Milan have Andrea Pirlo sitting out a ban, while Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso, Marco Borriello, Giuseppe Favalli and Emerson are sidelined.

Last week Orlandi surprised by fielding Francesco ‘Ciccio’ Cozza in a Pirlo-style deep midfield playmaker position and could replicate the tactic at San Siro.

Carletto to unleash Ronaldinho
7.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti may turn to Ronaldinho against Reggina and is taking the threat of the bottom-placed side seriously.

Ronaldinho has been left on the bench since the arrival of England international David Beckham.

However, with Azzurri star Andrea Pirlo suspended for tomorrow's encounter, Dinho may get his chance.

“Ronaldinho is available and I may well let him play tomorrow,” Carletto revealed.

“If he plays, it will be in the hole where he has always played. He is a hard-working player. He knows the rules of a big club and has always been very professional with us.

“We were without Pirlo for the first two months of the season and we replaced him with Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf and Mathieu Flamini.

“He has certainly made a fantastic contribution in recent times, but we will get by without him.”

Reggina are propping up the Serie A table but they picked up a battling 2-2 draw with Roma last weekend.

“At this stage of the season all the games are difficult and it's even more difficult because we are trying to catch Inter.

“We must keep up our momentum and keep winning to establish consistency.”

“On paper, Reggina are a weaker team than others but they are desperate to get out of trouble.

“They have had two good results since the return of Nevio Orlandi and they will fight hard.”

Ancelotti also discussed the possibility of Beckham arriving on a permanent basis.

“Beckham has expressed his will to stay,” he said. “We are just looking for a solution but we have him here until March 9.

“One thing is for sure, David didn't change Milan because we were competitive before he came but he has added a contribution that has been greater than we expected.”

Beckham is 'halfway to AC Milan'
6.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham has reportedly agreed personal terms for a permanent move to Milan, leaving the Rossoneri to cement a deal with Los Angeles Galaxy.

The 33-year-old is supposed to return to LA at the start of March when a three-month loan spell expires.

But Beckham has made it clear that he would rather stay at San Siro and the club are determined to ensure that happens.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milan have come to an agreement with Beckham that would see him earn around £4m per season and keep full image rights.

However, for any transfer to take place, the Diavolo will have to get the go-ahead from Galaxy, who are likely to try and keep their grip on their prized asset.

It has been reported that Milan will offer a modest fee of £4.5m for Beckham's signature.

Meanwhile, Beckham's lawyers are looking for a way to make the move legal in spite of the fact the transfer window has closed and the midfielder is tied to his current employers until June 2011.

Friendly: Glasgow Rangers 2:2 AC Milan - match report
5.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka and Alexandre Pato lit up Ibrox in tonight's friendly, but Glasgow Rangers held Milan 2-2.

The Rossoneri visited Ibrox for a friendly test and fielded new signings Felipe Mattioni and Thiago Silva as well as David Beckham, Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko.

Pippo Inzaghi sprung the offside trap on a Ronaldinho through ball only to fire straight at McGregor after 16 minutes, but at the other end Nelson Dida parried McCulloch's header.

Milan have a remarkable range of options from set plays and Ronaldinho's free kick cracked against the upright. Rangers hit back with Fleck's shot from a Mendes assist saved by Dida.

Being a friendly, there were numerous changes at the break, including Clarence Seedorf and Matteo Darmian replacing Beckham and Philippe Senderos. Shevchenko has barely featured in months and seemed rusty, though he tested Alexander with a low strike.

Dinho had another free kick charged down and Seedorf blasted over, but Rangers took a surprise lead on 64 minutes. American DaMarcus Beasley took advantage of Milan's defensive error to slot in from 12 yards.

Alexandre Pato replaced Shevchenko and within two minutes had equalised. The teenage Brazilian is in splendid form at the moment and just had to tap Kaka's deflected low cross in from close range.

Andrea Pirlo's chipped pass set up another for Pato, but this time the goalkeeper managed to parry from point-blank range.

Milan were finding their rhythm and turned the game around completely. Kaka showed why Manchester City were willing to pay over £100m for him, as he sprinted past Steven Davis for a powerful low finish.

Not to be outdone, Rangers equalised five minutes later when Sasa Papac made the most of Aaron's through ball. Dida pushed Aaron's free kick off the line

Rangers 2-2 Milan
Scorers: Beasley 64 (R), Pato 69 (M), Kaka 77 (M), Papac 82 (R)
Rangers: McGregor (Alexander 46); Whittaker, Weir (Dailly 46), Bougherra (Beasley 46), Papac; Naismith (Aaron 59), Edu (Davis 74), McCulloch (Boyd 80), Mendes (Broadfoot 46), Fleck (Ferguson 46); Lafferty (Velicka 46)
Milan: Dida; Mattioni (Jankulovski 60), Thiago Silva, Senderos (Darmian 46), Antonini (Albertazzi 74); Beckham (Seedorf 46), Flamini (Cardacio 60), Pirlo; Ronaldinho (Kaka 60), Inzaghi, Shevchenko (Pato 67)

Galliani: Beckhams' lawyers are involved
5.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has confirmed that David Beckham has asked his lawyers to talk to LA Galaxy regarding a long term move.

The English international is supposed to return to America on March 9 when his loan spell ends, but he is looking for a way to extend his stay in Milan.

Galliani gave the latest on the Beckham situation as the Rossoneri prepared to board a flight for Glasgow for tonight's friendly against Rangers.

“Beckham's lawyers are talking to the Los Angeles Galaxy who still legally own his rights,” Galliani is quoted as saying on the Milan's website.

“If they are willing to negotiate then we will be very happy to discuss the situation. We are neither optimistic nor pessimistic right now.

“Beckham is a Galaxy player and we hope that they will decide to sell him.

“We will try to sign David on loan until the end of the season or even permanently. We will be very disappointed if he has to leave.

“The Galaxy have been very polite in their dealings with us. We haven't made any official offer. The lawyers are dealing with it and they have until March 8 to seal a deal.”

AC Milan are seeking Suarez
5.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are already planning their summer transfer activity and are reportedly looking at Ajax forward Luis Suarez.

Uruguayan ace Suarez has proven lethal in the Dutch Eredivisie and has managed to fill Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's shoes following his move to Real Madrid.

The 22-year-old has 29 goals in 53 games for Ajax since signing from Groningen in 2007 and nine in 14 outings for his country.

The latest reports on Tuttomercatoweb suggest that the Rossoneri are watching Suarez and weighing up a summer swoop.

The Diavolo may have to fend off competition from a number of sides, including Barcelona and Valencia.

Ancelotti: Beckham wants us
5.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti confirms “David Beckham wants to stay” and his presence would “make it easier for Milan to win the Scudetto.”

The England international’s loan from LA Galaxy expires on March 9, but the Rossoneri have made no secret of wanting to keep hold of him permanently after he scored two goals and provided two assists in his last two games.

“Beckham has given a new push to the team in terms of quality and enthusiasm. He has given the team something extra and certainly if he stayed it would make it easier to win the Scudetto,” said the Coach.

“I am realistic on his future. I knew that he will be with us until March 9, that is for certain, so we will have to make the most of him during his presence here.

“Nobody can tell what will happen after March 9. He wants to stay here, he has not hidden that fact, but it is a problem between him and the Galaxy. As a club, we cannot get into this matter.”

While Beckham has flourished, Ronaldinho is pushed on to the sidelines and has been benched for the last four consecutive Serie A matches.

This has prompted reports he is reconsidering Manchester City’s summer offer and could push for a move at the end of the season.

“Ronaldinho had an excellent reaction to being benched on Sunday, so he is absolutely not a ‘lost’ player,” assured Ancelotti.

“He just needs to find some consistency and I think I’ll be using him in the next few games, because he is an important player.

“In certain moments of the season there are players like him who can have dips in form, so others are picked first.”

Victoria backs AC Milan move
5.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham’s San Siro bid has a potentially decisive new ally – wife Victoria. “I am happy because I know he is happy at Milan.”

The Galaxy player has hinted several times he is eager to make the loan move to Serie A permanent, but it was reported the main reason he wouldn’t leave LA was because of Victoria’s wishes.

"I am happy because I know he is happy at Milan,” she told the Italian edition of Vanity Fair magazine, which hits the shelves on Wednesday.

"It's great to see that he has already started to score goals in your tournament. I jump for joy whenever David scores a goal.

"I like Milan a lot. I know so many people there, especially in the world of fashion: Dolce and Gabbana, Armani and his staff...

“The city is vibrant, full of energy and passion. You eat well. There are no reasons not to appreciate Milan.

“People wrote I wouldn’t set foot in it because of the pollution, but I never said anything like that.”

The three Beckham boys – Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz – have stayed behind in Los Angeles for school while their father’s future is decided.

"The children have stayed in Los Angeles," she said. "At the moment I am there with my parents. I go back and forth between America, London and Milan."

Meanwhile, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has reiterated the club’s eagerness to keep Beckham past the March 9 deadline.

“There are few chances he’ll stay, but we will do everything we can. If I read the contracts then there is absolutely no possibility, but I also know that contracts can change,” said Galliani.

“Right now we cannot offer anything because LA Galaxy are right. I hope they change their minds and we’ll do everything to achieve that.

“Am I optimistic? My heart says yes, my head says no.”

Maldini up for Azzurri swansong
5.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan veteran Paolo Maldini would love to play one last game for Italy before he retires this summer.

The 40-year-old holds the record for Azzurri appearances with 126 international caps to his name.

Maldini is set to retire this summer and there have been calls for him to play one last game for his nation before he hangs his boots up.

“I would be happy to play one last game for Italy,” Maldini told the Milan Channel.

“It wouldn't be a return to La Nazionale but a chance to celebrate a long career and I would enjoy that.

“It's not up to me, it's up to Marcello Lippi to consider what the needs of the squad are.”

Lippi has admitted that he will take Maldini into consideration for the future, but insists it is too soon for him to play Brazil at the Emirates Stadium on February 10.

“We will think about Maldini,” he told Goal.com. “But at the moment it isn't possible.

“The game against Brazil is very close. There's less than two weeks to go and you can't organise something like that so quickly.”

Galliani will fight for Beckham
5.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The transfer window is closed, but Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani promises he will do “everything possible” to keep David Beckham.

Beckham is currently on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy and due to return to America on March 9.

But the former Manchester United man has made a huge impression and seems to have settled very well.

“He is a Galaxy player and we can't kidnap him,” Galliani joked in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I think he would like to stay, but I can only talk about the club's wishes and Milan will do whatever we can to keep Beckham until the end of the season or for good.

“There's hope, but contracts have to be honoured. The facts are clear - on March 9, Beckham must go back to America.

“On February 23 I will have been at Milan for 23 years and I have learned something in that time - a director's fate is related to the motivation of players more than his own actions,” he concluded.

Milan to sign Marco Rossi
2.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are to continue the rejuvenation of their ageing squad with the signing of Parma starlet Marco Rossi.

The 21-year-old will become the third young defender to join the Rossoneri in January, following Thiago Silva and Felipe Mattioni.

Parma are expected to loan Rossi to Milan until the end of the current campaign. The Rossoneri will then have the right to buy the player for a figure of around £2m.

The Italy Under-21 international has made 16 appearances for Parma this season and has been on Milan’s radar for a long time.

The Rossoneri have seen their backline ravaged by injury this season and need alternatives if they are mount a serious title challenge.

Milan beat Lazio 3-0 on Sunday to overtake Juventus and move into second place in Serie A. They are now just six points behind League leaders Inter.

Galliani wants Beckham stay
2.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has reiterated his desire to keep David Beckham at San Siro beyond his three-month loan.

Beckham is due back at LA Galaxy on March 9, but his impressive performances for the Rossoneri have increased speculation that he will stay in Italy.

“We are very keen to keep him and will keep our hopes of doing so alive until the very last minute,” said an exuberant Galliani.

“We thought he would do well, but not as well as this. To lose him would be ugly, so we’ll make whatever effort and attempt to keep him.

“Then the Milan fans will have a big party when Beckham stays,” added Galliani who did temper his optimism somewhat by saying that any deal for the 33-year-old depends on Galaxy.

Milan beat Lazio 3-0 last night thanks to goals from Alexandre Pato, Massimo Ambrosini and Kaka. Beckham set up two of those strikes.

The former England captain has been rewarded for his excellent form with a place in Milan’s UEFA Cup squad.

“We have decided to put him in the list for the UEFA Cup because he is doing very well,” Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti explained.

Beckham was also exultant after his fifth consecutive start for the Rossoneri ended in another sensational victory.

“I am very happy in Milan,” smiled Becks. “I enjoy myself in every game. I am in a great team with great players.

“I now await the derby, a very special game. I played those in Manchester and Madrid. It’s always very exciting to play in a game like the derby.”

Milan are now second in Serie A just six points adrift of leaders Inter who disappointed again by drawing 1-1 at home to struggling Torino.

Lazio 0:3 AC Milan - match report
2.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pato 42 (M), Ambrosini 48 (M), Kaka 83 (M)

Milan crushed Lazio 3-0 at the Olimpico - including two David Beckham assists - to leapfrog Juventus into second place. The Rossoneri are now just six points adrift of leaders Inter.

They have not lost a Serie A tie to Lazio home or away since February 8, 1998, followed by nine draws and 13 victories.

Mathieu Flamini and Paolo Maldini sat out bans, as did Biancocelesti trio Pasquale Foggia, Stefan Lichtsteiner and Fabio Firmani. Tommaso Rocchi, Alessandro Nesta, Kakha Kaladze, Gennaro Gattuso and Marco Borriello populated the injury list before Giuseppe Favalli pulled out in the warm-up, so Daniele Bonera and Philippe Senderos formed an all-new central defensive partnership. David Beckham recovered from a muscular problem to start, but Ronaldinho was dropped again.

Milan had the first chance after six minutes. Kaka rolled back for the on-rushing Marek Jankulovski to burst through the defence and his cross-shot from six yards was palmed over by a one-handed Nando Muslera save.

Cristian Ledesma drilled wide from 30 metres and a Stefan Radu volley was charged down after a deflected free kick. Senderos brought down Zarate just outside the area, from which the Argentine curled over.

Mourad Meghni combined with Zarate for a finish from seven yards smothered by Christian Abbiati.

Muslera punched Beckham's cross off the head of Alexandre Pato, then the goalkeeper had to rush off his line to clear from Pato on the edge of the box as he sprung the offside trap on Andrea Pirlo's chipped pass.

On 35 minutes Pandev was surrounded by defenders from seven yards, but he spun round with his right foot to fire just wide of the far post.

There was panic in the box moments later. Pandev's pass with the outside of his foot allowed Zarate to spring the offside trap and Senderos stopped, but Abbiati was very alert to prod the ball off his foot and then narrow the angle for Pandev's follow-up.

However, Milan survived those scares and took the lead before half-time. Beckham sprung the offside trap down the right and rolled across for Pato to stroke in with the inside of his right foot. There were question marks over whether either of the players were in play.

Abbiati performed another decisive save, pushing Zarate's snapshot wide with the underside of his arm, as it bounced right in front of him. From the corner Sebastiano Siviglia had a great chance, but Gianluca Zambrotta took the ball off his foot as he was pulling the trigger.

In first half stoppages Beckham curled a wonderful cross on to Pato's head for a goal, but it was disallowed for a very tight offside position.

Straight after the restart Beckham provided another assist as Milan doubled their lead. He earned a free kick for a Radu foul and curled it brilliantly to the back edge of the six-yard box for Massimo Ambrosini's free header.

Moments later Abbiati was at full stretch to fingertip an excellent Meghni daisy-cutter round the post.

Beckham sent a corner to the D where Pirlo's fine volley smacked Siviglia in the face. Kaka went clear on goal following Brocchi's error, but his first touch let him down and allowed Muslera to smother. Soon after, Pato did exactly the same thing.

Kaka sprung the offside trap for a third time, but hit the outside of the post!

Simone Inzaghi came off the bench and hit a meek effort at Abbiati after getting away from Senderos.

Kaka eventually got his goal after wasting several chances. It was similar to the previous moves, as he got away from defenders and combined with Clarence Seedorf to stroke in with the inside of his right foot towards the far bottom corner.

Lazio fans had already protested at the team's training ground this week at the run of dismal results and many walked out of the Olimpico after this third goal. Jankulovski blasted over from a promising position.
Lazio: Muslera; De Silvestri, Siviglia, Rozehnal, Radu (Kolarov 74); Brocchi (Dabo 74), Ledesma, Matuzalem, Meghni (S Inzaghi 66); Pandev, Zarate

Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta (Darmian 85), Senderos, Bonera, Jankulovski; Beckham, Pirlo, Ambrosini; Kaka (Shevchenko 85), Seedorf, Pato

Ref: Rizzoli

Pirlo hails brainy Beckham
2.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Pirlo hailed David Beckham's “intelligence” and warned Milan are determined to catch Inter at the top of the table.

The Rossoneri seemed to be out of it after they were held 1-1 at San Siro by Genoa midweek, but the 3-0 victory away to Lazio has sent them ahead of Juventus into second place.

“We're still in the race despite Wednesday's draw, but we want to catch Inter at all costs and showed that with tonight's performance,” said Pirlo.

“We went into the second half with the same spirit and aimed to get a second goal quickly, so it went well.”

Beckham recovered from a muscular problem to start and provided assists for two of the goals scored by Alexandre Pato and Massimo Ambrosini.

“He is an intelligent lad who plays football off by heart, so he settled in quickly to the system and is giving us a great hand.”

Milan are now six points adrift of Inter and in a strong position going towards the derby on February 15.

Ancelotti: Beckham is on UEFA list
2.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti believes Milan can “look to the future with optimism” and confirms David Beckham is in the UEFA Cup squad.

Beckham is meant to resume his LA Galaxy career on March 9, so he would only be available for two UEFA games, but he has been included - most likely in place of Emerson.

“We decided to include Beckham in the UEFA squad because he is doing very well and we want to make the most of his presence for the two legs against Werder Bremen,” said the Coach.

“We are still six points adrift, but the team is in good shape and playing well. We are increasing our confidence and tonight did not have the same 'pauses' as in previous games, so we can look to the future with optimism.”

The 3-0 triumph away to Lazio allowed Milan to fly past Juventus into second place with goals from Alexandre Pato, Massimo Ambrosini and Kaka.

“Lazio pushed us harder and were fresher in the first half, so we tended to stick to the flanks, but after the break we maintained possession and controlled the tempo.

“When the spaces open up, Pato becomes very important. His first half wasn't great, but his goal was wonderful. This is Pato - he infuriates you and then scored a fantastic strike. It looked easy, but it wasn't quite so simple.

“We had a couple of chances one-on-one that we wasted because of a lack of concentration, but we got the win comfortably.”

Milan are in fine form, but Ronaldinho was dropped again and did not even appear as a substitute against Lazio.

“Right now the team has found its balance and especially away from home we need a compact midfield, so [Clarence] Seedorf is better suited to that situation. I explained that to Ronaldinho and he accepted it without problems.”

Andrea Pirlo has improved considerably since the start of the season and Ancelotti thinks Beckham is partly responsible.

“Pirlo is in great shape and is helped by the fact Beckham is near him and can also change the moves with cross-field passes.

“We have a very creative midfield with a lot of quality and must make the most of that, as it means we can maintain possession and tire out our opponents.

“We struggled a little with Zarate's runs at the start, but we dealt with it and changed the tempo when it was necessary. This is the development, as we were able to control it, which we did not do against Genoa.”

Beckham and Alessandro Nesta are added to the UEFA Cup list in place of Emerson and Marco Borriello, as the striker learned this week he has aggravated the existing thigh strain and will be out for another two months.

Milan squad: Dida, Abbiati, Kalac; Maldini, Kaladze, Zambrotta, Jankulovski, Favalli, Senderos, Bonera, Darmian, Pasini, Antonini, Nesta; Gattuso, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Flamini, Beckham; Pato, Inzaghi, Seedorf, Kakà, Shevchenko, Ronaldinho.





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