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The Archive

April 2011

Allegri: 'Too much pressure on AC Milan'
30.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri admits there is “too much pressure” on Milan, as they could mathematically clinch the Scudetto on Sunday.

The Rossoneri need four points from the last four games to be sure of the title, but if Inter fail to beat Cesena today and Milan defeat Bologna at San Siro, then the Scudetto is theirs.

“We are facing Bologna, who are not yet mathematically safe and desperately need the points,” warned the Coach.

“They’ll come here with the bit between their teeth and must not be underestimated. We haven’t won anything yet.

“I don’t like the atmosphere that has built up around the team this week. There is too much pressure.”

Milan are still without Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mark Van Bommel due to bans, plus Alexandre Pato, Gennaro Gattuso and Pippo Inzaghi.

Kevin-Prince Boateng is not 100 per cent fit either, while Massimo Ambrosini and Andrea Pirlo are returning from three months on the treatment table.

Thiago Silva: 'AC Milan for life'
30.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva has become a rock in the Milan defence and pledged to resist overseas offers. “I’d love to follow Paolo Maldini’s footsteps.”

The Brazilian already impressed in his first season at San Siro and has been a key figure in their Scudetto push.

“It’s true that I now play in a relaxed manner even without Alessandro Nesta by my side, as I have more confidence in my abilities than last season,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Nesta is unique and often talks to me on the pitch. I still remember my first friendly against Varese, as he didn’t stop giving me advice and instructions for a moment.

“I even got annoyed that time and told him he was giving me a headache, but I’m used to it now!”

Thiago Silva has been repeatedly linked with a move to Real Madrid, but Milan and the defender are resisting the big money offers.

“I like the idea of becoming a symbol of the club. I’d be happy just winning half of what Maldini won in his career, so I’d love to follow his footsteps.

“I did start out as a midfielder, but now I only play there when the team needs me to. It’s fun going forward every now and then to have a shot on goal.”

The Brazil international hailed more of his Milan teammates and welcomed probable summer signing Paulo Henrique Ganso from Santos.

“Zlatan Ibrahimovic has brought a winning mentality to the side. Right from the first game he told us we always had to win everything, so if we do get the Scudetto it will be primarily down to him.

“I don’t think Alexandre Pato is missing anything to be considered a phenomenon, as he is the complete striker. He has even learned how to defend.

“I spoke to Ganso a couple of days ago and confirmed he should join us, but he knows perfectly well it’s the best choice. Ganso and Neymar are the best Brazilians around right now.

“Kaka is fast and explosive, whereas Ganso is better at keeping hold of the ball. He can become the new Zinedine Zidane.”

Flamini backs Taiwo signing
29.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Mathieu Flamini would welcome Marseille full-back Taye Taiwo if he moves to San Siro as expected this summer.

Earlier this week, L'Équipe claimed Taiwo, whose contract is due to expire at the end of the season, has agreed a three-year deal with Milan.

Flamini came through the ranks at Marseille and rates the club and its players highly.

“He would be a great addition,” Flamini told Mediaset. “He is physically strong and gets forward a lot without neglecting the defensive part of the game.”

Asked about his own form, Flamini said: “I am happy because I have played a lot more with respect to the past.

“I feel that I have found my space and my role in this team.”

Pele to stop Ganso move
29.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Santos legend Pele claims he will try to prevent Ganso from leaving the club for Serie A League leaders Milan.

Milan have made the 21-year-old Brazil international playmaker a top transfer target this summer.

Earlier this week, Vice-President Adriano Galliani held talks with investment fund Sonda in Milan.

Sonda own a 45 per cent stake in Ganso and will be key to negotiations.

Santos feel they are being outmaneuvered and have warned Milan.

Interviewed by Brazilian radio station Jovem Pan, Pele said: “Ganso and I will have a chat. I know that he is happy here. If it were to depend on me, he would stay for life.

“I believe the situation is similar to that of Neymar who turned down Chelsea a year ago, and I am confident.

“A brief chat with Neymar was enough to convince him to stay and I also believe that Ganso will understand that it's the best thing for the moment.

“I will talk to him and I am convinced that he will decide to stay.”

Yepes hails AC Milan consistency
29.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Yepes believes Milan's consistency has been the key factor in their title challenge this season.

Milan have an eight-point lead at the top of Serie A with just four games remaining.

They appear set to win their first Scudetto since 2004.

Interviewed by Il Corriere della Sera, Yepes was asked to name Milan's best quality.

“Our consistency,” he said. “We have been top of the table since November 20.

“We are the team with the best attack and the best defence. The team that has these characteristics wins in every League.

“They said that we were Ibra-dependent. Instead Milan are dependent on everyone.

Allegri: 'I really like this AC Milan'
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri believes the Serie A leaders turned a corner in January. “I really like this Milan.”

The Rossoneri are eight points clear at the top of the table and need only four points from as many games to secure the Scudetto.

“I really like this Milan,” the Coach told news agency ANSA.

“From January onwards the team improved a great deal in terms of its defence. Usually the side with the best defence wins the League.”

Allegri looks set to win the Scudetto in his first season with a major club, but remains humble.

“I consider myself fortunate to have arrived in a year in which the club got back to investing on the transfer market.”

Among the newcomers to the squad this term are Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Antonio Cassano and Mark Van Bommel.

Ganso: 'No AC Milan deal yet'
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paulo Henrique Ganso has put the brakes on reports his move to Milan is a done deal. “Nothing is definitive yet.”

This week his agents were reportedly in talks with the Rossoneri to pave the way for a transfer either this summer or in January 2012.

“Nothing is definitive with Milan yet,” insisted the 21-year-old. “I am still a Santos player, though I don’t know for how long I will be here.

“I want to play in Europe, it’s something I truly desire, but I have no idea when that will happen.”

Milan seemed to take the upper hand recently, but other clubs have also shown an interest in Ganso.

These include Inter and Real Madrid.

AC Milan make a move on Aquilani
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are reportedly pushing to keep Alberto Aquilani in Serie A after Juventus dragged on talks with Liverpool.

The Italy international has been at Juve on loan this season, but the club is now haggling over the price-tag to make it a permanent move.

Liverpool do not want to lose out on an investment they made only two years ago, while Aquilani would also be welcome back at Anfield Road now that his injury nightmare is behind him.

According to Calciomercato.it, Milan are making a bid to take the former Roma midfielder on the same loan with option to buy deal that Juventus had this term.

Aquilani is seen as a younger replacement for Andrea Pirlo, whose contract expires in June.

Curiously, Juventus could drop their interest in Aquilani precisely because they’d be bringing in Pirlo on a free transfer.

Preziosi: 'Boateng deal needs clarification'
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa President Enrico Preziosi insists Kevin-Prince Boateng's move to Milan isn't certain just yet.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani told reporters on Wednesday that an agreement is in place.

Galliani expects to pay €7m to buy out Genoa's remaining stake in the player.

“Boateng's move to Milan is linked simultaneously to the purchase of half of Marco Amelia for €2.5m,” Preziosi said. “And then there are the other players.

“Paloschi, Strasser, Oduamadi, Zigoni and above all Beretta are also on co-ownership deals. If we include Boateng and Amelia, there are seven players in play, which is too many.

“We must clarify things. In the summer, Genoa only banked €5m for this entire deal, but now we must do our accounts and I know Galliani is cleverer than me so I want ambassadors.”

Ganso to AC Milan in January 2012?
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The latest reports regarding Paulo Henrique Ganso's prospective transfer to Milan claim that the Santos starlet could arrive in January 2012.

Representatives from Sonda, the investment fund, which holds a 45 per cent stake in Ganso, met Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani on Wednesday.

Santos director of sport Pedro Luis Nunes Conceicao later warned Milan that they must first talk to the club, not Sonda, before entering negotiations to sign Ganso.

Galliani plans to fly to Brazil once Milan have tied up the Scudetto, but Wednesday's meeting with Sonda was primarily to draw up a strategy of dealing with Santos.

One hypothesis put forward foresees Sonda buying Santos' 45 per cent stake in Ganso for €25m and then selling the player on to Milan in January 2012.

This would get around the €50m buy-out clause inserted into Ganso's contract by Santos, which they are refusing to lower.

Milan are also keen to wait until January for Ganso so his signing doesn't appear on this year's set of accounts.

Abbiati on 'my best season'
27.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati thinks this might be “the best season of my career” as the goalkeeper helps Milan towards the Scudetto.

The Rossoneri need only four points from their remaining four games to clinch the Serie A title.

“I don’t know if this has been the best season of my career, as in 2008 I was certainly doing very well until I picked up an injury,” he told Milan Channel.

“It is an important campaign, as the team is playing well, has the finish line in its sights and these results also help a goalkeeper to gain confidence.”

Several times this term Abbiati has earned comparisons with the amazing save he made during their win in Perugia on the last day of the 1998-99 season.

“I’m pleased that people still remember that save, because it was certainly the most important I’ve ever done.

“It was in the final minutes of the final round in a result that sealed the Scudetto. It’s also unforgettable as it was my first Serie A season with Milan.

“I needed a great save on Alessandro Diamanti in Brescia on Saturday, but it doesn’t compare to Perugia.”

Santos warn AC Milan over Ganso
27.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports suggest Milan held a meeting with Paulo Henrique Ganso’s agents today, but Santos warned “anyone who wants him has to talk to us.”

The Brazilian starlet is thought to be on the verge of a transfer to San Siro and numerous sources claim there was a key get-together this morning.

“Santos are not taking any position on this meeting,” director of sport Pedro Luis Nunes Conceicao told Calciomercato.it.

“That is quite simply because we have no intention of selling Ganso and, above all, have received no official bid from Milan or the other clubs routinely linked with him in the media.

“Will Ganso be in Italy in 2012? It’s too early to talk about this, because we do not have a formal proposal on the table.

“The only thing that is important to Santos is this: if an Italian club, or one from any other nation, is interested in Paulo Henrique then they need to come here to Brazil with a formal proposal.

“Anyone who wants him has to sit down around a table and talk to us.”

As with quite a few South American players, Ganso’s ownership is a complex issue.

Third party investment fund Sonda have a 45 per cent stake in the player, while his family own 10 per cent of his rights.

AC Milan start Ganso talks
27.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Members of Paulo Henrique Ganso's entourage have arrived in Italy for talks with Milan, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The Brazil international playmaker is among Milan's top transfer targets this summer.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani and the club's director of sport Ariedo Braida welcomed Ganso's agent Thiago Ferro to their offices this morning.

His Italian representative Gaetano Paolillo was also present to act as a mediator.

Representatives from Sonda, the third party investment fund with a 45 per cent stake in Ganso, were also reportedly in Milan on Tuesday evening.

Il Corriere understands Milan have already reached an agreement with Sonda as well as gaining the consent of the player's family who also own 10 per cent of his rights.

The next phase will see Braida fly to Brazil to negotiate terms with Santos.

Van Basten: AC Milan have a great future
27.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Marco Van Basten believes the club has a great future under Massimiliano Allegri.

Milan look set to win the Scudetto for the first time since 2004.

Allegri's side have an eight-point lead at the top with four games of the season remaining.

Interviewed by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Van Basten said: “Milan still aren't at the level of the three favourites for the Champions League, but they are building a real team and they will be back soon as equals with the big clubs.

“Allegri is a very calm and serene guy. He has clear ideas. I got to know him in Amsterdam then we saw each other again in Dubai. It's a pleasure to talk to him. He is a good Coach. Milan have chosen well.”

Asked about the comparisons with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Van Basten said: “He has won many League titles with several different clubs, great European teams so he is a great player in Europe.

“Ibra is tired inside, mentally. He is a rock, a magnificent athlete who can do the attacking phase on his own.”

Galliani confirms Boateng deal
27.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has confirmed that he will sign Kevin-Prince Boateng on a permanent basis from Genoa.

The Ghana international midfielder has been a revelation in his first season in Serie A.

He is currently co-owned by Genoa, but his impact has been so great that Milan have made his transfer a priority ahead of this summer.

Asked about the Boateng deal, Galliani said: “He is our player. Genoa's stake has been valued at €6m, which will rise to €7m in case Milan win the Scudetto.

“The deal was already defined in a restaurant some months ago in Rio de Janeiro.”

Ibrahimovic and Balotelli top earners
26.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the highest-paid player in Serie A, but Mario Balotelli is the Italy international with the biggest pay packet.

Futebol Finance in Portugal analysed the top earners in world football and found Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo top of the pile with €12m per season.

He is followed by Barcelona hero Leo Messi on €10.5m, Fernando Torres of Chelsea and Manchester City’s Yaya Toure on €10m.

The highest-paid Serie A player is Milan striker Ibrahimovic, who is sixth in Europe overall with his €9m per season wages.

Inter hitman Samuel Eto’o is in joint ninth position with Carlos Tevez and Franck Ribery on €8m.

However, the Italian with the biggest monthly pay packet is Balotelli, who is 19th in the total rundown thanks to the €6.5m he receives from Manchester City.

SuperMario is on a par with Premier League colleagues Edin Dzeko and Rio Ferdinand.

Gigi Buffon of Juventus and Milan veteran Andrea Pirlo are both on €6m per season in joint 26th place, followed by Francesco Totti on €5.5m.

Bizarrely, the survey discovered that Amauri – who is on loan at Parma from Juventus – is paid €4.2m. That’s $200,000 per season more than Juve captain Alessandro Del Piero, who is 85th in the overall charts.

Luca Toni is a bigger earner than both with €5m per campaign.

Other Serie A figures in the top 100 are Daniele De Rossi (61st on €4.6m), Alessandro Nesta, Diego Milito, Julio Cesar and Mathieu Flamini (all joint 62nd on €4.5m), Robinho, Del Piero, Wesley Sneijder, Esteban Cambiasso and Clarence Seedorf (all joint 82nd on €4m) and Douglas Maicon (joint 96th on €3.8m).

Taiwo and Ganso top AC Milan list
26.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marseille full-back Taye Taiwo and Santos playmaker Paulo Henrique Ganso are Milan's top transfer targets this summer, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Earlier this month, Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi promised to sign 'two champions' if Milan were to win the Scudetto for the first time since 2004.

Taiwo is out of contract at the end of the season and has turned down Marseille's offer of a renewal.

The Nigeria international scored the winner in the French League Cup Final on Saturday.

Marseille director of sport Jose Anigo has admitted that Taiwo has spoken to Milan.

Today's L'Equipe claims Taiwo has agreed a three-year contract with Milan.

However, there has been no official confirmation from either party.

As for Ganso, Milan are monitoring his contract talks very closely.

The Brazil international has a €50m buy-out clause in his existing deal and is trying to re-negotiate it.

Ganso wants the asking price lowered so as not to deter interested parties.

Allegri: Four points to clinch title
26.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri believes four points from Milan's last four games will be enough to clinch the Scudetto this season.

Milan have an eight-point lead at the top of Serie A and look certain to win their first League title for seven years.

Interviewed by Sky Italia, Allegri said: “Sunday might not be enough. We must only think about these four points to see us win the League.

“We have done everything possible. The team has given the maximum considering its possibilities.

“We certainly could have beaten Tottenham. We didn't manage it, but we have nothing to reproach ourselves for.

“The club has worked in an excellent manner, both in August with the arrivals of Robinho, Boateng and Yepes, and in January in a moment in which we had 12 injuries and there was need of new investment.

“Up until now I am happy with what Cassano has done. He has been decisive in many games.”

Asked to reveal what the future holds for Milan, Allegri said: “Thinking about the future right now would be a mistake.

“We must only think about the League. There is also the Coppa Italia semi-final still to play, so we are looking to realise these two objectives, which are the most important.”

Seedorf: Title then contract
25.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf says he’ll only discuss his future with Milan once the Scudetto has been wrapped up.

The Dutchman has just months left on his San Siro contract and it is unclear whether he’ll be offered a new deal.

Seedorf wants to stay at the Meazza, but his priority for now is to win the Serie A title with the Rossoneri.

“When the Scudetto is in the bag then the time will be right to reflect on the future,” stated the former international.

“We have to maintain this level of concentration and get the title as soon as possible because it is within our grasp.”

Milan could become Italian champions as soon as next weekend if they beat Bologna and Inter drop points at Cesena.

Ganso heading to AC Milan
25.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Respected Italian football agent Claudio Pasqualin believes Paulo Henrique Ganso will end up at Milan.

A Milan derby between the Rossoneri and Inter has developed on the transfer market for the Santos youngster.

Although Inter boss Leonardo speaks regularly with the creative midfielder, Pasqualin is backing the current Sere A leaders to net the talent’s signature.

“Ganso will join Milan,” he noted on Monday. “That is the sensation that I have. There is no doubt that Ganso is a player very much in fashion.”

Chelsea are also believed to be interested in the young Brazilian international who is rated very highly in South America.

It’s unclear how much he will cost the club who eventually signs him, but whispers are suggesting that the fee may be as high as €30m.

Robinho dedicates Scudetto goal to son
25.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho dedicated his decisive goal against Brescia on Saturday night to his newly born son Gianluca.

The Brazil international's 12th goal of the season extended Milan's lead to eight points at the top of Serie A.

Napoli's defeat to Palermo means Milan have one hand on the Scudetto with four games left.

“It's a very important goal that is worth the Scudetto,” Robinho said.

“I am really happy. I dedicate it to my son.

“Playing with Antonio Cassano isn't difficult. He has impressive technique.

“We had already played together at Real Madrid and now we are doing very well.

“However, we must make fewer mistakes in front of goal.”

Bierhoff sees Serie A problems
24.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Olivier Bierhoff claims the standard of Italian football has fallen behind its rivals in the last decade.

The 42-year-old former striker, who is a legend at Udinese and won the Scudetto with Milan in 1999, is now a director within the German Football Federation.

Asked for his thoughts on Serie A, he said: “There is too much tension, a lack of courage in playing youngsters and the disappearance of a generation.

“The teams that dominate are seasoned. The interesting players are ‘too young’. There isn’t a half-way.

“In the Bundesliga many teams have a solid group of Germans who bring enthusiasm and ambition. That helps a lot.

“When I come to Italy, even on holiday, I feel a lot of tiredness around Italian football, almost resignation.”

There is a statistical shift too, as from 2012-13 Italy will have only three teams in the Champions League, handing the fourth spot to the Bundesliga.

Allegri salutes adaptable Ibrahimovic
24.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri has paid tribute to suspended striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Despite scoring 14 Serie A goals for the Rossoneri this season doubts have been raised over Ibrahimovic’s ability to form effective partnerships with his fellow strikers, Alexandre Pato in particular, a notion Allegri refutes.

“The Swede is very good at adapting to the characteristics of his strike partner,” stated the ex-Cagliari tactician.

“He plays in a certain way when Pato is on the field, in another way when next to Robinho, and in another way when he plays alongside Antonio Cassano.”

Ibra is currently serving a three-match suspension and will not be available for selection until the Week 36 visit to Roma, but Allegri is looking on the bright side.

“Ibrahimovic hasn’t played much lately due to his suspension, but at least he has the chance to recover from fatigue.”

Despite the Swede’s absence, Milan earned a 1-0 win at Brescia on Saturday and are now eight points clear at the top of the table.

Galliani: 'AC Milan top with transfers'
24.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani credits Milan’s January transfer strategy for their leadership during an injury crisis. “Without the new players, we wouldn’t be in this position.”

The Rossoneri went eight points clear at the top of the Serie A table after Robinho’s winner at Brescia on Saturday evening.

“I am happy because we knew it would be an extremely important game, but the Scudetto isn’t ours yet,” said the Vice-President.

“Brescia play well and every big team has struggled to get a result here. Now we have to focus on Sunday, as we’ll be without a host of players against Bologna.

“Rino Gattuso suffered a thigh strain in the warm-up, Mark Van Bommel will be suspended, while we’re missing our three centre-forwards Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato and Pippo Inzaghi. We’ll have to make do and try to pick up some of the four points we need to win the title.”

The club reinforced its squad during the mid-season transfer window, bringing in the likes of Antonio Cassano, Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson.

“If we hadn’t made those signings in January, we would not be eight points clear with four rounds to go,” continued Galliani.

“Milan went on top thanks to the great players we have and the additional stars in August, then stayed up there because of the January transfer strategy.

“We have a very competitive squad with real strength in depth and now boast 31 players. Without those new players, we wouldn’t be in this position.”

Allegri: 'Just four more points'
23.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri tries to keep Milan focused, but also points out “another four points would secure the Scudetto.”

Their 1-0 victory away to Brescia, coupled with results earlier this afternoon, leave them eight points clear at the top of the table with four rounds remaining.

“That is a big gap,” said the Coach. “Another four points would secure the Scudetto. Now we have to focus on having a relaxing Easter break and from Wednesday we’ll start thinking about Bologna, another difficult game seeing as they’re getting sucked back into the relegation battle."

As Milan have a superior head-to-head record against both Inter and Napoli, ending equal top would still give them the title, so it is virtually a nine-point lead.

“We’re not planning any title celebrations. Right now we just need to relax over Easter,” continued Allegri.

“We had two or three risky situations with Brescia, as unfortunately we didn’t make our first half domination count.

“It’s only natural to have a little fatigue, as we played in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday evening, but the lads held out well.

“The defence was solid and I have to compliment Christian Abbiati, who has been decisive in numerous games when called upon. Antonio Cassano impressed and could’ve scored, but he set up the goal for Robinho.

“The team overall created plenty of scoring opportunities and deserved the victory.”

Gennaro Gattuso was originally named in the starting XI, but pulled out with a muscular problem during the warm-up.

Serie A: Brescia 0:1 AC Milan - match report
23.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Robinho 83 (M)

Robinho wasted plenty of chances, but late on scored the winning goal at Brescia to send Milan eight points clear.

The Lombardy derby was almost a top-to-tail clash, as the Rossoneri could go eight points clear with a win, while the Rondinelle were already five points adrift of safety following this afternoon's games. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended and Alexandre Pato, Pippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Nesta and Marek Jankulovski out, the only options in attack were Robinho and Antonio Cassano. Brescia had Davide Zoboli on a ban, but went for an all-attack line-up with Alessandro Diamanti supporting Eder and Andrea Caracciolo.

Thiago Silva and Gennaro Gattuso had problems in the warm-up, so Mathieu Flamini stepped in. It was the Frenchman who had the first chance, blasting on to the side-netting. Robinho then fired straight at the goalkeeper on the counter, while Arcari smothered a Clarence Seedorf daisy-cutter from distance.

Some wonderful Antonio Cassano approach play set up Robinho unmarked, but he volleyed over from the edge of the box. Kevin-Prince Boateng knocked down a Cassano pass for Seedorf to skim the bar on the volley.

Cassano drilled wide under pressure from Zambelli, but Brescia started to come out of their shell. Mark Van Bommel was booked and will be suspended for the next game, while Diamanti had his effort charged down in the box.

Eder hit a snapshot at Christian Abbiati from a tight angle, but Robinho and Cassano combined from a short corner for Arcari to beat away the Brazilian's angled drive.

An Eder cross-shot looped inches away from the bar, but Cassano had a great scoring opportunity on 40 minutes. He spread the play for Boateng and went into the middle to complete the move only to nod over the bar from six yards.

Robinho flashed a long-range attempt just wide. There was a bizarre moment in first half stoppages when Boateng literally had his shirt dragged off him by Berardi. Despite that, the referee did not award a penalty.

After the restart Brescia went very close, as Adem Vass rolled across the box for Eder, who turned and fired over from the penalty spot.

Milan also should've hit the back of the net. Ignazio Abate burst down the right and crossed for Seedorf, who chipped it up for Cassano's header into the ground that bounced back over the bar.

Brescia had an excellent opportunity from a corner, as Caracciolo got in front of his marker for a glancing header from six yards that Abbiati was fortunate to see fly straight at him.

Moments later a fierce Robinho snapshot whizzed through the Brescia back line and forced Arcari into a difficult low save to tip it round the post. Urby Emanuelson replaced Boateng, but this seemed to rob the Rossoneri of valuable work rate. Cristiano Zanetti suffered a thigh strain during a counter-attack and Caracciolo went off after struggling with fitness problems throughout the game.

Cassano shinned a volley well over from a promising position and Davide Baiocco unleashed a blockbuster that skimmed the crossbar. A corner flashed across the face of goal just beyond Jonathan Zebina, as Brescia started pouring on pressure against a visibly tiring Milan.

There was a remarkable moment on 80 minutes when Diamanti tried to curl in directly from the tightest of angles down the left flank, but Abbiati did brilliantly to fingertip the free kick on to the crossbar and it bounced off the ground without crossing the line.

However, just as Brescia were pinning Milan back, they were caught out by the counter-attack. Seedorf's pass sent Cassano clear practically in the centre-circle, he had all the time in the world to pick his pass and send Robinho through, who stroked an angled drive past the on-rushing Arcari.

Moments later Abbiati slipped, but Jonathas didn't time the jump correctly and could not take advantage. Diamanti thought he had scored at the 88th when cutting back to commit the defenders and curling a wonderful finish, but Abbiati flew across the face of goal to palm it off the line.

With the last kick of the game, Zambelli got down the right and flashed a dangerous cross-shot into the six-yard box for Thiago Silva to acrobatically clear.

Brescia: Arcari; Zambelli, Zebina, Bega; Berardi, Vass (Baiocco 53), Zanetti (Filippini 71), Hetemaj; Diamanti; Eder, Carracciolo (Jonathas 73)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Zambrotta; Flamini, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Boateng (Emanuelson 70); Cassano (Ambrosini 84), Robinho

Ref: Mazzoleni

Iachini 'perfect' to beat AC Milan
23.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brescia manager Beppe Iachini is under no illusions when welcoming Serie A leaders Milan. “We need the perfect performance.”

This is a Lombardy derby and almost a top-to-tail clash, as the Rondinelle are in penultimate place.

“We will have to be very good at keeping a balance between an intense performance and never letting go of our principle characteristics, which are to attack,” said the Coach.

“Milan are an excellent squad going through a strong period of form, so we need the perfect performance in every way.

“The Rossoneri are also wonderful in the one-on-one situations and seek to gain an extra man when going forward. They have great abilities mixed with physicality and a hard work rate.”

It looks as if Iachini could field a trident with Alessandro Diamanti supporting Andrea Caracciolo and Eder.

Pietro Accardi should replace the suspended Davide Zoboli in defence.

Pirlo: 'Sorry Brescia, AC Milan must win'
23.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Pirlo admits his loyalties are torn today as Milan visit struggling hometown club Brescia. “I’m sorry, but we need to win.”

The midfielder was born and raised in Brescia, going on to their youth academy and the senior squad.

“It’s a shame to see Bari like this and I’m sorry, but Milan need to win the Scudetto,” he told Bresciaoggi.it.

“I expect our opponents to be aggressive and ready for battle, the way they always are.”

Pirlo's beloved Rondinelle are in penultimate place, so a positive result for his team could plunge them into Serie B.

President Gino Corioni was at the helm when Pirlo played for Brescia and announced this week he’s determined to sell the club after two decades in charge.

“Perhaps the President said those things to fire up the team. He certainly wants someone to step in and help invest for a more competitive Brescia and all told he’s right.

“If this really is his decision to walk away, then I am a little surprised. I hope he changes his mind.”

Pirlo made his first start in four months for Wednesday’s 2-2 Coppa Italia semi-final draw with Palermo.

“I am in better shape now, but after four months out with a succession of injuries it is tough to find match fitness.”

Massimo Ambrosini has also returned to the squad after a long injury lay-off, as he hasn’t featured since January 29 against Catania.

Alessandro Nesta, Alexandre Pato, Pippo Inzaghi, Marek Jankulovski and the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic are still unavailable.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Legrottaglie, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Boateng, Emanuelson, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf, Van Bommel, Cassano, Robinho, Beretta

Taiwo close to AC Milan
22.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marseille attacking full-back Taye Taiwo is close to reaching an agreement with Milan, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The Nigeria international is out of contract at the end of the season and has made it clear that he plans to leave the Stade Velodrome.

Milan are still in the market for a full-back despite the signing of Didac Vila and Urby Emanuelson in the January transfer window.

Taiwo's possession of a European passport is also to his advantage in negotiations with the Rossoneri.

Interviewed by Radio Monte Carlo, Marseille director of sport Jose Anigo said: “Taye has played with us for six years and we have made him very good offers, but he has chosen to play in another League and to earn a little more.

“I want to tell you that he is in contact with Milan. I don't know if he will sign for them, but it's a good arrangement for him.”

Caracciolo prepares AC Milan shock
22.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brescia striker Andrea Caracciolo is hoping to pull off a shock when his side take on League leaders Milan on Saturday.

The Rondinelle need a positive result if they are to have any chance of surviving another season in Serie A.

Giuseppe Iachini's side currently lie second from bottom in the table, four points adrift of safety.

Interviewed by Il Corriere dello Sport, Caracciolo said: “Milan have already won the Scudetto and would do anyway even if they lose to us.

“I will give the maximum for Brescia because we want to stay in Serie A.

“We have put Inter, Roma and Juventus in difficulty at home. Why shouldn't we repeat that against Milan?”

Asked about his future, Caracciolo said: “It's not the moment to do so. Right now there is Brescia to save then we'll see.

“The only thing that counts right now is beating Milan.”

Boateng promises moonwalk
22.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng has promised to do the moonwalk if Milan end up winning the Scudetto this season.

The 24-year-old Ghana international has emerged as a key player in Milan's title challenge.

“If we were to win the Scudetto, I would dance the moonwalk dressed as Michael Jackson, hopefully directly on the pitch,” Boateng told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I have never won anything important in my career. The Scudetto would be a great conquest.”

Asked if Milan are capable of doing the double, Boateng said: “Absolutely yes. They are both realisable objectives.

“For character alone I want to win any game in any competition.”

Amelia: 'Ibrahimovic from another planet'
21.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Amelia says Milan teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic “is from another planet” and unduly punished with a three-match ban.

The striker was suspended after swearing at an assistant referee, although he claimed he had been muttering to himself in anger for losing the ball.

“We’ve seen top players do much worse,” noted goalkeeper Amelia on Sky Sport Italia.

“They could’ve turned a blind eye or given him only a one-game ban, especially at this moment in which champions have to entertain the public.

“Ibra is from another planet and proved it against Palermo in the Coppa Italia last night, taking five opponents with him to free up Urby Emanuelson for the goal.”

As the appeal against the ban was rejected, Ibrahimovic is out of the Serie A trip to Brescia on Saturday.

“This weekend could be the decisive one if the other results go our way,” continued Amelia.

“However, I know what it’s like to be in a team desperate to escape relegation, so we must be even more fired up in Brescia, aware our psychological approach will be crucial.

“If we are able to manage the Double of Scudetto and Coppa Italia in Massimiliano Allegri’s first year on the bench, then it’d be a great achievement for Milan.”

AC Milan consider bid for Hulk
21.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are thinking about making a bid for Porto striker Hulk, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.

The 24-year-old Brazil international has played a key role in Porto's remarkable season under Andre Villas Boas.

Hulk has scored 21 goals in 23 League games, ensuring Porto wrapped up the title earlier this month.

Milan are keen to find an alternative to Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of their assault on next year's Champions League.

The club's director of sport Ariedo Braida has recommended Hulk on account of his size and sheer physicality.

Milan have also expressed an interest, along with half of Europe, in Anderlecht's 18-year-old striker Romelu Lukaku.

Rossi has San Siro regrets
20.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Delio Rossi admits Palermo feel “some regrets” at only drawing 2-2 with Milan at San Siro in their Coppa Italia clash.

The Sicilians fought back from an early Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal to go 2-1 up in the semi-final first leg, but were caught by the late Urby Emanuelson equaliser.

“We faced a great side that is high on confidence at the moment. To be honest, there are some regrets, as with a little more concentration and cynicism we could’ve emerged with a win.

“Nonetheless, I am very happy with the performance from my team this evening. You need a performance like that to get anything off Milan nowadays.

“We also fought back against Roma. The team was organised and did what we had practiced in training.

“Just look at our recent results and we keep conceding goals when the team gets distracted. I shout from the touchline to keep them concentrated, but it doesn’t always work.”

The two away goals and Palermo’s generally strong record against the Rossoneri makes them favourites to reach the Coppa Italia Final.

“If Palermo play against Milan and we are the favourites, then something is wrong. It will take an even better performance in the second leg on May 10 to see us through to the Final.”

Fabrizio Miccoli was surprisingly left on the bench for this match, as Javier Pastore, Mauricio Pinilla and Abel Hernandez were preferred.

“I have a group of players and make my decisions. Fabrizio is a fantastic player, but he tends to excel in the final third, so I wanted someone with a stronger work-rate in this game,” continued Rossi.

“If we don’t play positive football, then we struggle, as those are the only characteristics we have. They have immense talent, but do occasionally get distracted and that’s not acceptable at this level.

“If you play with two attacking full-backs and three forwards, it’s only natural you’ll risk something in defence.”

Pastore had the chance to make it 3-1 on the counter, but fired straight at Marco Amelia.

“Amelia did very well. It’s a shame, as Flaco had a great game and is capable of going past the goalkeeper in these situations. San Siro doesn’t agree with him, as he missed a penalty here against Inter.”

Rossi was fired and re-hired in the space of 35 days by Palermo, but will not comment on his future.

“The club makes plans, not the Coach, so you’d have to ask the club. Would I like to stay at Palermo? This is not the time to talk about it.”

Allegri grateful for AC Milan draw
20.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri feels “the important thing was not to lose” after a dramatic Coppa Italia semi-final with Palermo.

“The lads had a great start and took the lead, then didn’t take more chances and conceded the equaliser. Palermo caused us problems on the counter and we risked conceding a third,” he said of the 2-2 draw at San Siro.

“The important thing was not to lose and keep the tie open ahead of the second leg, so we can focus on Serie A. When the time comes we’ll prepare for the decider in Palermo.”

Allegri was without several stars, including Alessandro Nesta, Mario Yepes, Gianluca Zambrotta and Alexandre Pato, so fielded Luca Antonini, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Massimo Oddo in defence.

“It’s only normal that the defence would have trouble with three players who don’t tend to have much time on the field. They still did well against a Palermo side with great quality and pace.

“We’re doing well in defence this season and I’d say Thiago Silva is the best defender in the world right now.”

“Antonio Cassano did some good work, as did Clarence Seedorf, but tonight the whole team was fairly inconsistent.

“It was important to avoid a defeat so we can travel to Sicily in the best condition to challenge for the Final.”

Andrea Pirlo made his first start in four months to lead the midfield.

“He had a good performance, although it was normal after four months that he’d not quite be match fit. We knew Palermo would put pressure on, but should’ve picked up the pace and moved the ball around quicker.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the opener, set up the second for Urby Emanuelson and had penalty appeals for a tussle with Marco Cassetti.

“It’s tough for referees to whistle fouls on Ibrahimovic, as he’s so big and strong, but in the eight months I’ve been here I think he’s had two or three fouls in his favour. When he receives a free kick it feels pretty rare.

“I also think that’s because he has a positive attitude and tends to keep quiet on the pitch, so doesn’t like to kick up a fuss.

The Rossoneri now prepare for this weekend’s Serie A trip to Brescia, a result that could move them closer to the Scudetto.

“Tonight we played five or six first team players. I should have more at my disposal on Saturday and we’ve got to give it our all, as we cannot afford to make a mistake.”

Galliani: 'Ibrahimovic targeted by referees'
20.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani insists no top Milan stars will be sold despite a poor financial year and suggests “Zlatan Ibrahimovic is targeted by referees.”

Today’s Board of Directors meeting confirmed that the club ran at a loss of €69.7m in 2010, a massive increase from the €9.8m in 2009.

“Milan are forced to reduce costs and that includes the wage bill, but we won’t raise funds by selling big players,” said the Vice-President.

“It is difficult to increase income, partly due to the possible change of television rights distribution, therefore we must reduce the wage bill and hope the players understand.

“As for Kevin-Prince Boateng, we have a gentleman’s agreement with the Genoa directors and I think he’ll be bought outright in June.”

Galliani also commented on the news that Ibrahimovic’s three-match Serie A ban will stand, as the appeal was rejected today.

“It is pointless saying what I think, as I know it won’t help. I continue to see behaviour from other players far more deserving of punishment than what Ibrahimovic did, but they were treated differently.

“Ibra admitted he made a mistake, but he also appears to be targeted by referees.”

The Swede claimed he had been swearing at himself when he lost the ball and not aiming abuse at the assistant referee, but the appeal was rejected.

Coppa Italia: AC Milan 2:2 Palermo - match report
20.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic 4 (M), Pastore 14 (P), Hernandez 53 (P), Emanuelson 76 (M)

Palermo earned a 2-2 draw away to Milan in the Coppa Italia semi-final with stunners from Javier Pastore and Abel Hernandez.

The Rosanero fielded practically a full-strength squad, as the Coppa is their best chance of silverware and Europa League qualification this season. The second leg is on May 10. Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned because his three-match ban only applies to Serie A games, but Gianluca Zambrotta, Mario Yepes, Mark Van Bommel, Christian Abbiati, Massimo Ambrosini, Daniele Bonera, Pippo Inzaghi, Marek Jankulovski, Alessandro Nesta and Alexandre Pato were unavailable.

Andrea Pirlo made his first start in four months, but it didn't take long for Ibrahimovic to make his mark. After three and a half minutes he got behind Mattia Cassani for a splendid volley with the outside of his right foot from six yards. Massimo Oddo's cross from the right caught out the defender and the goalkeeper expected a shot at the near post. It was Ibra's first goal from open play for three months.

Mauricio Pinilla's volley was straight at Marco Amelia and Palermo equalised with their star player Javier Pastore. Sokratis Papastathopoulos was caught out by a smart give-and-go with Pinilla that sent Pastore through and El Flaco kept his angled drive low to beat Amelia at the near stick.

Luca Antonini had penalty appeals for a push from Cassani as they got to the by-line, but the contact didn't seem to be enough to send him over. Clarence Seedorf chipped a cross from a corner that only skimmed the head of Papastathopoulos and Kevin-Prince Boateng blasted over.

Antonio Cassano's through ball sent Ibra clear, but the Swede opted to roll across for Boateng rather than shoot and the Ghanaian slipped at the crucial moment.

Palermo also threatened, as a pull-back for Pinilla carved the defence in two, but the Chilean also lost his footing as he skied it. Salvatore Sirigu took the sting out of a Mathieu Flamini snapshot.

Pastore so very nearly got a second, as he skipped past Antonini to smash an angled daisy-cutter across the face of goal, shaving a coat of paint off the far post with the aid of Amelia's fingertips.

On the stroke of half-time, Sirigu did brilliantly to get down and fingertip an Ibrahimovic low volley off the line at the base of the far post.

After the restart, Sirigu pushed an Antonini strike out for a corner, but it was Palermo who took the lead for the first time in the game.

Abel Hernandez sprung the offside trap on Pastore's through ball and got to the by-line, where he feinted a cross, but instead smashed an unstoppable rising strike in off the underside of the crossbar. Amelia was stunned. Not only did that give the Rosanero the lead on the night, but represented two away goals.

Thiago Silva needed to time his run perfectly to stop Abel Hernandez finalising another dangerous counter-attack. Milan poured forward, but left gaps at the back where a spectacular Cesare Bovo volley whistled wide.

Ibrahimovic tried to dribble through three players in the box and nearly managed it, but Dorin Goian's tackle only sent the ball into the path of Urby Emanuelson for a powerful finish into the far top corner. The crowd around Ibra effectively left the Dutch substitute unmarked.

Yet Palermo should've gone 3-2 up moments later, as Pastore found a huge gap in the Milan defence caused by Papastathopoulos and side-footed it straight at Amelia.

Ibrahimovic had penalty appeals waved away in a tussle with Cassani, then Pirlo hit a rocket from outside the box that Sirigu parried with his shin in a reaction save.

Gennaro Gattuso was booked for a handling offence and will be suspended for the second leg on May 10.

Milan: Amelia; Oddo, Thiago Silva, Papastathopoulos, Antonini; Flamini, Pirlo, Seedorf (Emanuelson 56); Boateng (Gattuso 80); Ibrahimovic, Cassano (Robinho 63)

Palermo: Sirigu; Cassani, Goian, Bovo, Balzaretti; Migliaccio, Nocerino, Acquah; Pastore (Miccoli 86); Pinilla (Ilicic 46), Hernandez

Ref: De Marco

Barbara Berlusconi joins AC Milan Board
20.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barbara Berlusconi – daughter of President Silvio and girlfriend of Alexandre Pato – has joined Milan’s Board of Directors.

The Board voted to accept her candidacy today and she becomes the 13th member.

Barbara is already on the Board of Directors of Berlusconi’s Fininvest company and joins her uncle Paolo and brother Piersilvio around the Milan desk.

“It is a sign of the renewed commitment that the Berlusconi family is making to Milan,” said Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

“They have always ensured their moral and economic support for the club. The fact that the brother of the President is joined on the Board by two of his children is a great sign that must be seen by fans as a show of faith.”

There could be suggestions of a conflict of interest, though, as Barbara has recently started dating Rossoneri striker Pato.

The Brazilian, who has been married before, dedicated his two Milan derby goals to her in the stands.

AC Milan fail in Ibrahimovic appeal
20.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss the League games against Brescia and Bologna after having his appeal against a ban rejected.

The Swede was slapped with a three-match stop after the win in Fiorentina for an accumulation of yellow cards, before he was sent-off for using foul and abusive language against match officials.

The former Barcelona player missed last weekend’s 3-0 win over Sampdoria, but his club were hoping to have the rest of his ban reduced.

Ibra had maintained that he was frustrated with himself and that his anger was not directed at the referee’s assistant.

However, that argument has seemingly failed as the disciplinary commission have this afternoon upheld their original decision.

Milan could actually appeal again, but as it stands Ibra won’t be back until the Week 36 game against Roma.

AC Milan lose more stars for Coppa Italia
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A decimated Milan face Palermo for the Coppa Italia semi-final on Wednesday, missing the likes of Alessandro Nesta, Alexandre Pato and Mark Van Bommel.

The Rossoneri claim they are taking this trophy very seriously indeed, but injuries are causing a headache for Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Those not called up for tomorrow’s match are Gianluca Zambrotta, Mario Yepes, Van Bommel, Christian Abbiati, Massimo Ambrosini, Daniele Bonera, Pippo Inzaghi, Marek Jankulovski, Nesta and Pato.

The absence of Yepes is a particular blow, as he has been the replacement during Nesta’s injury.

It therefore seems as if Sokratis Papastathopoulos or Nicola Legrottaglie will take centre-back roles.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is available, though, as his three-match ban only applies to Serie A. He sat out the first of those three games in the 3-0 win over Sampdoria.

Milan squad: Amelia, Roma, Piscitelli, Abate, Antonini, Legrottaglie, Oddo, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Boateng, Emanuelson, Flamini, Gattuso, Merkel, Pirlo, Seedorf, Strasser, Beretta, Cassano, Ibrahimovic, Robinho

Robinho: 'AC Milan want the Coppa'
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho laughs off any suggestions Milan will field a weakened team against Palermo. “We want the Coppa Italia too.”

The Rossoneri are six points clear at the top of the Serie A table and tomorrow evening face the Sicilians in a Coppa semi-final.

“Milan are not just targeting the Scudetto, but we want to win the Coppa Italia too,” he told Milan Channel.

“Winning two competitions is very important for us and we have no intention of letting anything slide.”

Alexandre Pato is injured, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic is available, as his ban only applies to Serie A games.

Rossi: AC Milan are very strong
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Palermo Coach Delio Rossi claims his side are the underdogs ahead of Wednesday night's Coppa Italia semi-final against Milan.

Palermo recently beat Milan 1-0 in Sicily, but their troubles since the start of New Year mean the League leaders are naturally the favourites.

“Tomorrow's game against Milan is only important because it's the next one,” Rossi said. “There are others to play after that.

“Right now Milan are the best team in Italy. It means that we'll have to give the best of ourselves in front of our own fans.

“We'll have to give 100 per cent to get a result,” he concluded.

Allegri: AC Milan must do the double
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massmiliano Allegri has encouraged his players to do the League and Cup double.

The Rossoneri have a six-point lead at the top of Serie A and are due to face Palermo in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia on Wednesday night.

“We want to honour this Cup,” Allegri said. “The lads care a lot about it.

“We have the job of trying to win the Scudetto and getting to the Final of the Coppa Italia.

“We still haven't won anything, but I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the willingness of great men.”

Ganso, Bale and Menez for AC Milan
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan feel that the addition of two world-class players will make the team competitive in Europe again and their targets include Ganso, Jeremy Menez and Gareth Bale.

Earlier this month, Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi said that if his team were to win the Scudetto for the first time since 2004 this season then he would buy two champions.

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is said to be dreaming about Tottenham wing-back Gareth Bale, who was named PFA Player of the Year on Sunday evening.

However, it seems unlikely that Milan will be able to lure the Wales international away from White Hart Lane this summer.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Milan are monitoring Jeremy Menez's situation at Roma very closely with a view to bid.

The France international is unhappy with a lack of playing time in the capital and told L'Equipe last month that he is considering his future.

It's also no secret that Milan have a strong interest in signing Paulo Henrique Ganso from Santos.

The Brazil international can play either as a trequartista or as a central midfielder, and Allegri is thought to like his flexibility.

AC Milan: Title race not over
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has cooled the Scudetto enthusiasm around his troops. “We’ve won nothing yet!”

The Rossoneri have stretched their advantage at the top of the table to six points after beating Sampdoria, while title rivals Napoli and Inter both lost at the weekend.

However, speaking on Monday evening, Galliani was keen to stress that there are still points on the table that need to be attained.

“It was a good weekend for us, but we must stay calm and tranquil,” he noted. “We’ve won nothing yet.

“We have a fundamental game coming up on Saturday against Brescia. If we win that one then things might change.”

With a better head to head record against Napoli, Milan only need nine points from the last 15 on offer to win their first title since 2004.

After Brescia next weekend, they will face Bologna, Roma, Cagliari and Udinese.

Galliani also passed comment on boss Massimiliano Allegri who looks good to win the League in his first season. “He was a great signing,” the director noted.

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Amelia targets AC Milan double
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Amelia has warned his former Palermo teammates that Milan are not underestimating the importance of the Coppa Italia.

The two teams meet in the first leg of their semi-final on Wednesday and Amelia insists that the Rossoneri are not just focused on the Scudetto.

“We really care about the Italian Cup, just as much as the Scudetto,” said the 2006 World Cup winner.

“It would be important for us at Milan this season to complete the domestic double.”

Milan, six points clear at the top of the table, will be favourites to beat the Rosanero but Amelia respects the Sicilian threat.

“Their win at Roma over the weekend will have rejuvenated them and that may cause us problems,” added the goalkeeper.

“They have a lot of young players who are enthusiastic to do well. It’ll be hard for us too because we know how much Palermo want the Cup.

“We’ll have to be very alert. Although they have had their difficulties recently, they can play good football.”

Palermo, despite beating Milan 1-0 recently, have endured a problematic campaign which saw Delio Rossi rehired as Coach just weeks after being sacked for Serse Cosmi.

Amelia spent two seasons at the Stadio Barbera following his 2008 move from Livorno.

Inter and Roma meet in the other semi-final, with the first leg set for the Olimpico on Tuesday evening.

Berlusconi tells Inter: 'It's over'
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi has told Inter that their title challenge is over this season.

Inter lost 2-0 to relegation threatened Parma on Saturday and fell eight points behind the League leaders.

“You've been great,” Berlusconi told Inter fans.

“The treble was an historic achievement and Mourinho was extraordinary. But now we win.

“Last year we made Inter win everything. Now that's enough.”

Asked about his 25 years at the club, he said: “When I saw Milan falling towards Serie B, being a man of few ambitions I said: 'I'll make Milan the most decorated team in the world'.”

Pato out with muscle strain
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have been dealt a blow as Alexandre Pato has been ruled out of their next three games with an injury.

The prolific Brazil international strained his right thigh muscle in Saturday's win at home to Sampdoria.

He underwent a scan on Sunday, the results of which show he will be out of action for between two and three weeks.

It means Pato will miss Wednesday's Coppa Italia semi-final with Palermo as well as upcoming League matches against Brescia and Bologna.

Allegri: Losing title would be suicide
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri believes not winning the Scudetto now would be suicide.

Milan went six points clear at the top on Sunday after Napoli lost 2-1 at home to Udinese.

“The result at the San Paolo is important. There is still a lot to play for, but six points are a lot to recover.

“Not winning the Scudetto now would be suicide.”

Asked to reveal the name of a player he would like to coach in the future, Allegri said: "Marek Hamsik."

“He has important qualities and seeing his young age notable margins for improvement too.”

Galliani: 'Scudetto on final day'
17.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani believes the Scudetto “won’t be decided until the final round, but Milan also want the Coppa Italia.”

The Rossoneri are eight points clear of Inter and temporarily six ahead of Napoli, who have to play Udinese this evening.

“We have 71 points and are keeping up an extraordinary pace,” the Vice-President told Milan Channel.

“Compliments are due to Napoli for staying with us. Probably the Scudetto won’t be decided until the final round, which is what happened last season and three years ago.

“We have this three-point advantage and the head-to-head record in our favour. There are regrets over some points dropped along the way, but that is true of everyone.”

Last night’s 3-0 win over Sampdoria further boosted confidence ahead of Wednesday’s Coppa Italia semi-final against Palermo.

“The Coppa Italia is important and we don’t want to leave anything by the wayside. We must try to win both objectives that are still open to us, so the best players will take to the field against Palermo.”

Cassano: 'I have everything at AC Milan'
17.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano dedicated the goal to his wife and newborn son. “I have everything at Milan, but I hope Sampdoria survive.”

FantAntonio converted a penalty against the club he left in bitter circumstances in January, as the Rossoneri swept Samp aside 3-0 last night.

“I played a great game. Maybe I was inspired by the birth of my son,” he said after Christopher Cassano’s arrival on Friday.

“Obviously I dedicate the goal to my son and my wife. Becoming a father is an indescribable joy. I don’t know how to express these emotions.

“Why did we choose the name Christopher? I just liked it. I am a special kind of guy and my son will be the same.”

Cassano had struggled to make an impact at Milan recently, but was pushed into action with Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended and Alexandre Pato injured.

“I am starting to improve physically, as that is very important for me and once I am fit it makes everything easier.

“I have everything at Milan. I feel complete, get on well with my teammates and the Milan family. Now we have to focus on winning the Scudetto.”

The fiery forward still reserved a word of commiseration for his former club, as Sampdoria are now just one point clear of the relegation zone.

“I hope Sampdoria survive. At the same time, next week there’s Bari-Samp, so it’s tough to support them against my hometown club.

“They didn’t do too badly at San Siro, especially in the first half. I have always said Samp will reserve a place in my heart, because if I am at Milan then it is thanks to those three years at Marassi.

“I didn’t feel any particular joy at scoring against them, just as I don’t when netting against Bari. Samp were decisive for me.”

AC Milan await Pato injury news
17.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are flying high, but also concerned that Alexandre Pato could be out for two weeks with a thigh strain.

The Brazilian suddenly pulled up mid-sprint during last night’s 3-0 victory over Sampdoria.

He was clutching the back of his right thigh and there is a suspected strain, but more tests are needed.

Reports from the Rossoneri camp vary from those who suggest it is only a twinge to others who claim this is yet another thigh strain.

Pato has struggled with muscular problems throughout the season, so the club medics must be wary of doing further damage.

It seems certain he’ll miss Wednesday’s Coppa Italia semi-final against Palermo, while there are real doubts over the upcoming Serie A games with Brescia and Bologna.

It’s a problem for Coach Massimiliano Allegri, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic still has another two rounds to go on his three-match Serie A ban.

This would leave Robinho and Antonio Cassano as the only available strikers, though Pippo Inzaghi is nearing fitness after undergoing knee ligament surgery earlier this season.

Christian Abbiati also limped off during the Sampdoria game, but has only picked up a slight problem and is expected to be fit for Wednesday.

Allegri turns focus on Napoli
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri won’t relax in the title race yet, even if he ruled Inter out. “We’ve got to keep an eye on Napoli.”

Tonight’s results have opened up an eight-point gap between Milan and the Nerazzurri with just five games left to play.

“Admittedly eight points with only 15 available is a very tough ask, but rather than celebrate Inter falling behind, I’d keep an eye out for Napoli,” said the Coach.

The Rossoneri thrashed Sampdoria 3-0 while Inter surprisingly fell 2-0 at Parma.

“It was difficult in the first half, as Sampdoria defended well and we took a while to break the deadlock.

“After the break we put more pressure on and it went well for us.”

Bad news, though, as Alexandre Pato and Christian Abbiati both limped off with muscular problems.

Considering Zlatan Ibrahimovic has another two games left on his ban, there is a striker shortage.

“We hope to get Pippo Inzaghi back before the end of the season, as he is training well and working really hard.”

Robinho: 'A step towards Scudetto'
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho considers Milan’s 3-0 thrashing of Sampdoria “an important step towards the Scudetto.”

The Brazilian was on target this evening along with Antonio Cassano and Clarence Seedorf.

“I am happy, because the team played well and of course for my goal,” said the former Manchester City striker.

“Now we must continue playing like this and focus on the next game at hand.”

Inter have fallen eight points behind leaders Milan with tonight’s 2-0 defeat at Parma, so their title ambitions are effectively over.

“I don’t know if Inter are out of the race, but today we took an important step towards the Scudetto,” added Robinho.

Cassano celebrated the birth of son Christopher yesterday by sucking his thumb after the goal.

“We’re all very happy for him. Next week my child is due as well, so I hope to dedicate a goal too.”

Serie A: AC Milan 3:0 Sampdoria - match report
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Seedorf 20 (M), Cassano pen 54 (M), Robinho 61 (M)

Milan swept past sorry Sampdoria with Clarence Seedorf, Robinho and ex-Blucerchiati star Antonio Cassano. There was bad news too, as Alexandre Pato and Christian Abbiati limped off with muscular problems.

The Serie A leaders welcomed a Samp side in crisis and just one point clear of the relegation zone. Zlatan Ibrahimovic began a three-match ban for insulting the linesman, so Robinho returned to the starting XI. Antonio Cassano was on the bench against his former club, just days after he became a father, while Mario Yepes again stepped in for the injured Alessandro Nesta. Sampdoria had Daniele Mannini suspended, plus Franco Semioli and Stefano Lucchini sidelined, but Zsolt Laczko was a surprise starter.

As expected, Milan pinned the Blucerchiati back in their own half from the get-go, but struggled to actually test Gianluca Curci. After 17 minutes, the visitors came out of their shell and Nicola Pozzi flicked wide of the near post from Fernando Tissone's assist.

Bad news for the Rossoneri, as Christian Abbiati pulled a muscle during a goal kick and limped off to make way for Marco Amelia.

Milan took the lead with Clarence Seedorf taking advantage of a goalkeeping error. He pretended to cross the free kick from the edge of the box, but instead curled it low into the far bottom corner with Kevin-Prince Boateng moving from the wall to let it through.

Robinho fired wide from distance after a long spell of possession, but Alexandre Pato suddenly pulled up while running and clutched the back of his thigh. It's a suspected strain that could keep him out for some time, so Cassano had to come on before the break for their second forced substitution.

Robinho should've made it 2-0 straight after the restart after a fantastic give-and-go with Cassano sent him clear, but the former Manchester City man curled inches wide of an open goal as Curci went to ground.

Massimo Volta did well with a clean tackle to stop Robinho running clear on goal. From the corner, Curci had his palms stung by a fierce Gianluca Zambrotta strike at the near post. The move continued and a Yepes header was charged down from point-blank range by Volta's arm, which the referee considered to be voluntary. It was extremely close, but Volta had his arm sticking straight up at full stretch. Cassano stepped up and buried the penalty under the bar against his former club. Naturally, he celebrated by referencing his newborn boy Christopher - sucking his thumb.

Cassano created the third Milan goal for Robinho. He got down the left and flicked up a pass for Robinho's header from six yards, leaving the Brazilian an open goal to aim at, as Cassano had drawn out the goalkeeper.

The home side continued to dominate and players like Seedorf, Yepes and Mark Van Bommel attempted audacious finishes. Andrea Pirlo also made his comeback after more than two months on the treatment table.

Cassano got on the end of a Robinho cross to test Curci at the near post, then he chested down a Seedorf cross only to fire just over the bar.

Milan: Abbiati (Amelia 19); Abate, Yepes, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Gattuso, Van Bommel (Pirlo 74), Seedorf; Boateng; Pato (Cassano 41), Robinho

Sampdoria: Curci; Volta, Gastaldello, Martinez (Zauri 57); Dessena, Tissone, Palombo, Koman, Laczko; Pozzi (Biabiany 76), Maccarone

Ref: Celi

Van Bommel agent on AC Milan renewal
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mark Van Bommel’s agent says there is “nothing concrete” in contract renewal negotiations with Milan.

The veteran arrived in the January transfer window for the final six months of his deal with Bayern Munich and has been linked with a move to the Premier League.

“The lad is happy to stay and the club is happy to keep him, but for now we have only discussed a few things about the renewal. There is nothing concrete,” agent Mino Raiola told Sky Sport Italia.

“We will wait for the club to contact us over the next few weeks. Mark has certainly proved his worth, but we still have to set up serious talks with Milan.”

The Rossoneri have several players out of contract in the summer, including Massimo Ambrosini, Andrea Pirlo and Marek Jankulovski.

Berlusconi calms Ronaldo talk
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Silvio Berlusconi calmed the Cristiano Ronaldo speculation he started this week. “I’ve invested over €70m in Milan.”

The President, and Prime Minister of Italy, had declared over the past few days that he was seriously considering an offer for Real Madrid star Ronaldo.

There were many reports suggesting Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Alexandre Pato could be used as part of an exchange deal.

“Do you know how much money I’ve put into this club?” Berlusconi told students during a meet-and-greet in Pavia.

“I have already invested over €70m in Milan and have to balance the books with my family too.

“For the moment we won’t even talk about new signings.”

Raiola: 'Ibrahimovic is being victimised'
15.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is being victimised and has every right to be angry with referees, according to his agent Mino Raiola.

Ibrahimovic received his second red card in as many games last weekend and has been suspended for another three matches pending appeal.

“They're doing everything to make sure he plays as little as possible,” Raiola said. “It's normal for him to say that referees have it in for him.

“He made one challenge in the entire game and was given a yellow card for it. It was ridiculous and shameful.”

Asked about Ibrahimovic's future, Raiola said: “The referees have nothing to do with it. There is no belly-ache on Ibra's part, he'll stay in red and black.

“The question of the referees is different. He is an important player. When they do something against him it makes the news.

“Against Fiorentina, they almost all kicked Ibra and nothing happened. Then Zlatan intervened, argued with himself and was sent off.

“There are two weights and two measures,” he concluded.

Zampa rubbishes Pastore to AC Milan talk
15.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini has rubbished talk of Javier Pastore joining Milan this summer.

The Argentina international playmaker has been a revelation this season and is reportedly attracting interest from the League leaders.

Asked about the prospect of Pastore joining Milan, Zamparini said: “It's impossible.

“Silvio Berlusconi is so tight especially now that he entertains himself with other 'stuff'.

“He'd need €50m for Pastore, but I have decided that he'll stay at Palermo for another year.

“Berlusconi will never give me that figure.”

Allegri: Ibrahimovc is staying
15.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has quashed speculation about the future of troubled striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic has tried Milan's patience recently after getting sent off in consecutive matches, the latest offence bringing a three-match ban.

Earlier this week, Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi expressed his disappointment at Ibrahimovic's actions and even said he felt like he'd thrown money away on his signing.

“I believe that Ibra will stay at Milan and that he has been exemplary this season aside from this month in which he has paid dearly for inappropriate behaviour,” Allegri said.

“He has done extraordinary things above all in the first five months and he'll get back on track after his suspension.

“I believe that Ibra wanted to repay us after his initial two-match ban so it's a great disappointment for him to be suspended again.”

Ambrosini waits for AC Milan offer
15.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini is so desperate to sign a new contract with Milan that he has yet to consider any other offers.

The midfielder is only contracted to the club until June which means he would be available on a Bosman at the end of this season.

Although that status could be of benefit financially to him, he has no desire to leave his beloved Rossoneri.

“Massimo intends to wait for Milan right up until the end,” agent Moreno Roggi told Sky Sport Italia.

“I’ve read that Milan will make their decisions about contract renewals in May, therefore Massimo is waiting to see if he is one of the players offered an extension.

“The man is 33 and can still give a lot, but he wants to wait for Milan to make their move because he is very close to the club.

“If he has to move on then it will be against his wishes.”

Van Bommel hails 'easy' Allegri
14.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mark Van Bommel has is enjoying life at Milan and praised “easy” Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“Allegri is very clear when explaining what he wants and that’s why I like him,” the Dutch midfielder told Milan Channel.

“He’s a great Coach and also very ‘easy’ to deal with, but if something isn’t right then he is also very direct in telling us things.”

Van Bommel arrived in January from Bayern Munich and was asked about the most exciting game to date in a Rossoneri jersey.

“Absolutely it had to be my first derby. There was so much pressure around the game and everyone was talking about it, especially as we had dropped five points in the lead-up to the match.

“I had been away on international duty and was reading the newspapers, so I could see the tension rising.

“Serie A has a mixture of Dutch, German and Spanish football. The sport is entertaining to watch in Italy, but also very tough and tactical.”

Preziosi: 'AC Milan want to keep Boateng'
14.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“Milan want to keep hold of Kevin-Prince Boateng and he certainly won’t return to Genoa,” said President Enrico Preziosi.

The Ghana international was signed by Genoa in an odd transfer deal during the summer, as he was turned over immediately to the Rossoneri on loan.

“Boateng had a great season and Milan want to keep hold of him, based on the agreement we had previously set out,” revealed Genoa patron Preziosi on Radio Kiss Kiss.

“If all goes smoothly, then there should be no problems. Otherwise, we’ll have to find a solution, but he certainly won’t return to Genoa.”

Preziosi may have business deals in place with Milan, but he hopes they lose the title race.

“I hope Napoli can crown their Scudetto dreams, as they have a squad capable of doing it and I am cheering them on.”

Gattuso: AC Milan deserve Scudetto
14.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's veteran midfielder Rino Gattuso believes his side deserves to win the Scudetto this season.

The Rossoneri have led Serie A since November and have a three-point advantage on Napoli.

Asked to reveal how he thinks the campaign will end, Gattuso said: “I hope with us winning it.

“We have been top for 22 or 23 games. We have beaten both Napoli and Inter twice who are second and third… I think that we deserve this Scudetto.

“Six games are left. We hope they go well.”

Asked about his future amid reports of an offer from Russia, Gattuso said: “I can play on at these levels for a maximum of two years, then I want to coach the kids.”

Cassano becomes a father
14.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano became a father this morning after his wife Carolina gave birth to a baby boy.

Milan's official website communicated the news that Christopher Cassano was delivered today in Genova.

He is said to weigh in at 3.6kg.

“All Milan fans and football supporters in general would like to congratulate the family and a great sporting couple,” a statement read.

Pato supports Ibrahimovic after ban
14.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato has got behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic following his second successive red card in Serie A.

Ibrahimovic was sent off for dissent on Sunday and has been suspended for Milan's next three League matches.

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi is unhappy with Ibrahimovic's conduct, telling reporters that he now feels money has been wasted on him.

Interviewed by the Milan Channel, Pato said: “Ibra is a super champion. I hoped he wouldn't get this ban, but I am sure he'll return in a hurry and give us a hand like he always has done.”

Asked about their compatibility up front, Pato replied: “There is always someone who puts too many words in people's mouths. We are friends and I am very happy to play with Ibra.”

Allegri wanted 'blind eye' for Ibrahimovic
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri says Zlatan Ibrahimovic was singled out for his three-match ban. “Others turn a blind eye.”

The Milan striker was sent off against Fiorentina for swearing at the assistant referee, although claimed he had been muttering to himself.

“The rules were applied, but sometimes a referee doesn’t always make the same decisions,” Allegri told Sport Mediaset.

“At times he can bring out the red card, as with Ibrahimovic, while on other occasions he’ll turn a blind eye.”

The Scudetto race is very tight with Napoli now in second place, so Allegri had a message for fiery opponent Walter Mazzarri.

“He should be extremely happy with what he has achieved, but I haven’t the time to think about others. He’s free to think what he likes about me. I am rather fond of him.”

The Milan boss also commented on President Silvio Berlusconi’s overtures towards Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I had no doubts the President would like him, because he loves players with quality. Is he economically compatible with Ibra? You’d have to ask Berlusconi.”

Nesta: 'I can't expect much money'
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta assures he’s not fighting for a big new Milan contract. “I know I can’t expect as much money now.”

There were reports this morning that the veteran defender was upset with the renewal offer on the table, especially with Philippe Mexes arriving from Roma on a free transfer in the summer.

“It’s not true that I will retire next season, nor is it true that I had a row with the club. In fact, I haven’t even spoken to the club yet,” Nesta told Sky Sport Italia.

“I am aware that the years are getting on and I know I can’t expect as much money as I earn right now.

“There is just a small doubt over whether I’ll get to stay another year. Clearly the squad must be revitalised and slowly the old guard will be placed to one side, but that is how it should be. Milan can relax, as Thiago Silva is the best centre-back in the world.”

Nesta missed last week’s win at Fiorentina due to a knee injury and hopes to be back in time to face Sampdoria.

“I went to this very good doctor in Germany. The knee joint itself is fine, so the problem is a scar outside that area and I should be ready to play against Sampdoria on Saturday. We are fired up for the end of the season.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic definitely won’t be there, having picked up a three-match ban for insulting the assistant referee.

“I think Ibra’s punishment was excessive, as at times you can speak out during a match situation,” continued Nesta,

“It’s not true he is unwelcome in the locker room. He has fun here and in my view has found his ideal environment. Having said that, the team can do well even without him, as don’t forget we have players like Robinho and Clarence Seedorf on the bench.”

Berlusconi welcomes Di Benedetto
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi has welcomed Roma's prospective new owner Thomas Di Benedetto to the Italian game.

Di Benedetto is expected to finalise the deal to buy Roma on Friday in Boston.

Asked for his reaction to the news, Berlusconi said: “I am happy for him.

“He has to know that he is throwing himself into a magnificent adventure that gives you a lot of satisfaction but also pain and preoccupation.

“You spend a lot of money in football and you don't earn anything. I hope he has the same success I've had at Milan,” Berlusconi cheekily concluded.

Ganso wants AC Milan move
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Santos starlet Paulo Henrique Ganso has his heart set on a move to Milan, according to Thiago Ferro, who owns a 45 per cent stake in his contract.

The 21-year-old playmaker is a target for both Milan clubs this summer following his emergence as one of the most exciting players in Brazil.

Ganso turned down a new contract offer last Wednesday and Santos have reported Milan and Inter to FIFA for turning the player's head.

“Ganso's desire to move to Europe is clear and it has been clearly expressed to Santos,” Ferro said.

“It's not a problem of money. If he were a mercenary, he would have quickly accepted Santos' new offer.

“It's a dream for the lad to play in Europe, more precisely in Italy and his preference is for Milan.

“We don't know if he can realise this dream in two months, six months or a year.

“Problems occur when the club has one idea and the player has another, but we are certain that in a few days this soap opera will end and everyone will be happy.”

Juventus prepare assault for Pirlo
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus have been encouraged enough by signals from Milan to try and lure midfield playmaker Andrea Pirlo away from San Siro.

Earlier this month, Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta admitted that Pirlo figures in his summer transfer strategy.

Efforts to renew his contract at Milan have gone slowly and recent comments made by Silvio Berlusconi suggest Pirlo's time at the club is nearing an end.

Il Corriere dello Sport understands that Juventus are now prepared to make a direct approach to Pirlo's agent Tullio Tinti.

Marotta has a good relationship with Tinti. The pair worked together at Sampdoria on Giampaolo Pazzini's transfer and more recently on the Luca Toni and Alessandro Matri deals.

Despite his age and high salary, Pirlo fits Juventus' criteria in that he is Italian and could give the team an immediate jump in class at the heart of the midfield.

Juventus feel that they have an advantage on other interested parties in their location, as Turin isn't far from Milan or Brescia, his hometown, and many of his Italy international teammates play for the club.

The problem regards his contract, which is worth €5m a season.

If Juventus can't get the 31-year-old to accept a cut, they will move for Fiorentina midfielder Riccardo Montolivo instead.

Nesta stalls contract talks
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan centre-back Alessandro Nesta is said to be upset with the club's latest offer of a new contract.

The veteran defender's current deal expires at the end of the season along with those of eight other players at Milan.

His agent held talks with Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani on Monday.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands that Galliani jokingly said: “Now then Alessandro, are you going to renew for €2.5m?”

The gag apparently didn't go down well, especially in light of reports that Milan have given Philippe Mexes a contract worth €4.5m a season.

Nesta is a key component of this Milan side and Coach Massimiliano Allegri is known to count on the player.

He had considered retiring at the end of the season, but insists another year isn't out of the question even if he can no longer play three games a week.

Ibrahimovic: 'Others should be banned for life'
12.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has reiterated he wasn’t insulting the linesman after his three-match ban. “Others should be suspended for life.”

The Milan striker had just returned from a two-game spell on the sidelines when he was sent off in the 2-1 win at Fiorentina for swearing at the assistant referee.

“I was given a three-match ban for talking to myself,” moaned Ibra on Striscia La Notizia.

“I was angry at myself because I lost the ball. If they give me a three-match ban for that, then others should be suspended for life.”

The Swede will therefore miss much of the Scudetto run-in, having already skipped games against Palermo and Inter due to another incident.

“We are a great squad and Milan will win even without me.”

Manchester City want Sanchez and Seedorf
12.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester City are looking to sign Udinese winger Alexis Sanchez and Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf, according to reports in England.

The Daily Mail understands City have been alerted to the fact that Seedorf's contract is due to expire this summer and Milan have yet to get the former Holland international to renew.

Seedorf is known to have an offer from Brazilian club Corinthians, but will wait to see what Milan propose before making a final decision.

As for Sanchez, the Daily Telegraph claims that City met with the 22-year-old Chile international's agents last week and that talks went well.

City face competition from Chelsea, Manchester United and Inter for Sanchez who has lit up Serie A this season with some fine performances.

Sheikh Mansour is prepared to write a cheque for €50m to tempt Udinese into selling Sanchez.

The deal could be bankrolled by the sales of Emmanuel Adebayor to Real Madrid and possibly Mario Balotelli to Milan.

Lippi: I see myself in Allegri
12.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

World Cup winning Coach Marcello Lippi claims to see a little bit of himself in Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri.

Allegri is in his first season at San Siro and with six games remaining, Milan have a three-point lead at the top of Serie A.

Speaking to Radio Sportiva on his birthday, Lippi said: “I see a little bit of myself again in Allegri. When I went to Juve from Napoli I had the same assuredness and enthusiasm.

“Walter Mazzarri is also very prepared at Napoli and by now he has showed that he knows what he is doing. Napoli do well to believe in the Scudetto. Anything can happen.”

Asked about the Italy squad and its progress under his successor Cesare Prandelli, he said: “It's a great group of players and seems like the one I was preparing for the World Cup in Germany.

“Prandelli is working a lot on the team even if he has been forced to call up Italian players who don't play for top teams. There are too many foreigners in big clubs in Serie A.”

Finally, he turned his attention to former club Juventus.

“Juve really need to get into the Champions League. It will not be easy.

“As for Buffon, I hope that he doesn't leave the Bianconeri. The team needs great players.”

Santos make AC Milan - Ganso complaint
12.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian club Santos are unhappy with the recent courting of star player Paulo Henrique Ganso by both Inter and Milan.

The 21-year-old playmaker is on their wish lists and an auction is expected in the summer.

Santos, however, are unprepared to sell Ganso and would ideally like that he stays at the club until 2014.

Interviewed by Radio Estadao ESPN, Santos President Luis Alvaro Ribeiro outlined the club's stance.

“We have not received any offer from abroad. We have informed both Milan and Inter to stop these contacts, which are illegal, because Santos possesses the rights of the player and we have informed FIFA, the CBF and the League.

“There has never been any contact, inquiries, or phone calls to us who possess the rights of the player.”

Berlusconi dreams of Ronaldo and title
12.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi has once again claimed that it's a dream of his to sign Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and to win the Scudetto.

Earlier this month, Il Cavaliere revealed his admiration for Ronaldo on the basis that the former Ballon d'Or winner always finds a way to make the difference.

Starring as a guest on Italian TV show Il Processo di Biscardi, Berlusconi said: “Dreams are allowed and sometimes they transform into reality.

“If we were to win the Scudetto, the next transfer window could lead us to add one or two champions. The chance of signing Ronaldo isn't remote because a player can decide to leave his club.”

Asked about Milan's season so far, he said: “Milan are a team who have come out of a period of incidents thanks to a big squad that we have readied and that has allowed us to line up a well-seasoned team.

“We are at the top of the table pursued by this extraordinary Napoli side. Our objective is to get to the end of the season and still be at the top of the table.”

Finally, Berlusconi had a few words of praise for Max Allegri.

“I liked him from the first moment I met him. As a person he represents the identity and style of Milan well.

“A President like me, who has been in football for a long time, might sometimes have ideas on particular moments in games, but even so you can't expect the Coach to always do what the President wants.

“With Allegri, we talk often and engage in long reflections on the telephone, always finding ourselves in agreement. As a Coach I believe that he could be the fourth in this series after Sacchi, Capello and Ancelotti.”

Abate targets nine points
11.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ignazio Abate believes Milan must win their next three League games if they want to collect the Scudetto.

The Rossoneri are three points clear of Napoli at the top of the table with just six League matches of the season remaining.

“It will be fundamental to collect nine points from our next three games,” the Italian said ahead of the ties versus Sampdoria, Brescia and Bologna.

The Milan giants underlined their title credentials last night with an impressive 2-1 win at Fiorentina’s Stadio Franchi.

“We knew that we had to get a victory,” the former Torino youngster continued. “It was a triumph that has left fate in our hands.

“With the win we maintained the three point gap we have over Napoli and the five point advantage against Inter.”

Milan have suffered a blow today though with the news that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss the next three Serie A games through suspension.

Ibrahimovic banned for three matches
11.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The League's disciplinary commission has come down hard on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, banning the Milan striker for three matches.

The Sweden international was given a straight red for dissent in Sunday night's 2-1 win away at Fiorentina.

It means that Ibrahimovic is not only to be punished for swearing at the linesman, something he denies, but also reaching the yellow card limit.

Incidentally, it was Ibrahimovic's first game back after serving a two-match suspension for violent conduct against Bari.

Milan are expected to appeal, but for now Ibrahimovic will miss Milan's games against Sampdoria, Brescia and Bologna.

Seedorf focuses on AC Milan
11.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf will not comment on his future until the end of the season.

The veteran former Holland international has been linked with a move to Corinthians in the summer.

Speaking after his goalscoring performance against Fiorentina, Seedorf addressed the speculation.

“I am very happy. I am 35 and I have not suffered any major injuries. I am weighing up everything.

“I am awaiting an offer from Milan and there are others.

“My focus is the Scudetto, then I will think about the future,” he concluded.

Ibrahimovic: 'I was angry with myself'
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic maintains he was “angry with myself, not the assistant referee” when sent off for dissent.

The Swede was already on a yellow card and would’ve been suspended for the next round, but was shown a straight red for swearing at the official over a throw-in decision.

“I lost the ball and was angry with myself, not the assistant referee. I was talking to myself,” said the Milan striker.

“I didn’t protest the red card because there was nothing to be said, he had made his decision.”

The Rossoneri emerged with a 2-1 win from the Stadio Franchi, but Ibra could now be suspended for at least two to three games.

“My teammates have reason to be angry with me, as during a period when Fiorentina were putting on the pressure was certainly not the right time to get sent off.

“I am sorry, but it seems as if nowadays I can’t even mutter to myself without getting into trouble. I’ll do everything I can to help Milan win the Scudetto.”

Allegri 'a step closer to Scudetto'
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits Milan are “a step closer to the Scudetto” after running a few risks in Tuscany.

“We wasted a lot of chances to put the win beyond doubt and when you do that, sooner or later you risk conceding an equaliser,” he said of the 2-1 result away to Fiorentina.

“The Viola played very well, especially down the right, where they gave us some problems. It is an important victory.”

Napoli and Inter won this weekend, but the Rossoneri remain three points clear at the top of the table.

“We still have the same advantage, have the advantage in the head-to-head records and there is a game less to play, so I guess we are a step closer to the Scudetto.

“Now we have to take it one round at a time, then see how it all ends up.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned from a two-match ban this evening, but could be out for at least another two or three after his red card for insulting the assistant referee.

“I spoke to Ibra and he told me he was muttering to himself, not the official.”

Mihajlovic: 'AC Milan deserved it'
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic concedes his men did all they could, “but Milan deserved to win tonight.”

The Serie A leaders emerged with a 2-1 result from the Stadio Franchi, although a late Juan Manuel Vargas goal and Zlatan Ibrahimovic red card made it a tense finale.

“We were too timid in the first half, then improved after the break, but Milan deserved to win tonight,” said Mihajlovic.

“I could not have asked for a better attitude from my lads, but the truth is Milan are the strongest team we’ve faced this season.

“Players were tired towards the end and we were unable to play down the wings the way I wanted to.

“When 2-0 down we risked conceding a third, but instead opened up the game for the final stages, so we had the right approach.”

Ibrahimovic left the Rossoneri with 10 men after insulting the assistant referee over a throw-in decision.

“Perhaps at that moment he was not calm because he feared letting the victory slip through his fingers.”

Fiorentina once again failed on the big occasion, as the top clubs have tended to rail-road them this season.

“We still have Juventus next Sunday and can beat them,” insisted Mihajlovic. “We went close a few times, but were always lacking something.”

Pato: 'We just focus on winning'
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato assures Milan are paying no attention to the chasing pack. “We just focus on winning every game.”

Napoli and Inter won this weekend, but the Rossoneri maintained their three-point lead at the top of the table by conquering Fiorentina 2-1 with The Duck and Clarence Seedorf on target.

“We just focus on winning every game and nothing else,” said the Brazilian.

“We are all happy, as we earned an important three points against a good team. Now we have to study the mistakes we made and look ahead to the next challenge.

“I am satisfied with my performance and that of the whole team.”

The evening was marred by Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s red card for insulting the assistant referee.

“I don’t know what happened there, as I was looking the other way,” added Pato.

Serie A: Fiorentina 1:2 AC Milan - match report
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Seedorf 9 (M), Pato 41 (M), Vargas 80 (F)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a hand in both goals and was sent off for dissent, as Milan scraped a 2-1 victory away to Fiorentina.

The Rossoneri knew they needed a result to maintain the leadership after Napoli and Inter won this weekend. Antonio Cassano was suspended with Alessandro Nesta, Andrea Pirlo, Massimo Ambrosini, Daniele Bonera, Marek Jankulovski and Pippo Inzaghi injured, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned from his two-match ban. Robinho was the one to make way, as Kevin-Prince Boateng and Alexandre Pato retained their places. Mario Yepes stepped in for Nesta.

Fiorentina had Adrian Mutu suspended and Valon Behrami not 100 per cent fit, so Adem Ljajic, Mario Alberto Santana and Juan Manuel Vargas fanned out behind ex-Milan striker Alberto Gilardino. In his last six games against the Viola, Ibra had scored five goals and set up another three.

Milan started very aggressively and within 100 seconds Clarence Seedorf had stung Artur Boruc's palms at the near post. Cesare Natali then struggled to close down Ibra, but at the other end Santana was dangerous with a couple of good moves down the right.

Seedorf opened the scoring with a well-worked move. Ibrahimovic and Pato combined to set up the Dutchman on the edge of the box, smashing his dipping right-foot finish under the bar on the bounce.

It should've been 2-0 just two minutes later, as Pato sprung the offside trap from a Seedorf slide-rule only to pass it straight into Boruc's arms.

Ljajic surged forward and unleashed a screamer that Christian Abbiati had to beat away low at the near post. The hosts had a good spell of possession, but couldn't make it count. Seedorf tried to dribble through a series of Viola shirts and was eventually closed down as he threaded through for Ibra.

A corner was pulled back to well outside the area for a Gianluca Zambrotta rocket that was fingertipped over the bar. Pato aimed a weak effort at Boruc from the D, but did make it 2-0 before the break.

It was a classic counter as Kevin-Prince Boateng and Ibra exchanged passes to slice the Fiorentina squad in two, the Ghanaian rolling across for Pato to tap in from eight yards.

Khouma Babacar replaced fellow youngster Ljajic for the second half, having turned 18 last month. He went on the counter and drilled wide when perhaps he should've passed to Gilardino.

Ibrahimovic also wasted a great chance, as he sprung the offside trap in midfield and flashed a shot across the on-rushing Boruc to miss the far post of an open goal.

Moments later another well-worked move put Ibra in a position to score, but after a give-and-go with Pato he side-footed it wide of the back stick yet again.

Valon Behrami made his comeback after picking up an injury on international duty with Switzerland. Riccardo Montolivo fired over from distance. Gilardino felt he was hauled back by Zambrotta in the box, but replays suggest it was fairly mutual.

Fiorentina had penalty appeals moments later, but were furious when the referee awarded a free kick against Gianluca Comotto for fouling Seedorf. Replays suggest the official got it right, as Comotto grabbed the Dutchman's arm and then fell to take them both down.

Ibrahimovic received a pointless booking for tripping Behrami and will be suspended for the next round. Santana was also carded, but risked a straight red for his two-footed challenge on Ignazio Abate.

Fiorentina got back into the game in the final minutes. Abbiati did well to beat away the first effort from Montolivo, but could do nothing when the Vargas follow-up from outside the box took a crucial deflection off substitute Gennaro Gattuso's chest. Gattuso had been on the field for only 60 seconds.

The Viola were now pouring forward with the wind in their sails and a Vargas cross-shot whipped across Abbiati to skim the far post.

Ibrahimovic shot himself and Milan in the foot, as he insulted the linesman and was shown a straight red card. This will be another automatic ban of at least two games, not to mention a completely pointless one, as he was complaining about a throw-in.

The tension was sky high, but the visitors clung on to the victory and their three-point lead at the top of Serie A.

Fiorentina: Boruc; Comotto, Gamberini, Natali (Kroldrup 56), Pasqual; Donadel (Behrami 62), Montolivo, Vargas; Santana, Ljajic (Babacar 46); Gilardino

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Yepes, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Flamini, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Boateng (Gattuso 77); Pato, Ibrahimovic

Ref: Morganti

Sent off: Ibrahimovic 86 (M)

Mihajlovic: 'AC Milan like a derby for me'
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sinisa Mihajlovic couldn’t be more motivated when Fiorentina welcome Milan. “It’s like a derby for me and we have a great opportunity.”

The Coach worked at Inter as both player and assistant manager, so is particularly fired up when the Rossoneri come to town this evening.

“I spent marvellous years at Inter, so it’s like a derby for me. I must admit Milan deserve to be top of the table, even if Inter have the better squad,” said the Serb.

“We have a great opportunity and I have faith. We haven’t won a big game like this for a long time and we can break into the race for Europe with a victory.

“It’s true we lack that clinical edge, so tend not to get the points we deserve against the top sides.”

Adrian Mutu is suspended, but Valon Behrami is back in the squad earlier than expected from his injury.

“He is accustomed to suffering and will never give up, whereas Adem Ljajic tends to avoid contact,” continued Mihajlovic.

“The other I day I marked Ljajic in training and gave him two or three hammer blows to let him understand nobody has ever died through tough marking.

“As for Khouma Babacar, I’d have more faith in him if he trained better. He’s got a great opportunity at Fiorentina, so should work harder. The same goes for Ljajic and it’s no coincidence they don’t play as much.

“Ljajic hasn’t done as well as I’d expected this season.”

Fiorentina squad: Boruc, Neto; Camporese, Comotto, Gamberini, Kroldrup, Natali, Pasqual; Behrami, Cerci, D'Agostino, Donadel, Ljajic, Marchionni, Montolivo, Santana, Vargas; Babacar, Gilardino

Robinho invites Ganso to AC Milan
9.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho has publicly invited Paulo Henrique Ganso to join Milan. “He is sad at Santos and will absolutely explode on the scene here.”

The 21-year-old talent is looking for a move to Europe and appears torn between the Rossoneri and rivals Inter.

“Ganso has character, plays with a clear head and it’s obvious the fans will criticise him, as they are supporting Santos above all else,” Robinho told SporTV in Brazil.

“But he is sad at Santos and mustn’t make the mistakes I did. He is a champion and will absolutely explode on the scene here at Milan.”

Allegri: 'Fiorentina trip is crucial'
9.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri is dropping Robinho to make way for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. “The Fiorentina game is crucial for the Scudetto,” said the Milan boss.

The 3-0 victory over Inter has put their lead at the top to three points, but Napoli are now the main contenders for the title.

“Tomorrow’s trip to Fiorentina is crucial for the Scudetto. I think an important result can give us a big boost,” said the Coach.

“We struggled to beat them last time. They have great technique, good players and a tactically organised set-up. It is a big loss for them that Adrian Mutu is suspended, but at this moment we have to stay concentrated, as they will also try to beat us and take the initiative.”

The Rossoneri welcome back Ibrahimovic from his two-match ban, but lose Alessandro Nesta to injury and Antonio Cassano to suspension.

“Mario Yepes will replace Sandro. Leaving Robinho out is tough, as he is in great shape, but the important thing is that we all have the Scudetto in our thoughts and work for the unit, setting aside individual needs.”

It seems as if Robinho will be pushed on to the bench to make way for Ibra, as Alexandre Pato cannot be dropped after his derby brace.

“Pato is doing well and the goals boosted his confidence. He played a great game in the derby and that made me very happy. He has definitely improved in the way he plays with his teammates, so this helps the rapport with Ibra.”

This week has seen Milan irritated that Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli suggested he’d like Napoli to win the title.

“I think Prandelli was misunderstood. It’s the last of my concerns who the Italy manager supports,” replied Allegri.

“However, I do maintain Inter will try to win the Scudetto and stay in the Champions League. We just have to focus on ourselves and not what the other teams are doing.”

Allegri was also asked about Mario Balotelli, who is having more problems at Manchester City and is repeatedly linked with a San Siro transfer.

“He’s a young lad and must learn respect is the foundation for everything. In order to stay in a society, you need these characteristics and youngsters can get it wrong.

“Football players set an example for many young people. Balotelli will understand his mistakes and, I hope for his sake, learn from them. He is a public figure and must behave in a certain way, then he can become a champion.”

Nesta out of Fiorentina match
9.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta is out of Milan’s trip to Fiorentina, joining Andrea Pirlo and the suspended Antonio Cassano, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns.

The veteran defender has been suffering from an inflammation of the right knee and underwent a personalised training schedule over the last two days.

Nesta is not even in the squad travelling to Florence for the Sunday night game, left behind along with Pirlo, Massimo Ambrosini, Daniele Bonera, Marek Jankulovski, Pippo Inzaghi and the suspended Cassano.

There is a boost for Max Allegri, as Ibrahimovic’s two-match ban has now expired, so he returns to the side.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Piscitelli, Abate, Antonini, Oddo, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes, Boateng, Emanuelson, Flamini, Gattuso, Merkel, Seedorf, Strasser, Van Bommel, Ibrahimovic, Pato, Robinho

Inzaghi calls Balotelli to AC Milan
9.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi hopes to be back in action at Easter to help Milan’s Scudetto push and declares: “I’d love Mario Balotelli to join us.”

The 37-year-old striker thought his career was over after damaging knee ligaments five months ago, but is getting back to full fitness and could play again before the end of the season.

“I am not setting any deadlines, but I hope to be back for Easter,” he told Sport Mediaset. “I must thank the fans who have kept my enthusiasm on a high.

“I am confident Milan will win the Scudetto. Since the first day Massimiliano Allegri arrived, he tried to talk with the players and seek their opinions. His methods remind me of Carlo Ancelotti’s.”

Inzaghi is nearing retirement and a potential heir to his throne is Manchester City striker Balotelli.

“Obviously, I’d love Balotelli to join us. He would find many positive examples in this squad to learn from. I’d also like my friend Kaka to return.

“There is so much pressure on Alexandre Pato, though. At his age I was still in the amateur Leagues, while he has already been playing for Milan for four years.”

Galliani defends Leonardo
8.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani thinks the criticism Inter boss Leonardo has received is indicative of what a sorry state football is in today.

There have been calls for Leonardo to be sacked and several players sold after back-to-back defeats to Milan in the Derby della Madonnina and Schalke in the Champions League.

Speaking at a Milan Golf Tour event, Galliani said: “It's football that's terrible. Leonardo isn't going through a difficult moment at all. Just think that until 8:45pm last Saturday he was being defined as a great Coach and the greatest motivator after having put together an extraordinary run.

“In reality it's football that's terrible.

“Now don't go and say that I am an Inter fan, but you can't erase 13 years of being close to Leonardo. I want to sign him in Paris and then proposed making him Coach to Silvio Berlusconi.

“I am not an Inter fan, but I have a lot of affection for Leonardo.”

Abate would welcome Ronaldo
8.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ignazio Abate says he would welcome Cristiano Ronaldo if Milan were to sign the Real Madrid star.

Earlier this week, Silvio Berlusconi told reporters that he dreams of seeing Ronaldo in a red and black shirt.

Interviewed by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Abate was asked how Ronaldo would do at San Siro.

“I believe he would do very well,” Abate said. “I hope he comes even if I have already played with many phenomenal players here.

“If you had said to me that I would train with David Beckham, I wouldn't have believed you.”

Asked about the improvements he has made to his game this season, Abate said: “I had to learn to be a defender.

“With Leonardo, I started the season as a central midfielder. Now I feel like a defender and I like it.

“I am not thinking a lot about the national team right now. I am thinking about the Scudetto. I am seven games away from a dream.”

Ganso makes ultimatum
8.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Santos playmaker Paulo Henrique Ganso has given the club an ultimatum amid strong interest from Milan.

The 21-year-old Brazil international inspired Santos to a 3-2 victory over Colo Colo in the Copa Libertadores on Thursday.

After the game Ganso told Santos President Luiz Alvaro Ribeiro that he would like to move to Italy as soon as possible.

The Brazil international has been branded a mercenary by Santos fans, who held a protest against his actions after a defeat to Palmeiras.

Milan have already been in contact with Papito Lima, the agent and brother of Ganso.

Third party company DIS, who own 45 per cent of Ganso's contract, have also been sounded out.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Ganso's future is tied to Santos' progress in the Copa Libertadores.

Santos have a chance to progress next Wednesday with a win in Paraguay against Cerro Porteno.

However, Neymar, Elano and Ze Eduardo are suspended, so the odds are not stacked in Santos' favour.

Van Bommel: Scudetto depends on us
8.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mark Van Bommel has followed Zlatan Ibrahimovic's lead in saying that Milan's destiny is in their hands this season.

The Rossoneri took a big step towards the Scudetto on Saturday with a stunning 3-0 win against rivals Inter in the Derby della Madonnina.

Milan now have a three-point lead at the top of Serie A with seven games of the season remaining.

Interviewed by Il Corriere dello Sport, Van Bommel said: “It only depends on us. We are top. We must only think about winning matches without worrying about what our direct rivals are doing.

“I think Milan are having a great season. There are still seven games left and many points in play. We have to keep playing with the enthusiasm that we have because the strength of a great team is represented by the solidity of the group.

“I have always considered Milan to be a great team. Ever since I arrived at Milanello I am sure that they are an exceptional club.”

Zambrotta respects Fiorentina threat
8.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gianluca Zambrotta expects a battle when Milan play Fiorentina at the Stadio Franchi this weekend.

The League leaders visit Tuscany on Sunday night in a game that may have hidden dangers despite the 23 points that separate the two clubs.

“There are no unmotivated sides and away games at Fiorentina are always difficult for everybody,” the 2006 World Cup winner told La Nazione.

Fiorentina have struggled for consistency, but boss Sinisa Mihajlovic seems to be slowly turning things around.

“Mihajlovic has the grit and determination he had as a player,” continued the former Bari and Juventus man.

“Sooner or later I think the results they are after will arrive.

“Fiorentina need to get into the winning habit, but with players like Juan Vargas, Alberto Gilardino, Adrian Mutu and Mario Santana, they are good enough to qualify for the Champions League.”

Thiago Silva feels Maldini's shadow
8.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva has revealed the pressure of following in the stud marks of Paolo Maldini at Italian giants Milan.

The Brazilian was signed by the Rossoneri in 2009 from Fluminense as the legendary Maldini brought his 31-year stint with the club to an end.

“I’m in a decisive spell of my career,” the South American told Sky Sport 24. “I feel the responsibility of being a successor to a phenomenon like Paolo Maldini.

“At the end of my career, I just hope to have won half of what he did during his splendid sporting life.”

Silva is close to his first Scudetto as Milan lead Napoli by three points with seven games remaining.

“We have to win this title,” he stated. “We’ve always been first in the table and that’s not easy in the Italian championship.

“We’ll be playing against Napoli and Inter, but we deserve it for what we are doing.”

Milan travel to Fiorentina this weekend, while Napoli face Bologna at the Dall’Ara and Inter host Chievo.

Ambrosini wants AC Milan extension
7.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini is out of contract and has been linked with Chelsea and Tottenham, but his agent insists “he wants to stay with Milan.”

The midfielder, who was the captain before a six-week spell on the sidelines, will be a free agent when his current deal expires on June 30.

Newspapers in England and Italy have linked Ambrosini with potential summer Bosman transfers to Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea or even Tottenham.

“There is no news with regards to the contract renewal and we are waiting for a call from the Rossoneri directors,” agent Moreno Roggi told ilsussidiario.net.

“I can say that the player’s intention is to continue this adventure at San Siro. He wants to stay with Milan.”

Report: AC Milan fly out for Ganso
7.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

It is reported Milan are flying out to complete their swoop for Santos starlet Paulo Henrique Ganso, beating competition from Inter.

The 21-year-old trequartista has been in talks with both San Siro clubs and looks set to come to Serie A in the summer.

According to the Corriere dello Sport, the Rossoneri are stepping up their pursuit by flying director general Ariedo Braida to Brazil for advanced negotiations this week.

Ganso has an Italian passport, so would not count as one of the non-EU signings for either club.

His contract with Santos has a buy-out clause worth €54m, but the player fell out with his club this week and is expected to be signed for around half that sum.

It was also reported that one of the main reasons Ganso had been close to Inter was Coach Leonardo.

The uncertainty over the tactician’s future after the 3-0 derby defeat and 5-2 Champions League loss to Schalke therefore pushed Ganso closer to Milan.

'AC Milan helped Schalke beat Inter'
7.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Schalke manager Ralf Rangnick claims Max Allegri's Milan helped his side beat Inter in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Bundesliga outfit came back from behind at San Siro to win 5-2 and look almost certain to qualify for the semi-finals of the competition.

“I did well to watch the Milan derby personally,” Rangnick said. “I understood that Inter didn't press at all in midfield and left big spaces.

“They were vulnerable to quick opponents like Alex Pato and those who are capable of taking the initiative like Milan did.

“I asked my players to give everything, to attack every ball and to play with a high line.”

Astori to replace Mexes?
7.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cagliari defender Davide Astori is being touted as a possible replacement for Philippe Mexes at Roma.

Mexes revealed on Wednesday that he is leaving Roma after “seven beautiful years” once his contract expires at the end of this season.

Roma have been strongly criticised for letting the France international's existing deal run down.

Mediaset understands Astori is Roma's No 1 choice for the position.

The 24-year-old is part-owned by Milan and it looked as though he would move to San Siro this summer.

However, Mexes' prospective transfer to Milan has thrown a spanner in the works and it now looks as though Astori will be a makeweight.

Astori recently made his debut for Italy against the Ukraine in Kiev and was sent off.

Roma are also said to have an interest in Benfica's Luisao, Fenerbahce's Diego Lugano, Sampdoria's Daniele Gastaldello and Parma's Cristian Zaccardo.

Candela: Roma wrong to let Mexes go
7.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vincent Candela is dismayed that Roma have allowed Philippe Mexes to leave on a Bosman with his next destination likely to be Milan.

Mexes revealed on Wednesday that he is leaving Roma after “seven beautiful years” once his contract expires at the end of this season.

Speaking to Radio Power Station, Candela said: “Such an important player's contract should not be allowed to run down.

“Roma needed to renew his contract.”

Asked for his opinion of Roma's season, Candela said: “This year the players have done what they wanted. Everyone has gone down their own path and no one has got them back on track.

“It couldn't have been otherwise with the club in transition. Vincenzo Montella is doing well. He could establish himself at the highest level if he stays.

“It's just a shame about the Champions League. The chances of qualifying are minimal.”

Neymar: I'm ready for Italy
7.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Santos striker Neymar claims he is fascinated by Serie A and feels ready for a move to Italy.

The 19-year-old is widely regarded as the brightest prospect in world football along with his teammate Ganso who is attracting interest from Inter and Milan.

Interviewed by Il Corriere dello Sport, he said: “I like your League a lot. The Scudetto will be a three-way fight between Inter, Milan and Napoli, but I am supporting the two Milan teams. I have lots of friends in both.”

Asked if he is ready to play in Serie A, Neymar replied: “Yes. The ball and the pitch are the same all over the world… Why shouldn't I be ready?

“Serie A is one of the greatest Leagues in the world, but for now I am very happy here at Santos.”

Neymar then gave his reaction to reports that Juventus are keen to bring him to Turin.

“Honestly I am not thinking about this. My father and my agent concern themselves with my future.

“I know about Juventus' great tradition and the champions who have worn the black and white shirt. Zinedine Zidane is one of my idols.”

Jankulovski out for six months
7.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marek Jankulovski has probably played his last game for Milan, as knee surgery will keep him out for six months.

The veteran’s contract expires at the end of the season and he had broken back into the first team before tearing ligaments in his left knee.

Today the official club website confirmed “Jankulovski underwent surgery to his left knee.

“The operation, performed at the Humanitas Rozzano institute by Professor Volpi’s team, was a success.

“His recovery time is expected to be around six months.”

Seedorf: 'I've had Corinthians talks'
6.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan star Clarence Seedorf has opened the door to the interest from Corinthians. “Until today it had been informal conversations...”

News emerged overnight from Brazil that Corinthians were preparing an offer for the Dutch veteran, whose contract with the Rossoneri expires at the end of the season.

“Up until today it had been only informal and initial conversations, but now I have spoken to Ronaldo,” Seedorf told RedeTV.

“I am concentrated on winning the Scudetto, but after my contract with Milan expires, I will listen to proposals from clubs like Corinthians.

“Brazil is a country that I love.”

Ronaldo has marketing links with Corinthians and was also instrumental in bringing ex-Roma striker Adriano to the club last month.

Milan have not yet offered a contract extension, so with the June 30 deadline looming, it looks as if Seedorf is ready to move on.

Other clubs have shown an interest too, including Germans Wolfsburg, but there are personal reasons for Seedorf to go to Brazil.

His wife is Brazilian and he already has an apartment in Rio de Janeiro. The only problem, according to local media, is that he has said in the past he is a fan of Flamengo.

Mexes: 'I'm leaving Roma'
6.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Philippe Mexes underwent knee surgery and confirmed he is “leaving Roma after seven unforgettable years. Milan? I haven’t decided yet.”

The defender tore the anterior cruciate ligament during the 2-0 home defeat to Juventus on Sunday and went under the knife yesterday.

The operation will keep him out of action for four to six months, so he has played his final game with the Giallorossi.

“I am leaving Roma after seven unforgettable years. That decision has been made, I am making a lifestyle choice and will leave at the end of the season,” declared Mexes.

“I had my life at Roma, but I also have other personal issues that prompt me to make a decision. Even if I am very close to a club, I have to think about other aspects.

“The change of management has nothing to do with it, as I get along very well with Vincenzo Montella.”

He has been heavily linked with Milan for many months and would join on a free transfer, as his contract expires in June.

“Milan? I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet. There is so much talk about it, so probably yes. I do know I’ll never find another club like Roma, whether in Italy or abroad.

“This is football and life at times leads you to other decisions.”

Mexes played 258 games with the Giallorossi jersey over seven seasons.

Nesta dismisses talk of retirement
6.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Alessandro Nesta has dismissed talk of his retirement as premature and added that he intends to play next season.

The 35-year-old had hinted that his playing days were approaching an end, leading to speculation that he would quit in the summer.

Speaking to the Milan Channel, Nesta said: “I was badly interpreted the other time. I didn't say that I wanted to stop at the end of the season.

“They asked me at what point of my career I'm at and I replied that I am almost at the end, but not right at the end.

“I hope that I will still be able to play even if perhaps I won't be able to play every game.

“Actually this year I am very satisfied because I have played a lot, but perhaps I can't play every three days.”

Prandelli: I don't support anyone
6.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has backtracked after controversially saying that he is backing Napoli to win the Scudetto this season.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has complained to the President of the FIGC Giancarlo Abete about his lack of impartiality.

“I don't support any team,” Prandelli said. “Obviously it makes me very happy that a club like Napoli is organising itself to win the Scudetto: it's a phenomenon that does Italian football good.

“I am sorry if Galliani and the Milanisti are angry, but it's something that doesn't exist. I have clearly said that Milan have been top for 24 weeks and deserve to be first.

“Sure I also added that with a lead of three points they must be careful.

“As for the Scudetto I repeat the concept that has inspired me throughout my career: may the best team win.”

Galliani upset with Prandelli
6.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is upset that Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli has backed Napoli to win the Scudetto this season.

Prandelli expressed his admiration for Napoli's season during a radio broadcast on Tuesday and said that he will be supporting their title challenge.

His comments have upset the Milan camp who feel he should remain impartial.

Prandelli's predecessor Marcello Lippi angered the then Inter Coach Jose Mourinho when he told reporters that Juventus would win the Scudetto last season.

Il Corriere dello Sport understands Galliani has telephoned Prandelli's boss Giancarlo Abete, the President of the FIGC, to register his unhappiness.

Ganso close to AC Milan
6.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Santos starlet Paulo Henrique Ganso is growing ever closer to Milan after falling out with his club.

The 21-year-old playmaker is one of the brightest talents to emerge in Brazil in recent years.

Inter have also expressed an interest in signing Ganso this summer.

He has made no secret of his desire to leave for Europe, much to the disappointment of Santos supporters.

Last week, they held a protest and called Ganso a 'mercenary'.

Consequently, Ganso's entourage has been persuaded to accelerate their efforts to land a move to Europe.

Seedorf to join Corinthians?
6.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports in Brazil claim that Corinthians are keen to sign Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf this summer.

The 35-year-old Dutch legend apparently hasn't dismissed the interest straight away.

He was born in Surinam and his wife also hails from the South American country.

Ronaldo also recently visited Milan and discussed the prospect with his former teammate.

O Fenomeno retired at Corinthians in February, but still retains an interest in the club.

Corinthians recently announced the signing of Adriano on a free transfer after he severed his ties with Roma.

AC Milan's Cristiano Ronaldo dream
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi reportedly told close friends: “My dream is to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to San Siro.”

The club owner, who is also Prime Minister of Italy, splashed out in the summer when signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Barcelona and Robinho from Manchester City.

It was reported in ItaSportPress and La Repubblica that Berlusconi has been talking about his plans for the future.

“My dream is to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to San Siro. I’d love to have him here,” was the quote attributed to him.

It would be a highly unlikely transfer, seeing as Real Madrid bought the Portuguese talent for €80m in 2009.

Allegri: Pato is an extra weapon
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri believes Alexandre Pato is an extra weapon he can use to win the Scudetto.

Pato struck twice in an emphatic 3-0 victory over Inter in the Derby della Madonnina on Saturday evening.

“I am very happy with Pato, not just for his goals, but the moment he is going through,” Allegri said.

“He can be an extra weapon.

“After the game my phone was full of text messages, but the gesture that struck me the most was the embrace from my father Fernando.

“He has been my spiritual guide since I played for Pescara. It moved me and we are very close.”

Asked about the title race, Allegri said: “I respect Napoli a lot. I've been saying for three months that they deserve respect.”

Mexes undergoes knee operation
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma defender Philippe Mexes underwent surgery on his knee this morning at a clinic in the capital.

The France international tore his anterior cruciate ligaments against Juventus on Sunday.

Mexes was consulted by Professor Pierpaolo Mariani at the Villa Stuart clinic.

Mariani is an expert in this field and has operated on the likes of Francesco Totti and Alessandro Nesta.

Mexes' condition will be monitored over the next 72 hours.

He will then start rehabilitation at Trigoria and is expected to be back in five to six months.

AC Milan to bid for Nainggolan
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have made an inquiry about Cagliari's explosive midfielder Radja Nainggolan, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

It's no secret that Massimiliano Allegri is keen to bring some of his former players to San Siro from Cagliari where he coached for two years.

Milan have already been linked with Andrea Lazzari, Federico Marchetti and actually own 50 per cent of the rights to Davide Astori.

However, Nainggolan's stock has risen partly because Milan see the 22-year-old Belgian as a cheaper alternative to Santos' Ganso.

La Gazzetta understands Adriano Galliani has already been in touch with Cagliari President Massimo Cellino to register his interest.

Milan have eight players whose contracts are due to expire this summer, the majority of whom are midfielders, hence the need to reinforce the position.

Cassano: I was naive again
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano freely admits that the red card he received in Saturday's Milan derby was another example of his naivety.

The Italy international playmaker came off the bench, scored a penalty and was then sent off for a second bookable offence.

“It's another ingenuity that I have committed and I will pay for it,” Cassano said. “I have committed many ingenuities in my career and I hope to commit fewer.

“Silvio Berlusconi said that I would be decisive in the derby. I can say that the President is someone who I respect a lot.

“He has always reserved great compliments for Cassano the footballer and also Cassano the man and for this reason I would like to thank him again with all my heart.

“I also have a great relationship with the fans: when I was warming up they sang my name and as soon as I came on there was a big roar.”

Looking ahead to the final run-in, Cassano said: “Zlatan Ibrahimovic's return is important. He is as fundamental for us as Alex Pato.

“Now we have to think about getting maximum points against Fiorentina.”

Season over for Mexes
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Roma have suffered a blow with the news that Philippe Mexes is likely to be out for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.

The France international underwent a scan this morning after picking up a knock during Sunday night's clash with Juventus.

Mexes tweaked his knee in the first half, came out for the second against his better judgement and then had to abandon the game.

Reports claim he has torn the ligaments in his left knee and will be out for between three to four months.

Considering Roma's final game of the campaign is on May 22, Mexes faces a race against time to contribute anything more to this season.

His contract is due to expire in June and it has been widely reported that he will join Milan, although nothing official has been announced.

AC Milan reject Gattuso exit claims
4.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have moved swiftly to deny reports that Gennaro Gattuso has played in his last city derby for the club.

Whispers regarding Gattuso’s future have been circulating for some time, with reports that he could be tempted away by a big money offer from Russia.

However, after playing in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Inter, the Rossoneri insist that the 2006 World Cup winner is not for sale.

“Rino Gattuso has a contract with Milan until 30 June, 2012, and neither the club nor the player is considering not respecting this agreement,” Vice-President Adriano Galliani stated.

“We’ll continue together next season as well, we with Gattuso and Gattuso with us.

“I wanted to make this clear once again to all, especially to our fans.”

Gattuso, now 33, has been with the San Siro giants since his 1999 transfer from little Salernitana. He’s won every competition with the club apart from the UEFA Cup.

Pato rubbishes Ibrahimovic myth
4.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato is ready to welcome Zlatan Ibrahimovic back into the Milan line-up. “It’s not true that I play better without him.”

Ibra has been ruled out of the last two games with suspension, but he wasn’t missed in the Meazza derby as Pato scored twice in the 3-0 win over Inter.

That performance reinforced some people’s view that the Brazilian shines brighter without the Swede alongside him, but the youngster has rejected that claim.

“It’s not true that I play better without him,” he noted. “His return to the side will make us even stronger and that is vital.”

Milan are now five points clear of Inter, but Napoli’s victory means the Azzurri are only three points adrift of the Rossoneri.

“The derby victory was important, but there are still seven games left and we can’t make an error in any of them,” Pato added.

Milan travel to Tuscany next weekend for a potentially tricky tie against Sinisa Mihajlovic’s Fiorentina.

Berlusconi slams door on Balotelli
3.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi warns the Scudetto isn’t won yet and has “affection” for Leonardo, but “Mario Balotelli’s style doesn’t suit us.”

The patron, who is also Prime Minister of Italy, was not in the stands for last night’s 3-0 victory over Inter.

“The Scudetto is seven games away. We have the opportunity to do well and from that respect the derby was important,” he commented.

Inter boss Leonardo was welcomed by a huge banner depicting The Last Supper with the former Milan Coach as Judas.

“I give Leonardo the most heartfelt best wishes so that he can do well and stay at Inter. The derby is another issue entirely.

“I care for Leonardo, as he gave so much to Milan, so I have nothing but affection for him. Leo called me narcissistic? He’s right, I am!”

Berlusconi slammed the door shut on another figure, though, as Balotelli’s continual disciplinary problems have put his future at Manchester City in doubt.

“There is a Milan style of behaviour that I don’t think is very close to that of Balotelli. He’s a lovely lad who every now and then has a bit of a distraction, let’s put it that way. I don’t think his style suits us.”

Pato's special derby dedication
3.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato had a very special dedication for his derby brace: his new girlfriend, the daughter of President Silvio Berlusconi.

There have been reports that the striker is seeing Barbara Berlusconi and these were effectively confirmed last night at San Siro when she was cheering on from the stands.

“Who did I dedicate the goals to? Well, you all saw who...” he said in a Press conference before waving away further questions.

“I also dedicate it to everyone who is always here in the stadium to cheer on Milan even when things haven’t gone well.

“I am very relaxed and try to give my best in training and on the pitch. It’s important to put in the same effort for the less prestigious matches, as they are worth three points too.

“I scored two goals and am very satisfied, as we won and are top of the table. We win together and lose together, so we are all happy.

“We were unable to do what we wanted to in Palermo, but we did against Inter. There are still seven rounds to go, so we must keep pushing for the Scudetto and hopefully the Coppa Italia too.”

Seedorf: 'I'll stay if AC Milan want me to'
3.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf was one of the stars of the Milan derby triumph and is out of contract in June. “I’ll stay if the club wants me to.”

The Dutchman turned 35 this week and played a key part in last night’s 3-0 victory over Inter.

“I have proved how much I care for Milan every day over the last nine years, but I will stay only if the club shows that it wants me to,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“There is mutual respect, so we will discuss the situation without problems.”

Seedorf’s contract expires on June 30 and he has been at the club since 2002, but could leave as a free agent in the summer.

He also looked back at last night’s derby success with an Alexandre Pato brace and Antonio Cassano penalty. Seedorf inherited the captain’s armband when Gennaro Gattuso went off injured.

“We have been living together for many years, so knowing the atmosphere I recognised the most important message: play as a team unit.

“In difficult times we must come together, unite and bring out our best qualities. I am always proud to wear the Number 10 jersey, even more so with the captain’s armband.

“We are a strong squad, have laid the foundations throughout the campaign and now it is time to reap the rewards. We rediscovered our confidence and self-belief going into the next important and difficult games.

“I think Inter have huge potential and we did well to limit them. Perhaps it was difficult for them to find the right motivation when coming off strong performances.”

Abbiati keeps his cool
3.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati explained his amazing save in the Milan derby and warned his teammates “the season has a long way to go.”

The Rossoneri beat rivals Inter 3-0 last night to open up a five-point lead at the top of the table.

Some would say Abbiati’s save on the Thiago Silva header before half-time, when it was still 1-0, was worth as much as a fourth goal.

“It almost went in, but after my save Ignazio Abate did well to finally clear it,” said the goalkeeper.

“I was also fortunate in that instance, as I just managed to get there in time. Alexandre Pato’s early goal was great for us, as it knocked the wind out of Inter’s sails and we stepped on to the field with real determination.

“This victory certainly does not mean we’ve already won the Scudetto. It was an important match, and a derby, but there are seven games to go and many points still up for grabs.

“We must not give in, so instead keep trying to get a result in every match right to the end.”

Abbiati said this week that he was surprised Leonardo opted to cross San Siro to manage Inter. Would there be any ironic dedications to their former Coach?

“I certainly wouldn’t. We celebrate for ourselves.”

Zanetti: 'Cassano dived'
3.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter captain Javier Zanetti concedes “we could’ve done without that defeat,” and accused Antonio Cassano of “diving.”

Milan emerged with a 3-0 victory in tonight’s derby thanks to an Alexandre Pato brace and late Cassano penalty.

“I don’t know what the others may think, but I know what the team thinks: it’s true, we could’ve done without this defeat, but now we have to look ahead,” Zanetti told Inter Channel.

“There are still seven Serie A games left, we are in the Champions League quarter-final and the Coppa Italia semi-final.”

It was Zanetti who pulled back Cassano for the spot-kick, but he had a message for FantAntonio.

“This is football too and Cassano did very well when diving in the box.

“We had the chances in the first half to equalize, then Cristian Chivu’s red card made everything more difficult.

“Milan did well to hold on to the ball and maintain that advantage, so we couldn’t get back into the game.

“Everyone is disappointed at losing this type of game, but I repeat we must look ahead now.”

Pato: 'Finally I was decisive'
2.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato was the brace hero in the derby and used it to answer his critics. “Finally I was decisive in a big match.”

The young striker has been at Milan since the age of 17 and still has a long way to go in his career, but will look back on the double in tonight’s 3-0 victory over Inter.

“I gave a strong response to my critics with two important goals,” he told MilanNews.it.

“I always let criticism wash over me and played every single game with the intention of doing better.

“Finally I was decisive in a big match.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan's turning point'
2.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri believes the derby triumph is “a psychological turning point,” hailed Clarence Seedorf and Alexandre Pato, but told off Antonio Cassano.

“It is not the game that wins the Scudetto, even if we’ve given our table a good boost,” he said of Milan’s 3-0 victory over rivals Inter.

“After the last few weeks this success can be a psychological turning point. We were too slow in the first half and didn’t finish off our moves, while we did better after the break.

“The victory is more than deserved and the team did a great job.”

Pato bagged a brace and Cassano converted a late penalty, but FantAntonio received two yellow cards for celebrating by taking his shirt off and then tackling Ivan Cordoba.

“Pato had a great game and was very good at attacking the two Inter centre-backs,” continued Allegri.

“It’s a shame about Cassano and unfortunately there is this habit of taking your shirt off to celebrate. Antonio knew that was the case and could’ve avoided the foul later on.

“Robinho had some important opportunities to score, but overall played a good game. Seedorf’s performance was extraordinary, showing all his quality.”

Milan were top of the table, but felt like the underdogs before this derby, having picked up one point from two games against Bari and Palermo.

“I gave the lads some suggestions and they tried to follow my requests. They played very well, proving the games against Bari and Palermo were just blips, albeit ones that are sometimes necessary.”

Leonardo: 'It's not a surrender'
2.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo insists the 3-0 defeat is not a Scudetto surrender, “but admittedly five points are a lot. I respect the Milan fans.”

The Nerazzurri had the opportunity to go top of the table tonight, but were beaten 3-0 by rivals and Serie A leaders Milan.

“Is this a surrender for the Scudetto? No, certainly not that, but admittedly five points are a lot with only seven games to go,” said the Coach.

“At the end of the first half we had some good chances, then five minutes after the break Cristian Chivu was sent off and that affected our ability to fight back.”

Alexandre Pato scored a brace in this game, including the opener after just 47 seconds, before Antonio Cassano’s late penalty.

“If you concede after one minute, then it is going to make it very difficult and change all your plans. We didn’t do enough tonight and Milan made it hard for us.

“In the second half, with a man down, it got even harder. We struggled a lot in attack and didn’t move enough off the ball, so ran into a lot of problems trying to create chances.

“Am I surprised by Pato’s performance? No, I know him very well.”

Leonardo was the Coach of Milan last season and spent 13 years there as player, talent scout – signing Pato – and tactician.

This was his first game against the Rossoneri and the crowd held up a giant banner depicting The Last Supper with Leo as Judas.

“I respect the Milan fans. I know what I experienced with them and I am proud of everything I am experiencing now. There is nothing to analyse.

“I saw and heard the welcome I was given here, but I respect everyone.”

Serie A: AC Milan 3:0 Inter Milan - match report
2.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pato 1, 62 (M), Cassano pen 89 (M)

Alexandre Pato got two goals and Antonio Cassano converted a penalty as Milan beat 10-man Inter 3-0 for the derby and a potential title-winning result, but Cristian Chivu and Cassano saw red.

This was what Marco Materazzi called "the game to end all games." Not only was it the Derby della Madonnina, but also first vs second with only two points separating them. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lucio sat out bans, while Andrea Pirlo, Massimo Ambrosini, Pippo Inzaghi, Daniele Bonera, Marek Jankulovski and Walter Samuel were sidelined.

Gianluca Zambrotta returned from a three-month lay-off for a surprise start with Kevin-Prince Boateng behind Robinho and Alexandre Pato. At the other end, Leonardo faced his former club for the first time after 13 years as Milan player, talent scout and Coach. He opted for an all-attack formation with Wesley Sneijder supporting the trident.

San Siro was totally sold out with 80,018 tickets and the Milan choreography was a depiction of The Last Supper with Leonardo as Judas!

It was an amazing start to the match, as within 47 seconds the Rossoneri had taken the lead! The two Inter centre-backs were focused on Alexandre Pato, but did not notice Robinho running in behind them on to Gennaro Gattuso's pass. Julio Cesar did enough to parry from the former Manchester City striker, but could do nothing on Pato's follow-up.

Robinho at full stretch just failed to get on the end of a Pato cross to the back post. A wonderful Clarence Seedorf volley was charged down by Douglas Maicon in the box and it certainly struck his out-stretched hand, but the referee judged it to be involuntary. Maicon was in the gesture of turning round to protect himself, but these penalties have been given.

Another Alessandro Nesta volley from a corner was charged down by Maicon, but this time no controversy, as it struck him square in the face.

Inter had a great chance at the 19th minute. Giampaolo Pazzini dribbled past Zambrotta to go clear, but Christian Abbiati did well to parry at the near post.

The referee got in the way of a clearance, turning into an assist for Goran Pandev, who prodded it wide. Pato's deflected strike looped up to skim the upright and from the corner Zambrotta also went close.

Pato pounced on a ball over the top following Cristian Chivu's error and Andrea Ranocchia had to snatch it off his feet. Robinho burst into the box and went down under a Ranocchia challenge, but was rightly booked by the referee for simulation.

Pato went on a classic counter from Robinho's cross-field pass, but he out-ran it and tried to chip the cross for Boateng, but Ranocchia made a crucial intervention.

Milan almost went 2-0 up on 36 minutes, as Mark Van Bommel unleashed a screamer from 25 metres that took a deflection off Chivu to loop over a helpless Julio Cesar, landing on the crossbar.

Moments later Inter felt they had scored. A Sneijder corner was whipped in for Thiago Motta's header and Abbiati performed an amazing save from point-blank range, slapping it off the line. Some of the Nerazzurri players thought it had crossed the line, but replays suggest it had not.

Samuel Eto'o really should've scored, but somehow didn't! With two minutes to go before half-time, a Pandev cross was flicked off Esteban Cambiasso's head to the back post to find the Cameroon international totally unmarked, but he fired it wide from a couple of yards!

There was still time for a Pato volley over the bar before the half-time whistle. After the restart Gattuso suddenly collapsed clutching the back of his thigh and it's a suspected strain, so he had to make way for Mathieu Flamini.

Inter had a more aggressive start to the second half, but left themselves open to the counter-attack. A Boateng cross-field ball went past Ranocchia to send Pato clear and Chivu attempted to cut him off, but only managed to clip his heels on the edge of the box. It was an inevitable red card and Ivan Cordoba replaced Pandev to restore the defence.

Thiago Silva had a big run-up for the powerful free kick that arrowed round the wall, but Julio Cesar had his palms stung by the shot.

Eto'o managed to squirm between a crowd of Rossoneri shirts at the by-line, but was eventually stopped by Thiago Silva's sliding tackle and Boateng's clearance.

Milan doubled their lead just past the hour mark. Seedorf intelligently spread the play down the right for an unmarked Ignazio Abate and his wayward shot turned into an assist for Pato's header from four yards. Inter complained of an offside position, but replays suggest he was level with the ball.

Inter threw on Diego Milito after a six-week absence, while Maicon was fortunate to avoid a second yellow card for a rough challenge.

It should've been 3-0, as Flamini knocked on a counter to send Robinho clear, but the Brazilian hesitated and then fired straight at Julio Cesar at the near post. Boateng then had a shot deflected out for a corner off Ranocchia from close range.

Robinho wasted another golden opportunity on Pato's through ball, as he again hesitated and tried to walk it into the net by sending Julio Cesar to the floor, forgetting this gave Ranocchia time to dive in with the block.

Milan were now dominating possession and Flamini had the ball in the back of the net, but he was flagged slightly offside. Robinho had another good chance on Seedorf's through ball, but the angled drive was beaten away by Julio Cesar's trailing foot.

The body language of the Inter players spoke volumes, as they seemed to give up. Antonio Cassano was given the last 10 minutes for Robinho and Eto'o tried to spark some life into his side with a solo run, finalised by Maicon's shot across the face of goal.

In the final minutes a wonderful ball over the top from Seedorf was chested down by Cassano, but he was pulled back by Javier Zanetti. Cordoba was near by, so it was only a yellow card, but Cassano stepped up for the penalty. FantAntonio coolly rolled it to send Julio Cesar the wrong way and secure the victory.

Cassano had taken his shirt off to celebrate, so was automatically booked, and in stoppages made a foolish and futile tackle on Cordoba to earn a second yellow card. So in 12 minutes on the field, Cassano earned a penalty, scored a goal and was sent off.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Gattuso (Flamini 51), Van Bommel, Seedorf; Boateng; Pato (Emanuelson 84), Robinho (Cassano 79)

Inter: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Ranocchia, Chivu, Zanetti; Thiago Motta, Cambiasso (Stankovic 71); Sneijder; Pandev (Cordoba 55), Eto'o, Pazzini (Milito 63)

Ref: Rizzoli

Sent off: Chivu 54 (I), Cassano 92 (M)

AC Milan vs. Inter Milan Live Text Now!
2.4 || webmaster

If you can't watch the match, then join us for live text here!

AC Milan vs. Inter Milan - lineups
2.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Gattuso, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Boateng; Pato, Robinho

Inter: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Ranocchia, Chivu, Zanetti; Thiago Motta, Cambiasso; Sneijder; Pandev, Eto’o, Pazzini

Cahill to replace Nesta at AC Milan?
2.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Milan are targeting Bolton Wanderers defender Gary Cahill to be Alessandro Nesta’s heir.

Nesta has hinted he will hang up his boots at the end of the season and the Rossoneri are seeking a long-term replacement.

It’s suggested England player Cahill could be the man to fill those boots, especially as his contract expires in 2012.

Chelsea, Arsenal and Bayern Munich have also been linked with the 25-year-old, who is valued at around €20m.

Maldini gives Milan derby insight
2.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Paolo Maldini reveals what’s going in the minds of the two squads ahead of the Derby della Madonnina.

The former Rossoneri captain played in 56 derbies, but it has been many years since the fixture has been a Scudetto battle.

“This situation reminds me of the 1993 derby,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We were at the top of the table and Inter were making their fightback. It ended 1-1, we kept them at the right distance and won the Scudetto.

“It is a little different now, as Milan risk being overtaken in this one match, plus there is more pathos considering Inter seemed out of it after their draw at Brescia. Instead, in two games everything changed.

“If Milan win, they’ll take themselves virtually six points clear, because they have an advantage in the head-to-head clashes.

“A victory would also be crucial in terms of confidence. The team that loses will have that extra fear, especially as an Inter win or draw would bring Napoli and Udinese back into the race.”

Leonardo was Maldini’s teammate and faces Milan as an opponent for the first time this evening.

“I spoke to him 10 days ago. He is happy and I’m very pleased for him. Leonardo is not a traitor. He’s a professional who did the right thing.

“We talked while he was in negotiations for the Inter job and I advised him to do it, because this was an enormous opportunity. He didn’t have a future at Milan.”

Derby tactics up in the air
2.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are still tactical uncertainties in the Milan derby, as Leonardo considers Goran Pandev in a trident attack, while the Rossoneri have a midfield mystery.

This evening the Scudetto showdown at San Siro will be without the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lucio.

Inter are thought to be considering a change of approach, as during training Leonardo tested a 4-2-1-3 system with Wesley Sneijder supporting a trident of Goran Pandev, Samuel Eto’o and Giampaolo Pazzini.

It would mean dropping either Dejan Stankovic or Esteban Cambiasso to make room for Pandev.

At the back, Cristian Chivu and Andrea Ranocchia are not 100 per cent fit, but both could even start.

Failing that, Ivan Cordoba would step in for one of the two.

Over at Milan, the main problems for Coach Massimiliano Allegri are in midfield.

It looks as if Kevin-Prince Boateng will support Alexandre Pato and Robinho, leaving Antonio Cassano on the bench.

In the middle, Gennaro Gattuso is to be accompanied by either Clarence Seedorf or Mark Van Bommel plus one of Mathieu Flamini and Urby Emanuelson.

Materazzi: 'The game of all games'
2.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter legend Marco Materazzi could play in the Derby della Madonnina tonight. “This is the game of all games.”

The defender has barely featured this season, but remains an important figure in the locker room and even on the touchline with his undoubted passion.

As Andrea Ranocchia and Cristian Chivu are not 100 per cent fit, while Lucio is suspended, Matrix could be called upon to face Milan.

“The Milan derby is the game of all games,” he told Inter Channel.

“It is the match in these 10 years that I have felt most keenly, because the rivalry is so very strong and when on the field you always want to win.

“We always have such a fierce desire to surpass the other team in the city.”

Materazzi did play the derby earlier this season, but fouled Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Milan’s winning penalty.

Now it is a top of the table clash with just two points separating Inter from the Serie A leaders.

“It would be a mistake to think that a derby victory would mean we’ve already won the Scudetto.

“Milan are the favourites, they have a two point advantage and we will try to do our best as humble workhorses to bring home the win.

“I hope the derby will be represented by the 22 men on the field, because the less you notice the referee, the better the job he is doing. It’ll be a great game to gamble with the Scudetto.”

Thiago Silva: 'Leonardo was right'
2.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva does not agree that Leonardo was a traitor by crossing the Milan divide. “He wasn’t the one to leave. It was the right decision.”

Many in the Rossoneri camp were shocked when their former teammate and Coach opted to join rivals Inter and will come face to face for the first time in tonight’s derby.

“I have nothing against him and I think it was the right decision to accept Inter’s offer,” said fellow Brazilian Thiago Silva.

“He is still at the start of his career and this means getting the best possible curriculum. I was happy for Leonardo.

“After all, he wasn’t the one who wanted to walk away, but rather things happened within the club that he didn’t like.

“A few months later, he received an offer from a rival side. There’s no reason to stay out of work when a once in a lifetime opportunity comes along.”

Leonardo had been at Milan for 13 years as player, talent scout and Coach, but left at the end of the season when President Silvio Berlusconi repeatedly criticised his tactics.

The fans had been on his side in this row, but that all changed when Leo took over at rivals Inter.

“He has done so much for Milan, but I am sure there will be some jeers against him,” conceded Thiago Silva.

“I also know he’ll stay calm and will not respond. At the end of the day, he owes a lot to Milan and Milan owe a lot to him.”

Mou: 'What the Milan derby means'
2.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Jose Mourinho is looking forward to the Derby della Madonnina tonight. “People outside Italy don’t realize what this game means in a fantastic atmosphere.”

The former Inter Coach had two years of the San Siro clash and is now at the helm of Real Madrid.

“I would love to watch it,” he said in a Press conference for Real’s game with Sporting Gijon.

“It’s a wonderful derby. I played four and won three, but I loved them all, even the one I lost.

“Perhaps people outside Italy don’t realize what this game means in a fantastic atmosphere, with such a super-positive feeling around it.

“There is great rivalry between the fans, but there have never been problems with violence. The stadium is packed, the streets are full of people going to the match together, some with Milan shirts and others Inter, without the slightest problem.

“It is a great derby and will be even more wonderful this year because the Scudetto wasn’t at stake, whereas there’s the extra motivation of first against second.”

San Siro has been completely sold out for days and Milan’s organised ultras have been designing the pre-match choreography for five months.

It’s reported their banners will reference Leonardo’s switch and the 25th anniversary of President Silvio Berlusconi taking charge of the club.

Pirlo out, but Milito in
2.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Pirlo and Daniele Bonera have not recovered in time for the Milan derby this evening, but Diego Milito and Andrea Ranocchia are ready.

There were hopes the Rossoneri would have their midfielder Pirlo back for his first official game since January, as he was in training this week.

However, the knee injury is not completely healed yet, so he is out of the game along with Bonera, Marek Jankulovski, Massimo Ambrosini, Pippo Inzaghi and the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Inter have better news, as Leonardo has recovered Milito and Ranocchia for tonight’s Scudetto clash.

Milito is coming off a long lay-off, while Ranocchia had to abandon international duty with Italy due to a knee problem.

Cristian Chivu is also included, so only Walter Samuel and the suspended Lucio are unavailable.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Abate, Antonini, Nesta, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes, Boateng, Emanuelson, Flamini, Gattuso, Merkel, Seedorf, Strasser, Van Bommel, Cassano, Pato, Robinho

Inter squad: Julio Cesar, Castellazzi, Orlandoni; Cordoba, Zanetti, Maicon, Ranocchia, Materazzi, Chivu, Nagatomo; Stankovic, Thiago Motta, Sneijder, Kharja, Mariga, Cambiasso, Obi, Coutinho; Pazzini, Eto'o, Milito, Pandev

Allegri: Everything can change
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Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri admits that Milan go into the derby with just a point from two games, but claims the beauty of football is that everything can change.

Milan have a two-point lead at the top of Serie A and can be overtaken if they suffer defeat to Inter at San Siro on Saturday evening.

“We've taken a point from our last two games, but football is beautiful because everything can change,” Allegri said.

“We have been top for 21 weeks. We knew that you couldn't win the Scudetto with a month to spare. We need to think about getting a result tomorrow.

“It's an extremely important game, but more for them than for us. Milan will be ahead at the kick off. If we win, we go five points clear with seven games left. It wouldn't be bad, but it's true that in two games we have taken only one point.

“I don't like it when people talk about us already winning the Scudetto. You win the Scudetto if, at the end of the season, you have a one-point advantage.

“We are going forward game-by-game,” he concluded.

Leonardo proud to have chosen Inter
1.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo insists he has no regrets about choosing to coach Inter after his past with Milan.

The Brazilian tactician surprised many by crossing the divide in December last year.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's potentially title-deciding Derby della Madonnina, Leonardo said: “The emotions are many, but they are my emotions and they are not the most important thing about this derby.

“I don't forget anything. I haven't forgotten what I went through with Milan. But there is a tradition of an extraordinary game between the two sides who for a long time haven't played such an important game and this I believe is the most important thing.”

Asked about the reception he expects from the Milan fans, Leonardo said: “The Coach has his role, but the game must be played and the players will be the ones do it. I don't forget for a second what I went through with Milan and I keep my past with me. But I don't believe that it will be my game.

“The first day at Inter I said that I respect the opinion of everybody. At age 30 I had a moment of introspection in my life and I had many thoughts. From then onwards I decided to live football in a positive way, whatever the situation.

“I live my life within my parameters and in my values. I have my certainties and I will live all my life with happiness.

“The derby will be decided by details and goes beyond tactics, above all between two teams who are second and first in the table. All the players know their opponents and there is nothing to discover.

“I had a very long relationship with Milan and it was positive. Now I have made a conscious decision about what could happen and I have done it basing myself on my feelings. At Inter I feel very tied to the club and I would like to once again thank everyone for the welcome I have been given.

“The two teams have a desire to play and to build inside of them. Everyone has their own style, but it will be a derby between two teams who have a lot of desire to win.”

Rivera tips AC Milan for Derby glory
1.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The legendary Gianni Rivera has unsurprisingly tipped Milan to triumph in Saturday's Derby della Madonnina.

The 67-year-old Golden Boy won everything with Milan in the `60s and `70s, and feels Max Allegri's side still have an edge on their rivals.

Milan have a two-point lead on Inter in Serie A with eight games remaining this season.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, he said: “Right now Milan are the favourites because they are ahead in the League table.

“It's a derby that could become decisive because if Milan win they'd find their confidence again.”

Asked if Zlatan Ibrahimovic's absence would hurt Milan, Rivera said: “A team is great if it can do without a player, if its collective value makes the difference.

“Ibra is important, but you never win anything by yourself.”

Eto'o: Derby won't decide title
1.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter striker Samuel Eto’o insists that the Milan derby will not decide the outcome of the Scudetto race.

First plays second tomorrow night as the Rossoneri go into the tie two points clear of their city rivals.

“The derby is a game that can change the course of the championship for just one week,” the striker told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“After the game there will be another seven matches to go and only the last four rounds will decide who wins it.

“But it all depends on Milan because they are first at the minute. If they win all of their remaining games then they will take the title.

“They are the favourites, the favourites are always the team who are first.”

Milan will go into the game without the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the former Barcelona player is happy with another absentee.

“It’s good that my great friend Pippo Inzaghi isn’t available,” he continued. “He’s one of the best centre-forwards in the world, one who hurts you when you least expect it.”

The Cameroon international has been in fine form this season where he has averaged 0.78 goals per game across all club competitions.

“I don’t know if this is the best year of my career, but I know that the older you get the more you try to improve on what you did in the previous campaign.”





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