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The Archive

March 2013

Allegri advice precious, says Cristante
31.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bryan Cristante is looking forward to being a stable part of Massimiliano Allegri’s Milan squad next season.

The 18-year-old, an Italian-Canadian youth team midfielder, signed a professional contract with the Diavolo in March until June 2018.

“Next season? It’s very satisfying to be a part of the Milan squad, it shows that hard work pays off,” he told Sportal.

“Allegri is a great Coach. When I’ve trained with the first team squad, he’s always given me precious advice and, when necessary, criticism.”

Cristante is rated highly by those in the know at Milanello, but he is keeping his feet on the ground.

“The road ahead is still very long,” he added. “When I’m a fixture in the squad and a first teamer then you can say that I have arrived.

“Until then, I’ll just have to work day after day…”

Salamon explains Raiola link-up
31.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan youngster Bartosz Salamon has explained how he became a client of super agent Mino Raiola.

The latter has close links with the Diavolo seeing as he also represents Mario Balotelli and former striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, amongst many others.

“The stories about him in Ibrahimovic’s autobiography are true, Raiola is eccentric,” the Polish international is quoted as saying.

“I have to admit that our relationship began in an unusual way. About three years ago, when I was at Foggia, he phoned me and asked to be my agent.

“I said no because I had an agent and I was happy to work with him, I wanted to be fair. He said that if I played well then I would end up in a big team.

“He ended the call by telling me that he wouldn’t ring back. He didn’t, but I did.

“When I started to do well in Serie B, I realised that good performances on the field of play were not enough, you needed to have someone to represent you so that your good work would not go to waste.

“Mino told me to give my all in training and games, and that he would take me to where I deserved to be. In six months, he took me to Milan…”

Salamon, a defensive midfielder who can also play as a centre-back, joined the Rossoneri in January from Brescia. He’s contracted to the Diavolo until June 2017.

Serie A: Chievo 0:1 AC Milan - Montolivo goal / highlights
30.3 || webmaster



Allegri: 'Balotelli is enthusiastic'
30.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri praised Mario Balotelli for his “enthusiasm” and improved behaviour after inspiring a 1-0 Milan victory over Chievo.

Riccardo Montolivo turned in the rebound after one of Balotelli’s many free kicks was parried at the Bentegodi.

“Balotelli arrived in January and we didn’t have anyone who could take free kicks so well,” said the Coach.

“Montolivo did well on the goal, but today Balotelli found the target on every occasion from any distance or angle. He’s a great talent and has improved in terms of his behaviour, as he was kicked a few times today and stayed quiet.

“Mario is playing with enthusiasm, he feels like a protagonist at Milan and I think he can do much more, as the quality is remarkable.

“Stephan El Shaarawy needs to relax, as he doesn’t need to play for the goal at all times. In the second half he did very well, while he was too isolated on the left early on. The important thing is that the team plays well and wins.”

Milan kept a clean sheet and are still unbeaten in Serie A in 2013, temporarily leapfrogging Napoli into second place.

“The defence is the most important thing, and in fact the top three teams have the best defensive records,” added Allegri.

“If you defend well, then you attack better, that’s just logical. We deserved the victory today and Christian Abbiati also deserves praise for a wonderful save on Luciano.”

Serie A: Chievo 0:1 AC Milan - match report
30.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Montolivo 25 (M)

Riccardo Montolivo followed up a Mario Balotelli free kick to give Milan their sixth consecutive victory away to Chievo.

The Rossoneri continued to charge up the table in their bid for second place and had a strong record at the Bentegodi, winning seven here, drawing one and losing two. Kevin Constant returned from suspension to face his former club, but Kevin-Prince Boateng, Giampaolo Pazzini and Nigel De Jong were sidelined, so Robinho joined the trident in his first start of 2013. Chievo could count on Francesco Acerbi, who spent the first six months of the season at Milan.

The Rossoneri wore black armbands for Claudio Lippi, the Milan Channel journalist who died in a road accident this week.

Christian Abbiati just about managed to smother at Alberto Paloschi’s feet after a deflected Cyril Thereau cross into the six-yard box. A crucial Massimo Ambrosini sliding tackle took the ball off Thereau’s foot as he was pulling the trigger, then Abbiati smothered a scuffed Thereau attempt.

Bostjan Cesar barged into Balotelli in an off the ball incident and the referee awarded a free kick for this block. SuperMario got back up to take that fierce free kick, which Christian Puggioni parried and Riccardo Montolivo was quickest to react for the follow-up. Curiously, Montolivo had also scored against Chievo at San Siro earlier this season.

Boukary Drame was booked for a very late and clumsy tackle on Ignazio Abate, then Puggioni spilled another Balotelli free kick, but was able to get it under control at the second touch.

Yet again Balotelli aimed from long-range on a dead ball situation and Puggioni beat it away with some difficulty. The Chievo goalkeeper punched another set piece clear from the former Manchester City striker, as there seemed to be no distance Mario wouldn’t go straight for goal from.

There was a nasty collision in first half stoppages when Daniele Bonera and Paloschi were both looking at the ball, the Chievo striker accidentally getting a boot in the face, but he escaped injury. From that free kick, Thereau’s attempt was charged down and Montolivo was decisive to block the Roberto Guana follow-up.

Chievo threw on forward Adrian Stoian for the second half, but Balotelli’s free kick from almost 40 metres dipped viciously and Puggioni punched it out for a corner.

Marco Andreolli was at full stretch to get on the end of a chipped Nicolas Frey free kick, but could only steer it into Abbiati’s arms.

Yet another Balotelli free kick was punched away, then the goalkeeper stood his ground to parry when Robinho went on the counter-attack.

On 69 minutes Abbiati needed a sensational save, as he flew to fingertip a Luciano snapshot out from under the crossbar.

Stephan El Shaarawy ran to the by-line with a splendid move and pulled back into the six-yard box, but nobody was ready to tap in. The play continued and Puggioni came tearing off his line to close down Ambrosini.

Balotelli was running clear when Dario Dainelli mistimed his tackle from behind for an inevitable second yellow card. Puggioni beat away another Balotelli free kick at the base of the near post, then Andreolli almost deflected a corner into his own net, as it skimmed the upright.

Chievo were practically playing with nine men for the last 10 minutes, as Drame put his shoulder out of joint and managed to play on through the pain. Nonetheless, Stoian almost got an equaliser when going to volley a Thereau cross to the back post, as M’Baye Niang did just enough to put him off.

Chievo: Puggioni; Frey (Luciano 63), Andreolli, Dainelli, Cesar, Dramé; Guana (Stoian 46), Rigoni, Cofie; Therau, Paloschi (Pellissier 73)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Bonera, Mexes, De Sciglio; Montolivo, Ambrosini, Muntari; Robinho (Niang 84), Balotelli, El Shaarawy
Ref: Celi

Sent off: Dainelli 77 (C)

'I saved a Balotelli penalty!'
30.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It is often said that Mario Balotelli has never missed a penalty at any level, but the Reggiana goalkeeper insists he denied the striker in 2006.

Balotelli has a 100 per cent success rate from the spot in Serie A, the Premier League, international and Cup competitions.

The saying goes that SuperMario has never failed to convert a penalty, even in friendlies or games between ranks.

However, 24-year-old Costantino Marini has come forward to wreck that theory.

“I saved a Balotelli penalty. SuperMario is not infallible,” he told Brescia Oggi.

“Nobody seems to remember that incident. It was a game between the Lumezzane Allievi youth team and Reggiana.

“Balotelli stepped up three times during that game. He missed one, I saved the second, then he scored the third.”

The Milan and Italy hitman was only 16 at the time, but broke into the Inter senior squad two years later.

“It is something satisfying and makes me very proud to know when I watch him score against Brazil, while I am in the amateur Leagues and only my parents believe in me.

“I decided to follow my instinct and go to my left after a slight feint to my right. I was able to parry it, even though the shot was powerful.

“The ball stayed in the area and was begging to be turned in on the rebound, but I was so determined that I got there first.

“If you think about it, that day still says a lot about Balotelli,” added Marini. “Not many teenagers would step up for a third penalty after failing two in the space of an hour. It seemed perfectly natural to Mario, and it was the winning goal.”

Corini: Chievo can beat AC Milan
30.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chievo boss Eugenio Corini has insisted that his team have the quality to beat Milan on Saturday.

The Gialloblu host the Rossoneri tomorrow afternoon looking for a victory that could see them move into the top half of the table.

And the 42-year-old Coach has claimed that his side can defeat Massimiliano Allegri's men, despite the Diavolo not having tasted defeat in the League since December.

“This game prepares itself,” he told a Press conference. “We face a big team that is experiencing an extraordinary run of form in the League.

“So, for us, the motivation is quite clear.

“Fortunately we are also in a positive period of our own. We are aware that it will take a lot to win.

“But we have the qualities and the characteristics to try.”

AC Milan: Serie A has been altered
30.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have formally admitted their dissatisfaction with having to play Cagliari in front of a full Is Arenas.

The Isolani will face Fiorentina tomorrow behind-closed-doors after police and city council members declared the ground unsafe.

However, the Rossoneri are one of seven teams this term to play the Rossoblu at their stadium with supporters.

Back in February, Massimiliano Allegri's men drew 1-1 with Cagliari, and a statement on their official website has claimed that Serie A has been 'altered' this season.

“The League announced that the Cagliari-Fiorentina match will be behind-closed-doors,” the statement read.

“Milan had to play on February 10, 2013 in front of a full stadium, along with six other teams.

“Three teams played in front of season-ticket holders and three other behind-closed-doors.

“Only one, Juventus, was on a neutral ground. And in one case - Roma - the game was forfeited and given as a 3-0 win.

“This decision is one that any reasonable person would consider incomprehensible because identical cases have dealt with differently.

“It is certain that the normal course of Serie A has been altered.”

Allegri sees Ibrahimovic in Balotelli
29.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli has been compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic by Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri – but he can still improve as a player.

Balotelli joined the Diavolo in January and he’s responded with seven goals in his first six games for the outfit.

“He’s similar to Ibrahimovic both physically and technically,” Allegri noted on the eve of the Chievo game. “But he can get better because he’s playing with continuity here.

“Balotelli still has to improve a lot as a centre-forward given his potential, but he has all the right ingredients to do it.

“The important thing is that he keeps on playing for the team.”

Milan had a slow start to the season after selling Ibra and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain, as well as releasing a host of veterans.

“The squad is young and I’m happy with the work that the club has done,” Allegri, whose side lost five of their first eight League ties, added.

“If we get into the Champions League, without having to pre-qualify, it’ll have been a good year. One thing is sure, if we’re to get where we want to be, we’ll need a lot of points.”

Milan are currently third, two points behind Napoli.

“I didn’t call up Cristian Zapata as he’s a bit jet lagged,” Allegri continued. “Kevin Boateng and Giampaolo Pazzini will be ready for the match in Florence.

“Abate, De Sciglio, Mexes and one of either Bonera, Yepes or Zaccardo will play.

“In the midfield I have to decide if I’ll play Montolivo in front of the defence or on the right with Ambrosini in the centre.”

The former Cagliari boss also insisted that he would still be in charge for the 2013-14 campaign.

“I feel tied to this club and I can’t see myself working for another, although you never know what will happen.

“I’m very happy to be at Milan and hope to stay at this club for the long term. For that to happen we need results so let’s hope the team can give us some satisfaction.”

AC Milan squad for Chievo
29.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel; Abate, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Salamon, Yepes, Zaccardo; Ambrosini, Constant, Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Traorè; Balotelli, Bojan, El Shaarawy, Niang, Robinho.

AC Milan in Umtiti bidding war
29.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan are battling Newcastle United and Tottenham on the transfer market for Olympique Lyonnais defender Samuel Umtiti.

The 19-year-old left-back impressed in the Europa League this season and scored a goal against Tottenham.

Spurs are among the English clubs said to be tracking Umtiti for a summer signing along with Newcastle United, according to the Daily Express.

Italian media claim Milan are in the running too and a bidding war could break out at the end of the current campaign.

Aubameyang in Fiorentina talks
28.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has confirmed talks with Fiorentina and tracked by Newcastle, but his agent warns “Saint-Etienne want at least €12m.”

The 23-year-old striker grew up in the Milan youth academy, but after loan spells at Dijon, Lille and Monaco, he was sold to Saint-Etienne in 2011.

The Gabon international has since become a star of Ligue 1 and attracted interest from all over Europe, including Fiorentina and Newcastle United.

“An offer has already been turned down, as Saint-Etienne want at least €12m to release him,” agent Pierre Francois Aubameyang told L’Equipe.

His contract currently runs until June 2016 and the representative – who is also the player’s father – confirmed talks with Fiorentina.

“We have held talks with Fiorentina and I can confirm that things are progressing like expected,” he said.

“They have arranged for a meeting, a very important one in Italy and I’ll be travelling down to attend.

“Fiorentina are very interested in my son. It is concrete, I have verified it but I will not be taking Emerick along because of his engagements.”

Moreno reveals AC Milan regrets
28.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Javi Moreno has admitted that his biggest career regret was leaving Milan after just one season.

The now-retired striker moved to the Rossoneri for the 2001-02 season, after impressing with Alaves on their run to the 2001 UEFA Cup Final.

Speaking to AS today, the 38-year-old reflected on his adventure abroad, beginning with how it all came about inside a matter of days.

“I remember we played in the UEFA Cup Final on the Wednesday and on the Friday before we had lost 2-1 to Deportivo,” Moreno recalled.

“The next day, we were there training and at the end, on the bus, my agent told me, ‘We’re going to Milan’.

“I had heard rumours but my agent had given me few clues. The next week we faced Barcelona and at the end I met with my agent and Bronzetti. My agent told me to call the President Anton, as we would be in Milan the next day.

“I was dumbstruck. Everything was happening out of the blue. The President gave me permission, I passed the medical exams where they Milan tested me from head to toe, I signed the contract and at the end of the season I went on the adventure to Milan.”

However, the Spaniard only spent the single season at San Siro.

“Mainly this was because in front of me in the team there were players of a high level, such as Shevchenko, Inzaghi, Simone… It was very difficult to play.

“Alongside Jose Mari we were taking turns playing under the Coach. Still, I played 28 games and scored nine goals. But I wanted to go out on loan because I needed the minutes to have a chance to go to the 2002 World Cup, something that ultimately did not happen.

“I adapted well, from one country to another, to the different routines, to a different philosophy at the club… I never felt I was wrong in Milan, although it is true that I didn’t adapt to Milan outside of football - going to parties in a suit and tie…

“Over time I think I should never have left Milan, because I think that in the second year I could have done better things.”

Boateng and Pazzini injury doubts
28.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan duo Giampaolo Pazzini and Kevin-Prince Boateng are serious doubts for the match against Chievo on Saturday.

The Italy international is still suffering from an ankle problem he picked up in the win over Genoa before the international break.

Whilst the Ghanaian midfielder has been struck down with a muscle problem in training.

The Rossoneri's medical department will assess both players tomorrow, but the pair are at this point unlikely to start against the Gialloblu.

Mancini: We all miss Balotelli
28.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has conceded that everyone at the club 'misses' Mario Balotelli.

The Italy international was sold to Milan in the January transfer window, but the Coach of the Premier League champions has insisted that his absence has been strongly felt.

“His teammates miss him very much,” the 48-year-old told Panorama. “They miss his genius.

“He can do what others cannot even think of. We are all very happy he is doing well at Milan.

“Mario has everything to be one of the best in the world, but at the moment he only uses 50 per cent of his ability.

“That is what made me angry.”

Galliani proud of Milanese Italy
28.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is delighted with the Rossoneri block used by Italy boss Cesare Prandelli in midweek.

The Azzurri beat Malta 2-0 on Tuesday with a starting XI that consisted of six Juventus players and five from the Diavolo.

“It’s very satisfying,” Galliani said of Ignazio Abate, Mattia De Sciglio, Riccardo Montolivo, Stephan El Shaarawy and Mario Balotelli. “They are youngsters who are playing very well.”

January signing Balotelli was again the hero as he grabbed a brace for Italy, days after his stunning strike against Brazil.

“I’m happy that he and El Shaarawy are the national side’s attackers,” Galliani continued. “Balo has arrived at this club with great enthusiasm and focus.”

The 22-year-old Balotelli has scored seven goals in six games for the Diavolo.

AC Milan in surprise Vidic link
28.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

English papers claim Milan are interested in a summer offer for Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic, but Italian media are sceptical.

The Metro reported today that the Rossoneri were planning a swoop for the Serbian international centre-back.

Vidic will be out of contract with United at the end of next season, so it is the last chance to raise some funds from his sale.

However, Milan are focused on bringing down the average age of the squad and that includes in defence, where they already have veterans like Philippe Mexes and Mario Yepes.

Italian websites suggest there is no truth in this story and that Milan have not even approached Manchester United for Vidic.

Saints lead Astori race
28.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Davide Astori had one of the transfer sagas of the summer and looks set for another, as Southampton and Napoli lead the race for the Cagliari defender.

The Italian international had been at the centre of a €10m bidding war that flared up again in January, but he opted to remain in Sardinia.

According to today’s reports, Southampton are reviving their interest and remain in pole position to sign Astori.

Napoli are also in the running with the likes of Spartak Moscow and Milan.

It is believed Cagliari will only agree to release him for €12m cash.

VIDEO: Balotelli's double against Malta
27.3 || webmaster



Zaza agent denies AC Milan meeting
27.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Simone Zaza has reacted with surprise to reports that he’s set to hold talks with Milan.

The striker, on loan at Ascoli, could leave parent club Sampdoria in the summer given that his contract in the port city will expire in 2014.

Stories this morning suggested that the Diavolo had replaced Juventus in pole position for the 21-year-old, but that may not be the case.

“Nobody from Milan has ever called me, so I can assure you that there is no meeting planned,” Christian Maifredi told TMW.

“I’ll meet with Sampdoria next week though as they have formulated a new offer with regards to an extension.

“However, for now, the priority is for Simone to finish the season in the best way possible for Ascoli.”

Zaza is Serie B’s joint top scorer thanks to 18 goals – which include no penalties – for the Bianconeri.

Salamon makes Poland debut
27.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bartosz Salamon is now hoping to make his Milan debut after winning his first cap for Poland on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old has yet to make an appearance for the Diavolo since his January move from Serie B side Brescia.

“I’m very happy with my debut, it’s great to play for your national side in front of the fans,” he stated after playing 87 minutes of the 5-0 win over San Marino.

“We scored a few goals and didn’t concede – it was a perfect night.

“Milan? I’d like to play with continuity,” added the defensive midfielder who can also be used as a centre-back.

“I’m training hard and I’m waiting for my Rossonero debut. I hope that someone from Milan watched me in action for Poland!”

'Balotelli fundamental for Italy'
27.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli has what it takes to become the leader of the Italian national side, says Fernando Orsi.

The latter knows the striker well given that Orsi was part of Roberto Mancini’s coaching staff at Inter, the club who gave Balotelli his Serie A chance.

“Balotelli is becoming fundamental for Italy,” Orsi told TMW after his brace in the 2-0 win over Malta on Tuesday. “He’s like Iniesta for Spain or Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal.

“The Azzurri can identify with him even if boss Cesare Prandelli ultimately always prefers to focus on the group ethic.”

Balotelli had a problematic first half of the season at Manchester City, but he’s been in sparkling form since joining Milan at the start of this year.

“He’s back playing his football where he always wanted to – in Italy and with Milan,” the former Lazio goalkeeper continued.

“I’ve not been surprised by his performances, but I’m stunned by his positive attitude. He’s doing really well on so many levels.

“Can he improve? You have to when you are still just 23…”

Balotelli has scored seven goals in six games for Milan. He now has eight international goals in just 19 caps.

De Sciglio: 'Proud of Maldini comparison'
27.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia De Sciglio smiled at the “wonderful comparison” with Paolo Maldini after another self-assured performance for Italy.

The 19-year-old Milan full-back provided the assist for Mario Balotelli’s second goal in a 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Malta.

“I always try to do what I can and start off simple. As time goes on I try to do more complicated things. Today this assist came about and I am happy, as it allowed us to finish off the game,” said De Sciglio.

“We played well, albeit aware it wasn’t easy against a Malta side that was organised, closed up and had also caused us problems in Italy.

“The pitch was very wet on the surface, but hard underneath. Quite a few players were slipping over.

“I stayed back more because Malta were sitting there and we had to move the ball around quicker, trying to avoid counter-attacks.”

Although still only 19, De Sciglio is fast becoming a regular pick for the senior Italy side.

“My objective first of all is to continue doing well with Milan, as we have an important target. We’ll see what happens with Italy as a result of that.”

The Rossoneri full-back has been called ‘the new Maldini’ – including in our latest blog.

“It is wonderful to have that comparison. For now I can only say what Maldini did was incredible and I hope to achieve only half of that.”

Montolivo: 'Balotelli is a star'
27.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo praised Mario Balotelli’s form, thanked Gigi Buffon and explained why Milan and Juventus dominate the Azzurri.

Balotelli converted a penalty and scored a second for the 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory in Malta.

“We tried to keep going through the middle and that was a mistake, as they were there waiting for us. Malta were clammed up and it was tough to find spaces.

“Luckily we had that superstar in attack and he sorted it out for us,” said Balotelli’s teammate at club and country.

“I think Mario has become fully aware of his abilities and has learned not to fall into the trap of provocation. He has had a remarkable impact on Milan too and I hope he won’t stop.

“He is now playing all over the field and helping out the team. Against Brazil too, he worked for the side and held up the ball, so he is a reference point for us now.

“Balotelli is a centre-forward and is therefore the leading point of the attack. We can even give him the ball badly, as he is so physically strong that he can hold off defenders and find space. Right now, he is a complete player.”

Stephan El Shaarawy seems to have lost his scoring touch since Balotelli’s arrival, but Montolivo feels that is only natural.

“I think Stephan has had a great season so far. It was only normal he couldn’t continue at that tempo, just as it’s probable Mario will have to slow down eventually. He’s probably paying the price on a physical level right now, as he works very hard for the team and sacrifices himself.

“Stephan prefers to play wide left in a trident because that is his role at Milan, but he can work on it and it’s important for Italy to have different options that can change even during a game.”

Montolivo made a mistake in midfield and that error sparked a penalty for Malta, but Gigi Buffon saved from Mifsud.

“Buffon really saved us – and me – there with a miracle.”

Tonight’s starting XI in Malta had six Juventus players and five from Milan.

“It means these two teams focus on home-grown talent, so that is a good sign for Serie A and the Nazionale,” concluded Montolivo.

Balotelli: 'Love helped me settle down'
26.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli opened up to Vanity Fair about being “in love” with new girlfriend Fanny, why he will eventually meet his daughter and finally settling down at Milan.

The striker moved from Manchester City in January and seemed to leave most of his headlines in the gossip magazines back there.

He sat down with the Italian edition of Vanity Fair, which will be on the newsstands tomorrow, to discuss the bitter break-up with Raffaella Fico and their daughter Pia, who was born on December 5.

“Am I in love? Yes, but I am not good at talking about it. I am shy,” said Balotelli about new girlfriend Fanny Neguesha.

“She is determined, confident and generous. In a short space of time she found herself in sync with me. I could spend my whole life with someone like this.

“Thanks to Fanny I have rediscovered the balance that I need in my work. She puts our relationship first and foremost, so there are no distractions or rows before games.

“It’s not easy to be with me, because I almost have to give up on a private life, as I am constantly exposed to the public. I have no Facebook or Twitter accounts, because anything I say risks being turned around into something negative.”

It emerges Super Mario met Belgian model Fanny six months ago through a mutual friend who played match-maker.

“We met in Brussels, as a friend of mine said: ‘This is the right girl for you.’ I tried approaching her from distance with telephone calls and messages from Manchester, but it didn’t work. So I got on a private jet and flew out to see her.

“We went to smoke narghilé (hookah, ndr) and finished the day in my hotel lobby, just chatting. She arrived with a friend and so did I. It was easier with four people to break the ice.”

The new, smiling and settled Balotelli is still hitting the headlines, as his ex-girlfriend Raffaella Fico is on the front page of another magazine this week showing off their daughter and complaining he has never met her.

“I will not talk about someone who doesn’t interest me anymore. I am no longer part of her world, which is the entertainment business. When I have something to say to her, I do it in private.

“Of course I think about the baby. With the story I had growing up, do you think I’d leave her without a father? If it has happened so far, it is not my fault. I am not a nasty person. In fact, at times I am too naively good-natured.

“I would like to meet her and really hope she is my daughter. I have no intention of running away, in fact I’d be truly happy if she was my flesh and blood. However, I ask respect for a situation that is not as simple as it looks.

“There are complex legal issues that have to be faced carefully, for the good of everyone, and not through interviews.”

Manchester City favourties for Jovetic - report
26.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City are the only team with any serious interest in Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetic, according to reports.

Transfer market expert Alfredo Pedulla has claimed that the Premier League side are the sole side to have made contact with the Viola regarding the Montenegro international.

A host of clubs including Juventus and Milan have been linked with the 23-year-old striker, but the Sportitalia reporter has insisted Roberto Mancini's men are top of the pile to sign the goalscorer in the summer.

Jovetic has been in sensational form this term, scoring 12 goals in 24 League games and could cost upwards of €30m.

Donadoni: No AC Milan contact!
26.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma Coach Roberto Donadoni has categorically denied suggestions that he will be the next Milan boss.

The former Diavolo winger has been linked with the San Siro giants should they decide to part company with Massimiliano Allegri.

“There has been no kind of contact at all,” he told TV Parma. “I can assure everyone of that fact. These rumours are circulated by the newspapers.

“I’m interested in what will happen tomorrow and not what may occur at the end of the campaign,” the ex-Italy boss continued.

“It is clear that I would like to take charge of a big club, but I know that Parma may open some important roads for me.”

The 49-year-old is contracted to the Stadio Tardini boys until 2015.

Cristante an alternative to Montolivo
26.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan see teenager Bryan Cristante as a potential future playmaker at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

The Primavera captain is rated highly by the Diavolo and he’ll be a part of the club’s first team squad from next season onwards.

“We gave him a five-year contract with us on the day of his 18th birthday,” Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani noted.

“He appears to be, in my opinion, a great playmaker who can play in front of the defence. He's an alternative to Riccardo Montolivo.”

Ambrosini will wait for AC Milan
26.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini will make no decision about his future until he has held talks with current club Milan.

The veteran, 35, is only tied to the Rossoneri until June and he was yesterday linked with a possible move to Swiss side Sion.

“It’s the first time that I’ve heard about that option,” agent Moreno Roggi told calciomercato.it. “I really know nothing about it.

“However, when you consider Massimo’s desire to continue playing at the highest levels, I don’t think that rumour has a future.

“It’s his intention to wait for Milan. And, like every year, the directors will wait until the end of the season to discuss contract renewals.”

Sion signed Gennaro Gattuso last summer when his contract with the Diavolo expired.

Pazzini set to miss Chievo trip
26.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giampaolo Pazzini is unlikely to be available to Milan for this weekend’s game against Chievo Verona.

The Diavolo were hoping to have the Italian international back after injury, but the 28-year-old is still struggling.

“Pazzini is still feeling discomfort,” Vice-President Adriano Galliani noted. “He’s working hard, but it will be hard to have him back.”

The summer signing from Inter has scored 13 goals in 22 League games for the Stadio Meazza outfit so far this term.

He’s been out of action since the 2-0 win over Genoa on the eve of the Champions League return against Barcelona.

“We missed him a lot in that Champions League game,” Galliani said of the 4-0 loss. “It was a real shame, but that’s an old story now…”

Bojan: This season has been a positive
25.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan forward Bojan Krkic has insisted that this season has been a positive one for him personally.

The 22-year-old, who is on loan from Roma, has not been in scintillating goalscoring form this term, bagging just three League goals.

But the Spain international has claimed that he is enjoying his time at San Siro, and wants to contribute even further.

“I think this season has been a positive for Milan,” he told the club's television channel. “I am feeling fine here.

“I am training better than ever and I am very confident when I'm on the pitch.

“I hope over this next month and a half we will be able to achieve our goals.

“And for me, I hope there is the chance to be the protagonist and contribute to the team.”

Juventus and AC Milan on Jackson Martinez?
25.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan and Juventus are both keen on signing Porto striker Jackson Martinez, according to reports in the Italian Press this evening.

Calcio Mercato have claimed that the Serie A giants have been tracking the 26-year-old with the intention of making a bid for his services in the summer.

The Colombia international has been a revelation in his first season for the Dragoes, scoring 23 goals in 22 League games.

Martinez has been linked with the likes of Barcelona in recent months, and could command a transfer fee of around €15m.

Seedorf on AC Milan, Balotelli and Inter
25.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Botafogo midfielder Clarence Seedorf has commented on the mixed fortunes of the two Milan clubs this season.

The Netherlands international, who played for both San Siro sides during his career, has claimed that the Rossoneri are much improved after the arrival of Mario Balotelli, whilst the Nerazzurri need to focus on next term.

“I believe that the arrival of Balotelli has been very important for Milan,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“He has shown great enthusiasm. Mario is doing very well, but I think he can still improve.

“I believe Milan are ready to do well in Italy and in Europe.

“Inter meanwhile, let many big players leave, and the team is suffering because of this.

“I think this is a year of transition.”

Allegri will stay, underline AC Milan
25.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have insisted that there is no chance of boss Massimiliano Allegri leaving at the end of the campaign.

Allegri has been linked with a possible move to Roma once this season has come to an end, even though his contract at San Siro doesn’t expire until June 2014.

“The possibility that Allegri will leave does not exist,” Vice-President Adriano Galliani stated on Monday. “Allegri is happy to remain at Milan and he’ll stay.”

The Rossoneri decided to keep faith with the tactician earlier in the season despite a problematic beginning to the campaign which saw them lose five of their first eight League games.

“Allegri, historically, doesn’t start seasons really strongly as you saw when he was at Cagliari,” Galliani added.

“However, our sluggish beginning was down to what we did to the squad in the summer transfer window. I hope we do better next season.”

While at Cagliari, Allegri lost his first five games in Serie A before picking up a point against Milan in Week 6 of the 2008-09 campaign.

Milan are now third in Serie A and just two points behind second-placed Napoli.

Saponara impressed by Montolivo
25.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Saponara is looking forward to playing alongside Riccardo Montolivo at Milan next season.

The Under-21 international, currently at Empoli and co-owned with Parma, will move to the Diavolo in the summer.

“Montolivo fascinates me,” the attacking midfielder told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “He just keeps on getting better and I hope to do the same.”

The San Siro giants quickly wrapped up the deal for the 21-year-old during the January transfer market.

“I’ve been to the Milanello training base on two occasions,” the Azzurrini regular continued. “The first time was after I signed, the second two weeks ago.

“The facility is incredible and it is inevitable that it would fascinate me. I liked the atmosphere there.”

Abate respects Malta organisation
25.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ignazio Abate has conceded that he expects Malta to cause Italy some problems in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier.

While Italy are top of Group B and their opponents are bottom of the standings, the Milan man respects tomorrow’s opponents.

“Our Coach Cesare Prandelli is right when he says the Malta game will be difficult,” the right-back, who should start the game, noted.

“We’ll be up against a team that will put 10 players behind the ball and it will not be easy to find space out there.

“However, we have the qualities to do well and we have to make sure that we start the game on the right foot.”

AC Milan rejected EUR 4 mil. Chiellini
25.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan turned down the chance to sign Juventus and Italy stopper Giorgio Chiellini while he was at Livorno.

“I dined with Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri, Vice-President Adriano Galliani and Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis on Saturday,” Livorno chief Aldo Spinelli told Radio RAI.

“Talking to Galliani, we remembered when he didn’t want to spend €4m for my Chiellini who was with us at the time.

“We had a little laugh…”

The centre-back, who started his career as a left-back, was netted by Juventus in the summer of 2004 from Livorno.

He spent the 2004-05 campaign on loan at Fiorentina before moving to Turin the season after.

Chiellini, a Scudetto winner with the Old Lady, has won 57 caps for his country.

A Juventus - AC Milan Italy?
25.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cesare Prandelli could decide to field an Italian starting XI against Malta made up solely of players from Juventus and Milan.

After playing with the idea of a 4-3-3, the tactician tested out a 4-3-1-2 system at Coverciano this morning ahead of tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier.

There were six players from Juventus and five from Milan in the line-up that the former Fiorentina boss fielded.

The middle of the defence was Juventino with goalkeeper Gigi Buffon guarded by Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci. Milan’s Ignazio Abate and Mattia De Sciglio were the full-backs.

Milan’s Riccardo Montolivo was placed alongside Juve’s Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio, with the Old Lady’s Emanuele Giaccherini fielded ahead of them.

The Diavolo duo of Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy were used in attack.

Italy possible XI: Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Bonucci, De Sciglio; Marchisio, Pirlo, Montolivo; Giaccherini; Balotelli, El Shaarawy.

Paloschi fits AC Milan pattern
25.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chievo Verona’s Alberto Paloschi says he does seem to fit in with the type of player that Milan are now signing.

The 23-year-old is co-owned between both clubs and there is the possibility of a recall to San Siro at the end of the season.

“Milan are now focusing on youngsters,” the striker told Sky Sport Italia. “You saw that by the investment they made for Mario Balotelli in January.

“At the moment I have been given an opportunity here at Verona where I can grow, but you never know what will happen in football…”

The Under-21 international is a product of the Diavolo’s youth system who scored two goals in seven League appearances for the Rossoneri in 2007-08.

He’s since spent time at other clubs such as Parma and Genoa before his 2011 switch to the Stadio Bentegodi.

Bonera outlines AC Milan objectives
25.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan’s Daniele Bonera has two targets left for this season – to claim second place and then sign a new contract.

The Rossoneri had a nightmare start to the campaign after losing five of their first eight games. With nine ties left, they are third and only two points behind Napoli.

“Juventus are having an incredible season, but second place can be reached,” the former Parma man told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We’ve done some extraordinary things over these last few months. Second in the table is achievable, but we still have two hard months left which will include a number of head-to-head games.”

The stopper, born in 1981, has only featured on 11 occasions in Serie A this term, but he’s hopeful that he’ll be offered an extension to his contract which expires in June.

“The club’s policy of focusing on youth is clear,” he added. “But it is only logical that the squad needs a bit of experience too.

“I hope that I can move forward with this club. I’ve been at Milan for seven years and I’d like to continue here.”

Early AC Milan return for Yepes?
25.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Yepes could return to Milan this week sooner than expected after suspension ruled him out of Colombia’s game against Venezuela.

The veteran, 37, was booked in the recent encounter with Bolivia and will thus be unavailable for his country’s next game.

The former Chievo Verona man, who has played in 13 League games this season, may now return to Italy a couple of days ahead of schedule.

Milan are actually at Chievo on Saturday.

Balotelli: 'My biggest regret'
24.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli held a rare Press conference today ahead of Italy’s World Cup qualifier with Malta, covering subjects such as racism, arrogance and his biggest regret.

The striker is a man of few words, but sat down with the media this afternoon at the Coverciano training ground to prepare for Tuesday’s match.

“I’ve never had a big head. I do not consider myself to be the best in the world, nor the worst. I am me and that is enough,” said Super Mario.

“Thanks to the Italy squad and especially the Euros, now fans of other clubs are starting to like me too. I can see from the way they act around me.

“I spoke to my father after the Brazil draw and he told me off because I missed so many goals. Now a big game awaits us in Malta and we want to do well because that game will mean a lot for our World Cup qualifying.

“The Nazionale has something special, something more, and I am happy that the squad is getting younger. I have been changing for a while, it’s just that before you couldn’t see the improvements.”

There has been a lot of talk about potentially bringing Roma captain Francesco Totti out of international retirement for the World Cup in Brazil next summer.

“It would be truly an honour to play with Totti, as he is a true phenomenon and champions like him are always welcome. Right now I am focused on this Azzurri experience, then I want to concentrate only on Milan.

“I’m happy to be Stephan El Shaarawy’s friend and teammate, as we’re together almost all the time. I’m glad to have him in my life and will try to help him with anything he’ll need.”

Balotelli has caused controversy many times in his career and was asked if he had any big regrets.

“In my life I would only avoid doing one thing again: I wouldn’t have thrown the Inter jersey to the ground.”

The incident effectively marked the end of his career with the Nerazzurri, as at the final whistle of a Champions League game in 2010 he took off the shirt and threw it down.

Fans, teammates and Coach Jose Mourinho were furious with reports Marco Materazzi had pinned him to the locker room wall afterwards.

When Milan played Inter last month, Balotelli was subjected to some racist abuse from his former fans.

“Racism does make me annoyed, angry and disappointed. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be enough improvement in this area.

“I agree with Prince Boateng’s speech at the UN, as to escape from racism we all have to contribute together.”

Flamini hails Balotelli and De Sciglio
24.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mathieu Flamini has praised Milan teammates Mattia De Sciglio and Mario Balotelli. “He’s a modern striker.”

The French midfielder spoke to Sky Sport Italia on the current crop of young Italians progressing from Milan to the Azzurri.

“De Sciglio is doing very well. He is a simple and discreet lad, so it pleases me. I consider him to be ‘ready’ for the big time and this season he is the young player who has amazed me the most,” said the former Arsenal man.

“As for Balotelli, he proved over the last few games that he is a modern striker who is not only capable of scoring, but also helping the team play with great technique and quality.”

AC Milan and Juventus eye Hernanes
24.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio midfielder Hernanes is considering his future amid contract renegotiations, as Milan, Juventus and Premier League sides close in.

The Brazilian has been a key figure in their positive campaign, which has seen Lazio fight for a top four finish, reach the Europa League quarter-finals and the Coppa Italia Final.

His contract expires in June 2015 and talks have been continuing for an extension to 2017, but according to La Gazzetta dello Sport the player is hesitant.

‘The Prophet’ has several options on the table, starting from within Serie A at Milan and Juventus.

Premier League clubs are also thought to be interested in offering Hernanes a move to England.

Lazio are preparing a contingency plan and slapped a price-tag of €18m on the midfielder.

Galliani: 'Balotelli is modest'
23.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani claims Mario Balotelli “is among the top five players in the world and he’s modest too.”

The striker has certainly been on fine form since completing his transfer from Manchester City in January, scoring seven goals in six games for the Rossoneri and netting in Italy’s 2-2 draw with Brazil.

“I think that right now Balotelli is among the top five players in the world,” declared Galliani on Sky Sport Italia.

“Behind Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Radamel Falcao, I see Super Mario as the best player in the world.

“Of course Edinson Cavani should be taken into consideration in that list, but let us not forget that Balotelli is only 22 years old.

“He’s modest too. I called him up to congratulate him for the goal scored against Brazil, but he said he should’ve scored another two.

“I always considered Balotelli to be a great player, even when he was at Inter, and we were able to bring this talent back to Italy. I speak to him every day and tell him to continue doing well, as it’s his first season as a first choice.

“Milan have had eight Ballon d’Or winners, so we hope to make it nine with him.”

Portanova: No Pazzini apology
23.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa defender Daniele Portanova has refused to apologise after causing Giampaolo Pazzini’s injury. “It’s only a pity for those players who aren’t famous.”

Portanova went through the back of Pazzini during Milan’s 2-0 win over Genoa and tests showed a micro-fracture to the fibula.

It was an injury that ruled him out for a month and forced Pazzini to miss the Champions League trip to Barcelona.

“It’s a shame he got injured after a perfectly normal challenge, but that is a closed book for me now,” Portanova told Sky Sport Italia.

“This whole story is only a pity for those players who, at the end of the day, are not famous.”

The defender had previously accused Pazzini of being “famous, but weak and not very courageous.”

El Shaarawy: 'We are the new Italy'
23.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy is enjoying his partnership with Mario Balotelli at club and international level, as “we represent the Nazionale of youth.”

The striker’s goals have somewhat dried up since he was paired with SuperMario for Milan and Italy, but he insists there’s more to his game than that.

“I don’t feel that I miss scoring goals,” said the Little Pharaoh. “Both Cesare Prandelli and Massimiliano Allegri tell me the prerogative is to play well. The performance is more important than the goal.

“I get on well with Balotelli and I’m pleased that he is doing so well. I am by his side practically all the time and can really tell he is more mature, both as a player and a Coach. He can become one of the top three players in the world.”

El Shaarawy is only 20 while Balotelli is 22, so they are symbols of Prandelli’s new Azzurri era.

“We represent the Nazionale of youth, a new team that focuses on young players. Investing in youth is the most important thing.

“I’m happy that we are doing well, but also aware we can do so much better to make Italy even greater. Prandelli asks me the same things that Allegri does in a 4-3-3, where I can play wide left.”

Italy face Malta in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday evening.

Gattuso: 'San Siro moved me'
23.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso admits he felt “emotional” as he returned to San Siro as player-manager of Sion FC for today’s friendly with Milan, but is in no rush to come back permanently.

The Swiss outfit were beaten 6-0 in front of around 4,000 people, a huge number for a midweek friendly when many players are away on international duty.

“How can you not get emotional at returning here?” the former Rossoneri hero told Milan Channel.

“It was a great day and wonderful sensations. I really enjoy this type of work, as the way I spent my life in football terms it was a natural transition from player to player-manager.

“It feels like years ago looking at how Milan are now, but instead it was only a few months. This is a quality side that has real prospects.”

Gattuso confessed he was particularly moved by the chants from his old fans at San Siro.

“I felt like I was a Milan player again. It sounded like the chant that comes after an important victory.”

Pippo Inzaghi has already begun his management career in the Milan youth academy and is being tipped for a future on the main bench, so could Gattuso return to the club too?

“It would mean I’d done my job well, but it is utopia right now to think of coming to Milan as a Coach. I have to work a lot to get there, but I am ready to do it.”

Pazzini eyes AC Milan comeback
23.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giampaolo Pazzini is confident his fitness levels are “improving day by day” after suffering a micro-fracture.

The Milan striker scored a goal against Genoa even after sustaining the injury from a Daniele Portanova tackle, but when tests showed the micro-fracture to the head of the fibula, he was ruled out for around a month.

“I am improving, even if not very quickly, but I can see it improving day by day,” Pazzini told Mediaset Premium.

“I am working very hard to get back on to the pitch as soon as possible. I am happy for Mario Balotelli, as he scored a great goal against Brazil and is having a really positive time.”

AC Milan beat Gattuso's Sion 6-0
22.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan won their friendly match 6-0 against Gennaro Gattuso’s Sion FC in a party atmosphere at San Siro.

The Swiss side paid a visit this evening for a friendly game that allowed Gattuso to salute his fans, as entrance to the stadium was free.

The Rossoneri won 6-0 with Bojan Krkic bagging a brace, plus goals from Bakary Traorè, Robinho, youth team player De Feo and a Kolloli own goal.

After celebrating the goal with his teammates, Robinho also ran over to embrace Gattuso.

“It was a good test and helped us see those players who haven’t had as much room,” Coach Massimiliano Allegri told Milan Channel.

“I was very pleased to see Gattuso again, especially in his new role as a player-manager. Sion played well in the first half and he has everything it takes to do well in this profession.

“Now we have two days to rest before we can start focusing on Chievo. There are nine games left and we are ending on a high, so must continue to push in order to maintain third place or even improve it.”

No fight with Allegri, says Gattuso
22.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sion Coach and former Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has insisted that he has a good relationship with Massimiliano Allegri.

The Swiss side are at Milanello for a friendly with the Rossoneri this afternoon, and the 35-year-old has claimed that he was not forced out of the club.

“My relationship with the Milan Coach? You have to stop saying that we had a fight,” he told reporters.

“That sort of thing never happened between Allegri and myself.

“In fact, I had to laugh when they said that I left because of him.”

Boateng hopes for a 'black Mourinho'
22.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has claimed that he hopes to see a black Mourinho in football.

The 26-year-old addressed a United Nations delegation yesterday on the issue of racism in the game.

And the former Ghana international has admitted that he wants to see more black Coaches.

“Having greater multiculturalism and more countries involved in football would be a useful thing,” he told the BBC.

“I hope that soon there will be a Coach like Mourinho but black or a Guardiola from Pakistan.”

Boateng also commented on how he would punish players found guilty of racism.

“A racist player should be banned from their club or their national team,” he added. “Fines do not resolve anything.

“Serve a sentence would be much better.”

AC Milan come first for Abbiati
22.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Goalkeeper Christian Abbiati has admirers in England, but the goalkeeper wants to sign a new contract at Milan.

The 35-year-old, who joined the club in 1998, is only tied to the Diavolo until the end of this season.

“It’s true, there are English sides who are keen, but it is too soon to talk about it,” agent Claudio Vigorelli told Spazio Milan. “We firstly want to understand the intentions of Milan.”

The Rossoneri are a club who, in recent years, have only discussed contract renewals for their older players once a season has come to an end.

“The player is very calm, he’s aware of his ability and he has the desire to remain with the Rossoneri,” the representative added.

“We’ll wait for some signals from the club. We’ll certainly meet up with the directors at the end of the season and evaluate the situation.

“Abbiati wants to end his career with these colours because you all know how much he is attached to the Rossoneri.”

The former Italian international has been loaned to Torino, Juventus and Atletico Madrid during his San Siro stay.

De Sciglio opens door for Santon
22.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia De Sciglio has welcomed speculation that Milan could sign Newcastle’s Davide Santon in the summer.

Although Santon could potentially provide competition for a first team shirt at San Siro next season, De Sciglio has no concerns about his possible arrival.

“Santon is a great player,” De Sciglio, who made his Italy debut in the 2-2 draw with Brazil last night, stated. “He did well at Inter and he is doing well with Newcastle.

“Milan’s new policy is to focus on youth so Santon would be a great reinforcement for us.”

De Sciglio, 20, and Santon, 22, are both Under-21 international full-backs who are also in the plans of Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli.

Santon yesterday revealed that, as a Milan fan, he would be tempted by the idea of joining the Rossoneri.

Balotelli rues wasted chances
22.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli was critical of his performance against Brazil despite netting Italy’s equaliser in the 2-2 draw.

“I would only give myself six out of 10,” the January signing noted. “I missed too many scoring opportunities…”

Balotelli, who the Gazzetta dello Sport today awarded a 7.5 pagelle mark, was fielded alongside Pablo Daniel Osvaldo in a 4-3-1-2 during the first half.

He was then used centrally in a 4-3-3 following the half-time introductions of club teammate Stephan El Shaarawy and Torino’s Alessio Cerci.

“I was more comfortable and played better in the 4-3-3,” he continued.

The former Inter and Manchester City player scored his sixth goal in his 18th appearance for his nation last night.

Prandelli: Balotelli a champion
22.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli could become one of the world’s best players, Italy boss Cesare Prandelli said after the 2-2 draw with Brazil.

The Milan man was dangerous throughout the Geneva friendly and he netted the crucial equaliser with a splendid strike.

“Balotelli had chances and he did well with his goal,” Prandelli noted. “His first thought is always that of the team and this is the attitude of a champion.

“He has great potential and can become one of the best five players in the world. He just needs to find some consistency.”

The tie in Switzerland looked to be over at half-time with Italy two goals down, but the Azzurri reacted well after switching from a 4-3-1-2 to a 4-3-3.

“The game looked like it was over after we conceded two goals within 30 minutes, instead, we reacted well and showed some interesting things.

“The 4-3-3 gives you width and creates one on one situations, but these things need to be tested,” he warned.

“We played a great game, one of the best since I’ve been in charge. But the most important thing now is to focus on Tuesday because there are three important points at stake against Malta.”

Prandelli praised debut boys Alessio Cerci and Mattia De Sciglio, as well as Juventus utility player Emanuele Giaccherini who started the game.

“Cerci and De Sciglio are youngsters with personality and technical qualities,” the CT continued. “Giaccherini was our best player in the first half.”

Boateng is courageous, claims Blatter
22.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has called Kevin-Prince Boateng 'courageous' after the Milan midfielder spoke at the United Nations this afternoon.

The Rossoneri man made a speech as part of International Day for the Elimination of Racism following his protest in the club's friendly with Pro Patria earlier this season.

And the governing body's chief has claimed that he wants to work with the 26-year-old going forward.

“We have maintained from the start that Kevin-Prince Boateng was right to leave the field,” he told reporters.

“His gesture was symbolic and courageous. It is a warning though, not a solution.

“We hope to work with Kevin to eradicate racism once and for all.”

Antonini: People were wrong to doubt us
22.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan defender Luca Antonini has hit back at critics who claimed that the team were 'left for dead' at the start of the season.

The Rossoneri have recovered from their shaky start to the campaign and currently sit third in Serie A, just two points behind Napoli and second.

“Earlier this season we were given up for dead,” he told Milan Channel. “We needed to find consistent results and confidence.

“But once we found those, we demonstrated to many that they were wrong to doubt us.

“We are a good group and we work well.”

Boateng's UN speech on racism
21.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng today spoke at the United Nations as part of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Boateng stood up against racism at the start of this year after he, and his Milan side, walked off the pitch during a friendly against Pro Patria after being abused by sections of the crowd.

“Madame Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights, esteemed colleagues and experts, ladies and gentlemen,” the former Ghana international said as he addressed the UN in Geneva.

“What we have just seen on video occurred on 3 January at Busto Arsizio in a friendly match between my club Milan and a Fourth Division side.

“I decided to stop the game and kick the ball into the stands as I felt profoundly angry and offended by the racist insults directed at me from the stands.

“That gesture alone would not have had any particular resonance. My teammates, however, immediately followed me off the pitch without a moment’s hesitation.

“The fact that the entire team had taken such an equivocal step against racism made news headlines the world over. That’s why I’m here today. It’s an honour for me to have the chance to speak here today.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the year 2013 and racism is still amongst us and is still a problem.

“It’s not simply an argument for the history channel or something that belongs to the past or something that only happens in other countries.

“Racism is real, it exists here and now. You can find it on the streets, in your office and in football stadiums.

“There have been moments in my life when I didn’t wish to face the problem. I tried to ignore it as if it was a headache that would sooner or later go away. I just had to wait.

“That, however, is an illusion. It won’t go away by itself. We have a duty to face racism and to fight it.

“The concept ‘a bit racist’ doesn’t exist. There are no tolerable quantities of racism. It’s unacceptable regardless of where it happens or the form that it takes.

“It’s also something that goes beyond black and white. There are many different types of racism from people of different colours and nationalities.

“There is no vaccine to fight this and no antibiotics to take. It’s a dangerous and infectious virus which is strengthened by indifference and inaction.

“When I played for Ghana, I learned how to fight malaria. Simple vaccines are not enough. You also have to dry out infected areas where the carriers proliferate. I think that racism and malaria have a lot in common.

“Stadiums can be places where people of different colour come to support their teams or they can be seen as stagnant areas where healthy people will be infected by racism. We can’t allow this to happen before our very eyes.

“Football stadiums, like other places, are full of young people. If we don’t fight the stagnation, many of those who are healthy today, could become infected with one of the most dangerous diseases of our time.

“Those of us constantly in the public eye have more responsibility. We can’t allow ourselves to be indifferent or passive.

“Many sportsmen like myself and my teammates, artists and musicians all have unique chances and responsibilities to make themselves heard. We have the possibility to reach the parts that political speeches will never reach.

“History shows us how important the contributions of famous athletes can be. I can say that the fact that the President of America shares my skin colour, has something to do not only with Martin Luther King, but also Mohammed Ali.

“One of the most intense and moving moments of my life to date was when I met Nelson Mandela during the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. An incredible man, both in subtlety of mind and character.

“His life has shown that making your voice heard against racism is less dangerous than remaining mute.

"It’s just as important to stand up to racism today as it was in the past. We have to find inspiration from those who have risked their lives for the cause.

“I’m convinced that it would be a fatal error to believe that we can fight racism by ignoring it and hoping that it’ll go away like a headache. This won’t happen.

“In any moment when our paths cross with racism we have the duty to rise and to act. Thank you for listening.”

Ibrahimovic too expensive for Italy return
21.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Zlatan Ibrahimovic doubts that the Paris Saint-Germain man could return to Serie A.

Ibra has played for Juventus, Inter and Milan in Italy and there are suggestions that the Old Lady are keen on re-signing him.

“Italian clubs at the moment are looking for players with low wages,” Mino Raiola told Radio Kiss Kiss on Thursday.

“As a result, it would be hard to see great players like Ibrahimovic arrive – even if you can never say never in football.”

The Swedish international moved to Ligue 1 in the summer after Milan accepted a bid for him and teammate Thiago Silva.

“Ibra is happy at PSG,” Raiola added. “Things are improving in Italy though. The average age of the teams is decreasing and there are interesting youngsters such as Mauro Icardi at Sampdoria.”

Mature Balotelli impresses Prandelli
21.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli says he has seen a difference in Mario Balotelli since he left Manchester City for Milan.

The striker moved to the Diavolo in the January transfer window and Prandelli, who has always rated him highly, is content with his work ahead of tonight’s game against Brazil.

“There hasn’t been a lot of talk about him over these last few days and I think that is a positive,” the tactician noted.

“It signifies that hard work pays off and that he is finding the right road to go down. He’s participating in things a lot more.

“He is maturing quickly.”

Balotelli, who has scored five goals in 17 games for his country, has netted seven in six League games for the Diavolo.

The former Inter man will turn 23 in August.

Santon would pack bags for AC Milan
21.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Davide Santon says he would consider leaving Newcastle if Italian giants Milan made him an offer.

The Rossoneri are known to be keen on the full-back and the international says he would be tempted by the Diavolo.

“I’m really happy in Newcastle,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “I like the city, the club and the atmosphere.

“I’m also engaged to Chloe and we’re expecting a baby in May. I live like a king in Newcastle and I have a contract until 2016.

“A return to Italy? I’ve heard of the interest from Milan in me and that is really pleasing,” added the former Inter player.

“I’m not sure what would happen if another Italian club came in for me, but I’d seriously think about packing my bags for Milan.”

Santon, 22, joined Newcastle from Inter in the summer of 2011 for a fee in the region of £5m.

“I owe Inter a lot,” added the full-back. “I was happy there, but it is not my fault that I was born as a Milan fan…”

It’s understood that Milan made an enquiry for Santon during the January transfer window.

Niang: 'Only AC Milan for me'
21.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

M’Baye Niang has pledged to stay with the club despite reported interest from PSG. “There is only Milan for me.”

The 18-year-old gave an interview in a Google Hangout this evening and proved he has no lack of ambition at San Siro.

“There is only Milan for me. Yes, I was born in Paris and I like Paris Saint-Germain, but I want to win everything here, starting from the Champions League.

“At the start I struggled because Italian football is very tactical and physical, but everything is fine now. Milan are a great club and I love many things about them. Everyone here helps you out. I need to learn a lot from the Coach and his staff.

“When I played for Caen, my objective was to join a big club. Today I am at Milan and hope to stay as long as possible.”

Niang was asked whether he enjoyed being compared to Thierry Henry.

“No, I am a long way off him yet. He achieved so much and I have to work hard, but my objective is to become better than Henry.”

He almost made a huge impact in the Champions League when his effort hit the woodwork at Camp Nou, when Milan were still 2-1 up on aggregate.

“I was unlucky in Barcelona, but I am still young and can make up for it in another game at that level. Barcelona is in the past and I don’t think about that game anymore.

“As for Serie A, I really didn’t want to lose against Inter, even if truth be told I want to win against everyone we face.”

Niang, Stephan El Shaarawy and Mario Balotelli have become known as the ‘Mohican Trident’ due to their similar hairstyles.

“I have stripes round my head now and got rid of the star. I always watch Balotelli, as he never gets it wrong from penalties or free kicks.

“I always watch myself back to see what I didn’t do properly. I don’t watch back the good things. Now there are many young players at Milan and we needed until January to find the right set-up.”

Gattuso's Sion at San Siro
21.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have announced Gennaro Gattuso will return to San Siro for a final salute when Sion play a friendly on Friday.

The midfielder left the club when his contract expired last summer and is now the player-manager at Swiss outfit Sion FC.

“As we realised how many fans wanted to see the game to salute Gattuso, we decided to have the game at San Siro with free entry,” explained Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

The friendly will kick off at 14.00 GMT on Friday afternoon.

'Allegri welded to AC Milan bench'
20.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan insist boss Massimiliano Allegri will remain in the hotseat. “He’s welded to our bench with a blowtorch.”

The tactician’s future is in doubt as, although he is contracted until June 2014, he’s being heavily linked with a switch to Roma.

“There are no worries about his stay here,” Vice-President Adriano Galliani told Sky Sport Italia on Wednesday. “Allegri is welded to the Milan bench with a blowtorch.”

Allegri, 45, joined Milan in the summer of 2010 and instantly led the Diavolo to the Serie A title. They came second last season and are presently third in the Division.

Galliani was also asked about Stephan El Shaarawy’s recent difficulties in front of goal. Although he has 16 goals in the League this term, he’s only netted two in his last 11 games.

“There is no crisis,” the official insisted. “There are times in a forward’s career when they find themselves in negative spells.

“Just look at Edinson Cavani who is now back to scoring…”

Galliani added that Milan’s objective for this season was to finish second in the League. They are just two points behind Cavani’s Azzurri.

Napoli interest pleases Nocerino
20.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

No club has made Milan or Antonio Nocerino an offer regarding a summer move, but the player’s agent has opened the door for Napoli.

“Nocerino hasn’t been a regular fixture in the side since Christmas,” Marco Sommella told Radio Kiss Kiss on Wednesday.

“It is never a nice thing to lose your first-team shirt, but we are here and ready to accept the choices of the Coach.”

Reports this morning suggested that the former Palermo and Juventus man could be targeted by hometown club Napoli at the end of the season.

“We can never say never,” the representative continued. “If the Azzurri want Antonio to strengthen their midfield then we have to be happy about that.

“However, for now, neither we nor Milan have received any offers for his services.”

The 27-year-old, signed for just €500,000 on transfer deadline day in 2011, has started just 14 League games this term for the Diavolo.

Dede to leave Vasco da Gama
19.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vasco da Gama defender Dede is set to leave the club at the end of the season, with reports that Milan could make a move for the 24-year-old.

The Brazilian side's director of football Christian Koehler has admitted that the centre-back wants to play in Europe next term – with the Rossoneri a potential destination.

“It will be very difficult for us to keep him over the summer,” Koehler told Radio Globo.

“His desire is to go and play elsewhere. At the end of the season I think Dede will leave Vasco.

“We all want him to stay with us, but his desire is clear – he wants to pursue his career elsewhere and get a higher salary.”

Donadoni thinking only of Parma
19.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma boss Roberto Donadoni has reiterated his commitment to the club despite rumours of interest from Milan.

The 49-year-old has been heavily linked with the San Siro side next season, but the Gialloblu Coach has claimed that he is only thinking of success with the Ennio Tardini team.

“I listen to all the rumours,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “But as I've said before, it is important for me to finish the season well with Parma.

“All my energies are directed at Parma until the end of the season – nothing more.

“Allegri won the title in his first season and then did well in his second. I'm sure he will have a meeting with Milan and they will decide what the best thing to do is.”

Hulk: Serie A is a great league
19.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk has admitted that he would be open to the idea of playing in Italy next season.

The Brazilian forward has been subject to speculation linking him with a move away from Russia after a miserable spell with Luciano Spalletti's side.

And the 26-year-old has revealed that he likes to idea of turning out for a Serie A team, but would also consider a transfer to England or Spain.

“My future? I love the Premier League and La Liga,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I follow them on TV when I can.

“In England there are great teams and great games. And in Spain there is impressive quality with phenomenons like Messi and Ronaldo.

“In Italy Milan and Inter have some great players, tradition and history. I watch them every now and then.

“Serie A is a great League – I have many friends at Inter like Guarin and Alvaro Pereira.”

Antonini: I'd like to play in England
18.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan defender Luca Antonini has admitted that he would like to one day play in the Premier League.

The 30-year-old was linked with a number of clubs in the January transfer window, including several Russian sides.

But the full-back has conceded that he'd like to try his hand in England, whilst also commenting on Stephan El Shaarawy's storming off against Palermo yesterday.

“I'd like to play abroad,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “Especially in the Premier League.

“Russia? Yes it's true that there was something going on back in January, but now I want to get my shirt back for the Rossoneri.

“El Shaarawy was annoyed when he left the pitch yesterday against Palermo, and I don't know why,” the former Sampdoria man added.

“He decided to go directly into the dressing room instead of sitting on the bench, and that's not the right thing to do.

“Amelia went after El Shaarawy, but I stopped him and told him that it was better to just let Stephan leave.

“The whole thing was cleared up afterwards though.”

Perin: I owe so much to Genoa
18.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pescara goalkeeper Mattia Perin has once again reiterated his commitment to parent club Genoa, despite interest from Milan.

The on-loan Delfini shot-stopper has been heavily linked with a move to San Siro in the summer, but the youngster has claimed that he will play for the Grifone next term.

“I have renewed my contract with Genoa,” he told reporters. “I owe so much to the Grifone.

“They have taught me many things – both on and off the field.”

Zaccardo: 'We weren't brilliant against Palermo'
18.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan defender Cristian Zaccardo has admitted that the Rossoneri 'were not brilliant' against Palermo on Sunday.

The San Siro defeated the Rosanero 2-0 yesterday to go consolidate their third place in Serie A, but the 31-year-old has insisted that there is still more to come from the team.

“It was not an easy game for us yesterday,” he told palermonews. “We played a few days after the Barcelona match, and that took a lot out of us physically and mentally.

“Against Palermo we were not brilliant in terms of quality, but luckily we finished our chances.”

Montolivo awaits nine Cup finals
18.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo has congratulated his Milan teammates for the way they bounced back from their Barcelona drubbing.

There were concerns that the Diavolo could suffer a hangover against Palermo at the weekend following their 4-0 loss at the Camp Nou in the Champions League.

The third-placed Rossoneri, though, collected a crucial 2-0 win thanks to a brace from January signing Mario Balotelli.

“We did well to forget about that night at the Camp Nou,” the midfielder wrote on his official website.

“It was an important victory for us in the chase to reach second place in the table. After the international break, we will face nine Cup Finals.”

The San Siro giants are two points behind Napoli and three points clear of fourth-placed Fiorentina.

De Sciglio wants Italy debut
18.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia De Sciglio is hoping to make his international debut after being included in the Italy squad for the games against Brazil and Malta.

The 20-year-old is back in the Giro Azzurro after being selected by Cesare Prandelli for the first time in August 2012 for the 2-1 friendly defeat to England.

The full-back didn’t make an appearance in that tie, but is hoping to get a game in Thursday’s glamour friendly against the Selecao or in next Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier.

“It’s always exciting to be back with the Nazionale,” the Milan man noted. “It already means a lot to just be here, but I now want to play – although that will be up to boss Prandelli.”

De Sciglio, a product of the Diavolo’s youth system, has appeared for his country at Under-19, U-20 and U-21 level.

Bonera: No more mistakes
18.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan will treat their last nine League games like Cup Finals, says Daniele Bonera. “We want to win them all.”

The Rossoneri are third in the table, just two points adrift of Napoli and three ahead of Fiorentina.

“Napoli are ahead of us right now and we’ll see how things end up,” the stopper stated. “As for the Viola, they play good football, they have good players and a good Coach.

“Now we can’t afford to make any mistakes just like any of the other teams can’t. We have nine matches left and we’ll be trying to win all of them.”

Milan won their eighth straight home League game this weekend when they collected a 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Palermo.

“It went well,” the former Parma man stated. “It maybe wasn’t a great match to watch, but it was important to win.

“Sometimes, we’ve slipped up after playing a European game…”

Milan lost 4-0 to Barcelona last week in the Champions League.

Galliani: 'AC Milan will fight for 2014 Scudetto'
18.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have proved with their recent League form that they can be title challengers next season, says Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

After losing five of their first eight League games of the campaign, the Diavolo have hit back by collecting 47 points from their next 21 matches.

“Our incredible run of form is continuing,” the official stated after the 2-0 win over Palermo on Sunday.

“We have a good squad and if we start well next term then we’ll be fighting for the title. We’ve been showing that we can compete for the past 21 games…

“The team is in good form and they’ve reacted well after the Champions League defeat to Barcelona in the week.”

As part of their climb back up the table, the Rossoneri have won all eight of their home games since the 3-1 reverse to Fiorentina.

“That’s a lot,” Galliani said when he reflected on that achievement. “Maybe the ninth will be against Napoli…

“Our fans are fantastic and they have been for the whole season. They helped us to get back up the table and I thank them for that.”

Milan are third in the table, two points behind Napoli but only three points clear of a Fiorentina side who Galliani respects.

“I’m wary of Fiorentina for two reasons,” he added. “They play good football and secondly they have a more favourable fixture list.”

Serie A: AC Milan 2:0 Palermo - goals/highlights
17.3 || webmaster



Balotelli: 'We'll catch Napoli'
17.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli celebrated his brace against Palermo and is confident Milan “will catch Napoli next week” in the race for second.

The striker, who was born in Palermo, converted a penalty and tapped in an M’Baye Niang assist to secure the 2-0 victory.

“We won, which was the important thing. It went badly in Barcelona, but we have recovered,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

Having already played for Manchester City in the Champions League, Balotelli was unable to play in the Round of 16 clash.

“How would it have been with me in Barcelona? Maybe we would’ve lost 8-0! We were just unlucky and there are many great champions in this team.”

Milan are still third in Serie A, as Napoli and Fiorentina also earned victories today.

“It doesn’t matter, we will catch Napoli next week. We must continue working as a squad. We might not play like Barcelona, but we can reach their level, as we beat them at San Siro.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan are Mario's chance'
17.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri feels Mario Balotelli is “an excellent professional” and laughed off continuing rumours over his future on the Milan bench.

The former Manchester City striker arrived in January and bagged another brace in today’s 2-0 win over Palermo.

“I think this is an important opportunity for Balotelli, as for the first time he is playing as a protagonist in a team full of youngsters,” said Coach Allegri.

“He is relaxed and an excellent professional. He has been on the European stage for seven or eight years, but this is his best chance so far to really show his qualities.

“We struggled a little today as we had some residual fatigue from Tuesday’s Champions League game with Barcelona, but we should’ve been more confident and better at keeping the ball.

“Stephan El Shaarawy is having an extraordinary season that nobody expected, so it’s only normal he will have a slight dip in form. He played well today and almost scored a goal, but at that moment I needed fresh legs. He needs to relax, as he is doing so well and his performances help the team just as much as goals.”

After crashing out of the Champions League, Milan are still just two points adrift of Napoli in second place.

“Now we have to focus only on the objective, which at one point seemed to be impossible. My future? I don’t know anything other than I have a contract until 2014.

“The President said nice things about me and the club put its faith in me when we didn’t have many points in the table. The rumours about a change of management have been going for some time and I find them amusing.”

Serie A: AC Milan 2:0 Palermo - match report
17.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Balotelli pen 8, 66 (M)

Mario Balotelli bagged a brace as Milan swept Palermo aside, but there was controversy over an early Cristian Zapata incident.

Both sides had something of a rough week. The Rossoneri were beaten 4-0 by Barcelona to crash out of the Champions League, while the Sicilians welcomed back Giuseppe Sannino. He was fired in Week 3, but brought back after Gian Piero Gasperini, Alberto Malesani and Gasp again took the job.

Giampaolo Pazzini and Nigel De Jong were injured with Kevin Constant suspended. Palermo made the trip without Fabrizio Miccoli, Andrea Dossena, Edgar Barreto, Abel Hernandez and Andrea Mantovani.

With the first real opportunity, Salvatore Aronica blatantly pulled Balotelli by the jersey as a corner was whipped in and the referee pointed to the spot. SuperMario stepped up and coolly converted low into the near bottom corner despite Stefano Sorrentino guessing the right angle.

Kevin-Prince Boateng blasted over from distance, while Stephan El Shaarawy had a great chance when he cut inside to commit Steve Von Bergen, but had the finish charged down from point-blank range by Aronica.

Cristian Zapata foolishly stuck out an elbow to intercept Paulo Dybala’s pass for Josip Ilicic. Palermo wanted a straight red for preventing a clear goal-scoring opportunity, but the referee opted for a yellow. From that free kick, Ilicic twice fired straight at the defensive wall.

Dybala volleyed well wide, then Christian Abbiati had to fingertip a Michel Morganella daisy-cutter round the base of the near post.

Ilicic went on the counter and his finish seemed fairly weak, but Abbiati slipped and only just about kept it out with his trailing hand.

Palermo were still very much in the game and Dybala – who was offside – forced a tough save out of Abbiati at the base of the near post with an angled drive.

Sorrentino denied Boateng on the counter, then the Ghanaian was again ready to run clear on goal before Morganella’s decisive tackle.

Milan were running far too many risks at the back, as Mathieu Flamini had to intercept a very dangerous Ilicic counter-attack and Dybala’s pass into the middle was cleared with some difficulty.

However, the Rossoneri doubled their lead with Balotelli’s second of the game. M’Baye Niang flew down the left and his cross took a couple of ricochets off Aronica and Sorrentino, so Mario just had to tap it in from six yards.

Niang rolled in another cross from the left, but this time Balotelli couldn’t quite get on the end of it.

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Bonera, Zapata, De Sciglio; Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari; Boateng (Traore 81), Balotelli, El Shaarawy (Niang 58)

Palermo: Sorrentino; Munoz, Von Bergen, Aronica; Morganella, Arevalo Rios, Donati (Viola 82), Kurtic (Fabbrini 71), Garcia (Nelson 46); Ilicic, Dybala

Ref: Peruzzo

AC Milan squad for Palermo
16.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Zaccardo, Zapata, Ambrosini, Boateng, Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Traorè, Balotelli, Bojan, El Shaarawy, Niang, Robinho.

Balotelli: 'I can't be a normal guy'
16.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli gave an intriguing interview on gossip, Roberto Mancini, Jose Mourinho, fines, car crashes, bronze statues and why he can’t “just be a normal guy.”

The full interview with Italian comedy TV show Le Iene will air on Sunday evening and includes footage of someone trying to falsify stories on the striker to sell to the papers.

“Certain people really don’t know how to make money in life and therefore try to take advantage of others,” replied the Milan star.

“Gossip is one thing, but what these people do is close to criminal. Many stories are invented about me, I’d say about 0.01% of them are true. Who uses me? Almost everyone.”

The ex-Manchester City man was asked about some of the numerous newspaper headlines associated with him. He denied setting fire to his own house with fireworks or getting into a fight with a Manchester United fan, but confessed to throwing darts at the Man City youth players.

Curiously, Balotelli also denied wearing Milan socks while training with Inter, despite Marco Materazzi repeatedly saying he cut them up in the locker room as a joke.

SuperMario did confirm he has ordered a bronze statue of himself to put in his house, but assured the stories of numerous fines with the club were untrue.

“I hardly paid any fines. The only real one I got was when Manchester City won the title and I went back to Italy instead of celebrating with the rest of the team.

“I have not wrecked any cars, although twice someone else crashed into me. I am happy in Milan.”

Balotelli was asked about his rapport with City manager Mancini and their famous row in training.

“I rarely hear from Mancini. I had fouled someone and he got angry, that’s all. We made up afterwards. Who do I prefer between Mancini and Mourinho? As a person Mancini, in football terms Mourinho.

“I argued a lot with Mourinho, but I also remember moments of great joy and we had a good laugh. We worked hard with him and played with great intensity, as it was what he wanted.

“I don’t really talk to anyone from Inter now, though I sometimes hear from Materazzi or Wesley Sneijder. Marco has always been close to me and we never came to blows, unlike what some people said. He couldn’t have punched me anyway!”

Balotelli said the players he admired the most were also those stronger than him: Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“Why haven’t I won the Ballon d’Or? It’s my fault. Sacrifice counts for a lot in spot. As a teenager I couldn’t do the normal things that the boys of my age get to do. I might have a nice car and house, but at times you just want to be a normal guy and you can’t.

“Will I become the best player in the world? I hope so. I have to improve in every area, though. My best goal was the second one against Germany.

“As for the Derby, on two occasions I got it totally wrong, on two Samir Handanovic did very well to stop me.”

Serie A: AC Milan vs. Palermo - match preview
16.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan must put their midweek loss aside and maintain red-hot domestic form, while Palermo jump from one crisis to another.

Milan prepared for their massive showdown with Barcelona in the best possible fashion, defeating Genoa 2-0. Live betting fans on Unibet couldn't believe as a limping Giampaolo Pazzini opened the scoring, while his replacement Mario Balotelli made sure of the points on the hour mark. Coupled with Napoli’s loss, the result puts the Rossoneri just two points adrift of second place.

Attention then turned to the Champions League. Unfortunately, Milan were knocked out of the competition by Barcelona. Massimiliano Allegri’s side went down heavily in the second leg to lose 4-2 on aggregate. They will hope there’s no knock-on effect mentally, given the nature of the Camp Nou defeat.

Pazzini is in doubt following an injury picked up versus Genoa. Nigel De Jong is a long-term absentee, while Kevin Constant serves a one match ban.

Dubbed a crucial ‘relegation six pointer’, Palermo welcomed Siena to the Stadio Renzo Barbera last Sunday. Things looked to be going well for the hosts when Anselmo found the target from close range. However, second half goals from Innocent Emeghara and Alessandro Rosina sank Palermo, probably sealing their Serie B fate.

It cost Gian Piero Gasperini his job for the second time this season. This reign lasted all of 15 days and his contract was terminated ‘by mutual consent’. Giuseppe Sannino has been charged with the near-impossible task of saving the Sicilians. He is back for another stint, completing the coaching symmetry after starting the season on the bench.

Palermo are still without injured trio Edgar Barreto, Abel Hernandez and Andrea Mantovani. Andrea Dossena is battling an injury concern to feature.

Palermo’s record in Milan makes the job even tougher. Milan have won 21 of 25 San Siro meetings, the visitors just two. The Diavolo cruised to a 3-0 win last term.

Keep an eye on: Riccardo Montolivo (Milan) – The Italian international has improved as the season has gone on. Was overawed along with a number of teammates in midweek, but Montolivo will look to show his best here as he pulls the strings in midfield.

Form guide: Milan (D W D W W) Palermo (D D D D L)

Last season: Milan 3-0 Palermo

Stat fact: Milan’s greatest margin of victory in a Serie A clash came against Palermo in 1950-51, a 9-0 thumping.

AC Milan (probable): Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, De Sciglio; Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari; Boateng, Balotelli, El Shaarawy

Palermo (probable): Sorrentino; Munoz, Von Bergen, Aronica; Morganella, Rios, Donati, Kurtic, Garcia; Boselli, Miccoli

AC Milan agree Kucka deal?
16.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are strong reports that Milan have reached a deal with Genoa to sign midfielder Juraj Kucka.

The rumours had linked him with a transfer to San Siro for several months and it seems to be materialising over the summer.

Tuttosport claim the Rossoneri have agreed personal terms with Kucka for a five-year contract worth €1.2m per season plus performance-related bonuses.

The transfer fee is expected to be around €5m for the ex-Sparta Prague midfielder.

It would be only the latest deal between the two clubs, as Genoa have also provided Milan with Kevin-Prince Boateng, Stephan El Shaarawy and Kevin Constant among others in recent years.

Kucka is a 26-year-old Slovakia international who has been at Genoa since January 2011, scoring three goals and providing three assists in 26 Serie A games this season.

Allegri: 'AC Milan survived the worst'
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Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri feels Milan are able to shake off the defeat to Barcelona and prepare for Palermo because “nothing can be worse than our first three months.”

The Rossoneri are out of the Champions League after a 4-0 loss at Camp Nou, but still only two points adrift of Napoli in second place.

“In two years, we were paired with Barcelona twice in the knock-outs,” moaned the Coach in his Press conference.

“You need a bit of luck to win the Champions League and the strongest team doesn’t always lift the trophy. It happened last season, with all due respect, when Chelsea won.

“There are two ways of approaching football now. Either you spend €400m in a couple of years to pack the side with champions or you try to build a team based on quality young players. In that sense Milan, and Adriano Galliani in particular, have done well.

“Will the next two months be tough on Milan? Nothing can be worse than our first three months!” joked Allegri.

“I have a contract with Milan until 2014. I was pleased that the President showed faith in me, but I am well aware that only results count in football. I am relaxed, happy and have belief in what I do.

“Obviously we were disappointed when we got home from Barcelona, but the team is concentrated on the real objective of this season, which is getting into the Champions League whether directly or through the play-offs. It won’t be easy, as there are six teams – and I include Roma – in the race for second and third place.”

If pressure is on Milan, then Palermo have almost accepted their relegation into Serie B and brought back Giuseppe Sannino, who was sacked in Week 3.

“There is always a reaction from the team after a change of management. Palermo have good players and this squad was not constructed to fight for safety. It will therefore not be an easy game for us,” added Allegri.

Sannino: 'No time for Palermo'
16.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giuseppe Sannino is back on the Palermo bench and faces Milan on his ‘debut.’ “We don’t have much time, but we do have humility.”

The Coach started the season at the Stadio Barbera only to be fired three games into the season. The last few months have seen Gian Piero Gasperini fired, then re-hired and walk away again around a brief 19-day Alberto Malesani spell.

“I returned because I want to be on the field, give my all and achieve the best from my players in the final rounds of the season,” said Sannino in his Press conference.

“We are going to face Milan with the humility of those who have been beaten, but also aware we’re still playing XI against XI.

“Milan’s squad is of a very high level, despite a few absentees. Whoever steps on to the pitch for the Rossoneri, it’ll be a champion, so little changes.”

Palermo are in dire straits and Sannino is already preparing for life in Serie B.

“We are well aware that we’re bottom of the table. We have to look each other in the eye and examine our consciences.

“We don’t have much time, but we have humility and must try to give our best. Serie B would be a heavy weight on those who remain at Palermo, but nobody must feel they are just passing through. I want to see hunger, as every player must prove he is important.”

To make matters worse, Fabrizio Miccoli, Andrea Dossena, Edgar Barreto, Abel Hernandez and Andrea Mantovani are all injured.

Palermo squad for Milan: Benussi, Brichetto, Sorrentino; Aronica, Garcia, Morganella, Munoz, Nelson, Von Bergen; Anselmo, Arevalo Rios, Donati, Faurlin, Formica, Ilicic, Kurtic, Sanseverino, Viola; Boselli, Dybala, Fabbrini, Malele, Sperduti

Muntari: 'AC Milan always target first'
16.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sulley Ali Muntari insists Milan “must always target first place” rather than second in Serie A, even though they are 11 points behind Juventus.

The midfielder spoke to Sky Sport Italia today and was asked whether the comeback to snatch second from Napoli would be like a Scudetto.

“No, it’s not like a Scudetto,” he replied. “We want to win the title if possible, as that is what was in our minds at the start of the season. Things didn’t go that well due to the numerous changes.

“Milan are a club who must always target first place and only first place.”

The Rossoneri are unbeaten in Serie A in 2013, but were humiliated 4-0 by Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday.

“We are very angry, but it can happen in football. Our journey is not over yet. We aren’t in the Champions League anymore, but we have another objective and are putting all our efforts into Serie A now.”

Milan welcome bottom of the table Palermo to San Siro on Sunday afternoon.

Palermo stars to miss AC Milan
16.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bottom of the table Palermo are set to miss several star players, including Fabrizio Miccoli, for Sunday’s trip to Milan.

The Sicilians step into San Siro at 14.00 GMT on Sunday afternoon.

According to the official club website, Miccoli, Edgar Barreto and Andrea Dossena did not take part in the full training session today.

“The medical staff are working to have Miccoli, Barreto and Dossena at 100 per cent fitness for the home game with Roma after the break for international duty.”

Abel Hernandez and Andrea Mantovani are long-term injury absentees.

This will represent the ‘debut’ for Coach Giuseppe Sannino, who returned to Palermo this week after he was fired in Week 3.

Second now the target, says Zapata
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Source: Football Italia

Cristian Zapata has told his Milan teammates to forget about the Champions League loss and focus on finishing the season in second.

The Rossoneri’s dreams of being in today’s quarter-final draw vanished this week after their 2-0 first leg advantage over Barcelona was wiped out following a 4-0 reverse.

“Now we have to think about second, that is our objective,” the Colombian international told Milan Channel.

“We did well at San Siro against Barcelona, it is just a shame that we were not able to do what we wanted at the Camp Nou.

“They were two great games, but we now have to look ahead,” the summer loan capture from Villarreal added.

“We have a tough game on Sunday against Palermo as we know that we have to do well because we want to finish second in the League.

“The Rosanero will be hard to break down and will play on the counter-attack.”

Milan, who started the season with five losses from their first eight games, are now third in Serie A and just two points adrift of Napoli.

Leaders Juventus are 11 points clear of the Diavolo.

Seedorf reveals coaching plan
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Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf has intimated that he’s thinking about one day becoming the Coach of Milan.

The Dutchman, 36, left the San Siro giants in the summer to continue his career with Brazilian outfit Botafogo.

However, the man who spent a decade with the Diavolo has been suggested as a possible future tactician of the side.

“When I left last summer, it was a ‘see you soon’ rather than a ‘goodbye’,” the midfielder told Sky Sport Italia.

“It’s true, I’ve always thought that I could become a Coach when the time came to end my playing career…”

Should Seedorf take the hotseat at San Siro in the near future then he could find himself working with young guns Stephan El Shaarawy and Mario Balotelli.

“Stephan is showing that he is a great attacker,” the legend noted. “He has a good head on his shoulders and excellent talent. He needs to continue on this path.

“Balotelli, meanwhile, just has to perfect himself. In some cases, he has to correct some things – like his character.

“He has great technical ability and excellent margins of improvement.”

El Shaarawy: 'Forget Barcelona'
15.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy has urged Milan to put the Barcelona defeat behind them. “We must do everything possible to take second place.”

The Rossoneri had won the first leg of their Champions League tie 2-0, but were hammered 4-0 at Camp Nou to crash out of the competition.

“We need to put the Barcelona game behind us and straight away focus on Serie A,” he told Milan Channel.

“We must do everything possible to take second place, which is only two points away. We are achieving things that at the start of the season seemed unthinkable. It was a great fightback, but the difficult part comes now.

“There are 10 Finals ahead of us and we have to get as many points as possible to leapfrog Napoli. We need everyone to manage this and it would be an important result for us.”

El Shaarawy did look back over his regrets in Spain, including Giampaolo Pazzini’s injury and Mario Balotelli being cup-tied.

“We earned such a great victory on home turf, then unfortunately Barcelona proved they are the best team in the world.

“Pazzini is injured, but fortunately we have Balotelli back and hope to get a win against Palermo on Sunday.”

The Little Pharaoh posted a picture of Leo Messi’s jersey on Twitter after exchanging it with the World Player of the Year.

“It was very pleasing. Last year he gave me his shorts, but this time I got the shirt. I want to again make it clear we swapped shirts in the locker room, as some doubted the exchange.”

'Napoli better than AC Milan'
14.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Napoli captain Paolo Cannavaro insists the Azzurri have what is needed to finish ahead of Milan in Serie A.

After falling nine points adrift of leaders Juventus, the struggling Azzurri are now just two points clear of a resurgent third-placed Diavolo.

“I am convinced that this negative period has been a blessing because it has proven to fans that Napoli were in no position to compete with Juventus,” Enrico Fedele told Radio CRC.

“Milan are not stronger than Napoli, though, they have won a lot of their games in a haphazard manner.

“We Neapolitans are people of exaggeration and feats on a Sunday are not enough to make a great player a champion.

“Napoli, in many of its elements, has suffered the burden of having to catch Juventus without having that possibility.”

Napoli entertain Atalanta at the weekend after collecting just four points from the last 15 available to them in Serie A.

Seedorf happy with AC Milan revival
14.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf believes that the League table now speaks the truth after Milan’s initial difficulties at the start of the season.

The Diavolo had a nightmare beginning to the campaign and were at the wrong end of the ladder after losing five of their first eight games.

However, Massimiliano Allegri has sparked a revival which now sees the Rossoneri in third and only two points adrift of Napoli.

“I’m happy that Milan have managed to recover without too many difficulties,” the Botafogo midfielder, who left Milan in the summer, told Sky Sport Italia.

“Now they have to try and keep this positive trend going. It won’t be easy and they could feel the fatigue of it all, but they are doing very well.

“It was clear that this Milan was not a side who should have been in 15th place...”

Pazzini back for Chievo
14.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan should have Giampaolo Pazzini back in action for the game against Chievo at the end of this month.

Pazzini is currently on the treatment table after the injury he picked up in Friday’s match against Genoa saw him ruled out of the Barcelona clash.

The former Sampdoria and Inter striker will miss this weekend’s tie against Palermo, but the Gazzetta dello Sport expects him to be available for the March 30 tie at Verona.

Pazzini, 28, has scored 13 League goals in 22 ties.

Allegri future on hold
14.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan chief Silvio Berlusconi will not make a decision on the future of boss Massimiliano Allegri until the end of the season.

Speculation was suggesting that the tactician could soon be offered a contract extension given Milan’s revival in Serie A.

After losing five of their first eight League games, the Diavolo are now third and only two points behind second-placed Napoli.

However, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Berlusconi wasn’t impressed with the club’s Champions League collapse this week.

Having won the first leg of their last 16 tie against Barcelona 2-0, the Rossoneri were on the receiving end of a 4-0 thumping at the Camp Nou.

Although Allegri has the faith of Vice-President Adriano Galliani, Berlusconi is said to be uncertain about the former Cagliari boss.

Allegri’s contract at the club is set to expire in June 2014. The former midfielder has been linked with a possible summer move to Roma.

Pato: I'll never forget AC Milan
13.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Corinthians striker Alexandre Pato has admitted he will 'never forget' the support of the Milan fans.

The Brazilian forward left the Rossoneri in January after six years at San Siro, but he has insisted that his mind is focused on the present, and has ruled out a return to the club.

“I will never forget the support of Milan,” he told reporters. “They were a team that gave me so much.

“I got there when I was 17, but I have never said anything about a return.

“I have a four-year contract with Corinthians and I am very happy here.

“My head is on the present.”

Post signalled defeat for Galliani
13.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says he feared Champions League elimination against Barcelona once M’Baye Niang’s effort hit the post.

Barcelona were only 1-0 up when the young Frenchman found the woodwork, but the hosts increased their lead just moments later.

They went on to collect a 4-0 win, enough to overturn the 2-0 first leg deficit.

“When Niang hit the post, I understood everything,” the official stated. “On nights like this, certain signals are crystal clear.

“I immediately said to Barbara Berlusconi after the Niang chance that we risked going 2-0 down… Football is like that.”

With their Champions League adventure over, Galliani underlined how important the rest of the season is – starting with this weekend’s tie.

“We now have to think about the Milan-Palermo game,” he added. “We can’t have a repeat of what happened last season after the game in Spain when we lost at home to Fiorentina.”

Bojan laments Niang missed chance
13.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bojan Krkic thinks Milan could still be in the Champions League this morning had M’Baye Niang not hit the post against Barcelona.

The Spanish giants overturned their 2-0 first leg deficit at the Camp Nou last night with a stunning 4-0 win over the Diavolo.

However, with the score at 1-0 on Tuesday, the young French striker hit the frame of the goal with one of Milan’s rare strikes.

“If the ball had gone in then the tie may have ended in a different manner,” Bojan, who belongs to Barcelona, told Milan Channel.

“Barcelona are a great team, but they are human,” he added. “I’m disappointed with how the game went.

“We were very happy with our display at San Siro and to come here with an advantage. We battled, but this is football.”

Now out of Europe, Bojan wants to make sure that the Rossoneri will be back in the competition next season.

“Now we need to think about the championship,” he stated ahead of this weekend’s clash against Palermo.

Third-placed Milan currently occupy the last remaining Champions League spot in Serie A.

Abate: AC Milan lacked experience
13.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ignazio Abate says his Milan side were too raw to deal with the pressure of playing at Barcelona in the Champions League.

The Rossoneri went into last night’s European Cup round of 16 tie with a 2-0 first leg advantage, but they were soundly beaten 4-0 by the Spanish giants.

“We weren’t very proactive, we played a lot of long balls rather than playing the ball on the ground,” the full-back told Sky Sport Italia.

“We gifted the first half to our opponents, even if Lionel Messi invented those two fine goals. We were never in the match and we can’t afford to gift 45 minutes of a game to a team like Barcelona.

“We improved a little in the second half, going close to scoring, but you need experience to play at places like the Camp Nou – and that is not a criticism of my younger teammates.”

Niang: 'I was not afraid'
13.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

M’Baye Niang had the chance to turn the tie around and explained what went through his mind when he hit the upright at Camp Nou.

Milan were beaten 4-0 and went out 4-2 on aggregate, but Niang had the opportunity to make it 1-1 on the counter-attack.

“I did not feel afraid. I played the same way I do in Serie A, but I lost sharpness because you have to run so hard against Barcelona,” explained the 18-year-old striker.

“I thought about it once, but five minutes later I had forgotten it. I hoped we would score after the break, but they are a great team and after the third goal it was all much more difficult.

“The 2-0 from the first leg was not enough to say we were through. Barcelona still would’ve had to get it wrong and when they are on a night like this, they’re tough for everyone.

“Now we have to stay focused and think about the next game against Palermo.”

Flamini: 'AC Milan were nervous'
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mathieu Flamini took the pressure off teammate M’Baye Niang for his Nou Camp miss. “Perhaps we were a little nervous at the start.”

Milan saw their 2-0 first leg lead wiped out by a 4-0 defeat in Barcelona, but Niang hit the upright when only 1-0 down.

“We can’t put all the blame on Niang. If he had scored, it would’ve been a different game, but this is football and you only get one chance,” said Flamini.

“Barcelona had a great performance, showed all their quality and are among the best teams in the world.

“We tried to play, but it was so difficult for us today. Perhaps we were a little nervous at the start, as we gave the ball away many times and didn’t play the way we usually do.

“Barcelona pressed high up the field and it was tough for us to emerge. They played very quick passing too and deserve to be complimented.”

Flamini is one of the most experienced players in the current Milan squad, who have completely revamped this season.

“There is bound to be a psychological blow-back after a game like this, which is difficult to forget. Now we have to put it behind us and stay concentrated on Serie A.”

Allegri: 'Centimetres for qualification'
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri defended his tactics and line-up after a 4-0 defeat to Barcelona. “Qualification was always going to be a matter of centimentres.”

The Rossoneri had a 2-0 first leg advantage, but M’Baye Niang hit the post and moments later Leo Messi completed his brace to wipe that out.

“Tonight Barcelona were extraordinary, especially in the first 30 minutes. Despite all that pressure, they had few real chances.

“In the first half we had a lot of problems emerging from our half, as they were pressing us and forcing errors,” said Allegri.

“Of course qualification was always going to be a matter of centimentres. We hit the upright with Niang, then conceded with Messi.

“This defeat is disappointing for the club, the fans and the lads, as they gave their all and hoped to achieve something remarkable. Tonight it was tough against this Barcelona, yet we kept it open to the end and when 3-0 down had some chances that could’ve gone better.

“This team needs to grow and had five players who were in their first Champions league campaign. It will be useful experience.

“On Sunday we have Palermo and our objective right now is to get back into the tournament next season. This game must help everyone to grow, we knew there were difficulties and it’s a shame.”

The Coach looked back at the first leg and the lucky ricochet that allowed Kevin-Prince Boateng to open the scoring.

“Luck was with us in the first leg with that deflection into Boateng’s path, this time it went against us with Niang hitting the upright.

“It’s only normal that this will now be painted as a disaster, but when you face a Barcelona side like this it’s very difficult. They knew they had to score at least three, so poured pressure on from the start.

“After 30 minutes we played better and they got a little tired, as they couldn’t keep that tempo up. Unfortunately, we came so close and did everything we could.

“Barcelona are the strongest side in the world. Messi and Iniesta kept dribbling with such cool heads in stoppages, Xavi was so sharp. I have to praise my lads for not giving up to the very end, as they could’ve let their heads drop.”

Barca surprised by picking David Villa in the starting XI, but it proved a masterstroke.

“David Villa’s position caused us a lot of problems. The passing was also so quick that we had to defend a little deeper. Despite it all, we had a great chance to get the away goal and even the equaliser. Against great champions, it’s always difficult to qualify, even after the first leg.

“It’s a shame we tended to give Barcelona opportunities by failing to clear the ball properly.”

Allegri was asked whether he regretted any of his decisions or would’ve made different ones.

“In order to play these games, you need legs and I made these choices. If Niang had scored, my choice would’ve been praised. We’re upset, but don’t have much time to even think about it, as on Sunday we face Palermo and our position in Serie A is the most important thing.”

Ambrosini: 'We weren't up to it'
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini admitted “we were not up to it tonight” after a 4-0 defeat to Barcelona.

The Rossoneri had won the first leg 2-0 at San Siro, but fell to a Leo Messi brace, David Villa and Jordi Alba in stoppages.

“It’s the end of a dream. We were not up to it tonight. We suffered from the start and it wasn’t the performance we needed,” confessed Ambrosini.

“It is a learning experience, one we gladly would’ve avoided. I can only hope it can serve us well for the future. Now our objective is to get back into the competition.

“We won’t have the strain of other Champions League games, so at least now we can focus only on Serie A.”

Champions League: Barcelona 4:0 (4:2) AC Milan - match report
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Messi 5, 40 (B), Villa 55 (B), Jordi Alba 94 (B)

Lionel Messi’s brace wiped out Milan’s first leg lead and David Villa did the rest, as Barcelona reach the Champions League quarter-finals 4-2 on aggregate.

The Rossoneri won the first leg 2-0 at San Siro, but Giampaolo Pazzini was injured and Mario Balotelli cup-tied, so M’Baye Niang completed the trident with Stephan El Shaarawy and Kevin-Prince Boateng. Barca made surprise changes to their line-up, benching Carles Puyol in favour of Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano, while David Villa and Pedro Rodriguez supported Leo Messi. Xavi passed a fitness test after hamstring problems.

Messi had never scored from open play in nine games against Italian club sides, but he broke that curse after five minutes when curling an unstoppable shot from the D into the near top corner, leaving Christian Abbiati rooted to the spot. He had quickly exchanged passes with Xavi in the build-up.

El Shaarawy had a great chance to get a precious away goal from Boateng’s assist, but only scuffed the angled drive into the arms of Victor Valdes.

Pedro Rodriguez went down in the box under an Ignazio Abate challenge, but the referee waved play on. Abbiati did brilliantly to palm an Andres Iniesta screamer on to the crossbar and Messi turned the follow-up on to the side-netting.

However, Abbiati risked giving away a goal when missing an Abate backpass under pressure from Messi, though the defence was able to clear. The goalkeeper then fingertipped a Xavi angled drive round the far post, while a Riccardo Montolivo through ball was just a little too long for El Shaarawy. The Little Pharaoh attempted an audacious overhead kick from Niang’s cross, but only scuffed it, and aimed another angled drive straight at Valdes on the counter as Milan began to get into the game after a disastrous opening 20 minutes.

The Rossoneri had a golden opportunity to score on the counter from a Barcelona corner, but Niang went clear and his angled drive beat Valdes only to thump against the base of the far post.

Less than 120 seconds later, Barcelona doubled their lead with Messi’s second of the game. Iniesta robbed Massimo Ambrosini in the final third and set up Messi, who fired his daisy-cutter between Mexes’ legs to beat Abbiati.

The tie was now all even on aggregate. After the restart Messi went on a long run, but the finish was comfortable for Abbiati. Boateng volleyed a Niang corner off target, but Barcelona went 3-0 up.

Constant’s sliding tackle failed to intercept a Xavi pass and David Villa had all the time and space to pick his spot, curling across Abbiati into the far post.

Max Allegri introduced Sulley Muntari and Robinho for Ambrosini and Niang. Messi flashed a chest and volley over the bar.

Milan had to go all-out in the final 15 minutes and threw on Barcelona-owned Bojan Krkic for Flamini. The substitutes combined, as Bojan dribbled past Gerard Pique down the left to roll in for Robinho, whose shot was charged down from point-blank range by Jordi Alba.

The visitors started to pin Barca back into their own half during the last stages, but could not find a way through. Instead, they dreadfully wasted a free kick and allowed the counter-attack as Jordi Alba was unmarked to nutmeg Abbiati from an Alexis Sanchez pass.

Barcelona 4-0 Milan (4-2 on agg)

Scorers: Messi 5, 40 (B), Villa 55 (B), Jordi Alba 94 (B)

Barcelona: Valdes; Dani Alves, Mascherano (Puyol 77), Pique, Jordi Alba; Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro Rodriguez (Adriano 83), Messi, Villa (Alexis Sanchez 74)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Flamini (Bojan 74), Montolivo, Ambrosini (Muntari 60); Boateng, Niang (Robinho 60), El Shaarawy

Ref: Kassai (HUN)

Champions League: Barcelona vs. AC Milan - lineups
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona: Valdes; Dani Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Jordi Alba; Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro Rodriguez, Messi, Villa.

Barcelona bench: Pinto, Adriano, Puyol, Song, Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez, Tello.

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Flamini, Montolivo, Ambrosini; Boateng, Niang, El Shaarawy.

AC Milan bench: Amelia, De Sciglio, Muntari, Bonera, Nocerino, Robinho, Bojan.

El Shaarawy: 'Bring on Barcelona!'
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy has high hopes for Milan’s trip to Barcelona this evening. “We studied them carefully and prepared for this match.”

The Rossoneri won the first leg 2-0 and travel to the Camp Nou for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

“Our Coach prepared us very well for this match,” the striker told Sky Sport Italia.

“He told us not to be hasty, to be patient and wait for the right moment. We studied Barcelona, must limit them as much as possible and then pick the time to counter-attack.

“The important thing is to play without pressure and be aware that we too can have our say. Milan have quality players and we could also impose our style on them, if we wanted to.”

Although he did not score in the first leg, life-long Milan supporter El Shaarawy enjoyed it immensely.

“It was an unforgettable night that I will carry in my heart for all of my life. It was amazing right from the moment the fans greeted us outside the San Siro garage and playing in a packed stadium gives you such a buzz.

“We needed to sacrifice ourselves and work hard against Barcelona, as we knew their characteristics. I think Prince Boateng and I did really well that night.”

El Shaarawy provided the assist for Sulley Muntari, rolling across M’Baye Niang’s low cross for the on-rushing midfielder.

“Niang did well to attack the space and see me in the middle. I spotted Sulley out of the corner of my eye and passed it to him. It was a great move and I am happy for him. I had considered shooting, but I saw the defender coming towards me and Sulley was in a better situation.

“We allowed Barcelona so few chances that it was almost the perfect performance. I asked Andres Iniesta to swap shirts after the game. I’d say that was the most important victory of my career.”

The ‘Little Pharaoh’ has many more ahead of him, seeing as he is only 20 years old and plays at Camp Nou tonight.

“Of course I dreamed of taking part in a game at one of the most important stadiums in the world. It will be emotional, but the most important thing is to qualify.

“We step on to the field with the idea of victory, of playing our game and hopefully taking the lead. It won’t be easy, but we have a good chance of going through after that 2-0.”

Milan are now third in Serie A and bearing down on Napoli in second, which is remarkable considering how poor the start to their season was.

“The team has always been united and never gave up. The Coach was close to us and we were close to him. Massimiliano Allegri was our strength. We started the campaign with so many problems and the only way out of it was to stay united. Now we must continue on this track.

“I have great respect for Allegri, as he has done so much for this team. I hope he can remain with us and with Milan.

“My objective is to stay at Milan for as long as possible, as this is the team I have always supported. The captain’s armband? I’m not thinking about that right now.”

Constant reveals counter-attack plan
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan defender Kevin Constant has revealed that the Rossoneri will try and hit Barcelona on the counter-attack this evening.

Massimiliano Allegri's men travel to Camp Nou tonight to face the Blaugrana in their last 16 Champions League clash.

And with the team holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg, the 25-year-old has admitted that they will hope to hit Barca on the break.

“I do not think that Barcelona will change their style of play tonight,” he told Bein Sport.

“Their idea will be to create space and try to try open us up.

“But our idea is to remain tight, cover the spaces and then try to hit them on the counter-attack.

“We will have to be fully concentrated – that's key.”

Maxi Lopez: Barcelona to win
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Barcelona and AC Milan forward Maxi Lopez believes the Liga side can beat the Rossoneri if they play at their best.

The Blaugrana host Massimiliano Allegri's men at Camp Nou this evening, trailing 2-0 from the first leg of their last 16 Champions League tie.

But the Sampdoria striker is confident that Jordi Roura's team can win, but only if they play to their maximum.

“If Barcelona play at their best, they can go through,” he told COPE. “It is always hard for opponents at Camp Nou.

“I had to play there last year for Milan, and it was almost impossible.

“But this year's Milan are organised and tactically very strong. I'm sure they will try to counter-attack.”

Iachini backs AC Milan to beat Barcelona
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Siena boss Giuseppe Iachini believes that Milan have what it takes to overcome Barcelona in the Champions League this evening.

The Rossoneri play the Catalan side in the last 16 on Tuesday, holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg.

And the Robur Coach is confident that Massimiliano Allegri can get the better of Jordi Roura.

“I hope that Milan can get through to the next round,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “It's going to be a great race at a tactical level.

“Alegri knows the strengths and weaknesses of Barca and Milan are going through a good period of form.

“They have the potential to do well.”

Zapata confident of compact defence
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan defender Cristian Zapata has admitted that the Rossoneri will be under-fire for 90 minutes tonight when they play Barcelona.

Massimiliano Allegri's side travel to Camp Nou to play the Blaugrana in the last 16 of the Champions League, holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg.

And the Colombia international has insisted that his team have what it takes to overcome the Spanish giants.

“We will give our maximum,” he told reporters. “We have to give everything against a difficult team.

“We have a two-goal lead, and we know that we will be under siege for 90 minutes.

“We have to remain compact though and not let them break through.

“Our main objective is to qualify for the next round, but we know it will not be easy.”

'Perin will play for AC Milan or Juventus'
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia Perin may have been dropped by Pescara recently, but the club insist he can replace Juventus’ Gigi Buffon on the Italian goalkeeping scene.

The 20-year-old moved to the seaside outfit on loan from Genoa in the summer and sporting director Daniele Delli Carri is a massive fan.

“Perin is destined for greatness,” the official told Radio Toscana. “I believe that he is ready to be the post-Buffon.

“I think that, in the future, he will play for either Milan or Juventus. I have no doubts – he’ll be there after Buffon, on the international stage too.

“I see him on a daily basis, in training and in games, he’s like a 30-year-old. He’s an exemplary professional for someone who was born in 1992, for the way he intensely trains.”

Perin, an Italian Under-21 international, is expected to return to parent club Genoa at the end of the season.

The former Padova man has appeared in 24 League games so far this term.

Xavi fit to face AC Milan
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Xavi Hernandez will line-up for Barcelona against Milan tonight after he passed a fitness test.

The Spanish international was a doubt due to a problematic thigh injury that he has struggled to recover from.

However, the Nou Camp outfit have confirmed that the midfielder will be at their disposal in the Champions League tie.

Milan are 2-0 up after their success at San Siro in the first leg of the last 16 tie.

Donadoni backing AC Milan against Barcelona
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma boss Roberto Donadoni believes former club Milan have what is needed to wrap up Champions League qualification against Barcelona this evening.

Although the Diavolo will face a fired up Barca without the Cup-tied Mario Balotelli and the injured Giampaolo Pazzini, Donadoni is backing the Italian club after their 2-0 first leg win.

“I don’t think that the absence of Pazzini will be felt,” the former Diavolo winger told Milan News on Tuesday.

“We are talking about a Milan squad of the highest level. Whoever plays will not be affected by those who are missing.

“I expect a Milan side that is able to qualify, even if that won’t be easy – it will be a complicated game,” he added.

“Milan can certainly take advantage of the opportunities that Barcelona will offer them.

“There could also be some notable counter-attacking opportunities given that Barcelona will be pushing to the maximum.

“There will be possibilities to do them harm.”

Robinho eyes AC Milan away goal
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho has conceded that his Milan side can’t just look to defend in their Champions League game at Barcelona.

The Diavolo have a 2-0 first leg advantage, but the Brazilian has underlined how important an away goal could be.

“We expect a very strong and difficult atmosphere, although Milan are ready to play a great game,” the 29-year-old noted to COPE.

“Barcelona are a great team, but anything can happen in football and it is not easy to beat Milan,” he added.

“I don’t think that we should only play to defend – we have quality and we have to attack as well as defend well.

“When we have the ball we have to play. We have to play to score a goal.”

Milan are expected to play with plenty of men behind the ball, a tactic that city neighbours Inter used when they eliminated Barcelona in the 2010 Champions League semi-finals.

“Inter defended a lot, but Barca were able to score. We have quality to play. We have to look to get a goal.”

Ambrosini: 'So much to lose, so much to gain'
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini has conceded that the club have 'so much to lose and so much to gain' when they face Barcelona tomorrow.

The Rossoneri travel to Camp Nou on Tuesday holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg of their Champions League last 16.

And the veteran midfielder has admitted that the squad have the 'grit between their teeth'.

“We have so much to lose and so much to gain,” he told a Press conference. “We have players with a lot of experience in Serie A, and it's only right we pass on that knowledge.

“Barcelona will take hold of this game, but our main weapon is the counter-attack.

“We have the grit between our teeth and are ready for any situation.”

Allegri: It's like any other game
12.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri wants his Milan team to 'stand up' to Barcelona in their Champions League clash tomorrow evening.

The Rossoneri travel to Camp Nou on Tuesday evening, holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg.

But the 45-year-old has asked his players to approach the match like 'any other'.

“We want to stand up to Barcelona,” he told a Press conference. “I think we will have to perform better than we did in the first leg if we want to win.

“Tomorrow night we will have to improve. The boys will need to be good in attack and make the most of their opportunities.

“We must remain calm – this is a game like any other.”

The Diavolo boss then commented on some of the selection issues he faces.

“We'll have to see about Mexes' condition,” he added. “But Bonera is ready and in good shape.

“I see De Sciglio as a full-back for the future, but I think it is too risky.

“We'll also have to see about Niang. Bojan and Robinho are looking good. But the game is long.

“We will have to be careful for the entire match.”

Galliani: 'Messi is a monster'
11.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan chief Adriano Galliani has labelled Lionel Messi as a “monster” ahead of the Champions League tie against Barcelona.

Although the Argentine has never scored from open play against Italian opposition, the goal threat he carries is a concern for the Diavolo.

“Messi is a monster, he scores with amazing continuity,” the official noted. “Hopefully tomorrow he will take a break.”

The Rossoneri will go into the second leg of the last 16 tie with a 2-0 advantage.

“I expected a very warm atmosphere, with 100,000 people at the Camp Nou,” Galliani added. “It will be difficult, because we are up against the best in the world.”

Milan do have problems in attack as Mario Balotelli is Cup-tied and Giampaolo Pazzini is missing with injury.

“Pazzini’s absence is a shame for us, because he was in a magical moment of form,” the former Lega Calcio chief added.

“It was a great time for him and this injury keeps him out. We lose an important striker, but we have the substitutes to do well.”

Dani Alves believes in Barcelona's chances
11.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Dani Alves is confident that his Barcelona side will have the opportunities to knock Milan out of the Champions League this week.

The two sides face off in Spain on Tuesday night with the Diavolo looking to protect a 2-0 first leg advantage.

“If we play at our level, we will have a lot of chances,” Brazilian full-back Alves told UEFA’s official website.

“We have spectacular players, so I don't think this tie will be decided until the referee blows the final whistle.

“The desire to enjoy this is very great and great challenges are there for great teams. We're very confident in our team and the players we have.

“Let's see where we stand at the end – if we really are the team that's respected all over the world, or if we cannot reach that level.”

Barca have been struggling of late, given that they have also recently lost on two occasions to Real Madrid.

“We've been marching differently. When we march together properly, Barça are a very big team, but when we don't we're a normal team.

“So it's all down to us and whether we go into the game in the right way or the wrong way, like we did over there. If we do that, we'll be out – but if we march together, we'll have a chance.”

Shakhtar make mega Allegri offer
11.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Corriere dello Sport is suggesting that Shakhtar Donetsk are ready to make Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri an enticing offer to join them.

Allegri is contracted to Milan until June 2014 and the club have insisted that he will remain at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

Shakhtar, however, are apparently prepared to offer the tactician a four-year deal worth €6m a campaign.

Allegri, who won the Scudetto in his first season with the Diavolo and came second last term, presently earns around €2.5m a term.

The Ukrainian outfit are currently bossed by former Brescia and Inter Coach Mircea Lucescu.

Allegri has also been heavily linked with a possible move to Roma at the end of the present campaign.

Mexes and Boateng make Barcelona
10.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giampaolo Pazzini is out, but Philippe Mexes and Kevin-Prince Boateng can travel to Barcelona with Milan.

The club released a statement today confirming Pazzini had suffered a micro-fracture to the head of the fibula in his right leg, an injury he sustained during Friday’s 2-0 win over Genoa.

There were also fears over the fitness levels of Boateng and Mexes, but they are both included in the squad travelling to Spain.

As Mario Balotelli is cup-tied, either M’Baye Niang or Robinho are expected to start in attack with Stephan El Shaarawy.

Milan won the first leg 2-0 and face Barcelona in the Champions League Round of 16 decider at Camp Nou on Tuesday evening.

Milan squad for Barcelona: Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Zapata, Ambrosini, Boateng, Constant, Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Traoré, Bojan, El Shaarawy, Niang, Robinho.

Pazzini micro fracture confirmed
10.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giampaolo Pazzini is out of Milan’s trip to Barcelona and possibly even longer, as tests confirmed a micro-fracture.

The striker limped off during the 2-0 win over Genoa on Friday at Marassi after scoring a goal.

The official Milan website released a statement this afternoon confirming further tests had been done on the injury.

“The tests confirmed heavy bruising and a micro-fracture to the head of the right fibula.”

It is not clear how long Pazzini will be out for, but he’ll certainly miss Tuesday’s Champions League match with Barcelona.

Mario Balotelli is cup-tied, while Philippe Mexes and Kevin-Prince Boateng are also battling injury to make it to Camp Nou.

Milan squad for Barcelona: Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Zapata, Ambrosini, Boateng, Constant, Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Traoré, Bojan, El Shaarawy, Niang, Robinho.

Kassai ref for Barcelona - AC Milan
10.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Hungarian Viktor Kassai has been assigned to referee Milan’s Champions League trip to Barcelona.

The Rossoneri have a 2-0 lead from the first leg and step into Camp Nou at 19.45 GMT on Tuesday.

UEFA have announced Hungarian officiate Kassai will be in charge of the whistle in Spain.

Milan have fond memories of Kassai, as he was officiating when they crushed Arsenal 4-0 in the Champions League last season.

Tassotti: 'Pazzini is a problem'
10.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan assistant manager Mauro Tassotti admits “it would be a problem” if Giampaolo Pazzini doesn’t recover in time to face Barcelona.

Pazzini scored in the 2-0 victory at Genoa last night, but limped off with a heavy knock to his shin and there were even fears of a micro fracture.

“The game turned into a battle and we did well to fight back blow by blow without thinking about Tuesday,” Tassotti told Milan Channel.

“There is a while to go before the Barcelona game, so we will see what conditions Pazzini and Philippe Mexes are in.

“If Pazzini isn’t fit, then it would be a problem. He was in great shape and scoring important goals. There are other players, but it’s better to have everyone at your disposal to make the best choice.”

Mario Balotelli is cup-tied, but the Rossoneri won the first leg 2-0 at San Siro and visit Camp Nou on Tuesday evening for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

“The environment will be fiery, but it’s not the first game we have played in front of 90,000 people. The team is in good shape and we are happy to be playing a Champions League match like this.

“Anything can happen, the important thing is that we are there.”

There are also concerns over Kevin-Prince Boateng, who did not take part in a complete training session today.

Milner: 'How Man City handled Balotelli'
9.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan and Italy pay attention, for James Milner has revealed the secret to keeping Mario Balotelli out of trouble. “It was like having a 12-year-old in the dressing room.”

Balotelli hit the headlines repeatedly for his antics at Manchester City, such as throwing darts at youth players and accidentally setting fire to his house by letting off fireworks in the bathroom.

“I do miss him, actually,” said Milner. “He was crazy, he liked to be the centre of attention and it was like having a 12-year-old in the dressing-room at times.

“But he was a good guy, he was harmless and I hope he does well in Milan. He’s got ability and hopefully he can prove it over in Italy.

“You’d get those days where you’d think ‘Mario – not today, leave it out,’ but it was very hard to hate him, despite the crazy things he did.

“At times Mario would step out of line and one of the lads would tell him. If he ever did that, it would go off, but half-an-hour later he would come in and apologise.”

Former Manchester City teammate Milner revealed the secret to calming the Balotelli hurricane – distraction.

“You had to keep him busy. We did a Christmas event for some children at the ground and Mario had to wait about half-an-hour to do his bit.

“We were thinking ‘what can we do with him? He’s going to be an absolute nightmare.’ He ended up sitting in on an interview with Joe Hart for 20 minutes, then someone gave him an iPad to play Angry Birds on.

“You had to keep him occupied until it was his turn to meet the kids, but once he did he was great with them.”

Mazzarri: 'AC Milan comeback normal'
9.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Walter Mazzarri feels it is “only normal a superpower like Milan is getting closer,” as Napoli take on Chievo to keep hold of second place.

The Partenopei are six points adrift of leaders Juventus, but after last night’s result only two points clear of third-placed Milan.

“I am focused only on tomorrow’s game with Chievo, then at the end of the season everyone can look at the final table,” said the Coach in his Press conference. Click here for a match preview.

“It is only normal that a superpower like Milan is getting closer, but the fact we’re still in front is a sign of what an extraordinary campaign Napoli have had. We’ll fight to the end and hope to finish as high up the standings as possible.

“Every game is a Final from here on in, starting with Chievo. We must continue along our path, trying to win every match. Chievo are to be feared, even if recently they have had a negative period.

“They will no doubt sit back and try to hit us on the break, as they did against Juventus. It’s also a sign that when Napoli attack, we scare other teams. They are very worrying when they go on the counter-attack.”

Napoli have been stuttering recently with five consecutive stalemates and Edinson Cavani’s goal drought drags on, though he is celebrating yesterday’s birth of son Lucas.

“In the last 10 games we have earned five victories and five draws in difficult arenas like Lazio and Fiorentina. We have an average of two points per game, which is excellent for Napoli,” continued Mazzarri.

“I saw Cavani in good shape, just as he was against Juventus. He is doing everything right and only missing a goal, so I hope he continues to play for the team and help us bring home the result. Similarly, Goran Pandev hasn’t scored for five months, but he is often decisive in the way the team plays. I am happy with his performance.”

Balotelli: 'What Mancini meant...'
9.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli asked referees for more protection, praised Giampaolo Pazzini and replied to Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini.

The striker netted his fifth Serie A goal in as many games, scoring in last night’s 2-0 win over Genoa.

“I am well, although I am still not 100 per cent after that knock to my leg,” he told Milan Channel.

“I came on last night without really warming up and I got another knock, but after a massage in the locker room at half-time I recovered. I have a week to recover and think about Palermo.

“Defenders can kick me as much as they want to, but the referee has to make decisions on the field. He was pretty good to me last night, though defenders often don’t get the punishment they deserve for kicking us strikers. I don’t understand why he booked me after 20 seconds for a push, though.”

Pazzini was on target before making way for Balotelli due to an injury.

“I cheer on Pazzo and hope he scores many goals. He is a great striker and someone who really knows how to find the net. A player like Pazzini deserves to play and score goals.

“I expected to settle down quickly at Milan and get along with my teammates. I’m happy it has happened so fast. I still have regrets over the Derby and other opportunities.”

This week Manchester City manager Mancini said Mario will probably continue his antics even when he’s 30.

“Mancio said I will always be myself,” replied Balotelli. “Mistakes are made at any age and he didn’t mean what was written in the papers.”

The January signing is cup-tied, so cannot take part in Tuesday’s Champions League match at Camp Nou.

“You don’t need to motivate yourself to play against Barcelona. I hope my teammates play a great game and, even if they don’t, that they qualify.

“I can’t play in the Champions League, so I can only stay close to the squad. Barcelona are the strongest team in the world and they will be eager to make up for the first leg. They might have a few problems, but they remain the best in the world.”

The Rossoneri are now within two points of Napoli in second place, although the Partenopei travel to Chievo on Sunday afternoon.

“From January to June my objective is Serie A and my objective is always to finish first. If we finish second or third, that’s fine, but I always target first place.”

Pazzini micro fracture?
9.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giampaolo Pazzini scored a goal despite limping last night, but there are fears the Milan striker may have suffered a micro fracture.

The forward was limping heavily after a challenge from behind by Daniele Portanova in a 2-0 win over Genoa.

Despite hobbling, he was able to smash a powerful finish in off the underside of the crossbar just moments before his substitution.

Pazzini was spotted still limping this morning, sparking reports he has suffered a micro fracture, though test results are expected tomorrow.

Philippe Mexes is also at risk for Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Barcelona, as he went off at half-time at Marassi with a muscular problem.

Ballardini rages at ref
9.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Davide Ballardini blasted the referee after Genoa’s defeat to Milan and claimed “we should’ve had three penalties.”

The Rossoblu were beaten 2-0 on home turf last night and were unable to break back into the game even after Kevin Constant was sent off.

“We should’ve had three penalties,” slammed the Coach. “If a referee doesn’t give them, then that can happen, but they seemed clear to me.

“I would love for an English or Scottish referee to officiate these games. It’s not right that the referee doesn’t even know who Juraj Kucka is, yet calls some colleagues from the big clubs by their first names.

“After the last two games, in which we picked up fewer points than we deserved, we are even more determined to achieve our objective.

“Genoa played well against a Milan side in good shape. We were missing important players in midfield, but the lads still gave their all and it’s a shame that a game like this had to end with this result.

“It is all going well for Milan and we hope their luck can continue in Barcelona, as all of Italy is cheering them on. It’s not easy to score against the Rossoneri at the moment, as we had more shots on target than Barcelona did.”

Allegri: 'If Napoli slip up...'
9.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

After victory in Genoa, Max Allegri admitted Milan are targeting second place, told off Kevin Constant for his dismissal and began the build-up to Barcelona.

Giampaolo Pazzini and Mario Balotelli got the goals in last night’s 2-0 victory at Marassi, though Constant was sent off and needed several teammates to push him off the field after an enraged response to Cesare Bovo’s foul.

“It was important and difficult to win, so I think the team got a great result,” said the Coach.

“I had thought the game was on the right track when going 2-0 up, because we weren’t suffering much, but instead the red card complicated matters and made us use up a lot of energy towards the end.

“At this stage of the season we cannot afford certain behaviour, seeing as we are challenging for second place in Serie A and the Champions League quarter-finals. It doesn’t matter what happened, Constant’s reaction was wrong.”

Constant later tweeted an apology to the fans and his teammates for his furious outburst.

“Our aim is to defend third place and maybe aim a little higher if Napoli will allow us to, even though it won’t be easy.”

Balotelli was booked within a minute of coming on for the injured Pazzini, but then scored the second goal.

“Mario did not have 80 minutes in his legs, but he fought hard and helped us out. His fitness levels need to improve, but he scored an important goal in a difficult moment and earned lots of free kicks. He was only meant to play for the second half today. Mario just needs to focus on enjoying his football.

“Pazzini and Mexes went off as a precautionary measure, as Giampaolo picked up a knock and Philippe had a muscular problem. We’ll evaluate their condition over the next few days.”

Time is short, as Milan travel to Barcelona for the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 on Tuesday night, boosted by a 2-0 advantage.

“Now we have four days to think about and prepare for the game with Barcelona. They will attempt a ‘remuntada’ and we know it’ll be tough. At the moment they are the strongest team in the world and it’ll take another great performance to qualify.”

Serie A: Genoa 0:2 AC Milan - goals/highlights
9.3 || webmaster



Zapata: We can catch Napoli
8.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cristian Zapata has claimed that Milan are aiming for second place in Serie A after their victory over Genoa.

The Rossoneri defeated the Grifone 2-0 this evening to leave them just two points behind Napoli.

And the central defender has insisted that they can catch the Partenopei.

“Genoa are always a tough team,” he told reporters. “We had to be focused tonight, and we were.

“We are aiming for second place now. If we work together we can get Napoli.”

Montolivo: It was a tough match
8.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan midfielder Riccardo Montolivo has praised the goals of Giampaolo Pazzini and Mario Balotelli as his side defeated Genoa.

The Italian strikers gave the Rossoneri a hard-fought win over the Grifone, and the former Fiorentina playmaker has admitted that it was a tough encounter.

“Genoa played with real aggression,” he told Sky Sport Italia, “We were facing a very good team, but we remained calm.

“We did well in attack – Pazzini scored an important goal, and it was nice that Balotelli doubled the lead.”

Serie A: Genoa 0:2 AC Milan - match report
8.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pazzini 22 (M), Balotelli 60 (M)

Goals from Giampaolo Pazzini and Mario Balotelli were enough to give 10-man Milan a 2-0 win over Genoa.

The Rossoneri went into the game looking for the three points that would consolidate their place in that all-important third position – but they did so without a number of key men. Kevin-Prince Boateng, Antonio Nocerino and Ignazio Abate were all rested ahead of their clash with Barcelona in midweek. The home side meanwhile were pinning their hopes on former Diavolo forward Marco Borriello – who started the match up top on his own.

It was the visitors though, who started the brighter of the two teams. Kevin Constant and Mattia De Sciglio were providing attacking width from full-back, but their early crosses were dealt with well by Sebastian Frey.

Despite the initial slackness, the Grifone weren’t there to be rolled over, and they soon started creating chances of their own – Andrea Bertolacci, inside the first 10 minutes, opened up space for himself on the edge of the area, but could only shoot straight at Christian Abbiati.

Eventually class began to tell however, and it wasn’t long before Massimiliano Allegri’s men were in front. A cross from De Sciglio wasn’t cleared properly by Daniele Portanova, and Pazzini was there on the edge of the area to smash a shot in off the underside of the crossbar.

It was to be the last thing Pazzini did though, as two minutes later he hobbled off to be replaced by Balotelli. And with it, seemingly, went the San Siro side’s attacking potency. The former Manchester City man wasn’t at the races – and was booked within 30 seconds of coming on. He wasn’t the imposing central figure that his predecessor had been, and without that front-line hassling, the hosts started to get back into the match.

For all their possession and set-piece opportunities, Davide Ballardini’s team couldn’t force the equaliser. Borriello fired over from inside the area, but that was about as close as they came to an equaliser.

After the break, the Rossoblu were, again, very much in the ascendency, but this time came much closer to grabbing a goal back.

Bertolacci saw his early effort go wide of the post, but it was Cesare Bovo who came closest to beating Abbiati. The 30-year-old’s rasping free-kick flashed past the veteran shot-stopper but couldn’t beat the post.

After all their attacking endeavours though, on the hour-mark, Milan made Genoa pay for their lack of cutting-edge in front of goal. A Stephan El Shaarawy corner found Cristian Zapata, who flicked it to Balotelli, and the 22-year-old calmly slotted it past the goalkeeper from the right-hand side of the area.

What looked like a comfortable night for the Rossoneri was turned somewhat sour with 20 minutes remaining however, as Constant was given his marching orders after clashing with Bovo.

The Grifone peppered Abbiati with shots and put the Diavolo backline under intense pressure for the last period of the match, but they held out for a hard-fought win.

Genoa: Frey; Granqvist (Jankovic 77), Portanova, Moretti; Cassani (Immobile 59), Bovo (Jorquera 68), Tozser, Vargas, Antonelli; Bertolacci; Borriello

Milan: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Mexes (Yepes 45), Zapata, Constant; Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari; Niang, Pazzini (Balotelli 24), El Shaarawy (Abate 68)

Ref: Donato

Constant red card (65)

Serie A: Genoa vs. AC Milan - lineups
8.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa: Frey; Granqvist, Portanova, Moretti; Cassani, Bovo, Tozser, Vargas, Antonelli; Bertolacci; Borriello.

AC Milan: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Mexes, Zapata, Constant; Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari; Niang, Pazzini, El Shaarawy.

Boateng: 'Italy number one for passion'
8.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has admitted that he has never known a passion for football like that seen in Italy.

The 26-year-old has played in Germany, England and Serie A, but he's conceded that the atmosphere on the peninsula is at a different level to what he's used to.

“In Germany there is a passion for football,” he told RTV. “But it is not as strong as it is here.

“Many people in this country work 10 hours a day just to pay for a ticket to the stadium.

“That, for me, is an amazing thing.”

Xavi wants to face AC Milan
8.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez will play against Milan next week despite the fact that he may not be 100 per cent fit.

The midfielder is still struggling to recover from a thigh injury sustained last month, but is adamant that he’ll feature in the Champions League.

“We are playing for much of our season on Tuesday and I want to be available,” the 33-year-old told Mundo Deportivo today. “I hope to be in perfect condition, but I will have to work for it.

“I have a little tear and I can feel something there, but there are still some days to go and I hope to be OK before the game.

“I really want to play – it is the Champions League. I will do everything to be at my best, if not at 100 per cent then at 90 per cent or 95 per cent.

“I am a playmaker, not an explosive player that goes from one end of the pitch to the other.”

The Italian giants will arrive at the Nou Camp in the second leg of their last 16 tie with a 2-0 advantage.

“I see a game in which they will be very defensive, where we will need to move the ball a lot and I want to be there to give that fluidity that we will need,” the international added.

“I want to be important for the game and the team.”

Genoa silence transfer rumours
8.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa sporting director Rino Foschi has shot down transfer whispers suggesting that Juraj Kucka and Andrea Bertolacci are Milan bound.

The two clubs have close transfer links and the rumour mill is suggesting that the midfielders are on the radar of the Diavolo.

“There is no transfer market right now,” Foschi underlined to Milan News ahead of tonight’s Serie A meeting between the two sides.

“These voices do nothing but disturb us. We are not doing anything with regards to the market at this point in time.

“All we are doing is thinking about our League position which is precarious. It bothers me to read such transfer nonsense in the newspapers.”

Genoa, who have collected eight points from the last 15 available, are five points above the drop zone.

Amelia will stay at AC Milan
8.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan reserve goalkeeper Marco Amelia will not be packing his bags at the end of the campaign.

Amelia, part of Italy’s 2006 World Cup winning squad, has been linked with a number of sides – including hometown outfit Roma.

“His contract talks and he is tied to Milan until June 2014,” agent Carlo Pallavicino told Milan News. “He will therefore remain with the Rossoneri.”

Amelia, 30, has played in just nine Serie A games this season given that Christian Abbiati has been Massimiliano Allegri’s preferred choice.

However, Abbiati’s future is in doubt as well as the 35-year-old’s agreement will expire at the end of the present campaign.

Juventus head Zaza chase
8.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Gazzetta dello Sport is claiming that Juventus are leading Milan in the chase to sign Serie B hotshot Simone Zaza.

The 21-year-old belongs to Sampdoria, but he’s scored 16 League goals during a loan spell with Ascoli this term.

Zaza could be available for as little as €2m given his current contract situation with the Stadio Ferraris side.

Sampdoria have offered him an extension given that his present deal expires in June 2014, but no agreement has yet been reached.

Doria have suggested that the forward’s wage demands are too high, a claim his agent has rejected.

Ballardini: 'AC Milan will be focused'
8.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa Coach Davide Ballardini is sure Milan “will not be thinking about Barcelona” when they come to Marassi tomorrow evening.

This Serie A Week 28 game is brought forward to Friday at 19.45 GMT to help the Rossoneri prepare for Tuesday’s Champions League showdown.

“Milan will not be thinking about Barcelona, as they have a clear objective in their minds which is to get second place,” said Ballardini in his Press conference.

“Having said that, let us be clear – we care more about this game than anyone else!”

Genoa are without Marco Rossi, Francelino Matuzalem, Antonio Floro Flores, Ruben Olivera, Thomas Manfredini and the suspended Juraj Kucka.

“We haven’t had much chance to train this week, as the heavy rain made it too difficult, so we mainly worked in the gym.

“The idea is to maintain our usual system, even if Kucka is a very difficult player to replace and few in Serie A have his characteristics. I don’t think it is right that he is suspended and it’s a shame he can’t be here in a game where technique and quality will be crucial.

“Genoa now have a precise identity and impressed against Roma despite the defeat. By being united, with team spirit and good football is how you get results.”

Genoa squad for Milan: Donnarumma, Frey, Tzorvas; Bovo, Cassani, Ferronetti, Granqvist, Moretti, Portanova; Antonelli, Bertolacci, Jorquera, Pisano, Rigoni, Tozser, Vargas; Borriello, Immobile, Jankovic

Fabregas: 'AC Milan the biggest game'
7.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas has dubbed the Champions League showdown with Milan “the biggest game” of the season.

The Rossoneri won the first leg 2-0 and visit Camp Nou on Tuesday evening for a place in the quarter-finals.

“The biggest game for us is on Tuesday,” Fabregas told a Press conference. “Everyone hopes that we can win the game.

“We have to play with our heads. It is good to play with your heart and try to score straight away, but we have to be careful – if they get one, we’ll have to get four.

“I have faith in this team though,” added the 25-year-old.

AC Milan squad for Genoa
7.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli is included in the 23-man Milan squad travelling to Genoa for Friday’s Serie A match.

The former Manchester City star had missed last week’s 3-0 win over Lazio after bruising his shin during the 1-1 draw with Inter.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri confirmed Balotelli “will not start” tomorrow, as he did not train for eight days.

Philippe Mexes returns from suspension, while Daniele Bonera, Luca Antonini, Nigel De Jong are injured.

Kevin Constant and Bojan Krkic are back in the side.

Milan visit Genoa at 19.45 GMT on Friday, click here for a match preview.

Milan squad for Genoa: Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel, Abate, De Sciglio, Constant, Mexes, Yepes, Zaccardo, Zapata, Ambrosini, Boateng, Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Traorè, Balotelli, Bojan, El Shaarawy, Niang, Pazzini, Robinho.

Messi confident of overcoming AC Milan
7.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lionel Messi has insisted that the Champions League tie with Milan next week will be the match in which the Catalans rediscover their form.

The Catalans lost the first leg of their Last 16 clash with the Rossoneri 2-0 and have since also lost twice to Real Madrid, in the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg and in the League.

And the Argentine forward has made clear the ambition within the dressing room for the team to be at their best again by next Tuesday’s second leg at the Camp Nou.

“We know it is complicated by the result of the first leg, but we can turn it around. As they won, so can we. We are confident that we can overcome this,” he told ESPN in an interview published today.

“This may be the game that we rise again. I know there are many people who are waiting for us to lose so as to say that this is the end of the Barcelona cycle, as it happened last year when there were results that were not good.

“The team is a little off after recent negative results, we have come unstuck for the details. We know there are things that we have not been doing well.

“We like to have the ball and leave plenty of space on the counter-attack. We lost to Milan and Madrid, who have players who are very fast on the counter. We need to slow things down.

“Now is the time to stand up and be ourselves again. Barca is this, when we lose two games everything falls down and when we win, it’s normal.

“We always have to win here. We know that and we have no problem.”

AC Milan to bid for Romero?
7.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sampdoria goalkeeper Sergio Romero could be the subject of a bid from Milan this summer, according to reports.

Tuttosport believe that the Rossoneri are currently tracking the progress of the Argentine shot-stopper as a long-term replacement for Christian Abbiati.

The 35-year-old's current contract at San Siro is up at the end of the season, and it is as yet unclear whether the Diavolo will offer him an extension.

As such, the search looks on for his successor – and the Turin daily have claimed that the 26-year-old Bluerchiati man is top of their list, alongside Mattia Perin.

Romero could be available for around €5m.

Allegri: Balotelli not 100 per cent
7.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli will not start for Milan in Friday’s game against Genoa, boss Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed.

The January signing returned to training this week after a shin problem, but he’s set for a substitute role at Marassi.

“He didn’t train for eight days,” Allegri stated on Thursday. “And he only joined in with the rest of the squad yesterday. He hasn’t got 90 minutes in his legs.

“But I have many options in attack. Giampaolo Pazzini is well, Niang can play in that position and Bojan is in good shape.

“Also, Pazzini and Balotelli can play together in the same side in the future.”

The Diavolo will face Barcelona next week in a key Champions League game, but Allegri has underlined that Genoa and Serie A is the priority.

“We hope to do well and continue our progress in the Champions League – where anything can happen as witnessed in the Manchester United-Real Madrid game.

“But if something negative happens then we know that our primary objective is to finish in third place.

“To be honest, the less we think about Barcelona then the better it will be for us. Meanwhile, the race for third will continue until the last day of the season.”

Milan have been in fine form recently and there are even some suggestions that they could make a late charge for the title.

“I don’t think Juventus can lose 11 points against us. We also have a Napoli side ahead of us who want first and not defend second.

“Juve will win the League because they are having a great season, better than the last. Boss Antonio Conte knows that the Scudetto, at 99.9 per cent, will be his.”

Allegri was also asked about the Antonio Cassano-Giampaolo Pazzini swap deal after Cassano’s row with Inter boss Andrea Stramaccioni.

“The swap took place because we wanted a centre-forward and Antonio asked to leave. Cassano behaved well here for a year and a half.

“He was an important player for our Scudetto and for the next three months before his heart problems.”

Allegri, contracted until 2014, was also asked about his future. “An extension is not the priority right now.”

Abbiati back to Atletico?
7.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati is being linked with a return to former club Atletico Madrid.

The Italian spent the 2007-08 season on loan at the Spanish capital side and he could be available on a free transfer at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old’s contract expires in June and it is unclear whether he’ll be offered a 12-month extension at San Siro.

Atletico, according to AS, are looking for a replacement for Thibaut Courtois given his likely return to Chelsea in the summer.

Poli to cheer on AC Milan vs Barcelona
7.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Inter midfielder and summer Juventus transfer target Andrea Poli has revealed he was a Milan fan as a boy.

“I supported the Rossoneri when I was a kid,” the Sampdoria youngster told Tuttosport in an interview on Thursday.

“I’ll be supporting them again in the Champions League next week. They were extraordinary in the first leg against Barcelona.

“I hope they qualify for the people that I know at the club, for Milan and for Italy.”

The 23-year-old Poli returned to Samp in the summer after Inter opted against taking up their option to sign him outright following his loan stint last season.

“The problem was that I was injured when I moved there and I was sidelined for two months,” he continued.

“It was still a positive experience though – even if I wasn’t kept. And I’m not bitter about it. I’m happy to be back in Genoa, even if I really didn’t know what would happen during the summer.”

Antonelli against past and future?
7.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa’s Luca Antonelli has played down suggestions that he could be set for a summer move to Milan ahead of this Friday’s encounter.

The two teams will meet at Marassi tomorrow night in a game which will bring back memories for the left-back.

“It will be a special tie for me,” the Italian international, who grew up in the Milan youth ranks, told Sky Sport Italia. “I expect a charged-up Stadio Ferraris.

“Will I return to Milan one day? I don’t know the answer to that,” he added. “I am really settled here in Genoa.”

The 26-year-old left the Diavolo for Bari in 2007 before a move to Parma just six months later.

Antonelli has appeared in 23 games for the Grifone this term.

Sacchi picks Pazzini over Cassano
7.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan got the better deal when they swapped Antonio Cassano for Inter’s Giampaolo Pazzini in the summer, says Arrigo Sacchi.

The two former Sampdoria teammates switched sides of the San Siro before the 2012-13 campaign began.

“Cassano is a real talent but totally unreliable,” the former Milan and Italian national team boss commented. “Pazzini has less talent but is certainly more reliable.

“I’ve always believed in squad ethics and I have always chosen players who were, first of all, professionals with great motivation and generosity.

“Cassano is a lovable character, but sometimes the valve blows and he loses control. Hopefully that won’t happen again.”

Sacchi’s comments come after Cassano was dropped at the weekend following a dressing room row with Inter boss Andrea Stramaccioni.

Pazzini, meanwhile, scored a brace in the 3-0 win over Lazio.

Genoa - AC Milan 'a festival of sport'
6.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa - AC Milan has been confirmed for a Friday evening kick-off with no extra security laid on despite the tragic history between these clubs.

There were fears ahead of this Friday’s game at Marassi and a meeting was held between local police, football authorities and security chiefs to decide on a strategy.

It has been decided to keep the 19.45 GMT kick-off and no particular extra security procedures required, so fans from both sides can come to the stadium.

“We want it to be a festival of sport,” said Mayor of Genoa Marco Doria.

There has always been a tense rapport between the sets of ultras, but it escalated in January 1995 when Genoa fan Vincenzo Claudio Spagnolo was stabbed to death outside the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Visiting supporters were only allowed to attend their games again in 2010 and last season there were running battles between Genoa fans and police when they tried to attack the Milan supporters outside the stadium.

Messi looks for Italian first
6.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lionel Messi is hoping to score his first goal from open play against Italian opposition when Barcelona face Milan next week.

The Argentine has scored three goals in nine games against Serie A sides, but all three were penalties in ties against the Diavolo.

“Italian teams are very well organised and they leave no spaces in defence,” he commented. “Hopefully next Tuesday is the day I can score my first goal from open play against the Italians.”

Barca will need Messi at his best given that they have a 2-0 first leg deficit to overcome in their Champions League last 16 encounter.

“If we concede a goal then it will be much more complicated, but we will have our chances to get through the round,” the 25-year-old added.

“We have the perfect time to now change things,” he said in the aftermath of his club’s three defeats from their last four matches.

“The desire is there to improve every day and to want more, as it is with the rest of the dressing room, we will continue to always compete in the same manner.

“We need a little more of everything and we are aware of that. We are coming off the back of major defeats and we should all give more of ourselves so as to change the situation.

“I know that the match against Milan will be key to making a good change,” he underlined.

“I hope we can do it. We all do. It will be difficult, but it is possible. What we could not do over there in Italy, we can do here.”

AC Milan line up new Cristante contracts
6.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vice-President Adriano Galliani has told Bryan Cristante that he’ll be rewarded financially if he proves his worth at Milan.

The Primavera midfielder turned 18 on Sunday and, a day later, put pen to paper on a professional contract with the Rossoneri.

The boy now tied to the club until 2018 is expected to be a part of the first team squad from next season onwards.

“I hope he does like Kaka who, in six years with us, signed six contracts,” Galliani noted. “Or Stephan El Shaarawy who has been given three contracts in three years.

“Kids will start on a kids salary, but their growth then depends on themselves.

“A place in the first team? Let’s calm down, patience is needed.”

Cristante is a midfielder whose preferred position is playing in front of the defence.

Balotelli back in AC Milan training
6.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli is in a race against time to prove his fitness after he returned to training with Milan on Wednesday.

The January signing from Manchester City missed the 3-0 win over Lazio at the weekend because of a shin complaint.

Super Mario, though, was back in action at Milanello today – just days before Friday evening’s encounter at Genoa.

Milan are desperate to have him back, especially as they’d like to rest Giampaolo Pazzini for the Barcelona Champions League game.

Balotelli can’t appear in Europe for the Diavolo having already played in the competition for City earlier this season.

The 22-year-old has four goals in four Serie A games for the Rossoneri.

AC Milan 'agree' Jorginho deal
6.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan and Verona have a verbal agreement that should see the Diavolo sign 50 per cent of Jorginho at the end of the season.

The Gazzetta dello Sport is today suggesting that a deal for the 21-year-old midfielder's co-ownership has been agreed.

The Italian giants will allow the Brazilian youngster, who has the paperwork to have an international future with Italy, to remain at Verona for the 2013-14 campaign should the club be promoted to Serie A.

Verona are currently third in Serie B.

Maldini: 'De Sciglio has AC Milan style'
5.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia De Sciglio admitted he wanted to follow in Paolo Maldini’s footsteps and the legend confirmed he “has the Milan style.”

The 20-year-old full-back came up through the youth academy and today said he’d love to repeat Maldini’s career as a one-club man.

“I like to see Mattia play,” Maldini told Milan Channel. “I like the way he pushes forward and goes up the wing, plus he has the advantage of being able to play on the right or the left.

“He certainly has the Milan style and is the right face for Milan. He can improve physically, but at his age I too wasn’t fully developed in my musculature.

“I think Mattia does have to improve on one aspect of his game. It’s all well and good that he’s such a polite young man, but with the ball he must have more of a sporting ‘killer instinct.’ It’s purely a sporting term, of course.”

Jordi Alba 'sure' Barcelona will qualify
5.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona defender Jordi Alba is “sure we will win” to eliminate Milan from the Champions League next week.

The Rossoneri have a 2-0 lead from the first leg in their Round of 16 and visit the Nou Camp next Tuesday.

“Sure it’ll be difficult, but if we return to our normal level of play, I’m sure we will win,” said Jordi Alba.

“It is true that we are not used to this sort of situation, but we are calm.

“We are looking forward to scoring goals and winning again.”

It has been a rough few weeks for Barcelona, who were also beaten by Real Madrid twice between La Liga and the Copa del Rey.

Balotelli doubt for Genoa
5.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli remains in doubt for Friday’s Serie A match against Genoa, as the Milan striker is still not back in full training.

He missed the 3-0 win over Lazio because of a bruised shin that he sustained during the Milan Derby.

The official club website confirmed that today the squad was divided into two groups and Balotelli remained in the gym.

He was restricted to specific gym training and work on the exercise bike.

Bojan Krkic, Massimo Ambrosini, Stephan El Shaarawy and Nigel De Jong were also restricted to the gym.

Allegri in contact with Roma
5.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has been in contact with Roma in regards to taking charge of the capital club next season, according to reports.

Sky Sport Italia have reported that the Rossoneri boss has held several discussions with the Giallorossi and could possibly be installed at Stadio Olimpico over the summer.

The news come in the wake of quotes from earlier today where vice-President Adriano Galliani suggested that the San Siro side were in no rush to tie the 45-year-old to a new contract.

Allegri has guided Milan to third place in Serie A and the latter stages of the Champions League, despite a terrible start to the campaign. His current deal ends in 2014.

De Sciglio to follow Maldini path
5.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia De Sciglio has admitted that he is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Milan and Italy legend Paolo Maldini.

The youngster is winning comparisons with the former defender after breaking into the Rossoneri side.

“As soon as I started playing my inspiration was Maldini, then every player has his own style,” the 20-year-old stated.

“Assistant Coach Mauro Tassotti is helping me a lot to improve in my role and I really hope to mirror the career that Maldini had.”

De Sciglio has appeared in 19 Serie A games this term, as well as featuring in five Champions League encounters.

“I think playing in Serie A is as good as it gets,” he added. “Meanwhile, in the Champions League you get to play against the best of European teams and gain experience.”

De Sciglio’s progress at San Siro over the last two seasons has also attracted the attention of Italy boss Cesare Prandelli, even if he has yet to be awarded a full cap.

“Playing for your national team is the dream of every footballer because you are one of 23 players representing your country.”

Iniesta: Barcelona will win AC Milan 'final'
5.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andres Iniesta is convinced that Barcelona can progress in the Champions League – despite the 2-0 loss at Milan in the first leg of their last 16 tie.

The Spanish giants have lost three of their last four games, but the international midfielder insists their season is still very much alive.

“We do not have a favourable position against Milan, but I am 100 per cent convinced that we can turn it around,” the 28-year-old stated. “I am confident we can do it.

“We will do everything possible to beat Milan. We are concerned because we have not been good, but this concern should make us stronger and more optimistic to continue working well.

“I am convinced that the fans will help us as they have before. We have to do well and go out like it is a Final. It is a Final for us where we need to get a very good result to stay alive.”

No rush to extend Allegri contract
5.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has praised the work of boss Massimiliano Allegri, but he’s in no hurry to extend his contract.

The tactician is tied to the San Siro giants until June 2014 and there was talk that he could net a renewal following the club’s impressive response to a disastrous start to the campaign.

“I say well done to Allegri,” the Vice-President told Sky Sport Italia on Tuesday. “However, there is still time to talk about an extension.”

The Rossoneri lost five of their first eight League games, but they are now third and only five points behind second-placed Napoli.

“All the clubs from Napoli until Roma in the table can target qualification for the Champions League,” he added. “But I think Juventus have won the Scudetto.”

The Diavolo are also still in the Champions League and will take on Barcelona in Spain next week with a 2-0 first leg advantage.

“We have to think about Genoa before Barca. They are still the best side in the world though, despite their recent moment.”

The Nou Camp outfit have lost three of their last four games.

Cristante eyes AC Milan playmaker role
5.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan youngster Bryan Cristante says he hopes to improve by keeping a close eye on Massimo Ambrosini and Riccardo Montolivo.

The teenager celebrated his 18th birthday on Sunday and put pen to paper on a professional contract at Milan on Monday.

“My preferred position is playing in front of the defence,” he told Milan Channel. “Although it is hard as the team revolves around you.

“Training alongside great champions will always help a youngster to grow. I look to people who play in my position like Ambrosini and Montolivo – I try to steal their secrets and tricks.”

Cristante, an Italian youth international, will be part of the first team squad at Milan from next season onwards.

“You have to have a certain physique to play against adults, but I’ve worked hard on that and I’m happy,” he added.

“Now comes the hard part. I need to start working really hard to show how good I am amongst the older players.”

Juventus and Napoli wanted Pazzini
5.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini has revealed that Juventus and Napoli were keen on signing him in the past.

“I have a good relationship with Juventus director general Beppe Marotta because we have known each other for a long time,” Pazzini told Undici.

“There were no direct conversations, but, in a few transfer sessions, we were close even if no deal was eventually done.

“Napoli? There was something with them last summer, as well as a few years earlier.”

Pazzini joined the Rossoneri at the start of this season from Inter in a swap deal which saw Antonio Cassano move in the other direction.

“The way it ended with Inter saw opinions change of certain people,” the former Fiorentina and Sampdoria man added.

“After all that I went through, an important club, the most successful in the world, gave me their faith. I’ve found an important Coach and coaching staff, teammates who helped me instantly.

“I’m happy, I’m enjoying being a part of this fantastic squad and I hope to do well.”

The 28-year-old Italian international has scored 12 goals in 21 League games so far this season.

Salamon: Impressive first impressions
5.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan defender Bartosz Salamon has revealed that he is enjoying life at his new club, and is working hard to be fit for the season's last few months.

The Polish centre-back joined the Rossoneri from Brescia on the last day of the January transfer window, but has been unavailable to Massimiliano Allegri through injury.

However, the 21-year-old has insisted that he has already learnt a lot from his short time at the club.

“My impressions have been very positive,” he told Milan Channel. “Everything is set up here for you to be the best you possibly can.

“I have the opportunity to grow up in a fantastic setting with many champions.

“I am working to get back in shape and help my teammates – the older players have been giving me a lot of advice.”

Matuzalem set to miss AC Milan clash
5.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa midfielder Francelino Matuzalem is set to miss the club's match with Milan this Friday.

The 32-year-old has been virtually ever-present for the Grifone since his January move from Lazio, but he is likely to be on the sidelines for the game with Massimiliano Allegri's men as he recovers from a muscle problem.

The Brazilian is set for more tests tomorrow to determine how serious the injury is, but initial reports suggest he could miss between 10-14 days.

Inter and Barcelona wanted El Shaarawy
4.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter and Barcelona were amongst the clubs interested in Stephan El Shaarawy before Milan swooped.

The youngster was netted by the Rossoneri in the summer of 2011 on a co-ownership from Genoa after his revelatory campaign in Serie B with Padova.

A year later and he was signed outright from the Stadio Marassi outfit despite only contributing two Serie A goals for the Diavolo.

“There were a lot of sides chasing him,” Roberto La Florio told GR Parlamento on Monday afternoon.

“Inter wanted him, a number of English clubs and, if I remember correctly, Barcelona too. But Milan quickly made a raid for him – they moved better than anyone else.”

El Shaarawy, now 20, is a full Italian international after netting 16 goals in 26 League games so far this season.

Galliani regrets Shevchenko sale
4.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani thinks Andriy Shevchenko could have made an impression on Serie A’s all-time top scorers’ list had he not left Milan.

Roma’s Francesco Totti last night drew level with second-placed Gunnar Nordahl thanks to goal number 225 in Serie A.

But Galliani thinks that the Ukrainian legend, 127 goals in 226 League games for the Diavolo, could have reached similar numbers had he not left Milan for Chelsea in 2006.

“Totti is monstrous,” the Rossoneri Vice-President stated on Monday. “He’s caught up with Nordahl who was our striker and now there is only Silvio Piola ahead of him on 274.

“I compliment him. But I’ll always have the regret that my friend Andriy asked to leave us as he would have probably surpassed these numbers.”

Milan beat Lazio 3-0 on Saturday night, their 10th win from their last 14 which has turned around their season.

“We just need to continue doing well. Milan’s fightback started in the last 15 minutes of the 3-2 loss against Lazio.

“There is no regret about the start of the season. It was clear that we would need time after making so many changes.”

Giampaolo Pazzini was the hero at the weekend as he scored twice, goals which may earn him a new deal.

“Pazzini has always scored goals and I spoke to him before we signed Mario Balotelli in January. He has a contract and so there are no problems.

“Massimiliano Allegri also has a contract with us. He had the qualities to be our Coach and he’s proving that now.

“He’s marching towards the 40 point mark in the second half of the season. He’s a good Coach.”

Cristante pens new AC Milan deal
4.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

As expected, Italian giants Milan have handed teenager Bryan Cristante a new improved contract.

The midfielder, a youth team player with the Rossoneri, is now tied to the Diavolo until June 2018.

The Italian youth international, who celebrated his 18th birthday yesterday, will be part of the club’s first team squad next season.

AC Milan renewal for Pazzini
4.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italian giants Milan are reportedly ready to offer Giampaolo Pazzini a new contract at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

Pazzini arrived at San Siro in the summer from city rivals Inter in a deal which saw Antonio Cassano move in the other direction.

Although the 28-year-old has had his problems this season, as well as seeing the club net Mario Balotelli in January, he’s ready to be rewarded for his efforts.

Pazzini’s present deal expires in 2015, but the Rossoneri are ready to offer him a 12-month extension to those terms.

There should be no change to his €2.7m a season salary.

Pazzini, formerly of Atalanta, Fiorentina and Sampdoria, has scored 12 goals in 21 League games for the Diavolo this term.

He netted twice in the 3-0 win over Lazio on Saturday night after Balotelli was ruled out of the tie with injury.

Tare: 'Referee ruined AC Milan - Lazio'
3.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio director Igli Tare complained bitterly after a 3-0 defeat to Milan. “Refereeing errors proved decisive in this game.”

Antonio Candreva was sent off after 16 minutes at San Siro for clipping Stephan El Shaarawy’s heels during a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

“The refereeing errors proved decisive in this game,” slammed director of sport Tare.

“On the first goal, there was a clear foul on Bruno Pereirinha in the build-up, while Candreva’s red card changed the whole match.

“We don’t want to take anything away from Milan, who deserved the victory, but we have to defend our rights.

“Against Fiorentina we also suffered a defeat in a head-to-head for Europe with refereeing errors. At this time of the season, mistakes like that make a huge difference.”

Tare was also asked about Lazio defender Pedro Cavanda, who has been frozen out following a contract dispute.

“There are many things you need to know about the Cavanda situation before judging us. Every player has always been treated well by the club and we all work for the good of Lazio, but there are situations more important than an individual player.”

Pazzini: 'I always have to prove myself'
3.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giampaolo Pazzini bagged a brace against Lazio and has 12 goals this season, but admits “I always have to prove myself” at Milan.

The striker has been pushed down the pecking order with the arrival of Mario Balotelli in the January transfer window.

He was given the chance to shine due to Balotelli and Bojan Krkic injuries, netting twice in last night’s 3-0 win over Lazio.

“I always have to prove myself,” smiled Pazzini. “I scored 12 goals because I was put in a position to do well and I am happy.

“We’re in good shape, so must keep on picking up as many points as possible and never give in.”

This result sent Milan into third place, which is eligible for the Champions League play-offs.

“We started out with two horrendous months, but then found our path and the credit goes to the players, the Coach and the President.”

Considering the lack of playing time, Pazzini was asked whether he would fit into a trident attack with Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy.

“That’s really not up to me to say. I am happy with what we are doing this season.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan deserve third place'
3.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri believes Milan “deserve to be in third place” and the win over Lazio could be decisive.

“It was positive that we kept a clean sheet at home after a long time, even if our opponents were down to 10 men,” said the Coach after a 3-0 result.

This victory took the Rossoneri into third and they also now have the upper hand in the head-to-head record with Lazio, having lost 3-2 at the Olimpico earlier this season.

“It was necessary to win with a big margin because of the rule on head-to-heads being considered when teams finish level on points.

“The lads deserve to be in third place, as they are playing pretty well. We can be a little lazy at times, such as the Derby last week, so we must remember it takes focus to fight for third.

“We’ve got to concentrate on achieving this objective and next Friday we’ll go into a very tough game away to Genoa.

“We’re in good shape physically and I hope we can hold out like this to the end of the season. At the moment we are more balanced and organised, which makes it more likely we will win.”

Allegri was asked about ex-Milan striker Antonio Cassano, who has been dropped by Inter after a blazing row with Coach Andrea Stramaccioni.

“It has nothing to do with me, so I haven’t really thought about it. All I can say is that I got along well with Cassano and discussions can happen.”

Petkovic: 'All went AC Milan's way'
3.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio Coach Vladimir Petkovic couldn’t help but grumble after a 3-0 defeat. “All the incidents went Milan’s way.”

The Biancocelesti were forced to play for 74 minutes with 10 men after Antonio Candreva’s red card for preventing a clear scoring opportunity.

“All the incidents went Milan’s way,” Petkovic told Sky Sport Italia. “They play very well and are in a good period of form, but with 11 against 10 of course they did better.

“I have to compliment my team, who tried to give their all to the very end. As everyone else complains about referees, I hope people don’t forget about us...

“In my view on the opening goal there was a Stephan El Shaarawy foul on Bruno Pereirinha. As against Fiorentina, we paid the price for certain decisions. These things happen, but I think we could’ve played on a par with Milan if it had been 11 against 11.

“We tried to attack Milan, but from the 16th minute onwards it was a totally different game. It could’ve been different in the second half, but we couldn’t get it back on track.”

Lazio now drop down to fourth place and are leapfrogged by the Rossoneri in the race for a Champions League spot.

“In any case, Milan are the team to beat,” concluded Petkovic.

Serie A: AC Milan 3:0 Lazio - goals/highlights
3.3 || webmaster



Serie A: AC Milan 3:0 Lazio - match report
2.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pazzini 40, 60 (M), Boateng 44 (M)

A Giampaolo Pazzini brace helped Milan to a 3-0 victory over Lazio and sees them leapfrog into third place, but Antonio Candreva’s dismissal proved costly.

This was a head-to-head for third place, as only two points separated the teams going in. Mario Balotelli was in the stands after bruising his shin during a collision with Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic last week, joining Bojan Krkic, Kevin Constant, Daniele Bonera, Luca Antonini, Nigel De Jong and the suspended Philippe Mexes. Lazio missed Miroslav Klose, Stefano Mauri, Cristian Brocchi, Abdoulay Konko and Marius Stankevicius.

The Biancocelesti’s last win here was in 1989, though the last three visits to San Siro were draws. Federico Marchetti had to rush off his line to smother at Stephan El Shaarawy’s feet at the base of the near post.

Moments later El Shaarawy pounced on another error and Marchetti got a touch to take the ball off his foot, but the Giampaolo Pazzini follow-up was cleared off the line by Giuseppe Biava’s heel. Lazio also threatened when Sergio Floccari hit a weak finish straight into Christian Abbiati’s arms from a very promising position.

El Shaarawy nodded over from eight yards on Pazzini’s cross from the right, but on 16 minutes the Pharaoh cut in from the left and had his heels clipped on the very edge of the box by Antonio Candreva. The referee awarded a free kick just inches outside the area and after a long discussion with the assistants opted to flash the red card, as Candreva had ended a clear scoring opportunity.

Kevin-Prince Boateng rolled the free kick across for Riccardo Montolivo to drill wide. Mattia De Sciglio’s stunning cross whipped past everyone to the back post, as Pazzini and Boateng just failed to get a touch as they dived in.

Pazzini went down under a Stefan Radu slight touch on the shoulder, but the referee booked him for simulation, as he was leaning back looking for the contact.

Pazzini did better when he hooked a De Sciglio cross with his back to goal, spun round and fired over the bar, possibly with a touch off Biava.

Milan finally broke through before half-time. Marchetti spilled an Ignazio Abate angled drive, Bruno Pereirinha stopped El Shaarawy getting to the loose ball, but Pazzini pounced to tap into an empty net from four yards.

It was almost 2-0 with Abate rolling across for Pazzini, but Andre Dias crucially intercepted. From that corner, Marchetti got down well to palm a Pazzini header off the line at the near bottom corner, but could do nothing on Boateng’s follow-up.

Cristian Zaccardo made his Milan debut in the second half for Cristian Zapata, while Bruno Pereirinha was substituted on his birthday for Lorik Cana.

Abbiati pushed a Hernanes free kick out from under the bar and from the resulting corner Biava turned a free header wide. Boateng and Radu got into a shoving match after a foul, prompting a yellow card each.

Radu was perhaps still tense from that incident when he passed the ball straight to Pazzini in the final third and the striker hit a screamer from distance into the near bottom corner.

Floccari nodded over after getting between centre-backs, but Pazzini wasted the chance for a hat-trick when shinning his volley from a very promising position. Boateng also slipped in a similar incident on substitute M’Baye Niang’s cross.

El Shaarawy then failed to get a fourth when clear on goal by side-footing across the face of goal. Niang went so close to his debut Serie A goal from an El Shaarawy assist, but his right-foot effort clipped the crossbar, but 3-0 was enough for Milan's seventh consecutive home victory.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata (Zaccardo 46), Yepes, De Sciglio; Flamini, Ambrosini, Montolivo; Boateng (Robinho 76), Pazzini (Niang 67), El Shaarawy

Lazio: Marchetti; Pereirinha (Cana 46), Biava, Dias, Radu; Ledesma; Candreva, Gonzalez, Hernanes (Ederson 70), Lulic; Floccari (Saha 78)

Ref: Rizzoli

Sent off: Candreva 16 (L)

Serie A: AC Milan vs. Lazio - lineups
2.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Yepes, De Sciglio; Flamini, Ambrosini, Montolivo; Boateng, Pazzini, El Shaarawy.

Lazio: Marchetti; Pereirinha, Biava, Dias, Radu; Ledesma; Candreva, Gonzalez, Hernanes, Lulic; Floccari.

Pancaro: 'One De Sciglio every 20 years'
2.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giuseppe Pancaro played for both Milan and Lazio, but believes Mattia De Sciglio is the key this evening. “Someone like this is born once every 20 years.”

They face off at San Siro at 19.45 GMT.

Now retired defender Pancaro wore the Biancocelesti jersey from 1997 to 2003, then played for Milan from 2003 to 2005.

“Vladimir Petkovic will certainly want to go for the victory, but Massimiliano Allegri will do the same,” assured Pancaro.

“Allegri will be confident in the knowledge he has a strong Milan side in his hands who are on their way up and rediscovered enthusiasm after a difficult start.

“I suppose the Rossoneri have a slight advantage, as they are playing at San Siro this evening.”

Mario Balotelli is out injured, though Pancaro eyes an unusual suspect as the key figure, their 20-year-old right-back.

“De Sciglio is destined for greatness. He is an extraordinary player and someone like this is born once every 20 years.”

Xavi to miss Barcelona - AC Milan?
1.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Spanish media claim Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez is out for two weeks with a hamstring strain, so is likely to miss the Champions League match against Milan.

Xavi had already been in doubt for the first leg of their Round of 16 tie, which saw the Rossoneri win 2-0 at San Siro.

He pushed through the pain to play, but has suffered another setback with a new hamstring strain.

According to the latest reports, he will be out of action for approximately two weeks.

It is a real race against time for Xavi, as Barcelona welcome Milan to the Camp Nou on March 12.

Other media sources suggest Barça medical staff have opted to rest him so that he can be declared fit for that second leg.

Official: No Balotelli for Lazio
1.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It is now official that Milan are without Mario Balotelli and Philippe Mexes for tomorrow night’s match against Lazio.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri had warned in his Press conference that they would “99.9 per cent” likely to miss Balotelli after he bruised his shin in a collision with Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic last week.

The 20-man squad has now been released for the Saturday evening game and Balotelli’s name is not included.

Daniele Bonera, Kevin Constant, Bojan Krkic, Luca Antonini and Nigel De Jong are also absent due to injury, though Mathieu Flamini and Robinho return.

Mexes misses out on a one-match ban, so there are reports January signing Bartosz Salamon will make his debut.

Milan squad for Lazio: Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel, Abate, De Sciglio, Salamon, Yepes, Zaccardo, Zapata, Ambrosini, Boateng, Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Traorè, El Shaarawy, Niang, Pazzini, Robinho.

Kaka admits he would leave Real Madrid
1.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Real Madrid playmaker Kaka has conceded that he would leave the Spanish champions if they wanted him to.

The Brazilian was on the verge of a move to Milan in January, only for the Rossoneri to back out of the deal at the last minute.

But the 30-year-old has claimed that he does not want to be a burden on Los Blancos, and would depart if they felt it necessary.

“I have two more years on my contract,” he told AS. “But I do not want to be a burden.

“If I have to go away for the good of the club – I will.

“I want to play more for Real Madrid, but I understand the situation. There are other strong players here.”

Brocchi: Lazio fear no one
1.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio defender Cristian Brocchi has insisted that his team 'do not fear anyone' as they prepare to face Milan.

The capital club travel to San Siro to play the Rossoneri on Saturday evening, and the 37-year-old has claimed that his side can beat anyone on their day.

“Lazio can compete with any team,” he told Lazio Style Radio. “We do not fear anyone.

“Milan will be a complicated challenge – the match could go either way.

“They are certainly growing as a team. They started the season poorly but are now recovering and are fighting for that third place position.”

Gattuso: 'Lippi and Ancelotti my influences'
1.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso has admitted that Marcelo Lippi and Carlo Ancelotti are his influences as he takes his first coaching role in Switzerland.

The former Milan midfielder has been handed the reins at FC Sion, and he has revealed that his Coach at the Italian national team and the Rossoneri are the men he will take the most from.

“It is not a simple task,” he told La Repubblica. “Sitting on the bench is a tough life.

“Lippi and Ancelotti have played an important role in my life as a footballer – I think I learned a lot from the two of them.

“I am trying to put into practice their teachings.”

Petkovic: AC Milan clash important
1.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio Coach Vladimir Petkovic has admitted that Saturday's match with Milan is 'very important'.

The capital club travel to San Siro to face the Rossoneri in a game which could go some way in deciding who finishes in the top three come the end of the season.

And the Bosnian boss has conceded that it will be a vital game for both teams.

“It will be a very important game,” he told a Press conference. “So of course we will try to win it.

“Currently the table says that we are in front of Milan, and we probably deserve to be two points ahead of them.

“But the Rossoneri have recovered well and are playing some great football – not only in Italy, but also in Europe.

“You have to give them great respect after getting a result like the one they got against Barcelona.

“However, I believe in my team – we can go head-to-head with Milan at San Siro.”

Allegri asks El Shaarawy for performance
1.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has called on Stephan El Shaarawy to ease the loss of Mario Balotelli against Lazio tomorrow.

The Rossoneri host the capital club in a game which could go a long way to deciding who finishes in the final Champions League place come the end of the season.

And the 45-year-old Coach has asked the youngster to continue scoring in the biggest games, as Mario Balotelli misses the match through injury.

“El Shaarawy has to continue playing the way he has been recently,” Allegri told a Press conference.

“He is a great player, but one season of good performances is not enough to leave a mark on the history of this club.

“I also ask for the support of the fans tomorrow. We feel their presence on the field – they have to be our twelfth man.

“Saturday's match is an excellent opportunity to overtake Lazio in the standings. It is certainly an important game in terms of third place.

“We have to win.”

El Shaarawy's rising salary deal
1.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy’s new contract at Milan will see him net an initial €2m a season, reports the Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 20-year-old has committed his future to the Rossoneri until June 2018 after a goal-packed campaign at San Siro.

Although the likes of Mario Balotelli, Philippe Mexes and Robinho are all on at least €4m a season, El Shaarawy’s deal is constructed so that he will eventually reach that figure.

The Italian international will gradually earn more and more each campaign until he nets the €4m which his wage will be capped at.

Muntari eyes Champions League glory
1.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sulley Muntari believes Milan can win the Champions League this season should they finish off Barcelona.

The Diavolo have a 2-0 advantage over the tournament favourites ahead of the second leg of their last 16 tie.

“Can we win the Champions League? Everything is possible and we want to give it a go,” the Ghana international noted.

“For now we have to think about Serie A and then we need to go to Spain and ensure qualification for the next round.”

Barcelona also lost to Real Madrid this week, sparking suggestions that their dominant cycle in the European game may be coming to an end.

“I don’t think their era is over,” the former Inter midfielder continued. “They still have a lot of champions in their side.”

Milan are next in action against Lazio and Muntari is hungry to get back to wining ways after the 1-1 with Inter.

“We should have won the Milan derby and taken home the points,” he continued. “We’re angry about that.”

Galliani: 'El Shaarawy is protected now'
1.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan vice-President Adriano Galliani has insisted that the renewal of Stephan El Shaarawy's contract shows the direction the club are going.

The 20-year-old put pen-to-paper on a deal until 2018 this afternoon, and the Rossoneri administrator has claimed that it was of the utmost importance to tie the youngster to a long-term contract.

“El Shaarawy is completely protected now,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “Having lowered the age of the team last summer we now do not need to sell our best players.

“We've got back on track very quickly. Our fans understand this project.”

Pelle coy on AC Milan and Juventus links
1.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Feyenoord forward Graziano Pelle has conceded that he could not turn down a move to one of Italy's big clubs.

The former Parma player has been scoring regularly in the Eredivisie, and rumours have circulated that the likes of Milan and Juventus have been tracking the progress of the 27-year-old.

And the Italy Under-21 international has admitted that he would accept a transfer to one of Serie A's giants.

“Teams like Juve and Milan are full of good players,” he told Nos TV. “If I keep playing well then who knows.

“But I am proud to be playing here at Feyenoord.”

Radu: It will be tough at San Siro
1.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio defender Stefan Radu has admitted that this weekend's match against Milan will be 'tough'.

The capital club travel to San Siro to face the Rossoneri on Saturday in a game that could decide who finishes in the Champions League places come the end of the campaign.

And the Romania international has conceded that his side will be up against it at the weekend.

“It's going to be tough at San Siro,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “The Rossoneri are doing very well at the moment.

“Matches against direct rivals are always important if we want to achieve our goals at the end of the season.

“Over the last two games we have returned to the standard we've been used to – we are growing as a team and want to keep that third place.”

El Shaarawy delighted with new deal
1.3 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy has claimed he is 'happy' after signing a contract renewal with Milan that ties him to the club until 2018.

The 20-year-old, who has been in sparkling form for Massimiliano Allegri's men this season, put pen-to-paper this afternoon on an extended deal.

“I am happy for this renewal,” he posted on his official Twitter account. “I have extended my contract until 2018.

“I am happy and proud to wear this shirt.”





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