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The Archive

November 2001

Kuffour rejects Milan link
30.11 || webmaster

Bayern defender Samuel Kuffour has dismissed reports linking him with a switch to AC Milan, saying he is not interested in leaving Munich.

With reports from Italy suggesting that Milan are keen to sign the Ghanaian international, Kuffour spoke out today, insisting: "Currently, I am not interested at all in any other side. What I really want is fully concentrate on Bayern."

Bayern boss Ottmar Hitzfeld has also played down talk on a suggested move, saying: "This kind of talk is nothing new to us. You read stories like this one quite often.

"But Sammy does not want to move, he really enjoys playing at Bayern."

Milan's Danish duo invite Chievo to attack
30.11 || webmaster

AC Milan's Danish duo Thomas Helveg and Martin Laursen believe leaders Chievo will falter on Sunday if they come to the San Siro looking to attack.

Milan face Chievo hoping to claw back ground on Serie A's surprise leaders and both defenders are hoping that Luigi del Neri's side will come to the San Siro in a positive frame of mind.

"It won't be easy against Chievo, but if they attack we will make many more chances," Laursen said.

Helveg added: "I hope Chievo come to the San Siro and play an open match trying to win. That way we'll have a lot of space to play our best football."

Both players praised Carlo Ancelotti for the job he has done since replacing Fatih Terim as coach at the San Siro.

Helveg has flourished since the arrival of Ancelotti, and is now establishing himself after limited chances under Terim.

"I am in good physical condition which I put down to the fact that now I have been given more playing time," he said. "I'm happy about that. I can play better than this and now I'm working hard to repay the trust of the coach and the fans."

"Ancelotti has had to work a lot on defence, before he came we concentrated more on attacking play."

Laursen added: "It is nice to work with a coach who is always able to explain clearly to the players his wishes and his ideas.

"I'm very happy because when I was at Parma they didn't have much confidence in me and said that I was not good enough to play there. Now I'm doing well and I hope to go on that way."

Maldini back to face Chievo
30.11 || webmaster

AC Milan veteran Paolo Maldini is set to play against Chievo on Sunday after recovering from injury.

"I've trained well this week. My form is quite good and my thigh feels okay," he said.

Maldini admitted, though, that he would need to play well on his return. "I've been out and we've not been conceding goals. Maybe they do better without me," he joked.

Javi Moreno linked with Fulham loan switch
29.11 || webmaster

JAVI MORENO has been lined up for a loan switch to Fulham, after failing to establish himself in the Milan starting line-up.
Moreno moved to Italy in the summer from Alaves, but competition with the likes of prolific Andrei Shevchenko and former Juventus star Filippo Inzaghi means that he has not yet won an extended run in the side.

There were suggestions in the past that Moreno would be used as a makeweight in the deal to take Chelsea star Sam Dalla Bona to Milan, but there has been little action on this front.

27-year-old Moreno was a revelation in Alaves' run through to the final of the Uefa Cup, winning himself a call-up to the national side and proving one of the best marksman in La Liga.

Real: $ 95 mil. for Sheva
29.11 || webmaster

Insane offer from Real Madrid, which includes Helguera as well. AC Milan don't want to sell him, but Berlusconi will decide.

Ancelotti praises weakened squad
29.11 || webmaster

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti is pleased with the performance his weakened squad produced in the Tim Cup game against Perugia yesterday.
Ancelotti said: "I believe it has been an enjoyable game.

"Both sides have created scoring opportunities and I believe that AC Milan have proven to be a squad in very good shape."

Ancelotti has in particular praised the performance of his defence which has now played four games without conceding a single goal: "The defence has been doing very well. It is certainly very important not to allow others to score."

Perugia 0 - 0 Milan - match report
28.11 || webmaster

Milan have qualified for the Coppa Italia Quarter-Finals thanks to the 3-0 first leg victory. Although the San Siro result could have set up a dull second leg, both teams pushed forward and there was plenty of goal-mouth action.


Andrea Pirlo (pictured) was given a rare chance to shine and set up Marco Simone for the first chance of the game, but the veteran striker sent his effort onto the upright. Perugia hit back with Ahn Jung Wanís deflected shot but Ďkeeper Sebastiano Rossi needed every one of his 197 centimetres to tip it over the bar.


Simone was again unlucky to see his header come off the crossbar in the second half, but the former Paris Saint Germain and Monaco star wasted a golden opportunity created by Pirlo.


Carlo Ancelottiís men again keep a clean sheet and are building on the improvements seen at Parma on Sunday.


Milan qualify 3-0 on aggregate

Daino returns to AC Milan
27.11 || webmaster

Derby County defender Daniele Daino has returned to AC Milan after making just four appearances during his loan spell with the Rams.

Daino joined Derby in the summer and played in the first two Premiership fixtures of the season before losing his place in the side.

Ancelotti: "Cup is still important"
27.11 || webmaster

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti wants a good performance from his team in the Tim Cup against Perugia, despite its decreasing importance.

Ancelotti said: "It's never easy to prepare for these games. But we have the chance to get to the quarter finals and we have to take it, even though these days the Tim Cup is not considered to be so very important."

However, the 3-0 win obtained in the first leg should make things quite easy for Ancelotti's team: "We have been playing pretty well lately and we want to go on like this. Of course it isn't easy since we have so many games scheduled, but we have to try to continue with this winning streak."

Ancelotti, who was sacked by Juventus at the end of last season, revealed that he is indeed very upset about the problems his former team have been experiencing lately, saying: "I'm sorry for them but I know that Juve have always been able to overcome their difficulties and I am sure that they'll soon be back among Italy's top clubs."

However, the former Parma manager admitted that he was quite disappointed about the way his working relationship with the Bianconeri ended, saying: "Even though I am here now, I must admit that I was sorry to have been sent away like that. I'm sorry for the way things ended because I really had a great time in Turin."

Shevchenko commits to Milan
27.11 || webmaster

Andriy Shevchenko has confirmed that he has no intention of leaving Milan for Real Madrid this summer.

The international striker is a transfer target for the Spanish giants after Real President Florentino Perez recently admitted that he had made three bids in the past for the forward.

"If Mr Perez wants to buy me then he will have to talk to Milan about it," Shevchenko told a Ukrainian website.

"Nobody has contacted me about the proposed move but I would like to outline one more time that I have no intention of changing clubs.

"I want to win many honours but with Milan. I feel I owe the club this for the daily belief and faith shown to me. Iím honoured to be linked to a club like Real but Iím happy in Italy."

Meanwhile, Shevchenko has paid tribute to Real Madridís Raul. Despite being a contender for the Golden Ball, Shev believes that the Spaniard deserves the prize.

"Itís not that important to me but I would give Raul the accolade. My only wish for this year would have been to have qualified for the World Cup Finals with the Ukraine.

"The play-off defeat against Germany was a massive disappointment."

Donati commits himself to Milan
27.11 || webmaster

Massimilano Donati has stated he wants to stay at AC Milan for life after being handed the privilege of replacing Demetrio Albertini in midfield.

The Italy Under-21 international has revelead he is delighted at having done a good job of filling in for the veteran midfielder.

"I was so very happy at the end of the game with Parma because the team and myself had played a very good game," he said.

"This gives me a lot of satisfaction because I don't get to play very often and having the chance to play from the start has made me very happy.

"Of course at first I did feel a bit nervous because I knew I had a huge responsibility."

Donati has also reaffirmed his wish to stay with AC Milan until the end of his career, no matter how often he will get to play.

"I don't regret coming to a big team even though that means playing less," he said.

"I have always been an AC Milan fan and my dream is to stay with the Rossoneri forever.

"Of course being left out is tough, but I always work had and try to do my best. I do know that there will still be many times when I'll have to watch the game from the sidelines or the stand and that's why I'm glad to have had this chance," he added.

Perugia vs. Milan - the called up players
27.11 || webmaster

Coach Carlo Ancelotti called the following players for the Italian Cup match against Perugia:

Goalkeepers: Abbiati, Fiori, Rossi.
Defenders: Chamot, Contra, Costacurta, Helveg, Kaladze, Laursen, Roque Junior.
Midfielders: Brocchi, Donati, Gattuso, Pirlo, Rui Costa, Serginho, Umit.
Strikers: Kutuzov, Inzaghi, Shevchenko, Simone.

Perugia to freeze out Dellas
27.11 || webmaster

Perugia have threatened to let Traianos Dellas stew in the reserves for the rest of the season following reports that he has signed for AC Milan.

"I'm disappointed with his attitude as he has betrayed our trust," club director Alessandro Gaucci told onefootball.com.

Contract talks between Gaucci and Perugia broke down earlier this month because the Greek defender, who is available on a free transfer at the end of the season, wanted to move to a more prestigious club.

Perugia, however, are adamant that they must receive a fee for the 25-year-old.

"He has gone on strike," said Gaucci. "It was the same when he was at AEK Athens. Either he goes to Milan in January for a fee or he renews his contract with us. If he does neither, he can go on holiday for eight months."

The player has been dropped. "We've left him out of the squad," said Gaucci. "We tried to resolve the situation by demanding a meeting with the player and his agent but both parties refused."

Gaucci told onefootball.com that the club had been in two minds as to whether to sign the player.

"The truth is that we changed our mind twice about buying the him in the summer and he didn't like the way we went about it. He believes that Perugia don't completely trust in him. We made a mistake by only signing him on a one-year contract but he has betrayed us by putting pen to paper with Milan."

A club spokesman said earlier this month. "Dellas has refused every offer we made.We think he was too influenced by all the possibilities for his future at the big clubs that the newspapers kept talking about."

Perugia only signed Dellas on a one-year contract from AEK Athens to ensure he would make the grade in Serie A before tying him to a longer-term deal.

The club had been told of his talent by Perugia striker Zizis Vryzas, a former team-mate of Dellas, who suggested he would make a good substitute for Inter-bound Marco Materazzi.

Dellas impressed immediately in Serie A and was soon being chased by the likes of AC Milan, Internazionale and Roma, with the latter offering him a three-year contract worth £400,000 a season, four times his salary at Perugia.

Parma 0 - 1 Milan - post-match comments
25.11 || webmaster

Daniel Passarella: ďWe conceded the goal during our best period of the game. That was our mistake and unfortunately it all fell apart from there. On the goal that was ruled out for offside, I donít think that Savo Milosevic was disturbing the goalkeeper so it should have stood. We must nonetheless stand by our strikers and be united as a squad. We need to lift our morale, which I admit is starting to flag.Ē

Carlo Ancelotti: ďWe didnít lose our heads, not even when Umit Davala was sent off. Everyone worked hard and suffered for the team. This is an important sign for the whole squad. Itís not easy to find a balance if the players arenít up for it, but the lads have been putting their minds to it lately and it paid off. I donít know if it was the change of management that had this effect, but either way Iím happy. This team must fight for the title until the bitter end. I do not wish to limit Manuel Rui Costaís attacking potential but I do believe it only right that he works hard for the rest of the team.Ē

Parma 0 - 1 Milan - match review
25.11 || webmaster

Scorer: Inzaghi 30'

Milan grab their first Serie A win under new management in a stadium that has traditionally been a problem for this club. In fact, their last victory at the Tardini was in 1995.
This was always going to be an emotional encounter as not only was Carlo Ancelotti returning to the club that effectively started his Serie A management career, but the new Milan Coach also came face to face with the fans he rejected to take over the Rossoneri earlier this month.

Manuel Rui Costa also rejected Parma this summer to choose Milan and was booed at his every touch of the ball.

There were important absences for both sides, Demetrio Albertini, Gennaro Gattuso, Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta for Milan, Mathias Almeyda, Nestor Sensini and Bolano for the home team.

The possession was relatively even but the chances fell to Parma. Marco Di Vaio and Sabri Lamouchi combined well but Christian Abbiati performed a crucial save on the Frenchman.

However, on Milan's first real scoring opportunity they took the surprise lead. On Serginho's free kick Filippo Inzaghi's marker slipped and left the forward to nod in a free header. This was the Rossoneri's first goal after a three-match drought in Serie A.

This sparked off a siege from the visitors and Andriy Shevchenko nodded wide while Rui Costa's effort beat the 'keeper but not Stefano Torrisi, who cleared off the line.

The second half saw Milan gain confidence and in the first 15 minutes Shevchenko's effort was parried by a defender and Sebastien Frey made a stunning reaction save on Martin Laursen's close-range header.

However, Turkish midfielder Umit Davala was sent off for a tackle from behind on Fabio Cannavaro and left Ancelotti's men in ten men for the rest of the match. Despite playing with a man down Milan continued to have the best chances on the counter-attack with Inzaghi, Rui Costa, Cosmin Contra and Serginho failing to provide the right finish.

Once again Hidetoshi Nakata failed to inspire his team when coming on as a substitute and Savo Milosevic was no better. Alain Boghossian had a goal ruled out for offside two minutes from time, although it was in fact Milosevic who had strayed, but considering they were playing against ten men Parma really should have done better.

Parma: Frey; Sartor (Diana 74), Djetou, Torrisi, Cannavaro; Appiah (Nakata 79), Boghossian, Lamouchi, Junior; Bonazzoli (Milosevic 46), Di Vaio

Milan: Abbiati; Helveg, Laursen, Chamot, Kaladze; Umit, Donati, Serginho; Rui Costa (Roque Junior 91); Inzaghi (Simone 92), Shevchenko (Contra 67)

Ref: Borriello

Sent off: Umit 65 (M)

Shevchenko flattered by Real interest
24.11 || webmaster

Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko has long been courted by Real Madrid and has finally spoken out about the Spanish sideís interest in him.

"I am flattered by their interest," said the Ukrainian international. "Real Madrid are a great club, but I play for Milan and have the chance to win trophies with this club."

Shevchenko also suggested that Madrid striker Raul was his tip for the upcoming Pallone díOro and felt his chance of winning the award disappeared when the Ukraine failed to beat Germany in their World Cup play-off.

"That game ended my hopes," said the 25-year-old. "But credit to Raul, who in the last five or six years has played at the highest level for Real Madrid."

Parma vs. Milan - match preview
24.11 || webmaster

AC Milan's trip to Parma in the Serie A clash on Sunday could not have come at a worse time for visiting coach Carlo Ancelotti who just weeks before turned down the Ennio Tardini club for a return to the San Siro.

Ancelotti looked set to take over the reins at Parma in the wake of coach Renzo Ulivieri's resignation, but as negotiations became protracted, Milan stepped in after dispensing with the services of Fatih Terim following a 1-0 defeat at Torino.

Ancelotti claimed the lure of a return to the club where he won two European Cups, in 1989 and 1990, was the deciding factor.

However, in some quarters a more likely reason was the fact that Parma would always remain a provincial side and he would never repeat the feat of finishing runners-up in 1997.

In fact, he moved on to Juventus when Marcello Lippi abruptly resigned in the spring of 1999.

There are few survivors left from that period, but one of them, Fabio Canavaro, wants to show his boss that he made the wrong decision.

"We really want to beat Milan and show Ancelotti that we are worthy of being termed a top side," said defender and club captain whose tussle with striker Andriy Shevchenko should be the key match-up in the game.

Parma coach Daniel Passarella will also feel he has something to prove as the Argentine was looked-over by the club in favour of his opposite number back in 1996, but of more importance is the fact that Parma cannot afford to slip further behind the league pace-setters.

They currently lie back in 12th position, nine points off leaders Chievo and five behind sixth place Milan, and could only draw 1-1 at home against Danish side Brondby in the Uefa Cup on Thursday.

Pasarella is set to continue with Sabri Lamouchi in the playmaker role, leaving Japanese star Hidetoshi Nakata on the bench.

Parma: Frey, Sartor, Djetou, F.Cannavaro, Junior; Diana, Appiah, Boghossian, Lamouchi, Di Vaio, Bonazzoli

Milan: Abbiati, Helveg, Laursen, Roque Junior, Kaladze, Umit, Donati, Serginho, Rui Costa, F.Inzaghi, Shevchenko

Sheva: "Ancelotti's methods similar to Lobanovski's"
24.11 || webmaster

"In the end, the day before yesterday I felt that we really are a team. We managed to implement on the field what Ancelotti taught us," AC Milan Ukrainian forward Andriy Shevchenko announced after the UEFA Cup first match against FC Sporting ended in favour of the Italians.

Shevchenko says that it was very important to score again because it was obvious that the fans were worried about that result.

"I'm very pleased that I can prove our fans at San Siro that I'm the same Shevchenko who is liked by them, "the player said. Shevchenko also shared his opinion about Milan midfielder Rui Costa: "A few days ago I talked to Costa and tried to fill him with enthusiasm. I consider him to be a great player, and he must play more actively now. He played better against Sporting than in previous matches. We all understand his importance for the club and have to help him overcome this period difficult for him. I'm sure everything will be fine."

The Ukrainian thanked his new coach Carlo Ancelotti: "Ancelotti tries to improve his team. Of course, we have lost much but we've acquired much as well. His methods are similar to Lobanovsky's methods. Our team became more organized and compact."

The Milan's Ukrainian international will not play in the 2002 World Cup.

"I'm a fan of the Italian national team. They are very strong and can win. The door of the of the World Cup is closed for me, but I'll continue to work. I'm 25 year old and I can wait," Shevchenko said.

Recently rumours have been disseminated as if Real Madrid want to acquire Andriy Shevchenko and he responded to these rumours: "Of course, it flatters me. Real is a great team but I play in Milan and will remain faithful to him. Milan's ambitions coincide with my own ambitions and here I have all chances to win trophies."

Shevchenko rejects the possibility of his soon marriage: "I am still young and the marriage would hinder my job. I'll think of it after several years."

The Ukrainian international also uttered several words about the Golden Ball: " I thought of that accolade formerly but now my ambitions together with the hopes to reach the 2002 World Cup are destroyed. I think Raul deserves to win that accolade thanks to his 5-6-year good job on the field. "

Laursen praising Del Neri
23.11 || Kenneth

AC Milan Danish midfielder Laursen talks on leading Chievo: 'If Chievo are leading Serie A, then it is down to the coach above all. He has managed to create a highly comapct and orgnaized squad. The defence is particularly well organised.'

Sporting remain unbowed after Milan defeat
23.11 || webmaster

Sporting Lisbon came away disappointed with the 2-0 Uefa Cup defeat to AC Milan in Thursday's first leg, but were optimistic that the deficit can be overcome in the second leg.

Sporting president Miguel Ribeiro Teles said: "I came away with the feeling that we could have got a better result. But I also came away satisfied. Sporting showed that they are a great international team, with international class fans. The match was also refereed by a referee of international standard.

"We have to believe that we can do it at the Alvalade. We need the support of our fans, because, after what we saw in the San Siro, it was proved that the difference between Sporting and Milan is not so great."

Jose Eduardo Bettencourt, executive administrator of Sporting, was even more frustrated. He said: "The result leaves a frustrating taste. Milan had three chances and scored two goals, but that's Italian teams for you.

"We fought, had control of the game, but I think we could have done more."

Ancelotti hails Milan concentration
23.11 || webmaster

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti believes his side's renewed sense of focus was responsible for their impressive 2-0 Uefa Cup victory over Sporting Lisbon on Thursday. "We played with more determination, concentration and attention," he explained.

Goals from Andriy Shevchenko and Filippo Inzaghi gave Milan a comprehensive victory over the Portuguese side, and they are now firm favourites to make it into the last 16.

"I have talked a lot with the team over the past week about how to play against Spoting," Ancelotti went on. "This squad is full of quality, and at time we showed that.

"We played with Serginho and Manuel Rui Costa, and they convinced me that they can play together, as long as somebody helps out the defence."

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani is delighted with the way Milan's defence has looked since Ancelotti replaced Fatih Terim as coach.

"Three games without conceding a goal? It's an important change," he said. "It means that our defence is not lacking quality, and that Ancelotti is organising it better than before.

"I have to congratulate Ancelotti for playing Serginho in central midfield alongside Demetrio Albertini. It is a stroke of genus. I'm not a coach, but I can say that great players never have problems playing together."

Milan 2 - 0 Sporting - match review
22.11 || webmaster

Scorers: Shevchenko 38, Inzaghi 76

Milan had to make improvements following the disappointing 0-0 draw with Piacenza, but perhaps the only real difference in this tie was the ability to take their chances. Sporting Lisbon held plenty of possession but it was the Rossoneri who can protect a 2-0 lead in the second leg.

Andriy Shevchenko ran onto Demetrio Albertini's through ball, dummied a shot before scoring with a delicate chip. Milan could have had a second just before the break when Serginho's header beat the 'keeper but not the crossbar. The Brazilian also clipped the woodwork at the dawn of the second half when Tiago tipped his effort over.

Serginho eventually made a crucial contribution to Milan's second goal as he skipped past two defenders and curled in a cross for Filippo Inzaghi's well-taken volley. The Portuguese side attempted to lay siege to Christian Abbiati's goal in the final minutes but the defence held out.

Milan: Abbiati; Helveg, Costacurta, Laursen, Kaladze; Gattuso (Brocchi 91), Albertini, Serginho(Contra 86); Rui Costa; Inzaghi (Donati 78), Shevchenko


Sporting Lisbon: Tiago; Andre Cruz, Beto, Babb; Hugo (Barbosa 81), Cesar Prates, Rui Jorge (Tello 81), Rui Bento, Joao Pinto (Felipe 89); Jardel, Niculae


Ref: Juan Fernadez Marin (Spa)

Rui Costa is key - Ancelotti
22.11 || webmaster

Manuel Rui Costa is still a key player for Milan according to boss Carlo Ancelotti and he is not in the market for a replacement for the star.

Ancelotti has categorically cleared any talk of the rossonerri signing another playmaker due to the drop in form of the Portugal international.

Speculation in the Italian media stated that Milan wanted to give the player a couple of weeks rest due to the fact that he has been under-performing lately, but that has been quashed by the coach.

Ancelotti said: "Rui Costa is absolutely not a problem for AC Milan. In Piacenza, we all played badly, not just him.

ďManuel is going through a difficult time but neither the management nor the coach have ever thought about letting him rest."

Talking about the transfer rumours, Ancelotti has denied that he asked AC's management to bring back Francesco Coco, who is on loan at the Nou Camp - home of Barcelona.

"This team can do without Francesco Coco. I don't believe it is conceivable to see him come back at this time," he said.

"He's a good player and he's doing well at Barcelona but I don't think we'll be signing any more new players."

But he has however admitted that his team still have a long way to go before they hit their peak.

He adds: "We're still not in best shape but we're on our way. This is a group of high quality players, but we are yet to become a team and we'll succeed only if we'll are able to keep focused and well organised throughout the entire length of a match."

Ancelotti has also stated that Massimilano Ambrosini, who had suffered a serious injury during last season, will be back in contention in a few weeks time.

"He started practicing with the team and I believe that in two or three weeks, he will be fully recovered," Ancelotti said.

New Shevchenko Wallpaper
21.11 || webmaster

It was a long time since I haven't made a Shevchenko wallpaper. Well, the time has come for a new wallpaper with the Ukrainian star. It's up on the site and you can download it from Third Wallpaper Gallery.

Ambrosini on road to recovery
21.11 || webmaster

Milan midfielder Massimo Ambrosini has reassured fans that he will soon be back in action after undergoing knee surgery.

The Italian international has been missing since February 4, after he damaged knee ligaments in a Serie A game against Reggina.

But the youngster today told fans via the clubís official website that heís slowly but surely getting back to his normal self.

"Iím on the road to recovery. And Iím feeling very good," he said. "Iím particularly pleased because I felt no pain at all in my knee after training yesterday."

He added: "The months have been difficult since the injury. My mood has been up and down depending on how my recovery was going. I apologise for not talking very much in recent times but you have to appreciate what I was going through."

Ambrosini also commented on the Coaching change at the San Siro this season after Fatih Terim was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti following the Week 10 loss at Torino.

"Iím disappointed that I wasnít able to work under Terim. But his situation was one that mirrors this football world in the fact that absolutely no one can be given time to prove themselves.

"As for Ancelotti is certainly a charismatic person. He was as a player and is so as a Coach."

The combative midfielder also had words of praise for Sporting Lisbon Ė Milanís UEFA Cup opponents on Thursday.

"Sporting are a good side that strike fear into opponents just like all Portuguese teams. Their football is certainly improving on a world scale."

Boloni looking to hit Milan for six
21.11 || webmaster

Sporting Lisbon coach Laszlo BŲlŲni has cheekily suggested that the ideal UEFA Cup result would be a 6-0 thrashing of Milan in the San Siro.

Ahead of tomorrow's third-round first-leg encounter BŲlŲni said: "We hope Sporting can achieve a pleasing result and I believe that a 6-0 victory would be the perfect scoreline." BŲlŲni, who will give a chance to former Sampdoria half-back Hugo Vieira against the Italian giants as he has experience in Serie A and seems to be the ideal man to stop Manuel Rui Costa.

"We are confident about a positive result and if my mission is to cancel out Rui Costa, Iím prepared to do it although it will be difficult. Iíve got some experience in Italy and it could help because I know all the Milan players well", said Hugo.

Milan vs. Sporting - match preview
21.11 || webmaster

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has backed struggling Portugal playmaker Manuel Rui Costa to come good against Sporting Lisbon in the Uefa on Thursday.

"Rui is not a problem and I am not thinking of resting him," he said.

Milan's stuttering league form suffered another blow on Sunday with a 0-0 draw at home to Piacenza.

Ancelotti brought Rui Costa off to a chorus of boos, but the Milan coach insisted that the whole team was to blame for the poor performance and that he would be looking for the same XI to right that wrong against Sporting.

"Against Piacenza all the players did a poor job, not only Rui Costa," he said. "He's not in the best moment of his career, I know, but I am not thinking about resting him.

"Physically we're not at our best but we're improving day by day. I have a lot of individual talents, but we're not a team yet. We will only achieve that when we have kept our concentration for the full 90 minutes.

"Against Sporting, we won't make many changes. We'll play with the same system and I don't want to see anyone thinking about Sunday's match against Parma.

"Sporting is a great club both on the individual level and as a team. They won't play defensively which is an advantage for us as we should have more space to exploit."

Sporting Lisbon striker Mario Jardel made his mark on Milan while with Porto, dominating the Milan defence in a 3-2 win for the Portuguese side at the San Siro during the 1996-97 season.

Jardel has scored three goals in two games at the San Siro and Sporting coach Laszlo Boloni will be looking to the Brazilian to provide the spark up front as he contends with injuries and international call ups.

Striker Sa Pinto is still recovering from injury to his right knee while influential defensive midfielder Rui Bento is also out because of a groin strain. Winger Ricardo Quaresma and midfielder Hugo Viana are on duty with the Portugal Under-19 side.

Keeper Tiago has recovered from a back injury and should play.

Boloni is also concerned by a backlash from Milan following their poor recent run in Serie A.

"I wouldn't say that Milan have been weakened by their bad results. On the contrary, Milan's pride is hurt which will transform them into an even more dangerous opponent.

"It would have been better if they had beaten Piacenza. Now they will give everything they have got against us."

Boloni has promised not play to defensively, but he will take no attacking risks, opting for a starting XI that includes three centre backs, two full backs and two defensive midfielders.

AC Milan (probable): Abbiati, Helveg, Laursen, Costacurta, Kaladze, Gattuso, Albertini, Sergihno, Rui Costa, F Inzaghi, Shevchenko

Sporting Lisbon (probable): Tiago, Rui Jorge, Cesar Prates, Andre Cruz, Phill Babb, Beto, Paulo Bento, Hugo, Joao Pinto, Marius Niculae, Mario Jardel

Riquelme's agent in Italy
20.11 || webmaster

Juan Roman Riquelme could be playing in Serie A from January after his agent flew into Italy late last night.

Marco Franchi arrived in the peninsula where he is expected to hold talks with a number of clubs who seem interested in the 23-year-old Argentine sensation.

The Boca Juniors player was expected to move to Europe last summer before Barcelona pulled out of the deal after they decided to keep hold of Rivaldo and sign South American youngster Saviola instead.

The quality playmaker has been linked with Juventus in recent weeks even if Parma have suddenly become front runners after the appointment of Daniel Passarella as boss Ė who is a great admirer of the player.

Riquelme, who refused to sign a contract extension with his current club, could be in Serie A by January once the transfer window re-opens with Lazio and Milan also monitoring the situation.

Rui Costa in Juve link
20.11 || webmaster

Manuel Rui Costa could be the subject of a tug-of-war between Juventus and his current club AC Milan, according to Italian reports.

Rui Costa has been criticised due to his recent poor performances and he has been accused of contributing to Milan's current delicate nature. It also seems clear that the strike partnership of Andrei Shevchenko and Filippo Inzaghi are struggling to play with the Portugal star.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti has stated that Rui Costa is a key player for the rossineri, but the offer of an equally below-par Pavel Nedved from Juve in exchange for Rui Costa could persuade Ancelotti to change his mind.

Rui Costa pleads for more time
20.11 || webmaster

Midfielder Manuel Rui Costa has pleaded for patience as he struggles to find his form at AC Milan. "I know that I have not matched everyone's expectations," he said. "They are not happy and neither am I, but I need their help."

Rui Costa, a £27 million signing from Fiorentina in the summer, was booed by sections of the Milan fans during Sunday's goalless draw with Piacenza and he admits to understanding their anger.

"What can I say, that I'm playing dreadfully?" a disconsolate Rui Costa asked on Tuesday. "It's a really bad period for me.

"I know that the fans expect so much of me, but when I make more of an effort I only make mistakes. Last Sunday, when I came off I heard the boos in the San Siro. It hurt me.

"I understand the feeling of the fans, but they have to understand my feelings too. I'm sure I'll get out from this situation soon, I'm the same player I was two months ago."

The Portugal international, however, insisted that hard work would ensure that both he and Milan would soon turn the corner.

"I don't like to surrender," he said. "I have never thought that way.

"It's not the first time in my career that I have had to face such a bad moment and I'll go on taking my responsibilities.

"After every mistake I made, I didn't stop at all, I tried to regain the ball immediately. Supporters didn't accept my first mistake, but I ask them now to help me in overcoming this situation. They expect the Manuel Rui Costa of last season."

Coach Carlo Ancelotti, followed a precedent set by former Milan coach Fatih Terim, and substituted Rui Costa on Sunday.

Ancelotti stressed, however, that it was just a matter of time before the right balance is found in the side to allow Rui Costa to play to his potential.

"He is not in the best shape," he said. "He had over a month out after his elbow injury and that has meant he has taken a bit longer to settle into the team. That's not such a problem.

"Manuel will be a crucial player in our team and it will be my job to find the way to play him alongside Serginho and Cosmin Contra."

Gaucci blasts traitor Dellas
19.11 || webmaster

Perugia director Alessandro Gaucci has launched an astonishing attack on defender Traianos Dellas by labelling him a traitor after the stopper refused to sign a contract extension.

The Greek has been dropped from the first team squad indefinitely after he pulled out of contract negotiations amid rumours that heís already agreed to join a new club next season.

"He hasnít behaved in the correct manner," said Gaucci. "Heís already agreed terms with another club. Heís a traitor and I donít allow traitors to play."

Dellas Ė who agreed a one-year deal this summer after impressing in a trial Ė was believed to be ready to sign for a further three years at the end of this month.

Nevertheless, Dellas has pulled out of talks which would now make him available on a free-transfer at the end of the season.

"Should he decide to meet with the club to sort things out then he can be re-integrated into the squad," Gaucci added.

"Itís purely up to him. If he doesnít then we will ask for an investigation to be opened because there are clear regulations which suggest that a player can not talk to other clubs while under contract."

Dellas has attracted the interest of a host of big clubs after a number of impressive displays and is believed to be heading to Milan next summer.

However, Perugia were reportedly set to offer him a contract extension before selling him to Roma for a substantial fee and the signing of midfielder Ivan Tomic.

Ancelotti backs Rui Costa
19.11 || webmaster

New Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti believes that Manuel Rui Costa will soon be performing at the highest levels despite struggling to settle since his £27m move from Fiorentina.

The Portuguese wizard was again disappointing in yesterdayís 0-0 draw with Piacenza but Ancelotti is confident that the player will soon return to his normal self.

"Rui Costa is just struggling with his fitness," the boss told ĎRadio Anchíio Lo Sportí this morning.

"He injured his elbow in his debut which meant that it has taken him longer than expected to settle into his new surroundings. But Iím confident that the player we all know will surface here."

The Milan Coach added: "A player like Rui Costa really canít be questioned. Whether he can play alongside attacking players like Cosmin Contra and Serginho is not his problem but mine. Itís up to me to field the side correctly."

Ancelotti also commented on yesterdayís disappointing League debut as Rossoneri boss.

"There was a particular atmosphere at the San Siro," he said. "Unfortunately we didnít put in a very good performance but weíll get it right. Iím at Milan now and happy to be here.

"Iíve been welcomed with open arms and this is an important base on which to work from. The side just needs to be balanced so that we can be more consistent.

"This season Milan have played excellently against the bigger clubs but struggled against the minnows. When teams donít give us space we find it hard."

The former Italian international was sacked by Juventus at the end of last term after finishing second in Serie A for two consecutive campaigns. But the ex-midfielder feels no bitterness towards the Bianconeri.

"The only regret I have from my days at Juventus was the fact that I didnít win. Apart from that I had a wonderful time in Turin.

"Juventus have changed greatly over the summer and have brought in some big players. But Iím not disappointed with the squad that I had at my disposal. Just as I am content with the players I have at Milan. I just need to bring out the best in them."

Ancelotti denies Milan 'deal' talk
19.11 || webmaster

Carlo Ancelotti has denied he had an agreement with AC Milan before the start of the season for him to take over at the San Siro.

The former Juventus coach took over at Milan almost two weeks ago, despite being tipped to take over at Parma before Daniel Passarella accepted the vacant hot-seat at the Ennio Tardini.

But he has moved to deny Milan approached him with a view to succeeding Fatih Terim before the Serie A campaign gut underway.

"It's not true that I already had a deal with AC Milan. I was negotiating with Parma for about 10 days but then, after the defeat to Torino, I received a call from AC Milan's management and decided to accept their offer instead," he said.

"I realise that my behaviour has not been very nice but AC Milan have always meant a great deal to me, so I hope that Parma's management will understand."

Ancelotti has also talked about his former team Juve and the revelations of the season so far - league leaders Chievo.

"To me Juve are history. This season they've changed their game plan very much also because they've lost a player like Zinedine Zidane," he added.

"Now they have champs like Buffon, Thuram and Nedved - but I really can't complain about the team I've had for two years.

"As for Chievo, they're a very-well organized unit and they play great football."

Ancelotti has also joined the voices speaking out on the rash of red cards handed out by the referees during the last Serie A weekend, where Milan's Billy Costacurta was dismissed for committing a tackle from behind.

"We have to start adapting to the idea that rules must be respected. It is correct to act like this because this way the games will be more spectacular, and it was fair to send off Costacurta yesterday. He had committed a foul and had to be punished."

Boloni impressed by lacklustre Milan
19.11 || webmaster

Sporting Lisbon coach Laszlo Boloni has warned his side against complacency after watching AC Milan draw against Piacenza on Sunday. "Milan didn't have a good game, but you could still see that the defence was solid," he said.

"If Paolo Maldini recovers by Thursday they will be even stronger."

Sporting face Milan in the Uefa Cup fourth round and Boloni was impressed by the San Siro side.

"The midfield seems to me to be the best part of the team and the attack with Shevchenko and Inzaghi is always dangerous.

"Rui Costa didn't play well, but we are under no delusions. On Thursday he'll want to show all of Portugal what a great player he is and he will want to beat Sporting because he supports Benfica.

"Any team which has players like Rui Costa, Inzaghi, Contra, Costacurta, Albertini and Shevchenko is never in crisis."

Boloni does not accept that Shevchenko may be going through a bad patch. "If he's doing badly, then let him come and play for Sporting," Boloni joked.

Consultant role only for Sacchi at San Siro
19.11 || webmaster

AC Milan moved on Monday to deny speculation that former coach Arrigo Sacchi had been appointed director of football to work alongside Carlo Ancelotti.

"Arrigo works as our transfer consultant and has been doing so since last season," vice-president Adriano Galliani said.

Pictures of Sacchi in the Milan changing-room after Sunday's 0-0 draw with Piacenza were broadcast on Italian television.

Sacchi had been expected to join Ancelotti at Parma when the former Juventus coach was linked with that post earlier this month, but Milan insist that Sacchi will not be taking on a high-profile role at the San Siro.

"The technical responsibility for the team rests exclusively and absolutely with Carlo Ancelotti,"a statement on the club's website read.

"We were speaking about our situation," Galliani said when quizzed about Sacchi's presence after the match.

"We are all concerned because we have to understand why Milan are unable to win against minor clubs. We had three consecutive draws at home to Piacenza, Bologna and Venezia which is worrying.

"Ancelotti will have to find a new balance in the team."

Niculae snubs Arsenal for Milan
18.11 || webmaster

Sporting Lisbon forward Marius Niculae has turned down offers from Hertha Berlin and Arsenal after admitting he expects to sign for AC Milan at the end of the season. "I want to thank the clubs for their interest in me, but I will only go and play in Italy," he said.

The Romania forward, who scored a crucial goal in his country's World Cup play-off defeat in Slovenia last weekend, has been linked with a move away from Portugal after an impressive start to his career in Lisbon, in which he has scored seven goals in his first eleven league games.

And he admitted that international team-mate and Milan wing-back Cosmin Contra has been trying to persuade the young star to move to the San Siro when the Italian transfer window re-opens in January.

"If Milan really want me, then they must wait until the summer. I don't like to leave a team in the middle of the season. I came to Portugal for Boloni and I know that my next destination will be Italy. I also know that the interest of the Rossoneri is not new.

"My friend Contra said that I must hurry, but I replied that I would stay calm, because I never took decisions in a hurry."

Contra added: "I use every moment to tell Marius to come to Milan, to play in a great club. But he is very difficult to convince."

Niculae, whose buy-out clause is £12 million, continued: "I never said that I intended to finish my career in Sporting. I respect the coach Boloni very much. He helped me a lot, by naming me for the first time in Romanian senior squad, and I really want to return the favour by winning some trophies with my club.

"But my dream is to play one day in my favourite championships, in Italy or Spain. With all respect to the other clubs from Germany or England, I am not attracted by playing there.

"I received offers from Germany and from England, but like I said, from when I was a child I dreamed of playing in Italy. I want to thank Hertha Berlin and also Arsenal for their interest in me Ė I am really very honoured Ė but I will only go and play in Italy. And only if something spoils that dream, my second choice will be Spain."

AC Milan face Sporting in next week's Uefa Cup tie and the Italians are set to ask their opponents to release sell them Niculae during the winter. But Sporting, who snapped up the international in a cut-price £2 million deal in August from Dinamo Bucharest, want to hold on to their prized asset until the end of the season.

The Milan board may settle on a compromise which will see Niculae sign a pre-contract agreement committing to a San Siro switch in the summer.

Earlier this sesason, Niculae, whose contract runs out in 2004, dismissed speculation linking him with Real Madrid. "One thing is certain, I feel good at Sporting and I want to respect the contract which I have at the club."

Niculae famously turned down the chance to sign for Manchester United when he refused to travel to Old Trafford for a trial last season.

Leonardo ready to play on
18.11 || webmaster

Former Milan player Leonardo has announced that he will respect his Sao Paolo contract - despite initial claims that he was set to quit at the end of this year.

The Brazilian went as far as informing his club President Paulo Amaral but has been convinced to see out his deal which expires in June 2002.

"Iíve got the possibility of winning the Brazilian title again," said the versatile player. "It would be a shame to miss out on this opportunity. It would be amazing to repeat a title success with Sao Paolo after doing it in 1991."

The left-footer left the San Siro this summer after signing from Paris SG in September 1997.

Milan 0 - 0 Piacenza - match review
18.11 || webmaster

Carlo Ancelotti has already made his debut at the San Siro midweek in the Coppa Italia, but Serie A is an entirely different ball game. This was a very disappointing performance compared to that 3-0 win against Perugia and for the second consecutive home match the Rossoneri failed to score.

Many feared that the former Juventus Coach would make Milan more defensive, but Christian Brocchi wasted an incredible chance after just 90 seconds. A fine save was also required on Demetrio Albertini's free kick, but although they constantly tried to pour forward Piacenza's defence was rarely troubled in the first half.

Brazilian Serginho was introduced for the more defensive Brocchi in an attempt to liven up Milan's attacking options. However, it left Milan open to the counter-attack and on one of these moves Alessandro Costacurta saw red for a vicious and cynical foul on Sergio Volpi.

Soon after both teams were left in ten men as Paolo Cristante received a frankly harsh second booking for a shirt tug on Filippo Inzaghi. In the final ten minutes Piacenza's penalty appeals for Kakha Kaladze's push on Carmine Gautieri were waived away.

Milan: Abbiati; Kaladze, Costacurta, Laursen, Contra; Brocchi (Serginho 46), Albertini, Gattuso (Chamot 59); Rui Costa (Pirlo 73); Shevchenko, Inzaghi


Piacenza: Orlandoni; Tosto (Mora 54), Maltagliati, Lucarelli, Cristante; Matuzalem, Volpi, Statuto, Di Francesco; Caccia (Gautieri 61), Hubner (Cardone 70)


Ref: De Santis

Sent off: Costacurta 58 (M), Cristante 66 (P)

Milan vs. Piacenza - match preview
17.11 || webmaster

Carlo Ancelotti has already made his debut at the San Siro midweek in the Coppa Italia, but Serie A is an entirely different ball game. The stadium will be packed out to welcome Carletto home to the club he won so much with as a player.

His first match in charge was an auspicious 3-0 victory against Perugia, a team that had beaten Milan in their last three encounters. Filippo Inzaghi, who already combined well with the Coach at Juventus, netted twice in the rout while Manuel Rui Costa seemed comfortable in his new deeper role.

Fatih Terimís all-attack tactics have been shelved in favour of a more solid 4-4-2, but with Rui Costa, Inzaghi and Andriy Shevchenko on the field Milan can never be referred to as defensive.

Piacenza are a team on a knife-edge. A succession of poor results and open warfare between the Coach and fans has not helped their cause to avoid relegation. However, the Coppa Italia win over Roma has boosted morale and Walter Novellino at last seems to have balanced the midfield to his liking.

Puyol speculation played down
17.11 || webmaster

Carles Puyol's agent insists the 23-year-old is happy at Barca, despite being linked with a £15million switch to Milanese giants AC and Inter.

The Italian pair are thought to be ready to break the bank to land the Spanish international defender, but agent Ramůn Sostres says the player will not use the speculation as a means of forcing the Catalan club to hand him an improved contract.

Sostres said: "Carles is very happy at Barca. Nobody has made a formal request to me directly but I know of the interest coming from Italy and England. We won't be using this to re-negotiate better terms with Barca, Carles isn't the type of person to hold his club to ransom."

Puyol, who nearly signed for Malaga two seasons ago, is under contract at the Nou Camp until 2004, and has excelled for the Blaugranas this term.

Milan legend Liedholm backs the team for title
17.11 || webmaster

Swedish great Nils Liedholm believes that Milan are the favourites for this seasonís Serie A title.

The former player, who has coached both Milan and Roma, tips the Rossoneri as being more competitive than the current Italian champions.

"Milan play good football and theyíve started on the right foot with Ancelotti following the good display in the Coppa Italia during the week," said the Swede.

"But I think Inter could be a surprise too, especially once they fully recover Ronaldo and Vieri."

The ex-international believes that Romaís main difficulty will be trying to combine their title campaign with their European ambitions.

"It will be a lot tougher for Roma. The Championsí League takes too much out of a side and sooner or later Capello is going to have to decide on which competition to concentrate on. I think it will be too tiresome to concentrate on both objectives."

Liedholm ruled Juventus out of the Scudetto chase, suggesting that their topsy-turvy performances will be a major handicap.

"Juve play some excellent games and then put in some shocking performances. Lippiís side are too inconsistent and it makes me believe that they are not to be considered as favourites for the title.

"There are some teams that have been playing well and better than expected. Especially Chievo who are spectacular at times."

The former midfielder also gave his opinion on the candidates for the Golden Ball.

"My favourites are Figo, Rivaldo and Owen. But I think Beckham has a chance too. Italian hopes rest with Totti and Del Piero. The first has been playing at the highest levels for some time whereas the latter has only recently started to shine through."

Milan giants eye Pauleta
16.11 || webmaster

Both AC Milan and Internazionale are keen on Bordeaux's Portuguese striker Pedro Pauleta, according to reports from Italy.

The Portugal international, who joined Rui Costa and LuŪs Figo among the 50 players nominated for the European Footballer of the Year, could be the answer to Inter's striker problems, as Ronaldo and Christian Vieri's injuries both seem to be complex.

AC Milan have Filippo Inzaghi, Javi Moreno and Andrij Shevchenko up front but Jose Mari is currently out with a knee injury.

Pauleta has already scored 11 goals so far this season and Italy could be his next stop after playing in both Spain and France.

The "Azores cyclone" (Pauleta comes from Azores in Portugal) has never played in Portugal's top flight, as he started out at Estoril in 1995.

The striker achieved fame in Spain with Salamanca (1996-98), with whom he won promotion to Spain's La Primera before switching to Deportivo.

Pauleta was instrumental as Deportivo won La Liga in Spain in the 1999-2000 season, and then joined Bordeaux in 2000, netting 20 goals last season.

Milan join Kezman chase
16.11 || webmaster

Milan have joined Juventus and Parma in the chase for Mateja Kezman.

The young striker is expected to quit current club PSV Eindhoven after a difference of opinion with Coach Eric Gerets.

The talented international is set to cost around £20m and could quit Holland as soon as January.

The 22-year-old has netted a staggering 81 goals in 138 games for Yugoslavia and his club and is reputed to be one of Europeís best young players.

The Rossoneri could make a bid for the star with the news this morning that Andriy Shevchenko may be off to Real Madrid in the summer, even if his first choice replacement for Milan would be Lazioís Hernan Crespo.

No better striker than me, claims Jardel
16.11 || webmaster

Sporting Lisbon striker Mario Jardel has claimed he is the best forward in the world, despite constantly being overlooked by struggling Brazil.

Jardel has been on fire for Sporting Lisbon since joining from Galatasaray in the summer.

He scored his twelfth goal in seven matches in Sporting's last match against Salgueiros a fortnight ago, and believes that his that his predatory instincts are better than any other striker now playing.

"If I've scored more goals than other strikers it's because I have certain characteristics that nobody else has," he said. "I think I'm the best penalty-box striker in the world."

Sporting face AC Milan in the Uefa Cup next week and the Brazilian believes he will not be a welcome face at the San Siro.

Milan midfielder Demetrio Albertini has reportedly said he will be "persona non grata", but Jardel brushed aside the remark.

"If Albertini said that it's because I've always scored whenever I played against them. I'd like to continue being a 'persona non
grata' in Milan," he said.

Real deal for Sheva is possible, say Milan
16.11 || webmaster

AC Milan general manager Ariedo Braida admitted on Friday that striker Andriy Shevchenko could be prized away from the San Siro by Real Madrid if the price is right.

"Real president Florentino Perez knows that Shevchenko is priceless, but it once seemed impossible that Luis Figo could leave Barcelona for Madrid and that Zinedine Zidane could leave Juve," he said.

"It's really unlikely that Andriy will play for Real Madrid, really unlikely, but not impossible," Braida added.

"We are not in talks with Real Madrid at the moment, but it's obvious that a club like Real would be interested in one of the strongest players in the world."

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani admitted in October that Real had attempted to buy Shevchenko last summer.

"We would be in credit now if I had accepted Real's money," he said then.

Shevchenko is more determined than ever to succeed with Milan following Ukraine's failure to beat Germany in Wednesday's World Cup play-off.

"During the match with Germany I wanted to cry," the striker, who scored Ukraine's late consolation in Wednesday's 4-1 defeat, said.

"I wanted to score a goal at least to lessen the pain of the memory," he said. "[Milan coach Carlo] Ancelotti phoned me immediately after the match and he was very kind to me. Now I want to help AC Milan and the new manager by scoring for them."

Udinese's Gargo on Milan's and Inter's list
15.11 || webmaster

The Ghana defender: 'Udinese will sell me in January. I have no favorite clubs, both Milan and Inter are great clubs: it's a dream come true'.

Meanwhile, AC Milan is interested in Ajax's youngster Heitinga.

Rui Costa tips Figo for Ballon D'Or
15.11 || webmaster

Ballon D'Or nominee Manuel Rui Costa believes LuŪs Figo is favourite to win his second European Footballer of the Year award.

The AC Milan midfielder believes that despite all the strong competition facing his international team-mate Figo will win the award for the second year running.

He said: "Figo is a target to many detractors as he holds the prize. This doesn't mean that there aren't other candidates with strong possibilities, but my favourite is Figo."

Rui Costa picked out Francesco Totti, Raķl, Michael Owen and even his Milan team-mate Andriy Shevchenko as other possible winners.

He continued: "Every player has a good chance to win, albeit Shevchenko who would need a victory against Germany to be present in the World Cup.

"The same affects me. So if some day I will be worthy of such reward it means I have already achieved important things for Milan."

Rui happy with new role
14.11 || webmaster

Milanís Manuel Rui Costa has given his blessing to being fielded in a deeper midfield role Ė so long as his main offensive qualities are not eradicated.

The Portuguese player Ė who is accustomed to playing just behind two strikers Ė is being used by new boss Carlo Ancelotti in a flat four midfield.

"I started playing football as a normal central midfield player. It was only once I came to Italy that I developed into an attacking midfielder," he said.

"I havenít got a problem with a straight 4-4-2 so long as the majority of my work is offensive rather than defensive.

"I would say that moving from a deeper position is easier for me to find space. But it is obvious that the midfield should be well balanced."

The former Viola star was fielded in his new role last night as Milan comfortably beat Perugia 3-0 in the Coppa Italia.

"There hasnít been a revolution in the style of our play," he added. "The Milan that played last night is one that is very similar to the one that played against Lazio."

The international also admitted that something had changed at Milanello with the arrival of old boy Ancelotti.

"I immediately realised that there was a new atmosphere around the club once Ancelotti arrived. I like the way he speaks to us and his ideas.

"Obviously once a new Coach arrives there is a certain amount of enthusiasm that wasnít there prior."

He concluded: "Iím not disappointed that Ancelotti has arrived even if Iím saddened that Terim was sacked. It must have been difficult for the Turk to work from day one with all the rumours circulating concerning his future."

Moreno for Dalla Bona
14.11 || webmaster

Chelsea want a striker and AC Milan's Javi Moreno could do the trick.

The player is ready to quit Milan after the arrival of Marco Simone from Monaco. With Samuele Dalla Bona wanted by AC Milan, the two parties might agree for a part exchange.

Milan duo happy with the Cup win
14.11 || webmaster

Both coach Carlo Ancelotti and vice-president Adriano Galliani said they were delighted with Milan's 3-0 defeat of Perugia in the Tim Cup.

Ancelotti recently took charge at the San Siro following the sacking of Turkish boss Fatih Terim, and spoke of his delight at winning his first match in charge.

He said: "It's been a great night for us and for me in particular.

"I believe that we have also played bits and pieces of good football. Of course this is not just thanks to me as even before my time the team had played some good games.

"I believe we have proven to be a very well-organised unit. But of course there's still a long way to go.

"What we have to do now is to keep on working hard to try to make things better, even though of course we are very glad to have won this match."

Ancelotti, who as a player spent a vast amount of his career with the rossoneri, admitted to being very emotional when he entered the packed stadium.

He said: "Of course I was thrilled to be back, but not just in San Siro. I've been feeling these emotions ever since I signed for AC Milan and arrived in the city. It's like coming back home."

Ancelotti went onto praised two-goal hero Filippo Inzaghi, who he coached during his spell with Juventus.

He added: "I'm very happy for Pippo because he really is in great shape these days. I believe he played a very good game."

Meanwhile, Galliani said that he was very pleased to see Milan playing positive football.

"It was very important to start with a large and convincing win. We succeeded in this and now we can say that we're very happy.

"This victory sprang from the fact that we now have peace of mind and tranquillity in the side.

"As for the game plan, it very much reminded me of the one we had when Ancelotti used to play for us. We've proved to be very determined and driven right from the start."

Milan 3 - 0 Perugia - match report
13.11 || webmaster

This match marked Carlo Ancelottiís debut on the Milan bench in the stadium in which he won so many trophies as a player. But it was Pippo Inzaghi who made sure the ex-Juventus Coach picked up where he left off.

The San Siro crowd reserved a warm reception for the manager who replaced Fatih Terim last week.


He made tactical changes to reinforce the fragile defence, moving Manuel Rui Costa back into the midfield of a 4-4-2 formation with striking partners Inzaghi and Ancelotti's former teammate Marco Simone.


The Rossoneri feared Serse Cosmi as he had won each and every one of his three encounters with this team, including a 3-1 victory against Terimís squad last month. However, the winning streak came to an abrupt end with this solid scoreline.


Christian Brocchi had Milanís best early chance but the defence cleared his effort and Filippo Inzaghiís follow-up. Demetrio Albertini and Marco Simone also went close with fierce efforts that shaved the woodwork.


At the start of the second half both Inzaghi and Martin Laursen were left completely unmarked in the centre to meet Rui Costaís free kick, but the Italian international arrived on the ball first. It was only right that a former Juventus striker should score Ancelottiís first goal in this new job.


Inzaghi again took advantage of poor defending for Milanís second, also nodded in from the Portuguese internationalís set-piece. The agile forward also played a part in the third goal as defender Sogliano anticipated Inzaghi, but in so doing turned Thomas Helvegís cross into his own net.


Former Venezia striker Fabio Bazzani almost snatched a crucial away goal in the final minutes, but Christian Abbiati made a stunning save to turn his header onto the upright.

Scorers: Inzaghi 49, 62, Sogliano og 83

Pierini very close to Milan move
13.11 || webmaster

Fresh AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has asked the Rossonero management to make a move for Fiorentina defender Pierini. The Viola club are in desperate need of money, and AC Milan are ready to hand them over $7 million US dollars for the player plus Javi Moreno.

Fiorentina are reported to being ready to accept the deal, but instead of the Spanish forward, they would like AC Milan to give them a defender.

Live scores section revamped
13.11 || webmaster

We have changed completely the Live Scores section as we were not satisfied with our previous providers. We now feed the Milan fans with livescore.com's live scores from the Serie A, the UEFA Cup and the Champions League.

You can switch on to the Live Scores section of our site by clicking here.

Enjoy and have a nice time,
David

Ancelotti's list for tomorrow's cup match vs. Perugia
12.11 || webmaster

Newly signed AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has called up the following squad for the forthcoming Italian Cup match with Perugia.

Goalkeepers: Abbiati, Fiori, Rossi.
Defenders: Chamot, Costacurta, Helveg, Kaladze, Laursen, Sarr, Stefani.
Midfielders: Albertini, Brocchi, Deinite, Donadel, Gattuso, Rui Costa, Sammarco.
Forwards: Inzaghi, Javi Moreno, Kutuzov, Simone.

Inzaghi denies Ancelotti rift
12.11 || webmaster

Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi has denied that he is unhappy to see former Juve coach Carlo Ancelotti take the reins at the San Siro.
The two left Juve at the end of last season, and whilst Ancelotti often left Inzaghi on the Stadio delle Alpi bench in place of France international striker David Trezeguet, the Italy international hitman has denied reports of bad blood between the pair.

"He's a very nice person and we have kept in touch even in these last few months when he was jobless," revealed Inzaghi. "We are friends and it's not true that we didn't get along. During my last months in Turin I was left out of the team but it was for other reasons.

"He's a good man and he never lets others influence him. I am sure he knows that here in Milan he will have to win, because a coach is always evaluated on the basis of what he wins."

Inzaghi however, says he also has the deepest respect and admiration for former coach Fatih Terim: "We are all sorry for what happened to Terim because we had a great relationship with him.

"I believe his problem has been that the team was unable to have a regular performance game after game, especially at home, where AC Milan have often struggled. In San Siro we could have done much better. The games against Venezia and Bologna in particular have been two wasted chances.

"I haven't had time to talk to Terim personally but I've asked for his number and I'll soon call him. The fact that he didn't speak too well in Italian can't be used as an excuse though. I believe he paid for the fact that we have been unable to achieve some positive results."

Milan linked with Armand
12.11 || webmaster

Nantes director Robert Budzynski, declared that Sylvain Armand is close to Inter Milan and Juventus: 'Armand is a great player. We're a small club with little money, so we are forced to sell'.

AC Milan will also join the auction for the player, to replace Francesco Coco.

Helguera joins Owen and Sheva in Balon D'Or race
11.11 || webmaster

Michael Owen and Andriy Shevchenko top the short-list of 50 players nominated for European Footballer of the Year, which is set for publication on Tuesday.

The shock inclusion is Ivan Helguera, alongside Real Madrid team-mates Raul, Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Roberto Carlos. Champions' League winners Bayern Munich are represented by skipper Oliver Kahn and midfielder Stefan Effenberg.

Barcelona look to Rivaldo and Patrick Kluivert, while Arsenal striker Thierry Henry and Roma forward Gabriel Batistuta have also caught the eye of the panel at France Football.

Owen is considered the favourite after winning the Uefa Cup, FA Cup and Worthington Cup with Liverpool this year, before blasting a hat-trick against Germany in Munich to help England qualify automatically for the World Cup.

The Ballon D'Or, or Golden Ball, is still recognised by the players as the most prestigious personal award in football, despite the efforts of Fifa to outdo it with their World Player of the Year ceremony. Luis Figo currently holds the France Football prize.

New wallpaper and more photos
11.11 || webmaster

You can download as of today the new Rui Costa wallpaper. Here's the link:
http://www.acmilan-online.com/wp_03.php
- the newest wallpapers are the ones on the top

I have also added new photos over at the Photo Gallery located at:
http://www.acmilan-online.com/gallery/index.php
The new photos are with the Cosmin Contra, Andriy Shevchenko, Manuel Rui Costa and Serginho as well as one more with Milan's Ultras.

Enjoy,
David.

New times for Milan thanks to Ancelotti
10.11 || webmaster

AC Milan have started a more actve and decisive training after Carlo Ancelotti's takeover of the club, La Nazione reports. This period resembles Arrigo Sacchi's time when Ancelotti was at Milan as a player.
Vincenzo Pincolini is the coach for physical preparation of the team and Ancelotti has known him for 15 years. They have fine relations, and the new coach decided to give him more independence than the ex-coach Fatih Terim. Abbiati, Gattuso and Inzaghi will join the club from Japan, and Ancelotti will prepare his first match against AC Perugia to be held next Tuesday at San Siro. The new coach of Milan is not going to change the tactic of the game because Serginho, Roque Junior, Donati, Pirlo, Contra, Umit and Shevchenko are not presently at his disposal now being on international duty.
Ancelotti will not make Rui Costa partner with Inzhagi because the Portuguese doesn't cope with that task well. The player has lost self-confidence after Terim substituted him in the matches against Torino and Bologna.
Ancelotti thinks that Albertini is an indispensable player for Milan.
"I was very excited when shook hands with the new coach. I have always considered Ancelotti to be a very significant person. He proved that Milan are a great team and made us believe what we're doing. We all promised him to devote ourselves to the job and to cooperate with him the same way as we did with Terim. It's a pity that Terim had to take the 'punishment' for everything, anyway we are also responsible for his dismissal," Albertini said.

Milan crazy for Lucio
10.11 || webmaster

He's one of the best defenders at the moment. A regular with Brazil with AC Milan ready to spend insane fees to sign him.

AS Roma wanted him as well but gave up: fee too expensive.

Milan on Ajax's Romanian star Chivu
10.11 || webmaster

AC Milan may sign a new left defender in January because Serginho, who seems linked with Zaccheroni's Lazio (in case negotiations with Sorin would not go through), may leave. The Italian giants may opt for Ajax's Romanian star Cristian Chivu. It is not the first time that the 21 year old seems to be on his way to Italy (in the past both Roma and Fiorentina were interested in signing the player) but sides never agreed. However, this time AC Milan, which is having a good relationship with the Dutch club, may be successfull.

Simone ready to prove point
9.11 || webmaster

Marco Simone has said heís ready to challenge for a first team place after fully recovering from a minor injury.

The Italian striker was signed from Monaco earlier this season after falling out with Coach Didier Deschamps, but has not really been given a proper first team chance since.

"Iím finally feeling fully fit again. The last two months have been tough but Iím slowly getting back to how I should be," he said.

"I was all set to join Parma but then I decided to choose Milan. Had I joined the Gialloblu then I would have been assured of first team football.

"But by coming back to the San Siro and not being a first team regular, it gives me something to prove to the Coach."

Simone also hopes that the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti as boss could see him play more first team football even if he doesnít want to take advantage of their close relationship.

"With the arrival of Ancelotti another piece of the great Milan side is back," Simone added.

"We the players now need to be intelligent and not try to benefit from the relationship that he already has with the old guard that are still here."

Real claim Shevchenko deal
9.11 || webmaster

Andriy Shevchenko and Juventus target Patrick Vieira will play for Real Madrid next season according to President Florentino Perez.

Reports from Spain this morning are suggesting that the Real chief has admitted that the two players are prime targets and heís confident of both their arrivals.

Perez has already made three bids for the Milan striker in the past but all offers were turned down by Rossoneri Vice-president Adriano Galliani.

Nevertheless, Perez seems confident that the Ukrainian will arrive after being able to recruit Luis Figo from Barcelona and Zinedine Zidane from Juventus in the past two seasons.

With regard to Vieira, Perez revealed that he wanted to bring him to the Spanish capital this summer before Arsenal refused all bids for the French international.

Albertini's memories of new boss
9.11 || webmaster

Demetrio Albertini, Paolo Maldini and Billy Costacurta are all part of a group that have played with and will now be coached by Carlo Ancellotti.

Albertini, who at the time was a teenager, says he remembers those times fondly and admits that Ancelotti has always been a role model for him

He said: "I have been very lucky because I had the chance to train with when I was barely a teenage boy.

"Not only did he teach me how to play like him, but also how to truly understand what preparation is all about.

"By that, I mean that I have learned to keep focused on the training in order to be able to learn what the coach wants you to do as quickly as possible.

"Concentration has to be trained and training teaches you how to concentrate and how to keep focused on your task for a full match.

"I believe this is a bit what we have been missing so far this season and we have to try to improve our concentration.

"We can and we must do more than what we have done so far."

Daino destined for Milan
9.11 || webmaster

Italian defender Daniele Daino is set to cut short his year-long loan spell at Premiership club Derby County to return to AC Milan.
The 22-year-old has struggled to make an impact with The Rams after figuring only as a bit- part player this season.

The arrival of right-back Francois Grenet from Bordeaux has further pushed Daino down the pecking order at Pride Park.

It is understood Milan are in negotiations for the player to go on loan to another unnamed Italian club upon his return to the Giuseppe Meazza.

Milan vs. Inter for Doni
8.11 || webmaster

Vavassori's midfielder wanted by Juventus and AS Roma as well. It's an auction, starting from $14m.

His contract with Atalanta expires in two years, but at the end of the season, he'll be sold. Manchester and Barcelona are the two foreign clubs interested.

The player: 'It's like a dream'.

AC Milan: pressure for Dellas
8.11 || webmaster

An AC Milan scout in monitoring the defender, who will join for free at the end of the season. Ancelotti ready to sell Javi Moreno and wants Coco.

Ibrahimovic, Vicente, Kezman, Gerrard and Duljaj to be monitored as well.

Maldini defends Terim
8.11 || webmaster

Paolo Maldini has defended former Milan coach Fatih Terim, and believes the players should share the blame for their dismal start to the season.

Now that the Turkish boss has been replaced with Carlo Ancelotti, Maldini says that the whole team has to share the blame for their not-so brilliant start of the season .

The Italian international said: "The fact that it was Terim who was sent away doesn't mean that this has been just his failure. It means that we all failed."

The veteran defender has also denied that members of the squad ever had any problems getting along with the former Galatasaray and Fiorentina manager.

He continued: "There has never been any kind of problem with the coach and I don't believe the team is dong so bad after all.

"However, these are decisions that the management has every right to take. We could talk about the reasons for this situation for hours, and some of them are no doubt even debatable.

"But the fact remains that the management knows the real reason for this and I am sure Adriano Galliani will tell us face to face."

Meanwhile, Maldini, who has already worked with Ancelotti when AC Milan's new coach was still playing for the Rossoneri, admitted he is very happy to have him back in the team.

Maldini said: "We had a wonderful relationship as players and I don't see why thing should change now only because he is the Boss."

Maldini says he has no idea of what, if any, changes Ancelotti will want to make, but he says that the true sprit of the team will hardly be touched.

He concluded: "Our team has always had certain features that make it very hard to line it up as a defence-playing squad. So I don't think this aspect will change much."

Agent's Word: Inzaghi Is Not Moving From AC Milan
7.11 || Kenneth

Ancelotti’s arrival on the AC Milan bench as a replacement for sacked coach Fatih Terim began a series of reports from the Italian media that indicated striker Filippo Inzaghi was on his way out of the Via Turati club.

Ancelotti was Inzaghi’s coach at Parma and then at Juventus, and in both instances the relationship between the two was everything but smooth.

Lazio, who are still in the search of a forward or creative who can boost the team’s offence, were ready to make a bid for the player which they were looking to sign in January, however Inzaghi’s agent Tullio Tinti told SoccerAge.com’s sister site Rete.it that Inzaghi will not move from Milan.

“Inzaghi is staying where he is. The reports that are surfacing are all rumors. Pippo (Inzaghi) and Ancelotti have a great relationship. They even talked to each other by phone before Ancelotti joined the club,” said Tinti.

AC Milan: Cannavaro!
7.11 || Kenneth

Ancelotti presented with Galliani ready to sign new players. Parma's defender is the number 1 objective for the club, with Juventus' Birindelli linked as well.

A furios Terim: 'An unfair club, telling me as I was in Turkey was mean'. (...)

Many are also talking about Arrigo Sacchi. For how long he'll stay away from AC Milan?

AC Milan chasing Dellas
7.11 || Kenneth

Yesterday, the agent of the Greek defender met AS Roma's directors, and on Monday, he'll meet AC Milan. Capello(who will surely coach AS Roma next year as well) interested in Tristan or Bonazzoli and Rossini.

Terim: "AC Milan hadn't the courage to dismiss me personally "
7.11 || Kenneth

Interviewed by Ansa Fatih Terim spoke again about his dismissal: "I'm not amazed by the dismissal because it's a part of the game. I'm sorry because I didn't receive the news by the managers personally". Terim ends his decalration thanking the President, the staff, the giocatori, the supporters and the Press.

Ancelotti target Conte
7.11 || Kenneth

Newly signed AC Milan coach Ancelotti would like to strength his midfield with Juventus veteran Antonio Conte. The former international midfielder is not totally appreciated by coach Marcello Lippi, and last summer was on the verge of leaving Juve moving to Marseilles (requested by Tapie) or Monaco (leaded by his friend and ex team mate Deschamps) Both negotiations did not go through and now the expert midfielder may join his former coach Ancelotti at AC Milan.

Terim "disappointed" with Milan moves
7.11 || Kenneth

Fatih Terim abandoned Fiorentina by blasting the club and especially President Vittorio Cecchi-Gori last February.

His time at Milan was even briefer, but the Turk quietly went back to Milanello for the last time today to remove his personal belongings. His agent Roggi classed this departure as “that of a gentleman.”


“I must say that in all honesty the sacking did not take me by surprise,” confessed Terim, “it’s part of this sport. I am only disappointed because I would have preferred that conversation face to face, not on the phone, with those same directors who had done so much to bring me to Milan. I thank them anyway for that chance and for the support they have given me in these months.”


Vice-President Adriano Galliani called Terim on the phone Monday afternoon to inform him of the sacking and the arrival of new Coach Carlo Ancelotti.

They were scheduled to meet this morning, but the former Fiorentina and Galatasaray manager backed out.

“I feel it my duty to thank President Silvio Berlusconi,” continued Terim’s statement, “who has always supported me, the entire staff and the players. I also salute the Milan fans who showed respect and affection towards me."

"Finally,” he concluded, “I wish to thank the press with whom I have had daily contact and reciprocal collaboration.”

Maldini: "We failed Terim"
7.11 || Kenneth

Milan’s stuttering start to the season has led to the removal of Fatih Terim, but captain Paolo Maldini warns that the pressure is now on the players, not new Coach Carlo Ancelotti. “Terim’s failure was also our failure. Now the team must look at themselves as there are no more excuses. Maybe it was the players’ fault because we couldn’t put Terim’s teachings into action.”


Some sources even suggested that it was the Milan old guard – Maldini, Demetrio Albertini and Alessandro Costacurta – that pushed the club to fire their Coach. The Italian international refuted such claims by reaffirming the good work done in their four months together. “I only knew of the change of management when everything had already been said and done,” protested Maldini, “and in any case I had an excellent rapport with the Coach.”


“I think that Terim always had to put up with the pressure of the press from the start. On the first day of our summer get-together, the first question put to him concerned rumours of Milan’s interest in Ancelotti.”


“In today’s game there is less and less time to get things right,” continued Maldini. “As the investments rise the club has less patience in awaiting results. The proof of this logic is what happened to Terim now and Ancelotti at Juventus last season.”


Ancelotti has now returned to the Rossoneri jersey he wore for five years to discover that many of his teammates are now to be under his orders. “Carlo and myself had a wonderful relationship on the field,” assures Maldini, “and I don’t see why that should change now. On the contrary, we can be extremely frank with one another. When he was my teammate Carlo was like a second Coach on the field and helped the squad move in all the right directions.”


Terim’s all-attack football is a very different attitude to Ancelotti’s. Can he inherit this team and turn it into a defensive blockade? “I don’t think that will be possible,” smiles the captain. “With the players we have at our disposal upfront, I’d say we’ll be safer if we push forward from the get-go.”

Terim exit will fire up Milan, says Sporting boss
7.11 || Kenneth

Sporting Lisbon boss Lazslo Boloni believes the dismissal of manager Fatih Terim could work in favour of AC Milan when the two sides meet in the Uefa Cup.

"I am sure that replacing Fatih Terim with Carlo Ancelotti will help motivate the Italian team," explained Boloni, whose Sporting side travel to the San Siro for the third round first leg on November 22.

"I think Milan will improve the quality of their game. They will want to prove themselves to the new coach and show the fans that they are still one of the best sides in the world. Their morale will certainly be high when we play in the San Siro," he added.

Sporting have scored 17 goals and conceded just two in their last three matches - getting firmly back into the race for the Portuguese championship.

But Boloni urged the fans to keep their expectations realistic. "We are in good form, that's true, but the fans and members have to understand that this series of results won't last forever," he said.

"I want Sporting to keep playing like this, but we'll face tougher opposition and may have difficulty winning by such large margins. We are not the best team in the world just yet," he smiled.

Milan showed no respect, says Terim
7.11 || Kenneth

Fatih Terim has labelled his sacking by AC Milan just four months into the job as "disrespectful", despite expecting the axe to fall almost from the moment he arrived at the San Siro.

Speaking at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul on Tuesday, Terim explained: "I was totally prepared for it. I knew it was coming right from day one. It happened now, but it could have happened weeks ago.

"But the fact is, the way Milan have gone about it has been disrespectful. They have not been fair."

Terim has been touted as a possible successor to Turkey coach Senol Gunes, who has come under pressure after an indifferent World Cup qualification campaign.

But the highly-respected coach was quick to dismiss reports that he had already entered talks with the Turkish FA. "People who say I have been talking to other clubs or to the Turkish FA are simply wrong," he declared.

"How can I have been doing something like that when 24 hours ago I was coach of Milan?

"These rumours really disturb me," admitted Terim. "If someone is coaching a team, he doesn't talk to other clubs or a federation. It is as simple as that.

"My ethics would prevent me from going behind someone's back in such a way," insisted the coach, who last season was accused of starting negotiations with Milan when he was still Fiorentina boss.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani, meanwhile, has admitted that sacking Terim was not an enjoyable experience. "I felt really bad when I phoned him," he explained.

"I hoped he would get the team playing together and improve results. But he didn't succeed. I don't regret appointing Terim. He was unlucky," added Galliani.

The Turkish coach was fied after Milan fell five points behind leaders Chievo, following a 1-0 defeat by Torino on Sunday.

Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso admitted he was stunned by Monday's decision. "He was a great coach and taught me a lot," he told onefootball.com. "I am sad as Terim has been sacked because of one result."

Shevchenko unmasked for play-off
7.11 || Kenneth

Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko has vowed to face Germany in the World Cup play-off game on Saturday without a face-mask, despite breaking his nose last week.

Shevchenko smashed his nose against Bologna on October 28. He was taken off on 63 minutes following a clash with Alessandro Gamberini and there were fears that he would miss the two Germany games.

However, he has made a remarkable recovery and has now declared that he doesn't even want to wear a face-mask during the two games. "I don't feel it is necessary," he said.

The AC Milan striker has been wearing a mask in training, but confirmed that he would not use it during the games. "The mask I'm wearing isn't that heavy but it constrains my breathing a bit and I have to solve that problem," he said.

He added that he feels it is more important to be able to play freely, despite the possibility that he might suffer a blow to his nose and aggravate the injury. "If you are afraid of the wolves, don't go to the woods," he added.

Shevchenko's international team-mates are relieved to have their star striker back and joked that he looks better now than before the injury, despite doctors having to re-align his nose.

Earlier this week, Bayern Munich vice-president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge singled out the Milan striker as the only danger to Germany's World Cup hopes. "Ukraine have one outstanding player in Andriy Shevchenko, but the rest are very, very average," he said.

Former Dynamo Kyiv striker Shevchenko has absolved Gamberini of any blame for the incident.

"It wasn't his fault. It was more my own fault. Most players protect themselves by using their elbows but I don't think that is fair play. Still, I have to draw the necessary conclusions from this accident," he said.

EXCLUSIVE: vd Vaart: "If I were to choose Italy, I would choose Milan"
7.11 || webmaster

One of acmilan-online.com's news reporters have met the Dutch new star and asked him about his future: "I'd like to stay here in Amsterdam for two more years. After this period, I'd like to join a Spanish club, most likely FC Barcelona. English clubs are not attractive for me". Being asked what club would he join if he would make a move to Serie A he said: "My preffered destiny in Italy would be AC Milan."

Sheva lifts Ukraine with fitness declaration
7.11 || webmaster

Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko has vowed to face Germany in the World Cup play-off game on Saturday without a face-mask, despite breaking his nose last week.

Shevchenko smashed his nose against Bologna on October 28. He was taken off on 63 minutes following a clash with Alessandro Gamberini and there were fears that he would miss the two Germany games.

However, he has made a remarkable recovery and has now declared that he doesn't even want to wear a face-mask during the two games to protect his nose. "I don't feel it is necessary to use it," he said.

The AC Milan striker has been wearing a mask in training up until now but said that he would not use it during the games. "The mask I'm wearing isn't that heavy but it constrains my breathing a bit and I have to solve that problem."

He added that he feels that it is more important to be able to play freely, despite the possibility that he might suffer a blow to his nose and aggravate the injury. "If you are afraid of the wolves, don't go to the woods," he added.

Shevchenko's Ukrainian team-mates are relieved to have their star striker back and joked that he looks better now than before the injury, despite doctors having to re-align his nose.

Earlier this week, Bayern Munich vice-president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge singled out the Milan striker as the only danger to Germany's World Cup hopes. "Ukraine have one outstanding player in Andriy Shevchenko, but the rest are very, very average," he said.

The former Dynamo Kyiv striker went on to absolve Gamberini from any blame in the incident. "It wasn't his fault. It was rather my own fault. Most players protect themselves by using their elbows but I don't think that is fair play. Still, I have to draw the necessary conclusions from this accident."

Ancelotti's contract similar to contract with Juve
6.11 || Pascal





AC Milan Vice President Adriano Galliani spoke about Carlo Ancelotti's contract and about his proposal: "Ancelotti will earn much less of what the newspapers published. He could arrive to those amounts only if he will achieve very good results. His contract includes a cheap fixed hiring and very important prizes linked with the team's results". Almost like with Juventus.


BILLY ADMITS AMERICAN DREAM
6.11 || Kenneth

ALESSANDRO COSTACURTA has laughed off any prospect of joining Derby County, and admitted his future lies in the United States.
The Milan centre back hopes to extend his stay at Giuseppe Meazza but the likelihood is that he will move on when his contract expires in June.

Derby had hoped to sign 'Billy' on loan in a bid to shore up their defence, but one of the player's representatives, Fabio Parisi, told planetfootball.com that his client was unlikely to consider any move to Pride Park.

However, after previously playing down talk of a transfer to New York/New Jersey Metrostars, Costacurta has admitted he will play in MSL.

"I will play in the USA in the future, this is sure," he revealed to planetfootball.com.

"But I do not have any idea when I will go because here, in Milan, each time something happens.

"Now (Paolo) Maldini is injured, so I have to stay and help the team.

"I especially love New York. Just think that I went there, two weeks after September 11, and it was the same life as before, only I saw more flags.

"As for Derby County, come on!"

The 35-year-old veteran's fiancee works in The Big Apple, and a switch to America seems to be very much in the pipeline.

For now, however, he remains focused on the task in hand with Milan.

"It was strange not being a main player," he conceded. "After 15 years when I was always in the first XI.

"I admit it is a new situation, which surprised me at the start.

"Now I'm playing well because I am stimulated, until now I never had to fight for a place.

"I didn't play because we have a lot of defenders. Fatih Terim is a big coach but we have to help him more.

"We played very badly against Torino. We did wrong things on their goal. Fortunately, the other big teams are not anything special.

"Chievo are great but they will stop one day. We, at Milan, need more luck."

Terim's Sacking Was Written From The Start But...
6.11 || Kenneth

People of my generation still believe there are such things as "big clubs". And AC Milan are obviously one of those. Or, should I say, were one of those. Fatih Terim's sacking is an example of very poor management by a club who once was on top of the world.

What can General Manager Adriano Galliani actually blame on Fatih Terim ? All in all, Milan had a good start of the season. They thrashed Inter in the derby, again. They were in shooting distance from AS Roma in the table before Sunday's games.

A defeat at lowly Torino was not as terrible as you may think, with all competitors failing to gain points from similar missions.

Plus: a Milan without Shevchenko - as the Ukrainian was out injured last night - is losing at least 50% of its striking power.

So, "circumstances" were not playing in Terim's favour.

What is truly embarrassing is the sudden move to grab Ancelotti from Parma's hands, as the former Juve coach was about to sign a 2-year deal with the Tanzi family.

Carlo Ancelotti is a Milanista. He spent most of his career with Milan and club directors never hid their ideas of bringing him to the Milan bench someday.

Last summer, when newspapers were gauging teams in the Serie A, they often mentionned that Terim wouldn't have it easy in Milan with Ancelotti waiting in the shadow.

They were right.

But it is also true that big Carlo wasn't entirely fair on Parma: he walked out on Parma as the deal was done. This is not very sportsmanlike. And definitely not an example for the common people in the stadium.

This story teaches every club in Italy and in the world that you shouldn't sign pre-contracts with coaches in Italy. Especially when they are your second-best choice.

Because you never know when you number-one choice will become available...

I Made The Best Choice For Milan, Explains Rossonero GM Galliani
6.11 || Kenneth

Through the team's cable station 'Milan Channel', AC Milan general manager Adriano Galliani tried to explain why the Rossoneri decided to sack Terim on Tuesday, but no concrete reason was ultimately revealed by 'The Shark'.

“It was a decision born overnight, and it didn’t allow me to close my eyes. Berlusconi agreed on the decision as well,” said Galliani.

“I thought over and over again on what we had to do, and in the end I decided this was the best for Milan. This was the best date to make the change, as after the pause resulting from national team action, we will be playing a game every three days until Christmas” said Galliani.

Ancelotti: "It’s great to be home"
6.11 || Kenneth

Carlo Ancelotti has expressed his delight at returning to Milan but warned that he has plenty of work to do. The former Rossoneri midfield maestro was appointed the new boss yesterday after Fatih Terim was sacked following the 1-0 defeat at Torino.

"This club is one that is within my heart," said Ancelotti. "It’s emotional for me to return here but I must now start looking to the future. I know that I have a lot of work to do even if I have an excellent squad of players at my disposal."

Ancelotti confirmed that he was close to re-joining Parma yesterday after they sacked Renzo Ulivieri last week.

"I was in talks with Parma but I decided to turn them down because my heart told me to. Had a different side contacted me then I would have kept my word but because it was Milan I just couldn’t."

The ex-Italian international added: "I’m happy that I’m back here. I know that I’m well respected at Milanello for the things that I’ve achieved in the past. The fans are expecting a lot from me and I hope to not let them down."

On Ancelotti’s initial aims, the Coach said: "I don’t expect any special treatment from the players that I already know. This side has it’s own philosophy seeing as there are a lot of players with offensive qualities. I’ll be looking to create balance to the side which will hopefully make it an entertaining team to watch."

Milan Vice-president Adriano Galliani was delighted to have finally got his hands on the former Juve boss.

"We already made an enquiry about him last season but Juventus told us that it was their intention to keep him," he revealed.

"With Ancelotti in charge, this club is now in the hands of Milan legends," he added. "We already have Franco Baresi that is still with us, as well as Angelo Colombo, Alberigo Evani and Mauro Tassotti who take care of the various youth systems. It’s only logical that Ancelotti returned home too."

Terim was expecting the sack
6.11 || Kenneth

Fatih Terim has said that he was always expecting to be sacked by Milan – even as soon as after the opening day draw at Brescia. "I felt under pressure from Week 1 of the season. I was always preparing myself for this eventuality," he said.

The Turk only took over at the San Siro this summer after winning admirers for the kind of football his Fiorentina played last term.

But despite four wins, three draws and two losses – plus four straight UEFA victories – Milan decided to sack the Coach following the 1-0 loss at Torino.

Terim is now expected to be in the running for the Turkish national job if as expected current boss Senol Gunes is shown the door no matter how his side do in their World Cup play-off against Austria.

Ancelotti wants Rio Ferdinand, Vicente, Kily
6.11 || Kenneth

Besides Leeds' defender, Ancelotti wants Valencia's duo. The Englishman would join in Janyary. Gerrard and Kezman wanted as well.

Ancelotti: 'Berlusconi looked happy about my comeback'
6.11 || Kenneth

Carlo Ancelotti talks about chairman Silvio Berlusconi, who called him yesterday: 'He looked happy about my comeback'.

Terim exit shocks Gattuso
6.11 || Kenneth

AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso admitted he was absolutely stunned by the decision to sack Fatih Terim on Monday.

The Turkish coach was dismissed after Milan fell five points behind leaders Chievo, following a 1-0 defeat by Torino on Sunday.

Terim learned the bad news by phone on Monday afternoon in Istanbul where he was, ironically, due to speak at a conference about leadership and team building.

He had flown into the city a few hours earlier amid rumours that his days at the San Siro were numbered, but he only found out about his fate when he was handed his mobile phone during a media gathering with local journalists.

He looked utterly shell-shocked as he digested the implications of the call.

When he was asked by a onefootball.com journalist whether he felt he had received the same support from Milan as he had enjoyed at Galatasaray, he would only reply: "I know where you are heading with that, but I won't answer it."

Terim then added, "this not the place to talk about this", before refusing to answer any further questions.

Meanwhile, in Italy, reports of the sacking also took the Milan squad by surprise, no one more so than Gattuso.

He said: "Obviously, I'm surprised because everyone here in Coverciano, where the Italy internationals have gathered, didn't think that something like that could happen in just a few hours.

"Considering the overall performance, and what we did in the derby and against Lazio, maybe the club could have waited a little bit.

"I was always in the starting line-up under him and now I've to start from the beginning to convince Carlo Ancelotti.

"I haven't spoken to the new coach but I'm sad because Terim has been sacked because of one result."

Milan wasted the chance to secure second-spot in Serie A at Delle Alpi stadium against Torino on Sunday and Terim's misery was complete as Pippo Inzaghi missed a late penalty that condemned the San Siro side to a 1-0 defeat against the Turin strugglers.

In a short but controversial reign at the San Siro, Terim had been criticised for starting with Andriy Shevchenko, Filippo Inzaghi and Rui Costa in a three-pronged attack, and not giving the midfield enough defensive cover.

He had also cast doubt on his side's Scudetto challenge by claiming results were not as important as the way the game was played.

"I firstly want my team to play attacking, positive football. At the moment, winning is only secondary," he explained last month.

Questions over Terim's future at the San Siro were raised before the Milan derby when it was widely believed that defeat would have cost the coach his job.

Ancelotti was said to be waiting in the wings, but an emphatic 4-2 win over Inter appeared to have strengthened his position. A goalless draw with Bologna followed, however, and defeat by Torino proved the final straw.

The Turk replaced Cesare Maldini, who returned to his previous role as chief scout. Maldini had taken over from Alberto Zaccheroni, the former Udinese coach fired by Milan after their Champions' League exit in March.

Terim came to prominence when he guided Turkey to the European Championships in 1996. He then led Galatasaray to four successive titles and the Uefa Cup in 2000, before leaving for Fiorentina.

A fiery spell followed at the Artemio Franchi, where he was adored by the fans but despised by his board. He finally quit in February 2001 after just 20 games and a long-running feud with president Vittorio Cecchi Gori.

AC Milan sack Terim and entrust Ancelotti
5.11 || Kenneth

Milan A.C. inform to have fired Mr Fatih Terim, thanking him for the job done so far, and to have entrusted Mr Carlo Ancelotti with the management till June 30 2004.

Terim sacked???
5.11 || webmaster

It is rumored that AC Milan have sacked Fatih Terim as coach. The Turkish coach's second defeat of the season at Torino on Sunday night saw them slip to fifth in Serie A, five points behind leaders Chievo.

Former Juventus coach Carlo Ancelotti is expected to named as his successor.

Ancelotti had been in talks with Parma with a view to taking over from Renzo Ulivieri, but was contacted by Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani after Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Torino.

Terim was happy to take the flak following that loss. "I don't fear criticism," he explained. "To be criticised is our life, it's normal. Football goes that way."

Milan missed the chance to secure second-spot in Serie A at Delle Alpi stadium and Terim's misery was complete as Pippo Inzaghi missed a late penalty that condemned the San Siro giants to a 1-0 defeat against the Turin strugglers.

In a short but controversial reign at the San Siro, Terim had been criticised for playing with Andriy Shevchenko, Filippo Inzaghi and Rui Costa in a three-pronged attack, not giving the midfield enough defensive cover.

Terim had also cast doubt on his side's Scudetto challenge by claiming results were not as important as looking good. "I firstly want my team to play attacking, positive football. At the moment, winning is only secondary," he explained last month.

Terim provoked controversy on his first day after he was appointed coach in June by clashing with vice-president Adriano Galliani over the need for new faces at the San Siro. "Some players who do not meet the qualities expected by Milan will be replaced," he said.

The Turk replaced Cesare Maldini, who returns to his previous role as chief scout. Maldini had taken over from Alberto Zaccheroni, the former Udinese boss fired by Milan after March's Champions' League exit.

Terim came to prominence when he guided Turkey to the European Championships in 1996. He then led Galatasaray to four successive titles and the Uefa Cup in 2000, before leaving for Fiorentina.

A fiery spell followed at the Artemio Franchi, where he was adored by the fans but despised by his board. He finally quit in February 2001 after just 20 games and a long-running feud with president Vittorio Cecchi Gori.

Shevchenko about the meeting vs. Germany
5.11 || webmaster

AC Milan striker Andrei Shevchenko, talks about the World Cup play-off against Germany: 'It will be the match of my life. I have to play the best match of my life because the match in Kiev could decide the tie. I am mentally fit and I hope to be physically fit as well'.

Real ready to bid $55 mil. for Shevchenko
5.11 || webmaster

Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-0 in yesterday's Superderby. At the end of the match, chairman Florentino Perez revealed that he's ready to make another offer for AC Milan's Andriy Shevchenko: $55m. 'I want a super squad', he said.

Terim accepts blame for Torino loss
5.11 || webmaster

Fatih Terim was happy to take the flak following AC Milan's defeat to Torino on Sunday night. "I don't fear criticism," the Turkish boss explained. "To be criticised is our life, it's normal. Football goes that way."

Milan missed the chance to secure second-spot in Serie A at Delle Alpi stadium and Terim's misery was complete as Pippo Inzaghi missed a late penalty that condemned the San Siro giants to a 1-0 defeat against the Turin strugglers.

But Terim insisted that Inzaghi's blip was of little consequence. "Reality wouldn't change," Terim explained. "We played a bad match. A horrible first half and only slightly better after the restart."

He added: "We had many problems on the pitch. It's a pity because a win would have left us in a very good position. We missed a great chance."

Milan's second defeat of the season saw them slip to fifth in Serie A, five points behind leaders Chievo.

The win lifted promoted Torino out of the relegation zone but coach Giancarlo Camolese played down the result.

"We play in a totally different competition to Milan," Camolese said. "We must always remember that and go on keeping our feet on the ground."

Blues star urged to stay
5.11 || webmaster

Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri has told Sam Dalla Bona that he would be better staying with The Blues rather than returning to Italy with AC Milan.

The midfielder's agent Claudio Pasqualin has said that the former Atalanta man is keen to return to his homeland and that a move could be wrapped up in January. The Italy Under-21 star, whose late rocket-like strike handed Chelsea a 2-1 win over Ipswich yesterday, almost moved to the San Siro in the summer for £6million.

Ranieri said: "He would have played even if Emmanuel Petit had been fit because I try to put the squad players in after a lot of games.

"I try to use the best players for each game, he's a good player and it was a great goal."

Ranieri also gave assurances to his countryman that he has a big part to play at Stamford Bridge.

"He can play with Frank Lampard and Petit and we would have a great midfield," added Ranieri.

"The thing with Milan is history and I've spoken with Sam and told him it's better for him to stay here.

"Everybody likes him here and it's better for him to stay and improve."

Torino 1-0 Milan - match report
4.11 || webmaster

Scorer: Lucarelli 27'

Torino have again survived a last-minute penalty and take a glorious scalp at the Stadio Delle Alpi. The pressure is really on Milan Coach Fatih Terim now with just one point from their last two games and again a very poor first half performance that proved decisive.

Cristiano Lucarelli shines his boots when Milan come to town as he has now scored five times in five games against the Rossoneri. The Torino striker continued this amazing run by turning in from close range, although the defence was at fault leaving first Delli Carri and then Lucarelli completely unmarked on Antonino Asta's cross.

Milan tried to fight back but with just Filippo Inzaghi upfront backed up by Manuel Rui Costa the striker was often left rather isolated. The Rossoneri were without the injured Andriy Shevchenko (nursing a fractured nose) and captain Paolo Maldini.

However, the only real opportunity was created from a set-piece as Serginho's free kick shaved the crossbar. Fatih Terim's decision to leave Cosmin Contra on the bench appears to have left the midfield without many attacking options.

After the break veteran Marco Simone came on to spice up their forward play and at the dawn of the second half Luca Bucci flew across the face of goal to turn out Inzaghi's header. The goalkeeper made another crucial save on the former Juventus striker's counter-attack.

Torino also remained dangerous and Christian Abbiati made a fine stop on Lucarelli's long-range free kick. Asta was far and away Torino's best player on the night and only Abbiati's remarkable save prevented him from scoring a stunning solo effort.

Martin Laursen could receive a ban with the use of TV evidence as the Dane was spotted elbowing Delli Carri, only for the Torino defender to take vengeance with a similarly unseen foul.

Rui Costa was substituted and clearly unhappy with the decision he stormed off to the showers without stopping by the bench.

Milan staged a final siege on the goal and three minutes from time Inzaghi was dragged down by Dell Carri for a late penalty. However, just as Marcelo Salas had done in the Turin derby at this end of the Stadium, Inzaghi turned his spot-kick wide of the upright.

The last ten consecutive encounters had ended with a share of the points. Looking back through the history books almost half the total matches between Torino and Milan have resulted in a draw. The Granataís last victory before tonight was 2-0 in February 1986.

Torino: Bucci; Comotto, Galante, Fattori, Delli Carri; Asta, Cauet, De Ascentis, Castellini; Lucarelli, Ferrante (Vergassola 63)

Milan: Abbiati; Roque Junior, Costacurta, Laursen, Kaladze; Umit (Contra 73), Albertini (Simone 46), Gattuso, Serginho; Inzaghi, Rui Costa (Pirlo 69)

Ref: Tombolini

Missed penalty: Inzaghi 88

Iraqi talent snubs Milan
4.11 || webmaster

According to Iraqi newspaper Al-Iraq, young talent Imad Mohamed Ridha would have turned down AC Milan's bid because he would like to join Turkish side Fenerbahce. The player would have not appreciated the duration of the contract offered to him by AC Milan.

Milan joins Suazo race
3.11 || webmaster

Milan are the latest big club to be linked with David Suazo. The Cagliari forward has many admirers with Juventus already claiming they have a pre-agreement for the young player.

The Honduras international is set to leave the struggling Sardinians at the end of the season after impressing during his three seasons with the club. The pacy striker is rated at £10m despite his mediocre form in Serie B this season.

Juve have been hot on his heels for nearly 18 months and have been watching his progress closely. Milan could hijack the deal though by offering Cagliari several young players on loan.

Torino vs. AC Milan - match preview
3.11 || webmaster

Despite the derby victory the pressure is still very much on Fatih Terim. The Milan Coach is constantly looking over his shoulder as the anonymous 0-0 draw with Bologna has plunged him back into the spotlight. If the Rossoneri failed to score at home for the first time in three years last week, then their away form this season has not been impressive with seven points in four trips outside the San Siro.

To make matters worse, injuries are piling up around the team. Captain Paolo Maldini is out for 40 days with a thigh strain, while Andriy Shevchenko might be able to start with the aid of a protective mask for a fractured nose.

The smart bet for this game is a draw, as the last ten consecutive encounters have ended with a share of the points. Looking back through the history books almost half the total matches between Torino and Milan have resulted in a draw. The Granataís last victory was 2-0 in February 1986, while the Rossoneriís win dates back a further two years. If the tradition is to repeat itself, then it would be Torinoís first home draw of the season after one win and two defeats.

Torino: Bucci; Galante, Fattori, Delli Carri; Asta, Cauet, Brambilla, De Ascentis, Mezzano; Lucarelli, Ferrante.

Milan: Abbiati; Helveg, Laursen, Costacurta, Kaladze; Contra, Albertini, Gattuso, Serginho; Rui Costa, Inzaghi.

Milan vs. Roma for Manfredini
3.11 || webmaster

It's not only a challenge for the championship: AC Milan and AS Roma are fighting for Chievo's Manfredini. Sensi contacted Campedelli and made an $8m offer. AS Roma want him in January, but Chievo will only sell him in June, after they will find a successor: probably Binotto, already of Chievo, but injured.

Rumours also talk about a $10m offer from AC Milan.

Van der Vaart: "I'm well in Holland"
3.11 || webmaster

Ajax's very young midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart spoke about the great clubs' interest in him: "Why do I have to leave Ajax? Here, I am regular every week. I know several clubs are interested in me and they came to watch me but I think it's not necessary because I'm well in Holland at the moment."

AC Milan on Torres as well
2.11 || Kenneth

Galliani confirms interest in Atletico de Madrid's player. Negotiatins for Beckham still underway: his wife to convince him.

Maldini trains separately
2.11 || Kenneth

Defender Paolo Maldini did not train with the rest of the group this morning. The captain had been training on a gym and undergone massages.

Rui Costa faces up to familiar foe
2.11 || Kenneth

Portugal international Manuel Rui Costa was under no illusions as to the size of the task ahead of his side when the draw for the third round of the Uefa Cup pitted them against Sporting Lisbon. "They are the best team in Portugal," he said.

"Their strength lies in their great forward line," he added. "Players such as Mario Jardel can score against any side."

Halmstad discovered that to their cost on Thursday. Jardel scored a hat-trick to help his side advance 7-1 on aggregate after a thumping 6-1 second-leg win at the Alvalade.

"Sporting Lisbon have a good squad," Milan coach Fatih Terim said. "They have Jardel, Beto and Joao Pinto while we have Rui Costa, Maldini and Inzaghi, but names don't win you matches."

Milan defeated CSKA Sofia 1-0 away on Thursday to go through 3-0 on aggregate.

It is not the first time that Milan and Sporting will lock horns in Europe. In the Latin Cup – a tournament between French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian teams – Milan beat Sporting in Lisbon in 1953 4-3 after extra time.

Dalla Bona on his way to Milan
2.11 || webmaster

Samuele Dalla Bona's agent Claudio Pasqualin has admitted that Chelsea's midfielder Dalla Bona may arrive at AC Milan on January. Pasqualin has explained that the English club would be really interested in extending the Italian midfielder's deal, but the player would like better to move back to Italy.

UEFA Cup draw - 3rd round
2.11 || webmaster

Milan will face Sporting Lisbon in the third round of the UEFA Cup.

Terim after the match vs. CSKA
1.11 || webmaster

AC Milan coach Fatih Terim commented on his team's performance after the victory in Sofia: "The guys played well with arrogance. It was important to be qualified and we did it. We deserved to win".

CSKA Sofia 0 - 1 Milan - match report
1.11 || webmaster

Scorer: Inzaghi 62'

Milan came to Bulgaria in order to protect their 2-0 first leg lead, but instead of fielding a second-string side the Rossoneri took this tie very seriously indeed. The first half saw only two scoring opportunities, both from set-pieces by Penev and Serginho.
After the break Filippo Inzaghi met Manuel Rui Costa's cross, but incredibly the striker misjudged the flight of the ball and his header took the sting out of his effort rather than increase its power. The game began to heat up and there was a disappointing incident on the sidelines. Penev appeared to kick the ball at Milan Coach Fatih Terim and following an exchange of words (and gestures), the CSKA manager was sent off.

Moments later Inzaghi made up for his earlier error with a splendid header from Roque Junior's free kick. Although the home side went close with piledrivers from Letchkov and Yanchev, Inzaghi netted a second that was ruled out for a very dubious offside decision. Tempers continued to run high and Jordi Letchkov was sent off in stoppage time for a second booking.

CSKA Sofia: Lukic; Gueye, G Ivanov (Petrov 46), Tomash; Valkanov, Yanchev, Letchkov, Penev, Vranjes (Georgiev 81); Manchev, Bucarev (Yanev 68)

Milan: Abbiati; Helveg, Roque Junior, Laursen, Kaladze; Contra (Brocchi 73), Gattuso, Donati, Serginho; Rui Costa (Pirlo 67), Inzaghi (Javi Moreno 76)

Ref: Gallagher (ENG)

Sent off: Letchkov 92

Shevchenko happy at Milan
1.11 || webmaster

AC Milan reportedly confirmed today that Real Madrid have approached them about Andrei Shevchenko, but the striker is happy at the San Siro.

Milan's vice-chairman Adriano Galliani told the Italian media that Real had been in touch on more than one occasion in order to try and reach an agreement for the player but president Florentino Perez had resisted all the offers.

And Sheva's agent Sandor Varga has now cleared up the situation with regard to the Ukranian striker's future once and for all.

He said: "The situation with Andrei is that everything is fine with Milan now. I don't know of any plan of him moving away from Milan. He has signed a five-year deal. There was some problem at the end of the season, but he's since negotiated a five-year deal and he's happy there. His family are with him so everything is going well and his injury is not very serious. There are too many good players at Real Madrid but no team!"

Milan: four offers for Beckham
1.11 || webmaster

Manchester are ready to negotiate: AC Milan are ready to offer $22m and one from Abbiati, Laursen, Serginho and Gattuso.

Rui Costa to play upfront on Sunday against Torino.





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