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The Archive

December 2013

Acerbi lodges doping appeal
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sassuolo defender Francesco Acerbi lodged his appeal against a doping ban after his test was affected by cancer.

The former Milan, Genoa and Chievo man failed a doping test after the December 1 match against Cagliari due to elevated levels of the hormone hCG.

This hormone is often linked to tumours and further investigation found his cancer had indeed returned after a testicular tumour was removed in July.

The Disciplinary Commission suspended Acerbi via the usual procedure and today he presented his appeal to the TNA anti-doping commission.

His hearing will be on January 18 and he will remain suspended until at least that date.

Acerbi would not be able to play during this time anyway, as he is undergoing treatment for the cancer relapse.

After the first tumour was discovered, medics decided to only remove it and not use any medication, but it is believed the 25-year-old will now have a course of chemotherapy.

Prandelli: '2014 for Balotelli'
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cesare Prandelli believes 2014 “will be Mario Balotelli’s World Cup,” and hailed “motivated” Giuseppe Rossi.

The Italy Coach spoke to La Stampa newspaper ahead of the tournament in Brazil, where the Azzurri will face Uruguay, England and Costa Rica.

“In media terms, it will be Balotelli’s World Cup, but he needs to do extraordinary things now,” said Prandelli.

“It will also be the World Cup of Leo Messi and Luis Suarez, as these are among the three best players in the world.”

Stephan El Shaarawy is essentially out of the running for a place in the squad after surgery to stabilise a fractured metatarsal, as he’ll be out of action until mid-March.

Others are finding their way back from long-term absences, like Roma’s Mattia Destro and Fiorentina hitman Rossi.

“El Shaarawy needs to rediscover his calm. I was always fond of Destro, while Rossi is even more motivated than he was before.”

AC Milan confirm Braida exit
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As expected, Milan have parted company with director of sport Ariedo Braida after 27 years at the club.

The Rossoneri released a statement this morning confirming Braida “leaves the club today. He was a precious collaborator for a very long time, characterised by prestigious results that must also be attributed to his important work.”

It is a huge break, as Braida has been at Milanello for 27 years in various capacities.

His exit is the sign of a new era opening up under Barbara Berlusconi, who became joint-CEO with Adriano Galliani this month.

“I thank President Silvio Berlusconi and Vice-President Adriano Galliani for these 28 years. All the best to the Milan fans and all those who have Milan in their soul.”

Braida has been linked with future jobs at other football clubs, including Sampdoria and Monaco.

Allegri: 'My last AC Milan Christmas'
31.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits “it’s my last Christmas at Milan and the last four months were disastrous.”

The Coach hopes 2014 can bring improvements and starts out by welcoming youth into his side, as today 15-year-old support striker Hachim Mastour and 15-year-old midfielder Manuel Locatelli join stars like Mario Balotelli and Ricky Kaka in training.

“The last four months in Serie A were disastrous,” confessed Allegri to Sky Sport Italia.

“In 2014 we are focusing on a great Champions League campaign. I am confident, even though Sulley Muntari and Riccardo Montolivo will be suspended for the first leg against Atletico Madrid.

“Plus there is the Coppa Italia to play for and in the League third place is a long way off, but we’ll do everything possible.”

In another interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Allegri acknowleged this is his final term at San Siro.

“I could’ve been the Coach who earned Milan’s second star, their 20th Scudetto. A phantom goal played a decisive role in my second Rossoneri season. We were not very lucky.”

He was referring to the infamous Sulley Muntari goal that crossed the line without being spotted by officials in their draw with Juventus.

“I leave a good team that earned the love of the fans. A team that with a few adjustments will have a future.

“The real regret is that I never had all the players at my disposal. The first choice full-backs were practically never available at the same time. We didn’t make mistakes in the medical staff, as we consulted with some of the best specialists in the world and it makes me angry that our doctors are under attack.

“I have always worked with enthusiasm and will continue right to the end. Why am I leaving? I decided the day it was made official I’d remain for one more season. I liked the idea of staying and finishing the job, but four years in one club is a long time.”

Clarence Seedorf is heavily tipped to be Allegri’s successor, despite having no management experience.

“I don’t know who will be the next Milan Coach and it’s not my problem. I can be certain this is my last Christmas at Milan, but I got there despite many people doubting I’d manage that.

“Seedorf gave a great deal in his penultimate season at Milan. He’s a great player, but I’d have loved to work with him when he was 28 rather than 35.”

There are other new arrivals, as Keisuke Honda and Adil Rami have joined from CSKA Moscow and Valencia respectively.

“I think they were good buys. The club is working well, is building the team also for next season so that we won’t need too many adjustments.

“As for Balotelli, this year will be good for his future. He will improve a great deal, has enormous potential and will also be crucial for the World Cup.”

Allegri was asked about rumours he is the favourite to take over from Cesare Prandelli on the Italy bench after Brazil 2014.

“What do I say about the colour Azzurro? It brings the sun, which makes you happy when you wake up in the morning.... The Nazionale has a great Coach who has brought wonderful results and can have a great World Cup.”

Raiola: Balotelli not leaving AC Milan
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mino Raiola has confirmed reports that he did not tell a newspaper Mario Balotelli wants to leave Milan.

A quote attributed to the representative from The National this morning suggested that he had claimed the striker wanted away from San Siro.

However, the agent has insisted that is not the case, calling the story ‘low-level journalism’.

"I haven't spoken with anyone,” he told reporters. “They are liars, and it's low-level journalism.

“I agree with what Milan's official website wrote about Balotelli not being for sale in January.”

Galliani: Balotelli's not leaving
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan director Adriano Galliani has confirmed that Mario Balotelli will not be leaving the club in January.

Reports in Il Secolo XIX this morning revealed that President Silvio Berlusconi has had enough of the controversial goalscorer and wants rid of him.

Those stories seemed to have been backed up by agent Mino Raiola, who told newspaper The National that Balotelli wanted to leave San Siro next month.

Since then though, it has been claimed that comments attributed to Raiola were in fact false, and Galliani has reiterated the club’s stance that the Italy international is not for sale.

“Balotelli will not leave Milan,” the director told reporters.

Honda: AC Milan fans expect a lot
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Keisuke Honda has admitted that the Milan fans ‘expect a lot’, but the Japan international has insisted he is ready for the Rossoneri.

The former CSKA Moscow man left the Russian side for the San Siro outfit, and can officially start with Massimiliano Allegri’s team in January.

The 27-year-old though, has insisted that he is up for the challenge.

“The Milan fans expect a lot from me, and I will have to be at my best in every game,” he told Goal.com

“I used to dream about playing at San Siro as it is the stadium of a team that I watched as a kid.

"I can play in all the positions in attack: winger, trequartista or second striker. The Coach will decide where I play."

"I'm 27 so the moment has arrived for me to play in a big club and become an infinitely better player."

"I'm the type of player that immediately learns from his team-mates - even more so if there are top players at the club.”

Report: Raiola quotes are false
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Quotes attributed to Mario Balotelli’s agent Mino Raiola are reportedly untrue, according to sources.

The well-respected Milanello Twitter account has claimed that comments made by the striker’s representative about his future are false.

Raiola is reported to have told The National that the Italy international wants to leave San Siro in January.

However, Milanello have insisted those quotes are false.

Raiola: Balotelli wants to leave AC Milan
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli looks to be on the verge of leaving Milan, after his agent confirmed that the striker wants out in January.

Reports in Il Secolo XIX this morning revealed that President Silvio Berlusconi has had enough of the controversial forward and has ordered Adriano Galliani to accept any offer of €25m or more.

And the Italy international’s representative has claimed that the 23-year-old wants to leave San Siro next month.

“Mario wants to leave Milan in January,” Mino Raiola told The National.

“I don’t know where he will go, but we will look at different options.

“Chelsea is an option, but there have been no real offers and I cannot say anything.”

Report: Berlusconi wants rid of Balotelli
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Il Secolo XIX have claimed, once again, that Silvio Berlusconi wants rid of Mario Balotelli, and has ordered to accept any offer of €25m or above.

The paper revealed last week that the Milan President was unhappy with the striker and wanted him out of the club.

The Rossoneri quickly released a statement rubbishing the story, but they have reiterated their stance again on Monday, insisting that Berlusconi is desperate to get rid of the controversial forward.

The President has, reportedly, ordered Adriano Galliani to accept any offers of €25m or over for Balotelli in January.

AC Milan duo fight for Dzeko
30.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Edin Dzeko is a transfer target for Milan and Inter, according to reports in the Italian Press this morning.

Tuttosport believe that the San Siro pair are both keen on signing the Bosnia international, but will face competition from Valencia and Borussia Dortmund.

The Manchester City man has found himself a perennial substitute at the Etihad this term, and as such, is believed to want first team football ahead of next summer’s World Cup.

Both Serie A clubs can offer the goalscorer that, and both would be willing to pay for his considerable attacking threat.

The paper reports that Adriano Galliani has a good working relationship with Dzeko’s entourage, whilst new Nerazzurri owner Erick Thohir would be willing to splash out on a marquee name in January.

De Jong: 'Stephan, keep your chin up!'
29.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Nigel De Jong has come to the support of his Milan teammate Stephan El Shaarawy, after the forward underwent surgery on Saturday.

The Italy international is expected to be out for over two months with a foot injury, but the Dutch midfielder has urged his clubmate to ‘keep his chin up’.

“Never give up brother,” De Jong posted on his official Twitter account. “You will come back stronger than before.

“Keep your chin up.”

El Shaarawy will now be ordered to rest for two weeks before starting his rehabilitation.

Nainggolan linked with Roma and AC Milan
29.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Radja Nainggolan looks to be a step closer to leaving Cagliari in January, with several outlets reporting that Milan and Roma will bid.

The Belgian midfielder has been on the verge of leaving the Isolani for some time now, with a deal to Inter rumoured to have been close to completion in the summer.

However, the 25-year-old looks to be close to a switch away from the club, with Roma and Milan both vying for his signature.

Tuttosport, Corriere dello Sport and Gazzetta dello Sport all report that the pair are interested in Nainggolan, with the Giallorossi in pole position at the moment.

AC Milan eye Osasuna goalkeeper
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are being linked with Osasuna goalkeeper Andres Fernandez, but face competition from Tottenham.

The Rossoneri are looking for a new shot-stopper, as youngster Gabriel has not convinced the club and Christian Abbiati could retire over the summer.

According to Spanish media Fichajes.net, the latest target is 27-year-old Osasuna goallie Andres Fernandez.

His contract is due to expire in June 2015, but his record this season in La Liga is far from reassuring, keeping just three clean sheets in 17 games and conceding 28 goals.

Fernandez has also been linked with Tottenham, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

El Shaarawy out for 10 weeks
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy underwent surgery on his right foot today and Milan confirmed he’ll be out for 10 weeks.

It is a heavy blow for the Little Pharaoh, who has barely featured this season due to a series of injury problems.

He had already been out of action for a couple of months with a fractured metatarsal in his right foot and it is this injury that failed to heal effectively.

Specialists advised surgery in Portugal to stabilise the fourth metatarsal in the right foot, taking some of the pressure off the area with the stress fracture.

Professor Niek Van Dijk performed the surgery and predicted a return to the playing field in around 10 weeks.

This would mean El Shaarawy wouldn’t be back in action until mid-March, so it’s extremely unlikely he’d be considered for Italy’s 2014 World Cup squad.

Today Coach Cesare Prandelli confirmed he’ll make his selection based on fitness tests in April.

Niang makes Montpellier move
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker M’Baye Niang wants to “get back to being the player I was” as he begins training with Montpellier.

The loan move has not been made official, but French club Montpellier today released a photograph of Niang training with his new teammates.

“I came here to help this club in its comeback and the Coach was very important in my decision,” said the 19-year-old forward.

“The squad has talent, I want to return to the field and prove I haven’t lost my confidence or quality. I can get back to being the player I was.”

Niang scored just one goal in 33 games for Milan in all competition, netted in a Coppa Italia Round of 16 tie against Reggina in December 2012.

AC Milan deny Balotelli row
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As expected, Milan released a statement denying President Silvio Berlusconi put Mario Balotelli on the market.

The report emerged in Genoa-based newspaper Il Secolo XIX this morning, suggesting the patron was furious with his behaviour and demanded a sale during the January transfer window.

“AC Milan categorically denies statements that have been attributed to club President Silvio Berlusconi regarding a possible transfer of Mario Balotelli.

“Mario Balotelli is and will remain an AC Milan player.”

Berlusconi drops Balotelli?
28.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Newspaper Secolo XIX claims President Silvio Berlusconi has put Mario Balotelli on the market after a furious outburst.

The Genoa-based paper ran the story this morning, suggesting Berlusconi confided in members of his entourage that he had run out of patience.

“I’ve had enough and the decision is made. Mario is officially on the market and we need to sell him before the end of January,” Berlusconi allegedly said.

The patron had problems with SuperMario in the past, famously describing him as a “rotten apple” before the transfer from Manchester City was completed.

However, it is extremely unlikely the Rossoneri would sell their best player and top scorer, particularly as they are still in the Champions League and will face Atletico Madrid in February.

Robinho agent denies Santos link
27.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Robinho has dismissed suggestions that the Milan man could be on his way to Santos.

The 29-year-old started his career with the Brazilian outfit and he’s been linked with a third stint with the club.

“There are no negotiations going on,” Marisa Ramos told Lancenet. “Every time that Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani comes to Brazil there are these transfer rumours…”

The international forward moved to San Siro in the summer of 2010 after ending his two-year spell with Manchester City.

Robinho, who is tied to the Diavolo until June 2016, has scored two goals in 12 Serie A games and one in six Champions League ties so far this term.

Capello on AC Milan - Seedorf option
27.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fabio Capello doesn’t think Clarence Seedorf would be the right man to replace Massimiliano Allegri at Milan.

The Dutchman, still playing for Botafogo, is being linked with the Diavolo hotseat given that tactician Allegri is set to leave at the end of the season.

“Clarence has ability and I have an excellent relationship with him,” the Russia boss told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I remember that it was me who advised him to go and play in Brazil seeing as he was thinking about the UAE and Russia a year ago.

“Evidently this experience is serving him well, but to immediately take the responsibility of the Milan job is something else.”

The 67-year-old knows all about the Milan job seeing as he bossed the San Siro giants for two spells during his glittering club career.

Seedorf, meanwhile, spent a decade in the Milan midfield before leaving for South American in the summer of 2012 once his contract had expired.

CSKA sad to lose Honda
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The President of CSKA Moscow is disappointed to have lost Keisuke Honda to Milan on a free transfer.

The Japanese international will join the Rossoneri next month after his contract with the Russians expired.

“I’m not used to being cheated,” Evgeni Giner told the Russian media. “In June, Milan’s representatives told me that they had made no contact with Honda, when, in reality, they spoke to him in February.

“Then Honda and his brother promised me that they would sign an extension.

“We could have sold Honda to Everton, or to another club, but we couldn’t because he just wanted Milan and that is his right.

“I, however, don’t think he will play that much over there – although I could be wrong.”

Nainggolan to AC Milan or Juventus
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cagliari chief Massimo Cellino says he will sell Radja Nainggolan to either Milan or Juventus.

The Belgium international midfielder has been made available for sale and a January move is a possibility.

“If I was only interested in the money, as some people think, then I would sell Nainggolan to a foreign club,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.

“However, given the player’s ability, I want him to remain in Italy with Juventus or Milan.

“Juve director general Beppe Marotta asked me for him first, but there is Milan where there is a friend of mine in Adriano Galliani.”

Juve President Andrea Agnelli today told Tuttosport that he didn’t expect his club to make any January signings.

The Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Milan are in pole position for the former Piacenza man.

While Nainggolan looks set to stay in Serie A, international defender Davide Astori may be on his way out of the country.

“It is a different situation for Astori,” Cellino added. “I imagine that he will either end up in Russia or in England.”

Galliani wants a better 2014
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is hoping for a change in Serie A fortunes in the New Year.

“We hope we have a good 2014,” the official noted given that his side are thirteenth in the table with just 19 points from 17 games.

“I expect a lot more points in Serie A, seeing as we have very few right now, but there is the odd excuse – like the many injuries.

“It’s not a great Christmas in terms of the championship, but it is if we think about the Champions League where we are the only Italian side in the last 16.”

Milan have already made use of the January transfer window by signing defender Adil Rami and Keisuke Honda, but Radja Nainggolan could also be on his way.

“It is pointless to talk about transfers,” responded Galliani when he was asked about the Cagliari midfielder.

Torino after Nocerino - report
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino is being courted by Torino with the midfielder possibly off to Turin in January.

Sky Sport Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has revealed this evening that Il Toro are desperate to sign the Milan man, and will make a move during the winter window.

On his official website, Di Marzio has claimed that the Rossoneri are in talks with the Granata hierarchy over a potential deal.

Defender Danilo D’Ambrosio is expected to move in the opposite direction in January, and that working relationship is being exploited by Torino, who want the 28-year-old to join.

Nocerino has been in and out of Massimilano Allegri’s side this season, playing nine League games but starting just five of those.

Robinho: Santos move unlikely
24.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho has conceded that his rumoured move to Santos is unlikely to happen any time soon.

The Milan forward has been linked with a switch back to Brazil for the past 18 months, but the forward has this evening admitted that a transfer is not in the pipeline.

“Will I return to Santos? It's difficult to return now because I have a contract with Milan. My future belongs to God,” he told GloboEsporte.com.”

The Selecao international then commented on the Rossoneri’s current League form and their Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid.

“We’re not having a good time in the League, but in the Champions League we were the only Italina team to qualify for the knockout stages.

“Now we will face Atletico Madrid, who are a very strong side that will make it difficult for us.”

Three-game ban for Muntari
23.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will be without Sulley Muntari for their next three League games following his dismissal against Inter.

The Ghana international, 29, was sent-off in the 1-0 defeat at San Siro last night for his altercation with Zdravko Kuzmanovic.

Muntari will miss the club’s Serie A ties with Atalanta, Sassuolo and Verona.

Players banned for one game: Anderson Da Silva Miguel (Cagliari), Campagnaro Hugo Armando (Internazionale), Diamanti Alessandro (Bologna), Garics Gyorgy (Bologna), Gobbi Massimo (Parma), Ramos Borges Emerson (Livorno).

Brazilians didn't shine for Scolari
23.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari wasn’t left that impressed by the performance of Kaka in the Milan derby.

The tactician was in the stands at San Siro last night as Inter defeated the Rossoneri 1-0 with a late Rodrigo Palacio goal.

“I came to take a look at the Brazilians, but they played normal,” he stated. “Kaka didn’t have a great game, he wasn’t bad but he didn’t shine either.

“I don’t know if I will call up Kaka for the World Cup. I came to look at him and Inter’s Jonathan and Juan Jesus.

“There are still six months left until the World Cup and there is time to evaluate the squad.”

Kaka has shined at times for the Diavolo so far this season since he returned to the club after four tough years at Real Madrid.

Constant suffers foot problem
23.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Constant will face further tests next week after the Milan man picked up an injury on Sunday.

The left-back was replaced at half-time of the game against Inter, a tie which the Rossoneri eventually lost 1-0.

The former Genoa man suffered a foot problem during the first half. He will be examined again on December 30 when the team returns to training after their Christmas break.

Milan will play Atalanta on Monday 6 January.

Sacchi saw an average derby
23.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Legendary Italian tactician Arrigo Sacchi was left unimpressed with what he saw in Sunday’s Milan derby.

“It was a decidedly mediocre match with some nasty tackles,” the former Diavolo boss stated after Inter beat the Rossoneri 1-0.

“I believe that Inter eventually won with merit as they took advantage of Milan’s dip. Inter won the game with their best player.”

Rodrigo Palacio got the only goal of the encounter with his delicate back-heeled flick in the last 10 minutes of the match.

Niang off to Montpellier
23.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan youngster M’Baye Niang has confirmed he will end the campaign back in France with Montpellier.

The 19-year-old, signed by the Diavolo in 2012 from Caen, will move to the struggling Ligue 1 outfit in January on a loan deal.

“I'm very happy about joining Montpellier,” the striker commented. “I also had some offers from Marseille and Lyon, but I want to help Montpellier.”

Niang has scored just one goal in 33 appearances for the Italian outfit.

“I don't have any regrets about joining the Rossoneri,” he added. “My ambition is to return to Milan as an even better player.”

AC Milan deserved more, says Matri
23.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Matri thinks his Milan side deserved at least a point in the lost derby against Inter on Sunday.

Rodrigo Palacio flicked in the only goal of the game late on to leave Milan with just one win from their last nine League games.

“We don’t deserve this loss,” the €11m summer signing from Juventus stated after the San Siro encounter.

“As far as I know we’re the team with the most possession in the League and the highest number of shots on target.

“But all that counts for little as the League table is there for all to see.”

The Diavolo are thirteenth in the standings – and just five points above the drop zone after a problematic opening to the season.

Matri, too, has had his struggles since his arrival given that he has netted just once in 17 games.

“I really want to get back playing and I’m the first to hope that 2014 will be better for me and for the team.

“The best is still to come and I’ve already been through periods like this before. It passes.”

Saponara: 'AC Milan played, Inter won'
23.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Saponara believes “Milan played and Inter won” after his surprise start in the Derby della Madonnina.

The 22-year-old made his first start in a Rossoneri jersey, but emerged with a 1-0 defeat.

“There is a bitter taste in the mouth, as we deserved more on the strength of that performance,” Saponara told Milan Channel.

“We did very well in the first half and for a large chunk of the second, but Inter only came out at the end and managed to score.

“Now we will analyse the game with clear heads, but there are good things to build on. Losing a Derby is never good, especially when Milan played and Inter won.”

The Italy Under-21 international had played only 24 minutes over two substitute appearances this season.

“The Coach told me this morning that I would start and then confirmed his decision in the afternoon.

“I was a little emotional at the beginning, but I tried to shake it off, as the team needed my help. I tried to play a lot of first-time passes, though perhaps I could’ve taken some more touches. I am working to improve and tried to help in defence.

“I think I did as much as I could this evening. I had many injury problems and gave my all, so the Coach knows what I can do.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan ran out of steam'
23.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri concedes Milan were “tired” and fell away after an hour in their 1-0 defeat to Inter.

The Rossoneri have earned just one point from their last five meetings with the Nerazzurri, not winning since April 2011.

“The team was a little tired at the end, but unfortunately I had few options,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“Riccardo Saponara played well while his legs lasted and Milan played well, but then we paid the price for one incident and I didn’t have time to put Philippe Mexes on and cover their wings.

“I think it was a strong performance for an hour, then we should’ve defended better and Rodrigo Palacio scored a great goal.

“The Derby is separate from the rest of the season. What disappoints me is that we concede many more fouls and get many more cards than our opponents. Something has to be wrong, because we get so many bookings.

“I’m angry at what I saw here tonight. In the first six months Milan have rarely been able to count on the same XI players, as we had numerous injuries and are the only Italian team left in the Champions League.

“It’s a shame to lose the Derby, but we have many more games to make up for it.”

Milan truly fell away in the final 15 minutes and were under constant pressure from that point on, but Allegri explained his substitutions.

“Mexes was going to come on, but then Inter went on the counter and scored. Saponara was losing steam and I preferred to put on Alessandro Matri to reinforce the attack.

“We had Urby Emanuelson, who replaced the injured Kevin Constant and couldn’t move his arm, while Saponara hadn’t played in a long time. My only option was to introduce Mexes, but Daniele Bonera wasn’t feeling great either, so I hesitated.

“Kaka had a good game and so did the overall team for an hour. We should’ve defended better on the goal, but we got tired and stretched out. What we should’ve done was take our chances in the first half.”

Mario Balotelli wasted some good chances, but Allegri defended the striker’s attitude.

“Mario did well and is relaxed at the moment, he stays quiet even when he gets kicked repeatedly, so in that sense Milan have done a good job with Balotelli.”

The Rossoneri are only five points clear of the relegation zone and one point above Atalanta.

“Once we are all fit, plus the arrival of Adil Rami and Keisuke Honda, we can finally give other players a bit of a rest. We’ve got a lot of people out of action and have been playing twice a week all season.”

Allegri was asked how he can continue to stay focused when the newspapers insist Clarence Seedorf already has a deal to take over next season.

“I work calmly, have important objectives to target and it’s true we are behind in Serie A, but I trust in 2014 it will be different. We’re in the Champions League and Coppa Italia.”

Serie A: Inter 1:0 AC Milan - match report
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Palacio 85 (I)

Rodrigo Palacio’s delightful back-heel flick in the final minutes allowed Inter to beat Milan in the Derby della Madonnina.

Max Allegri pulled a huge surprise by picking Riccardo Saponara for his first start, having played just 24 minutes in two substitute appearances, the day after his 22nd birthday. Riccardo Montolivo and Ricky Alvarez were suspended with Diego Milito, Robinho, Stephan El Shaarawy, Matias Silvestre, Ignazio Abate, Marco Amelia and Valter Birsa injured.

Milan were unbeaten in five, while Inter hadn’t won during the same period, but remained nine points ahead of the Rossoneri. There was no choreography in the stands, as the Nerazzurri ultras were only allowed in after an appeal against their ban was accepted on Friday for anti-Neapolitan chants. Milan ultras were barred from bringing in their choreography this morning, so in solidarity Inter fans removed their banners too.

Saponara had a bright start, setting up Mario Balotelli for a shot deflected off target by Juan Jesus. Balotelli fired over from a Mattia De Sciglio’s cross, but committed a foul when following up after Samir Handanovic spilled Ricky Kaka’s angled drive.

Milan were in control early on, but after 15 minutes Fredy Guarin saw Christian Abbiati off his line and looped just wide. Sulley Muntari scuffed a shot off target and Yuto Nagatomo nodded a Saphir Taider curling cross over at the back post.

The Rossoneri wasted a golden opportunity on 29 minutes. Handanovic flapped at a Kaka corner and it fell to Andrea Poli, who lost his balance to balloon over an open goal from 12 yards.

Rodrigo Palacio was understandably furious just before the break when he was tripped from behind by Cristian Zapata, but the referee waved away penalty appeals. Muntari also escaped a card for landing on Jonathan’s shin with his studs and Kevin Constant was booked for pulling back Guarin. In the final kick of the first half, Esteban Cambiasso nodded a Taider set piece just past the far post.

Constant sprained his right ankle and was replaced by Urby Emanuelson. Jonathan fired straight at Christian Abbiati, while Handanovic’s one-handed save beat away a Balotelli shot with Nagatomo anticipating Poli on the rebound. Balo threatened again, his volley with the outside of the boot deflected wide.

Hugo Campagnaro risked an own goal with a ricochet that whistled past the post, Abbiati smothered a Nagatomo strike, Balotelli turned a Kaka free kick wide at full stretch and blasted his own set play off target.

Inter started to pile on more pressure as Milan appeared to tire, but Mattia De Sciglio stopped a dangerous Guarin counter-attack and Mateo Kovacic blasted over after a good move.

They had a great chance on 79 minutes when Palacio turned to force a save out of Abbiati, then the move continued and Palacio again prodded it into the goalkeeper’s grateful hands. Moments later Milan wasted a counter-attack with Balotelli’s heavy touch.

Seeing the Nerazzurri were now in control, Walter Mazzarri threw on striker Mauro Icardi for midfielder Cambiasso. It paid off, as Inter broke the deadlock with five minutes left. Guarin rolled across for Palacio to smartly turn in a backheel flick from six yards, surprising Zapata and Abbiati.

Giampaolo Pazzini made his comeback after knee surgery, replacing Poli, but the Rossoneri were visibly out of steam and Palacio fired over from the edge of the box.

In stoppages it erupted into a touchline brawl when Muntari shoulder-charged Kuzmanovic for time-wasting, as he wouldn’t give back the ball. The Ghanaian was shown a red card.

From that Balotelli free kick, Handanovic fingertipped it off the head of Nigel De Jong at the back post.

Inter: Handanovic; Campagnaro, Rolando, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Taider (Kovacic 56), Cambiasso (Icardi 82), Zanetti (Kuzmanovic 68), Nagatomo; Guarin; Palacio

Milan: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Bonera, Zapata, Constant (Emanuelson 46); Poli (Pazzini 87), De Jong, Muntari; Saponara (Matri 75), Kaka; Balotelli

Ref: Mazzoleni

Sent off: Muntari 93 (M)

Tassotti: 'Saponara to help Kaka'
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan assistant manager Mauro Tassotti reveals Riccardo Saponara starts “to give Kaka more freedom.”

Massimiliano Allegri’s right hand man spoke to Sky Sport Italia ahead of the clash with Inter.

The huge surprise was to include Saponara, who turned 22 yesterday and has made only two substitute appearances this season for a total 24 minutes of football.

“We have an emergency in attack and on the bench only Alessandro Matri can actually play. If we want to change during the game, we need fresh legs who are capable of making an impact.

“He would also give Kaka more freedom to move around, as he has played a lot recently and is suffering a little in physical terms.

“Having two trequartisti there will help him. He’ll be able to play between the lines and push up to be a support striker too.”

Tassotti was also asked about the rumours Clarence Seedorf has agreed to take over at Milan next season.

“We have an important game tonight, so I think discussing the future is out of place. Rumours have been circulating since the summer, so I doubt they will affect us now.”

Juan Jesus: 'I will stop Balotelli'
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter defender Juan Jesus assures he will “stop Mario Balotelli from playing” in tonight’s Milan Derby.

The Brazilian spoke to Mediaset Premium ahead of the 19.45 GMT kick-off.

“Derbies fire me up even more and we must try to win,” said Juan Jesus.

“Balotelli has great quality, but I will be careful and stop him from playing.”

New President Erick Thohir is in the stands and met with the squad on Saturday.

“He asked us to give our best and go for the victory.”

Scolari: 'Here to watch Brazilians'
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luiz Felipe Scolari is at San Siro for the Milan Derby. “I am here to watch the game and the Brazilians.”

The Seleçao boss spoke to Sky Sport Italia ahead of tonight’s showdown.

“I am here to watch the game and the Brazilians who are on the field,” said Felipao.

“Is Kaka among them? He has to take part in the games and be useful to the team. We’ll see... Everyone has the possibility of being called up.”

Brazil are hosting the 2014 World Cup, while Italy have a tough Group against Uruguay, England and Costa Rica.

“We are playing at home and want to win. Clearly there are difficult opponents, including Italy. Plus you have Mario Balotelli, who is really appreciated in Brazil for his talent.”

Thohir: 'I have faith in Mazzarri'
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter President Erick Thohir is in the stands for his first Derby della Madonnina. “I have faith in Walter Mazzarri.”

The patron flew in from Indonesia for this event and spoke to Mediaset Premium as he entered San Siro.

“It is going to be a very interesting game,” said Thohir. “It is a derby and we want to win it. We’ve been a little unlucky recently, but I think the team can do it.

“What is our objective for this season? To improve on last term, but to reach the Champions League we must find stability and I have only been here for a month.

“As for this game, I have faith in the players and Walter Mazzarri. It’s up to them now.”

Serie A: Inter vs. AC Milan - lineups
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter: Handanovic; Campagnaro, Rolando, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Taider, Cambiasso, Zanetti, Nagatomo; Guarin; Palacio

Inter bench: Carrizo, Castellazzi, Ranocchia, Andreolli, Samuel, Pereira, Kovacic, Mudingayi, Icardi, Belfodil, Kuzmanovic, Wallace

Milan: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Bonera, Zapata, Constant; Poli, De Jong, Muntari; Saponara, Kaka; Balotelli

Milan bench: Gabriel, Coppola, Zaccardo, Mexes, Emanuelson, Cristante, Nocerino, Pazzini, Matri

Milan Derby choreography row
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Milan Derby will be less spectacular tonight, as officials banned the Rossoneri choreography and Inter fans are on strike.

San Siro will be packed for the Derby della Madonnina at 19.45 GMT.

The fixture has been a tormented one for the supporters, as until Friday the Curva Nord – where the Inter ultras sit – was to be closed after ‘discriminatory’ anti-Neapolitan chants.

The club’s appeal was accepted to suspend the ban pending further investigation.

However, it’s reported that this morning the local authorities unexpectedly ruled Milan fans could not bring their choreography into the stands of the Curva Sud.

It had been regularly checked by the club and authorised to go ahead, but La Gazzetta dello Sport claims they suddenly pulled the plug.

Hearing of this news, the Inter ultras in the Curva Nord decided to remove their choreography in solidarity with their Milan counterparts.

Nainggolan talks after Cellino outburst
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

After Massimo Cellino declared Radja Nainggolan “has to go,” Milan are offering €6.25m plus half of Bryan Cristante just for co-ownership.

Cagliari President Cellino raged at journalists after last night’s 1-1 draw with Napoli, as the Stadio Sant’Elia continues restructuring work and allows in only 5,000 fans.

“Nainggolan will definitely go. Not even in January, he can go tomorrow,” snapped the patron.

“He has six or seven clubs looking for him and I can’t keep hold of him again. It’s not an issue of money, as even if they give me less than his price-tag, he’ll still go. If he doesn’t want to go, I’ll send him away.”

The reports over the last few days had suggested Milan were close to a deal anyway, so this is the open door they needed.

However, it’s reported Cagliari have requested €7m plus co-ownership of teenage midfielder Cristante to buy half of Nainggolan’s contract, whereas Milan are not willing to pay above €6.25m.

It is a slender difference, but can allow in bigger offers from clubs such as Juventus, Inter, Roma, Fiorentina, Manchester United, Everton and Manchester City.

Nainggolan is a Belgian international who would benefit from a move to a bigger club so he can earn his spot at the 2014 World Cup.

Cagliari rejected numerous proposals in the past, but Cellino seems to have given up on holding out again in January.

Cellino: 'Nainggolan must go'
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Radja Nainggolan said he hasn’t received firm offers, but Cagliari President Massimo Cellino warned “he has to go now.”

The midfielder has so far resisted all bids despite interest from the likes of Inter, Juventus, Milan, Roma, Fiorentina and overseas at Everton, Manchester City and Manchester United.

“You journalists are the ones who talk about the transfer market, not me,” the Belgian international told Sky Sport Italia after tonight’s 1-1 draw with Napoli.

“I haven’t received any offers and I am happy to play here at Cagliari.”

However, President Cellino spoke to the media after the game and painted a very different picture, apparently irritated by the fact the Stadio Sant’Elia still allows only 5,000 fans due to restructuring work.

“Nainggolan will definitely go. Not even in January, he can go tomorrow,” snapped the patron.

“He has six or seven clubs looking for him and I can’t keep hold of him again. It’s not an issue of money, as even if they give me less than his price-tag, he’ll still go. If he doesn’t want to go, I’ll send him away.

“We play in a stadium worthy of Serie C, the players had to travel all around Italy for two years because we weren’t allowed a home stadium. I can’t keep anyone in these conditions.

“From tomorrow anyone who wants to leave Cagliari is free to do so. Those who remain do so only if they want to and that’s their problem. I wouldn’t stay in this situation.

“Does that apply to Davide Astori too? It applies to everyone, I don’t rule anybody out.”

Thohir enjoys Milan Derby 'practice'
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Erick Thohir watched Inter’s youth team beat Milan and hopes it is “only practice” for tomorrow’s Derby della Madonnina.

The Primavera side beat their Rossoneri counterparts 3-1 this afternoon for the Coppa Italia Primavera quarter-final and President Thohir was in the stands.

“It was a great victory today and hopefully we can play the same way tomorrow,” the Indonesian magnate told journalists.

“I’m happy to be here. These are the future stars and it's my commitment to support the youth organisation.

“I'd like the young players to be in the team in the future. So that's why I'm here, but also tomorrow will be a big game. We'll get lots of practice today because tomorrow we're playing AC Milan again!”

Thohir also met with the senior squad and Coach Walter Mazzarri yesterday.

“I think it's good to wish 'Merry Christmas' and 'Happy New Year', and not only to the players and Coach Mazzarri - we also went to the Inter offices to meet all the staff.

“There are 75 people working there and I've now managed to meet all 75 of them. I think it was a good meeting with the staff and also with the players.

“Did we discuss transfers? Yes, we did but you can ask Branca and Ausilio about that – there's a division of roles.”

Inter squad for AC Milan
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There is still no Diego Milito for the Milan Derby and Inter must replace the suspended Ricky Alvarez.

The San Siro showdown kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT.

Alvarez sits out a ban, while Milito and Cristian Chivu are still on the treatment table, but Walter Samuel is included.

Inter squad for Milan: Handanovic, Carrizo, Castellazzi; Jonathan, Zanetti, Juan Jesus, Andreolli, Campagnaro, Wallace, Ranocchia, Samuel, Pereira, Rolando, Nagatomo; Kovacic, Guarin, Mudingayi, Kuzmanovic, Cambiasso, Taider; Belfodil, Palacio, Icardi.

Emanuelson fit for AC Milan Derby
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Urby Emanuelson is in Milan’s squad to face Inter on Sunday evening, but the absentee list remains extensive.

The Derby della Madonnina kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT.

Emanuelson was in doubt after he was stretchered off during the 2-2 draw with Roma due to a collision with goalkeeper Gabriel, but avoided fractures and is in the team.

Christian Abbiati is also present following a stomach complaint last week, but Stephan El Shaarawy, Robinho, Ignazio Abate, Matias Silvestre, Valter Birsa and Marco Amelia are still injured.

Riccardo Montolivo misses the Milan Derby on a ban.

Milan squad for Inter: Abbiati, Coppola, Gabriel, Bonera, Constant, De Sciglio, Mexes, Zaccardo, Zapata, Cristante, Emanuelson, De Jong, Kakà, Muntari, Nocerino, Poli, Saponara, Balotelli, Matri, Pazzini

Torino want El Shaarawy, AC Milan on Nainggolan
22.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Torino confirm a January loan for Stephan El Shaarawy “depends on Milan,” while the Rossoneri close on Radja Nainggolan.

El Shaarawy has barely featured this season due to injuries and competition for places, so has been linked with a loan move for the final six months.

“We will be alert on the transfer market and try to do something that can help us improve,” confessed Torino director of sport Gianluca Petrachi in Tuttosport.

“El Shaarawy? First of all the financial burden is above the average of players in our squad, but if a sacrifice can be made that is worth it, then of course we will consider it.

“He is a top level player in a great team, so we have to be cautious about this. However, if Milan had the idea of loaning him out so he could play more regularly and rediscover his form, then we’d be interested in collaborating with them. It all depends on Milan.”

El Shaarawy could well join Torino on loan in exchange for Danilo D’Ambrosio, who is frozen out after refusing to sign a contract extension.

Meanwhile, La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Milan are also close to capturing Cagliari midfielder Nainggolan.

The Belgian international has long been linked with a move away from Sardinia, primarily with Inter, Roma, Juventus and Southampton interested.

According to the latest reports, the Rossoneri have gained the upper hand by offering €8m plus half of Bryan Cristante in exchange for co-ownership of Nainggolan.

Mazzarri: 'My first Milan Derby'
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Walter Mazzarri is looking forward to his first Derby della Madonnina and feels Chelsea rumours are helping Fredy Guarin.

It kicks off at San Siro at 19.45 GMT on Sunday.

“Of course the Milan Derby has a special fascination to it and as a Coach I try not to think about it until I step on to the field. At that moment I will realise what the Milan Derby really is,” said Mazzarri in his Press conference.

“I must focus on helping the team play against Milan so the players can be ready to approach this game. I am more concerned with seeing my players adopt my style of football – one that is pleasing to watch, attacking and moving ball to feet.

“Rationally, the Derby is worth three points, but we are close to the fans and realise the difference. Certain games can also help with self-confidence or affect you psychologically. It means more to the supporters.

“A victory would be a huge confidence boost for the rest of the season, that is certain. If it goes wrong, I’ll have to work to turn over a new leaf and focus on the next games.”

He met with President Erick Thohir on Friday and the Indonesian magnate will be in the stands tomorrow night.

“My meeting with President Thohir was very positive, as he seemed relaxed. Everyone knows when we don’t win I cannot let it go, but he tried to help us all relax and said he appreciated the football against Napoli. He confirmed we are on the right track, will try to go as far as possible and build for the future.

“Therefore the task was to make the most of this squad and of course to get good results.”

Mazzarri was highly critical of the referee after the 4-2 defeat to Napoli, but insists he has no complaints at Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni being assigned to this game.

“I want to point out that I get to Sunday without even knowing who the referee is, as I am not interested. I just see the referee as the guarantor of the rules, then give my opinion after the match. I never discriminated before kick-off against any official.”

This week reports have been piling up about Guarin’s potential January move to Chelsea for €15m.

“I don’t want to talk about the transfer market, especially today. It’s an issue to discuss with the club regarding financial fair play and balancing the books, but a Coach can only really take heed of the decisions made by his club.

“The way I see it, Guarin responded on the field. I had many individual meetings with him, as in my view he hasn’t expressed over 90 minutes his full potential. I called him on Tuesday and said he’d played the best game against Napoli, showing that consistency I wanted. Perhaps these rumours stimulated him to give his best.

“I would always like to see my team play the way they did against Napoli, but being more attentive when defending counter-attacks. We worked on that and I’d like our performance to be repeated with that extra focus, that is all.

“It’s true there are games against teams with technical gifts like Milan who could force us back, so in that case we could focus on the counter-attack. It’s not something we’ve done that well so far.

“I ask for concentration in defence, aggression and also a clear head when playing our style of football. It cannot be tense, as the moves I like need a certain confidence in specific areas of the field.

“Big matches are all more or less the same, whether a Derby or not. I’d urge the players to give their heart, but not forgetting if things are done well then they’ve got a better chance to get a result. Simple effort and aggression are not enough, so you need good football too.”

Inter are in their Year Zero, yet they are nine points in front of arch rivals Milan.

“We cannot compare the two projects, as Milan finished third last season and didn’t change the squad very much. Would I remove Kaka or Mario Balotelli? I don’t like discussing individuals, as it’s a team sport and organisation is just as important as talent.”

Ricky Alvarez is suspended, but Mazzarri warned he won’t simply drop Mateo Kovacic into his position.

“Alvarez is an attacking player and I used him in midfield because he did the attacking and defending movements properly. Kovacic has impressed, but needs to grow in terms of defending, so I don’t see him ready to play in central midfield from the start. During a game, depending on how it’s going, he can come in and play there, but he’s not ready to take that role from the start in a match like the Derby.

“Esteban Cambiasso cannot go deep, otherwise the whole team goes deep. He emerges when it is right to emerge. He did well against Napoli, but perhaps wasn’t covered enough by those who were meant to plug those spaces and that’s how we lost the game.

“Javier Zanetti has the right experience and characteristics to be in central midfield, where he can cover the forward runs. Kovacic could be used in Guarin’s role, so I could ask Guarin to be on the wing. I still have doubts, as if Saphir Taider plays then Guarin will be the trequartista.”

The former Napoli and Sampdoria Coach was asked whether he realised there was something ‘different’ at Inter compared to other clubs, such as the fact they haven’t received a penalty this season or the destabilising rumours about behind the scenes problems.

“The important thing is that this becomes motivation to do better. I evaluate performances, whether from players or referees, but it ends there. When I arrived, they informed me on the history of Inter and it was news, as I didn’t expect to not receive any penalties at all. Anyone who knows me will realise I find that spurs me on, so I won’t use it as an alibi.

“I respect Massimiliano Allegri and we have no problems. The same thing happened when I met with Jose Mourinho, as in the past we defended our respective clubs. The important thing is to maintain respect.”

Finally, Mazzarri was asked whether he’d give up smoking – again – if Inter won the Derby.

“Don’t make me promise these things.... When you’re a smoker, you always find a reason to smoke. When I have the chance to relax a bit more I’d like to try initially cutting down and then stopping.”

Allegri: 'No Mazzarri row'
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri denied problems with his Inter counterpart Walter Mazzarri ahead of the Milan Derby.

The Derby della Madonnina kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT.

Allegri and Inter Coach Mazzarri both hail from Livorno and have clashed in the past, so the derby will also be on the touchline.

“I think Inter are having a great season. Mazzarri’s strength is his organisation, both attacking and defending. It’s going to be a difficult game against an angry, experienced and fired up side, so we must do well,” said Allegri.

“I’ve never had any rows with Mazzarri. It can happen to exchange a few jokey comments before a big game. Tomorrow we’ll salute each other because it’s the normal thing to do and I hope it will be a wonderful match. He’s laying the foundations for a significant future at Inter.”

The Rossoneri bench is under fire, as once again today there are reports Clarence Seedorf or Cesare Prandelli are ready to replace Allegri over the summer.

“The first thing they teach you on your management training course is that you are alone and with the suitcase in your hand. Talking about my future on the eve of a derby is pointless and I don’t want to discuss it.

“The squad must not be distracted by this talk. Our duty is to climb up the table, get through the next round of the Champions League and reach the Coppa Italia Final.

“I’d rather talk about the derby and the fact Inter will have their fans in the Curva Nord. This is a positive thing, as playing the derby with a full stadium has a different atmosphere.

“I had started my derby career well by winning my first three, but after that I’ve lost three and drawn one. Both sides want to win, so I’m sure it will be an entertaining encounter and Inter are playing good football.”

Urby Emanuelson needs a fitness test after he was stretchered off against Roma, but Riccardo Montolivo is suspended with Stephan El Shaarawy, Robinho, Valter Birsa, Ignazio Abate and Matias Silvestre sidelined.

“After the Christmas break we will have some players back and I believe this team will climb up the standings. If we play the way we did against Roma, then we’re unlikely to get a result tomorrow, as we made too many mistakes from a technical point of view.

“Kaka is doing very well and taking his share of the responsibility both on and off the field. We’re missing some players, so have reduced options tomorrow.

“Mario Balotelli has done well both as a lone centre-forward and with someone next to him. Alessandro Matri can be more of a lead striker, freeing up spaces and allowing Mario to move between the lines.

“I think Balotelli is relaxed about the derby, as he is playing well and working for the team. He knows it is an important match and people expect a lot from him, so I am sure it’ll be a fine performance.”

Meanwhile, Allegri confirmed teenage forward M’Baye Niang will go out on loan in January, most likely with Montpellier.

“I think it’s a good choice for the lad. He is only 19 and started well, but too much responsibility was put on his shoulders. There are times when things go well or less well, but that’s part of the growth process.

“Adil Rami and Keisuke Honda are two good signings and I think from January onwards this team can do great things.”

Kaka: 'My Milan Derby gift'
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ricky Kaka hopes to score his 100th Milan goal in the Derby tomorrow, looks to the MLS and tips Clarence Seedorf for Coach.

The Derby della Madonnina is on Sunday at 19.45 GMT.

“Scoring against Inter is always special,” Kaka told La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

“I remember that I netted on a Gennaro Gattuso cross from the left, a real rarity... It is a difficult moment for both clubs, but to win and score my 100th Milan goal would be a wonderful Christmas present.

“We lack consistency and had the wrong approach in some games. I don’t know if it’s an issue of maturity, but we need the same determination in every match, not just the big ones. We’re in the growth process and it can take us towards a great future.”

Kaka feels Mario Balotelli is also learning after rediscovering his scoring touch.

“I do see a different Mario now. He is a good lad and too much responsibility was put on his shoulders when he perhaps was not ready.

“Carlo Ancelotti wanted me to stay at Real Madrid, but they started buying important midfield players and asking the Coach to get the best out of youngsters, so I realised there was no room for me. Ancelotti confirmed as much and it was no problem, we made the decision together.”

Before returning to Milan, the Brazilian was also linked with the MLS and a move to his homeland.

“I hope to stay here for many more years. I’m not thinking about a return to Brazil, though at most I’d go to the USA for a few years, but the future is a long way off yet.”

Former teammate Seedorf has been heavily linked with the job of Rossoneri Coach, even though he is still playing for Botafogo.

“Clarence gives his best in everything he does. He will be a great Coach, even if there is a lot to learn. I don’t know what it would be like for him to start at Milan, but he can hold his own.”

Inter 'satisfied' with fan ban delay
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter director Marco Fassone is “satisfied” the ultras will be allowed into the Curva Nord for tomorrow’s Milan Derby.

The Curva Nord – where the hard-line Nerazzurri fans usually sit – had been closed due to ‘discriminatory’ anti-Neapolitan chants.

However, the club won an appeal to have the ban suspended until there could be further debate and investigation into the matter.

“We are satisfied with the decision. This implies our appeal was worthy of further discussion,” director general Fassone told Sky Sport Italia.

“What still didn’t work was the disproportionate locking out of 8,000 fans in response to a few who away from home proffered discriminatory chants.

“It is the not the first time a ban like this has been suspended, which means the rule is difficult to interpret. The Lega Serie A ought to bring in some concrete and realistic solutions, that are not hypocritical and do not damage the clubs.

“It is a problem that needs to be faced. We must find solutions that are congruous.”

The tactic of closing down only parts of the stadium was already introduced mid-season after clubs and supporters complained entire games were played behind closed doors in response to the actions of only a few dozen spectators.

Seedorf or Prandelli for AC Milan?
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani denied reports Clarence Seedorf has signed a pre-contract deal with Milan, while Cesare Prandelli emerges as an option.

The rumours emerged this week that Seedorf, who is still a player at Botafogo, had penned an agreement with the Rossoneri to take over as Coach in the future.

“At the moment there is nothing. We’re talking about something that doesn’t exist,” CEO Galliani told Brazilian site Lancenet.

“Massimiliano Allegri will remain in his place, we are concentrated on the current campaign.”

Allegri has been increasingly under fire amid poor results this season and his contract expires in June 2014.

Another candidate for the Milan job is reportedly Italy boss Prandelli, whose contract with the Federation expires after the 2014 World Cup.

He is widely expected to walk away from the Azzurri following that tournament in Brazil and La Gazzetta dello Sport today claims Prandelli is the favourite for the Milan bench.

Seedorf signs AC Milan agreement?
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sky Sport Italia have reported this evening that Clarence Seedorf will be the next Milan Coach, and has already signed a pre-contract agreement.

The former Rossoneri midfielder was heavily linked with replacing Massimiliano Allegri in the summer, but President Silvio Berlusconi opted to stick with the current tactician instead.

However, it is believed that the club’s hierarchy are disappointed with this season’s poor form, and will bring in Seedorf next summer.

Sky have insisted that the ex-Netherlands international has already agreed to the move, signing on a pre-contract basis.

Allegri’s position has looked untenable for a while now, with rumours circulating for months of his possible departure.

Andre Villas-Boas has also been linked with the post.

Inter and Roma win Curva appeals
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter will have their Curva Nord open for this weekend’s derby against Milan, it has been confirmed.

The Nerazzurri were due to have their ultras section of the San Siro closed on Sunday after they were found guilty of chanting ‘discriminatory’ remarks against Napoli.

However, after an appeal, the Federal Court have confirmed that Inter fans will be allowed into the Curva for the match.

Roma can also count on their Curva Sud supporters this weekend against Catania, after they won their appeal for similar incidents.

Niang to Montpellier on loan?
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have reached an agreement with Montpellier to send M’Baye Niang on a six-month loan deal from January, reports suggest.

The Gazzetta dello Sport have claimed that the Rossoneri will send the French striker out to La Paillade until the end of the season.

Niang has failed to establish himself at San Siro this season, starting just one League game.

And according to the paper, the Ligue 1 side will offer the goalscorer regular first-team football.

Montpellier are currently 17th in the table.

Bonera wary of Palacio
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Daniele Bonera has singled out Rodrigo Palacio as a player his Milan side must be aware of in the derby against Inter.

“I really like Palacio for the way he plays and the way he moves for the team,” the versatile defender stated ahead of the weekend clash.

“The derby is always a special game and this close to Christmas makes it even more special.

“It could mean a merry Christmas for us giving us a few more points in the table and helping towards 2014 in a calmer frame of mind.

“It’ll be a tough game on Sunday evening from a technical point of view as Inter remain a strong team, even if they haven’t had such great results in the past few matches.

“Inter’s Walter Mazzarri is a very well prepared Coach, especially when it comes to the little details,” added the former Parma stopper.

“We’re doing everything we can to prepare the match in the best manner possible, even if we dropped a few points on the way to the game.

“We’ve let in too many goals and there’s some disappointment from the games where we should have got more than we did.”

Villas-Boas in AC Milan link
21.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Times is suggesting Milan will consider replacing Massimiliano Allegri with Andre Villas-Boas at the end of the season.

Allegri, in his fourth campaign at San Siro, is unlikely to be offered a new contract once his present agreement expires in June.

Villas-Boas – sacked by Tottenham this month – has apparently already been contacted by intermediaries of the Italian outfit, but he’s asked for time to consider his next move.

Allegri was expected to be sacked last summer until Vice-President Adriano Galliani convinced owner Silvio Berlusconi to keep the Coach.

Although the Rossoneri have reached the last 16 of the Champions League, they are struggling badly in Serie A.

Milan are tenth in the standings and a massive 16 points adrift of the Champions League zone.

Former Milan stars Pippo Inzaghi – currently in charge of the Primavera side – and Botafogo midfielder Clarence Seedorf have also been linked with the hotseat.

Inter's Curva closure overturned?
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports this evening have claimed that Inter’s Curva Nord will now be open for Sunday’s Derby di Milano on Sunday.

The Nerazzuri play their bitter city rivals at the weekend, but were initially due to do so without their fervent ultra support.

The club were ordered to close that section of the San Siro after they were found guilty of chanting ‘discriminatory’ remarks towards Napoli supporters.

However, the usually reliable Milanello Twitter account has claimed on Thursday that the Beneamata may now have their ultras to call upon for the clash.

"The prefecture of Milano has agreed to open it, but a Federal Court hearing will take place at 13.30 CET," a tweet reads.

New AC Milan role for Barbara Berlusconi
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barbara Berlusconi has been confirmed as Milan’s new Vice-President and CEO at an end of year board meeting on Thursday.

Silvio’s daughter has been named as the women in charge of the corporate sector of the Rossoneri.

Adriano Galliani meanwhile will keep his position as CEO and executive Vice-President, involved in the sporting side.

Paolo Berlusconi has also been confirmed as Vice-President, with all the other Milan board members keeping their positions.

De Jong impressed by Honda
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Nigel De Jong has praised new signing Keisuke Honda, insisting that the Japan international can add something to the team.

The Rossoneri confirmed last week the capture of the playmaker on a Bosman from CSKA Moscow.

And the Dutch destroyer has claimed that when Honda joins in January, he will improve the squad.

“Honda is a really good player,” he said in a Google Hangout on Thursday afternoon.

“He left a good impression on me when I played against him last month.

“Honda is good on the ball. He has a good left foot and he can score from any position.”

Abbiati to extend or quit
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati says he will retire at the end of the season if he doesn’t sign a new contract with Milan.

The 36-year-old penned a new one-year contract last summer, but it is unclear whether he will be offered another one.

“It’s clear that you start to pick up a few injuries as you get closer to your 37th birthday,” the goalkeeper noted.

“However, I remain at the club’s disposal for anything. There is no law saying that I have to be the first choice forever.

“But it is clear that when Milan say stop, then I’ll say stop. If I don’t sign a renewal then I will probably quit the game.”

Abbiati was subsequently asked about his possible replacement – his current reserve Gabriel or Genoa youngster Mattia Perin.

“Gabriel still needs to grow,” the former Italian international added. “He’s made a few errors, but that is because he wants to impress.

“Being the Milan goalkeeper is tough, but I, for example, don’t hear the jeers. Actually, they help me on.

“Perin? He’s done well, but he is young and there is pressure here.”

Abbiati was signed by Milan in 1998. He spent time on loan at Juventus, Torino and Atletico Madrid in his career, but returned to San Siro in 2008.

No Milan derby for Milito
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter’s Diego Milito has dismissed suggestions that he could be on the bench against Milan this weekend.

The Argentine has had a frustrating campaign given that he suffered a thigh strain soon after returning from knee ligament damage.

Milito is back in training, but he has played down whispers that he could be in the squad for the tie against his city rivals.

“The idea is to look at January, because there's still a small risk and no one wants me to get injured again,” he told Mediaset on Thursday.

“What matters is working well from here till the end of the year.

“I'm well, I'm finishing my treatment, I feel good, I'm training with the team and my teammates and I'm nearing the level I need to return to action.”

Milito, now 34, has scored two goals in three appearances which have totalled just 64 minutes so far this term.

D'Ambrosio to AC Milan in January?
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan could offer Torino the services of two players in order to sign Danilo D’Ambrosio during the January transfer window.

The Rossoneri are understood to have jumped to the front of the queue for the full-back who will be a free agent in the summer.

Milan, according to Tuttosport, will try to net the defender next month rather than waiting for him at the end of the season.

The Diavolo are ready to release either Valter Birsa or Riccardo Saponara, on loan, to the Granata in order to get the deal done.

Galliani: AC Milan future is youth
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has underlined that the club can’t afford to ignore their youth system.

With the outfit no longer in the financial position to buy the best players on the planet, Galliani is well aware of the importance of forming stars of tomorrow.

“The club wants to develop the youth sector and it also wants to do it away from the pitch,” the CEO commented.

“Every team has a mentor, while their school progress is also monitored. We assure you Milan is always looking to strengthen the youth sector and we’re satisfied with the progress.

“We want the youth sector to be what it was when President Silvio Berlusconi first arrived,” added Galliani.

“It has to be like the one in 1986 with Alessandro Costacurta, Filippo Galli, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi, that, along with Mauro Tassotti, won three European Cups together.

“We strengthened the side but there were already players ready from the youth sector.

“We’ve got two top players in Mattia De Sciglio and Alessandro Matri that come from our youth sector. They’ve made it to the top.

“Alessandro made his debut at Piacenza, he’s been around a few clubs in Italy and he’s back. Mattia is the model player for the club and the Coach. He cost Milan just €1,000.

“Unfortunately some clubs abroad have greater economic resources at their disposal, which is why we must continue to strengthen our youth sector. This is the club’s mission.

“We need to bring players right up until the first team, that is the youth sector I want.”

Scolari to watch Kaka in derby
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari will be at the Milan-Inter derby on Sunday to watch Kaka in action.

The playmaker has impressed at San Siro this season following his return to the club after four years with Real Madrid.

Kaka has admitted he dreams of making the 2014 World Cup squad and Scolari is monitoring the No 22 ahead of next summer’s event.

The South American has scored three goals in 10 Serie A games this term, while he’s netted one in three Champions League ties.

Icardi 'dreaming' of the derby
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mauro Icardi has claimed that he is ‘dreaming’ about the Derby di Milano that will see Inter take on Milan on Sunday.

The Argentine striker has been missing with a groin injury, but has insisted that he can’t wait for the game at the weekend against their bitter rivals.

“I dream about the derby night being like the derby I played with Sampdoria last year when I scored on my Serie A debut,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“We have to knuckle down taking things one day at a time and we'll see where we end up come the end of the year.

“We worked really well in pre-season. To be perfectly honest when I was at Samp I never worked as hard as I have here.

“Then I had this groin problem, which may have been carried over from last season, and I had to sit out for a while, but I've always been totally dedicated. How hard was it sitting on the sidelines? Very hard. No footballer likes being sidelined, but I've had the op done now and bit by bit I'm finding my rhythm again.

“In my mind I'm set on giving 150 per cent when I come off the bench because I'm coming on to help my team-mates and I have to get straight up to their level.”

Zanetti: Derby has lost its appeal
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter legend Javier Zanetti has claimed that the Derby di Milano this Sunday has ‘lost its appeal’.

The Nerazzurri have seen their Curva Nord section of the San Siro closed this weekend for the game against their city rivals Milan because of ‘discriminatory chants’ aimed at Napoli.

And the Argentine captain has insisted that the contest will not be what it usually is.

Briefly talking to RAI, the veteran said: “A derby without the Curvas loses its appeal.”

Honda in a 'Christmas tree' AC Milan?
19.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Maurizio Ganz is looking forward to seeing Keisuke Honda play for former club Milan in the New Year.

The Japanese international will join the outfit on a free transfer in January after his contract with CSKA Moscow expired.

“We could see a Milan play with a Christmas Tree formation,” the former striker told Milan News on Wednesday.

“They could line-up with Honda and Kaka playing behind Mario Balotelli. I think that side would scare opponents.”

Ganz also welcomed reports that the Diavolo are in pole position to sign Danilo D’Ambrosio, a player who has refused to extend a Torino contract which will expire in 2014.

“He’s an excellent player,” added the 45-year-old. “But if he did come in then he would have to be judged given that he is coming from a mid-table side to Milan.”

Emanuelson targets derby date
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Urby Emanuelson is hoping to be available for the derby against Inter this weekend.

The Dutchman spent Monday night in hospital after damaging his elbow in the 2-2 draw with Roma at San Siro.

The versatile player, who can be used in defence or midfield, has now told his Twitter followers that he is on the mend.

“I want to tell you guys that I feel much better,” the former Ajax man noted. “Luckily nothing is broken.

“Let us see how I feel over the next days and I hope I will be ready for the derby.

“Thanks for all the support and messages.”

The former Fulham man has been used in 11 League games this term and six in the Champions League.

Simeone: 'Atletico - AC Milan not my derby'
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Atletico Madrid Coach Diego Simeone is looking forward to facing Milan at San Siro, but insists “it’s not a derby for me.”

The two teams were paired together in the Champions League Round of 16 with the first leg in Milan on February 19 and the return on March 11.

“It will be a great challenge, among the most important in this season, against a team that has won the Champions League several times,” said Simeone in a Press conference.

“San Siro is a wonderful stadium, where I played many times. Milan is a beautiful city and I’m sure we will see a great match.”

‘Cholo’ played for Inter from 1996 to 1999, then remained in Serie A with Lazio until 2003.

“I don’t see this as a Milan Derby. I have great respect for Milan and those who work there. They have a great Coach who must keep hold of a very difficult bench and an exceptional squad.

“We’ll see if they buy any more great players in January and also what the form is going into such a wonderful challenge.

“Currently I’d see qualification as a 50 per cent chance each. We’re still in December, so it’s too early to say who is the favourite.”

Gattuso: 'I'd kill myself'
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso dramatically proclaimed his innocence of match-fixing charges. “I’d kill myself in the town square.”

The former Milan midfield and ex-Palermo Coach saw his house raided by police this morning as part of an investigation into betting syndicates in Italy.

“I want to clarify something: in my life I have never sat down with anyone to fix games, nor have I ever thought to, as I wouldn’t even know where to start,” he told Sport Mediaset.

“I am prepared to go into the town square and kill myself in front of everyone if I should be found guilty of such a crime. After all, my life would be meaningless from that point on. I wouldn’t have the courage to look anyone in the eye. I say that from the heart.

“I don’t even play five-a-side football with my friends because I can’t stand losing. The phone records show Bazzani sent me 13 text messages. They will therefore also show I never replied to any of them. This man knows half of Serie A, he came to the Milanello gates like many hundreds of others. He was a bookmaker in Bologna, but I never talked about fixing games.

“Match-fixing is just not part of who I am. I made some bets when it was still allowed, but as soon as it was barred for professionals, I stopped. No problem.

“I am accused not of placing bets, but of fixing games and I can’t understand how they can do that. I was in Naples, so only found out about the raid from my wife this morning, after police took me in to sign some papers. I hope the magistrate calls me in soon because I want to clarify my position.

“I had also been dragged into this affair two years ago. I am convinced and fully aware of my innocence. I spent my entire career working hard. I have a foundation that allowed me to give away €1.5m to help children and then people suggest I fixed games to earn more? It just doesn’t make sense.”

Match-fixing investigation expanded
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The list of Serie A, B and Lega Pro games under investigation in the latest betting scandal has been released.

The prosecutor in Cremona launched a new level to the on-going investigation this morning with dawn raids on the houses of former players Gennaro Gattuso and Cristian Brocchi.

In Italy, if someone is even part of an investigation, it has to be disclosed publicly, so nobody has yet been charged with any crime.

In all 90 games are under the microscope from 2009 to today, including around 30 in Serie A and many that were already cleared in a previous investigation.

From the 2012-13 campaign there are four top flight matches under investigation in April and May 2013: Palermo 1-0 Inter, Parma 2-0 Atalanta, Pescara 2-3 Siena and potentially also Palermo 1-1 Bologna.

As well as Gattuso and Brocchi, other former and current players under investigation include Claudio Bellucci, Davide Bombardini, Leonardo Colucci, Lorenzo D’Anna, Nicola Mingazzini, Claudio Terzi, Samuele Olivi and Fabrizio Grillo.

The four men under arrest are alleged go-betweens Salvatore Spadaro, Francesco Bazzani, Cosimo Ricci and Fabio Quadri.

The Cremona prosecutor has been carrying on this investigation for three years and said it will continue into 2014.

The Serie A games under investigation are:

Bologna 3-2 Lazio (Jan 2011), Milan 0-0 Lazio (Feb 2011), Chievo 2-0 Napoli (Feb 2011), Cagliari 4-1 Chievo (Feb 2011), Chievo 1-2 Milan (Feb 2011), Chievo 0-0 Parma (March 2011), Milan 1-1 Bari (March 2011), Lazio 0-1 Juventus (May 2011), Udinese 2-1 Lazio (May 2011), Milan 4-1 Cagliari (May 2011), Palermo 1-1 Bologna (April 2013), Palermo 1-0 Inter (April 2013) and Parma 2-0 Atalanta (May 2013).

AC Milan beat Roma to D'Ambrosio?
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It’s reported Milan are very close to signing Torino full-back Danilo D’Ambrosio, who is out of contract next June.

The Granata have already confirmed D’Ambrosio will be sold in January after he turned down a contract renewal.

Roma had been the favourites to snap him up mid-season, with interest also from Fiorentina, but according to Sky Sport Italia they have been overtaken by Milan.

He would be available for Champions League football, unlike their other January signing Keisuke Honda.

The Japanese international arrives from CSKA Moscow on a Bosman transfer after his contract expires on December 31.

Inter fans banned for Derby
18.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Disciplinary Commission has closed the Curve at Inter, Roma and Lazio for discriminatory chants – locking them out during the Milan Derby.

The rules were adjusted midway through the season to allow the closure of only certain sections of the stadium rather than playing entire matches behind closed doors.

Today the Disciplinary Commission announced it would close the Curve – ends – at Inter, Roma and Lazio with fines worth €50,000 each. Lazio's ban is a suspended sentence.

It is particularly important for Inter, as this means the Curva Nord – where the hardline ultras sit and exhibit their spectacular choreography – will be empty for the Derby di Milano next Sunday.

Inter are penalised for ‘discriminatory’ anti-Neapolitan chants heard at the Stadio San Paolo during last week’s 4-2 defeat.

As the Nerazzurri fans are repeat offenders, the Curva Nord will also be closed during the first home game of 2013 against Chievo.

There are also 14 players given a one-match ban for the next Serie A round. Among the most notable, Ricky Alvarez and Riccardo Montolivo will be suspended for the Derby di Milano.

Rossettini (Cagliari), Spolli (Catania), Cesar (Chievo), Cuadrado (Fiorentina), Alvarez (Inter), Anderson (Lazio), Duncan Livorno), Montolivo (Milan), Cassano (Parma), De Rossi, Strootman (Roma), Gabbiadini (Sampdoria), Magnanelli (Sassuolo), Farnerud (Torino).

Muntari: AC Milan on the right track
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sulley Muntari believes that Milan could have come away with all three points against Roma yesterday.

The Rossoneri drew 2-2 with the capital club on Monday night, but the Ghanaian midfielder has insisted that his side could have won.

“Roma were strong,” he told Milan Channel. “We knew they would be, but I think we gained an important point.

“At the end we could have won, but I’m confident for the future. We are definitely on the right track.”

Muntari then commented on the match with Inter on Sunday and the draw with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

“Sunday’s going to be an important game for us. I was happy during my time at Inter, but I’m here now and feel great.

“Atletico Madrid? They are going well in Spain, but we want to go through.”

Gattuso 'angry and offended'
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso has told Sport Mediaset that he is ‘angry and offended’ after his home was raided as part of the Calcioscommesse scandal.

The World Cup winner has been included as part of the Cremona-based investigation, accused of alleged wrongdoing involving football betting.

But the former Milan man has insisted that he will fight to clear his name.

“I am angry and offended,” he told the television station. “I am calm about it – I am going to clear my name of everything.

“I do not want to have these marks on my career.

“I have never gambled in my life.”

Strootman rues draw at AC Milan
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Strootman thinks his Roma side did enough to win at Milan on Monday – a tie which eventually ended 2-2.

The Giallorossi took the lead on two occasions, with the Dutchman netting a penalty, but they couldn’t hold on to the three points.

“We deserved the victory, we created so many chances – especially in the first half of the game,” the summer signing noted.

“It’s a shame that we conceded the two goals we did – one from a set-piece and the other because of a lack of attention.

“But this result changes nothing for us as our objective for the season is to finish in one of the top three places.”

After 16 games this term, the Giallorossi are second in the table after picking up 38 points. They are now five adrift of leaders Juventus and three clear of third-placed Napoli. Fiorentina are fourth with 30 points.

'No Parolo - Matri swap'
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma chief Tommaso Ghirardi has cooled talk of a possible swap deal involving Marco Parolo and Milan’s Alessandro Matri.

The midfielder has been paired with a January move to San Siro and there have been suggestions that Matri, given his difficulties, could be offered in exchange.

“Parolo is doing some great things with us here and we are hoping to keep him,” Ghirardi commented.

“We’re not looking too far ahead and we are not talking about a swap with Matri, even if he is a great player.”

Parolo has scored six goals in 15 League games, while Matri – an €11m summer signing from Juventus – has grabbed just one goal in 13 top-flight ties.

AC Milan display satisfies Galliani
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan may have been unable to beat Roma on Monday night, but Vice-President Adriano Galliani was pleased with their efforts.

The Diavolo fell behind twice, but they managed to respond in an encounter which finished 2-2 in the end.

“I’m happy with how the team played,” noted the official. “It was a tough match against a tough adversary. We could have won and we could have lost…

“We did well after Roma scored and maybe we could have had a penalty, but let’s not talk about the referee.

“Roma are still unbeaten and we were on the same level for much of the match. We did well and, in the end, Roma were a bit scared as well.

“I think that getting through to the next round of the Champions League has shown us how good we can be and that’s changed the humour in the team.”

Milan, who will next be in action in the derby against city rivals Inter, are tenth in the table – but 16 points adrift of the Champions League zone.

Zapata: Draw right result
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cristian Zapata says the 2-2 draw between Milan and Roma last night was a fair reflection of the game.

The Diavolo went behind on two occasions, but Zapata and Sulley Muntari netted to salvage a point for the home side.

“We gave them the second goal, but the draw is the right result for both teams,” the Colombian international noted.

“I’m happy with the game and the performance and I dedicate my goal to my wife and daughter. I gave everything in this match and it’s important to know that CEO Adriano Galliani holds me in high esteem.”

The centre-back was also questioned on the Champions League after his side were yesterday paired with Atletico Madrid in the last 16.

“It will be an emotional experience,” explained the former Udinese and Villarreal stopper. “Atletico are a strong team, but there’s a lot of time between now and February.

“We’ll try and prepare things as best we can for those two matches. We’ll try and get there in top form and play a great game.”

Gattuso home raided in betting probe
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The home of 2006 World Cup winner Gennaro Gattuso was raided by police this morning in the latest betting match-fixing twist.

The Cremona based investigators, as part of their next step in their lengthy inquiry, have placed the Milan legend under investigation for alleged wrongdoing.

Cristian Brocchi, a former midfielder with Milan and Lazio, also had his property searched by the authorities on Tuesday.

The Gazzetta dello Sport writes that four men, believed to have been acting as intermediaries between players and betting syndicates, were arrested today for questioning.

The Gazzetta also writes that authorities are taking a close look at a number of top-flight games involving Milan, Juventus and Inter.

Those under the microscope are Milan-Lazio, Chievo-Milan, the March 2011 Milan-Bari, Juve-Lazio and Palermo-Inter.

Balotelli unveils headline boots
17.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli wore special boots for tonight’s Milan-Roma match, covered in his strangest newspaper headlines.

The Rossoneri striker showed off the new footwear during the 2-2 draw at San Siro.

They did not bring Super Mario luck, as he failed to score in the four-goal thriller, wasting a last-gasp opportunity to win the game.

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

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Destro 13 (R). Zapata 30 (M), Strootman pen 52 (R), Muntari 76 (M)

Milan fought back twice to earn a thrilling 2-2 draw with Roma that either side could’ve won in stoppages.

There were 19 points separating the teams going into this clash, but the Rossoneri received a boost midweek when reaching the Champions League knockouts. Stephan El Shaarawy, Valter Birsa, Ignazio Abate, Robinho, Kevin Constant, Matias Silvestre and Marco Amelia were all unavailable, so Riccardo Montolivo took a new role in the Christmas Tree formation. Miralem Pjanic sat out a ban with Federico Balzaretti and Marco Borriello injured, Francesco Totti still not fit enough to start, but Mattia Destro played after scoring on his comeback from seven months out.

This evening Milan marked the 114th anniversary of the club’s foundation, while Roma wore special jerseys sponsoring the Telethon charity drive.

Daniele De Rossi received an early booking for a tackle on Urby Emanuelson and will be suspended for the last game of the year against Catania.

It was Roma who took the lead with Destro’s second goal in as many games. Kevin Strootman sprung the offside trap down the left from Adem Ljajic’s pass and rolled across for Destro to come sliding in relatively unmarked from six yards.

Kaka’s angled drive was just wide of the far post and Emanuelson’s shot was deflected over. From the resulting corner, Sulley Muntari knocked it on for Cristian Zapata’s diving header at the back post.

Moments later Michael Bradley thought he had restored Roma’s advantage with a flick from close range on a free kick, but Daniele Bonera’s goalline clearance prevented the ball from crossing completely by a matter of inches.

Gervinho pounced on a defensive error to go clear, but Zapata timed his sliding tackle perfectly just as the Ivorian was pulling the trigger. De Rossi had penalty appeals for a shirt tug from Bonera, but the referee waved play on.

Dodo’s cross-shot was just past the near top corner, but the visitors lost Leandro Castan to injury after he fall awkwardly under a Kaka shove. Milan were also forced into a change, as Christian Abbiati suffered a stomach problem at half-time and made way for Gabriel.

It wasn’t a great start for the young Brazilian goalkeeper, who within five minutes was booked for scything down Gervinho just inside the box. It was on the outside edge, so not a clear scoring opportunity. Strootman took spot-kick duties and side-footed it into the near bottom corner, sending Gabriel the wrong way.

A free kick was given against Balotelli in the box for a tussle with Mehdi Benatia, as he was accused of reaching behind him to pull down the defender. Emanuelson’s sliding tackle was crucial to stop Gervinho finishing off a splendid move with Ljajic, but Kaka’s shot was accidentally charged down by teammate Montolivo.

Totti made his comeback two months after a hamstring injury, while Max Allegri threw on Alessandro Matri. Kaka had penalty appeals for a shove in the back from Dodo, but the referee waved play on.

Bradley’s free header was wide and the tension got to Milan, as Kaka was booked for sarcastic applause and Montolivo got a card for dissent, meaning the Italian will be suspended for the Derby di Milano.

The Rossoneri equalised when Balotelli held up the ball well surrounded by defenders, rolling across for Muntari to rush in and blast into the near bottom corner. It was the first time Rudi Garcia’s Roma had conceded more than one goal.

The San Siro crowd called for a penalty, but Mattia De Sciglio’s pull-back hit Burdisso on the chest and not the arm.

De Sanctis had his gloves stung by a rocket of a Balotelli free kick, but Gabriel came out to punch and accidentally smacked into teammate Emanuelson’s jaw. Thr Dutchman had to be stretchered off.

It was end to end stuff right to the end, as Benatia timed his challenge perfectly to stop Kaka’s run on the edge of the area and Bradley’s shot was charged down from 12 yards.

Balotelli must’ve thought he had scored at the 93rd minute when he gathered on the counter, dummied De Rossi to create space and drilled wide of the near post from a great position.

It still wasn’t over, as De Rossi went on a mazy run and forced a corner with a deflection in the six-yard box. From that move, Gervinho fired inches wide with the last kick of the game.

Milan: Abbiati (Gabriel 46); De Sciglio, Bonera, Zapata, Emanuelson (Zaccardo 89); Muntari, De Jong, Poli (Matri 66); Montolivo, Kaka; Balotelli

Roma: De Sanctis; Maicon, Benatia, Castan (Burdisso 44), Dodò; De Rossi, Strootman, Bradley; Ljajic (Florenzi 81), Destro (Totti 64), Gervinho

Ref: Rocchi

Coppa Italia schedule confirmed
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Coppa Italia Round of 16 schedule has been drawn up with Roma-Sampdoria and Udinese-Inter on January 9.

This phase of the tournament begins on Wednesday December 18 with Juventus hosting Serie B side Avellino, while the other fixtures are spread out through January.

Coppa Italia

Round of 16

Juventus-Avellino (Dec 18, 20.00 GMT)

Fiorentina-Chievo (Jan 8, 20.00 GMT)

Roma-Sampdoria (Jan 9, 17.00 GMT)

Udinese-Inter (Jan 9, 20.00 GMT)

Lazio-Parma (Jan 14, 20.00 GMT)

Catania-Siena (Jan 15, 15.00 GMT)

Milan-Spezia (Jan 15, 17.00 GMT)

Napoli-Atalanta (Jan 15, 20.00 GMT)

Tassotti expects open AC Milan - Roma
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan assistant manager Mauro Tassotti expects a very open game against Roma tonight. “Both sides will have a lot of space.”

The Serie A Week 16 encounter kicks off at San Siro at 19.45 GMT.

“We will probably have a lot more space to play in than usual tonight, but Roma will too,” Tassotti told Milan Channel.

“If nobody has beaten Roma yet this season, there must be a reason. We know Francesco Totti well and he is a Champion with a capital C.”

On Wednesday night the Rossoneri qualified for the Champions League Round of 16 thanks to a 0-0 draw with Ajax, despite Riccardo Montolivo’s 22nd-minute red card.

They will face Atletico Madrid in the next phase of the tournament.

“We must be as attentive as we were on Wednesday and try to keep that level of focus we had when 10 against 11,” continued Max Allegri’s assistant.

“It is very difficult to think the draw went well, because every team in this round is very strong. We’ve got to improve over the next two months if we want to beat them. They are leading La Liga, while we are a bit further behind. There is time, though we’ve got to do a lot better to knock them out.”

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

Source: Football Italia

Milan: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Bonera, Zapata, Emanuelson; Muntari, De Jong, Poli; Montolivo, Kaka; Balotelli

Milan bench: Gabriel, Coppola, Zaccardo, Mexes, Cristante, Saponara, Nocerino, Niang, Pazzini, Matri

Roma: De Sanctis; Maicon, Benatia, Castan, Dodò; De Rossi, Strootman, Bradley; Ljajic, Destro, Gervinho

Roma bench: Lobont, Skorupski, Burdisso, Romagnoli, Jedvaj, Torosidis, Taddei, Marquinho, Ricci, Mazzitelli, Totti, Florenzi

Cambiasso wants derby victory
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Esteban Cambiasso is now targeting a derby victory after Inter’s 4-2 loss at Napoli on Sunday night.

“We know what this match means for every Inter fan, we know it's a special game and that the League table doesn't matter,” he told Inter Channel ahead of next week’s game.

“We hope to get the three points which are important for our progress and because it's always important to win a game like that.”

He added: “We played well despite the errors we made against a team like Napoli that you end up paying for.

“Then everything that could go wrong did – the key moments, during which you can turn the match your way – thanks in part to your opponents' mistakes – all went in their favour.”

Inter’s cause was not helped by the second-half dismissal of Ricky Alvarez for a handling-offence second yellow card.

“Sadly we won't have Ricky Alvarez for the derby who was sent off and we'll miss him,” the ex-Real Madrid man continued.

“We're disappointed. I can't figure out if we're just unlucky with Tagliavento or he's unlucky with us.

“All the previous games in my mind are negative and he will have realised that too. I remember the handcuffs, I remember the Juventus game away, the Roma match at home, plus today's.

“It's a negative situation for both parties – he sees our shirt and he's not able to perform particularly well, and sadly things always go badly for us with him.”

Albertini respects Atletico threat
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Demetrio Albertini expects Milan to have their difficulties against Atletico Madrid when his two former clubs meet in the Champions League.

“It will be a tough match,” the former Diavolo midfielder told Milan News after they were paired in the last 16 draw.

“Diego Simeone’s side plays good football and the stadium will be very hot.

“As always, you think about the history of a club and that's why we tend to underestimate Atletico, but, at the moment, they are one of the most in-form in Europe.

“If they are in first place with Barcelona and above Real Madrid in the Spanish League then it means that they won’t be easy to deal with.

“However, as always, it depends on how the clubs are doing at the time. Real Madrid could have been a high level opponent, especially for their tradition, but Atletico are not that far behind.”

After 14 years at Milan, Albertini left San Siro for the Madrid outfit in the summer of 2002. The former international also played for Lazio, Atalanta and Barcelona.

AC Milan: Draw could have been worse
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan director Umberto Gandini seems satisfied with being drawn against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

Having come second in their group, the Diavolo risked being paired with a real giant of the European game in the last 16.

“Atletico are a very strong side who play great football under Diego Simeone,” Gandini commented on Monday.

“They are very strong in attack, but it could be even worse for us considering the sides we could have picked.

“We will have to see how both sides will be in two months. We have had several injuries in the first part of the season, hopefully we will have a fully fit squad in February.”

Atletico Madrid director Clemente Villaverde noted: “This isn't just any other team – it’s Milan and they have an incredible history.

“We respect every team here, but we also have potential and will use our strengths.”

No more AC Milan buys unless...
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has admitted the club will need to trim their squad before adding any more new signings next month.

The outfit have already wrapped up deals for defender Adil Rami and midfielder Keisuke Honda, but it’s now time for the outfit to reduce the size of their squad.

“We have a big squad, 31 players with Rami and Honda,” Galliani commented on Monday. “If no one leaves, no one comes in…

“A swap deal would be a possibility for a midfielder, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

It’s a special day for the outfit seeing as it is their 114th birthday.

“I’ll tell you tonight after the match against Roma if it’s a happy birthday or not,” the CEO continued.

“The next two matches are important, but there are three competitions in the season and it goes on until May.

“We’ll check the record then.”

Milan, today drawn with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, will face city rivals Inter next weekend.

AC Milan vs. Atletico Madrid in the Champions League
16.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will have to get past Atletico Madrid if they are to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The draw for the last 16 took place this morning and the Diavolo, the only Italians left in the competition, will face the Spanish outfit.

As Milan finished their group in second place behind Barcelona, they will be away from home for the first leg of the next round.

The last 16 ties will be played across February 18, 19, 25, 26 and March 11, 12, 18 or 19.

Juventus and Napoli were knocked out of the Champions League and will be in today’s Europa League draw.

Last 16 line-up:

Manchester City v Barcelona

Olympiacos v Manchester United

Milan v Atletico Madrid

Bayer Leverkusen v Paris Saint-Germain

Galatasaray v Chelsea

Schalke v Real Madrid

Zenit v Borussia Dortmund

Arsenal v Bayern Munich

Constant: 'AC Milan can come back'
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are languishing in ninth place, but Kevin Constant remains confident they can “repeat last season’s comeback.”

The Rossoneri host Roma at San Siro on Monday night.

“Roma are a strong side, they play well and I am certain they will keep Juventus on their toes right to the end of the season,” Constant told Tuttosport.

“I believe we can repeat the march from the second half of last season, when we came back to qualify for the Champions League.

“We are a strong side and were penalised in these early months by injuries and a lack of concentration. Adil Rami is a very strong defender, so he will give us a hand.”

Former Genoa man Constant had numerous problems with the Milan ultras, but insists that has been resolved now.

“I didn’t understand why they were angry with me. Then I realised they were upset by things I had never said. I haven’t used Twitter in a long time and there are people on other social networks who create false profiles for me.”

Totti returns for AC Milan - Roma
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Francesco Totti and Mattia Destro are ready to face Milan tomorrow, but Marco Borriello and Miralem Pjanic miss out.

The Serie A Week 16 tie kicks off at San Siro at 19.45 GMT on Monday.

Borriello sprained his ankle in training this week and is left behind along with the injured Federico Balzaretti and suspended Pjanic.

Totti is expected to make his comeback after more than a month out with a hamstring strain and could well start the match.

He was on the bench for last week's 2-1 win over Fiorentina, but did not play.

Roma squad for Milan: Benatia, Bradley, Burdisso, Castan, De Rossi, De Sanctis, Destro, Dodo, Florenzi, Gervinho, Jedvaj, Ljajic, Lobont, Maicon, Marquinho, Mazzitelli, Ricci, Romagnoli, Skorupski, Strootman, Taddei, Torosidis, Totti.

AC Milan injuries for Roma game
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are without Kevin Constant, Robinho, Stephan El Shaarawy and Ignazio Abate for tomorrow’s game with Roma.

It kicks off at San Siro on Monday at 19.45 GMT.

El Shaarawy was added to the injury list yet again after picking up a knock to his already-fractured foot during the 0-0 draw with Ajax on Wednesday.

Abate, Constant, Robinho, Marco Amelia, Matias Silvestre and Valter Birsa are sidelined.

Milan squad for Roma: Abbiati, Coppola, Gabriel; Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Zaccardo, Zapata; Cristante, Emanuelson, De Jong, Kakà, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Poli, Saponara; Balotelli, Matri, Niang, Pazzini.

Garcia: 'Roma play to win in Milan'
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Rudi Garcia assures Roma will “go to win” against Milan tomorrow and “don’t lack ambition” for the Scudetto.

The Serie A Week 16 encounter kicks off at 19.45 GMT on Monday.

There is an extraordinary 19-point gap between the two teams going into this round.

“Everyone knows Milan have players of a high level and you can’t qualify from the Champions League group phase without a strong side,” said Coach Garcia in his Press conference.

“We know that playing away to Milan is more difficult, but we will take our usual approach. We are going to Milan in order to win. It will be tough, but that is our ambition.

“We’re a long way from the end of the season and won’t think about what Juventus or any of the others are doing, so we focus only on our own results. We are ready after a great performance against Fiorentina and a good result at San Siro would be a further step forward.”

This week both Daniele De Rossi and Mehdi Benatia confirmed they’re dreaming of the Scudetto, so will Garcia drop his pretence the season target is to get back into Europe?

“We’ll see at the end. I will just say we’ll need a final sprint with the favourite teams, who are in my view Juventus and Napoli, but why put extra pressure on the team?

“We want to finish as high up the table as possible, even first, but we did not plan for this. It could still happen and we’ll do everything to get points, because we do not lack ambition. Perhaps I am the most ambitious of all.”

Miralem Pjanic sits out a ban, while Francesco Totti is expected to start at San Siro.

“We are a stronger team with Totti, but Francesco and Mattia Destro do not have a full 90 minutes in their legs. The captain gave his all in training this week and seems ready to help the team, though he is not yet at 100 per cent. This team is much better with its captain than without.

“As for Pjanic, maybe we are less technically strong without him, but we become physically more robust in midfield. Whoever comes into the side tends to do well, so it’s about the team rather than a single player.”

Milan will be without Stephan El Shaarawy and Ignazio Abate, though Mario Balotelli and Ricky Kaka are finding their form.

“They are great players, we all know that,” added Garcia. “Balotelli can score at any moment, while Kaka is a complete player and one I like very much. We must do everything to close down space around these players, but Milan isn’t just two men.

“Nothing changes for us, regardless of who we are facing. Roma play to win, hope it will be a great game and that we emerge with three points.”

Allegri: 'No Roma regrets'
15.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits he was close to joining Roma, but has “no regrets” about sticking with Milan.

The two clubs go head-to-head at San Siro on Monday at 19.45 GMT.

“I must compliment Roma, as they built a technically and physically strong side with a Coach who immediately settled into Italian football,” said Allegri in his Press conference.

“They conceded very few goals and this shows why they are near the top of the table. The Giallorossi are solid and if they take the lead it’s tough to get back at them.

“As well as Francesco Totti, they are again getting the best out of Daniele De Rossi, while Gervinho was a quality addition. Adem Ljajic and Mattia Destro are promising young players, so they are a difficult team to face.”

Allegri had been in negotiations to take over at Roma over the summer before opting to stick with Milan, a rapport that has been fraught with tension.

“Other clubs had approached me too, but I have no regrets. I am very happy to be at Milan so that I can finish off my work here.”

Former Italy Coach Marcello Lippi praised Allegri this week, suggesting he was not given the credit he deserved.

“That was very pleasing and I’ll buy him dinner when he’s next in Italy. I have always been convinced of my qualities and never doubted what I’m capable of, even if a Coach is judged by his results. In three years at Milan we did something good.”

Allegri was asked whether he would exchange places with Cesare Prandelli, who is expected to leave the Italy bench after the 2014 World Cup.

“It wouldn’t be an exchange because my contract is due to expire in June. I don’t know what Prandelli plans to do.”

Roma have Totti back from over a month out, but the Rossoneri have lost Stephan El Shaarawy again.

“I would’ve preferred to play against Roma without Totti, because he is the catalyst for their football and raises the quality level of the whole team.

“As for us, Mario Balotelli is growing and has enormous potential. On Wednesday he worked hard to defend and I am happy with his performance. Unfortunately we’ve lost El Shaarawy again and Ignazio Abate still has pain in his ankle.

“For the trident tomorrow I have to evaluate who will be the third figure. Riccardo Montolivo or Riccardo Saponara could be the trequartista, or start M’Baye Niang or Alessandro Matri.

“It wouldn’t be bad to spend Christmas with two good results against Roma and Inter under the three. It is an objective we ought to put in our minds, as we only have 18 points and need to be more consistent.

“We need to be compact, efficient and make the most of our chances. Of course, to get a result you need to play good football too, but without those concepts you won’t get the victories.”

Thiago Silva 'wanted AC Milan stay'
14.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

PSG defender Thiago Silva reveals he envies Kaka for returning to Milan. “I always said I didn’t want to leave.”

The Brazilian spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport magazine Sport Week today and confessed he still thinks of San Siro.

“If certain things have happened at Milan, then it means mistakes were made. Was selling me and Zlatan Ibrahimovic one of them? It’s difficult to say, you’d have to ask those who are in charge.

“One thing is certain, I always said I didn’t want to leave Milan. The Rossoneri got a bargain with me, as they sold me for €42m after spending just €10m. In that sense, I feel that I helped the club.”

Ricky Kaka was also sold for a huge profit to Real Madrid, but returned to Milan this summer.

Muntari on Balotelli and racism
14.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sulley Muntari fights racism, but won’t give Milan teammate Mario Balotelli advice. “It goes in one ear and out the other.”

The Ghana international spoke to the Corriere della Sera newspaper about the on-going struggle against racism in football.

“There’s no point talking about provocation, because not many people have that mentality. We are working to change the climate around us,” said Muntari.

“In Africa they don’t see such huge differences between black and white. The blood that runs through our veins is the same. The time will come when we’ll no longer have to discuss all this.”

Balotelli has been on the end of racist abuse during his career, but Muntari admits it’s tough to advise his teammate.

“I don’t give him advice, because what you say to Mario goes in one ear and out the other. I just tell him to stay calm, because responding to certain people is just a waste of time.

“If some fans had real balls, they’d shout those things to your face. Instead they do it from a distance. In that case, it’s better to play on as if nothing has happened at all.

“The mentality can only change by setting the example and remembering children are watching us. If someone makes a mistake, the person sitting next to them in the stadium must pull them up on it. Otherwise what kind of a father is he? Should he allow his son to learn from a bad role model and grow up with the same mentality as those who hurl insults?”

Zaccheroni: 'Honda can shine at AC Milan'
14.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Japan Coach Alberto Zaccheroni believes new buy Keisuke Honda “has the right characteristics to shine at Milan.”

The midfielder will arrive in January on a Bosman deal after his contract with CSKA Moscow expires on December 31. He has been handed the Number 10 jersey.

“I am certain Honda has the quality to play in Serie A,” said Zaccheroni in a Press conference.

“He has the right characteristics to shine at a world class side like Milan, whether they are physical, technical or moral characteristics.

“Keisuke is a player of great personality and on top of technique I consider that to be fundamental in a player. This aspect will really help him.

“He will find a lot of competition, as Milan in their history have had some extraordinary players wear the Number 10.

“Honda must not consider signing for Milan as the pinnacle of his career, though. The important thing is not to arrive at Milan, but to arrive at Milan and be able to play consistently.”

Poli: 'AC Milan glory days are gone'
14.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Poli freely admits “none” of the current Milan squad would’ve started during the glory days.

Rossoneri fans are increasingly frustrated and their downturn in fortunes and criticised the club for selling top stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva.

“I know that I have arrived in a transition period, as none of us would have started in the Grande Milan side,” Poli told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“However, we can open up a good new era. There is a magical air at Milanello and I really want to win.

“I like to take responsibility, so I hope to wear this jersey for many years and my ambition is to play an important part at this club.”

Benatia: 'I won't provoke Balotelli'
14.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma defender Mehdi Benatia is looking forward to a fair fight with Milan’s Mario Balotelli. “I won’t provoke him.”

The two teams go head-to-head at San Siro on Monday, kicking off at 19.45 GMT.

“It is strange to see the Rossoneri 19 points behind us in the Serie A table,” Benatia told Il Tempo newspaper.

“They have been struggling for a while, but now they have gone through to the Champions League knockouts and we must respect them, because it is still Milan.

“It is going to be a battle and we need to play like Roma, with hunger and tempo. That will make it difficult for them.”

Moroccan international Benatia is also looking forward to the chance to mark Milan and Italy star Balotelli, but promises no controversy.

“It’s a shame he often gets provoked and people say he’s a bad guy. He can relax with me: I won’t need to say any nasty words to mark him.”

Leonardi rejects AC Milan rumour
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma director general Pietro Leonardi has dismissed suggestions that he could be on his way to Milan.

The Diavolo are expected to make director changes in the summer and it has been whispered that Leonardi could make the move north.

“I’ve already answered this question,” he noted outside of the Lega Serie A offices. “These things don’t exist.”

Verona official Sean Sogliano also distanced himself from similar reports earlier this week.

Emanuelson believes in AC Milan
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Urby Emanuelson is optimistic about Milan’s chances when they entertain Roma at San Siro on Monday.

The Rossoneri have won only three games at home all season in Serie A, but the Dutchman believes the Diavolo can end Roma’s unbeaten record.

“The next matches against Roma and Inter are really important,” the versatile player told Milan Channel on Friday.

“Roma are a good team, with quality in their side, but I think when we play at home we can beat anyone.”

Milan will go into the game on the back of their crucial 0-0 Champions League draw with Ajax, a tie they played with 10 men.

“Our tactics changed when Riccardo Montolivo was sent off,” stated the former Fulham man.

“I knew it would be a difficult game because Ajax are a fit side and play well. Anyway, I am happy because in the end it is only the result that counts.”

Milan are presently ninth in the standings, 14 points adrift of the Champions League zone.

Ghirardi on Parma - AC Milan rumours
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma chief Tommaso Ghirardi has cooled reports of transfer talks with Milan concerning Marco Parolo, Riccardo Saponara and Bryan Cristante.

There have been suggestions that Parolo could move to San Siro in January in exchange for the two youngsters.

“Saponara is co-owned with us and we will discuss him as he isn’t playing a lot,” Ghirardi commented. “I don’t know about the rest though. There have been no requests…

“Parolo is a player who we would not want to lose, but when big clubs make an offer then you also have to listen to what the player wants.

“I wouldn’t want to sell anyone, but we have sold our most prized assets in the past. First, though, you have to understand whether big clubs are really interested.”

Milan chief Adriano Galliani has denied interest in the Italian international.

'Honda asked for AC Milan No. 10'
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani says January signing Keisuke Honda specifically asked for the Milan No 10 jersey.

The official yesterday confirmed that the Japanese international would be heading to San Siro next month after his contract at CSKA Moscow expired.

“He wanted the No 10 shirt and we made him happy,” the CEO commented outside the Lega Serie A on Friday.

“He’s an excellent player who has always done well up to now. He is presently in Japan, but he will join up with us on December 30.

“He has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract which will expire in June 2017.”

Galliani was also asked about the Champions League in a week where his side progressed to the last 16, but Juventus and Napoli were demoted to the Europa League.

“That competition is in our DNA,” the official added. “History shows that, we are the only Italians in the UEFA’s top 10 club ranking.

“For the future, we’ll have to look out for Portugal.

“Juventus’ game at Istanbul? It was a tie that should have been postponed. You could not play football on that pitch.”

Balotelli's World Cup target
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan and Italy striker Mario Balotelli is hoping to silence his critics at the World Cup in Brazil next summer.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, the 23-year-old said he would look to make the most of his opportunity in front of a global audience.

“Brazil is a perfect time for me to establish myself as number one striker in the world,” the 23-year-old commented.

“The World Cup is where I want to make my mark. The best players always perform on the biggest stages.”

Having not been seeded, the Azzurri have been placed in a tough group which includes Uruguay, England and Costa Rica.

Balotelli knows England and some of their players well given his stint in the country with Manchester City.

“All I will say is that I believe we are a stronger team than England and historically we always perform better than them at the major competitions.

“Joe Hart? There's no question for me that Joe should be number one for England in Brazil,” Balotelli said of his former city colleague.

“He's the best English goalkeeper and the best in the Premier League. The best players in the world can make mistakes, but the class of a player like Joe will always come through.”

The former Inter forward has scored 12 goals in 29 appearances for his country so far.

El Shaarawy out for three weeks
13.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have confirmed Stephan El Shaarawy is out for two to three weeks after damaging his foot against Ajax.

The forward had been out of action for a couple of months with a micro-fracture in his left foot and suffered a knock in the same area during last night’s Champions League game.

Tests have now shown there is no new fracture, but it has caused an inflammation of the previously damaged zone.

El Shaarawy will rest for two to three weeks and visit Amsterdam for another specialist consultation with Professor Niek Van Dijk.

It effectively means his 2013 is already over and he won't play again until the New Year.

His season has been beset by injury problems, making only seven appearances between Serie A and the Champions League, including the play-offs.

Montolivo protests his innocence
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo has defended his actions after his dismissal in Milan’s 0-0 draw with Ajax on Wednesday.

The Italian international was shown the red card in the first half for a challenge on Christian Poulsen in the Champions League.

“My challenge was on the limit, sure, but it seems clear that it was not intentional,” the midfielder told Milan Channel.

“I wanted to get the ball. It was a normal tackle, but it saddened me that I had to leave my side with 10 men.

“It was a hard game, one compromised by my red card, but we brought out something extra.”

The Diavolo held on to get the point which they needed to be included in Monday’s draw for the last 16.

“We will be up against top sides, it would be hard to choose an opponent,” continued the former Fiorentina man.

Milan will be paired with one from Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Borussia Dortmund.

Albertini on Galatasaray - Juventus
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Demetrio Albertini says the Galatasaray-Juventus tie should have been postponed, while he’s rejected links with Milan.

The Old Lady went out of the Champions League on Wednesday after their abandoned game from the night before was played on a pitch heavily affected by snowfall.

“I don’t think it should have been played,” the Italian Football Federation Vice-President commented. “The pitch was unplayable.

“There is a lot of talk about entertaining Champions League football, but you couldn’t produce a spectacle on that.”

Albertini was also questioned on suggestions he may return to former club Milan in the summer as part of the expected boardroom changes.

“I’ve read the stories, but I’ve not been contacted by anyone,” the former midfielder continued. “I’m just going down my own path.

“Today I can’t think about anything else apart from the World Cup. It is part of my job to help prepare for Brazil.”

No Milan contact for Sogliano
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Verona sporting director Sean Sogliano has cooled reports linking him with a possible move to Milan at the end of the season.

The Diavolo are expected to make changes in the summer and it has been suggested that Sogliano could become their new transfer chief.

“I’m happy with the link, but I haven’t been contacted by them,” the former defender told the Corriere Di Verona.

“My future? At the end of the campaign I will sit down with the President and we’ll have a chat as we always have.”

Sogliano, 42, ended his playing career in 2004 at Ancona. He has subsequently worked for Varese and Palermo.

He was hired by Verona in June 2012.

The official was also inevitably asked about the January transfer window. “Unless we get any offers which we can’t refuse, the intention is to not sell anyone important.”

Bonera: Sacrifice paid off
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Daniele Bonera has hailed the efforts of his Milan teammates in the crucial 0-0 Champions League draw with Ajax.

The Rossoneri reached the last 16 of the competition last night, but it was complicated by Riccardo Montolivo’s first half dismissal.

“We knew that it was going to be a difficult game as Ajax play a dynamic brand of football,” the stopper noted.

“They had already caused us some problems when it was 11 against 11.

“Then, when we were down to 10 men, it got even tougher for us, it was hard to attack and everyone had to make sacrifices.”

Milan were the only Italian side to progress in the competition on Wednesday following the exits of Juventus and Napoli.

“We’re proud to be the only Italians to have qualified,” he added. “But now we have two tough games against Roma and Inter coming up, but morale is good.”

Balotelli 'disappointed' at CL exits
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli is “disappointed” Milan are the only Italian side in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Rossoneri scraped through with a 0-0 draw against Ajax after Riccardo Montolivo’s early red card, while Napoli and Juventus go into the Europa League.

“After the dismissal we had to play on the defensive. I would’ve liked to score, but the important thing was not to concede,” said the striker.

“Other Italian teams could’ve joined us in the knockouts and I’m disappointed they didn’t, but at the same time I am happy for Milan.

“Do I have any preferences for the next round? None, as either way we’ll be facing one of the group winners.”

Milan can’t face Barcelona, having already played them in the group phase, so their draw will be one of Manchester United, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid.

Abbiati: 'Milan suffered!'
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati confessed to “suffering” against Ajax, but hopes Milan face Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16.

“Did we suffer? A little bit! My teammates did well, as to play with 10 men against an organised side like Ajax was not easy,” he told Sky Sport Italia after a 0-0 draw.

Riccardo Montolivo was sent off after just 22 minutes, but they clung on for the point at San Siro that secured Champions League qualification.

“We were fortunate early on when Christian Poulsen hit the post, but other than that it was an excellent performance from the whole team. We proved how much we wanted to stay in the Champions League.”

There were concerns before half-time that Abbiati would have to leave the pitch, as he was suffering from a recurring muscular problem.

“I felt a twinge and was afraid of doing serious damage. Then I thought I’d stay there until I was forced off.”

Milan are the only Italian side in the Round of 16 and are bound to have a tough draw against Manchester United, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund or Atletico Madrid.

“Atletico Madrid would be nice. I played there and it would be nice to be back in that stadium. That’s the only reason, as there are no easy teams in the draw!”

Allegri: 'AC Milan - Ajax stressful'
12.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits he “lost weight” with the stress of watching 10-man Milan’s 0-0 draw with Ajax.

“It was a long sigh of relief because this was an important achievement and it wasn’t easy to play against Ajax with 10 men,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“The lads were very organised and only ran risks on a few crosses into the box, while Christian Abbiati did well on his saves. Mario Balotelli took the team upon his shoulders, earned free kicks and held the ball up, so he was crucial.”

The Rossoneri went down to 10 men after just 22 minutes when Riccardo Montolivo was shown a straight red for stamping on Christian Poulsen’s ankle.

“Montolivo’s was a foul, but certainly not nasty, as he is not a nasty player. The referee made this decision on the suggestion of the assistant and it’s a shame we had to play for over an hour with 10 men.

“From the touchline I couldn’t see it. The replays show it was a hard foul, but not nasty. The lads didn’t allow Ajax to get past them, didn’t allow spaces and I think we had a couple of dubious offsides against us too.

“It was tougher to go on the counter in the second half, as the more time went on, the more we could sense the finish line.”

Stephan El Shaarawy made way for Andrea Poli after the red card, though Allegri revealed the substitution had already been planned.

“With two forwards I thought that if we did go behind, we’d at least be able to get back into it. We don’t defend very well in Serie A, but today the team was excellent and we allowed Ajax very little apart from a few chaotic moves in front of the goalkeeper.

“El Shaarawy had a bruise on the foot that was fractured, he felt pain and Poli wasn’t ready, so I was going to move Montolivo to trequartista. I didn’t have time to make that change and maybe he wouldn’t have been sent off in that position...

“Ah well, that’s the way it went and we all lost a few kilos suffering on the touchline.”

Allegri warned that there will be changes to the side in January, aside from Adil Rami and Keisuke Honda coming in. The Japanese international is cup-tied, having played in the Champions League with CSKA Moscow.

“Rami and Honda are good players who can certainly help us out. We still have too many players, though, as I don’t like players to spend a year on vacation at Milanello.”

Champions League: AC Milan 0:0 Ajax - match report
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan clung to a 0-0 against Ajax to qualify after Riccardo Montolivo left them with 10 men for over an hour.

The Rossoneri needed a point to join Barcelona in the Champions League Round of 16, but were without Robinho, Ignazio Abate, Matias Silvestre, Marco Amelia, Valter Birsa and Giampaolo Pazzini. Stephan El Shaarawy had his first start since suffering a micro-fracture, partnering Kaka and Mario Balotelli. Sulley Muntari, Daniele Bonera and Kevin Constant were picked ahead of Andrea Poli, Philippe Mexes and the not 100 per cent fit Urby Emanuelson. Bojan Krkic returned to face Milan after his disappointing loan spell, but Nicolai Boilesen, Lerin Duarte, Siem De Jong and the suspended Joel Veltman missed out.

There was immediately a huge scare after five minutes, as Christian Poulsen got his head to a corner, the ball bouncing off the inside of the far post and into the grateful arms of Christian Abbiati.

Muntari’s cross-shot was charged down before it could reach Balotelli, but Abbiati had to get down quickly with a one-handed save on Davy Klaassen’s diving header.

The situation was transformed after 22 minutes when Riccardo Montolivo was shown a straight red card for a mistimed tackle on Poulsen, stamping on his ankle. Poli replaced El Shaarawy to reinforce the midfield as Milan were forced to play with 10 men for over an hour and Kaka took the captain’s armband.

Abbiati again did well to deny Lasse Schone’s shot deflected by Viktor Fischer, though it wouldn’t have counted as the latter was offside.

The Italian goalkeeper was suffering from a recurrence of his old muscular problems before the break. As Marco Amelia is injured and Gabriel not on the Champions League list, fourth choice Ferdinando Coppola warmed up.

Ajax made an attacking substitution for the second half and Abbiati smothered a Klaassen snapshot as the visitors dominated possession.

Abbiati used his leg to parry a Klaassen angled drive at the near post and Danny Hoesen nodded the resulting corner over the bar.

Kolbeinn Sigthorsson knocked down a cross for Fischer, whose first time shot dribbled inches past the far post.

Milan didn’t have a single shot in the second half, threatening only with a couple of wayward Constant attempts, and made their position clear when introducing Philippe Mexes for Kaka.

It was a siege mentality and Balotelli continued to earn important free kicks to lessen the pressure. In the fifth minute of stoppages Sigthorsson went very close to a winner for Ajax, his overhead kick whistling inches past the far post.

Milan 0-0 Ajax

Milan: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Bonera, Zapata, Constant; Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Kaka (Mexes 81), El Shaarawy (Poli 23); Balotelli

Ajax: Cillessen; Van Rhijn, Moisander, Denswil, Blind; Klaassen, C Poulsen (Hoesen 46), Serero (Van Der Hoorn 80); Schone, Bojan (Sigthorsson 72), Fischer

Ref: Webb (ENG)

Sent off: Montolivo 22 (M)

Stabbings in AC Milan - Ajax brawls
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports of serious crowd trouble throughout the day ahead of Milan-Ajax with six people stabbed.

The Champions League match kicks off at San Siro at 19.45 GMT, but the problems started long before fans approached the stadium.

Ajax supporters wreaked havoc in the city centre with 100 of them stopped by police for throwing objects and attacking passers-by.

They ambushed a peaceful protest of farmers in Piazzale Loreto, which had blocked the roads in that area for several days.

Around 20 Ajax fans got out of their bus and attacked the peaceful protestors.

In another incident, a group of Ajax hooligans tried to break into the Milan Point shop in Piazza Fedele, smashing windows and throwing bottles.

It is reported the attack outside San Siro, in which six people between Italians and Ajax supporters were stabbed, was organised as ‘revenge’ for the brawl in the city centre.

Of the six people stabbed, three are thought to be in a serious condition, while three did not need hospital treatment.

Champions League: AC Milan vs. Ajax - lineups
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Bonera, Zapata, Constant; Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Kaka, El Shaarawy; Balotelli.

Milan bench: Coppola, Mexes, Zaccardo, Poli, Nocerino, Emanuelson, Matri.

Ajax: Cillessen; Van Rhijn, Moisander, Denswil, Blind; Klaassen, C Poulsen, Serero; Schone, Bojan, Fischer.

Ajax bench: Vermeer, Van Der Hoorn, Sigthorsson, L Andersen, Hoesen, Ligeon, De Sa.

Borriello out of AC Milan - Roma
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma look to be without Marco Borriello for Monday’s clash with Milan, as he sprained his ankle.

The striker interrupted today’s training session at Trigoria when he sprained his left ankle and is not expected to recover in time for this Serie A Week 16 tie.

Federico Balzaretti, Daniele De Rossi and Miralem Pjanic did not take part in full training today.

Pjanic is suspended for that trip to San Siro and Balzaretti won’t return until after the Christmas break, but De Rossi is likely to recover.

More importantly for Roma fans, Francesco Totti continued a full training regime and should start on Monday night.

Genoa to go for Sculli & El Shaarawy?
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports in the Italian Press this afternoon suggest that Genoa could make a double move for Giuseppe Sculli and Stephan El Shaarawy next month.

Il Secolo XIX have claimed that the Grifone will dip their toes in the transfer market over the winter, and will go for the Lazio wide man and the Milan striker.

Sculli has already spent some time at the Marassi, joining the club on loan in 2012, and would be open to a return.

However, a deal for El Shaarawy may be somewhat more challenging. The move would only be a short-term one until the end of the season, but the Rossoneri are reluctant to let the Italy international leave.

The 21-year-old has found playing time hard to come by this season after suffering from injury. Gian Piero Gasperini’s men had hoped to offer him guaranteed first team football, but Massimiliano Allegri’s side are reportedly unwilling to let the forward go out on loan.

Verona to fight off bids for young duo
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Hellas Verona are preparing themselves for an onslaught of bids for Jorginho and Juan Iturbe in January.

Reports in Corriere Fiorentino and Sky Sport Italia claim that the promoted club will come under-fire from several European sides over the winter transfer window for their attacking youngsters.

Corriere Fiorentino report that Fiorentina, Zenit St Petersburg and Sevilla will go for the Brazilian/Italian playmaker during the winter break, however, the Gialloblu are desperate to keep hold of him until the summer.

Iturbe meanwhile, is being tracked by Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, but Sky Sport Italia report that sporting director Sean Sogliano could take the Argentine trequartista with him to Milan, should he eventually replace Adriano Galliani in the San Siro boardroom.

Both have been instrumental to Verona’s impressive start to the season, scoring an impressive 10 goals between them.

'Ajax go to AC Milan with confidence'
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Ajax goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar believes that the Dutch side have what it takes to beat Milan this evening.

The Eredivisie club travel to San Siro looking for the three points that would see them qualify for the last 16.

And the ex-Netherlands international has claimed that the Amsterdam team will face the Rossoneri with confidence.

“We have grown a lot since we hosted Milan,” he told reporters. “I don’t think our young players will be afraid.

“We have played against Celtic and Barcelona – and after the win against Barca two weeks, I think we can go to San Siro with a lot of confidence.”

AC Milan confirm Honda arrival
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have announced Keisuke Honda will be given the No 10 shirt when he arrives at the club in January.

“Yes, now I can say it,” Vice-President Adriano Galliani told Sky Sport Italia when asked about the CSKA Moscow man. “Honda is officially a Milan player. He will wear the No 10 jersey.”

The midfielder will arrive on a free transfer from CSKA at the start of next month, but it may take some time to see him in action.

“He will be ours from January 3, but I don’t know if he will play as soon as the 6th. If he is not ready at that point then he will play against Sassuolo on 12 January.”

De Boer ahead of AC Milan clash
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ajax boss Frank De Boer says his side have “nothing to lose” when facing Milan at San Siro on Wednesday night.

The Rossoneri are second in Group H and need just a draw to reach the last 16. The Dutch, meanwhile, will qualify at the Diavolo’s expense with a win.

“With a Europa League ticket already in our pockets, we have nothing to lose now,” the former international told De Telegraaf.

“When you looked at the group after the draw, the pressure was especially on Barcelona and Milan.

“For us, finishing third at the expense of Celtic was feasible, with Barcelona and Milan deciding who would come first and second.”

Milan are struggling for form, but De Boer knows his side face an uphill task at the Meazza later today.

“Only very few teams can win at San Siro. Barcelona drew and always had it tough. That says enough I think.”

Honda to AC Milan on January 3rd
11.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan will officially complete the signing of CSKA Moscow’s Keisuke Honda on January 3, reports suggest.

The Diavolo will net the Japanese international on a Bosman free transfer given that his contract with the Russians will expire at the end of this month.

Milan did try to grab the 27-year-old in the summer for a nominal fee, but CSKA refused to sell.

While Honda is on his way into Milanello, it is being suggested that youngsters Bryan Cristante, Riccardo Saponara and M’Baye Niang will be released on loan.

De Boer: 'Ajax and AC Milan level'
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ajax need a victory over Milan to stay in the Champions League, but Frank De Boer insists “we each have a 50 per cent chance.”

The Coach held a Press conference ahead of tomorrow night’s Group H clash to see who will go through to the knockouts along with Barcelona.

Ajax won their last trip to the Stadio Meazza 2-0, but “it was all different then. Milan had already qualified, while we absolutely had to win,” noted De Boer.

“This time it’s an important game for them, as they are 22 points behind the leaders in Serie A and so it’s a completely different situation.

“We have prepared for this the way we prepare for every game. Some of the younger players perhaps feel the tension more, but this has to be transformed into something positive.

“Aside from the result, matches like this must be valuable experience for them. We’ll have to give our all.

“Milan will try to keep possession. Kaka and Mario Balotelli are great players and we must be wary of them, but we’re also in good shape and can put in a great performance. We must make the most out of the spaces Milan will leave us.

“Who are the favourites? Milan are playing on home turf and are a great side, but I think we each have a 50 per cent chance of qualifying.

“The Rossoneri are improving, but we’re in a great moment of form too.”

It is a special game for Bojan Krkic, who spent one season on loan at Milan after his disappointing spell at Roma.

“I haven’t decided my starting XI yet, so anyone could be in there, including Bojan. I will tell my players the line-up tomorrow afternoon.”

Berlusconi rallies AC Milan squad
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi and his daughter Barbara met with the team ahead of tomorrow’s match with Ajax.

The patron flew in on his personal helicopter and was accompanied by Barbara, the new joint CEO of the club, but Adriano Galliani was notable by his absence.

“I came here to be close to the team. I hope that I bring them good luck,” he said when leaving the get-together.

“I embraced each of the lads, one by one. Naturally I tried to bring back the memory of what was the great Milan side and that we still are the club that has won the most international trophies in the world.

“I supported them and hope I started work on making them feel they belong at Milan. If I have time to return here as often as I did in the first 10 years of my presidency, I hope it can have some positive effect.”

Silvio Berlusconi met with Coach Massimiliano Allegri and several players in the gym, then gathered the entire squad into the Press Conference room.

Here he stood at the front and gave a speech, eager to motivate them for tomorrow night’s Champions League decider.

Milan need at least a point against Ajax at San Siro to qualify for the knockouts.

The meeting lasted for around 45 minutes and also gave Barbara the opportunity to unveil her new-look red hair with severe fringe.

Pazzini back after seven months
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giampaolo Pazzini is back in the Milan squad to face Ajax in the Champions League tomorrow.

It is the striker’s first call-up of the season, as he has been out of action for seven months following surgery.

Alessandro Matri and Urby Emanuelson are also included despite knocks, but Ignazio Abate, Robinho, Valter Birsa, Matias Silvestre and Marco Amelia are unavailable.

The Rossoneri need at least a point from Wednesday night’s game to qualify for the Round of 16.

Milan squad for Ajax: Abbiati, Coppola, Andrenacci; Bonera, Constant, De Sciglio, Mexes, Zaccardo, Zapata; Cristante, De Jong, Emanuelson, Kaka, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Poli; Balotelli, El Shaarawy, Matri, Pazzini

Perin agent denies AC Milan rumours
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia Perin’s agent has denied reports that Milan and Genoa will meet this week to discuss the goalkeeper.

The young shot-stopper has been linked with a switch to the Rossoneri for nearly 12 months now.

But his representative has admitted that rumours the two clubs will meet to talk about the 21-year-old are unfounded.

“We’ve heard these rumours for a long time,” Matteo Roggi told CalcioNews.

“Mattia is doing well, as is the rest of the team – so it’s only natural that big teams would ear-mark him for attention.

“For the moment, what I know, is that these are just rumours.

“Currently there has been no official contact from Milan.”

De Sciglio: AC Milan focused on Last 16
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Mattia De Sciglio has conceded that his men are ‘focused’ on making the Last 16 of the Champions League.

The Rossoneri play Ajax tomorrow knowing that a draw will be enough to see them finish second in Group H and make the knockout stages.

“Games that can get you through to the final 16 in the Champions League are always important,” he told a Press conference.

“We’re focused and we want to get through to the next round. We definitely can’t take to the pitch looking for a draw as that would put qualification at risk.

“They’re a good team and they play good football. We’ll have to be very attentive.

I’ll do what I can to repeat the performance against PSV tomorrow as they’re similar matches.

“I’ll give my all. Playing on the right or the left won’t make any difference. I’ll just be focused on what will be a tough match. We have to get a result.”

The youngster then commented on his recovery from a knee injury.

“I’m happy with how the knee has reacted even if it’s not yet completely balanced. I’m working to get it back perfect and the minutes on the pitch against Livorno were important for me.”

Allegri: AC Milan playing to win
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists his Milan side will not purely be playing for the draw they need in the game against Ajax.

The Rossoneri need just a point to progress to the knock-out stages of the Champions League at San Siro on Wednesday.

“We have the advantage of being able to get two results out of three,” the tactician told Milan Channel today.

“But there’s a lot at stake. We’ll have to be very attentive and we can’t just defend the 0-0.

“We have to go into the match with calmness and determination. It’s a football match like the others and tomorrow a draw would be the same as a win, but we have to take to the pitch to win.”

Milan have struggled in Serie A recently, having won just one of their last seven games. They drew 2-2 with Livorno at the weekend.

“Against Livorno we found a team that got at us well,” Allegri continued. “We showed a bit of carelessness in the two goals, but we didn’t run many other risks in the match.

“The second goal was our fault and we can’t let that happen tomorrow. In the Champions League, the games are different as all teams want to win. We shouldn’t give away any goal scoring chances.

“Tomorrow’s a fundamental match and it’s the second objective of the season. It won’t be easy but the fans will be fantastic.

“The fans will play a fundamental part as what’s at stake is entrance to the final 16. Nothing can be taken for granted.

“Ajax are in good form. They’re playing well, but we’re the home team. We have to be aggressive and competitive to win the match.”

Cristante wanted in Madrid
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Atletico Madrid are the latest club to be paired with a January move for Milan youngster Bryan Cristante.

The player’s agent has recently suggested that the boy could leave the club next month due to his lack of action this term.

Cristante, a youth team product, has made only one Serie A appearance this season and that was as an eight-minute substitute.

Genoa and Parma have been paired with the central midfielder, but it seems that the Spanish club are keen too.

Kaka wanted AC Milan return
10.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kaka has confirmed that he always dreamed about returning to Milan following his move to Real Madrid in 2009.

The Brazilian went back to San Siro this summer on a free transfer after costing the Spanish giants a massive €68.5m.

“I dreamt of wearing this shirt again and I hope to continue doing so for many more years,” the 31-year-old noted.

“I missed the environment of [training base] Milanello and the history of this club. That is what I missed when I was in Madrid.

“I like hanging around Milanello, talking to those who work there and remaining in close contact with them.”

Kaka has scored three goals in nine Serie A games so far this season, while he has one in three Champions League ties.

Birsa suffers thigh injury
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Valter Birsa has suffered a thigh injury Milan have confirmed this evening, and will reportedly be out for a month.

The 27-year-old picked up the knock in the Rossoneri’s draw with Livorno at the weekend, and they have revealed on Monday that the Slovenia international has suffered an injury to a flexor muscle in his right thigh.

An official prognosis will be confirmed in the coming days, but the attacker is expected to be sidelined for four weeks.

Should that be the case, he will miss matches against Roma and Inter in the League, and the Champions League clash with Ajax.

Coppa Italia quarter-finals revealed
9.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The quarter-finals for the Coppa Italia have been released, with Roma-Juventus and Milan-Inter potentially to be played.

The League authorities have confirmed the draw for the Last Eight, with the Milan derby one of the stand-out possibilities.

Elsewhere in the draw, Napoli and Lazio could meet should they overcome Atalanta and Parma, respectively.

Whilst Roma and Juventus may clash if they beat Sampdoria and Avellino in their fifth round matches.

Rome / Sampdoria-Juventus / Avellino Tuesday January 21

Milan / Spezia-Udinese / Inter Wednesday January 22

Catania / Siena-Fiorentina / Chievo Thursday January 23

Naples / Atalanta Lazio / Parma Wednesday January 29.

Berlusconi: 'AC Milan need my help'
8.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

President Silvio Berlusconi believes he is the key to solving Milan’s problems. “The team needs my help.”

The patron spoke to a new fan club set up in his honour, commenting on last night’s 2-2 draw with Livorno.

“Last season after a disastrous first half of the campaign, I took a closer interest in Milan and we snatched third place,” said Berlusconi.

“I think that again today the team needs more of my help.”

The Rossoneri need at least a point against Ajax on Wednesday to qualify for the Champions League Round of 16.

AC Milan fight Lazio for Yakin
8.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Milan are challenging Lazio for the signature of Murat Yakin if he leaves Basel in January.

The Coach has impressed so far this season, earning back-to-back Champions League victories over Chelsea.

He had already been heavily linked with the Lazio job over the last few days, as Vladimir Petkovic is tipped to take over the Swiss national team.

However, Swiss site Infoticker now suggests Milan are also interested in Yakin’s services if Massimiliano Allegri continues to struggle.

The Rossoneri were held to a 2-2 draw by Livorno on Saturday and so far Allegri has remained in his place largely due to a lack of valid alternatives.

Yakin would fit the bill for President Silvio Berlusconi’s vision of an all-attack style of football.

It’s reported Yakin could walk away from Basel in January, though he is unlikely to quit if the club qualifies for the Champions League Round of 16.

Allegri: 'AC Milan lack determination'
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri complimented his hometown club Livorno, but blasted Milan for their “lack of determination.”

The Rossoneri were held to a 2-2 draw at the Stadio Picchi, having first taken the lead and then gone behind.

“I compliment Livorno because they put in a very good performance,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We showed a lack of determination and it is difficult to win a match like that. We conceded the second goal from a throw-in and that is not good enough.”

Mario Balotelli bagged a brace and hit the crossbar late on with a stunning strike from 30 metres.

“Balotelli had a great game and when he plays like that he is difficult to mark. He should’ve had better support, not so much in terms of passes as in attitude.

“Both M’Baye Niang and Mattia De Sciglio did well down the right flank, but we paid a heavy price for the mistakes in defence.

“We’ve got to understand that if we don’t match our opponents in terms of determination and intensity, then our quality won’t make the difference.”

Milan need a point against Ajax on Wednesday to qualify for the Champions League knockouts.

“Ajax are putting together some great results and have excellent technique throughout the team. We must face them in the best way possible and above all score goals.”

Balotelli: 'Next time it will go in'
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli was philosophical about the crossbar denying a hat-trick against Livorno. “Next time it will go in.”

The Milan striker netted twice for a 2-2 draw at the Stadio Picchi and was about to win it in the final minute, but his rocket from 30 metres dipped on to the underside of the bar, bounced off the line and back out.

“That’s football. Next time it will go in,” he shrugged on Sky Sport Italia.

“I have always been in good shape and never had any of the problems that were written about. I just wasn’t scoring, that’s all.

“We need to be more careful when our opponents go on the counter-attack, because every time they do we tend to concede.

“We are playing fairly well and are scoring again at last, which was a problem before, so now we just need a little more luck.”

Balotelli has scored in each of his last three games and on Wednesday hosts Ajax in the Champions League.

“Now we have Ajax and it is a game we want to win.”

Zaccheroni: 'AC Milan move good for Honda'
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Japan manager Alberto Zaccheroni believes playing for Milan in Serie A will “benefit” Keisuke Honda.

Although the Rossoneri have not made the move official, it has long been known Honda will sign for them on a Bosman when his contract with CSKA Moscow expires on December 31.

“Honda is not officially a Milan player yet, so I can’t technically say anything about that,” Zaccheroni told Sky Sport Italia.

“I can only say that the other Japanese players who have played in Italy really benefited from taking part in such a difficult tournament as Serie A.”

Serie A: Livorno 2:2 AC Milan - match report
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Balotelli 7, 83 (M), Siligardi 26 (L), Paulinho 58 (L)

Mario Balotelli scored a stunning brace and hit the bar as Milan scrambled a late 2-2 draw away to Livorno.

The Rossoneri hoped to continue their revival after two straight wins over Celtic and Catania, especially as Cristian Zapata and Philippe Mexes returned. Mattia De Sciglio was still not fit to start, so Andrea Poli was make-shift rightback again, while Gabriel took the gloves. The absentee list included Robinho, Ignazio Abate, Sulley Muntari, Matias Silvestre, Marco Amelia and Giampaolo Pazzini. Livorno had lost three on the bounce without scoring, one point from nine rounds, and this week resisted pressure to sack Coach Davide Nicola.

It was a special game for Max Allegri, who had his 200th Serie A match against his hometown club.

Mario Balotelli broke the deadlock after just seven minutes, as Ricky Kaka rolled the ball across the face of goal for the striker to flick in from four yards at the back post. It was his third consecutive game on target.

Federico Ceccherini nodded over from a free kick, while Paulinho flashed a shot off target from a tight angle when he should’ve set up Pasquale Schiattarella. Gabriel showed confidence to pluck a long-range Emerson free kick out of the air.

Livorno were increasing the pressure and Luca Siligardi equalised with a fierce curler that bounced just in front of Gabriel to slot into the far bottom corner. It was the Amaranto’s first goal after firing blanks for three rounds.

Poli did well to intercept a dangerous Alfred Duncan cross with the outside of the boot that was reaching Ibrahima Mbaye, while Duncan’s effort was charged down from a corner.

Birsa hobbled off with a hamstring problem before half-time, replaced by Stephan El Shaarawy.

After the restart, Balotelli flicked a long ball over Andrea Coda to burst into the box and the finish stung Francesco Bardi’s palms under the bar. From that corner, El Shaarawy’s attempt was charged down.

However, Livorno completed their comeback by going 2-1 up. Paulinho sprung the offside trap on a Zapata error and smashed the low drive past Gabriel in a one-on-one at the near post. For the third time this season, Milan had gone from a leading position to trailing.

Kaka’s inspired cross-field assist allowed M’Baye Niang to get round Mbaye, but the finish was well wide from a very promising position.

Milan were pouring forward, which left gaps for Livorno counters and on one of these Siligardi didn’t get enough power behind his shot. Moments later Siligardi had another opportunity that he turned wide of the far post.

Mattia De Sciglio made his comeback for only his third appearance of the season. However, it was Balotelli who got Milan back on level terms with a scorching free kick that flew into the top corner with Bardi rooted to the spot.

In the final minute SuperMario tried again with an amazing dipping strike from over 30 metres that sailed over Bardi’s fingertips to hit the underside of the bar, ricochet off the line and back out again.

Livorno: Bardi; Coda, Emerson, Ceccherini; Schiattarella, Biagianti, Luci, Duncan (Rinaudo 94), Mbaye (Lambrughi 92); Siligardi (Greco 76); Paulinho

Milan: Gabriel; Poli (De Sciglio 76), Zapata, Mexes, Emanuelson; Montolivo, De Jong, Nocerino (Niang 59); Birsa (El Shaarawy 38), Kaka; Balotelli

Ref: Guida

Serie A: Livorno vs. AC Milan - lineups
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Livorno: Bardi; Coda, Emerson, Ceccherini; Schiattarella, Biagianti, Luci, Duncan, Mbaye; Siligardi; Paulinho.

Livorno bench: Anania, Rinaudo, Valentini, Gemiti, Decarli, Lambrughi, Benassi, Borja, Mosquera, Greco, Emeghara, Belingheri.

Milan: Gabriel; Poli, Zapata, Mexes, Emanuelson; Montolivo, De Jong, Nocerino; Birsa, Kaka; Balotelli.

Milan bench: Abbiati, Coppola, Bonera, De Sciglio, Zaccardo, Cristante, Saponara, El Shaarawy, Matri, Niang.

Nicola: AC Milan aren't just Balotelli
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Livorno boss Davide Nicola is confident his side can beat Milan when the two face each other on Saturday.

The promoted side host the Rossoneri tomorrow, and despite losing last weekend to Chievo, the Coach is going into the match looking for three points.

“The game against Chievo was very bad from our point of view,” he told a Press conference.

“Our approach was all wrong and we made mistakes – we know that.

“But it’s not all bad. We go into this game against Milan hoping to get the points.

“Milan have the quality to compete with the best. They have so many good players, not just Balotelli.

“We know though, that we have to try and limit them as much as possible and then hit them on the counter.”

Allegri: 'One step at a time'
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri is happy to mark his 100th Milan game against hometown club Livorno, but is keeping alert.

This Serie A fixture kicks off at 17.00 GMT on Saturday.

“It is an important achievement to have 100 games for Milan and to do it in my home town, in Livorno, is even more special,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“I hope to mark the occasion with a great victory. Some of the locals will applaud, others will jeer, but I am very happy that Livorno are back in Serie A and I’m sure they will remain here.”

The Rossoneri ended their dire run with two consecutive victories against Celtic and Catania, but Allegri is keeping his feet on the ground.

“Could we go for third place? It is very difficult to talk about that now and we have to take it one step at a time. Don’t forget a week ago people thought we were dead and buried. Now some claim we have resolved all our problems.

“So far we have not qualified for the Champions League knockouts and are still way behind in Serie A, so let’s keep our heads down and try to give a sense of consistency to these results.”

Kevin Constant is out with a muscular problem, but Christian Abbiati, Mattia De Sciglio, Philippe Mexes and Cristian Zapata all return to the squad.

“On Wednesday against Ajax we’ll have Ignazio Abate and Sulley Muntari available too. Stephan El Shaarawy and Mario Balotelli are in good shape, though Mario can do so much more considering the potential at his disposal. He is on the right track.

“When Kaka arrived he gave the impression of being able to do great things. His fitness levels can still improve, but he is important both on the pitch and in the locker room. When a Coach has someone like Kaka in his squad, he can consider himself fortunate.

“In defence we’ll start with either De Sciglio or Andrea Poli. Daniele Bonera is not a full-back. The centre-halves are Mexes and Zapata.

“We have improved, but only kept three clean sheets all season. We must do better, as if we don’t concede then it’s easier to win games. It won’t be easy tomorrow, as Livorno have been playing well.”

AC Milan boost for Livorno trip
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Constant is out of Milan’s match with Livorno, but Mattia De Sciglio, Philippe Mexes and Christian Abbiati return.

The Rossoneri travel to Livorno for their Serie A tie on Saturday at 17.00 GMT.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri receives a boost to his squad, as Abbiati, De Sciglio and Mexes have recovered from injuries, while Cristian Zapata returns from suspension.

Constant is ruled out along with Robinho, Ignazio Abate, Marco Amelia, Matias Silvestre, Sulley Muntari and Giampaolo Pazzini.

Milan squad for Livorno: Abbiati, Coppola, Gabriel, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Zaccardo, Zapata, Emanuelson, Birsa, Cristante, De Jong, Kaka, Nocerino, Montolivo, Poli, Saponara, Balotelli, El Shaarawy, Matri, Niang

Balotelli: 'If she is my daughter...'
7.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli revealed why he hasn’t met the girl who could be his daughter. “Children mustn’t be disappointed by adults who then disappear.”

On Thursday a court case opened in Brescia, as model and ex-Big Brother contestant Raffaella Fico claims her former boyfriend Balotelli is the father of her child, Pia.

Although she was born in December 2012, the Milan striker has still not met the baby, nor has a DNA test been performed.

“For a whole year I have tried to reach an agreement with Fico over where, and how, to do this DNA test,” Balotelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I cannot turn up if I am not certain of being her father, because children mustn’t be disappointed by adults who then disappear. I know something about that.”

Mario was the child of Ghanaian immigrants in Sicily, placed in foster care at the age of two and from then on been raised by his adoptive family in Brescia.

“Fico refused to even agree on how to perform the DNA test, then in April the legal action started and it all ground to a halt. I always said that once it is proved the girl is my daughter, then I will do my full duty towards her.

“Replying in public to Fico’s accusations would do me no good and above all be damaging to the baby.”

The pair had already split up acrimoniously in Manchester when the pregnancy was discovered, but Balotelli claims she told the papers about it before informing him. She has since appeared on numerous cover stories with her daughter.

“She called me during Euro 2012, but the strange thing is that a few days earlier I had heard from mutual friends that she had already given an interview revealing this scoop. It was already being printed when I received that phone call...

“Would I be worried if Pia were my daughter? No, I am only worried if a child ends up in the papers and magazines because I know how difficult it is to live under the spotlight.

“I intend to do whatever the tribunal in Brescia decides is right, but I hope they won’t just ask me to pay Fico, because I’d like to also be a father and be sure nobody damages the baby with their desire for notoriety.

“I know that I am privileged and anyone who thinks I am big-headed doesn’t know me very well. I just ask for some time to sort things out for myself. Clarity on Pia would also help me in that way.”

The World Cup draw is this afternoon and Balotelli was asked about his hopes for 2014.

“Many wonderful things. I am coming out of a difficult moment, but I can see the hard work is starting to pay off. I count on returning to the player I was at the start of the year and to do my part for Milan.

“The World Cup is another story. I always have special sensations when playing for the Nazionale and in Brazil I want to be in top shape. If all goes as planned, then nothing is beyond our reach.”

Ronaldo: 'Balotelli can make difference'
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ronaldo believes Mario Balotelli “can make the difference at the World Cup, if he behaves himself.”

The former Inter, Real Madrid and Milan striker will be taking part in the Brazil 2014 finals draw on Friday at 16.00 GMT.

“Italy are traditionally a team to be feared in these tournaments,” he said at a Press conference in Costa do Sauipe.

“Even when they don’t necessarily play that well, they still often get to the semi-final or the Final.

“Balotelli is a great champion and can make the difference at the World Cup, if he behaves himself.”

Galliani eyes January 'surprises'
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan CEO Adriano Galliani confirmed Keisuke Honda in January, turned down Francesco Lodi and “won’t rule out surprises.”

The transfer guru spoke to Milan Channel today and revealed President Silvio Berlusconi will be at the Milanello training ground to fire up the squad ahead of the Champions League decider against Ajax.

“The transfer market is a fluid and dynamic thing, so you can rarely predict what is going to happen.

“As of today, I can say there is one certain arrival and one probable, though out of respect for the Russian club where he’s now playing I cannot say more.”

The Russian club in question is CSKA Moscow, as Japan international midfielder Keisuke Honda’s contract expires at the end of this month and he has long agreed terms with the Rossoneri.

“There could also be some exchanges and I can’t rule out surprises that even I do not know about right now.”

There has been talk of a swap with Genoa between striker M’Baye Niang and midfielder Lodi, or even Juraj Kucka.

“We have to talk to Niang’s agent, but he is very young and could still play with the Primavera youth team,” continued Galliani.

“As for Lodi, he is a midfielder who plays in front of the defence and we already have Nigel De Jong and Riccardo Montolivo there.

“In Serie A we need a series of victories to climb back up the table. If we hadn’t had so many injuries, Milan would be in a much stronger position now.”

Batistuta blasts Balotelli
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gabriel Batistuta complained Mario Balotelli “really gets on my nerves” for wasting his talent.

The Fiorentina legend gave a Press conference yesterday, but the Corriere dello Sport claims he continued chatting to some journalists off the record.

“What do I think of Balotelli? I was not born a football player,” Batistuta is quoted as saying.

“I had to become a player with hard work, sweat and sacrifice. Balotelli, but also others, have everything I wanted to have, but they don’t take advantage of it.

“That really gets on my nerves.”

AC Milan to negotiate Braida exit
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Gazzetta dello Sport report that Milan sporting director Ariedo Braida will negotiate his exit in the coming weeks.

Yesterday conflicting reports emerged surrounding the long-serving Rossonero delegate, with it rumoured by some outlets that he had resigned and by others that Milan had rejected that resignation.

The Gazzetta dello Sport understand that whilst Braida is travelling out with the squad for this weekend’s League test with Livorno, his days are numbered.

It is reported that Adriano Galliani’s No 2 will not be involved in transfer work for January’s window and that he will discuss in the coming weeks a ‘consensual resolution’ to his time at the club.

Braida’s 28 years of service to the club will apparently be ‘taken into account’ when settling his exit, which is believed to have been accelerated due to leaked reports of the Rossoneri’s intent to bring in Sean Sogliano as new sporting director from next summer.

In Braida’s absence and until Sogliano arrives, managing director Umberto Gandini will reportedly help Galliani in transfer dealings. Gandini has generally worked the foreign market for Il Diavolo.

Berlusconi talks San Siro?
5.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barbara Berlusconi’s latest activity reportedly has her drawing up initial plans for the future of Milan’s Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

San Siro has long been the subject of development plans both for the Rossoneri and cohabitants Inter, and it is reported that the former’s increasingly active board member is trying again.

Berlusconi met with Milan city’s deputy mayor Ada Lucia De Cesaris and Alfonso Cefalielo, a director from M-I Stadio, the company that manages San Siro, to reportedly discuss a number of themes relating to the ground, including its future.

Other aspects discussed include the stadium’s hosting of the 2016 Champions League Final and upgrades needed.

Balotelli: 'I want to be normal'
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli sent out an appeal to media and fans, confessing to an Inter regret. “I want to live like a normal person.”

The 23-year-old wrote an open letter to Verissimo television programme and complained that in Italy he is allowed even less freedom than at Manchester City.

He opened referring to the controversy over his tweet, “This is the end,” which it later emerged was for mixed martial artist Giorgio Petrosyan.

“This is a very chaotic time, especially for me. Many times any gesture I make, even a simple tweet dedicated to a true friend, a fighter and a healthy sportsman like myself, is used to create other meanings that do not interest me.

“It isn’t like that abroad. There must be a reason if Time magazine included me in the 100 most influential people in the world.

“I know that I am a lucky guy, but at times I too want to live like a normal person. Signed, a true Milan fan.”

Balotelli also gave an interview to online magazine BuoneNotizie, where he confessed to his faults.

“I know, I am not very diplomatic. I am instinctive and if I have an idea then I’ll express it without problems, but I do not judge people I don’t know. I’d like others to do the same.

“Judging people is damaging. It’s not so much for me, as I can survive certain things, but the people around me, my teammates and my family, who read things that were either exaggerated or invented.

“I can only say I am sorry, I cannot do more, because I know what is true and what isn’t.

“Going back, I certainly wouldn’t throw the Inter shirt to the ground. Many other things are changing compared to my past... I am trying to improve certain attitudes. But I remain, and will remain, myself.”

SuperMario scored in the 3-0 Champions League victory over Celtic and the 3-1 Serie A win in Catania.

“Only in difficult moments do you see real men. It is our duty to prove ourselves now. We owe it to ourselves, the club and the Rossoneri fans.

“It is a delicate time, but our challenge is to emerge with heads held high and get back to winning ways by always playing up to Milan standards.

“I want to be the team’s leader again. After some mistakes, it is time to score goals, without ever stopping.”

AC Milan lose Silvestre
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have suffered another injury, as Matias Silvestre will be out for at least two weeks with a thigh strain.

The defender pulled out of today’s training session and tests have shown a lesion to the left thigh muscle.

He will undergo more tests in 10-15 days, but is not expected back in action for at least 2-3 weeks.

Meanwhile, Mattia De Sciglio took part in the full training session today and is closer to his comeback.

Gattuso: 'No women in football'
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso demanded “more respect” for Adriano Galliani and slammed new Milan chief Barbara Berlusconi. “I can’t see women in football.”

The former Rossoneri midfielder, who started the season as Palermo Coach before being sacked, told Radio Radio about the recent controversy.

Galliani will remain as CEO of Milan, but share the position with Barbara Berlusconi, the daughter of President Silvio Berlusconi.

“I think someone like Galliani deserves more respect for everything he has done and how in all these years he steered the club to positive results.

“I don’t want to say this, but I really can’t see women in football,” added Gattuso.

‘Rino’ was also asked to comment on the Scudetto race now that Juventus have moved three points clear of Roma.

“Juve remain Juve and are the team to beat, though Roma are achieving remarkable things. Juventus have a remarkable group and a unity that shows how much they want to win. Even in the most recent game against Udinese, they never gave up and pushed to score in the last minutes.”

AC Milan's Braida resigns?
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are conflicting reports in the Italian Press on Wednesday that Milan sporting director Ariedo Braida has resigned.

Stories emerged from several sources earlier today that the board member had handed in his resignation at the Rossoneri.

Braida’s current deal ends in June 2014, but Sky Sport Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio confirmed that he had asked to leave the San Siro side immediately.

However, the Milanello Twitter account have claimed that Milan have rejected his resignation.

Braida has been responsible for bringing the likes of Kaka and Frank Rijkaard to the Diavolo. But has faced criticism in recent years for taking a more sidelined role in recruitment of players.

Berlusconi contacts Sogliano
4.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Hellas Verona sporting director Sean Sogliano has been contacted by Barbara Berlsuconi, according to reports.

The daughter of President Silvio was named as one of two general managers last week after Adriano Galliani resigned, and then backed down from that stance.

The pair were confirmed as directors with Galliani taking charge of the sporting sector, whilst Barbara Berlsuconi was put in charge of all other sectors, including marketing and sales.

However, Corriere dello Sport have claimed today that Barbara has gone behind Galliani’s back and spoken with the Verona boardroom member about becoming the Rossoneri’s new sporting director.

Galliani in Richards contact
3.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Micah Richards has been contacted by Milan, according to reports in the Italian Press this afternoon.

Il Giorno have claimed that the Manchester City defender has spoken with Rossoneri CEO Adriano Galliani about a possible move.

The England international has become frustrated with his limited playing time under Manuel Pellegrini, and will try and force a move in January.

Several Italian clubs, including Fiorentina and Roma are reportedly keen on the full-back, but the paper insists that the San Siro are the first to make contact.

Richards is a good friend of Nigel de Jong following their days as teammates at the Etihad, adding more fuel to the fire that he could join Massimiliano Allegri’s men.

Balotelli hits out on Twitter
3.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli has taken to Twitter to hit out at the FIGC after they failed to sanction Catania’s Nicolas Spolli.

The Milan striker accused the Argentine defender of racial abuse during their 3-1 win over the Elefanti at the weekend.

However, with a lack of evidence, the Giudice Sportivo have not taken action against the 30-year-old.

“Hahaha! Fortunately, there is justice in this country,” Balotelli ironically posted on the social networking site.

No ban for Spolli
3.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Catania defender Nicolas Spolli will not face any action after he was accused of racially abusing Mario Balotelli.

The Milan striker claimed on Sunday that Spolli had uttered a racial epitaph towards in him during their 3-1 win at the weekend.

However, with insufficient evidence from cameras, the Guidice Sportivo have decided to take no action against the 30-year-old.

There are though, one-match bans for Sorensen (Bologna), Tachtsidis and Barrientos (Catania), Britos (Napoli), Cacciatore (Hellas Verona), Cigarini (Atalanta) and Matuzalem (Genoa) after they accumulated yellow cards over the weekend.

Bosko Jankovic has been handed a two-match suspension for his straight red against Fiorentina.

Spolli 'did not insult Balotelli'
2.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Nicolas Spolli’s agent insists the Catania defender “did not insult” Mario Balotelli or use racist language.

The pair clashed during Sunday’s 3-1 Milan victory at the Stadio Massimino and Balotelli reportedly accused the Argentine defender of using a racist insult towards him.

“We are relaxed, as there are no problems and there were no insults,” representative Daniele Luzzi told TMW.

“There could well have been moments of irritation, as can happen during a game, but Nicolas did not insult anyone.

“It’s easy for some to think there were heavy insults used, but not even the Milan players heard anything of the sort.

“Nicolas is not worried about this. He is only worried about Catania’s situation in the table.”

'No approach for Richards'
2.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A representative of the Manchester City player claims “no Italian clubs have asked after Micah Richards since the summer.”

The winger confessed at the weekend that he could consider a move away from Eastlands if he did not get more playing time.

Calcionews24.com spoke to Dario Canovi, a FIFA representative who has dealings with Richards’ agents.

“Knowing what he is worth, I assume City will do everything possible not to let him get away.

“There was contact with Napoli, Inter and Milan, but these go back to last season. No Italian clubs have asked after Richards since the summer.

“He is a player who is generating a lot of interest in Europe, whether it’s in England, Spain or Germany. He is a top level player.”

Montolivo: Kaka is a champion
2.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo is convinced Kaka will continue to make a difference for Milan over the course of the season.

The Brazilian returned to San Siro in the summer on a free transfer, three years after leaving for Real Madrid.

After initially struggling with fitness issues, the attacking midfielder is now starting to make an impact for the Diavolo.

“Kaka arrived and then immediately had an injury,” said Montolivo, who like Kaka scored in the 3-1 win at Catania on Sunday.

“But he’s a great champion and he makes the difference in every match. He brings with him lots of experience.

“Let’s hope he keeps it up and he’s got great charisma.”

Trapattoni: 'Balotelli like Edmundo'
2.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giovanni Trapattoni has likened Milan enigma Mario Balotelli to controversial Brazilian forward Edmundo.

Trap worked with the latter, nicknamed ‘O Animal’ for his sometimes-erratic behaviour, at Fiorentina in the late 1990s.

“Balotelli reminds me of Edmundo,” the legendary tactician told Radio Anch’io Sport on Monday.

“I used to talk with him until one or two o’clock in the morning to try and understand what was his problem.

“He used to say ‘yes, yes’ to me and then he’d take to the field of play and argue with Gabriel Batistuta and Manuel Rui Costa…

“Italy boss Cesare Prandelli is good, but he has to be aware as some players carry the risk of snapping the balance within a team.”

Balotelli is a key man for Prandelli, especially heading into the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil.

“I think the hosts will be one of the favourites, even if Italy can do very well,” the former Republic of Ireland manager added.

“We have creativity and geniality, and we tend to do well in these competitions. As well as having players of value, there is also a tactical sense – something that not every team has.

“Prandelli can really target the top.”

Trap, 74, added that he is looking to return to the game after leaving the Republic by mutual consent in September.

“I have a lot of offers, from America and Japan, but I can’t make a mistake in my decision,” he continued.

“I’ll have a few meetings soon where I will decide whether to go east or west. I still have great enthusiasm, I want to carry on.”

Kaka a phenomenon – Galliani
2.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani thinks he made no mistake in re-signing Ricardo Kaka from Real Madrid during the summer.

The Brazilian struggled in the Spanish capital, but he is starting to silence his critics with his recent performances.

“Ricky is a phenomenon,” Galliani stated after the South American, a free signing, scored in the 3-1 win at Catania on Sunday.

“He told me that he was waiting for Mario to arrive, but he didn’t arrive and so he shot himself...

“You know I cried in 2009 when I went to sell him to Real, then I thank the Lord that I had the idea on August 31 to go to Madrid, without any pre-arranged appointment, and from there it all happened and Kaka came back.”

Kaka has scored three goals in eight Serie A games, while he has one in three Champions League encounters.

“I was happy with the reaction after conceding the goal and the double victory away from home in the Champions League and the championship,” added Galliani.

“We had five players in defence who are not first team-regulars or that don’t play that much and they all did well.”

Kaka explains Catania strike
2.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan ace Ricardo Kaka says he only scored at Catania on Sunday because he had nobody to pass the ball to.

The Brazilian made the game safe with the final net-rippler in the 3-1 win at Catania yesterday afternoon.

“I’m happy with the goal,” he stated. “In reality though, I was waiting for Stephan El Shaarawy and Mario Balotelli to arrive.

“I wanted to pass them the ball, but they didn’t arrive and I shot instead to score my 99th goal.”

Kaka returned to San Siro after three problematic years at Real Madrid and he’s starting to make a difference again.

“I’m very happy that I’m able to play well and that the team wins,” he added. “It was an important game for us.”

Serie A: Catania 1:3 AC Milan - goals/highlights (VIDEO)
1.12 || webmaster



Spolli - Balotelli 'misunderstanding'
1.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Catania Coach Luigi De Canio believes there was “a misunderstanding” after Mario Balotelli accused Nicolas Spolli of racism.

The incident occurred during the second half of Milan’s 3-1 victory at the Stadio Massimino today.

“Spolli is a good man, so I think it must’ve been a misunderstanding,” De Canio told Sky Sport Italia.

Television stations in Italy are going over video footage in a bid to find out what Spolli said to Balotelli during that clash. If racist abuse is proved, the Argentine defender faces up to a 10-match ban.

“It was a balanced game and we made a mistake on the second goal, then the Panagiotis Tachtsidis red card turned things in Milan’s favour.

“We tried to get back into it anyway, but Kaka’s goal really ended the match. Of course we can never be satisfied when the results don’t come, but the performance was good.

“Milan managed to make the most of our mistakes, but this sort of reaction will lead to good results.”

Catania are bottom of the table and De Canio was asked whether he felt at risk, having already replaced Rolando Maran.

“I feel relaxed, as I arrived in this situation with many absentees. We faced teams of a very high level. Any decision the club makes, I am calm.”

Allegri: 'All for the good of AC Milan'
1.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri was pleased with Milan’s victory in Catania, but brushed off reports of racist abuse towards Mario Balotelli.

The Rossoneri had scraped just three points from their previous five Serie A games, but fought back from a goal down to win 3-1 in Sicily.

“The performance was one of great intensity and unfortunately we conceded a goal at the first chance,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We could’ve scored more, but in any case were able to win with a two-goal cushion. The one thing I’d like to see is a better control of possession after taking the lead, but overall I liked the team. We are pushing forward and the work is starting to bear fruit.”

Balotelli was substituted after repeatedly arguing with Catania defender Nicolas Spolli, who he reportedly accused of using a racist insult.

“It was a fair game, I don’t think anything happened,” shrugged Allegri. “Balotelli was a little tense and I preferred to remove him from the game, especially as were 3-1 up and he needs to rest.”

This has been a tense last few days for Milan, as Vice-President Adriano Galliani had his resignation rejected to become joint CEO with Barbara Berlusconi.

“We were at the training ground and didn’t realise any of this storm was going on. The President took an important decision and we are all working for the good of Milan.”

Serie A: Catania 1:3 AC Milan - match report
1.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Castro 13 (C), Montolivo 19 (M), Balotelli 63 (M), Kaka 82 (M)

AC Milan fought back from a goal down to beat 10-man Catania 3-1 in Sicily, ending a month-long drought of victories.

These were two teams with problems, as the Rossoneri had just three points from their last five Serie A games and and yesterday rejected Adriano Galliani’s resignation, making him joint CEO with Barbara Berlusconi. Cristian Zapata was suspended with Christian Abbiati, Philippe Mexes, Ignazio Abate, Mattia De Sciglio, Cristian Zaccardo, Marco Amelia, Giampaolo Pazzini and Robinho injured, so Andrea Poli was a makeshift right-back. Catania were rock bottom of the table and missed Gonzalo Bergessio, Giuseppe Bellusci, Mariano Izco, Sergio Almiron and Milan-owned Kinglsey Boateng, so gave ex-Velez defender Gino Peruzzi his Serie A debut.

Milan had all the early possession, but Catania took the surprise lead, as some chaotic defending eventually saw Lucas Castro’s effort take a deflection off Daniele Bonera’s block to loop over a helpless Gabriel. It was the Argentine’s third goal of the campaign.

Antonio Nocerino’s audacious volley was wide, but Pablo Barrientos drilled wide after dispossessing Bonera.

Milan did equalise when Urby Emanuelson got down the left and crossed for Riccardo Montolivo, who kept his volley down from 10 yards. The former Fiorentina midfielder marked his first goal of the season with a splendid finish.

Kaka was crowded out in the box before he could shoot and a Panagiotis Tachtsidis free kick hit the wall. Just before the break, Maxi Lopez went on the counter and set up Fabian Monzon for a shot that bounced off Gabriel’s chest. The Rossoneri had 77 per cent possession in the first half, but were still pegged back to a 1-1 scoreline.

Alexis Rolin needed a decisive block to stop Balotelli tapping in Kaka’s assist from six yards. SuperMario was furious soon after, as he was running towards goal when his heels were clipped by Rolin – perhaps by accident as they were crossing paths – but the referee waved play on.

Balotelli’s looping header was off target from a Montolivo chipped cross, but the striker got his goal soon after. Balotelli blasted a powerful and low free kick through the Catania wall to fly into the near bottom corner. That ended his four-match goal drought.

The game turned again moments later when Panagiotis Tachtsidis was shown a straight red card for a high tackle from the side on Balotelli.

Jaroslav Plasil had a good chance for Catania, but on the counter-attack Mariano Andujar used his ankle to parry from Balotelli. The Elefantini were still fired up and attacking despite being down to 10 men, as Cristian Biraghi’s ball flashed across the face of goal with nobody able to get the final touch.

Stephan El Shaarawy made his comeback after more than two months out injured, but Kaka had to calm down Balotelli after he got into a row with Nicolas Spolli.

Kaka was even more effective soon after, as he sprinted down the right and smashed a shot under the bar from the tightest of angles to give Milan a two-goal cushion.

Balotelli was substituted after risking a card for his repeated arguments with Spolli, but provoked the crowd on his way off by waving three fingers.

Barrientos drilled wide and Gabriel smothered a low strike, but 10-man Catania had the wind knocked out of their sails by that third goal.

Catania: Andujar; Peruzzi, Spolli, Rolin, Biraghi; Plasil, Tachtsidis, Monzon (Keko 61); Barrientos (Leto 88), Maxi Lopez, Castro (Guarente 68)

Milan: Gabriel; Poli, Bonera, Silvestre, Emanuelson; Montolivo, De Jong, Nocerino; Birsa (El Shaarawy 74), Kaka; Balotelli (Matri 83)
Ref: Rizzoli

Sent off: Tachtsidis 64 (C)

'AC Milan will have two general managers'
1.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

President Silvio Berlusconi has announced Milan “will have two general managers: Adriano Galliani and Barbara Berlusconi.”

This solution was introduced after a four-hour meeting with Vice-President and current general manager Galliani last night.

Galliani has threatened to resign after clashes with Barbara Berlusconi – the President’s daughter and a member of the Board of Directors – but today the President stated he would remain.

“Today we reached a full agreement on how to organise the club,” Berlusconi said in a statement to news agencies.

“There will be two general managers: one is Adriano Galliani, who will deal with the sporting sector, while Barbara Berlusconi will manage the other sectors.

“As for myself, I have promised to be closer to the club and the team.”

However, it remains to be seen where Paolo Maldini fits into all this, as Barbara Berlusconi had already contacted him to take over as new technical director.

According to Sky Sport Italia, Galliani made the first step this evening by phoning Barbara and noting "we will collaborate for the good of Milan."

Galliani: 'Berlusconi's words are sacred'
1.12 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani admits his Milan exit is over, for now. “President Silvio Berlusconi’s words are sacred.”

The general manager had been on the verge of resigning after a clash with Barbara Berlusconi, the daughter of the President and a member of the Board of Directors.

However, following a long meeting last night, the patron announced Galliani would be staying.

“President Silvio Berlusconi’s words are sacred and have been as far as I am concerned for the last 34 years, even before I started working at Milan,” Galliani told MilanNews.it.

“I do not need to confirm the President’s words, nor comment on them. Were the last few hours tough? Well...”

Galliani was unusually not at the Milanello training camp today, instead meeting the team at Malpensa Airport for the flight to Catania, which is where the interview took place.

It is widely reported Berlusconi rejected Galliani’s offer of resignation, but that the situation could develop over the next few weeks.





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