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The Archive

November 2009

Serie A: Catania 0:2 AC Milan - match report
29.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Huntelaar 93, 94 (M)

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar broke his Milan duck with two stoppage-time goals in Catania, as the Rossoneri go second!

The Rossoneri would fly into second place with a victory here and, with Andrea Pirlo suspended, reshuffled their squad. Mathieu Flamini came in for a 4-2-3-1 system that had Clarence Seedorf, Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato supporting Marco Borriello. Ignazio Abate stood in for the injured Massimo Oddo, while Thiago Silva was able to start despite sustaining a muscular problem in the warm-up.

Kick-off was delayed by a couple of minutes so a hole in the net could be fixed. Seedorf had the first chance, hitting it on to the side-netting from Pato's assist after six minutes. Gilberto Martinez almost made the most of a Nelson Dida error, but the goalkeeper was able to reclaim the fumbled ball.

Seedorf blasted over from outside the box, but Catania also threatened when Spolli and Bellusci exchanged headers in the box, the latter unable to get the final effort on target.

Dida plucked an Alvarez snapshot out of the air and Flamini was booked for a sliding tackle on Taka Morimoto.

Borriello smacked a shot first-time from Gianluca Zambrotta's low cross, forcing Mariano Andujar to smother. Ronaldinho also flashed a free kick past the far post.

Morimoto was flagged offside when clear on goal, although the decision saved his blushes, as he had dragged wide with only Dida to beat.

In the second half free kicks from Cristian Llama and Ronaldinho both landed on the roof of the net. Pato's effort took a deflection to flash inches past the base of the near post.

Morimoto's first touch let him down on the counter, then he ran into the box and fell under pressure from Thiago Silva, but the referee waved play on, as contact appeared to be minimal.

Luca Antonini replaced Zambrotta, but Catania were improving and after Massimo Ambrosini cleared a dangerous corner away from Silvestre, Marco Biagianti's strike was deflected. From that corner, Spolli didn't get enough power to his header when springing the offside trap - a golden opportunity.

Pippo Inzaghi replaced Borriello and almost scored with his first touch, as he got into the box on Ronaldinho's pass and Silvestre bravely came sliding in to block the shot from point-blank range.

A well-worked move between Dinho and Antonini ended with Seedorf's screamer just over the bar. Adrian Ricchiuti came on for Morimoto, as both teams were eager to get full points.

Milan came extremely close 10 minutes from time when Ronaldinho tried to curl it in directly from the corner flag, thumping the upright! As the move continued, Inzaghi was booked for a scuffle with Silvestre.

At the other end a free kick whistled its way through the penalty area with Ricchiuti unable to make strong enough contact.

Inzaghi only got a glancing header on Ignazio Abate's cross from the right. As a last-gasp attempt to get a goal, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar replaced Flamini, putting Seedorf into a deeper role.

Inzaghi swept over again from Abate's cross, then another deflected Abate assist was palmed out for a corner. However, from this set piece Thiago Silva was dispossessed to launch a very dangerous Catania counter, ruined by Mariano Izco's offside position.

With 20 seconds left in the four minutes of stoppages, Huntelaar finally scored his first goal in a Milan jersey! He knocked on a long ball for Inzaghi, who flicked it back and the Dutchman's half-volley somehow squirmed through Andujar's grasp. It was a bit of a howler from the goalkeeper, but a very important strike for 'The Hunter.'

It was immediately obvious what a difference it made to his confidence, as moments later he spun round on the edge of the box and delightfully lobbed the helpless Andujar!

Catania: Andujar; Bellusci, Silvestre, Spolli, Alvarez; Biagianti, Carboni, Llama (Izco 61); Martinez, Mascara (Potenza 86); Morimoto (Ricchiuti 76)

Milan: Dida; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta (Antonini 66); Flamini (Huntelaar 83), Ambrosini; Pato, Seedorf, Ronaldinho; Borriello (Inzaghi 74)

Ref: Brighi

Pato bucks young gun trend
29.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

While other young starlets go off the rails, Alexandre Pato explains why he will be the model player for Milan.

“I am the same guy as I was before finding success. I just need to carry on doing my work,” grinned the 20-year-old in the Corriere della Sera.

“My father used to get up at 5am when I was still asleep and come back from work in the evening when I was already back in bed for the night. He made sacrifices for me.

“Everyone has their own back-story. I now have a wife and plan to build a beautiful family together.”

The Brazilian has already settled down, proving a stark contrast to Jose Mourinho’s claims that young players today are all about fast cars and partying hard.

He also intimated that modern youth are focused too much on money, but again Pato bucks the trend by turning down a multi-million pound move to Chelsea.

“I am very happy here and have only recently signed a contract extension to 2014. Where do I see myself in five years?

“Back here in the Milan training camp giving an interview, only with more trophies in the cabinet behind me.”

Leonardo gives Gattuso talk
28.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo believes he can convince Gennaro Gattuso to stay with Milan, but warns he still has to “make tough choices.”

The midfielder has threatened to leave in January, most likely for Chelsea or another Premier League side, if he does not get more playing time.

“I always speak to Gattuso and we try to be clear with each other on all our feelings,” said the Coach.

“First of all we need him to be fit, then we can consider the games. He has been here for 11 years and it’s natural to consider your options, just as I did in my playing career.

“Gattuso was not in the starting line-up then because he asked to be, he was there because he deserved it. If everyone is fit, then I need to make tough choices. It’s not disapproval or marking someone a failure, it’s just a decision.

“He is in the same situation as Pippo Inzaghi, Clarence Seedorf, Massimo Ambrosini and more have been through. It’s normal that some big players will complain, but I think everyone realises what we are doing.

“My request to Gattuso is ‘get fit again as soon as possible and you’ll see things will be different.’ If he is determined to leave, then I will try to convince him otherwise.”

Meanwhile, Milan travel to relegation strugglers Catania.

“Many opponents change their systems to play against us, so I honestly don’t know how they will be set out,” continued Leo.

“Catania are fast, aggressive and dynamic, so we’ll need to be very careful, as their current position does not reflect their performances.”

Andrea Pirlo sits out a ban and Massimo Oddo is injured for six weeks, so there must be changes in the Rossoneri side.

“Pirlo is a key figure for the way we play now, but I also think everyone has what it takes to find an alternative. Characteristics may change, but the idea is to maintain the approach to football.

“As for Oddo, we have Ignazio Abate in that role and other options too, as both he and Gianluca Zambrotta can play right or left.

“Ronaldinho has found his way of playing and now I urge him to stay on that path.”

Ancelotti: 'I cried for Inter!'
28.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti reveals his best and worst Milan moments as well as a shocking secret. “I have always supported Inter and cried for this team.”

The Chelsea manager sat down for an interview with Sky Italia television and looked back over his long career.

“As a child I was an Inter fan and my idol was Sandro Mazzola,” revealed the man who spent most of his career at Milan as both player and Coach.

“My cousin who lived there got me a complete Inter kit. From that day forth I was a Nerazzurri supporter.

“Of course it’s impossible for me to say ‘Forza Inter’ now, but I even cried for Inter and I can say that because back then the only way to see them play near me was when they came to Mantova.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t get tickets, but I rather sneakily stood outside the gate crying for 45 minutes. In the end, the steward took pity and let me in for the second half. I remember that Inter scored five goals in that half and won 6-1. It was the only time I ever saw them play live.”

It is a counter-point to the recent revelations that Inter stars Mario Balotelli and Davide Santon grew up as Milanisti.

Ancelotti spent most of his career with the Rossoneri colours, first as a player and then a Coach.

“The greatest victory as a player was the first Champions League Final in Barcelona, although what really put us on the map was the semi-final. We drew with Real Madrid in the first leg and then won 5-0 in the second.

“That was the game that consecrated Milan in Europe. I am very fond of that Final because, like everything, you remember the first time more than any other.

“The most important player in that team was Franco Baresi. There were many extraordinary talents, but he was a silent leader who everyone recognised as such, even if he barely spoke.”

Oddo out for six weeks
28.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan full-back Massimo Oddo will be out for at least six weeks after picking up a thigh strain against Marseille.

The defender limped off during the first half of the 1-1 Champions League draw on Wednesday night.

The official club website has confirmed that an initial diagnosis has found a lesion in the thigh muscle that will keep him out of action for between 40 and 60 days.

There will be a more accurate prognosis next week after more medical tests are performed on the injury.

It’s a blow for the Rossoneri, who are already without Daniele Bonera, Marek Jankulovski and Gennaro Gattuso.

Former Under-21 international Ignazio Abate should take over on the right flank, as he did against Marseille.

Baresi: AC Milan must keep Gattuso
28.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Franco Baresi says Milan must not let talismanic midfielder Rino Gattuso leave the club following a dispute over playing time.

Gattuso yesterday expressed his unhappiness at no longer being a regular in the Milan starting XI and demanded talks with Adriano Galliani.

The news has no doubt alerted the likes of Manchester City who registered their interest in Gattuso during the summer.

Speaking to Itasportpress.it, Baresi said: “It's clear that no one likes not playing. I am sure that when Gennaro gets back in shape Leonardo will take him into consideration.

“The Rossoneri will have to face many games and Gattuso will not lack chances to play. We know how important his determination and personality is to the club, so I would not let him escape from Milan,” Baresi concluded.

Deschamps doubts AC Milan victory
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Olympique Marseille still hope to qualify for the Champions League, as Didier Deschamps says “it’s not certain Milan will win in Zurich.”

None of the four clubs are certain of qualification for the knockouts, so it will all go down to the wire.

In order to be sure, the Rossoneri must win in Switzerland against a side that beat them 1-0 at San Siro earlier this season.

“It won’t be easy for Milan to win in Zurich and it’s not certain the Rossoneri will manage it,” smiled the former Juventus boss.

On the other hand, if Marseille fail to beat Real Madrid, then it doesn’t matter what result Leonardo’s men receive.

“We will have to do something extraordinary, because if Milan win in Zurich, then we must beat Real 4-0 to qualify.

“It’s certainly complicated, but as I said, it’s by no means certain that Milan will get the victory in Switzerland.”

The Rossoneri are helped by their superior head-to-head record with Marseille, which is down to a 2-1 victory in France and this week’s 1-1 draw.

“It is a great shame we only drew at San Siro, because we could’ve won. Between the two games we earned one point, which is far less than we deserved for the performances.”

Gattuso set to break with AC Milan
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan talisman Rino Gattuso has reacted furiously to being left out of the starting XI again, demanding a meeting with Adriano Galliani.

The 31-year-old World Cup winner has played just once in the Champions League this season and was also left out against Cagliari and Lazio.

“I am not the new kid on the block. When I am well I want to play. I cannot expect to do so only when someone else is injured,” Gattuso said.

“I am not happy. It's not fine. I will speak with Galliani and we will see what decisions can be taken,” he concluded.

The news will alert Manchester City who registered an interest in Gattuso in the summer.

The former Rangers midfielder has always wanted to play in the Premier League, although his attachment to Milan was thought too great for that ever to happen.

When Maldini and Kaka left in the summer he expected to receive the captain's armband but graciously ceded it to Massimo Ambrosini who has been at the club a little while longer.

Leonardo has confidence
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo praised Marco Borriello and believes the point against Marseille is valuable, as this group goes down to the wire.

Milan must now win away to FC Zurich to be certain of qualification. The Swiss side won 1-0 at San Siro in their last encounter, so could be a tricky customer.

Meanwhile, Marseille welcome Real Madrid to the Stade Velodrome and the Merengues aren't qualified yet either.

If Marseille fail to defeat Madrid, the Rossoneri will go through to the knockouts.

“It's true that maybe Marseille had clearer chances, but we went close too,” said Leo after the French side hit the woodwork twice in a 1-1 draw.

“We started well and scored immediately, then unfortunately conceded quickly and from then on it became a rather staid and studied encounter. That is very different to the kind of games we've been playing lately.

“Marseille played on Friday, so they had five days of rest compared to three for us and that should be considered when looking at their tempo.

“Obviously we wanted to seal it up tonight, but it still depends on us and we can go to Zurich for the victory. There is optimism.”

It is curious that the Rossoneri have failed to win a single home game in the Champions League this season.

“I liked the way we approached the game right from the start, then as time went on we had to do well to contain Marseille.

“I live in the moment. Of course these are very strong emotions and new discoveries, so I am very grateful to be in this very interesting job.”

Borriello opened the scoring just 10 minutes in with a splendid solo effort, as he skipped past Gabriel Heinze and nutmegged the goalkeeper.

“Borriello is doing very well and not just with the goal, as he holds the ball up and creates space for his teammates. He was extraordinary today,” smiled the Coach.

Borriello: Adrenaline got me through
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Borriello explains how he fought through the pain of a knee injury to score and win back Milan’s fans.

“Up until yesterday I had a swollen knee, which it was a little this morning too, but I knew it was a special appointment and pushed through the pain thanks to the adrenaline of the match.”

He passed a late fitness test to start the 1-1 draw with Olympique Marseille and scored a sensational solo effort.

“I think I put in a good performance, scored a goal and didn’t lose the ball very much. I could’ve done better on Ronaldinho’s assist in the second half.

“I am very relaxed and above all happy to be playing again, as six weeks ago I was in the stands. Now I am playing, scoring goals and since I came back the team hasn’t lost a game.

“It’s great to feel the faith of the fans and the Coach. I can hear they call my name more when I step on to the field.”

The Rossoneri have not won any of their home games in the Champions League this season and must win away to Zurich to secure qualification.

However, if Marseille fail to beat Real Madrid, then Milan will go through even with a defeat thanks to their superior head-to-head record with the French side.

“A draw is still a positive result, though admittedly we are missing something at home still. It is strange, as San Siro was always Milan’s fortress, but this season we are struggling a little.”

Zambrotta: It's tougher at home
26.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Gianluca Zambrotta believes his side finds it more difficult to win at home than away and doesn't know why.

The Rossoneri were lucky to draw 1-1 with Marseille last night, as the French outfit hit the bar and the post.

Speaking after the game, Zambrotta admitted that while Milan haven't been defeated in 10 games, they are hardly perfect.

“We felt the effort, because with respect to Marseille we had two rest days less after our match in the championship. They played on Friday. We on Sunday.

“In the second half this aspect has been fundamental. They were fresher and more reactive. But we can be equally satisfied because qualification is close.

“I can't understand the reason behind the difficulties we meet at San Siro, but it's also true that against Zurich we deserved success and instead lost.

“We will qualify in Switzerland,” Zambrotta concluded

Milan need a win from their one remaining game in Champions League Group C to be absolutely sure of going through to the latter stages of the competition.

Their opponents, FC Zurich, lost 1-0 away to Real Madrid last night.

Champions League: AC Milan 1:1 Marseille - match report
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Borriello 10 (Mi), Lucho Gonzalez 16 (Ma)

Marco Borriello scored a sensational solo effort and Marseille drew 1-1 at San Siro, so Milan are practically qualified. The Italians will be through unless Marseille beat Real Madrid 3-0 in the final game.

The Rossoneri won at the Velodrome 2-1 with Pippo Inzaghi's brace, but he was benched in favour of Marco Borriello, who passed a late fitness test on his knee. Gennaro Gattuso, Oguchi Onyewu and Marek Jankulovski were sidelined. OM made the trip without the injured Julien Rodriguez and were only one point behind joint leaders Milan and Real Madrid.

Gianluca Zambrotta controlled an Andrea Pirlo ball over the top and surged past a defender, but Mandanda beat away the angled drive at the near post.

Borriello proved his knee problem was behind him by scoring the goal after 10 minutes. He ran on to an Alexandre Pato through ball, dummied Gabriel Heinze and then nutmegged the goalkeeper with his left foot. It was Borriello's first ever Champions League goal.

However, Marseille equalised soon after. Mamadou Niang burst past Massimo Oddo at the byline and Nelson Dida parried his cross-shot into the path of Lucho Gonzalez.

Abriel then blasted just over from distance and Dida smothered another Niang snapshot. Borriello pounced on a defensive error from a long Thiago Silva cross-field pass to go one-on-one with Mandanda, but Diawara's desperate tackle from behind did enough to block the shot from eight yards.

Oddo picked up a muscular problem and limped off in favour of Ignazio Abate, who had to go head-to-head with the dangerous Niang. The winger was causing all sorts of problems for the Milan defence and his pull-back was kept off Lucho Gonzalez's foot by a last-ditch Pirlo intervention in the six-yard box.

Another clever long Thiago Silva pass found Pato between the two centre-backs, but his lob settled on the roof of the net.

Ronaldinho was cut off at the last second by a sliding tackle and from the resulting corner Mandanda spilled to allow Thiago Silva an angled drive over the bar.

Pirlo's free kick was deflected over and from the corner Seedorf's cross grazed the head of Borriello from six yards. Mandanda smothered another Pirlo effort and Pato's volley grazed the bar.

Zambrotta was booked for simulation and will be suspended for the final game, as he went looking for contact in the box. Ronaldinho was in fine form and his backheel set up Borriello to drill wide.

Marseille had the best chance, though, as on 65 minutes Niang sprinted down the left and crossed for Brandao to smack a shot against the bar from close range. It was a remarkable miss, as he had the whole net to aim at.

Abate risked giving away a penalty when substitute Ben Arfa dispossessed him by the corner flag, but the referee waved play on as the shirt stretched.

Borriello had a free header from Ronaldinho's cross, but horribly scuffed it wide. Another Dinho assist went past Pato's head and forced Mandanda into a very tricky save to stop it curling straight in.

Abate did very well to single-handedly block Bakari Kone' out for a corner when Brandao was unmarked in the centre on a very dangerous counter. From that set play, Milan were fortunate that the Cisse' glancing header cracked against the base of the upright.

In stoppages there was a nasty clash between Dida, Alessandro Nesta and Brandao.

Milan: Dida; Oddo (Abate 28), Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Seedorf, Pirlo; Pato, Ronaldinho; Borriello

Marseille: Mandanda; Bonnart, Diawara, Heinze, Taiwo; Lucho (Kone' 66); Abriel, Cisse, Cheyrou (Morientes 85); Brandao, Niang (Ben Arfa 73)

Ref: Webb (Eng)

Tired Beckham gears up for AC Milan
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

David Beckham admits he is tired, but used to “playing 65 games a year for the last 20 years” as he prepares to resume his Milan career.

The midfielder will return to San Siro and be available to play from January, taking to Serie A during the MLS break.

"The rest of the guys will go off and have a few months to relax, I go straight into the European season," Beckham told reporters at the Home Depot Center.

"I should be fine with that since I have been playing 65 games a year for the last 20 years. Nothing changes for me."

LA Galaxy were unfortunate to lose 5-4 on penalties to Real Salt Lake in the MLS Cup Final. Beckham played after pain-killing injections for a bruised right ankle and was spotted using an inhaler for previously undisclosed asthma.

"You always feel worn out at the end of the season," the 34-year-old said.

"Any athlete would say that you don't come to the end of the season and feel fresh, because if you do, then there is something wrong with the effort you gave during the season."

He may be joining Milan for the next six months in order to earn his place with England at the 2010 World Cup, but Becks reassured the Galaxy he was not abandoning ship.

"We are obviously disappointed but it shows how we have moved on as a team and the expectations we have of ourselves," he added of the Cup defeat.

"We have high expectations and hopefully we can go further next year."

AC Milan target Drenthe
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are looking to do more business with Real Madrid, this time for Holland international full-back Royston Drenthe.

The full-back position has long been identified as an area that needs improvement, so Leonardo was frustrated when no one was signed for that role in the summer.

However, it now appears meeting that priority is shaping Milan's transfer strategy for January when the market reopens.

According to Cadena Ser, Milan are preparing a bid of around £6m for the 22-year-old Drenthe who has lost his battle to become a regular for Real with Brazil international Marcelo.

Juventus and Fiorentina are also said to be interested. In fact, the latter apparently came very close to signing Drenthe in the summer, only for Manuel Pellegrini to ask the Real Madrid board not to sell.

Dzeko going nowhere in January
25.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Edin Dzeko has revealed his intention to stay at Wolfsburg until the end of the season, ruling out a move in the January transfer window.

Milan, who made Dzeko their No 1 transfer target in the summer, were rumoured to be considering making another bid for him as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has failed to make an impact at San Siro since joining the club in a £13.5m transfer from Real Madrid.

It was revealed earlier this month that Dzeko had a release clause inserted into his contract during the pre-season, allowing him to join Milan or any other club willing to play £18m at the end of the current campaign.

Speaking to German magazine Sport Bild, Dzeko said: “A transfer in winter is not an issue at all.”

Wolfsburg appear resigned to losing Dzeko with the club's manager Armin Veh admitting that they are on the lookout for a replacement.

“We are scouring the market, but we can only get really serious when Dzeko leaves,” he said.

Leonardo all out for Olympique
24.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo insists “a draw is not enough” against Olympique Marseille tomorrow and gives injury updates on Marco Borriello and Gennaro Gattuso.

Milan lead their Champions League group alongside Real Madrid and are just one point clear of Olympique Marseille, who are their opponents on Wednesday night.

“When we beat them 2-1 in September, that was an important victory for us and gave the team some much-needed confidence,” said the Coach.

“Every time you step on to the field, it’s like starting over again. It will be a key game for OM as well and tomorrow we’ll stand by our style of football, as always going for the victory and I think Marseille will do the same.

“A draw is not enough, that is not the attitude I like from my team. Milan have a great history in Europe and must take that into account. Every time we play, the Final is in our sights.”

Gennaro Gattuso, Marek Jankulovski and Oguchi Onyewu are out of this match and there are increasing reports the Italian has demanded a January transfer.

“Gattuso’s situation is very clear, I speak to him every day. He is injured right now and we all hope he recovers as soon as possible. His problem, if there is one, has to be dealt with in the right way.

“He has an excellent rapport with me and the club, so whatever there is to discuss, it will never become a real problem. His only problem right now is the injury.

“Marco Borriello is undergoing some extra tests just to be on the safe side. We’ll evaluate the situation and make a decision tomorrow. I’m optimistic, as he seemed fine after the Cagliari game.”

Borriello has recently pushed Champions League legend Pippo Inzaghi out of the side.

“I always try to talk to my players and explain why I made one decision rather than another,” continued Leonardo.

“I am very relaxed with the squad and that includes Pippo. It’s never easy to find a balance, but in terms of the human rapport I have absolutely no problems.”

Milan squad: Dida, Storari, Antonini, De Vito, Kaladze, Nesta, Oddo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Abate, Ambrosini, Flamini, Pirlo, Seedorf, Borriello, Di Gennaro, Huntelaar, Inzaghi, Pato, Ronaldinho.

Borriello delighted with praise
23.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Borriello says he is delighted to have received praise from Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani after Sunday's entertaining 4-3 win over Cagliari.

The Rossoneri came back from 2-1 down to pick up maximum points with a 4-3 victory over a very plucky Cagliari side, unafraid by the atmosphere at San Siro.

Borriello got the equaliser, which rallied Milan to go on and win the game, and he led the line well as Leonardo persisted with his uber-attacking 4-2-3-1 formation.

Speaking to Milan's official website, Borriello said: “I am happy to have received praise from Galliani after this game.

“I was involved in all four goals, which means if my team-mates give me the chance to play I can always do better.

“It's not a criticism, but being a new team we have to find the right mechanisms and try new things. If in the future there is the right level of trust in each other, seeing that on Sunday things went well, then we could find ourselves in the same situations again.

“We suffer a lot on the pitch, but games like this give you great emotions. We have to manage the end of games better and we are working on this aspect.

“My goal was lucky. It was a very easy one to score. Pato did well and fortunately I found myself ready. We now have to think about working towards Marseille.

“My first objective is that of playing for the performance and not principally to score goals. What interests me is how the team feels to me.

“At the moment, I feel good, but I know that I always have to show something because I play in a team like Milan. I wear an important jersey that has been worn by players who have made history and for this reason every time I go on the pitch I have to give my spirit for this jersey,” Borriello concluded.

Ronaldinho: This is my role
23.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho thanks Leonardo for adjusting the tactics so he can finally give his best for Milan. “I'm in my role now.”

The Brazilian converted the decisive penalty in today's 4-3 victory over Cagliari and finally earned applause from the San Siro crowd.

He performed some smart tricks and provided assists in the entertaining encounter.

“I am in good shape physically,” he replied when asked what had changed from that sluggish Dinho of previous outings.

“I play in my position now, in my role, the one I was used to taking at Barcelona.”

He was also asked about the rumours that Gennaro Gattuso has requested a January transfer so he can get enough playing time ahead of the World Cup.

“Rino is a great friend and the soul of this team. I expect him to remain here.”

Leonardo: AC Milan means victory
23.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo insists “victory is in our DNA” and the Scudetto not out of reach despite the struggle it took Milan to defeat Cagliari 4-3.

“I did not expect so many goals, but I did predict an entertaining encounter,” said the Coach after the San Siro thriller.

“Cagliari were unbeaten in four and had kept three consecutive clean sheets. I knew we'd have to be very careful, but at the end of the day we did create many scoring opportunities.

“We are an attack-minded side and that causes a lot of problems for our opponents.”

The defence was also wayward, however, as Alessandro Nesta was sorely missed on his ban.

Nonetheless, awaiting Juventus' result this evening, Milan are in second place.

“Our position has not changed. Milan must always think of achieving something important. Now we need to be sharp, logical and evaluate our potential with each round. It's difficult to say what we can do this season, but victory is in our DNA.”

Meanwhile the Rossoneri dive back into the Champions League and welcome Olympique Marseille on Wednesday, having already won 2-1 in France.

“Marseille know how to play good football without clamming up, so I expect another entertaining match. If we have the chance to secure qualification, then we will.”

Serie A: AC Milan 4:3 Cagliari - match report
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Seedorf 6 (M), Matri 9 (C), Lazzari 30 (C), Borriello 38 (M), Pato 40 (M), Ronaldinho pen 62 (M), Nene' 68 (C)

Milan were made to suffer for the points in this seven-goal thriller, which saw Ronaldinho step up.

Both teams weren't too happy about the timing of the break for international duty, having won four of their previous five and with only three points separating them. At least Cagliari duo Federico Marchetti and Davide Biondini's confidence was boosted by their Italy caps last week against Holland and Sweden.

Alessandro Nesta sat out a ban with the injured Oguchi Onyewu, Daniele Bonera, Rino Gattuso and Marek Jankulovski, but Ronaldinho recovered from a fever. Trequartista Andrea Cossu was suspended, so Andrea Lazzari took on a new role.

Clarence Seedorf broke through almost immediately. He exchanged passes with Marco Borriello in the box and side-footed in from nine yards relatively undisturbed, as the striker had pulled the goalkeeper away.

Cagliari wanted a penalty moments later when Nelson Dida came sliding out to push the ball off Alessandro Matri's feet and replays are inconclusive, as there was contact but the striker also jumped.

It didn't matter, as within 60 seconds the Sardinians had equalised. Matri left the centre-backs rooted to the spot as he sprung the offside trap to volley in from six yards.

The game was wide open as Jeda just failed to make contact with Biondini's cross from the left, then Dida got down well to parry a Jeda volley off the line from six yards.

Cagliari were now dominating at San Siro and forced Dida into more saves on Matri. When they took the lead, it was entirely deserved after a series of great scoring opportunities.

A chipped Jeda cross found Lazzari totally unmarked at the back post for an angled drive right across the face of goal. The Rossoneri defence was torn to shreds by an aggressive and pacey Cagliari side.

Milan finally came out of their shell and scored despite heroics from Italy goalkeeper Marchetti. He somehow managed to claw Pato's header out of the near top corner from the flag, but could do nothing on Marco Borriello's follow-up.

Pato made up for that chance 100 seconds later by turning the game around completely! Ronaldinho's slide-rule pass with his back to goal found The Duck for a stunning right-foot snooker shot into the far top corner. He could not have hit that in a more precise manner if he'd had a ruler.

In the second half the trident attack started to work a bit better, as Ronaldinho combined with Borriello for a Pato strike deflected wide off Agostini's back.

Ronaldinho suddenly sprang to life and created a glorious opportunity wasted by a hesitant Seedorf, then as the move continued sent Pato through as well with a divine backheel flick.

Pato's slide-rule pass released Borriello and he was tripped by Astori for an inevitable penalty. Ronaldinho converted to confirm his improving performance.

Dida palmed a Daniele Conti free kick out for a corner and Cagliari did get back into it for 4-3 at San Siro! Substitute Nene' had been on the field for a couple of minutes when he sprung the offside trap - kept on by Kakha Kaladze - to sweep home from nine yards.

Dida blocked a Lazzari diving header and late on Jeda was incorrectly halted for an offside flag.

Milan: Dida; Oddo, Thiago Silva, Kaladze, Zambrotta; Pirlo, Ambrosini; Pato (Strasser 84), Seedorf (Abete 70), Ronaldinho; Borriello (Inzaghi 75)

Cagliari: Marchetti; Canini (Pisano 69), Lopez, Astori, Agostini; Dessena, Conti, Biondini (Nene' 64); Lazzari; Jeda, Matri (Larrivey 81)

Ref: Valeri

Allegri admires 'gifted' AC Milan
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cagliari Coach Massimiliano Allegri considers Milan “the most technically gifted team in Italy” ahead of today's encounter.

“The Rossoneri are, purely on a technical level, the strongest side in Serie A,” said the tactician going into San Siro.

“I hope to stumble upon the right formula to stop them, but above all we must keep the tempo up and remain aggressive throughout.”

Andrea Cossu sits out a ban, so Allegri could shelve the trequartista system in his absence or reshuffle the pack.

“We all know how important Andrea is for our style of football, but whoever steps on to that field will do well.

“[Andrea] Lazzari could play as a trequartista, but it all depends on which strikers I choose upfront.”

Alessandro Matri, Nelson Jeda and Nene are currently battling for the two spots in Milan.

Cagliari had a dismal start to the season, but have since notched up a series of results to climb up to eighth place.

Leonardo clings to AC Milan momentum
22.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo hopes to pick up where he left off with Milan, afraid they have lost some of that momentum and “enthusiasm” against Cagliari.

The Rossoneri were on a roll before the break for international duty and welcome the Sardinians.

“When there is a break you always need to see the pros and cons,” said the Coach.

“We’ll get the answer on the field, but the essential thing is that the team steps out there with the same hunger and enthusiasm we had in our last Serie A game.

“I can see the players are really wrapped up in this campaign and I want to maintain that so we can achieve something important this season.

“Cagliari play good football and are coming off some strong results, so tomorrow is going to be a very interesting game.”

Ronaldinho was a doubt due to a flu virus, but has seemingly now recovered, but Mathieu Flamini is out with a sprained ankle.

“Once we have found a tactical balance, it is possible to play without using up as much energy. If I have to rotate the squad later on, then I will find alternatives to the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Clarence Seedorf so they can rest.”

Pippo Inzaghi has threatened to walk away if his contract is not renewed, but Leonardo is not worried.

“He has such a strong and deep rapport with the club that I doubt there will be any problems.

“It is a tricky job being a Coach, as you have to understand everything around you, give the right motivation and make sure every player is in the right condition to give his best.

“I’m very happy looking at the performances of Massimo Oddo and Gianluca Zambrotta this season, plus the improvement we’re seeing from Ignazio Abate and Luca Antonini. That’s the best a Coach can hope for.”

Inzaghi to wait for new deal
21.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has refused to be pushed into contract talks with veteran striker Pippo Inzaghi.

Earlier this week, Inzaghi revealed that he would ideally like to finish his career with the Rossoneri. However, he did also add that if he weren't playing regularly enough then he would entertain other offers.

“Everyone whose contract expires on June 30, 2010 will need to wait until the spring. On that date, we'll see where Milan are,” Galliani explained.

“We have to have the absolute certainty of participating in the Champions League.”

Inzaghi has made just two starting appearances for Milan in Serie A this season. He is attracting interest from former club Parma who would like to pair him up front with Alberto Paloschi.

Luis Fabiano forgets about AC Milan
21.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sevilla ace Luis Fabiano has archived Milan’s unsuccessful summer approach for his services. “That is now the past,” said his agent.

The Rossoneri targeted the Brazilian international before the start of 2009-10, but failed to agree terms with his Spanish club.

Despite holding intensive talks and making a bid, Milan withdrew their interest after no compromise was reached and they signed Klaas-Jan Huntelaar from Real Madrid himself.

“Milan represent the past now,” said José Fuentes, the South American’s representative. “We were left disappointed by the outcome of the talks, but we haven’t heard from Milan since.”

When asked whether Milan could renew their interest in the January transfer market, Fuentes was skeptical.

“My client has no intention of moving during this season,” he continued. “He’s having a great campaign with Sevilla and he has just one objective – the World Cup.”

Luis Fabiano is set to spearhead the Selecao attack during South Africa 2010.

Galliani hails AC Milan's 4-2-Fantasia
21.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is delighted with Leonardo's decision to make the team more attacking, calling his formation a 4-2-Fantasia.

After a terrible start to the season, the Rossoneri have climbed seven places in five games, and now sit two points behind Juventus and seven behind Inter.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Galliani said: “I willingly renew my compliments to Leonardo for having chosen this new formation that I prefer to call a 4-2 and fantasia.

“Behind the numbers we risk losing ourselves. Milan make evaluations judged on the best characteristics of our attacking players.

“I hope we can go far. It's a wonderful Milan to watch and like all the teams who play in this way we create a lot, but take many risks.

“The philosophy is that of winning 4-3 rather than 1-0 just as Silvio Berlusconi has always said. Leonardo is walking in the footsteps of Capello. Both were directors and the club has chosen to focus on them debuting despite general scepticism.

“I hope my friend Leo wins as much as Capello and that within 'many' years he trains Brazil. The players have wedded themselves to his philosophy and everything changed in that by now famous half-time with Roma.”

Asked to reveal what happened, Galliani replied: “Nothing in appearance. But Leonardo decided to change formation and no one breathed a word.”

Finally Galliani somewhat reluctantly gave his prediction for this season.

“I don't know how many points we'll get. I don't love making predictions. But I can assure you that Milan will be there both in Serie A and the Champions League. Milan want to get to the end everywhere,” he concluded.

'AC Milan won't be sold'
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Silvio Berlusconi's son, Pier Silvio, says it is unlikely his father will decide to sell Milan amid rumours to the contrary.

Last month, La Gazzetta dello Sport revealed how Berlusconi might be forced to rid himself of the Rossoneri after his holding company Fininvest was ordered to pay €750m to CIR for bribing a judge in the 1990s battle to buy publisher Mondadori.

Albanian oil magnate Rezart Taçi gave an interview with the pink paper saying he was in a position to buy the club and had in fact mentioned the possibility to Berlusconi.

The story has re-surfaced this week and Pier Silvio feels compelled to deny it, telling a group of journalists in Monte Carlo that he hasn't heard of any reason why his father might offload the Rossoneri.

“I promise that I don't worry myself about Milan and that I also don't know anything about it,” Pier Silvio said.

“However, as a Milanista I hope that Milan is a matter my father occupies himself with. I don't think there are plans to sell,” he concluded.

Berlusconi rescued Milan from the point of bankruptcy in 1986 and ushered in an era of unprecedented success.

However, since his foray into politics, Berlusconi hasn't been able to spend as much time with the club and cannot afford to be seen spending vast amounts of money on the team when the economy is suffering.

I support AC Milan, says Balotelli
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter striker Mario Balotelli has joked with a group of kids that he actually supports Milan and would one-day like to play for them.

The 19-year-old was doing some charity work with 65 disabled children when one of them asked him to reveal which team he supports.

“Milan are close to my heart,” he joked. “Why? Didn't you know that?”

Rather than back down, the kid persisted and said: “But if you are a Milanista, why do you play for Inter?”

Balotelli replied somewhat ambiguously: “Well, I play for Inter this year.”

It's fair to say his comments haven't exactly gone down well with Inter captain Javier Zanetti.

On hearing what Balotelli said, Zanetti simply replied: “Hopefully, tomorrow he'll go to Milanello to sign autographs instead of Pinetina.”

Balotelli's sister Cristina was then contacted to see if she could shed any light on his true colours.

“I don't know who Mario supports. It's not a mystery that as a child he was a Milanista because he devoured videos of Marco Van Basten,” she concluded.

Milan need £30m to sign Dzeko
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Milan will need to find around £30m if they are to sign Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko.

The 23-year-old Bosnia international was Milan's No 1 transfer target in the summer, but Wolfsburg, having just won the Bundesliga, said they had no need to sell him.

Dzeko accepted their decision, but continued to express his desire to join Milan, who he apparently used to watch as a boy growing up.

In need of a striker, Milan turned their attention elsewhere and signed Klaas-Jan Huntelaar from Real Madrid instead.

The Dutch international hasn't made much of an impact at San Siro, in fact, he has yet to score, prompting Milan to renew their love affair with Dzeko.

Earlier this week, Dzeko revealed he has told Wolfsburg's directors that he would like to leave, and he dreams of joining Milan.

Yesterday Wolfsburg Coach Armin Veh confirmed as much, telling Eurosport: “Dzeko can leave if there is a club that is willing to pay the amount fixed in his contract. It's a fact.

“The money would allow us to find a substitute of Dzeko's class,” he concluded.

La Gazzetta understands Dzeko has a buy-out clause worth £30m, which was inserted into his contract during the summer when Milan's interest was high.

However, the clause is only valid during 2010, pressuring Milan to sell Huntelaar in order to raise enough cash to sign Dzeko and keep his wages under their new ceiling.

Milan are also weighing up offering Huntelaar in exchange, but it remains to be seen whether the Dutchman would countenance a move to Wolfsburg.

Gattuso isn't going to Manchester City
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Milan midfielder Rino Gattuso insists his client has had no contact with Manchester City about a move to Eastlands.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Andrea D'Amico denied a report in today's Daily Mirror that claimed Gattuso is unhappy with Milan boss Leonardo and looking for a move to Manchester City possibly on loan in January.

“There is no truth in the Manchester City link. I have had no contact with Manchester City at the moment,” D'Amico said.

“Gennaro is coming back from injury and he is okay at Milan.”

Gattuso was certainly concerned at the way the Rossoneri started the season, but Leonardo has since turned things around and the team currently lies third in Serie A.

Dida lacks security, says Albertosi
19.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Legendary former Milan and Cagliari goalkeeper Enrico Albertosi has launched a scathing attack on Nelson Dida.

The 70-year-old former Italy international feels Dida isn't the man to guard the sticks for the Rossoneri, as he has rarely offered any cast iron guarantees.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Albertosi said: “I have never liked Dida, not even in his best moments, because he has never ever given off an air of security.

“Unfortunately today Italy has only one great goalkeeper, Gigi Buffon. After him, Julio Cesar and Sebastien Frey are the best, because in Italy we don't have patience with the youngsters and focus too much on foreigners.”

Asked to reveal what he thinks about football today, Albertosi replied: “We enjoyed ourselves on the pitch more. Today football is only athletic, too much pressing, too many tactical fouls, too many whistles from the referees.

“Italian football has become a sad football. I watch the English League to see beautiful games,” he concluded.

Pato thanks Leonardo
17.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian ace Alexandre Pato has thanked his boss Leonardo after his good start to the season.

The Milan striker has so far scored seven goals after Leonardo gave him the freedom to move across the front line.

“I feel really calm and confident because Leonardo gave me serenity,” explained the youngster.

“I do not feel the pressure and this is fundamental for me. I have also learnt a lot.

“When I first came it wasn't easy since I didn't speak the language properly. I was worried about making errors.

“Maybe Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is suffering the same kind of problems. But I am confident he will be very important for us.”

The Rossoneri are about to approach an important week for their campaign and Pato is looking forward to it.

“On Sunday we have a big game against a great team. I have been working a lot to be ready for this and hope to play well.”

Regarding his teammate Filippo Inzaghi, who is struggling to find a place in the first team, Pato expressed sympathy.

“Pippo has scored many Champions League goals and I believe he will score more in the future because in the box there is no one like him.

“We are all happy to have him with us and I hope he will stay at San Siro for a long time.”

Inzaghi wishes to stay at AC Milan
17.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi insists he would like to stay at Milan even though his playing time has been limited so far this season.

The 36-year-old has made nine appearances for the Rossoneri in Serie A, but only two of those have been from the start.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milan have received offers from Manchester City and Parma who would guarantee Inzaghi a three-year contract.

Speaking to Italian chat show Chiambretti Night, Inzaghi said: “I am very calm. I remember what Galliani said to me some time ago and I know that we'll speak about my future between January and February.

“I will stay with Milan if the directors would like me to. I dream of finishing my career in Rossonero. Otherwise I will go and play elsewhere, because in the last few years I have never felt as good as I do now.

“It won't be up to anyone else to make me retire. I will decide when the moment is right. Until then, I want to be useful to a team,” he concluded.

Dzeko reiterates wish to join AC Milan
17.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko has once again flirted with Milan, telling the media he would like to play for the Rossoneri next season.

The 23-year-old, who is currently on international duty with Bosnia, was Milan's No 1 transfer target last summer.

However, Wolfsburg, who had just won the Bundesliga, refused to sell Dzeko, insisting they didn't need the money.

Milan eventually signed Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, but the Dutchman hasn't impressed at San Siro, making the Rossoneri consider another offer for Dzeko.

“I have been a Milan fan since I was a child when I saw their games on television. For this reason, I really hope to play for them next season,” Dzeko is quoted as saying in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Speaking in faultless English, Dzeko said: “The story with Milan isn't over. I have also recently spoken with the Wolfsburg directors and they know that I want to move next summer.”

Milan will face competition to sign Dzeko, but the player has always expressed his desire to play in Rossonero, so much so that Adriano Galliani believed he could force through a deal in pre-season.

Dzeko burst on to the scene in 2008-09, scoring 36 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions as Wolfsburg romped to their first ever Bundesliga title.

Huntelaar would snub Tottenham
16.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar says he would snub the chance to join Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur.

The 26-year-old has only made five starting appearances since joining Milan from Real Madrid in the summer.

It has been reported Milan may sell Huntelaar in January so they can pursue other targets like Edin Dzeko and Andre-Pierre Gignac.

A number of English clubs have been linked with the former Ajax centre-forward including Spurs and Birmingham.

“I want to remain at Milan. There is time to recover and I am certain that I will get my playing time,” Huntelaar is quoted as telling the Sun.

Huntelaar has yet to get off the mark for Milan despite a prodigious goalscoring record.

He averaged more than a goal every other game at Ajax and scored eight times in 20 appearances for Real Madrid.

AC Milan target Hernanes
16.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are once again being linked with a bid for Sao Paulo’s highly rated box-to-box midfielder Hernanes.

The Rossoneri’s chief scout Ariedo Braida has flown to Brazil to watch the 25-year-old several times in the last year.

The Times named Hernanes as the most promising young player in the world in January after he won a place in the Brazilian championship’s Team of the Year in 2008.

Sao Paulo apparently rejected a £15m bid from Barcelona in the summer as they value Hernanes at more than twice that figure.

Milan were prepared to make Hernanes the first signing of the post-Kaka era, but they had already filled their quota of non-EU players.

That situation has changed since Milan released Uruguayan pair Tabare Viudez and Mathias Cardacio in August.

Hernanes has been likened to Kaka thanks to the fact he plays for Sao Paulo, but the Olympic bronze medalist is actually closer in playing style to Andrea Pirlo.

Whether that means Pirlo is on his way out of Milan remains to be seen, but it certainly appears as if the Rossoneri are once again prepared to boost their Brazilian contingent.

Should Hernanes join Milan he will be welcomed by compatriots Alexandre Pato, Thiago Silva, Dida and Ronaldinho.

Huntelaar welcomes Beckham
15.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar believes his Milan career will take off once David Beckham arrives to provide service.

The Dutchman has struggled to make an impact since his move from Real Madrid and is yet to score his first goal.

“When Beckham arrives, it will be very positive for the strikers,” he said of the January loan switch from LA Galaxy.

“I too hope to have more opportunities to play in future.”

The Rossoneri as a team have developed recently and pushed their way into the top three, so Huntelaar does not see why the title is out of reach.

“Everyone can still compete for the Scudetto. After all, we are only in November.”

‘The Hunter’ came on as a substitute for the injured Robin van Persie during last night’s 0-0 draw with Italy.

AC Milan and Juventus chase Manchester United's Nani
13.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan and Juventus are ready to offer Portugal international Nani a way out of his Manchester United misery, according to the Italian Press.

Yesterday Nani launched a scathing attack on Sir Alex Ferguson through an interview with Portuguese newspaper ‘I’.

“He’s tough. If things are all right, then they are all right. But when he thinks something is wrong, everything is screwed,” Nani said.

Ferguson has reacted swiftly to any dissent in his camp before. He sold Jaap Stam to Lazio in 2001 after he published an all too revealing autobiography.

According to Tuttosport, Juventus are looking for a winger capable of making the difference in the final third of the pitch, which has somewhat strangely led them to Nani.

Out-of-favour Real Madrid star Rafael Van der Vaart has also been mentioned, although his characteristics are too similar if not inferior to those of Diego.

Il Corriere dello Sport hints that Juventus will face significant competition from Milan for Nani, who is being valued at between £15m and £18m.

The Rossoneri are also interested in CSKA Moscow’s Serbian attacking midfielder Milos Krasic, who was excellent against Manchester United in the Champions League last season.

AC Milan have enquired about Dossena
13.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have shown an interest in signing Liverpool full-back Andrea Dossena, according to his agent Roberto La Florio.

The 28-year-old isn’t a first team regular at Anfield and is widely expected to leave in January.

He has been strongly linked with a move to Napoli, so much so that it appeared as if a deal had already been done to take him to the San Paolo in August.

Milan were in the market for a pair of full-backs in the summer, as both Gianluca Zambrotta and Marek Jankulovski aren’t exactly getting any younger.

Speaking to Itasportpress.it, La Florio said: “There is a good chance that Andrea Dossena will return to Italy in January.

“He would be happy to do so and we hope that there is the opportunity for interested clubs to meet Liverpool.

“Napoli have for a long time expressed a greater desire than other team to acquire the player. We are in the window. It all depends on the two clubs.

“Roma have also been talked about even though I personally haven’t had any official contact.

“This year, Andrea should have been able to play more games, but he has had physical problems and has not been able to profit from Fabio Aurelio’s long spell on the sidelines.

“I could see Dossena doing well at Milan. There was an inquiry from the Rossoneri last summer. I believe that after Fabio Grosso, Dossena is the best Italian player in his position,” La Florio concluded.

Gattuso identifies Kaka 'problem'
13.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso feels Kaka is “different” and “struggling” at Real Madrid after seven years of a rigorous training regime in Milan.

The Brazilian made the £56m move in the summer and failed to impress in his two meetings with former teammates.

The Rossoneri won 3-2 in Madrid and drew 1-1 at San Siro in the Champions League.

“Ricky was used to working very hard on his physical fitness with us, even on rest days,” explained Gattuso in the Corriere della Sera.

“As far as I can tell, there is very little physical fitness work in Madrid and someone like Kaka, who is used to training a great deal, is struggling.

“This is why the Kaka in Madrid is different from the Kaka we all know and love.”

It’s not the first time that one of the Milan squad have said Kaka is less effective than he was at San Siro, as Marco Borriello and Massimo Oddo made similar comments.

Huntelaar promises to come good
12.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has promised to prove his critics wrong and show that he deserves to be at San Siro.

The 26-year-old Holland international, who joined Milan from Real Madrid in the summer, has yet to score in eight appearances this season.

It has been reported that Milan might attempt to cut their losses and sell Huntelaar in January so they can bring in another striker.

“Training went well the other week, even Leonardo said so, but he also added that I have to be patient,” Huntelaar said from Holland’s international training camp.

“We are only in November. The season has just begun. I have been penalised by the fact the team didn’t play well in the beginning.

“Now, instead, things have started to go well. It means that I didn’t make a mistake in coming here,” Huntelaar concluded.

The former PSV youngster has always been a prodigious goalscorer.

In three seasons with Ajax he scored 109 goals in 136 appearances.

His strike rate at Real Madrid was also reasonably impressive. He averaged just under a goal every other game in 20 appearances.

AC Milan release Thiago Silva
12.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have released Thiago Silva for international duty despite the fact Brazil missed the official deadline.

The defender has been added to Carlos Dunga’s squad for the upcoming friendlies against England on November 14 and Oman on November 17.

“Milan have decided to release the player, adhering to the Brazilian request despite the fact it arrived after the deadline set by FIFA regulations.

“This course of action was taken in the light of the good rapport with the CBF.”

Thiago Silva is the latest Rossoneri player to go on international duty this week after Italy’s Andrea Pirlo, Gianluca Zambrotta and Holland’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Meanwhile, Alessandro Nesta has taken advantage of the break in the Serie A schedule to undergo surgery.

He reduced the micro fracture in his nose and, as he will also be suspended for the next game with Cagliari, can have time to recover from this routine procedure.

AC Milan make Pepe bid
12.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are said to be in negotiations for Udinese and Italy forward Simone Pepe, as Leonardo fine-tunes his 4-3-3 system.

According to newspaper Il Giornale, the Rossoneri have pin-pointed the 26-year-old Roma youth product as the perfect alternative to Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato on the wings.

He is accustomed to this system after playing in it with Udinese for several seasons and can be used on either flank.

It is claimed that the two clubs are already in the thick of negotiations for a January transfer, although there are some major obstacles.

Udinese would only be ready to release Pepe in a permanent deal, whereas Milan would like a loan with the right to buy in June.

He’d be a valuable signing for the Rossoneri, as because Udinese are not in Europe this season, he would be available for the Champions League squad.

Galliani plans season ticket initiative
12.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is planning a new season ticket initiative starting at the beginning of the second half of the season.

The Rossoneri witnessed a spectacular decline in sales in preseason, but there is a strong feeling that demand has increased again with the team performing well.

Speaking to Studio Sport, Galliani said: “What upsets me is that we have lost 16,000 season ticket holders compared with last year.

“I want to write to them to announce that we will be having a special deal from the New Year onwards for those who want to subscribe.

“It’s not that we want money, it’s just that having 40,000 fans in the ground for the game against Roma was unacceptable.”

Galliani spiced up his pitch by reminding Milan fans of the sparkling football now on show at San Siro.

“With four players going forward, Milan always risk a great deal, but we also do a lot offensively.

“Berlusconi likes the new system,” he concluded.

Milan currently lie third in Serie A. They are back in action on November 22 when Cagliari travel to San Siro.

Trapattoni hails proud AC Milan
12.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni says he has been struck by the pride shown by former club Milan.

The Rossoneri started the season terribly and at one point looked as if they would sack rookie coach Leonardo.

However, he has managed to turn things around and Milan are now unbeaten in all competitions since September 30.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Trap said: “They have managed to prod at the pride of the old and the great like Pirlo and Nesta.

“The freshness of Pato has struck me.”

That said, Trap does have reservations about Milan's ability to overhaul Inter and Juventus, and win the Scudetto.

“It seems to me that only Inter can put its opponents in play again. They have forgotten Ibra in a hurry and I didn't think they could.

“Inter will also be a protagonist in Europe. The game in Kiev is one of those that changes the history of a season,” Trap concluded.

Dzeko has AC Milan dream
9.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Wolfsburg ace Edin Dzeko has hinted that he hopes to complete a move to Milan at some stage in the future.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international was the Rossoneri’s No 1 transfer objective over the summer, but his German club refused to sell.

Nevertheless, in an interview with FIFA.com, the talented forward has admitted that the Italian club have a special place in his heart.

“Is there a club you'd like to join at some stage in the future? I'm a big Milan fan,” he said. “It's always been my goal to play for a big club at some point.”

Dzeko has developed into one of the continent’s most powerful forces, but he’s still not content with his present ability.

“I’m always trying to improve,” he added. “I want to reduce any weaknesses to a minimum.”

Dzeko, who is preparing for a World Cup qualifier against Portugal, has also been associated with Juventus in the recent past.

Ancelotti says 'no' to Pato
9.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti has cooled speculation that Chelsea will re-ignite their interest in Alexandre Pato of Milan.

Speaking in Italy on Monday, the former Rossoneri tactician denied that the Brazilian would be targeted by the Stamford Bridge outfit.

“Pato is happy and well in Milan,” he noted today, after it was widely believed that Chelsea made an unsuccessful summer approach for the starlet.

While Ancelotti shut the door on Pato, he seemed to open it when asked about Atletico Madrid sensation Sergio Aguero.

“All clubs follow talented youngsters and he is certainly one, just like Pato,” he added.

“We do have a problem in that we will lose some players to the African Cup of Nations, but I don’t think we’ll sign anyone in January.”

Asked to comment on the recent resurgence of Milan, the club he left in the summer, Ancelotti complimented the work of boss Leonardo.

“They’ve picked themselves up quickly,” he noted. “They have collected some excellent results in the championship and in the Champions League.

“They didn’t have a good start, but have got back on track quickly.

“Leonardo has changed Milan’s play slightly, by using Pato and Ronaldinho in wider positions. The fact that the latter is now playing with regularity has undoubtedly helped him.”

One thing that has remained constant though is Inter’s leadership of the Division, although the former Juventus and Parma boss thinks they’ll be tested.

“The League is much more balanced,” Ancelotti said. “Inter will have to fight harder than they have done in the last few years to win the Scudetto.”

Huntelaar in Premiership link
9.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A trio of Premiership clubs are potentially lining up a bid for Milan misfit Klass-Jan Huntelaar, according to reports.

The Dutchman was the Rossoneri’s big summer signing, but has struggled to adapt to Italy and Serie A since leaving Real Madrid.

Now, according to sources in Italy, three English outfits are pondering an offer for the Dutch international.

Tottenham, Manchester United and Birmingham are all being associated with a swoop of about £13m.

Huntelaar had an outstanding scoring record in his homeland, especially during a spell with Dutch giants Ajax.

However, a January move to Real didn’t work out and he was shipped out in the summer after being deemed as surplus to requirements.

Oddo hails 'beautiful' victory
9.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan full-back Massimo Oddo says his side's 2-1 victory over former club Lazio yesterday was 'beautiful' to behold.

The Rossoneri are now unbeaten since September 30 and move up to third place in Serie A.

“It's a beautiful victory. We needed to close this block of positive games well. We are doing beautiful things and we have collected really important points,” Oddo told Milan's official website.

“Now we need the international break because the tiredness has started to make itself felt and even yesterday we suffered a little on the pitch.

“Lazio tried many shots from distance just like what happened with Real Madrid on Tuesday, but we managed our lead very well.

“In the final minutes we dipped a little physically, above all going forward, then the introduction of a midfielder like Flamini helped us to keep it together until the end of the game.

“Now we are three points from Juventus and a few more behind Inter, but we shouldn't look at the table too much. We should look at the good things that we are doing instead and try to improve upon the little errors we have been making,” Oddo concluded.

AC Milan are like Barcelona, says Ronaldinho
9.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho believes Milan are finally realising their potential, so much so that they remind him of the Barcelona team with which he won the Champions League.

The Rossoneri moved into third place, just seven points behind leaders Inter, with a 2-1 victory over Lazio in Rome on Sunday afternoon.

Leonardo's side are now unbeaten in all competitions since September 30 when they lost 1-0 at home to FC Zurich.

“I watched today's Milan and I am happy. We play like Barcelona and no one else in Italy does it,” Ronaldinho said.

“Leonardo has been very good at finding this formula with three strikers and a playmaker, and putting many talented men together who sacrifice themselves for the group.

“Watch out because we can still improve. I say that Milan will go far,” he concluded.

Fellow Brazilian Thiago Silva heaped praise on Ronaldinho for the assist that allowed him to score Milan's opening goal.

“When Dinho presents you with balls like these, you cannot do anything but put them away,” Silva joked.

“In the second half, Lazio frightened us a little. We had in our heads the experience with Napoli.

“Now we are thinking about giving another acceleration after the international break.”

Leonardo has Scudetto ambitions
8.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo assures Milan are still in the running for the Scudetto, while Lazio take further measures short of sacking Davide Ballardini.

There were fears the Biancocelesti boss would be axed if he lost this game, but so far the club has only announced it will continue its ban on talking to the media.

The team will be put into a pre-match 'ritiro' for the next 10 days to best prepare for the tests ahead.

Milan are flying high in third place after their 2-1 victory at the Olimpico.

“When we push up and attack our opponents, then we are a great squad. The opposite and we struggle badly,” explained Leonardo.

“That is the risk of using our tactical system. Perhaps we are a little too unbalanced and must try to kill games off earlier.”

The San Siro side had a disastrous start to the season, but are right back in the title race.

“The Scudetto? We will continue to follow the path of humility, taking the example of Pippo Inzaghi and Mathieu Flamini, who came off the bench today and immediately made an impact.

“Naturally, our history suggests the Scudetto is a word we know well.”

Thiago Silva has had a fine debut season in Serie A, but in Rome today scored at both ends of the field.

“He is a player who is improving a great deal. He was just unlucky with the own goal.”

Serie A: Lazio 1:2 AC Milan - match report
8.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Thiago Silva 21 (M), Pato 35 (M), Thiago Silva og 64 (L)

Thiago Silva scored at both ends of the Olimpico, but Milan held on under a late siege for a very important away victory.

Davide Ballardini knew he had to win this match or face the sack after a humiliating 4-1 midweek Europa League defeat at Villarreal, not to mention the fact they hadn't won in Serie A since Week 2. That wouldn't be easy, as Milan were undefeated in this fixture since 1997-98.

Guglielmo Stendardo, Ousmane Dabo and Albano Bizzarri were out of action, while the Rossoneri left Daniele Bonera, Gennaro Gattuso, Marek Jankulovski, Oguchi Onyewu and Marco Storari behind.

Tommaso Rocchi and Aleksandar Kolarov had chances in the first four minutes, while former Lazio star Massimo Oddo tested Nando Muslera from distance.

Milan broke the deadlock after 21 minutes. Andrea Pirlo whipped a free kick towards the near post, where Thiago Silva powered in his header from four yards.

Ronaldinho flicked up the ball for Marco Borriello, whose left-foot half-volley was charged down by Sebastiano Siviglia.

Nelson Dida palmed a Mauro Zarate free kick out from under the bar, but Milan made it 2-0 at the Olimpico. Alexandre Pato got in front of Kolarov for a precise header from Ronaldinho's cross.

It had already been raining in Rome all day, but the situation deteriorated into hail. That may have contributed to Muslera's mistake when he picked up a backpass with his hands. Clarence Seedorf fired the indirect free kick wide.

Pirlo's free kick sailed over and Lazio made changes with Julio Cruz replacing Stefano Mauri. The former Inter striker went close immediately by turning wide of the near post with the aid of a Thiago Silva deflection.

Kolarov's strike flashed across the face of goal and Lazio got back into the game with a stroke of luck. Zarate's shot was deflected off Oddo and then Thiago Silva accidentally prodded it past his own goalkeeper. The Argentine celebrated by telling the home fans to be quiet.

All of a sudden the Biancocelesti were fired up and a Zarate blockbuster from the edge of the box stung Dida's palms, while Pato drilled just over the bar.

Francelino Matuzalem wasted a promising counter with a horribly misplaced cross for Rocchi. Zarate turned two defenders inside out only for his shot to go out for a corner off Thiago Silva, then Rocchi nodded Mourad Meghni's cross wide with a free header.

It was wide open at the Olimpico and Muslera flew to palm a Mathieu Flamini corker out from under the crossbar. Stefan Radu was perhaps fortunate to only receive a yellow card for his sliding tackle on Inzaghi.

Pato went past Cribari with some wonderful footwork and his left-foot strike was fingertipped over the bar.

Lazio: Muslera; Lichtsteiner, Siviglia (Cribari 72), Radu, Kolarov; Brocchi, Baronio (Meghni 62), Mauri (Cruz 46); Matuzalem; Rocchi, Zarate

Milan: Dida; Oddo, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Ambrosini, Pirlo; Seedorf (Flamini 81); Pato, Borriello (Inzaghi 74), Ronaldinho (Abate 87)

Ref: Damato

Livorno ask AC Milan for Adiyiah
8.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo explains why Milan picked Dominic Adiyiah and Livorno already appeal for a loan after they “stole” him from them.

The Ghanaian recently won Man of the Tournament, top scorer and the gold medal in the Under-20 World Cup, scoring eight goals.

“I watched almost all of the Under-20 competition because it is interesting to me, especially as I once played in it,” explained Rossoneri Coach Leonardo.

“In all honesty, the decision to sign Adiyiah came from Adriano Galliani and Ariedo Braida. It's impressive being the best player in the World Cup, I am happy at his arrival and am confident he'll do well.

“He will be with us from January. Right now he needs to continue playing with his national team. He is young and a signing for the future.”

The deal almost didn't go through and it was reported big clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona were in negotiations for Adiyiah.

However, Livorno President Aldo Spinelli has a very different version of events.

“We offered 500,000 Euros more than Milan, but the lad chose them. This is why we asked Galliani if he could be turned over to us on loan in January,” said the patron.

“He said there were some things to consider. I hope that, after they stole him from under our noses, they can do this little favour…

“We could really use him in the final sprint towards safety.”

Leonardo: 'I was almost out...'
8.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo admits he could’ve lost his job last month, but sees Milan improving consistently ahead of the clash with Lazio.

The Coach was reportedly hanging by a thread after the 1-0 home defeat to FC Zurich and risked the axe, but a run of good results – including a victory at Real Madrid – have transformed the campaign.

“If things had gone badly in the last month, I don’t know if I would’ve been forced out of this job. I have always said that in football you need some time to see the reality of the situation, as it’s made up of peaks and troughs.

“Consistency arrives one step at a time and in the last few games the team has always added something more. I can see great enthusiasm running through the squad and the optimism to keep doing well.

“In a way, it’s harder when things are going well, as you’re worried about keeping that balance and not letting the momentum slip. It’s a tough job being a Coach and I am taking it as a life lesson.”

“Lazio have incredible potential and we mustn’t think of them based only on recent results. We need the right level of concentration to face a top team.”

Gennaro Gattuso is sidelined by another new injury, but Christian Abbiati is in the squad and could be on the bench for the first time this season.

There were concerns for Ronaldinho when he picked up a knock to the ankle on Friday, but Leonardo assured “he’s fine now.”

Inter are seven points clear of Juventus and Sampdoria, while Milan are nine points adrift of the leaders.

“For a club like Milan it is impossible not to think about the Scudetto, it’s in our DNA. People said the race was over because Inter play well and are so strong, but there’s a long way to go yet.

“The team with the most consistency will get back into the running. The club has made it very clear that our main objective is the Champions League, the rest will be evaluated as time goes on.”

Marco Storari, Daniele Bonera, Marek Jankulovski, Oguchi Onyewu and David Di Gennaro join Gattuso on the treatment table.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Dida, Roma, Antonini, Favalli, Kaladze, Nesta, Oddo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Abate, Ambrosini, Flamini, Pirlo, Seedorf, Borriello, Huntelaar, Inzaghi, Pato, Ronaldinho

Zambrotta: 'Pato is AC Milan's Messi'
7.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Barcelona star Gianluca Zambrotta believes “Alexandre Pato is Milan’s Lionel Messi, while Ronaldinho is returning to his best.”

The World Cup winning fullback spent two seasons at the Nou Camp and got to know their stars very well.

“There are different players and tactical systems, but both teams constantly look for entertaining football above all else,” he told Tuttosport.

“This is why Ronaldinho, when fielded in a similar position to the one he had at Barcelona, is returning to his best.

“Who is Milan’s Messi? That’s easy – Pato. We know how much he’s worth and what he can do. Pato can become as good as the Argentine.

“I have also been very impressed with Thiago Silva, as with Alessandro Nesta he forges a very strong defensive partnership.”

The Rossoneri struggled at the start of the season, but have found their feet with recent Serie A and Champions League victories.

“There are players here with immense international experience, so all of them have gone through something like this before.

“Therefore it was normal we wouldn’t let ourselves get too tense or frenetic, as that would’ve meant tying ourselves up in knots.”

Pato finds 'perfect' AC Milan position
7.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato is enjoying his “perfect” new tactical role at Milan and declares he wants “to win everything!”

The Brazilian took a little while to grow accustomed to the 4-3-3 system, but the team has found its balance.

“I am doing really well on the right and am doing my work for the Coach and all my teammates,” smiled the teenager.

“I’m eager to track back and help out in defence. I think it is the perfect position for me.”

So far this season ‘The Duck’ has scored four Serie A goals and two in the Champions League, both during the 3-2 victory away to Real Madrid.

“It’s wonderful to work with Ronaldinho, as he is always happy when he arrives for training. It’s a pleasure for me to be his teammate and I can always learn from someone who has won the World Cup and the Ballon d’Or.

“Could I take those trophies? I hope so, but there is plenty of time. First of all I want to win everything with the squad, then the individual success comes as a result of that.”

Ronaldinho is a doubt for this weekend, as he picked up a knock and did not take part in Friday’s training session.

Milan travel to face crisis-hit Lazio on Sunday, a side that was thrashed 4-1 at Villarreal in the Europa League on Thursday.

“We know this will be a difficult game, but we are going to Rome to bring home all three points.”

Galliani: Leonardo has turned it around
6.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is delighted with the way Leonardo has performed over the last month.

At one stage, it looked increasingly likely that he would be sacked after an especially poor start to the season.

However, the Rossoneri are now unbeaten in their last eight games in all competitions and appear well placed both in Serie A and the Champions League.

“The two matches with Real Madrid have shown that Leonardo is doing a good job. I like his formation a lot and President Berlusconi also likes it, as he has always wanted a team with an offensive vocation,” Galliani said before a meeting of the Lega Calcio.

“Please don't ask me where I think we'll finish. I am always superstitious. Milan play good football. Leonardo has been very good at creating a tactic that can get the very best out of Ronaldinho on the left and Pato on the right.

“Leonardo confirms our tradition of developing coaches born and bred without specific experience, just like it was with Sacchi and Capello.”

Finally Galliani reflected on the signing of Dominic Adiyiah, the star of the Under-20 World Cup, whose transfer almost collapsed earlier this week.

“Milan always wanted him, but he asked for too much money. Now he is having a medical and then he'll become ours.

“We are dealing with the best player of the Under-20 World Cup, just as Messi and Aguero have been,” Galliani concluded.

Abate hails great Dida
6.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Nelson Dida of Milan is not just a good goalkeeper, teammate Ignazio Abate insists he’s a great in between the posts.

The Brazilian provided more fuel for his critics by gifting Real Madrid a goal in their first Champions League meeting this season, an error to add to numerous others over recent seasons.

However, the South American has responded with some fine performances and stunning saves ever since to once again underline his worth.

“Everyone makes mistakes,” said the former Under-21 international. “It is only that when a goalkeeper makes a mistake there isn’t a teammate who can come to the rescue.

“But Nelson immediately proved, in the same game and the ones after, that he is still a great goalkeeper.”

Milan have lacked consistency in goal over the last few seasons since Dida lost his grip on the No 1 shirt.

Christian Abbiati became the club’s first choice last term until injury ruled him out and Marco Storari, who began this campaign as the starter, has also been hit by fitness issues recently.

“All of our goalkeepers are very good,” added the former Torino man. “We have great options and it’ll be up to the Coach to decide which is the best way forward.”

Adiyiah will join AC Milan
6.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It looked as if the deal had collapsed but reports in Italy today suggest that Milan have agreed personal terms with Dominic Adiyiah.

The Ghanaian Under-20 sensation has been strongly associated with the Italian giants in recent weeks and a deal had been struck with Norwegian club Fredrikstad for his services.

However, on Thursday it seemed that the move wouldn’t be completed after differences in what Milan were offering the player and what the player’s agent was demanding.

Nevertheless, talks continued last night and a compromise was finally reached. Adiyiah will sign a five-year contract, netting himself 500,000 Euros a season.

The African is now expected in Italy to undergo his medical before officially putting pen to paper on his Milanello contract.

The youngster, Golden Boot winner at the recent Under-20 World Cup, will be at the disposal of boss Leonardo from January.

A second striker, who can also play out wide, it is understood that he has cost the club £1.25m in terms of a transfer fee.

Maldini considers comeback
5.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Paolo Maldini says he has thought about stepping out of retirement since hanging up his boots in the summer.

The 41-year-old veteran decided to call time on one of the game's truly glorious careers after 25 years with the Rossoneri only last season.

Speaking to La 7 Gold, Maldini said: “I gave plenty and received a lot, and I feel so much love for the Milan colours. It goes beyond the people who work there.

“If there is the chance to do something positive that will help this team then I will always be there. My life has always been without other roles on the side, and I want to continue like that.

“The team has great pride and it is capable of always giving moment to important emotions. We are going through a good period because the team has found consistency in the Champions League and in Serie A. Milan know how to play football.”

Asked if he believes the Rossoneri can win another Champions League title, Maldini replied: “I think Barcelona are the strongest team, but my friend Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea are also very well equipped.”

AC Milan: 'Beckham Law' not enough
4.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

While Liga clubs threaten to go on strike over the scrapping of a so-called ‘Beckham Law’ on taxes, Milan warn “anomalies still exist.”

The tax law coincided with David Beckham’s move from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2004.

It allows high-earning foreigners to pay only 24 per cent tax rather than the standard 43 per cent for Spaniards.

The Spanish League (LFP) are furious at the socialist government’s attempts to change this law. “We have calculated that this reform would add 100m euros to the bill for Spanish football,” warned LFP President Jose Luis Astiazaran.

“This could bring very negative consequences. It would prevent La Liga from being the best of the world and would have negative impact on other aspects, such as the amount of people in stadiums and it would make our product less attractive to television.”

For example, it would instantly add £2m per season to Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract at Real.

However, Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has been campaigning against the Beckham Law for many years and claims even this is nowhere near enough to wipe out Spain’s tax breaks.

“Now it seems as if the local and foreign players have evened out, just as migrant workers are in Italy,” he told Radio 24.

“Of course it’s disappointing for the Spanish clubs and I don’t wish them ill, but their fiscal situation is at least now on a par with everyone else.

“I had been hoping for a lowering of our taxes rather than a raise on theirs. Nonetheless, Spain remains favoured in terms of income because the big clubs do not pay anything to the smaller sides.

“That represented a double handicap for us, which is why the likes of Kaka, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso went to Spain. It was not a level playing field.

“There remains the huge anomaly of Spanish pay-per-view rights, as each club pockets its own rather than spreading the income throughout the Liga.

“It is incredible how the big clubs are able to have their way only in Spain and not in other countries.”

AC Milan wait until January for Hottor
4.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have a verbal agreement with Triestina to sign highly-rated Ghana Under-20 midfielder Edmund Hottor, but won't put anything on paper until January.

The news comes from Hottor's agent who was contacted by TuttoMercatoWeb to see if the rumours the 16-year-old had already signed for Milan were true.

“I know that there is a deal between Triestina and Milan, seeing that Fantinel and Galliani met, but I also know that they cannot sign him until January 1,” Leonardo Giusti said.

“I can only say that we have not spoken with Milan and we are at their complete disposition.”

Asked if other big clubs had revealed their interest in Hottor, Giusti replied: “Yes, Juventus, Inter and Napoli. But also teams from abroad.

“It doesn't surprise me that Edmund has attracted the attention of big clubs, but in my opinion he still needs to stay with Triestina another year for experience's sake and do an apprenticeship,” Giusti concluded.

Milan have already signed one Ghanaian in recent days.

Dominic Adiyiah, the star of the Ghana Under-20 World Cup winning side, agreed to join the Rossoneri from Fredrikstad on November 1.

Kaka's 'emotional night' at San Siro
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka has thanked the San Siro crowd for a moving comeback and admits “it wasn’t easy to deal with so many emotions.”

The Milan fans dedicated banners and chants to the man who was their hero for six seasons when he returned for the first time since his £57m summer move to Real Madrid.

“It was wonderful, just as I expected it to be. I had such great moments at San Siro and this too was another emotional night. I thank all the fans for that gift.

“It wasn’t easy to deal with so many emotions, but I did prepare for it and knew it was going to be tough. I tried to keep those feelings in check and focus on my football.”

There was some controversy before his arrival, as striker Marco Borriello was quoted as saying he thought Kaka had lost some of his technique since moving to Madrid.

“I went to the Milan locker room before kick-off and joked about it. He said that wasn’t what he meant, these things are stirred up by the media. It wasn’t a problem,” grinned the Brazilian on Sky Italia television.

The Rossoneri won in Madrid, but only managed a 1-1 draw in the home leg of this clash.

“Milan are a very strong squad. Of course there are many games over the course of a season and they are going to struggle to get the consistency people expect over the last two years.

“But they have immense quality and always raise their game for the Champions League.

“Football is strange because things can change so quickly. Three games ago people were insulting them, but now Ronaldinho and Pato are finding consistency and being decisive.

“Pato is very young, but slowly he will be able to achieve everything.”

Real have also been hammered by the media lately, but Kaka can see light at the end of the tunnel.

“The pressure is the same, the expectation to always win. I had a good start, recently things have been bad for everyone in the team, but we are getting back on track.

“In these last two games against Getafe and Milan there have been significant improvements. Before when we won it was mainly down to individual moments, but now we are seeing the team unit come together.

“It’s not enough to just buy lots of stars in order to win.”

Leonardo: 'AC Milan wanted more'
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo feels Milan could have beaten Real Madrid again tonight and explains how his team has changed so radically.

“Real tried a 4-4-2 almost with very attacking players out wide like Kaka and Marcelo. They played better in the first half, created spaces and chances. We were too deep,” he said of the 1-1 draw.

“I'd say the second half was the opposite, as we had the better of it and overall the draw is the right result. To be honest, we feel a bit of regret, as I felt we could win it and strike them at the right time. I'm happy with the way the team played and approached the test.

“Consistency is key. Right now we have a balance and a self-belief that we can hurt our opponents. We're getting better at transforming that into goals, but the important thing is to maintain that consistent performance and confidence.”

Alexandre Pato did score a second goal, but it was controversially disallowed for either an offside position or handling offence - neither shown by the video evidence.

“I promised myself I wouldn't evaluate incidents after the game, but looking at the footage I don't see much wrong with it. Never mind,” shrugged the Coach.

The 4-3-3 system has revitalised the Rossoneri and led to a series of positive results in Serie A and the Champions League.

“The players are enjoying this system and doing their tasks very well. The work they all do to help out the midfield is what makes this style sustainable. I'd like to point out that once again Dida was decisive.

“There is never a single reason or turning point. It was tough at the start, but perhaps we needed to go through that and be knocked down a few pegs. It forces you to reflect and look at yourself carefully, force you to fight back with pride.

“A series of coincidences, incidents and hard work led us to this point. The key of course was the willingness of the players to fight, as without that we'll get nowhere.”

Milan and Real Madrid lead the group with seven points, but Olympique Marseille demolished FC Zurich 6-1 to move up on six.

“We must continue our approach of facing every opponent hoping to hurt them and therefore to win.”

Champions League: AC Milan 1:1 Real Madrid - match report
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Benzema 29 (R), Ronaldinho pen 35 (M)

Ronaldinho replied to Karim Benzema in a 1-1 draw, but Alexandre Pato had a goal controversially disallowed.

The Rossoneri conquered the Bernabeu two weeks ago 3-2, but made a few changes for the return leg. Marco Borriello replaced Pippo Inzaghi with more mature full-backs, while Massimo Ambrosini stepped in for Gennaro Gattuso. Kaka was given a warm welcome on his San Siro comeback, but Cristiano Ronaldo was still injured for the 13th all-time meeting between these clubs.

Nelson Dida's howler gave Real a goal in Madrid, but he has been on great form since. Nonetheless, his poor clearance prompted a chance and then he palmed a deflected Karim Benzema strike out from under the bar.

Weak Gonzalo Higuain and Lassana Diarra efforts were comfortably smothered, but Ronaldinho wanted a penalty for a shirt-tug as he waited for Alexandre Pato's cross. Real looked like a different team to their recent crisis, as Sergio Ramos flashed an angled drive across the face of goal.

The San Siro crowd started to mutter when Benzema drilled inches wide of the far post, as Real were dominating. However, on 26 minutes Clarence Seedorf went on a classic counter-attack and spread it for Pato to dummy Albiol, but Iker Casillas rushed out for a desperate full-body save.

Real eventually took a deserved lead. Andrea Pirlo lost the ball in midfield, Kaka skipped past Seedorf and his deflected shot was only parried into the path of Benzema. That was only the second ever Madrid goal away to Milan after Joseito Iglesias in the 1956 Champions Cup semi-final, but Benzema may have been slightly offside.

The referee pointed to the spot when Zambrotta's counter was cut short by a Pepe handling offence, but replays suggest the ball may well have hit his back rather than the arm. Former Barcelona star Ronaldinho stepped up and buried a powerful kick into the near top corner for his first Champions League penalty in four years.

Pato thought he had turned the game around completely a minute later, but it was incorrectly ruled offside after he had flicked on a long ball forward and beat Arbeloa. If the penalty was soft, then this decision was harsh.

Dida blocked a fierce Kaka snapshot before half-time. Milan were more confident after the break, as Borriello just failed to get on the end of a Ronaldinho cross and Pato was booked for a handling offence after drilling wide. Ambrosini got to a Pirlo free kick from seven yards, but the ball came off his shoulder rather than his head and went off target.

Xabi Alonso anticipated Thiago Silva from point-blank range on a Pirlo free kick, but Dida also fumbled Kaka's corner and got away with it. Borriello just failed to make contact with Dinho's cross from the left, as he went close to a replica of his splendid volley against Parma.

Raul, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Pippo Inzaghi came off the bench, as the veterans took control. Super Pippo had a chance almost immediately when Pato put the cross to the back post, but he was surprised by Pepe's error and shinned it over from six yards.

Inzaghi's right-foot strike hit the side-netting, but Dida needed a spectacular one-handed save to deny Raul's angled drive from point-blank range. He also had his palms stung by a Marcelo effort.

Milan: Dida; Oddo, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Seedorf, Pirlo, Ambrosini; Pato, Borriello (Inzaghi 79), Ronaldinho

Real Madrid: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Albiol, Pepe, Arbeloa; Xabi Alonso, L Diarra; Kaka, Benzema (Van Nistelrooy 82), Marcelo; Higuain (Raul 74)

Ref: Brych (Ger)

Berlusconi: 'I would sell Milan if...'
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Silvio Berlusconi says he would consider selling Milan if someone better than him came along with an offer.

Il Cavaliere has come under a lot of scrutiny in recent months, leading some to suggest that he might need to sell the Rossoneri either to concentrate on politics or to raise capital.

Last month, Albanian oil magnate Rezart Taçi declared his interest in buying Milan only for Berlusconi's holding company, Fininvest, to promptly issue a statement saying the club is not up for sale.

“I would make the sacrifice of selling Milan only if there were someone better than me. Up until now no one has come forward and satisfied this requisite,” Berlusconi said at Bruno Vespa's latest book launch.

Asked if he would consider offloading the club to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, Berlusconi replied: “No, I really believe Chelsea is enough for him and he'll stay on with them.

“For a lover [like Milan] there is no figure worth the sacrifice. Only the dearly beloved can prevail,” he concluded.

Berlusconi bought Milan in 1986 and ushered in an unprecedented era of success.

However, his attention has been distracted somewhat by repeated forays into politics, which have made it difficult for him to be seen spending large amounts of money on the club especially when Italy's economy is suffering.

AC Milan can beat Real Madrid, says Maldini
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Paolo Maldini believes the Rossoneri have everything necessary to beat Real Madrid at San Siro tonight.

Milan came away from the Bernabeu with a surprise 3-2 win two weeks ago and now top Champions League Group C.

“Real Madrid are a great team, but Milan has everything it takes to beat them,” Maldini explained.

He then gave his opinion on Ronaldinho, the former World Player of the Year who has started to rediscover his best form of late.

“You see that he is much better with respect to last season and this is decisive,” Maldini said.

The 41-year-old veteran, who retired at the end of last season, concluded by recalling the time he helped Milan beat Real 5-0 in one of the greatest games in football history.

“I was just 21,” he said before looking off into space.

Kaka happy to be back
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian ace Kaka will be facing his ex-Milan teammates in the Champions League this week and claims he expects a nice welcome from his former fans.

Real Madrid will come to Italy looking for victory and Kaka will be giving his best, even though he won’t celebrate if he scores a goal against the Rossoneri.

“For all that has been in the past years between me and the fans I expect a nice welcome,” he explained.

“It will be a difficult game – I know my former teammates very well.”

During the week Milan striker Marco Borriello noted that Kaka hasn’t been as good in the past few seasons but the Brazilian has no hard feelings.

“I didn’t read what he had to say but I am sure he didn’t mean it that way.

“He is a friend and knows me very well.”

OFFICIAL: Beckham returns
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have confirmed tonight that David Beckham will rejoin the club on loan from LA Galaxy in January.

The England midfielder had been expected to return to San Siro following his spell with the Rossoneri in the second half of the 2008-09 term.

National boss Fabio Capello has indicated that Beckham must be playing in a top European League in order to be considered for the Three Lions' World Cup squad and today's news ensures he will be doing just that.

"I need to give myself the best chance possible to make the World Cup squad and playing for Milan on loan will help me to do that," he explained.

"I genuinely enjoyed my time at Milan and I look forward to meeting the players and staff again."

It is not just a move to benefit the player, although Milan vice-President Adriano Galliani was also quick to reiterate what seems to be the ultimate objective of the transfer.

"We are confident his loan spell will not only improve Milan but it will also help the player to reach the World Cup in South Africa and continue to enhance his career in North America with the LA Galaxy," enthused Galliani.

"We would like to thank the Galaxy and MLS for their co-operation and understanding."

It has been reported that Milan have paid LA Galaxy more this season than they did last term in order to secure the loan.

The match against Genoa on January 6 seems the most likely date for him to make his return.

Ronaldinho wants to start scoring again
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldinho was in his usual jokey mood this afternoon but also told the media he wants to build on his rich vein of form and start scoring important goals for Milan.

The 29-year-old has recently rediscovered the sort of form that twice led to his being crowned World Player of the Year.

Speaking ahead of Milan's Champions League clash with Real Madrid, Ronaldinho said: “I am happy. I have worked well and I have had time to work. I am focused on getting back in the Brazil side.”

Confronted with the fact that he scores little, Ronaldinho replied: “I would like to score goals, not only make assists, but the moment is such and I am happy to help my team-mates.”

The former Barcelona star was also philosophical on his earlier than anticipated substitution against Parma on Sunday.

“It's normal. I am not happy when Leonardo takes me off, but he's the one who decides. I expect a great night for all the team on Tuesday.

“Real Madrid are a very strong team, with all their great players, it will be a great game,” he concluded.

Gattuso linked with Premier League
3.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan talisman Gennaro Gattuso is considering a move to the Premier League, according to the Italian Press.

The 31-year-old, who spent the 1997-98 season with Rangers, had been linked with a move away from San Siro in the summer albeit to German giants Bayern Munich.

However, according to TuttoMercatoWeb, Gattuso has always wanted to finish his career in England.

With Chelsea currently being managed by former mentor Carlo Ancelotti, an offer is expected to arrive either in January or the summer.

Manchester United have also been long-time admirers of 'Ringhio' although Sir Alex Ferguson announced his intention to only sign players aged 27 or lower in the summer.

Gattuso is widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders of his generation. He has won the Champions League twice and was part of the Italy side that lifted the World Cup just over three years ago.

Leonardo: 'We weren't dead!'
1.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo assures Milan are still on their journey to greater heights, but denies it is a “resurrection.”

The Diavolo have won four of their last five official games, drawing 2-2 at Napoli midweek in stoppages, after beating Parma 2-0.

When Sky Italia pundits asked what had prompted such a resurrection, Leo felt he had to point something out.

“We weren’t dead yet! I think everything has its own path to take and we went through our difficult times, but I am very satisfied with what the team is doing.

“We scored early and had other chances to kill off the match, had to suffer for a while and took home the three points.”

Marco Borriello bagged a brace, but it was Ronaldinho who set up both goals with some powerful runs down the left.

“A player can change over the years and develop different characteristics, but Ronaldinho has these surges and I kept pushing him to try it because I know that he can.

“We have rapid players down the wings and it is all about finding the right moment to hit them.

“Admittedly this time we were a little more cautious and eager to protect the result in the light of what happened in Naples. That’s really not something we’re built for.

“It is important to have alternatives and see the way players can cover different tasks. Borriello is back and we are all very happy, he scored two great goals and he’ll help the team a great deal this season.”

The Coach has completed revamped their playing style for a 4-3-3 system, but Leonardo assures that’s only half the story.

“You can call the way we played today many things. It changes during the game depending on whether we had possession. Tactics is one thing, but how the players apply it in a match situation is another.”

On Tuesday Milan aim to continue their fine form when Real Madrid come to San Siro, having already conquered the Bernabeu 3-2.

“I think our objective at the end has to be important titles. Milan cannot help but focus on impressing in the Champions League.

“But before all that we have to develop as a team, continue to bed in this whole new way of playing and find consistency both across games and within the same match.”

Borriello: 'I almost quit football'
1.11 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Borriello reveals he nearly had to end his career due to a horrific injury, but is back with a bang for Milan.

The striker netted both goals in the 2-0 victory over Parma this evening and played from start to finish.

“Just getting through it was already something, as I hadn't played a full 90 minutes at a high level for a year,” he confessed.

“I had a series of injuries and must thank the Milan medical staff for putting me back on track. I am now fully fit at last and feel good.”

The 27-year-old even reveals he almost didn't make the comeback this time around.

“I ran the very real risk of retiring. I was seriously considering stopping my career, as without that surgery to attach the muscle back to the tendon, it would've been impossible to carry on playing.

“I am very grateful to the surgeons who resolved that serious condition and now I'm ready to give my all for Milan.”

After this brace Borriello could feature in Tuesday's Champions League clash with Real Madrid, although Pippo Inzaghi still has the upper hand in Europe.

“The Coach makes his decisions, but the important thing is that I feel good and am ready when he needs me.”





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