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The Archive

April 2013

De Sciglio: 'We're here because of Allegri'
30.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia De Sciglio has praised Massimiliano Allegri, insisting the Milan Coach helped the team 'overcome a difficult time'.

The Rossoneri are currently third in the table, one point ahead of Fiorentina going into this weekend's match against Torino.

And the young defender has insisted that the boss has been a huge help this season, whilst also commenting on last Sunday's win over Catania.

“We want to hold this position in the table so we can get into the Champions League,” he told Milan News.

“We must not think about Fiorentina – we can only focus on ourselves and try to keep on winning in order to maintain third place.

“In the first half against Catania we did very well, but just didn't manage to score.

“In the second half perhaps we were a bit too hasty, but luckily we managed to come back and win.

“If we are in this position in the League it is because of Allegri.

“After a complicated start to the season he held the group together and helped us overcome a difficult time.”

Is Seedorf up to AC Milan job?
30.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Two former teammates of Clarence Seedorf have contrasting views over whether he could become the new Coach of Milan.

The Dutchman, a midfielder for Botafogo, has been suggested as a possible replacement for Massimiliano Allegri at the end of this season.

“We’ll have to see what is in the mind of Clarence,” Hernan Crespo told Sky Sport Italia. “But he has some excellent qualities, he could easily be a Coach or a director.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if he did re-join Milan as a Coach, even if he is a bit green to take charge in the immediate future.”

Gianluca Zambrotta, who followed Seedorf out of Milanello last summer, was also questioned about the 37-year-old’s tactical credentials.

“Right now he is in the sun and the sand of Brazil,” the 2006 World Cup winner commented. “I don’t know if such a solution exists.

“You can not doubt him as a player, but being a Coach is something totally different.”

Pirlo agreed Chelsea switch, but...
30.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Pirlo says he was close to joining Chelsea in the past, but the move was blocked by Milan chief Silvio Berlusconi.

The 33-year-old, now at Juventus, made the revelation in an interview with Sky Sport Italia where he also spoke of interest from Real Madrid.

“I think that I was close to a move to Chelsea and Real,” he noted. “I had already agreed terms with the London club, but then Berlusconi intervened and I remained at Milan.”

The playmaker spent a decade with the Diavolo until he joined Juve in 2011 on a free transfer once his contract had expired.

“I have no kind of regrets about leaving Milan,” he continued. “I needed a change and the best thing was to go and play somewhere else.

“It was also a good decision by the Rossoneri too seeing as they got other players in my role. I’m happy that I accepted a Juve move.”

Pirlo is coming towards the end of his career, but he has admitted that he could choose to remain in the game thanks to boss Antonio Conte.

“He’s surprised me on a tactical level and the way he works on a daily basis, I’ve learned a lot from him.

“I previously didn’t want to become a Coach, but I could decide to now because of what he has taught me.”

Pirlo will collect his second successive Scudetto in Turin if Juve get a point against Palermo on Sunday.

AC Milan deny Balotelli statement
30.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have dismissed quotes attributed to Mario Balotelli where he allegedly offered his girlfriend as a Champions League incentive to Real Madrid.

“If Real Madrid come back against Borussia Dortmund and make it to the Final of the Champions League, then I will let my girlfriend sleep with all the players,” he was said to have stated.

The Diavolo posted a brief note on their website where they underlined that the former Manchester City man had not commented about the game to any media outlet.

“Milan deny what was today reported in the 'Corriere della Sera', referring to the English tabloid 'The Sun' concerning declarations made by Mario Balotelli on the Champions League match between Real Madrid - Borussia Dortmund,” it read.

“Milan would like to make it clear that the player never made any comments regarding the match.”

Lodi back on AC Milan radar
30.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan will re-ignite their transfer interest in Catania playmaker Francesco Lodi at the end of the season, reports Sky Sport Italia.

The Rossoneri and city rivals Inter made enquiries in January for the midfielder, but Catania ruled out his sale.

However, he could be made available this summer if a high enough offer is tabled for the former Udinese man.

The Italian TV station is suggesting that Diavolo officials have already made preliminary contact with agent Alessandro Moggi.

Lodi, uncapped at full international level, is said to be valued at around the €5m mark by the Sicilian outfit.

The 29-year-old has scored six goals in 30 League games this term.

AC Milan will axe Roma-bound Allegri
30.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi has decided to replace boss Massimiliano Allegri, claims the Corriere dello Sport.

Allegri, contracted at San Siro until June 2014, will reportedly be shown the door at the end of the season even if the Diavolo succeed in qualifying for the Champions League.

The Corriere alleges that the fans’ support for Allegri during the 4-2 win over Catania did nothing but make the club owner’s hunger for a switch even stronger.

Berlusconi’s desire to appoint a new tactician will subsequently allow Roma to offer the former Cagliari Coach a three-year deal worth €2.5m a campaign.

Possible replacements for Allegri at Milan include former Rossoneri players Clarence Seedorf, Pippo Inzaghi, Mark Van Bommel and Alessandro Costacurta.

Zenit St Petersburg boss Luciano Spalletti is also said to be on their radar, but his €6m a season contract poses a problem.

Allegri won the Scudetto in his first season at Milan and they finished second a year later. They are currently in third with four games left.

Agent: Nocerino to Napoli? A dream
29.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Antonio Nocerino has conceded that Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri is an 'admirer'.

The Milan midfielder has found himself on the sidelines recently for the Rossoneri after falling out of favour with Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

And his representative has admitted that the Italy international would love to play for his hometown club.

“Nocerino to Napoli? The dream of all Neapolitans is to wear the blue shirt,” Marco Sommella told Radio Kiss Kiss.

“But there are many guys who unfortunately have never been able to play for their home team – just look at Fabio Cannavaro.

“Mazzarri is an admirer, but you need to understand that there are conditions to closing a deal.”

Amelia: Allegri brings in results
29.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan goalkeeper Marco Amelia has praised Coach Massimiliano Allegri, claiming he has 'brought good results' to the Rossoneri.

The San Siro side defeated Catania 4-2 on Sunday to keep themselves in third place and the last remaining Champions League spot.

And the shot-stopper has hit out at Press reports claiming that the tactician could be leaving the club.

“Winning yesterday was important,” he told RTL 102.5. “We faced an in form team who put us in trouble.

“But we reacted well. They have proven to be a very good team and deserve to be where they are in the League.

“The thing that really bothers us as a team are the headlines that destabilize the environment.

“We do not like that, but the Coach has coped with it well. He has given us security and has brough in good results.”

Serie A: AC Milan 4:2 Catania - goals/highlights
29.4 || webmaster



Allegri: Fans always behind me
29.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has again thanked the Milan fans after their public message of support during the game against Catania.

The Curva Sud unveiled a banner at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza last night which read: ‘More respect for our Mr Allegri.’

Although the former Cagliari boss is tied to the San Siro outfit by a contract until June 2014, there is speculation that he could leave the Diavolo at the end of this season.

“The fans have got behind me since the day I arrived at Milan and they have also supported the team,” he stated.

“They have really backed us this season which has been more difficult than the first two years I have been here.”

The Rossoneri had a problematic start to the campaign after losing five of their first eight League games, but they are currently in third with four matches left.

“I think we deserve to be where we are in the table at the moment and the fans have no reason not to get behind us,” he continued.

“I think we can finish in the Champions League spots even if Fiorentina are having a marvellous season. I think we can get more points than them.”

The Rossoneri are just one point ahead of Vincenzo Montella’s Viola.

AC Milan suffer Bojan loss
29.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bojan Krkic is set for a spell on the sidelines after the Milan man confirmed he’s sustained a muscle injury.

The Spaniard, who joined the Diavolo in the summer from Roma, picked up a strain to his right thigh in training on Saturday.

The forward subsequently missed the 4-2 win over Catania last night and is now a doubt for the club’s next games.

The Diavolo will play Torino, Pescara, Roma and Siena in their remaining four matches in the League this term.

Nocerino lacking match fitness
29.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino has conceded that he struggled to perform in Milan’s 4-2 win over Catania on Sunday night.

The Italian international, who hasn’t been assured of first team football this term, began the game but was replaced in the 67th minute by Giampaolo Pazzini.

“It was important to win and I’m happy with the result as Fiorentina were ahead of us, but I’m a bit less happy with my own performance as I could have done more,” he stated.

“I had a good first half, but I started to tire in the second,” the former Palermo man added. “I don’t have match fitness…”

Nocerino, 28, has started just 17 Serie A games this season.

Balotelli offers girlfriend to Real Madrid
29.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan's Mario Balotelli has joked that he’ll allow Real Madrid players to get intimate with his sweetheart Fanny Neguesha if they reach the Champions League Final.

“If Real Madrid come back against Borussia Dortmund and make it to the Final of the Champions League, then I will let my girlfriend sleep with all the players,” he is quoted as saying by Marca.

The Spanish giants lost the first leg of their European Cup semi-final in Germany last week thanks to a heavy 4-1 scoreline.

The former Manchester City player has been dating Neguesha, a Belgian model, since late 2012.

Allegri a great coach, says Montolivo
29.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo has backed boss Massimiliano Allegri to remain with Italian giants Milan for some time to come.

The tactician’s future remains in doubt despite the fact that his contract at San Siro will not expire until June 2014.

Speaking after the 4-2 win over Catania, the summer signing from Fiorentina paid tribute to the former Cagliari boss.

“A lot of the credit for the win goes to the Coach as he’s managed to find the right mix,” the Italian international noted.

“He kept things together when we were in trouble and he brought us back. He’s a great tactician and I hope he stays here for the long-term.”

The Rossoneri were facing defeat on Sunday night after Catania took the lead twice at San Siro, but the Diavolo hit back to record a 4-2 triumph.

“The second goal was a heavy blow, but we kept on believing,” Montolivo explained. “Then Giampaolo Pazzini came on and gave us something extra.

“We gave everything and it’s a deserved win. We created a lot and we did well to keep calm when we went down and to take the match back in hand.”

Allegri: 'Pazzini is extraordinary'
29.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri hailed “extraordinary” Giampaolo Pazzini and thanked the Milan fans for their banner of support.

The Rossoneri fought back twice to beat Catania 4-2 and stay in front of Fiorentina in third place.

“I am happy with the performance, as we played well and with a little more sharpness in the first half could’ve put the game on a different level,” said the Coach.

“Pazzini is an extraordinary player, as he moves so well in the penalty area and is a real ‘fox in the box.’ I’m very happy with his brace, but the whole team played well tonight.”

The speculation over Allegri’s future continues, as this morning Clarence Seedorf was tipped as his successor. The ultras in the Curva Sud reacted before kick-off with a banner that demanded ‘more respect’ for Allegri.

“I thank the fans for the banner, which shows they examined everything I’ve done in my three years at Milan. At this moment we have to think about securing third place, which was considered unthinkable after the first eight rounds.

“I never comment on the President’s statements. I just do my work here at Milan. Criticism is healthy, as long as it isn’t personal. Seedorf? He’s an intelligent lad and I wish him all the luck in the world.

“My future has to be decided by the club, who will evaluate the work I have done, but that isn’t my problem. I am concentrated only on third place. Today the team showed great character.”

Balotelli: 'Two stupid goals'
29.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli celebrated his comeback with a goal as Milan beat Catania 4-2. “We conceded two stupid goals, but reacted as only a great team can.”

The former Manchester City hitman had missed the games with Napoli and Juventus due to a ban, but returned to earn and convert a late penalty.

“For now I am scoring goals, as I did well and was fortunate, so I hope to score as many as possible,” Balotelli told Sky Sport Italia.

The victory keeps Milan in third place, as Fiorentina had temporarily overtaken them in the standings.

“We knew that we had to win this game. We conceded two stupid goals, but reacted as only a great team can.

“Pazzini made a wonderful impact as a substitute and I compliment him. We are relaxed, we know what we can do and take it one game at a time.”

There has been speculation over the future of Massimiliano Allegri, but Balotelli put his support firmly behind the Coach.

“Allegri is a great manager and I hope he will stay here for a long time to come. I think we can get the Champions League place, even if you never know in football.”

However, the Italian international was yet again booked for dissent.

“It’s not normal to get kicked so many times and then getting booked the first time I say anything at all. It’s impossible.”

Last week Balotelli was named in the Time 100 most influential people in the world.

“It is a great honour, as this award puts more responsibility on me and I will carry it forward. I’d like to wish Javier Zanetti a speedy recovery, because he is a great man and a champion.”

Galliani on Seedorf and El Shaarawy
29.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani assures Milan won’t sell Stephan El Shaarawy, but confessed Clarence Seedorf could be an option as Coach.

This morning La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed Seedorf is President Silvio Berlusconi’s favourite to replace Massimiliano Allegri next season, even though the Dutchman has no management experience.

“All those who made Milan history enter the conclave the day Allegri leaves,” said Galliani this evening, using the metaphor of cardinals electing the Pope.

“After that, who knows why will emerge as the new Pope? We should leave Allegri to get on with his work. I won’t confirm or deny anything.

“The passion of the President for his great former champions is absolutely real and that applies to Seedorf as well as the other players who took this club to the top of the world, like Christian Panucci and Billy Costacurta.”

The Milan fans unveiled a banner ahead of tonight’s match with Catania that read: ‘More respect for our Coach Allegri.’

Galliani was also asked to comment on reports that Manchester City had offered €35m for El Shaarawy.

“There may or may not be something... Clearly this is a 20-year-old player who is already in the senior Italy squad and has scored numerous goals, so he is hot property on the transfer market.

“We have absolutely no intention of selling him. We have the two strikers who represent the future of the Italy side, so we are keeping a tight grip on them.”

Serie A: AC Milan 4:2 Catania - match report
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Legrottaglie 30 (C), Flamini 45 (M), Bergessio 65 (C), Pazzini 75, 77 (M), Balotelli pen 92 (M)

AC Milan fought back twice from a goal down to beat Catania 4-2 in a thriller, as Giampaolo Pazzini netted twice to keep them in third.

The Rossoneri needed a victory to recapture third place after Fiorentina’s win earlier this afternoon and welcomed back Mario Balotelli from his two-match ban, but Christian Abbiati and Massimo Ambrosini were sidelined. Catania still had an outside chance of qualifying for Europe, but Mariano Andujar, Giuseppe Bellusci and Nicolas Burdisso were suspended.

There were Milan appeals for a handling offence after two minutes, but the ball ricocheted around to hit Nicola Legrottaglie’s arm, so it was considered involuntary. Serie A debutant Alberto Frison pushed a snapshot into the path of Riccardo Montolivo, but the move was ruined by an offside flag.

Balotelli came sliding in at the back post, just inches away from meeting Kevin-Prince Boateng’s ball across the six yard box. Super Mario drilled wide, then a last-ditch challenge stopped Mathieu Flamini volleying in from close range.

It was Catania who took the lead with their first real chance of the game. Francesco Lodi curled one of his trademark free kicks to find a glancing header from ex-Milan defender Legrottaglie at the back post, leaving Marco Amelia stranded.

Milan fought back and a stunning Boateng strike cracked against the crossbar, then as the move continued Frison parried from Antonio Nocerino at the base of the near post. There was a siege on Frison’s goal with several different shots charged down or beaten away in quick succession.

Balotelli’s fierce free kick was fingertipped over and Boateng nodded a corner off target, while Legrottaglie blocked off a Montolivo effort. Frison had his palms stung by a powerful Balotelli set piece and the pressure eventually paid off.

Boateng chested down an Ignazio Abate cross for Flamini, who volleyed an angled drive into the far bottom corner. It was the Frenchman’s third goal in as many games.

After the restart, Lodi cleared a Boateng header off the line and Frison palmed away an El Shaarawy daisy-cutter. The referee waved away timid penalty appeals for a Legrottaglie push on El Shaarawy, while Frison parried a Montolivo header from a corner at the near post.

Once again, Milan were in control without making an impact and Catania struck to take the lead. Mariano Izco’s slide-rule pass released Gonzalo Bergessio down the left and his cheeky lob beat Amelia into an empty net.

Giampaolo Pazzini came on for Nocerino and knocked down a cross for El Shaarawy to blast wide on the half-volley.

It proved a crucial substitution, as Balotelli’s screamer was beaten away by Frison into the path of Pazzini for a tap-in.

Moments later Milan had turned the game around completely, as this time El Shaarawy tested the goalkeeper and Pazzini was ready to follow it up into an empty net yet again.

It still wasn’t over, as Daniele Bonera lost Bergessio who turned over the bar from point-blank range on a Gomez assist.

In stoppages Balotelli went down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot for Izco’s trip. Super Mario got back up to convert the penalty with a juddering run-up, sending Frison the wrong way.

AC Milan: Amelia; Abate, Mexes, Bonera, De Sciglio; Flamini, Montolivo, Nocerino (Pazzini 67); Boateng (Niang 88), Balotelli, El Shaarawy (Muntari 80).

Catania: Frison; Izco, Legrottaglie, Rolin, Marchese; Lodi (Capuano 88), Almiron (Biagianti 81), Barrientos; Castro, Gomez, Bergessio.

Ref: Massa.

Tassotti: 'AC Milan have to win'
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan assistant manager Mauro Tassotti admits they must beat Catania “to recover our lead over Fiorentina.”

The Rossoneri welcome Catania this evening, but they are currently in fourth place because the Viola beat Sampdoria 3-0 earlier this afternoon.

“Up until a few years ago we had a one-point advantage, while now we are behind with a game in hand,” Tassotti told Milan Channel.

“We must do well tonight to recover our lead over Fiorentina. Catania will try to play their game and take the initiative, as is only right.

“They are a strong side and have the opportunity to get into Europe, so they’ll want points just as badly as we do.”

Serie A: AC Milan vs. Catania - lineups
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Amelia; Abate, Mexes, Bonera, De Sciglio; Flamini, Montolivo, Nocerino; Boateng, Balotelli, El Shaarawy.

Catania: Frison; Izco, Legrottaglie, Rolin, Marchese; Lodi, Almiron, Barrientos; Castro, Gomez, Bergessio.

Montella: 'The perfect Sunday'
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vincenzo Montella concedes it was “the perfect Sunday” after Fiorentina’s 3-0 win over Sampdoria, but now awaits an extra gift from Milan.

The Viola temporarily moved into third place awaiting Milan-Catania this evening.

“It was the perfect Sunday,” smiled the Coach. “I was worried about this game, but the team and fans deserve praise. I also thank my old Sampdoria supporters for the warm welcome.

“I will sit down tonight in a very relaxed manner to watch Milan-Catania and enjoy the game. I don’t know what our chances are of Champions League qualification, but we certainly consolidated fourth place today. Then we’ll see.”

Adem Ljajic scored and created in the 3-0 victory against Delio Rossi, the Coach who was fired by Fiorentina after a dugout brawl.

“It was not easy for Ljajic, but he showed his maturity and growth both on the field and off. He focused only on playing, we are happy with him and he represents a treasure for the club.”

Seedorf to replace Allegri?
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf is the main contender to replace Massimiliano Allegri on the Milan bench next season, claims La Gazzetta dello Sport.

It has been reported for some time that Allegri’s position is dependent on securing third place, valid for the Champions League preliminary round.

However, over the last few days the rumours suggest President Silvio Berlusconi is determined to sack Allegri regardless of the Serie A placement, especially as the Coach is already thought to be in talks with Roma.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport this morning, Berlusconi’s first choice for new tactician is Seedorf.

The Dutchman spent 10 years in the Milan midfield and left in the summer of 2012 to join Brazilian club Botafogo.

It would be a huge gamble to throw Seedorf right into the mix as head Coach of a Serie A giant, as he has no management experience.

The reports claim Vice-President Adriano Galliani resists the Seedorf idea, but that President Berlusconi is adamant he’s the right man for the job.

Maran targets AC Milan upset
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Catania boss Rolando Maran visits Milan this evening and insists they are still “on the train of dreams” for Europe.

The Elefantini have slipped down the standings in recent weeks, but hope to cause an upset at San Siro.

“It is going to be difficult, but we can do well here,” insisted the Coach in his Press conference.

“It will require the best Catania, aware this is another opportunity to keep us on the train of dreams. Both teams need points, which makes it an even more fascinating encounter.

“I don’t want to repeat the mistakes we made in the derby, as we were distracted and conceded a goal with the last kick of the game, having previously dominated.

“That happens when we get too cocky, something that cannot possibly occur against Milan. We need to grow up in so many ways.

“We need the same rage as in the derby, as Catania have never beaten Milan at San Siro in Serie A. Don’t forget we are also chasing the points record for the club.”

The fiery end to the 1-1 draw with Palermo saw Mariano Andujar and Giuseppe Bellusci given three-match bans, while Nicolas Spolli is also suspended.

Balotelli: 'Step forward for integration'
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli said the election of Italy’s first black Minister “represents another great step forward to a more responsible” and integrated country.

Today the new Government was put together by Prime Minister Enrico Letta, including Cecile Kyenge as the Minister for Integration.

“The nomination of Cecile Kyenge as Minister of Integration represents another great step forward towards an Italian society that is more civilised, more responsible and more aware of the necessity for a better and definitive integration between everyone.”

That was the statement released on the official Milan website on behalf of Balotelli.

Recently named in the Time 100 most influential people in the world, Balotelli is taking a greater interest in politics and the good work he can do to change Italian society.

Abbiati out, Balotelli in
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati and Massimo Ambrosini are out of Milan-Catania, but Mario Balotelli returns from suspension.

The Rossoneri welcome Catania to San Siro on Sunday evening.

Goalkeeper Abbiati and captain Ambrosini have not recovered in time, so Marco Amelia is set to start in goal.

Cristian Zapata sits out a ban in defence, but Balotelli returns to the side after his three-match ban was reduced to two on appeal.

Milan squad for Catania: Amelia, Gabriel, Petkovic, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Zaccardo, Boateng, Constant, Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Traoré, Balotelli, El Shaarawy, Niang, Pazzini, Robinho

Nocerino - Silvestre swap?
28.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Matias Silvestre and Antonio Nocerino could exchange places across San Siro, claim Italian newspapers.

Inter are forced to sign defender Silvestre on a permanent basis from Palermo despite the disappointing loan campaign, as it was agreed in their contract in the summer.

Milan saw midfielder Nocerino as a crucial figure last term, but he has struggled to find any playing time this season and is eager for a move elsewhere.

According to the Corriere dello Sport, the two San Siro sides are prepared to solve these respective problems by exchanging the players.

Nocerino would go to bolster the Inter midfield, while Argentine defender Silvestre would lower the average age of the Milan back line.

Allegri: 'AC Milan future not in balance'
27.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists his “future will not be decided” in the battle with Fiorentina for third place, but warns the match with Catania could be key.

The Rossoneri have seen their lead whittled down to just a single point, fuelling speculation President Silvio Berlusconi wants a change of management next season.

“It is very important that we have a point on Fiorentina, seeing as they are ahead of us in terms of head-to-head confrontations,” said Allegri in his Press conference.

“I would be happy from now to the end of the season if we earned exactly as many points as Fiorentina. They’ve had a great campaign, especially as last season they were fighting to avoid relegation. We’ll see at the end who is stronger.

“My future? We have third place to fight for, so I really don’t have time to consider other situations.

“We’ve done good work at Milan over the last three years. I don’t think my future will be decided in the next five games. Regardless of what I want to do, the President always makes the final decision.”

Mario Balotelli returns from suspension for the Sunday night clash with Catania, as Milan aim to end a run of two points from three rounds.

“I hope Mario can give us a hand, as since he arrived his presence has always been felt,” continued Allegri.

“In psychological terms, it would be very important for us to win. It won’t be easy, as Catania have always done well this season and still hope to reach the Europa League. I think tomorrow will be fundamental for third place.

“We have got to be more motivated than them. Catania are good on the counter, so we have to be wary. We made mistakes against Fiorentina, played with 10 men for most of the second half with Napoli and made one costly error in the defeat to Juventus.”

Montella: 'No Fiorentina pressure'
27.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vincenzo Montella revisits Sampdoria memories and feels Fiorentina have the upper hand over Milan “because we are disenchanted.”

The Viola are only one point shy of third place and the remaining rounds will be a huge battle for Champions League qualification.

“Milan are more prepared for certain races than we are, but our strength is that we are disenchanted,” argued Montella in his Press conference.

“We have less pressure on our shoulders, so if we are able to keep this detached attitude, then we can have our chances in this race. It will be a battle to the last round. We are aware of that and we are ready.

“I am not worried at having to depend on other results. We look forward and must try to consolidate our current position, then we’ll see what happens.”

The Sunday afternoon trip to Sampdoria is an emotional one all round. Not only does Montella face his former club, but Adem Ljajic takes on Delio Rossi for the first time since the then-Fiorentina Coach attacked him in the dug-out a year ago.

“There has always been a special rapport with Sampdoria and my return here at the end of my career was something irrational, but fuelled by my affection for the club. I always meet up with many old friends in Genoa.

“Samp currently know how to strike at the right time, so this is a game full of hidden dangers. As for Ljajic, he has to focus only on playing. There are many aspects to this match other than whether those two will shake hands.”

Stevan Jovetic is expected to start tomorrow, but Montella shot down reports Giuseppe Rossi could play against Palermo on May 12.

“Rossi is an extraordinary player who is going mad with the desire to play, but he hasn’t been on the field for two years and still hasn’t been on the end of a challenge or a game between ranks. Let’s be realistic.

“Jovetic is in good shape now and we expect the best from him.”

Goalkeeping merry-go-round
27.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona’s Samir Handanovic bid starts a goalkeeping merry-go-round with Federico Marchetti, Michael Agazzi, Milan, Inter, Lazio, Fiorentina and Cagliari.

This week it was reported that Barça offered €30m to tempt Inter shot-stopper Handanovic to Camp Nou.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, this is set to spark a series of negotiations and transfer moves around Serie A.

Milan are looking for Christian Abbiati’s successor and have set their sights on Lazio goalkeeper Marchetti, but he is also the prime target for Inter if Handanovic moves on.

Lazio are preparing an offer for Cagliari goalkeeper Agazzi if they lose Marchetti, but he too is much sought-after and also of interest to Fiorentina.

The Viola are considering a new holder of the gloves if Palermo do not lower the price-tag on loan man Emiliano Viviano.

Della Valle: 'Fiorentina ready for AC Milan fight'
27.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina President Andrea Della Valle visited the squad to fire them up in the battle for third, “even if it will be difficult to overtake Milan.”

The Tuscans are only one point shy of third place, which is valid for the Champions League preliminary round.

They travel to Sampdoria on Sunday afternoon, click here for a match preview.

“Fiorentina will not give up to the very end, as we are already doing more than we had expected to this season,” said Della Valle.

“We’ll give it our all, even if it will be difficult to overtake Milan. There are regrets over the points we dropped along the way, most notably in the home defeat to Pescara, but now we must focus on the project that we’ve started.”

ADV was again asked about the future of Stevan Jovetic, who is a target for the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Napoli and Juventus.

“You can talk about it as much as you like, because in the end the President decides...”

Tassotti: 'Every game is decisive'
27.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan assistant manager Mauro Tassotti has warned “every game is decisive” from now on as they battle Fiorentina for third place.

The Rossoneri have seen the gap whittled down to just one point, so the final five rounds of the season are like a mini-tournament for Champions League qualification.

“There are so few rounds left now that every game is decisive,” Tassotti told Milan Channel.

This weekend Milan welcome Catania while Fiorentina pay a visit to Sampdoria.

“Now we have two home matches and must try to pick up maximum points. They are not simple tests, as Catania might not have much more to ask from this season, but they have always played well and will want to end the campaign on a high.

“We knew it was going to be difficult to face Fiorentina, Napoli and Juventus in a row. Clearly we have the most regrets about the game in Florence, as with 35 minutes left we were 2-0 up and playing against 10 men.

“Even if there were some strange incidents that could’ve been evaluated differently, we shouldn’t have given them the chance to get back into the game. That is a mistake that forces us to fight to the bitter end.

“Still, we are one point in front and therefore know third place depends entirely on us. If our destiny is no longer in our hands, then we will start to worry more.”

Mario Balotelli has completed his two-match ban – which had originally been three, but reduced on appeal – and is set to start against Catania on Sunday evening.

“Mario is a very important player and proved that the moment he came into the team,” added Tassotti.

“Not having him for these two games was a heavy blow, even if Giampaolo Pazzini returned from injury. Having everyone at our disposal is better.”

Serie A: AC Milan vs. Catania - match preview
27.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan will be looking to get back to winning ways when they welcome Catania to San Siro on Sunday night.

Following such a strong run of results in 2013 that had the Rossoneri realistically eyeing second place, Massimiliano Allegri’s team have now gone three games without a win. They recently drew with Fiorentina – despite leading by two goals at half-time – before they once again surrendered a lead to Napoli while last weekend they were deservedly beaten by Juventus.

As a result, Milan have seen their chances of snatching second place dissipate and with La Viola sitting just one point behind them they are now in danger of missing out on a top three spot altogether which, of course, would mean no Champions League football next season. Speaking after his side’s lost to the Old Lady, Adriano Gallliani commented, “We must only think of the next five games. It is crucial for us that we keep hold of third place.”

The 2011 Scudetto winners will try and start doing so by going for all three points against Catania, but they will have to make do without captain Massimo Ambrosini and Christian Abbiati after the pair suffered injuries at Juventus stadium.

Cristian Zapata will also be unavailable through suspension. Yet, on the upside they will welcome back Mario Balotelli, whose cup tie in Europe diminished the Betfair Champions League odds for Milan, from his two-match suspension. The return of the enigmatic striker should bring back some of the spark that was severely lacking last weekend.

Like their hosts, Catania also head into this match off the back of some average results. The Sicilians have just one win in their last five outings.

Nevertheless, Rolando Maran’s side still retain hopes for European football next season with just five points separating them and Inter, who currently occupy the final spot for the Europa League. However, Maran will be forced to tinker with his side with a number of first team players unavailable.

Giuseppe Bellusci, Nicolas Spolli and Mariano Andujar are all suspended while Pablo Alvarez and Mariano Izco are all ruled out due to injury. Sergio Almiron and Marco Biaganti are fighting to be fit in time.

Keep an eye on: Mario Balotelli – After missing two games, Super Mario will be looking to make an immediate impact upon his return to the side. Since his arrival in January, he has fast become the Rossoneri’s most reliable goal-scorer with his seven goals in as many matches. With Giampaolo Pazzini likely to return to the bench and with Stephen El Shaarawy struggling to find the net this year, all eyes will be on Mario to do the business for Milan.

Form Guide: Milan (W W D D L) Catania (W L D D D)

Last season: Milan 1-0 Catania

Stat fact: Catania have not won this fixture since 2007

Milan (probable): Abbiati; Abate, Bonera, Mexes, Constant; Flamini, Montolivo, Nocerino; Boateng, Balotelli, Niang

Catania (probable): Frison; Potenza, Legrottaglie, Rolin, Marchese; Lodi, Almiron; Barrientos, Castro, Gomez; Bergessio

Niang: I want to be better than Messi
26.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan striker M'Baye Niang has claimed that he wants to become better than Lionel Messi.

The French forward has insisted that his aim for the future is to win the Ballon d'Or, and believes that that is possible whilst at the Rossoneri.

“Milan are a great team that have won everything,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “For a young player, it is an honour to be part of this club.

“Now I just want to repay the trust people have shown in me.

“I want to work to become the best in the world. I always think about the Ballon d'Or.

“It's my goal to win that. I want to become stronger than Messi.

“I work very hard, and I know that one day I will reach my goal.”

Nocerino didn't expect AC Milan 'snub'
26.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino has been surprised by his lack of playing time at Milan this season, his agent has admitted.

“Nocerino is not happy with how the campaign has gone and it would be useless to pretend otherwise,” Marco Sommella told Radio CRC on Friday.

“He was a protagonist last season, scoring a number of goals, and he didn’t expect to be placed to one side.”

The Italian international joined the Diavolo in the summer of 2011 from Palermo for just €500,000. He scored 10 goals in 35 League games.

However, the former Juventus player has appeared in just 21 Serie A matches this term – and only 15 of them from the start.

The 28-year-old’s lack of action has raised doubts about his future and re-ignited rumours that home-town club Napoli could look to sign him.

“If there has been a meeting between Milan and Napoli then I don’t know about it,” the agent added. “It’s premature to talk about the transfer market now.

“Walter Mazzarri is a fan of Nocerino, but it’s not the Coach who has to call up a player. It is down to clubs and agents to take a negotiation forward.

“If Napoli want him then they’ll have to contact the Milan owners in a bid to set up talks.”

Bonera: 'Balotelli - El Shaarawy need time'
26.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan's Daniele Bonera thinks it is premature to suggest that the Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy partnership doesn’t work.

The duo have been fielded together for club and country, but there are doubts over whether they can co-exist in the same side.

“Balotelli has only just arrived,” the defender told Sky Sport Italia after Super Mario’s January arrival from Manchester City.

“There is a process of growth that needs to occur between himself and El Shaarawy because they have yet to really get to know each other.

“They haven’t had the opportunity to play in that many games together and certain mechanisms on the pitch need to be refined.”

Balotelli has scored seven goals in eight League games for the Diavolo, but only one of El Shaarawy’s 16 strikes have arrived following the arrival of his new teammate.

Abused Boateng won't quit AC Milan
26.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Prince Boateng says he won’t let racists force him out of Milan. “I want to stay here for some time to come.”

The Ghanaian has been targeted by racist chants and jeers this season, but the versatile midfielder has told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday that he will not quit the Diavolo.

“I’m happy in Milan and I see it as my home,” the 26-year-old stated. “I want to remain for a long time yet.

“I did think about leaving because of the racism and I’d even said ‘that’s enough, I’m going’. But that was down to the frustration and the heat of the moment.

“I’m really saddened that I still see and hear such things happening and you ask yourself why. But I don’t want a change of environment because of four or five idiots.”

Boateng famously walked off the pitch in a friendly against Pro Patria at the start of the year after being abused by a section of supporters. Juventus were then fined for racist chants after Milan’s visit to Turin last week.

“It is not my place to say what punishments should be handed out,” he continued. “The important thing is that the seriousness of it all is understood and that these idiots are stopped.”

Turning to matters on the field of play, the former Portsmouth man is confident that his side will finish the season in third.

“The Champions League without Milan is not the Champions League. You know it and I know it – we’ll take third. There is nothing more to say.”

Third-placed Milan are just one point ahead of Fiorentina with five games left this season.

Salamon in Ogbonna swap?
25.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bartosz Salamon is still waiting for his Milan debut, so could be handed to Torino in part-exchange for Angelo Ogbonna.

The Polish international defender was signed in January from Brescia, but hasn’t played a single minute of football for the senior squad.

It is likely he will be sent out on loan next season in order to gain Serie A experience, although there is another option being touted.

According to MilanNews.it, Salamon could be sold to Torino as part of their offer for Ogbonna.

Salamon turns 22 next week and is already a full international for Poland.

Montella opens 'mini-tournament'
25.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vincenzo Montella says Fiorentina are prepared for the “mini-tournament” with Milan for Champions League qualification.

The Coach has impressed in his first season at the Stadio Franchi and the Viola are currently only one point shy of Milan in third place.

“We are ready for this mini-tournament of the last five rounds and are aware anything can happen,” said Montella on Sport Mediaset.

“Our primary objective is to consolidate our current position in the table, then try to catch Milan. We know that this will depend on both our own results and those of the Rossoneri.

“We must try to do our best. Milan are a club built to reach certain targets, so they won’t let themselves get affected by the fact Fiorentina are a point behind them.

“In fact, we still need to secure our qualification for the Europa League, which at the start of the season was considered an ambitious and impressive target.

“Fiorentina have their own identity and we built this team on the transfer market to play a certain type of football.”

Montella was asked whether he will sign a long-term contract with the Tuscan club, but insisted “they haven’t offered me one. We’ll see if it is proposed...”

While their Coach is sought-after, Fiorentina are above all eager to keep hold of star striker Stevan Jovetic.

“He has undoubted qualities and is a complete player who has not yet expressed himself to the full. In my view, he can and must aim for the top,” noted Montella.

“Adem Ljajic is already a guarantee for us, although that’s not to say he will take Jo-Jo’s place should he eventually leave. Ljajic can still grow a great deal, but he mustn’t rest on his laurels.”

Today Giuseppe Rossi got the all-clear from specialists to begin full training with his teammates, opening the door for a comeback before the end of the season.

“I am sure he will return stronger than ever, although I’m not entirely sure when that will be. We must not rush him or run risks. We hope to have him back in the last game of the year.”

Spalletti ignores AC Milan talk
25.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luciano Spalletti brushed off reports of a job offer from Milan. “My return to Italy is impossible, as I am staying with Zenit.”

The former Roma and Udinese Coach had been linked with Massimiliano Allegri’s bench by Italian papers this week.

“My return to Italy is impossible,” he told Sky Sport Italia this afternoon.

“I am staying with Zenit. Of course, if the club decides to get rid of me, then that’s another matter. I see Allegri at Milan next season and Aurelio Andreazzoli staying with Roma. I think they are the right Coaches.

“I also feel Fiorentina are going to really torture Milan in the fight for third place this term. I am pleased to see the Viola playing such good football and climbing up the table, as they set a positive example.”

The Champions League looks set for an all-German Final at Wembley, as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both put four goals past Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

“The results are a bit exaggerated, but German football was already exploding on to the scene two years ago,” argued Spalletti.

“When I had time off, I went to see a few games in Germany and you could see they were transferring the enthusiasm of the crowd on to the pitch. The stadiums are always full and the people celebrate even when they lose.

“Their style also reminds me of the great Ajax, as there are no precise roles. Every player can do everything. It is a philosophy that can be exported.”

Amelia demands win versus Catania
25.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Amelia has some regrets about Milan’s games against Fiorentina and Juventus, but he’s called for a win versus Catania this weekend.

The Rossoneri have picked up just two points from their last three ties after draws with the Viola and Napoli were followed by a 1-0 defeat in Turin.

“We maybe could have done a little more and the game against Fiorentina certainly made it harder for us,” the goalkeeper told Milan Channel after his club let a two-goal lead slip in Tuscany.

“The game against Juve could have finished in a draw, but we are still ahead of Fiorentina in the table and we will try to defend our third place because we owe it to ourselves, especially after the start we had this season.

“We have to return to winning ways against Catania on Sunday, we have to show desire in order to take home all three points and keep Fiorentina at a safe distance.”

Milan, who are now just a point clear of Fiorentina, will have Mario Balotelli back in the side after his two-match ban.

“We have some excellent strikers,” the 2006 World Cup winner noted. “Mario is world class, he is above average and it is great to have him here and use him in crucial games.

“We have to have the mental strength to not throw it all away because a third place finish is very important for Milan.

“We have to make the most of the rest of the season to reach our goal. We have to train hard and stay focused.

“I hope that Milan can win all remaining five games, but we have to take it one game at a time.”

Amelia is set to start in goal this weekend as Christian Abbiati is struggling with injury.

AC Milan swap Emanuelson for Dutch pair?
24.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan could use Urby Emanuelson as part of a transfer exchange for Kevin Strootman or Bruno Martins Indi.

The versatile Dutchman is currently on loan at Fulham, but the Premier League club confirmed it will not be making that move permanent.

Emanuelson was sent out in January due to a lack of playing time and it’s reported he could be used to complete a different transfer this summer.

According to Dutch media, the Rossoneri are eager to offer Emanuelson to PSV Eindhoven in part-exchange for 23-year-old midfielder Strootman or 21-year-old Feyenoord centre-back Martins Indi.

El Shaarawy agent: 'Napoli link a true privilege''
24.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Stephan El Shaarawy has admitted that it is a 'true privilege' for his client to be linked with a move to Napoli.

It was revealed earlier this month that the Rossoneri turned down a bid from the San Paolo side for the young forward.

And his representative has conceded that it is an honour to be rumoured with a move to Naples, but has stressed that the Italy international will stay at San Siro.

“It is a true privilege,” Roberto La Florio told Radio Kiss Kiss. “But it seems to me that Milan have made a long-term investment with Stephan.

“The Rossoneri are re-building, but they have some good young players.

“Stephan has a contract until 2018.”

Galliani: Scudetto challenge next year
24.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan vice-President Adriano Galliani wants his team to 'fight for the Scudetto' next season.

The Rossoneri are currently third in the League, 18 points behind leaders Juventus.

But the board member has insisted that next term this side can challenge the Bianconeri.

“Milan are the biggest team in Italy in terms of revenue,” he told Milan Channel. “And we must improve in order to have a competitive team – both in Italy and in Europe.

“We need to 'give gas' to our players in order to make the Champions League for the 11th time in 12 years.

“Once we do that, hopefully next year, with a team that is properly integrated, we can fight for the Scudetto.”

Spalletti paired with AC Milan bench
24.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Corriere dello Sport claims that Milan could look to appoint Luciano Spalletti if they fail to finish in the top three this season.

Although the club have confirmed that Massimiliano Allegri will remain until the end of his contract in 2014, things may reportedly change in the summer if they miss out on Champions League football.

The Corriere is suggesting that the Zenit St Petersburg tactician is liked by the Diavolo, but he earns €6m a season in Russia.

Spalletti, 54, who has been with his current club since December 2009, would thus have to accept a significant cut to his salary should he move to San Siro.

The former midfielder has bossed Empoli, Sampdoria, Venezia, Ancona, Udinese and Roma in his homeland.

The Rossoneri, after picking up two points from the last nine on offer, are presently in third place but only one point ahead of Fiorentina.

Milan will end the season with games against Catania, Torino, Pescara, Roma and Siena.

Road is long for De Sciglio
24.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia De Sciglio is happy with his development at Milan, but he concedes that he has much to improve on.

The 20-year-old has broken into the Rossoneri side this season and he’s also been rewarded for his efforts with full international caps by Italy boss Cesare Prandelli.

“This is my first real season as part of the first team squad,” the young full-back commented. “I still need to gain a lot of experience, which I’ll get by playing games.

“What I have done so far has been appreciated, but I must keep working hard. I think I’ve given it my best this term though and shown that I want to prove myself.

“I’ve had a good campaign,” De Sciglio, used 24 times in Serie A during the campaign, added. “But I know that the road is long and I must improve in certain areas.”

Robinho: 'No more AC Milan mistakes'
24.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho warns Milan “can’t make any more mistakes” this season, as they are only one point clear in third place.

The Rossoneri suffered their first defeat of 2013, capitulating 1-0 to Juventus on Sunday, so Fiorentina are now right behind them in the race for a Champions League spot.

“Our objective is to play in the Champions League next season, so the next five games are decisive and to prepare as best we can, we need to work even harder,” he told Milan Channel.

“We can’t make any more mistakes, starting from the next home match against Catania. We must do even better, especially as we are playing in front of our home fans.

“I hope to be decisive for Milan, even if the team needs a contribution from everyone. I really care about the next five rounds, so hope I can reach 100 per cent of my physical and technical condition.”

Fulham won't sign Emanuelson
24.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fulham have confirmed they will be sending Urby Emanuelson back to Milan when his loan expires at the end of the season.

The 26-year-old arrived at Craven Cottage in January and made seven appearances, but won’t be making the move permanent.

“You could see that Urby is a nice, technical crowd-pleaser,” manager Martin Jol told Sky Sports.

“But there is not an option on him, because it would be impossible to buy him.”

The Dutch international was sent out on loan due to the lack of playing time at Milan and he may well not be part of Massimiliano Allegri’s plans for next season.

AC Milan go for Assou-Ekotto
23.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan are stepping up their attempts to sign Tottenham talent Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who is not part of AVB’s plans.

According to the Daily Express, Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas is prepared to let the Cameroon international go at the end of the season.

The 29-year-old left-back has made just 11 Premier League appearances this term and was already linked with Milan interest in January.

However, the reported £11m price-tag is well beyond what the Rossoneri would pay for the former Lens defender.

Paloschi to remain at Chievo
23.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chievo Verona expect to renew their co-ownership deal with Milan for Under-21 international striker Alberto Paloschi.

“We got a half promise from Milan when we signed Paloschi that we would renew the co-ownership,” Chievo sporting director Giovanni Sartori told Radio Sportiva.

“As a result, I don’t expect there to be any surprises.”

Paloschi actually joined the Flying Donkeys on loan in August 2011, but Chievo signed a half-share in him at the start of this year.

The 23-year-old, who has again had his injury problems this term, is Chievo’s joint top scorer in Serie A this season thanks to seven goals in 18 games.

Lavezzi on AC Milan radar
23.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Paris Saint-Germain ace Ezequiel Lavezzi is on the transfer radar of Milan.

Although the Argentine only left Napoli for PSG less than a year ago, reports on Tuesday are suggesting that he could soon be back in Serie A.

Lavezzi has travelled to Milan this week where he dined at the Giannino restaurant, an establishment that is heavily used by Diavolo personnel.

The Gazzetta also claims that Lavezzi and his family are looking for a house in the Milan area.

The Corriere dello Sport has also linked Milan with the 27-year-old today.

The South American spent five years with the Azzurri before leaving the peninsula last summer for a fee reported to be around the €29m mark.

Ambrosini and Abbiati injuries confirmed
22.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have confirmed that Massimo Ambrosini and Christian Abbiati suffered injuries against Juventus on Sunday.

The veteran duo both limped out of the 1-0 defeat to the Bianconeri last night.

And the Rossoneri have revealed that the pair will be sidelined, but it is unclear for how long.

“Milan can announce that during the game last night, Massimo Ambrosini suffered a sprain to his right ankle,” a statement read on their official website.

“There is ligament involvement, but we cannot exclude any bone damage.

“Christian Abbiati meanwhile reported damage to his right calf. For both, a prognosis will be better defined after treatment.”

AC Milan announce EUR 6.9 mil. loss
22.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan have announced an operating loss of €6.9m for the calendar year of 2012.

The board and shareholders meet this afternoon in the city, with the club reporting a loss of just under €7m for the last year.

It is a huge improvement however, on the previous two years. The Rossoneri had a loss of €67m in 2011 and €70m in 2010.

Juventus release anti-racism statement
22.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus have reacted to the news that they have been fined €30,000 after a section of their supporters racially abused Kevin-Prince Boateng.

A group of fans were heard chanting at the Rossoneri midfielder during Sunday's Serie A clash.

But the Bianconeri have insisted that they entirely against any type of discrimination.

A statement on their official website read: “Juventus Football Club reminds its fans and the media that it is heavily involved in projects dedicated to integration and is against any form of racism or discrimination. In fact, the club works very closely with the UNESCO Centre in Turin and, with the support of UNESCO, has conducted its third edition of 'Un calcio al razzismo' (Kick Out Racism), and its first edition of 'Gioca con me' (Play with me). Both projects took place on Thursday 21 March in celebration of the “International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination”.

“The club’s stance is reiterated before every home match. This commitment cannot therefore be up for debate simply because of the actions of single or groups of spectators which are highlighted by the intense media attention that football receives. Such behaviour does not represent the position of the club, its millions of fans or even the vast majority of spectators at Juventus Stadium, which is something unique in Italian football.

“This statement is not in any way intended to contest the decision of the sporting judge, on the contrary, it has to be interpreted as support, because such behaviour at Juventus Stadium should also be punished elsewhere with the same accuracy and co-operation from clubs.”

Galliani: Third is crucial
22.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan vice-President Adriano Galliani has admitted that it is 'crucial' his side keep hold of third place at the end of the season.

The Rossoneri lost to Juventus on Sunday whilst Fiorentina beat Torino 4-3 to move to within one point of the San Siro side.

And the board member has insisted that his team have to hold on to the last remaining Champions League place.

“We must only think of the next five games,” he told reporters. “It is crucial for us that we keep hold of third place.

“Comebacks are always difficult – yesterday we lost for the first time in a long time, and despite that we are still at risk.

“Next season we will have a better start than we did this year. We cannot concede the same sort of points difference again.

“The important thing now is to keep up and try to get as many points as possible.”

Juventus fined for racial abuse
22.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus have been fined €30,000 after a section of their fans were heard chanting racist abuse during Sunday's match against Milan.

Some of the Bianconeri supporters were seen directing racial chants at Rossoneri man Kevin-Prince Boateng during yesterday's Serie A clash.

As such, League officials have fined the Turin club for their fans conduct.

It is not the first time the midfielder has been subjected to such abuse this season – earlier in the campaign during a friendly with Pro Patria, the former Ghana international left the field of play after monkey noises were aimed at him.

Donadoni's father passes away
22.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma and Milan have sent their condolences to Roberto Donadoni after the tactician’s father passed away.

“President Tommaso Ghirardi, general manager Pietro Leonardi, the management, coaching staff and employees of Parma FC are with Coach Donadoni in the moment of mourning over the loss of his father Ercole and express their deepest condolences to him and his family,” read a note on the club’s website.

Milan, who Donadoni played for in the 1980s and 1990s, also published a message on their official site.

It said: “The whole of Milan football club would like to send out our most heart felt condolences to our dear friend Roberto Donadoni and all his family following the death of his father Ercole Donadoni.”

Galliani: It should have been 0-0
22.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani insists that his Milan side deserved at least a point from their trip to Juventus on Sunday.

The Rossoneri lost the game 1-0 thanks to an Arturo Vidal penalty after Marco Amelia brought down Kwadwo Asamoah.

“It was one of those games that was always going to end 0-0, but then there was that episode,” the Vice-President noted.

“It is always tough to talk when we lose games, but I don’t think we deserved to lose. We played a good game.

“At 0-0, there weren’t many chances either for us or for Juventus. We slipped up a bit with our finishing.”

Milan, 18 points behind leaders Juve, are now just a point clear of fourth-placed Fiorentina with five games left.

“Now we have to hang on to third place to get into the Champions League preliminary stages which is very important,” Galliani continued.

“We shouldn’t be afraid now.

“Also, there won’t be the present gap between ourselves and Juventus next season…”

Conte: 'A big step forward'
22.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Conte concedes Juventus are closing on the Scudetto and pointed out there could “be no doubts over the penalty” to beat Milan.

Thanks to tonight’s 1-0 result, the Bianconeri need only four points from the remaining five rounds to secure the title.

“I think there can be no doubts over the penalty which decided a balanced game where we struggled a great deal,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“Milan were unbeaten in the second half of the season and we travelling up the table. I must applaud my lads for the victory over a great team. We weren’t happy with a draw and I know full well that stepping on to the field choosing between two results risks doing damage.

“Napoli had put us under a bit of pressure and we wanted to immediately break away again at the top. This is our sixth consecutive victory, but it is not yet the Scudetto winner.

“The players keep asking me how many pieces are left in the puzzle. Well, this was a big step forward. We want to finish the job as soon as possible so we can relax a little at the end of a hard season. I am concentrated on the target, because it would be extraordinary to win a second consecutive Scudetto and I’m very happy with the way the lads have performed.

“Seal it in next week’s Turin Derby? I don’t care where, when or against who, the important thing is that we secure the Scudetto. We know the dangers the derby holds, but step on to the field with the same hunger for success that the Granata will have.”

Conte was again asked about the so-called ‘top player’ for next season, which the latest reports have again pointed to Luis Suarez after today’s biting scandal.

“The economic debate is inevitable when planning for the future. It’s not easy to win when keeping the purse strings tight, so at the end of the season we’ll try to make do and evaluate all the situations to plan our best future.”

Allegri: 'No pressure on AC Milan'
22.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri gave credit to Juventus for their defending tonight and insisted Milan “must not feel pressure” after Fiorentina closed the gap to one point.

The Rossoneri suffered their first defeat of 2013, but with two points from three rounds now have only the most slender of leads in third place.

“The lads put in a good performance, allowing little and controlling the ball,” Allegri told Mediaset Premium after a 1-0 defeat in Turin.

“We conceded on a penalty, but have to stay calm and pick up as many points as possible to maintain our advantage. We must not feel pressure looking at other results, as we already know that we have to pick up points regardless of what the other teams do.”

Milan used Robinho, Stephan El Shaarawy, Giampaolo Pazzini and Kevin-Prince Boateng together, but barely troubled Gigi Buffon.

“El Shaarawy played well, especially in the first half, then Juventus closed us down and allowed very few spaces.

“Robinho did well last Sunday against Napoli, but today he sacrificed himself on the right and it’s only normal he’d struggle after such a long time out.

“Juventus defended very well and lately we are having difficulty creating chances in the final third. So far we have done, including against Juventus, so there is everything to suggest we’ll have a different campaign next year.”

Allegri was asked if he will still be on the bench at San Siro for 2013-14.

“We’ll see. I don’t want to talk about that now. Besides, I already have a contract, so I am happy to stay here.”

Serie A: Juventus 1:0 AC Milan - match report
21.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Vidal pen 57 (J)

Arturo Vidal’s perfect penalty gave Juventus victory over an uninspired Milan, putting them closer to the title and leaving the Rossoneri only one point clear of Fiorentina in third. Juve now need four points from the last five rounds to clinch the championship.

Last season this was a Scudetto showdown, but this time round the Rossoneri were pushing to challenge Napoli for second place and aiming to stay clear of Fiorentina in fourth. Mario Balotelli and Mathieu Flamini sat out bans, but Massimo Ambrosini returned from injury. Stephan El Shaarawy was back in the starting XI after he was surprisingly dropped against Napoli, but Kevin-Prince Boateng moved into midfield to make way for Giampaolo Pazzini and Robinho. Juve had Giorgio Chiellini after an ankle injury, though Sebastian Giovinco, Nicolas Anelka and Simone Pepe were sidelined. Once again, Claudio Marchisio acted as support striker so there was room for Paul Pogba.

Andrea Pirlo almost opened the scoring against his former club, as a free kick took a deflection off the wall and Christian Abbiati changed direction to palm it off the line. The goalkeeper hurt his knee during that move and after a while limped off to make way for Marco Amelia. This was the fifth time in three seasons Abbiati had to be substituted due to injury.

An acrobatic Pogba overhead kick from Stephan Lichtsteiner’s cross whistled wide, then Ambrosini pounced on a Pirlo error only to drill off target. Robinho also hit the side-netting after Mirko Vucinic gave possession away.

Another Pirlo free kick went over the wall, but into Amelia’s arms, while Vucinic was just unable to get a touch to Lichtsteiner’s assist as he came sliding in.

Ambrosini also needed treatment with a strong bandage applied to his ankle before the break, as injuries were beginning to take their toll on the Milan squad. Sulley Muntari replaced the captain for the second half, as the armband want to Riccardo Montolivo.

Chiellini nodded over from a corner and a deflected Marchisio strike was smothered by Amelia, while Philippe Mexes pushed forward and fired straight at Buffon. Cristian Zapata used his strength to prevent Vucinic pulling the trigger from a defence-splitting pass.

Just shy of the hour mark, Ignazio Abate let a pass go through so Kwadwo Asamoah burst into the box and Amelia rushed off his line, clattering into the Ghanaian for a clear penalty. Arturo Vidal stepped up and placed a perfect spot-kick into the top corner.

Pogba nodded a corner over the bar and then set up Vucinic for a shot that Mexes crucially charged down. A dangerous Pirlo cross was not cleared effectively, but Chiellini couldn’t quite get it out from under his feet. From that corner, Leonardo Bonucci shinned a volley into Amelia’s arms.

A fine Boateng run down the right saw him roll the ball across for Pazzini, but Bonucci got there first to prevent the tap-in. Muntari’s snapshot and a swerving Montolivo long-range effort were smothered by Buffon.

Mexes fired wide from a free kick, but Pazzini had been flagged offside anyway, while Montolivo’s angled drive was again easy pickings for Buffon. These attempts summed up Milan’s performance, as they had 58% of possession in Turin, but barely troubled the goalkeeper.

Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner (Padoin 81), Pogba, Pirlo, Vidal, Asamoah (Peluso 92); Marchisio; Vucinic (Quagliarella 90)

AC Milan: Abbiati (Amelia 15); Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Montolivo, Ambrosini (Muntari 46), Boateng; Pazzini, El Shaarawy, Robinho (Bojan 70)

Ref: Banti

Serie A: Juventus vs. AC Milan - lineups
21.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Pogba, Pirlo, Vidal, Asamoah; Marchisio; Vucinic.

Juventus bench: Storari, Rubinho, Caceres, De Ceglie, Peluso, Bendtner, Padoin, Giaccherini, Quagliarella, Matri, Isla, Marrone.

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Montolivo, Ambrosini, Boateng; Pazzini, El Shaarawy, Robinho.

AC Milan bench: Amelia, Narduzzo, Yepes, Antonini, De Sciglio, Bonera, Zaccardo, Traoré, Nocerino, Muntari, Bojan, Niang.

Tassotti: 'A balanced encounter'
21.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan assistant manager Mauro Tassotti expects “a balanced encounter” at the Juventus Stadium this evening.

“We need to play well tonight. It is going to be an important match for both teams, as they are close to the Scudetto, while it is also crucial for us to keep hold of third place,” said Tassotti.

“We met recently in the Coppa Italia, but the games have always been very balanced and I expected another balanced encounter this evening.”

Earlier this season Milan beat Juventus 1-0 in Serie A with a dubious penalty, then the Bianconeri won 2-1 in extra time for the Coppa Italia quarter-final in January.

Mario Balotelli and Mathieu Flamini are suspended, but Robinho, Giampaolo Pazzini, Robinho and Kevin-Prince Boateng start together.

“El Shaarawy has been a very important player for this team for three quarters of the campaign, but it can happen that every now and then someone can sit on the bench. Things need to be understood,” added Tassotti.

Muntari: 'That phantom goal...'
21.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ahead of tonight’s clash with Juventus, Sulley Muntari can’t help thinking back to his infamous ‘phantom’ goal that wasn’t given last year for Milan.

The ball had clearly crossed the line before Gigi Buffon batted it back out, but the officials waved play on and the Scudetto showdown ended 1-1 in February.

“Of course I’d love to score against Juventus,” he told the Corriere dello Sport. “I haven’t found the net this season, but the important thing is to win tonight.

“I don’t look back over that goal with irritation, as this is part of football. If something irritates you, it means you don’t want to keep going. I don’t believe it would’ve been decisive in the title race. It’s true, we would’ve gone ahead in the table, but Juventus were stronger last season and they deserved the Scudetto.”

Milan were in the race then, but this time around they are 15 points behind Juventus in third place.

“Drawing twice in a row hasn’t hit our confidence. We are continuing the ‘hunt’ for second place right to the end, as we are completing a great comeback,” continued Muntari.

“Next year we have to win after this season of reconstruction. The team will be stronger and more mature. We do lack determination, though, as that is what the champions who left had in their eyes. Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf and Gennaro Gattuso always fired us up.

“We could’ve done something more this term, but Juventus are again putting in a great campaign. They are such a strong and united side who make you suffer.

“However, our young players have grown up and are getting the right mentality. All together we know what we can do and that we can win, including against Juventus.”

Muntari wasn’t there for the start of the campaign, as he snapped a knee ligament while on vacation.

“I will never get over that, as I was playing beach soccer with my friends when it happened. I certainly didn’t injure myself on purpose! It’s true Adriano Galliani was furious when he found out how I’d done it.”

Juventus fans: 'No racist chanting'
21.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus fans have released a statement urging everyone to avoid racist chants against Milan. “Let’s not give them anything to criticise us for.”

The famous Drughi ultras group made the appeal via their official website ahead of Sunday night’s match, particularly as the Juventus Stadium is already on a warning for previous racist insults.

“Tomorrow night against Milan we must avoid offensive or racist chants. Let’s not play their game. The ‘moaners’ at Milan are waiting for us to slip up.

“All it will take is one offensive or racist chant, or a couple of monkey noises, to get the stadium banned and steal our Scudetto party away from us.

“This is why we are asking everyone to take responsibility. We must cheer on our club colours and not give them anything to criticise us for.”

Inter’s ultras groups had released a similar statement and handed out flyers before the Milan Derby, but there were still incidents of racist chanting towards Mario Balotelli and Sulley Muntari.

Chiellini and Bendtner face AC Milan
20.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giorgio Chiellini and Nicklas Bendtner are back in the Juventus squad for tomorrow night’s encounter with Milan.

The defender has recovered from ankle problems that ruled him out of the 2-0 win at Lazio.

It is a big comeback for Danish striker Bendtner, who had been unavailable since tearing a thigh tendon in December.

There is still no sign of Nicolas Anelka, while Simone Pepe and Sebastian Giovinco are also sidelined.

Juventus squad for Milan: 1 Buffon, 3 Chiellini, 4 Caceres, 6 Pogba, 8 Marchisio, 9 Vucinic, 11 De Ceglie, 13 Peluso, 15 Barzagli, 17 Bendtner, 19 Bonucci, 20 Padoin, 21 Pirlo, 22 Asamoah, 23 Vidal, 24 Giaccherini, 26 Lichtsteiner, 27 Quagliarella, 30 Storari, 32 Matri, 33 Isla, 34 Rubinho, 39 Marrone.

AC Milan squad for Juventus
20.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan squad for Juventus: Abbiati, Amelia, Narduzzo, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Zaccardo, Zapata, Ambrosini, Boateng, Constant, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Traoré, Bojan, El Shaarawy, Niang, Pazzini, Robinho.

Conte: 'AC Milan as strong as Juventus, but...'
20.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Conte knows Milan “want to prove they are as strong” as Juventus, shakes off ‘provincial’ thinking and explains it’s hard work being a great motivator.

The leaders welcome the Rossoneri in a prestigious clash on Sunday evening.

Today Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani said his team is “not inferior to Juve,” and Conte does not entirely disagree.

“He is right, but the strongest squad on paper doesn’t always win. The statistics and history books tell us in the last two years the Rossoneri didn’t happen to win,” said the Coach.

It has been said that Juventus are eager to beat Milan in order to force them into a Champions League preliminary round or potentially even kick them down to the Europa League.

“Our only motivation is to earn the three points so we can get even closer to the Scudetto. We have no pleasure in making Milan finish third, as it is provincial to think about your opponents that way. We must look only at our own situation.

“It won’t be easy to win, as Milan are as strong as we are and want to prove it. They are working well, because it wasn’t easy to rebuild and replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva.”

Milan won the last Serie A meeting 1-0 earlier this season with an incorrectly-awarded penalty.

“It was a very strange game, as Milan weren’t coming from a great period of form and it was decided by a dubious incident. They attacked us from the start and we reacted too late, so deserved to lose. That match sparked Milan’s rebirth.

“Against Lazio I felt it important to use all four midfielders and the 3-5-1-1 system is the only one that allows that. A good Coach adapts his ideas to the players at his disposal. If I wanted to return to my old 4-2-4 system, then I’d have to revamp the squad and get players suited to that shape.

“It is not important how many strikers you have on the field, but how many players you get into the opposition penalty area. I changed the 4-2-4 originally because Arturo Vidal was so good he couldn’t be dropped. I am in a similar situation now with Paul Pogba.

“Giorgio Chiellini trained with the side yesterday and seems to be in decent shape. We’ll see, but if he is fit then obviously Chiellini will play. He is an exceptional defender and if he’s fit then I very rarely leave him out.”

Andrea Pirlo is releasing his autobiography in which he reveals Conte often throws plastic water bottles at the locker room wall at half-time, even when they are winning.

“It is true, I sometimes get angry even during a victory. If there are constructive and convincing victories, then I’m happy. At times a win arrives with luck or other people’s mistakes, so those results leave you with three points, but also regret and anger.

“If a Coach were to be happy in these situations, then it would be bad for the team, because it’d prepare them for other defeats.

“A Coach in the 21st Century cannot be wrapped up only in tactical discussions, but must also be a motivator. He has to press the right buttons and find the best way to confront every individual. Some players might need a nice compliment, while others have to be challenged with toughness.

“It is not easy to get inside the mind of every player, considering a squad has at least 25. A good Coach spends his time studying and keeping up to date with every aspect, because he wants to become the best.

“Every Coach has his own mentality. I hope that mine is a winning mentality. The statistics and our consistency suggest that is the case.”

Allegri: 'El Shaarawy starts with Juventus'
20.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri confirmed Stephan El Shaarawy will start against Juventus tomorrow night and insists he was right to let Andrea Pirlo leave Milan.

The two giants go head-to-head at the Juventus Stadium on Sunday evening.

While Mario Balotelli is banned, Massimo Ambrosini, Ignazio Abate and Kevin-Prince Boateng return from injury and El Shaarawy is restored after being sensationally dropped against Napoli.

“Ambrosini is a player of great experience and it is important to have him on the field in games like this,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“I was not courageous in leaving El Shaarawy on the bench. It was a technical choice and I would do it again. I think he had a great season with real intensity and important moments, so being on the bench for one game doesn’t change anything in terms of how I see the lad.

“There was no El Shaarawy ‘problem,’ and by stirring up this controversy the media is making it seem as if Robinho didn’t deserve to play. In any case, I can confirm El Shaarawy will start tomorrow.

“We didn’t play badly in Florence, but now have to pick up as many points as possible to reach the Champions League, either via the play-offs in third place or directly in second. Now we need to stay in Napoli’s slipstream and keep Fiorentina behind us.

“Juventus are well organised and want to reach the Scudetto as quickly as possible, so it is going to be an important match for both teams. It will take a great performance from either side to get the better of the other.

“Juve are the strongest team in Serie A, as they are top of the table and have a big advantage over second, so that shows the difference between the Old Lady and the others.”

Antonio Conte has been reshuffling his pack recently, using Claudio Marchisio as a support striker so he can use Paul Pogba in midfield.

“I don’t know if they’ll play with one or two strikers. The Bianconeri want to win in order to take revenge on us for when we beat them earlier this season.

“My future? I will only say the club has given me a great deal and I have a good rapport with Adriano Galliani. The growth of the squad has been phenomenal in recent months and the club also takes credit for that.”

Balotelli is suspended, but surprised many by opting against going to New York for the Time 100 gala after he was named one of the most influential people in the world, as it would interfere with his training schedule.

“I want to underline the wonderful and very professional choice Balotelli made,” added Allegri. “Since he has been at Milan, he has behaved very well, it’s just that anything he does hits the headlines.”

Juventus star Pirlo is set to release his autobiography and essentially blames Allegri for pushing him out of Milan after 10 years.

“At times when you put together a team, you have to evaluate many different situations,” responded the Coach.

“Nobody can put Andrea’s qualities in doubt and it seems to me that he proved as much at Juventus as he did at Milan.”

Pirlo: 'AC Milan, Juventus and Conte'
20.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Pirlo has written an autobiography, which covers his Milan leaving gift, how he nearly returned to Inter and dodging bottles thrown by ‘viper’ Antonio Conte.

The midfielder is set to publish his book, titled ‘I think, therefore I play,’ and La Gazzetta dello Sport published some extracts today.

Pirlo reveals he was less than impressed with his parting gift from Milan – a Cartier pen with the club symbol on it.

“A lovely pen, but still a pen. Filled with banal blue ink. Adriano Galliani told me ‘Make sure you don’t use that to sign a new contract with Juventus.’ At least he got the joke right.

“As a goodbye gift I expected something more than that perfect comic timing. My 10 years of Milan, gone like that. I smiled anyway.

“It was a mutual decision to leave, as I did not want to risk suffering from boredom. That is why I was disappointed at the end of that final meeting, but only to the right degree. So was Galliani.”

Pirlo also wrote about the fact Massimiliano Allegri wanted to move him to the left side of midfield rather than in front of the defence.

“I still thought I could give my best there. A fish breathes when it is in deep water. It makes do when near the surface, but it’s not the same thing.

“We never discussed money that afternoon in the spring of 2011. Never. In those 30 minutes, we didn’t broach the subject of economics with Galliani. I just wanted to be considered important, at the centre of a project and not a player heading for the scrap yard.”

He had joined Inter as an Under-21 international, but reveals then-Coach Leonardo tried to bring him back there when his contract expired with Milan in 2011.

“He told me great things about Inter, how happy and fired up he was. It could’ve been a great challenge to go back where I had already been, to cross the city after 10 consecutive years at Milan, nine of which had been extraordinary.

“Leonardo could’ve helped me with that, if he hadn’t gone to Paris Saint-Germain a few weeks later. I couldn’t do it, though. It would’ve been really too much and the Milan fans did not deserve an affront like that.”

Pirlo also considered an offer from Roma, but was “suspicious” when the new American owners wouldn’t go into detail about the kind of team they were building.

“I have dealt with many Coaches in my career, but Conte is the one who surprised me the most. He needed just one speech, with many simple words, to conquer both me and Juventus. We arrived together on the Planet Juventus.

“He presented himself to us on the first day of pre-season training in the gym at Bardonecchia. He already had fire running through his veins and moved like a viper. ‘This squad, dear lads, is coming off two consecutive seventh-place finishes. It’s crazy. Shocking. I am not here for this, so it’s time to stop being crap.’

“If Arrigo Sacchi was a genius, then what is he? I expected him to be great, but not that great. I thought of a Coach with a lot of grit and charisma, but instead I discovered he has much to teach his colleagues in terms of tactics and technique.

“Going back, there is one thing I wouldn’t do again – choose the locker right next to Gigi Buffon at the Juventus Stadium, the one in front of the door,” wrote Pirlo.

“It is the most dangerous spot in Turin, especially at half-time. Conte storms in and – even when we are winning – throws anything he can get his hands on towards the wall, which is my spot. He’ll throw anything he can find, almost always plastic bottles full of water. Very fizzy water.

“He becomes a beast and is never happy, as there is always some detail that isn’t perfect and he can see in advance what could happen over the next 45 minutes.

“One time we were losing to Milan and he couldn’t get over it. ‘Against them! I can’t understand how we can’t be beating them! They even play badly.’”

It remains to be seen what Conte will be saying at half-time on Sunday evening when Juventus welcome Milan to Turin.

Galliani: 'AC Milan not inferior to Juventus'
20.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani stokes the fires of tomorrow night’s Juventus-Milan by insisting “our squad is not inferior to theirs. If it weren’t for that bad start...”

The two giants go head-to-head in Turin on Sunday evening. There is a 15-point gap between them in the Serie A table, but Vice-President Galliani sees it a different way.

“I would like to underline the 15-point gap has been steady after Week 8. That means for 24 rounds we have been picking up the same number of points as the Bianconeri,” Galliani told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Our squad is not inferior to theirs, as we have been on a par with them for three-quarters of the campaign. I’d say there is absolutely no quality gap that we must bridge.

“If next season Milan and Juve started with the same squads as today, you can be confident in the first eight games we wouldn’t fall 15 points behind.”

Galliani also explained away Milan’s disastrous start to the season and finishing behind Juventus last term by looking up more statistics.

“The competitive nature of a club can only be gauged over a long period. This is why I worked out an all-Italian ranking system that shows over the last five years Milan have had more points than anyone else.

“Tomorrow Juventus will try to win and so will well, as for the last two years we’ve been battling to the bitter end. Whatever the result with Juve, it remains a stratospheric 2013 for Milan and Max Allegri is maintaining his usual standards.”

There are continuing reports that Zlatan Ibrahimovic – who Milan sold to PSG only a year ago – could be heading back to Serie A for Juventus.

“He is a great professional and it was a pity to let him go, but certain wages are not compatible with Milan. In any case, players are professionals and so I wouldn’t be irritated to see him with another club.”

Balotelli 'extraordinary professional'
20.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

“Extraordinary professional” Mario Balotelli has turned down a New York gala as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

The striker had been set to make the trip across the Atlantic after he was named one of the most influential figures in 2013.

However, Milan announced that Balotelli, as “an extraordinary professional,” had opted against the journey because it would interfere with training.

He had been due to sit out a three-match ban, but that was reduced to two on appeal.

It means he still misses tomorrow night’s clash with Juventus, but will be available against Catania on April 28.

The huge gala in New York’s Lincoln Center is on April 23 with 350 specially-invited guests, Vice-President Joe Biden delivering the keynote speech and Christina Aguilera performing.

Prandelli issues Balotelli warning
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cesare Prandelli has warned Mario Balotelli that he will have to 'shut up' if he is to have a future in the game.

The Milan forward is currently serving a two-game suspension after abusing the fourth official during the Rossoneri's 2-2 draw with Fiorentina.

And the national team Coach has claimed that the young forward needs to learn not to react to provocation.

“Balotelli will always be provoked,” he told Rai Sport. “He has to learn to shut up and not react.

“A large part of the game is staying calm, and in this respect Mario can definitely improve.

“In the future he will be provoked more and more and he needs to learn to manage himself.”

The Azzurri boss also commented on this weekend's clash between the San Siro side and Juventus.

“I think it is going to be a spectacular game.

“Juve are close to the title and Milan are playing for third place – it's going to be a really good game.”

Galliani: Ibrahimovic return? Impossible
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan vice-President Adriano Galliani has admitted that it is unlikely Zlatan Ibrahimovic will return to the club.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward's agent had revealed this week that the Sweden international was open to move back to Serie A.

But the Rossoneri board member has insisted that a transfer for the 31-year-old is virtually impossible.

“A return for Ibrahimovic? That does not seem possible,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “His salary demands are too high for Italy.”

Balotelli ban cut, but misses Juventus
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli has had his three-match ban reduced to two on appeal, but he will still miss the Juventus tie.

The Italian international was punished for insulting a match official during the 2-2 draw at Fiorentina two weeks ago.

The January signing was automatically banned for one game for the accumulation of yellow cards, plus two for his verbal outburst.

Milan appealed against the ban today and were able to get a discount on his initial punishment.

Balotelli, who missed the draw with Napoli last week, will now also sit out the trip to Turin. He’ll return against Catania.

Allegri confirmed as AC Milan boss
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani says he’ll give boss Massimiliano Allegri a new defender for the 2013-14 campaign.

In a video chat with the Gazzetta dello Sport, Galliani insisted that the Coach would remain over the summer.

“I’m in daily contact with Allegri,” Galliani noted. “He will stay with us and I have not been in touch with any other Coach.

“Milan have had a very good season and I don’t see why we should change tactician. Allegri will certainly stay with us.”

Turning to the transfer market, the former Lega Calcio chief noted: “Milan need to create top players, not buy them.

“If we make signings then we will sign a defender.”

The official was also asked on the rumours suggesting that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who they sold to Paris Saint-Germain last summer, could join Juventus.

“He is a professional,” he remarked. “We were sad to sell him, but he earns the kind of money that are not compatible with our finances.

“Would I re-sign him or Thiago Silva? The team who concedes less goals wins the Scudetto.”

Ambrosini speaks ahead of Juventus
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini has underlined how important a win would be for his Milan side at Juventus on Sunday.

“We have to try to keep Fiorentina away from us and get closer to Napoli,” the Rossoneri captain told Milan Channel.

“We are four points away from Napoli and we have four more than Fiorentina, we can’t really drop points this weekend.”

After drawing with the fourth-placed Viola and the second-placed Azzurri over the last two games, they will now take on the League leaders.

“Juventus have players with great quality and they deserve all of the points which they have in the table,” the veteran continued.

“Physically, too, they are in good shape and they are never a team who are easy to take on.

“You have to go to Turin and face the game in a certain way, otherwise you run the risk of putting on a horrible showing.”

Milan beat Juventus 1-0 at San Siro earlier in the season.

De Jong running again at AC Milan
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Nigel De Jong returned to light training with Milan on Friday four months after snapping his Achilles tendon.

The summer signing from Manchester United picked up the injury in the 22nd minute of the 4-2 win at Torino back in December.

The Dutchman took part in a running session at Milanello this morning, but he isn’t expected to return to competitive action this season.

Riccardo Montolivo and Kevin Prince Boateng trained normally after they missed yesterday’s friendly game, as did Ignazio Abate.

All three should be available for selection when the Diavolo take on Juventus in Turin on Sunday.

De Sciglio cools Maldini parallels
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia De Sciglio has again played down comparisons with Milan legend Paolo Maldini. “I have a long way to go.”

The young full-back, 20, has broken into the Rossoneri first team over the last two seasons and he was recently handed his first full international cap.

“I’m honoured to be compared to Maldini, but I have a long road ahead of me,” the defender told La Stampa.

“Perhaps they just say that because I also grew up in the Milan youth sector…”

De Sciglio’s side will next be in action on Sunday against Juventus, a club he admits he followed as a youngster.

“I was a Juventino at first like my dad,” he added. “But then my mother and my grandfather got me to change my mind.

“I liked Gigi Buffon, Alex Del Piero, Pavel Nedved and Lilian Thuram. But only because I was influenced by my father…”

The 20-year-old has played in 24 League games this term, as well as five in the Champions League.

Criscito hoping for Serie A return
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Domenico Criscito has dismissed links with Milan, but the Italian international has admitted that he one day wants to return to Serie A.

The former Genoa and Juventus player, currently sidelined with knee ligament damage, plays his club football in Russia with Zenit St Petersburg.

“I keep a close eye on Serie A,” the 26-year-old commented in an interview with calciomercato.it.

“I do miss Italy and, sooner or later, I do hope to play football in my country again. Although I don’t know when.”

The full-back was paired with a possible switch to the Diavolo before picking up a knee injury earlier this year.

“I don’t know anything about Milan’s interest in me,” he continued. “For now, I’m just concentrating on recovering from injury and getting back into action.”

Robinho not ready for AC Milan exit
19.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho has rejected speculation that he will be leaving Milan at the end of the season. “These won’t be my last six games for the Rossoneri.”

The Brazilian has been linked with a move back to his homeland after he almost left the Diavolo during January.

“Who says that I am going back home in the summer?” Robinho stated in an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I keep hearing this but I don’t know anything about it. January was a moment of difficulty for me, but that has passed.

“I’m very happy in Milan and I’m slowly finding my form. I want to stay here.

“For now I want to end the season well, play great next term and then it will be the time for a renewal. I can assure you that these won’t be my last six games in Rossonero.”

Milan are next in action on Sunday against Juventus, a side who the Diavolo beat thanks to a Robinho goal earlier in the season.

“I know the value of Juventus, they deserve first place but we can win in Turin,” added the 29-year-old. “We have the side to do that.

“We have to attack them and not allow them to play. Just like in the first game. We marked them well and moved the ball around quickly. It was the perfect game.”

El Shaarawy: 'Allegri like a father'
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy said Massimiliano Allegri “is like a father to me,” pledged his future to Milan and revealed how long he takes to do his hair.

The striker answered fans’ questions on a Google Hangout hosted by Milan’s official website today.

“I have an excellent rapport with Allegri. Right from last year, he was like a father to me. He is a great person, as he gives me advice on my football and helped form me as a man. I am grateful to him.

“In order to remain at certain levels, you need to make sacrifices and work hard. I do that with pleasure, because being a football player is the best job in the world and I know how far I can go.”

El Shaarawy has been repeatedly linked with offers from Napoli, Liverpool. Arsenal and Manchester City, but is a lifelong Rossoneri supporter.

“I want to stay with Milan for many years and make history with this club. In order to achieve that I need the utmost commitment, humility and to give all of myself. I am going through a good season, but I have so much more to learn.

“There is no food I cannot resist, so I control my diet well. I care about my image and my physique too, so I am very careful. In my spare time I watch TV or go on the Playstation, while I like hanging out with my brother.”

Naturally, the Little Pharaoh was asked about his famous hairstyle.

“I know how to do it now, so it only takes about 10 minutes. Image is something that counts a lot for me.”

It has been said that El Shaarawy suffers when playing alongside Mario Balotelli, who is suspended for Sunday’s game against Juventus.

“It’s not true that we are incompatible, as I absolutely can play with Balotelli. As for Juve, it won’t be easy as they are very strong and having a great season. We really want the three points and must keep the tempo up.”

'Balotelli can influence society'
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli’s agent is “not remotely surprised” that Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

“I am not remotely surprised,” Mino Raiola told Sky Sport Italia. “Time saw something in him that many are unable to see.

“He can influence men, women, children. Mario can influence Italy in various different ways, starting from the issue of racism that can be fought.

“He is a perfectly normal young man, but it’s clear there have been important responsibilities on his shoulders since he was 16 years old.”

Milan signed Balotelli from Manchester City in January for around €20m.

“It was a real bargain, as Mario is repaying the investment with great performances and an improvement in his behaviour,” continued Raiola.

“Soon he will be priceless, like the great works of art.”

Tomorrow there will be the result of Balotelli’s appeal against a two-match ban for insulting the officials, which currently rules him out of games against Juventus and Catania.

It was in fact a three-match ban, but the first game was due to yellow cards.

“He is disappointed in the suspension and doesn’t think it was right, so we all have hope in the appeal. The lawyers will do their job.”

Raiola: 'Ibrahimovic open to Italy return'
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Agent Mino Raiola is again stirring up controversy, as he said “never say never” to Zlatan Ibrahimovic returning to Italy for Inter, Milan or Juventus.

The rumours were sparked by reports today that the PSG striker had bought a new house in Milan.

“Is Ibrahimovic’s future in Paris? Today yes, but perhaps tomorrow no,” Raiola told La Repubblica this evening.

“In football everything is possible, so I don’t close the door on anything. Never say never...

“He is happy in Paris and Paris Saint-Germain are happy with him, so I don’t see any reason to leave. Then again, Ibra was happy at Milan and then went to PSG...

“I think it is almost impossible for a return to Italy. If he does return, then there are two or three clubs who could sign him: Milan, Inter and Juve. There are also clubs like Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea around.

“If he leaves PSG, will Serie A be in pole position? Ibrahimovic has never hidden the fact Italy is in his heart. It is his second home.”

Roma join Krul chase
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

After he was linked with Milan, now Roma are said to be preparing an offer for Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul.

The Dutchman is currently out of action with a shoulder injury and his contract ties him to the Magpies until June 2017.

Earlier this week he was heavily linked with Milan, but TMW now suggest Roma are also ready to do battle for Krul’s signature.

He would be replacing another Dutch international, Maarten Stekelenburg, at the Stadio Olimpico.

The problem would be that Milan can offer European football, whereas Roma’s hopes of qualifying for the Europa League are still in the balance.

Barzagli: 'AC Milan need points too'
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Barzagli acknowledges there is a lot at stake in Juventus-Milan this Sunday. “We’re chasing the Scudetto, while they’re aiming for Champions League qualification.”

The giants go head-to-head at the Juventus Stadium on Sunday evening and it is first against third in Serie A.

“Both us and Milan are in need of points. We’re chasing the Scudetto, while they’re aiming for Champions League qualification. It won’t be easy, but we’re preparing well,” the 31-year-old told Sport Mediaset.

The game after that, the Turin Derby, will see Barzagli mark his 100th appearance in the Bianconeri jersey.

“I’m very happy, it’s pleasing to be able to play as much as I do. Reaching 100 appearances for such a prestigious club is a real source of pride.

“The last few years have been the best of my career in terms of consistency. There was a time when my performance levels tended to fluctuate more.

“Ever since I started playing I’ve never thought about scoring, preferring instead to focus on stopping the opposition. I’m not particularly talented going forward… all that matters is that my team-mates find the target.”

Balotelli in Time 100 influential people
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli is in the Time list of 100 most influential people for 2013 as an ‘Icon,’ with Gianfranco Zola writing his dedication entry. “People think he’s a madman, but he isn’t.”

The story had been reported last month, but has only become official today when Time released its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Italy and Milan striker Balotelli is included under the section marked ‘Icons’ along with the likes of Aung San Suu Kyi, Michelle Obama, Daniel Day-Lewis and Beyoncé.

“Mario has all the qualities to be a top player: power and athleticism, alongside a good understanding of the game — all positive,” wrote Watford manager Zola in Time magazine.

“I worked with Mario for a short period with Italy’s Under-21 side. I liked him straight away. I liked the way he handled himself and his composure and calmness in situations. Mario could shrug off things happening around him. Only the big players have that calm.

“Mario can play the big games and handle the crucial moments, but he needs to keep control. That is vital for him.

“From afar, people may think he’s a madman, but he isn’t. Mario is a lovely guy, very humble and very funny. I can assure people he has always been a pleasure to deal with.

“He has returned to Italy from England as the main man with lots of attention. Now he has to ensure he keeps control and keeps focus. Mario loves the pressure, but to succeed, it is about finding balance.”

AC Milan miss out on Dede
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Brazilian defender Dede will not be joining Milan this summer after he put pen to paper on a deal with Cruzeiro.

The latter have confirmed the 24-year-old’s capture after an agreement was reached with Vasco da Gama for the stopper who was on the Diavolo radar.

Dede, capped seven times by the Brazilian national side, was also being linked with a possible move to Liverpool.

Who will renew at AC Milan?
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Gazzetta dello Sport expects Christian Abbiati and Massimo Ambrosini to sign new contracts at Milan.

The duo are only tied to the club until June which has raised doubts about their futures at the Stadio Meazza.

The report suggests that the goalkeeper will almost certainly put pen to paper on an extension, while the midfielder may do too.

Milan will also have to decide what to do with Mathieu Flamini, Mario Yepes and Daniele Bonera as they are in the final months of their respective agreements.

Flamini, formerly of Arsenal, is thought to have admirers in the Premiership. He currently earns €1.5m a season.

Allegri key to AC Milan revival
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Constant is convinced that boss Massimiliano Allegri is the man responsible for saving Milan’s season.

The Diavolo, after some major squad changes last summer, began the campaign with five losses from their opening eight League games.

However, with six matches left this term, the Rossoneri are third and only four points adrift of second-placed Napoli.

“We started the season badly, but we have improved,” the summer signing from Genoa told Milan Channel.

“This is down to Coach Allegri who has got his message across to all the players.”

The San Siro giants, who have drawn their last two games against Fiorentina and Napoli, will face leaders Juventus in Turin this weekend.

“It's an important match, also psychologically for us,” added the 25-year-old. “We are four points behind Napoli. We have to do everything to win.”

AC Milan stars target Juventus fitness
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng, Massimo Ambrosini and Bojan Krkic look to be fit in time to face Juventus on Sunday night.

The Milan trio have all been suffering from knocks recently, but took part in the full training session with their teammates today.

Giampaolo Pazzini worked on strength exercises, while Ignazio Abate remains in doubt for the big game, as he focused on the gym and the sand strip.

Boateng and Abate limped off during the 1-1 draw with Napoli, while Bojan pulled out the night before with a muscular problem.

Prandelli offered AC Milan job?
18.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan are trying to line up Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli for their bench after the 2014 World Cup, claim SportMediaset.

The tactician’s contract with the FIGC runs out in July 2014, straight after the tournament in Brazil.

Prandelli has hinted he could walk away from the job at that time, as it would be the end of his four-year tenure.

According to SportMediaset today, Milan have shown an interest in luring Prandelli back to club football.

It would also fit in with the timing, as current Coach Massimiliano Allegri’s deal expires in June 2014.

Prandelli has been a Coach at Atalanta, Lecce, Verona, Venezia, Parma, briefly Roma and then at Fiorentina from 2005 to 2010.

AC Milan close on Krul
17.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Milan are making progress in their attempts to sign Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul.

The Rossoneri are on the look-out for a new shot-stopper, as Christian Abbiati and Marco Amelia are getting on in years.

Dutchman Krul is only 25 years old and has been ruled out for the rest of the season by a shoulder injury.

According to Italian media sources, Krul has already been scouted by Milan directors several times this term.

He is 1.93m tall and has been at Newcastle since 2005, so it will take a big offer to lure him away from the Magpies.

Muriel won't wed Juventus or AC Milan
17.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luis Muriel will probably remain with Udinese despite transfer interest from Milan and Juventus, claims his agent.

The Colombian has been linked with both Italian giants and Helmut Wennin has confirmed to TMW that they do like his client.

“It’s true, there has been contact with Juventus and Milan,” the representative stated on Wednesday afternoon.

“Saying that though, I do believe that Luis will still be playing for Udinese next season despite the fact that some big foreign clubs are chasing him too.”

The striker, who spent last season on loan at Lecce, has scored eight goals in 17 games for the Stadio Friuli outfit this term.

Maldini: Italian clubs need money
17.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italian football needs fresh funds if clubs are to once again compete with Europe’s best sides, says Paolo Maldini.

The Milan legend, in an interview with Reuters, underlined that Serie A outfits need a serious cash injection if they are to compete in the Champions League.

“There is no other way to reach that kind of level,” the Italy and Milan hero noted. “You have to invest money to compete with the great teams in Europe.”

The former defender used Juventus’ 4-0 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the European Cup as an example of the gap between Italy’s best and Europe’s super powers.

“Juventus are a great team, especially in Italy, but when you compete with a team like Bayern, you can see the difference,” he added.

“They need at least two or three more great players.”

Money is tight in the Italian game right now and Maldini believes that clubs need to be put into a position to increase their revenue.

“In Italy we still have laws that don't work,” he added. “Everyone is losing money in Italian football, it’s crazy.

“If you go outside the San Siro you can see people selling fake merchandising. You can't allow this.

“Then you have old stadiums, very old stadiums.

“Above all we need to learn from Leagues that make money from sports rather than lose money.”

AC Milan's Niang reveals secret to success
17.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

M’Baye Niang says he has understood the importance of professionalism following his arrival at Milan.

The 18-year-old had a quiet start to life at San Siro, but he has been rewarded for his efforts in recent weeks with more first team opportunities.

“At Caen people told me that I was too good, that I was a phenomenon,” the striker told France Football.

“After a while, you inadvertently relax and don’t work as hard. You can’t do that here at Milan.

“There are stronger players than me in attack and if you don’t train hard then you don’t play, you just become the sixth attacker.”

Niang added that he believes certain life style changes have also aided his development at Milanello this term.

“I now know that you can’t behave in a certain way at this club,” he added. “Philippe Mexes has talked to me a lot.

“He’s told me to accept punishments and come back stronger, to be perfect in my private life.

“I train hard and, when I go home, I live life as an athlete. It’s no coincidence that today I am playing regularly.

“Something changed in my life, something clicked. When I was 16, I paid no notice to people who said that I should not eat this or drink that.

“I’ll work hard to become the player I want to develop into.”

Niang has one goal in 20 appearances across Serie A, the Champions League and the Coppa Italia for the Diavolo.

Chiellini hopes to face AC Milan
17.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus stopper Giorgio Chiellini is keeping his fingers crossed that he’ll be fit enough to take on Milan on Sunday.

The defender has had an injury-plagued campaign and he missed the 2-0 win at Lazio on Monday with ankle problems.

“I’m felling better,” he stated. “And I’m certainly hoping that I will be available to face Milan. We’ll just have to see what happens.”

The 28-year-old has appeared in just 18 League games for the Old Lady so far this season. He missed only four Serie A games last term.

Juventus need just seven points from their last six games to win their second consecutive championship.

Saponara puts AC Milan dream on hold
17.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Saponara says Empoli are still his priority despite the fact that he’ll join Italian giants Milan in the summer.

The Diavolo signed Empoli’s half share in the player in January for around €4m. After talks with Parma, who co-own him, it was agreed that he’d move to San Siro at the end of the season.

However, after scoring twice in yesterday’s 5-0 win over Juve Stabia, the Italian Under-21 international has underlined that he’s still got plenty to give Empoli.

“The fact that Milan have signed me hasn’t made any difference to the relationship between my teammates and I,” he stated.

“Joining Milan will be a dream come true, they are one of the best teams in the world and I’m really happy with this transfer.

“However, from now until the end of the campaign I will only be thinking of Empoli.”

The Tuscan side are fourth in the table, six points adrift of Hellas Verona.

Rocchi: 'Referees always in good faith'
17.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Referee Gianluca Rocchi has hit back at critics, explaining it is “hurtful to hear people say we are not in good faith.”

The officials were lambasted over the past couple of weeks, particularly by Inter, as President Massimo Moratti declared he no longer believed they were making errors in good faith.

“It is really hurtful to hear people say the referees are not in good faith,” Rocchi told Sky Sport Italia.

“It is absurd to think we make mistakes because of something that goes beyond a simple error. The referee steps on to the field to do his best, hoping he won’t end up favouring either of the two teams.”

Rocchi officiated Milan-Napoli on Sunday night and flashed a straight red card at Mathieu Flamini for a two-footed tackle on Juan Camilo Zuniga, but the Frenchman received only a one-match ban.

“He apologised to everyone, even to the referees. He didn’t want to hurt the player, but it was a very clumsy challenge.”

One match ban for Flamini
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Disciplinary Commission has chosen not to punish Cagliari striker Mauricio Pinilla for unsporting behaviour even after he confessed to “diving” against Inter.

Many expected the Chilean to be handed a two-match ban after he earned a penalty in the 2-0 victory over the Nerazzurri on Sunday.

“I controlled the ball and changed direction in the box, then when I felt the touch of course I dived,” confessed Pinilla on Sky Sport Italia.

“Whenever you get touched in the box, it is always a penalty, it’s just that the striker has to be smart to earn it.”

Today the Disciplinary Commission released its reasoning for the decision not to punish Pinilla, explaining video evidence showed “there was effectively contact between the two players, as their left knees collided.

“It was a contact of dubious regularity and very small, the effects of which were accentuated by Pinilla due to a habit (correction, bad habit) that is seen by many and varied players on a weekly basis.

“It is therefore conduct that should be criticised, but not the kind that can be called ‘evident simulation’ as in the rules of the spot, as Pinilla’s obvious fall to the ground was still correlated to an initial physical contact with the opponent.

“We cannot evaluate with certainty what effects that contact had, to the exclusion of all reasonable doubt. Therefore, the Disciplinary Commission has decided not to take any action against Pinilla.”

It turns out that Pinilla is suspended for this weekend’s game anyway, as he picked up his eighth yellow card of the season.

Milan midfielder Mathieu Flamini also received only a one-match ban for his red card against Napoli. Like Esteban Cambiasso a couple of weeks ago, he was given the benefit of the doubt as the foul was down to poor control rather than intentionally trying to harm an opponent.

Meanwhile, Lazio have been fined €30,000 for racist chanting and the use of laser pens during the 2-0 home defeat to Juventus, plus the exhibition of a banner insulting to UEFA President Michel Platini.

Juventus were fined €5,000 for throwing bottles and Roma fined €5,000 for the use of smoke bombs.

AC Milan and Inter make Kondogbia bids
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan and Inter have already submitted bids for Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, according to reports in Spain.

AS have claimed that the Rossoneri have tabled a bid of €12m for the French youngster, whilst the Nerazzurri have put down €10m as a 30 per cent deposit for a future deal.

The San Siro sides will have to fight off interest from Real Madrid however, who are believed to have made an offer of their own, and also have Raphael Varane at their disposal – a close friend of Kondogbia.

The 20-year-old has been virtually ever-present for the Rojiblancos this season, playing in 25 League games, scoring one goal.

Boateng on fitness and Juventus clash
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has insisted he will be fit enough to face Juventus this weekend.

The 26-year-old limped out of the Rossoneri's 1-1 draw with Napoli last Sunday, but the former Ghana international has claimed he will be fit to play the Bianconeri, whilst also making reference to Sulley Muntari's 'ghost goal' against Antonio Conte's men last season.

“I am fine,” he told Milan Channel. “At first I thought the damage would be greater, but today I feel a lot better and hopefully I'll be available against Juve.

“We are still there or thereabouts and we want to finish second – and to do that we have to win in Turin.

“The matches against Juventus are always special – there is no need to talk them up further.

“This time we'll kick the ball harder in order to make it clear for everyone that the ball has crossed the line.”

El Shaarawy respects boss Allegri
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy insists his relationship with Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is still strong despite his omission from the starting XI at the weekend.

The 20-year-old was surprisingly benched for the San Siro showdown against Napoli, despite being the club’s top scorer this term.

“It was a decision taken by the Coach and I fully respect it, like I have always respected substitutions in the past,” the Italian international told Milan Channel.

“He has given me lots of confidence and shown a lot of belief in me, so there is no problem whatsoever. I respect his choices and, in the game against Napoli, he preferred to start with Robinho.

“There is no problem between the Coach and I, we have a good relationship and we always have had. I am relaxed, I have done well until now and I just want to keep improving.”

The former Padova and Genoa player made a blistering start to the season, but goals have dried up in recent months.

“The arrival of Mario Balotelli hasn't changed things that much,” he added. “As a team we still create chances, but I am a little less clinical in front of goal – but that is because I sacrifice myself for the team.

“I am happy with what I have done over the last few months and I want to help the team as much as possible.”

El Shaarawy has scored 16 goals in 31 League games this term.

Montolivo: Let's keep third
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo has urged his Milan side to not dwell on the past and focus on maintaining third place in the table.

The Diavolo have drawn their last two games against Fiorentina and Napoli which has seen them fail to overtake the second-placed Azzurri.

“We have to try to keep this position,” he told Milan Channel. “We have four points over Fiorentina and we are four behind Napoli.

“We were hoping to beat Napoli on Sunday so as to move closer to them in the table, but we didn't manage that. They played very well and they are a very good team.

“It was a pity, but the points we are really missing are not those from Sunday night but those from Florence where we threw away two clear points. But we have to just look ahead.”

Milan, who drew 2-2 at Fiorentina despite taking a 2-0 lead, will face League leaders Juventus in Turin this weekend.

“They are tough, both individually and also as a team,” he added. “They are deservedly top of the table.

“Andrea Pirlo is one of the best in the world in that midfield position, but there are other quality players in the Juve team.

“It will be a very tough match but we will try to win because we are Milan and we always try to win every match.”

Leonardo reveals AC Milan bust-up
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Leonardo believed he would stay at Milan for the rest of his career until he fell out with President Silvio Berlusconi.

The Brazilian, now a director at Paris Saint-Germain, played for the Rossoneri before becoming their Coach in 2009-10.

He quit at the end of that campaign and, in December of 2010, he became the tactician of city rivals Inter. He joined PSG six months later.

“I thought I’d stay at Milan for the rest of my career,” the South American told the Gazzetta dello Sport’s Extra Time. “I’d never go back there after arguing with Berlusconi.

“In Brazil, we say that who hits forgets, but who gets hit doesn’t. For me, Milan is not Berlusconi – it is an international asset.

“The ideal club would have Massimo Moratti as President, with Adriano Galliani as a director.”

Leonardo has been linked with a return to Inter, possibly to replace technical director Marco Branca.

“I often speak with Moratti, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going back. It is complicated being a Coach, being a director is my ideal job.”

Speaking as a PSG official, Leonardo silenced whispers that Juventus are looking to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti.

“I think Ibra is happy here and he’s too important for us. Verratti, meanwhile, got on the right train at the right time.”

AC Milan start Zaza talks
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan made contact with the agent of Serie B hotshot Simone Zaza on Monday, claims the Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 21-year-old is of transfer interest to a number of sides given that he is only contracted at Sampdoria until 2014.

Doria are trying to get the forward to sign a new deal at Marassi after his 18 goals so far for Ascoli following his summer loan move to the Bianconeri.

Juventus, Napoli and Inter have also been linked with the forward, but the Gazzetta says that Milan have now been in touch.

Diavolo officials have spoken with agent Christian Maifredi, although they will firstly have to make room in the squad for Zaza.

It is being claimed that Zaza’s potential switch to San Siro depends on whether Robinho and Bojan Krkic are released.

Pogba and Niang not untouchable
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Paul Pogba and M’Baye Niang says that Juventus and Milan will never be able to silence transfer interest in the duo.

Reports yesterday suggested that Real Madrid were keen on one of the pair after the Spanish club apparently sent a private jet to Verona to pick up the father of an unnamed French youngster.

“Florentino Perez must have the wrong address…” Mino Raiola told Tuttosport on Tuesday.

“If you want to pick up the father of Pogba or Niang, then Perez should have sent a plane to France.

“Anyhow, if he wants those players then he has to speak to me. I’m the person that he has to negotiate with.

“Real’s interest? It’s a much wider discussion. Exceptional boys like these two are obviously going to be liked by Real. These two are liked by the whole world.

“Right now there are no contracts that can tie down a player to any club. No one, when you are admired around the globe, can be 100 per cent certain of keeping a player.”

Midfielder Pogba, 20, has developed into a first team player for Juve this season after his move from Manchester United.

Striker Niang, 18, has only scored once in 20 games for Milan but is still highly rated following his switch from Caen.

Montolivo: Juventus deserve Scudetto
16.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan midfielder Riccardo Montolivo has admitted that Juventus 'deserve' to win the Scudetto.

The Rossoneri face the Old Lady next weekend looking for the three points that would consolidate their Champions League place.

But the Italy international has conceded that it will be tough against 'the best team in the League'.

“Juventus deserve to win the title,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “We will be playing the best team in the League.

“It is definitely going to be a tough game for us.

“I have been happy with my performance this season – although at the moment I am only thinking of reaching third place.”

El Shaarawy agent denies AC Milan rift
15.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Stephan El Shaarawy has insisted that there is no breakdown in relationship between his client and Milan.

The youngster is on a barren run of form since the turn of the year, but the 20-year-old's representative has claimed that the Rossoneri still value the striker.

“There is no reason to think this is a marriage in crisis,” Roberto La Florio told Radio RTL.

“It is clear that El Shaarawy has a lot of pressure form the media, and he has had more responsibility since Balotelli arrived.”

No Real Madrid for Pogba or Niang
15.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sky Sport Italia have dismissed reports that Real Madrid have made a move to sign Juventus’ Paul Pogba or M’Baye Niang of Milan.

Stories in Spain today claimed that Real chief Florentino Perez had sent a private jet to collect the father of a young French player who is currently plying his trade in Serie A.

Speculation quickly suggested that Pogba or Niang could be their intended target at the end of the season.

However, Sky Sport Italia market expert Gianluca Di Marzio has this afternoon poured cold water on those reports.

He maintains that the Spanish giants have made no moves to sign any French player who is currently based on the peninsula.

Abate and Boateng worry AC Milan
15.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ignazio Abate and Kevin Prince Boateng are in a race against time to prove their fitness for Milan’s trip to Juventus.

The duo both limped out of the 1-1 draw with Napoli last night and they are early doubts for next weekend’s game in Turin.

Right-back Abate twisted his right ankle, while the versatile midfielder picked up a problem to his left ankle.

The Diavolo will be without Mathieu Flamini too after he was dismissed against Napoli. Mario Balotelli is also currently suspended pending an appeal.

Muntari: AC Milan still want second
15.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Finishing second in Serie A remains the target for Milan, midfielder Sulley Muntari said after the 1-1 draw with Napoli.

The Diavolo are still four points adrift of the Azzurri in the standings and there are only six games of the season left.

“Our aim is to get to second place,” the Ghanaian international stated. “We still believe and we’ll be doing everything we can to get to second place.

“We’ll be fighting until the end of the campaign. We wanted the win at all costs against Napoli, but it’s an important point for us. The season is not over yet.”

The Rossoneri have been tested by Fiorentina and Napoli in their last two games. They’ll now face a trip to leaders Juventus.

“The game against Juve is a big one for us and we’ll try and do well,” stated the former Inter man. “We know they’re a good team.

“We’re not scared of the teams behind us in the League. We know it’s tough to get results versus all the sides as everyone want to beat you. Now we have to look forward.”

Galliani content with Napoli point
15.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani is satisfied with Milan’s 1-1 draw with Napoli – even if it has complicated their bid to finish the season in second.

Milan were looking to move to within a point of the second-placed Azzurri last night, but the four-point gap remains intact.

“I’m happy about the result especially after we went down to 10 men,” the Vice-President told Milan Channel.

“It was a tough and complicated game and I’m content with the point. The team were competitive and if we played like this against Fiorentina last week then maybe we would have won that match.

“It was a tough game,” he added. “Napoli are a great team otherwise they wouldn’t be in this position. In three rounds, we were up against fourth, second and now we’ll be up against the top team as well.

“I think that the draw was the right result, we knew that we’d have a tough April and it’s an important point that allows us to stay in third ahead of the next round.

“We’re in a position that a few months ago would have been unthinkable. It’s mid-April and we’re unbeaten in 2013 so we should be happy about that. The team are playing really good football.”

Milan, after a summer of major squad changes, started the season with five defeats in their first eight games.

“We’re a good team and we have had to change 10 of the outfield players. Changing the team in such a complete way, we knew it would take time and we had to be patient.

“Now we’re back to the level of playing one game a week. Regardless of what happens in Turin against Juventus next week, Milan will still be in third place.”

Flamini: 'I wanted to prove myself'
15.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mathieu Flamini claims he was sent off for a horror tackle on Juan Camilo Zuniga “because I wanted to prove to everyone I’m worthy of the Milan shirt.”

The Frenchman had scored the opening goal in this 1-1 draw with Napoli, but was then shown a straight red card for his two-footed challenge.

“I am happy for the goal, especially as it was my second in as many games, but I am disappointed at the red card,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“The tackle was so determined because I wanted to prove to everyone that I am a player again, full of enthusiasm and someone who is worthy of the Milan shirt.

“It was a mistake to leave the team with 10 men, but I had so much hunger and determination that these things can happen in football.”

Flamini hinted this week he could leave San Siro for a return to France.

“I just said ‘never say never’ with regards to the possibility of moving to Marseille.”

Mazzarri: 'Napoli deserved win'
15.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Walter Mazzarri feels Napoli deserved more than a point from tonight’s 1-1 draw with Milan. “I really saw us coming away with a win.”

The Partenopei are still four points clear of the Rossoneri in second place following the San Siro stalemate.

“We haven’t achieved our target of Champions League qualification yet, so we mustn’t let anything go,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“I am not remotely satisfied with the result, as we pegged Milan back in their own half and I really hoped to win this game. Looking at the incidents, we deserved a victory.

“Towards the end, when Milan went a man down, I really saw us coming away with all three points, but we weren’t clinical enough. We always allow our opponents more chances than we should.”

The gap from leaders Juventus is eight points and that could be extended with the Bianconeri visiting Lazio on Monday evening.

Mazzarri was also asked about his future, as his contract expires in June and he has not yet discussed a renewal.

“Let’s not think about that now. I am satisfied with the work done by my team and their improvement in recent years has been clear to all.”

Allegri: 'I dropped El Shaarawy'
15.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists Milan should be content to consolidate third place and explains why he dropped Stephan El Shaarawy in the 1-1 draw with Napoli.

There were many raised eyebrows when the Little Pharaoh was benched for tonight’s game, especially as Mario Balotelli was suspended.

“Nobody can play an entire season at the top level,” argued the Coach. “In the last few rounds he had dipped in psychological terms.

“He is only 20 years old and has already scored many goals, which is precisely why he needs to be dealt with in the best way possible. Those who replaced him did very well tonight. Robinho played a good game and can be of great use to us for the rest of the season, as he is a champion.

“We can improve, as tonight we were missing sharpness, but this season have done so well to complete a great comeback.”

This weekend’s results put Milan four points adrift of Napoli in second and four clear of Fiorentina in fourth.

“Napoli are a side capable of defending second place and this is an important point for us, because we maintain a certain distance from Fiorentina.

“I cannot ask for more from my lads, because we played very well even after going down to 10 men. The game where we got it all wrong was against Fiorentina, but this evening we could not have done any more.

“Football is unpredictable, so we will look over our shoulders, but also in front to Napoli. In any case, third place is a great objective considering how we started the season.”

Montolivo rues early equaliser
15.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo regrets that Milan only held on to their lead over Napoli for three minutes and looks ahead to Juventus.

Goran Pandev equalised just moments after Mathieu Flamini’s opener in tonight’s 1-1 draw.

“It’s a shame we conceded a goal only three minutes after taking the lead, but we were facing a very strong side, above all in attack,” Montolivo told Sky Sport Italia.

“We take this point and continue along our path. We already turned over the page after the draw with Fiorentina.”

Milan are still four points adrift of Napoli’s second place, but are now only four in front of Fiorentina.

Next week the Rossoneri travel to the Juventus Stadium and hope their appeal against Mario Balotelli’s three-match ban will be accepted.

“We will take the game to Juventus with or without Balotelli.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:1 Napoli - match report
14.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Flamini 30 (M), Hamsik 33 (N)

Mathieu Flamini was hero and villain, scoring and seeing red, as Milan were pegged back 1-1 by Napoli at San Siro.

This was a head-to-head for second place and therefore the automatic entry into the Champions League, as only four points separated the teams going in. Mario Balotelli began a three-match ban for insulting the officials, while Bojan Krkic and Massimo Ambrosini were injured, so Giampaolo Pazzini returned from a micro-fracture to his fibula. Stephan El Shaarawy was surprisingly dropped in favour of Robinho, perhaps due to a knee twinge. Napoli had a full squad to choose from, but had beaten Milan only once in their last nine meetings home and away. Their last win at San Siro was in April 1986, followed by 10 defeats and nine draws between Serie A and Coppa Italia.

Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli was in the stands along with former Milan legend Andriy Shevchenko. A large banner read: ‘Even when the sky is dark, the sun shines on San Siro.’ There was also footage on the San Siro giant screens before kick-off of Claudio Lippi, the Milan Channel journalist who died in a car crash last week, bringing a tear to the eye of several players.

After just four minutes the Rossoneri had a great chance, as Kevin-Prince Boateng’s shot took a huge deflection and Morgan De Sanctis did well to flap it off the line when changing direction.

Cristian Zapata turned a free header over from a corner, then Blerim Dzemaili was caught in possession for Boateng to volley Zapata’s cross wide.

The Partenopei had penalty appeals when a Marek Hamsik cross struck Mathieu Flamini’s arm, but it was from close range and considered involuntary. Soon after, Goran Pandev burst into the box and was muscled off the ball by Philippe Mexes as he tried to turn. Edinson Cavani won back possession in the final third, but the finish was high and wide.

It was Milan who broke through on the half-hour mark. Boateng, Robinho and Pazzini combined until the ball rolled to Flamini just outside the box for a precise low drive into the near bottom corner. He had also scored against Fiorentina last week.

The lead lasted only three minutes, as Hamsik went down the left and rolled a smart pass in for the unmarked Pandev, who fired in at the near post.

Pazzini had penalty appeals, but the referee correctly booked him as he had been pulling the shirt of Miguel Angel Britos. Boateng went down with an injury and asked to be substituted, but it was M’Baye Niang who came on rather than El Shaarawy.

A magnificent Cavani take on a long ball over the top sent him clear, but Christian Abbiati did just about enough to keep out the chip with his fingertips.

Pandev and Flamini hit long-range efforts at the goalkeepers after the restart, while Abbiati had to smother at Cavani’s feet after sprinting away from Zapata. Riccardo Montolivo’s strike was charged down after a poor clearance and Ignazio Abate put in a crucial tackle to stop Hamsik going clear on goal.

De Sanctis was booked for time-wasting and will be suspended against Cagliari next week. Mazzarri surprisingly replaced both Pandev and Hamsik with Lorenzo Insigne and Pablo Armero.

Flamini was the hero when he scored, but the villain when shown a straight red card for going over the top studs-up on Juan Camilo Zuniga. Cavani fired off target from a promising position and Mazzarri went for the win against 10-man Milan by introducing Emanuele Calaiò.

Cavani blasted a free kick into the wall from just outside the area. Abate hobbled off clutching his ankle in the final minutes. Montolivo’s wayward angled drive was deflected off Pazzini, but not enough to redirect it towards goal.

Abbiati punched an Armero cross just past Cavani and as the move continued Calaio’s header whistled wide in stoppages.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate (De Sciglio 86), Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari; Boateng (Niang 36), Pazzini, Robinho (El Shaarawy 74)

Napoli: De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Britos; Maggio (Calaiò 82), Behrami, Dzemaili, Hamsik (Armero 69), Zuniga; Pandev (Insigne 67), Cavani

Ref: Rocchi

Sent off: Flamini 73 (M)

Serie A: AC Milan vs. Napoli - lineups
14.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari; Boateng, Pazzini, Robinho.

Napoli: De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Britos; Maggio, Behrami, Dzemaili, Hamsik, Zuniga; Pandev, Cavani.

Montolivo: 'Intense AC Milan - Napoli'
14.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo admits even he is surprised at how quickly he has become a key figure at Milan, as he prepares to face Napoli this evening.

The midfielder arrived in the summer on a free transfer from Fiorentina and could wear the captain’s armband again this evening, as Massimo Ambrosini is injured.

“I certainly was convinced that I’d do well here and prove myself at a big club, but it was difficult to predict settling in so well and so quickly,” he told the Corriere dello Sport newspaper.

“I was coming off a good Euro 2012, but I do tend to need a few months to get into peak physical shape. I chose Milan because I finally want to win something in my career.

“From the first day I arrived here, I started to learn from the more experienced players what it means to be part of a great club for such a long time.

“At the moment I am taking Andrea Pirlo’s role in tactical terms, although I am prepared to play in any midfield position apart from trequartista. My reference points are Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Daniele De Rossi, as they can defend and attack so well. They are total midfielders.”

Milan need to keep their wits about them this evening against Napoli, as the pressure often got to the team against Barcelona and Fiorentina.

“In both those games I’d say it was more a psychological issue. There is such a fine line and we slipped. Again last Sunday we should’ve been more focused to bring home such an important result in Florence. This is also why the clash with Napoli is a test of our maturity.

“We are a team who thrive on pace and intensity, so once those drop we lose effectiveness. It is a strength that can become a weakness when we don’t play that type of football.”

Montella: 'Now Forza Napoli'
14.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vincenzo Montella is making no bones about Fiorentina’s ambitions after a win away to Atalanta took them within three points of Milan. “Forza Napoli.”

The Viola are looking increasingly solid in fourth place following the 2-0 victory in Bergamo, though the Champions League is within reach.

“We are targeting Europe,” explained the Coach. “This victory gives us confidence and belief. I would not consider the Europa League to be a consolation prize at all, but seeing as we are here, I say Forza Napoli.”

On Sunday evening Milan and Napoli go head-to-head at San Siro, so could take points off each other.

Fiorentina secured tonight’s win despite an injury crisis and a change of tactics to a 4-2-3-1 system.

“We weren’t moving fluidly enough in the first half, as the passing was predictable and Atalanta were doubling up on the flanks to stop us keeping possession in midfield.

“Once we returned to our preferred system, which sadly meant taking off Alberto Aquilani, we felt more at ease. Adem Ljajic had a decisive impact on the game, but he could’ve been sharper and played better in certain situations.

“Mounir El Hamdaoui had to adapt to a style of play that was unusual for him, much like Aquilani, and paid the price for that emergency situation. Marcelo Larrondo scored a great goal and I knew he had quality, he just needs to believe in himself and be more consistent.”

Ambrosini misses Napoli
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini has not recovered in time to face Napoli tomorrow night, while Mario Balotelli begins his three-match ban.

Milan welcome second-placed Napoli to San Siro on Sunday evening.

Captain Ambrosini misses out yet again, as he did not take part in the full training session today.

Balotelli begins his three-match ban for a combination of yellow cards and insulting the officials.

Milan squad for Napoli: Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Salamon, Yepes, Zaccardo, Zapata, Boateng, Constant, Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Bojan, El Shaarawy, Niang, Pazzini, Robinho.

Mazzarri: 'AC Milan - Napoli always special'
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Walter Mazzarri still won’t rule out Napoli’s chances of winning the Scudetto and warns Milan can do damage even without Mario Balotelli tomorrow night.

The Partenopei have a four-point advantage in second place going into the Sunday evening showdown at San Siro.

“The mathematical chances of us getting first place are still open to any result, so why shouldn’t it happen? It’s true there is a low chance and we need to be realistic, but still...” said the Coach during his Press conference.

“We have a 14-point advantage over where we were last season, so I look at the statistics and say we are improving.”

Rossoneri hitman Balotelli sits out a three-match ban, so Giampaolo Pazzini is expected to partner Stephan El Shaarawy.

“Milan did well even without Balotelli and Pazzini is another great player. We have an advantage in terms of second place, but if we lose then that will be cut down to one point. We cannot think this way and have to give our all without making calculations.

“I heard some comments that acted as if we didn’t exist between Milan and second place, but now they are complimenting us, so I guess they changed their version. Milan changed a great deal this season and brought down the age of the squad, still maintaining good results.

“I watched the last game we played with Milan and we could’ve gone 3-0 up. We made life difficult for ourselves,” he said of the 2-2 draw.

“Every now and then it would do us good to win while playing badly. Looking at the performances, we usually deserve more than we actually end up with. It doesn’t hurt to win playing badly.

“This is an important test of our maturity and Milan-Napoli has always been a fascinating fixture, so we enjoy playing it. We are in good shape and have a great chance of victory. I hope the players won’t feel nervous or too reverential towards Milan.”

Napoli squad for Milan: De Sanctis, Rosati, Colombo, Britos, Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Gamberini, Grava, Rolando, Armero, Behrami, Donadel, Dzemaili, El Kaddouri, Hamsik, Inler, Maggio, Mesto, Zuniga, Calaiò, Cavani, Insigne, Pandev

Allegri: 'Spectacular AC Milan - Napoli'
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri is confident Milan-Napoli will be “a spectacular encounter” even without banned Mario Balotelli.

There is a four-point gap between second and third going into tomorrow night’s showdown at San Siro.

“It’s a shame that we won’t have Balotelli, but in any case we must not repeat the mistakes we made against Fiorentina,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“We had almost secured third place when leading 2-0 in Florence, but this is the situation and we now have to roll our sleeves up to get as many points as possible to reach the Champions League.

“The lads have achieved a great deal so far this season, but a six-point advantage over fourth is not enough. The team needs to mature and you reach that by making mistakes and learning from them.”

Milan fought back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw away to Napoli earlier this season, so the fight for second place – and automatic Champions League qualification – is still open.

“If Napoli were to beat us tomorrow night, then they would put second place under lock and key. Napoli know how to strike with rapid counter-attacks. It will take balance and patience for this game, but I expect a spectacular encounter.

“The future? I won’t talk about that now, as I am focused on Milan and our objectives.”

The week has been dominated by Inter’s accusations towards referees, some of which included suggestions Milan were being favoured to reach the Champions League.

“Refereeing controversy is part of the game. We never stir up controversy, even if there have been errors against us too,” shrugged Allegri. "If there really was a conspiracy, then we would've won in Florence and have Balotelli available."

Pazzini: 'For Balotelli and with Balotelli!'
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giampaolo Pazzini is set to start against Napoli tomorrow night in place of Mario Balotelli, but insists he’d “like to play alongside him” for Milan and Italy.

The striker has barely featured since suffering a micro-fracture to his fibula a month ago and Balotelli’s three-match ban gives him the opportunity to make his mark.

“I’d like to play alongside Balotelli and it’s a shame that so far we haven’t really crossed paths at all,” Pazzo told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I would enjoy that experiment and see what we can do together. We cannot be incompatible, because he is a modern striker who moves around and opens up defences. He also works for his teammates.

“Mario’s greatest asset on the field is his physical strength, while in personal terms he is very relaxed and very playful. At times he’s even naive.

“Stephan El Shaarawy is only 20 and he simply needs to grow up. When you start scoring goals and discover what it feels like, it becomes like an addition – like a drug. You need it all the time. Growing up, you learn to deal with these situations.”

It would be particularly fitting for Pazzini to take on Napoli tomorrow evening, as he was close to joining them.

“It’s true there was something, but we never managed to get on the same track. I always had a good rapport with Walter Mazzarri and I liked the way he made us play at Sampdoria.

“Milan have to be in the Champions League, always. If we lose against Napoli, then second place becomes practically impossible. Quite simply, we have to win and we will be ready.

“Unfortunately the 2-2 draw with Fiorentina has left some damage to our self-esteem, as we should’ve taken that win home. At least it was a lesson for us, as even when 2-0 up against 10 men, it’s still not over.

“Do Inter regret selling me? That is no longer my problem.”

Behrami: 'Not AC Milan - Napoli favourites'
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Valon Behrami insists Napoli “are not the favourites” going into tomorrow night’s showdown for second place with Milan.

The Partenopei have a four-point advantage in the standings and a full squad to choose from, whereas the Rossoneri do without suspended star striker Mario Balotelli.

“This is a delicate game, because the media act as if we are favourites and in reality that is not the case,” Behrami told Radio Marte.

“Milan are in great shape and have won many matches recently. We must not let their unexpected draw with 10-man Fiorentina push us to drop concentration levels.

“If we lose, they will be right behind us. In my view, this optimism is unjustified.”

When they met at the San Paolo earlier this season, Milan fought back from 2-0 down for a 2-2 draw.

“I won at San Siro against Milan when I was playing for Fiorentina and we were fortunate. If you cut off their supply and create some chances, then you can win.

“The important thing will be to immediately put them under pressure and remain solid in defence, because we have great forwards who will have the chance to strike.

“My job will be to press players like Riccardo Montolivo and Kevin-Prince Boateng, who like to play between the lines.

“Milan are strong and, like us, are going through a period of change. We must be humble at San Siro, because if we get the wrong attitude then we’re in for a pounding.”

Montella deals with crisis and Galliani
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vincenzo Montella deals with a Fiorentina injury crisis for tonight’s trip to Atalanta and takes a sideswipe at Adriano Galliani. “He can pay for his own bodyguard.”

Montella also commented on the incident that occurred during Fiorentina-Milan, when angry fans hurled abuse and objects at Rossoneri Vice-President Galliani, forcing him to leave the VIP area at half-time.

“I don’t think anything new happened in the stands and the situation was blown out of proportion. There were insults towards a club and a set of fans who have always stood out from the rest in terms of fair play. Those who needed to be punished were caught and it’s over the top to blame an entire city and set of supporters.

“Galliani said next time he’ll come to Florence with added bodyguards? Fine, as long as he pays for them...”

Chiellini to miss two weeks
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giorgio Chiellini is set to miss the next two weeks after over-stretching during Juventus' training session this afternoon.

The defender has complained of soreness in his knee, with reports suggesting that there could be come collateral ligament damage.

It means the centre-back will definitely miss the match against Lazio this Sunday, and will more than likely be sidelined for the game with Milan next weekend.

The 28-year-old will undergo further examinations in the coming days.

Galliani: No Balotelli, no problem
13.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan vice-President Adriano Galliani has claimed that his side do not have an attacking problem as they prepare to face Napoli.

The Rossoneri host the Partenopei this Sunday looking for the three points that could take them to within a point of Walter Mazzarri's side.

But they will do so without Mario Balotelli, who is suspended for the match.

“We have no problems in attack,” he told reoporters. “Pazzini is not a reserve. And then we have El Shaarawy, Robinho and Bojan.

“We do not feel like second-best if we play Pazzini.

“The game is very important because we face a direct opponent. It is a key part of the season for everyone.”

Niang puts AC Milan above goals
12.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

M’Baye Niang won’t be too concerned if he again fails to find the target for Milan in the game against Napoli this weekend.

The 18-year-old joined the Diavolo in the summer from Caen, but he has yet to score in his 15 League appearances for the giants.

“If I play, I hope I’ll score,” he told Milan Channel.

“If I score against Napoli then that’ll be great, but the important thing is to help the team. The goals will come after that.”

Sunday’s tie is a must-win for the Rossoneri seeing as they are currently third in the standings, four points behind the Azzurri.

“We hope to play a good game against Napoli to put the Fiorentina result behind us,” he said after they only drew 2-2 in Florence after going 2-0 up. “We can’t make those mistakes again.”

Forward Niang is expected to play seeing as Mario Balotelli is suspended for the San Siro showdown.

Berlusconi won't sell AC Milan
12.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan will continue to be a key part of the Berlusconi family empire, Barbara Berlusconi has stated.

In an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport, the official, daughter of owner Silvio, insisted that winning trophies was still a topic of conversation around the dinner table.

“My father has given us an understanding – Milan is a piece of your heart,” Barbara Berlusconi commented on Friday.

“The Berlusconi family will never sell the club. Creating partnerships to inject new capital and expanding is one thing, to sell the club to someone else is another. And that won’t happen.”

Milan were a powerhouse in the 1990s and early 2000s, but they have had to cut costs in recent times which has seen their squad weakened.

“We want to have healthy accounts, it is a matter of necessity, because we want to work within the parameters of Financial Fair Play, but also given the state of the economy,” she added.

“Saying that, our primary goal is to remain at the highest level.

“The idea is to grow top players in house, though that does not mean that we will no longer sign any. The purchase of Mario Balotelli proves that.

“But transfer fees and salaries have reached unacceptable levels and, I repeat, Milan do not want to run the risk of exploding.”

Balotelli was signed in January at a cost of €20m and he’s aiding the club’s bid to finish in the top three.

“Milan is the most successful club in the world, we have won a lot in Europe,” Berlusconi continued.

“It is a Champions League club and will continue to be. That doesn’t mean we have to win it every year, but we have to be in it every year and get as far as possible.”

Lodetti: 'Marchetti ideal for AC Milan'
12.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giovanni Lodetti has urged former club Milan to make a bid for Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti.

The Diavolo have some goalkeeping decisions to make given that current first-choice Christian Abbiati will be out of contract in the summer.

“Marchetti is a great goalkeeper,” the ex-midfielder told Il Sussidiario. “However, it is impossible to go and negotiate with Lazio President Claudio Lotito.

“Marchetti would cost a lot, even if Milan would have a great goalkeeper for the next few years with him.”

Reports recently had also suggested that former Inter man Julio Cesar, now at QPR, cold be targeted by the Diavolo.

“He’s a great goalkeeper, but he’s almost as old as Abbiati,” Lodetti added. “I’d thus keep Christian, who has shown his worth this term. Otherwise I’d go for a younger ‘keeper…”

Boateng wants stable AC Milan role
12.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Prince Boateng has admitted that his versatility does limit his Milan performances. “I don’t like changing role all of the time.”

The 26-year-old has been used in various ways in a number of different systems tried by boss Massimiliano Allegri.

“I’ve played in attack, as a Trequartista and in midfield this season,” Boateng told Sky Sport Italia. “I don’t like constantly switching positions.

“The fact that I can play in a number of roles is said to be a positive, but it is not a perfect situation for me.”

Boateng, two goals in 24 Serie A games this term, was also asked for his impressions on January signing Mario Balotelli.

“He’s a really important player for us,” he continued. “And he is very similar to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He’s a really good kid and he’s been a professional since he’s been here.

“We’ll miss him in these next few games.”

Balotelli has been suspended for three matches meaning that he’ll miss the ties against Napoli and Juventus.

Boateng: 'Balotelli like Ibrahimovic'
11.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng has compared Mario Balotelli to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is ready to face Napoli in a battle for second place and complained about tactics.

The Ghanaian international spoke to Sky Sport Italia ahead of Sunday’s showdown between Milan and Napoli.

“We have got to win, because we need to achieve second place, which is our objective for this season,” said Boateng.

“It is going to be a difficult game against the Azzurri. It’s true we are playing at home, but Napoli are a very strong side.”

Milan would be closer to Napoli had they not fumbled a 2-0 lead against 10-man Fiorentina last week.

“It’s not easy when you’re 2-0 up and against 10 men for you to maintain your concentration. We probably let that slip in the second half and against a strong side like Fiorentina you get punished for it.”

The Rossoneri will have to do without star striker Balotelli after he received a three-match ban for insulting the officials.

“Mario is fundamental for us and he can be compared to Ibrahimovic. Mario is someone who needs to be beaten up on the pitch, as it’s the only way to stop him. He’s a lovely lad and an exemplary professional, so I really have nothing bad to say about him.

“Stephan El Shaarawy is having a great season, even if he isn’t scoring as regularly as he did before. He has been phenomenal.”

Boateng has only netted two Serie A goals this season despite numerous attempts and claims his ever-changing position has a lot to do with that.

“I am physically fine and work hard every day, even if this season I’ve never been at peak fitness and I can’t explain why. It certainly isn’t easy to change position so often. For Coach Allegri my versatility is a good thing, but maybe it isn’t so good for me.”

Boateng gave a speech to the UN last month on racism in football, so was pleased to hear UEFA threaten harder punishment for clubs.

“I did everything I could to educate people on the problem of racism. I find it only right that strong action is taken.”

Palermo fined for ref insults
11.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Palermo and President Maurizio Zamparini have been fined €25,000 each after insulting referee Sebastiano Peruzzo after the Milan match.

Zamparini made the controversial comments after a 2-0 defeat at San Siro on March 17.

The Disciplinary Commission has now imposed fines of €25,000 to Zamparini and the club for insults that damage the reputation of Peruzzo and the entire refereeing authorities.

El Shaarawy nets four in friendly
11.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy is polishing his scoring boots for the showdown with Napoli, bagging four as Milan crushed local side Virtus Pavullese 13-1.

The traditional Thursday friendly at the Milanello training ground saw Max Allegri’s men perform some tests.

They will have to do without Mario Balotelli on Sunday evening against Napoli, as he begins a three-match ban.

Despite this, Allegri shuffled the pack by fielding Balotelli, Bojan Krkic and El Shaarawy in the second half.

SuperMario, Robinho and Bakary Traorè got a brace each, Giampaolo Pazzini and M’Baye Niang netted one apiece, while El Shaarawy scored four.

There was also an own goal from Virtus Pavullese.

VIDEO: Balotelli's fake shot at Montella
11.4 || webmaster



Robinho would ponder AC Milan exit
11.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho has admitted that he will consider leaving Milan at the end of the present campaign.

The Brazilian international was close to a January return to his homeland, but he was eventually kept by the Diavolo.

However, former club Santos are still keen on landing him and Flamengo have emerged as contenders for his signature too.

“For now I am very happy at Milan,” he told Mais. “However, if an interesting offer arrived then I would certainly give it some serious thought.

“A move to Flamengo? I have great respect for them, I believe they are a great club, but I am still a Milan player.”

The 29-year-old has scored just two goals in 17 League games this term.

Dede not heading to Serie A
11.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fans of Milan and Napoli have been told that Vasco Da Gama defender Dede will not be moving to Italy.

The €12m rated Brazilian has been linked heavily with both Serie A sides, but South American agent Sabatino Durante has told Radio Marte that the player is not bound for the peninsula.

“Forget about it, the player has chosen to join Corinthians,” Durante commented. “The negotiations for that transfer are at a good point.

“He has great strength and power, but you need more focus to play in Europe. Despite being watched by Milan, Juventus and Napoli, he has decided what step to take.

“He could evolve into a top player at Corinthians.”

The 24-year-old is a centre-back who is contracted to Vasco until 2015.

Viviano to aid Balotelli appeal?
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan are preparing their appeal against Mario Balotelli’s three-match ban, as Fiorentina goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano will be called to testify.

The striker was already due a one-game suspension after picking up a yellow card during the 2-2 draw at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday.

His comments to the officials after the final whistle prompted a further two-match ban, but Milan are mounting an appeal.

It is reported Balotelli said: “What the **** are you looking at?” to the goalline referee during a discussion with Viviano.

There are claims the Fiorentina goalkeeper could be called up to testify on the incident, because he is good friends with Balotelli and claims it was a simple discussion between opponents.

El Shaarawy agent reveals Napoli bid
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Stephan El Shaarawy has revealed that Napoli tried to sign the Milan forward in January.

The Italy international's representative has admitted that the Partenopei made an offer during the winter transfer window, but the Rossoneri outright refused to sell the youngster.

“There was an offer in January,” Roberto La Florio told Radio Kiss Kiss. “But Milan did not want to give him up.”

The agent also commented on El Shaarawy's poor performance in front of goal since the arrival of Mario Balotelli.

“You are mistaken if you connect that with the arrival of Balotelli. Stephan's performances have still been at a high level.”

Zaza - Sampdoria talks continue
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Simone Zaza has dismissed links with Milan. “We’re in discussions with Sampdoria over a renewal.”

The striker has become a wanted man given his goal exploits on loan at Ascoli this term and the fact that his Doria contract expires in 2014.

“There has never been direct contact with Milan,” Cristian Maifredi told Ita Sport Press. “Zaza has a contract at Sampdoria and we’re dealing with them right now.

“There is a negotiation in place regarding a renewal, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing the white smoke any time soon.

“It’s only normal that in renewal talks there is a difference between salary demand and salary offer, but let us see whether that gap will reduce.

“Only if Sampdoria decide to sell will I look for other solutions.”

The 21-year-old forward has also been linked with Juventus and Inter.

Balotelli considered walk off
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli considered abandoning Milan’s game at Fiorentina because of racist abuse, claims the Corriere dello Sport.

The Italian international reportedly pondered walking off the field of play at the weekend after being targeted by some fans at the Artemio Franchi.

Milan’s friendly with Pro Patria at the start of the year was suspended after Kevin Prince Boateng refused to play on after he was subjected to racist jeers.

Balotelli remained on the field of play for the whole 90 minutes as his side let a two-goal advantage slip in a 2-2 draw.

The January signing from Manchester City was yesterday handed a three-match ban following his booking at the weekend and after verbally abusing an official.

Milan have confirmed they will be appealing the judgement.

El Shaarawy: 'Bring on Napoli'
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy is ready to take the Milan reins after Mario Balotelli’s three-match ban. “I hope to beat Napoli and if the goal arrives it’ll be even better.”

The Little Pharaoh has fallen off the boil since Balotelli arrived in January, but his teammate looks to be out of the games with Napoli, Juventus and Catania after insulting the officials.

“We get along very well, both on the field and off. We’re great friends and I see no type of problem,” assured El Shaarawy on Milan Channel.

“As a team we will try to put everything possible on to the field in order to achieve victory. My personal objective is to score 20 goals this season, but the most important thing is for Milan to take second place.

“Everyone keeps telling me not to worry about the goal and instead focus on the performance to help the team.

“We are disappointed at fumbling the 2-0 lead against Fiorentina, as we came out for the second half with less confidence. It’s a shame, but we are still up there and have to focus on the next game with Napoli.

“It is going to be very difficult, as Napoli are an excellent side with important players and we need to be very determined.

“I hope to beat Napoli and if the goal arrives for me then it’ll be even better.”

Corinthians close on AC Milan target Dede
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan face even more competition for Vasco da Gama defender Dedè, as his agent warns “there are negotiations with Corinthians.”

The Brazilian international is of interest to numerous clubs, including Liverpool, Juventus, Manchester United, Benfica and Anzhi.

“Corinthians is a concrete possibility. We are not talking about enquiries here, but actual negotiations,” agent Giuliano Aranda told Calciomercato.it.

“It is difficult to say they are very close to a deal, but we will say Corinthians is a concrete possibility.

“Milan? No official bid has arrived from Italy, so as of today it is difficult to say he could go to Serie A. We’ll see.

“The only proposal has come from Russia.”

Serie A referees 'suspended'
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports that referees Paolo Tagliavento and Andrea Gervasoni will be ‘suspended’ from Serie A games for a month after controversial decisions this weekend.

According to La Repubblica, refereeing designator Stefano Braschi has opted to punish the pair after hitting the headlines in Week 31.

Tagliavento officiated Fiorentina 2-2 Milan, which saw Nenad Tomovic given a very harsh red card for an elbow on Stephan El Shaarawy, while one of the Viola’s penalties was dubious and Facundo Roncaglia escaped with a handling offence in the box.

Gervasoni was lambasted by Inter after the 4-3 home defeat to Atalanta, as he awarded a penalty for a non-existent Walter Samuel handling offence.

President of the Lega Serie A Maurizio Beretta told Gr Parlamento radio “these mistakes are unacceptable. We urge the refereeing authorities to ensure the utmost preparation, form and concentration in this decisive phase of the season.”

Serie A fixture changes
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The changes to the Serie A fixture list have been announced, including Juventus-Milan, Napoli-Inter, Fiorentina-Roma and Milan-Roma.

Some of these dates are subject to change depending on whether Juventus and Lazio reach the European semi-finals.

If Juventus reach the Champions League semi-final, then Juventus-Milan will be moved to Saturday April 20 at 17.00 UK time.

The evening kick-off on Sunday April 21 would therefore become Fiorentina-Torino.

Similarly, the Turin Derby would only be moved forward to an early Saturday kick-off on April 27 if Juve have European commitments.

If Lazio reach the Europa League semi-finals, then their game with Bologna will be on Sunday May 5 at 19.45. If they go out, it will be a regular afternoon kick-off.

Kick-off times are all for the UK, which is GMT+1.

Week 33

Sat April 20

Genoa-Atalanta (17.00)

Udinese-Lazio (19.45)

Sun April 21

Inter-Parma (11.30)

Juventus-Milan (19.45)

Week 34

Sat April 27

Atalanta-Bologna (17.00)

Cagliari-Udinese (17.00)

Torino-Juventus (17.00)

Pescara-Napoli (19.45)

Sun April 28

Milan-Catania (19.45)

Mon April 29

Parma-Lazio (19.45)

Week 35

Sat May 4

Chievo-Cagliari (17.00)

Fiorentina-Roma (19.45)

Sun May 5

Udinese-Sampdoria (11.30)

Napoli-Inter (19.45)

Lazio-Bologna (19.45)

Week 36

Tue May 7

Roma-Chievo (19.45)

Wed May 8

Pescara-Milan (17.00)

Week 37

Sat May 11

Lazio-Sampdoria (17.00)

Juventus-Cagliari (19.45)

Sun May 12

Chievo-Torino (11.30)

Milan-Roma (19.45)

Amelia snaps at AC Milan conspiracy theory
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Amelia and Nigel De Jong have responded to Inter’s accusations. “Nobody must dare diminish what we are doing.”

The official Nerazzurri website and Inter Channel showed an interview with TV host Paolo Bonolis that implied Milan were being favoured by officials to reach the Champions League.

“Nobody must dare diminish what we are doing on the field, the sacrifices and daily work to win those games,” snapped goalkeeper Amelia on Twitter.

This evening De Jong also sent a cryptic message that appeared to be targeting Inter’s conspiracy theories.

“Live in such a way, that when someone spoke badly about u, no one would believe it.” #BeReal

'Santos will go for Robinho'
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Santos vice-President Odilio Rodrigues has revealed that the club will try to sign Robinho in the summer.

The Milan forward was the subject of heavy interest from a number of Brazilian teams during the winter transfer window.

And the board member at the Peixe has admitted that they will attempt to lure the 29-year-old back to his former team.

“When the time comes we will try to get Robinho,” he told Lancenet. “We are viewing different players, but negotiations are still in their infancy.”

Balotelli given three-game ban
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli has been handed a three-match ban for insulting the officials during Milan’s 2-2 draw with Fiorentina on Sunday.

The striker had already earned himself a one-match suspension after accumulating five yellow cards, but Serie A officials have today confirmed that the Italy international will now be banned for a further two games after comments he made to the officials.

It means the 22-year-old will be sidelined for games against Napoli, Juventus and Catania.

Milan have already announced they will lodge an appeal against the ban.

Julio Cesar closes AC Milan door
10.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar has rubbished transfer links with Milan. “I’m still an Interista in my heart.”

The Corriere della Sera recently claimed that the Brazilian international would be signed by the Diavolo from QPR at the end of the season.

But, in an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport, the custodian says he’s happy with life in the Premiership.

“Will I return to Milan? No,” he responded. “I’m learning a new language in London, the city is beautiful and my family is happy.”

The treble-winning goalkeeper was shown the door by the Beneamata in the summer after they decided to sign Samir Handanovic from Udinese.

“I was certainly not treated well by Inter, but I’m still an Interista in my heart,” he added. “I love Italy, but I’ve been won over by the environment here.”

'Juventus, AC Milan and Inter good destinations'
8.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Real Betis playmaker Benat Etxebarria has admitted that his client could make a move to Italy this summer.

The midfielder had been in talks with the Spanish club over a new deal from the close of the summer transfer window, when bids from Wolfsburg and Athletic Bilbao were turned down.

However, with the 26-year-old due to enter his final 12 months this coming June, his representative has now confirmed that the stalled negotiations are over, and a switch to Serie A is possible.

“We are not speaking about a renewal with Betis. Benat’s future is probably far from Seville,” Jose Vicente Biurrun told TuttoMercatoWeb this week.

“We are not going to wait out the contract, but look for a club at the top level where Benat can play with continuity and show his football to the world.

“The call for the World Cup is a dream. It is why we are looking for a big club. In Italy, Juventus, Milan and Inter are good destinations.

“Although, right now, there has been no contact, they are very strong European clubs and we are open to consider any offer.”

Julio Cesar concentrating on QPR
8.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar has denied rumours that he is on his way to Milan at the end of the season.

The Brazilian shot-stopper has been heavily linked with a move to the Rossoneri in recent weeks, but the former Inter man has insisted that he wants to focus purely on keeping QPR in the Premier League.

“There is no clause in my contract to say that if we go down I am free to look for another club,” he told the Daily Mirror.

“It is all fake.

“I just want to focus on surviving without thinking of anything else – much less the transfer market.”

Balotelli wants to face Manchester City
8.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan man Mario Balotelli says he dreams about playing Manchester City in the Champions League next season.

The Italian left the Premiership giants in January for the Diavolo and he’s hoping for a swift ‘return’ to Manchester.

“We at Milan are trying to qualify for the Champions League directly, without needing the preliminary phase,” he told mcfc.co.uk.

“And I am sure that City also will qualify for the Champions League. I hope to come back to play at the Etihad.

“If that will happen I will come back with love and respect for everyone – club, players and supporters. I would love a Champions League group with Milan and City, it would be great.”

Balotelli added that he’d be in front of the TV screen tonight as City face Manchester rivals United in the Premiership.

“The goal I scored at Old Trafford was a great moment in my career, like the goal I scored for Italy against Germany in the last Euros,” Mario said of the 6-1 win over United last term.

“I am sure me and Nigel De Jong will watch the game – perhaps not together – but we will both be supporting our ex-teammates, the boss and the supporters big time. We want a win.”

Montolivo questions AC Milan mentality
8.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo is refusing to just blame the referee for Milan’s 2-2 draw at Fiorentina on Sunday.

Despite some dubious decisions made by the man in black, the Rossoneri threw away a two-goal lead in Tuscany yesterday.

“Our approach, mentally speaking, was wrong,” stated the Italian international. “Maybe we thought the game was over before it was and it’s a shame as this was an important match.”

The San Siro giants are now four points behind second-placed Napoli and the two sides will face each other next weekend.

“We definitely want to win against Napoli and we’re asking for a hand from the fans,” Montolivo continued.

“They’ve always been behind us and we hope they’ll be with us this time as well.”

Yesterday was a special tie for Montolivo as it was the first time that he had returned to Fiorentina following his summer move to Milanello.

“I have many friends here, Florence is a very affectionate city and I’ve always had a good relationship with the city – but it’s different at the stadium,” said the man who got on the scoresheet.

“I’d also like to thank my teammates and the club for having given me the captain’s armband for this match as it was never going to be just another game for me.

“It’s a great honour for me if I think of the players of the past who have worn it.”

Fiorentina 'were being robbed'
7.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina director of sport Daniele Pradè claims his team “were being robbed” by the referee before two penalties secured a 2-2 draw with Milan.

The Viola went down to 10 men before the break when Nenad Tomovic was harshly sent off for an elbow on Stephan El Shaarawy as they were running side by side.

“At the end of the first half we were being robbed, but today we fought with heart and are happy it ended like this,” Pradè told Radio Blu.

“After all that, we even risked a victory at the end of the game. We proved that there are strong foundations here and we play wonderful football.

“There are seven rounds left and many points up for grabs, so why not aim higher than the Europa League places? We are up there. The fans were amazing today, they gave me goosebumps.”

The crowd were a little too passionate, as at half-time Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani had to go into the locker rooms to watch the rest of the match.

Some angry supporters tried to invade the VIP box, which at the Stadio Franchi is surrounded by the fans, and had to be stopped by Mayor of Florence Renzi.

Montella: 'My bet with the referee'
7.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vincenzo Montella praised Fiorentina’s mentality and belief to come back from 2-0 down with 10 men against Milan, but revealed what he said to the referee.

The Viola saw Nenad Tomovic controversially sent off before the break for an elbow on Stephan El Shaarawy that appeared to be involuntary.

“We were almost fortunate at the end!” he laughed after receiving two late penalties in the 2-2 draw.

“I do not talk about referees. I will only say that at half-time I spoke to Tagliavento and we made a bet that whoever was wrong about the Tomovic incident would buy the other dinner. He was convinced that he was right, but I think I won the bet.

“I think the mentality we are forming this season helped us to have belief and courage, even when 2-0 down in a decisive moment of the match. There was a great reaction and I saw a team that strongly believed in this comeback against a very talented side, even with 10 men.”

Stevan Jovetic was in the starting XI after a thigh injury, but hobbled off in the first half.

“He tried and he seemed to be in good shape. I wanted to run the risk, as I knew how important this game was for us. We hope it’s not too serious.

“Nobody made a mistake with Jovetic. Everyone evaluated the situation and took their own share of the risks and responsibility, so there is no problem.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan caught napping'
7.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits Milan “were caught napping in the second half” after allowing 10-man Fiorentina to come back from 2-0 down.

The Rossoneri appeared to be in absolute control at the Stadio Franchi, but Adem Ljajic and David Pizarro penalties completed the comeback for a thrilling 2-2 draw.

“We controlled the first half well, but when going a man up we did not deal with the situation the right way,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

“The second half were not positive, as we were caught napping. It’s a shame, as this could’ve been a very important victory to cut Fiorentina out of the race for third.

“We need to stay calm now, as we do some great things and the mistakes are part of the maturation process of this side.”

Nenad Tomovic was harshly sent off before the break for an elbow on Stephan El Shaarawy, though it appeared to be involuntary.

“Paradoxically, Milan played better against 11 men than 10,” confessed the Coach.

“It was difficult for the referee today, as decisions were taken in favour of and against both teams. At the end of the game we put everything back in the balance and that is a shame.

“We let ourselves go in terms of intensity and were half-asleep. We need to improve in terms of determination and effort.”

There was also a heavy blow, as a foolish Mario Balotelli booking for stopping a free kick from being taken quickly means he is suspended for next week’s clash with Napoli.

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

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Montolivo 14 (M), Flamini 62 (M), Ljajic pen 66 (F), Pizarro pen 74 (F)

Riccardo Montolivo scored against his former teammates, but 10-man Fiorentina fought back from 2-0 down to hold Milan in a Florence thriller. Nenad Tomovic saw red for a dubious elbow, while the Tuscans received two penalties and lost Stevan Jovetic.

It was fourth against third in Florence, as Jovetic completed a remarkable recovery from a thigh problem to start with Borja Valero returning from suspension. Massimo Ambrosini missed out for the visitors, so Riccardo Montolivo was captain as he received a hostile reception from his old fans. Kevin-Prince Boateng completed the trident with a new bleach blond hairstyle.

The Rossoneri were unbeaten at the Stadio Franchi since November 2005, picking up four wins and two draws here.

Boateng’s early volley was in the back of the net, but play had been halted for Mario Balotelli’s offside position in the build-up. Manuel Pasqual crucially blocked off Mathieu Flamini when he was running clear on goal through the middle.

Montolivo was jeered loudly every time he touched the ball, but it did not stop him scoring against his former teammates. He robbed David Pizarro in the final third and kept his cool to side-foot it past Emiliano Viviano into the near bottom corner.

Pizarro lost the ball again on the edge of the Milan box to spark a counter-attack, Balotelli blasted a free kick over from distance and Viviano smothered a Sulley Muntari snapshot.

Manuel Pasqual’s curling free kick flashed inches past the near post, but Fiorentina lost Stefan Savic to injury.

Milan went very close again, as a free kick was whipped in for Stephan El Shaarawy’s bullet header, beaten away by Viviano. Fiorentina immediately went on the counter and Montolivo took a yellow card for the team by hauling back Adem Ljajic.

Christian Abbiati was also called into action with a desperate and unorthodox save on Jovetic’s screamer, as it bounced right in front of him and he parried with his knee.

Jovetic just failed to get on the end of a Pasqual pass that was rolled across the face of goal from the left flank.

There was huge controversy before the break when Nenad Tomovic was sent off for an elbow on El Shaarawy. The replays suggest there was certainly contact, but only as part of a natural movement when running alongside the Milan striker. Fiorentina were furious and protested vehemently, but the referee flashed the red card.

The Viola did not give in, as a Jovetic shot was charged down and the Pasqual follow-up held by Abbiati. Jovetic recovered in record time from a thigh injury, but aggravated it and limped off in first half stoppages to make way for Romulo.

A free kick almost found Alberto Aquilani in the box, but he fell under pressure from Boateng and protested.

After the restart Viviano parried a Flamini angled drive after good work from Montolivo. Milan doubled their lead from a dead ball situation. The free kick was worked down the right where El Shaarawy flashed a ball across the face of goal for Flamini to flick in from six yards.

Ljajic gave Fiorentina hope, as he went on an extraordinary slalom dribbling through a series of Milan players in the box before he was eventually pulled back by substitute Antonio Nocerino. The young Serb got back up to convert the penalty with a powerful finish through the middle.

Balotelli’s free kick hit the side-netting, shaving a coat of paint off the base of the near post. However, SuperMario was booked for trying to delay a free kick in midfield and because of that will be suspended for next week’s showdown with Napoli.

The referee pointed to the spot for the second time when Mattia De Sciglio mistimed his intervention to trip Juan Cuadrado. Pizarro stepped up this time and, although Abbiati got a hand to it, the power of the penalty took it into the far bottom corner as 10-man Fiorentina equalised.

The 10-man Viola completed their comeback from 2-0 down and continued to push, as Montolivo charged down a Cuadrado shot and Abbiati flapped at a corner. Milan also wanted a penalty after Ignazio Abate fell under a Pasqual shove, but the referee waved play on. There was further controversy in stoppages when Facundo Roncaglia handled in the box, but the referee judged it to be involuntary on Giampaolo Pazzini’s glancing header.

Fiorentina: Viviano; Roncaglia, Tomovic, Savic (Compper 30), Pasqual; Aquilani, Pizarro, Borja Valero; Cuadrado, Jovetic (Romulo 45), Ljajic (Migliaccio 81)

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, De Sciglio; Flamini (Niang 77), Montolivo, Muntari (Nocerino 46); Boateng (Pazzini 83), Balotelli, El Shaarawy

Ref: Tagliavento

Sent off: Tomovic 39 (F)

Serie A: Fiorentina vs. AC Milan - lineups
7.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina: Viviano; Roncaglia, Tomovic, Savic, Pasqual; Aquilani, Pizarro, Borja Valero; Cuadrado, Jovetic, Ljajic.

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

Balotelli fined for smoking
7.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli will be fined by Milan after he was caught smoking in the toilets on a train towards Florence.

The striker is never far from the headlines and all three major Italian sports papers carried the story this morning.

The squad was travelling on the Frecciarossa train service from Milan to Florence for today’s Serie A match against Fiorentina.

Balotelli was caught smoking in the toilet by a guard, then teammate M’Baye Niang told Vice-President Adriano Galliani – also on the train – what had happened.

Galliani told Niang to inform SuperMario that a fine was on its way.

It was not the only incident to surprise Rossoneri fans yesterday, as Kevin-Prince Boateng unveiled a new bleached blond hairstyle.

Viviano faces good friend Balotelli
7.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano believes they can beat Milan to close on a Champions League spot today despite his friend Mario Balotelli’s efforts.

“Milan are very strong and packed with champions, but we are up there too and that means we have done well this season,” Viviano told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We’ve picked up more points on home turf than anyone else. It is our duty to push for a Champions League spot, as we can do this.

“We have the opportunity with this head-to-head to close the gap and put everything back in the balance.”

Among those champions is Balotelli, who is Viviano’s close friend.

“Mario is an incredible talent who was born to play football. If he wants to, and stays healthy, then he can be one of the best players in the world, as he has physique, pace and a fierce shot. He never misses penalties because he stays calm and can hit the ball hard even when standing still.

“Since he arrived, Milan have changed gear. He has a heart of gold and I care about him. It’s true Mario made some mistakes, we discussed them and I tried to help him, but everyone tries to create this unfair image of him.

“Balotelli is an honest and pure person who is without ulterior motives.”

The Viola won 3-1 at San Siro earlier this season, but are fresh from a defeat to Cagliari.

“It is absolutely crucial that we don’t get the approach wrong, which is what we did in Cagliari. We are young and a mature side would not have done that.”

Riccardo Montolivo can expect a fiery reception at the Stadio Franchi, as he left on a free transfer last summer after refusing to sign a new contract.

“As a Viola fan, I appreciated his clarity in declaring publicly he would not be signing a new deal. Choices can be shared or not, but he was honest,” argued Viviano.

“If the fans do jeer him, it’ll be because they once cared so much. He went away and the fans were upset.”

The goalkeeper does not know if he will be in Florence next season, as he is only on loan.

“Playing here was my dream since childhood, so I could never regret coming to Fiorentina.”

Allegri: 'Fiorentina not decisive'
6.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri expects a difficult match as Milan visit Fiorentina for the lunchtime kick-off, but insists “it is not decisive” for a Champions League spot.

“This will be a very difficult match, seeing as we are playing away from home and Fiorentina have such passionate fans. The time of day also makes it unusual, so we have to play as a team,” warned Allegri in his Press conference.

“We need a good performance in technical terms and it will be crucial to interpret each moment of the game the right way. However, it is not decisive for third place.

“There are still eight games to go, although this is certainly an important match and we need the points to not only secure third place, but also keep up the pressure on Napoli for second.”

Vincenzo Montella’s men won at San Siro earlier this season, but Fiorentina haven’t beaten Milan at the Stadio Franchi since 2005, managing two draws and four defeats.

It is a special game for Riccardo Montolivo, who left Fiorentina on a free transfer when he refused to sign a new contract.

“It will be an important match both for him and Giampaolo Pazzini, as they both gave a lot to Fiorentina. Perhaps there will be jeers, but I think those are just to put them under pressure. The Viola fans know what these players did for them.

“It’s a shame Massimo Ambrosini misses out, seeing as he had such a great game against Chievo. Without him, it’s likely Montolivo will play in front of the defence,” concluded Allegri.

“I tested out a 4-2-3-1 system in training with Pazzini and Mario Balotelli. It can be used during a game, but I hope not, because that would mean we were chasing the result.

“Cristian Zapata returns tomorrow, while I have a doubt between Mattia De Sciglio and Kevin Constant. De Sciglio is the favourite.”

Milan squad for Fiorentina: Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Zaccardo, Zapata, Boateng, Constant, Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino, Balotelli, Bojan, El Shaarawy, Niang, Pazzini, Robinho

Jovetic in Fiorentina squad for AC Milan
6.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stevan Jovetic is in the Fiorentina squad to face Milan tomorrow, but Gonzalo Rodriguez and Mounir El Hamdaoui miss out.

Jovetic had originally been ruled out for two weeks by a muscular problem, but Coach Vincenzo Montella revealed in his Press conference that medics could get him back on the field for tomorrow.

Rodriguez sits out a ban, while El Hamdaoui isn’t even in the squad due to a thigh injury.

Other absentees for the Viola are Michele Camporese, Mati Fernandez and Giuseppe Rossi.

Fiorentina squad for Milan: Aquilani, Borja, Bernardeschi, Compper, Cuadrado, Jovetic, Larrondo, Ljajic, Llama, Lupatelli, Migliaccio, Neto, Pasqual, Pizarro, Romulo, Roncaglia, Savic, Sissoko, Tomovic, Toni, Viviano, Wolski

Mazzarri: 'Genoa and AC Milan crucial'
6.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Walter Mazzarri believes Napoli “will secure second place if we don’t get it wrong against Genoa and Milan,” but admits sending someone to secretly film his rivals.

The Partenopei are currently second in Serie A with a two-point advantage over the Rossoneri. On Sunday evening they welcome Genoa.

“I want to surprise Genoa a little bit, but Blerim Dzemaili is an extra weapon for us. He has a good shot and we saw that last week against Torino,” said the Coach of his hat-trick.

“If you look at the Genoa squad, it is difficult to understand why they are so far down the table. They have a great first XI and some fine replacements. We’ve got to be wary on set plays, as some of their players are very good from dead ball situations.”

There were reports in the papers today that one of Mazzarri’s scouts was caught secretly filming the Genoa training session.

“It is a fairly normal procedure, so I don’t think this is news,” shrugged the Coach. “Genoa have the characteristics to hurt us and will come here trying to play their game, so we have to keep them back.”

The next week will be decisive for Napoli, who take on Genoa and then third-placed Milan.

“If we don’t get it wrong against Genoa and Milan, then it will be difficult for anyone to take second place away from us,” added Mazzarri.

“If we do get it wrong, then there is time to make up for that.”

Morgan De Sanctis returns in goal after he missed the 5-3 win over Torino with an elbow injury.

Montella: 'Jovetic could face AC Milan'
6.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vincenzo Montella is targeting victory and third place against Milan tomorrow lunchtime and sensationally reveals “Stevan Jovetic could play” despite his injury.

“We are trying to get Jovetic to recover in time,” revealed the Coach despite a muscular problem initially ruling him out for two weeks.

“Stevan told me he’s ready to play, but we’ll see what sensations we get from his training session today. It’s great for a Coach to see everyone so eager to take part, but we’ll run no risks. If he’s fit then he’ll play, but if not then he won’t.

“Tomorrow’s game is important for our ambitions and for the entire campaign: we have to win. We are still in the running for Europe and that makes this encounter with Milan crucial, although it’s not yet an ‘in or out’ match.

“The stadium will be packed out and we have to defend our style of football, our ideas about the sport. This Milan side is one that forces you to change the way you approach the game, but we hope that we can force them to adapt to us.

“If the Rossoneri had started the season better, they would be challenging for the Scudetto with Juventus right now.”

It will be a very special afternoon for Riccardo Montolivo, the Milan midfielder who left Fiorentina as a free agent after refusing to sign a new contract. Will the hostile reception intimidate him or fire him up?

“I was not here during Montolivo’s time, so I don’t know what the situation was. I can say that when I was a player, I really did not enjoy being jeered by the crowd.”

Vasco 'awaiting AC Milan Dede offer'
6.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Dedè’s agent has confirmed “Milan would be an honour for him, but Vasco da Gama are still waiting for their offer.”

The Brazilian is attracting interest from numerous top European clubs, including Juventus, Liverpool, Valencia, Manchester United and Benfica.

“Vasco are awaiting Milan’s offer,” agent Giuliano Aranda told TMW this evening.

“I believe there has been contact between the clubs and the Rossoneri’s interest in Dedè is concrete, but at the moment they have not spoken to me directly. Milan need to reach an agreement with Vasco before negotiating with us.”

It is reported the Brazilian club has set a €12m price-tag on the 24-year-old defender.

“Many European clubs are tracking him and I can also reveal there have been talks with some Russian clubs.

“The latest contact with Valencia was six months ago, while Liverpool are on the same level as Milan – that is there is interest from the Reds, but no talks between me and the English club.”

The representative was asked whether Dedè would have a preference between Italy, Spain, England and Russia.

“At the moment Dedè is not thinking about a transfer. He is happy in Brazil and giving his all to earn a call-up for the Confederations Cup.

“Milan are certainly a fantastic club and among the top sides in the world, so playing with the Rossoneri jersey would be an honour for the lad.”

AC Milan consider Taarabt
6.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Milan are renewing their interest in QPR midfielder Adel Taarabt, but only if the club is relegated.

This is not the first time that the Rossoneri have been linked with an offer for Taarabt, but the situation is moving in their favour with QPR seven points adrift of Premier League safety.

According to The Fulham Chronicle, Milan are waiting to take advantage of relegation to make a cut-price £3m swoop for the 23-year-old Moroccan international.

AC Milan's season in three games
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia De Sciglio has conceded that Milan’s next three games could make the difference between finishing second and third this season.

The Diavolo are third, just two points behind Napoli, after recovering from a disastrous start to the campaign.

However, the Italian international knows that their upcoming matches against Fiorentina, Napoli and Juventus could prove decisive.

“We’re aiming for second place in the League and that means that the next three games are really fundamental for us,” the full-back told Milan Channel.

“We’ll have to go into these games with the same mentally that we’ve shown in the last few games.”

The Rossoneri, who have won nine and drawn three of their last 12 Serie A ties, will travel to Florence this weekend.

“We’re in good shape physically and we always manage to get our energy back quickly between one game and the next.

“We’ll have to be very careful going into Sunday’s game and try and make the least amount of mistakes that we can.

“We know what our strengths are and we’re turning into a really great team.”

Niang hopes to become 'important'
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

M'Baye Niang has insisted that he wants to become an 'important player' for Milan and help the team finish in second place.

The Rossoneri are currently third in Serie A, two points behind Napoli. And the French forward has claimed that the side can climb the table, whilst also commenting on his relationship with Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy.

“I have to work harder if I want to become an important player for Milan,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“But I want to be important for this team.

“We're having a great second half to this season. We are in third place, but we want to continue to do well and reach second place.

“We are friends, we are brothers. We have a great relationship off the field.”

Ambrosini on 'crucial' three games
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini has admitted that the club's next three games are 'crucial' if they are to qualify for next season's Champions League.

The Rossoneri face Fiorentina, Napoli and Juventus within three weeks, and the midfielder has claimed that those matches could decide their entire campaign.

“Those games will be crucial,” he told Tuttosport. “But they will not be decisive because we will still have five games left.

“The first two matches though will be especially important because they are head-to-head against direct rivals.

“We have a difficult schedule. The Viola will be tough – they have played very well. They have a Coach who has an enviable philosophy.

“After many changes over the summer, it was a long and difficult adjustment, but the worst is over now.

“We must not relax though. We need to out the icing on the cake of a surprising season.”

Lavezzi hints at Serie A return
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Paris Saint-Germain forward Ezequiel Lavezzi has admitted that he would consider returning to Serie A.

The Argentine striker left Napoli for the Ligue 1 club last summer, but the 27-year-old has conceded that playing for one of the Milan sides appeals to him.

“It is not easy to forget a city like Naples,” he told Sport Week. “I was there for five years. I have a lot of friends in Serie A.

“At some point I would think seriously about coming back to Italy. The Milan teams could be a good solution for me.

“The charm of Milan is more than that of Inter.”

El Shaarawy aims for second place
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy has claimed that Milan are aiming for a second place finish come the end of the season.

The Rossoneri are currently third, two points behind Napoli. And the young forward has insisted that his side cannot make any mistakes between now and the end of the campaign.

“The goal of course is to make second place,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “But it is a challenge.

“We must not make any mistakes and we have to have commitment and belief – because it could still happen.”

The Italy international then commented on a possible future away from San Siro, as well as his storming down the tunnel after being substituted against Palermo last month.

“Possible suitors do not interest me – not even clubs abroad.

“I did not have a problem with the Coach, but with myself, because against Palermo I played well below my usual level.

“So I decided to go straight to the locker room without stopping on the bench.

“Allegri and I have a strong bond.”

Nocerino not thinking of his future
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino has insisted that he has never thought of leaving Milan, despite being left on the bench for the Rossoneri's last four games.

The Italy international has seen himself forced out of Massimiliano Allegri's starting XI recently, but the 27-year-old has claimed that he will work harder than ever to get back in the team.

“There are players who are in better condition than me,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “It is right that the Coach makes these choices.

“I have never thought of leaving Milan. First you have to think of the team, and qualifying for the Champions League.”

Galliani: 'Points against Fiorentina worth double'
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has admitted that their match against Fiorentina this weekend will be vital for Champions League qualification.

The Rossoneri currently sit in the last remaining European Cup place, one spot and six points in front of the Viola.

And the board member has claimed that this game is a must-win.

“All the matches at this point in the season are important,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “But when you play with direct competitors, the points are worth double.

“The next three games are complicated, but we know that no team in the League is easy.”

Julio Cesar focusing on QPR
5.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar has laughed off reports that Milan are interested in signing him.

Rumours surfaced on Wednesday that the Brazilian shot-stopper was being targeted for a summer move by the Rossoneri.

But the 33-year-old has claimed that he is focusing only on the west London side.

“The future? I am just thinking of QPR,” he told reporters. “And our desire to stay in the Premier League.

“That is very important to us.”

Did Inter sign a 35-year-old Taribo West?
4.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Taribo West may have been 12 years older than he claimed while appearing for Inter and then Milan, reports suggest.

Partizan Belgrade chief Zarko Zecevic has alleged that the former Nigerian defender lied about his date of birth during his playing career.

“He said he was 28 when he joined us,” Zecevic stated. “We later found out he was 40, but he was still playing well that I don’t regret having him on the team.”

Partizan signed the stopper in 2002 and he spent two years with the outfit.

If the allegations are correct then West was signed by Inter in 1997 as a 35-year-old rather than a 23-year-old.

He moved to city rivals Milan in 1999.

Balotelli in Time's top 100
4.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Gazzetta dello Sport has revealed that Mario Balotelli has been included in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2012.

The Milan and Italy striker, who was featured on the publication’s European edition cover in November, has been selected in the Icon sector of the magazine’s countdown.

The January signing will fly out to New York on April 23, with club Vice-President Adriano Galliani and agent Mino Raiola, to attend an event organised by Time.

Balotelli, 22, is widely considered as one of Italy’s most promising players and is set to be a key man for his country at the 2014 World Cup.

The former Inter youngster, eight goals from 19 caps, has also scored seven goals in seven games for the Diavolo since his switch from Manchester City.

Cuadrado: 'Fiorentina win without Jovetic'
3.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juan Cuadrado admits Fiorentina will have to reshuffle without Stevan Jovetic, but “we’ll do everything to beat Milan.”

Montenegro international Jovetic is out for two to three weeks with a thigh strain, so will miss the early Sunday kick-off.

“It will be difficult without him and we’ll certainly be lacking something, but there are other players in the squad who want to make their mark,” Cuadrado told Sky Sport Italia.

“We will do everything we can to beat Milan. I have never scored against them, so to find the net on Sunday would be a wonderful experience.”

The Colombian winger has scored in his last two Serie A games and the confidence is growing.

“I was affected by all the talk about my lack of goals. Now I am more relaxed and go out to focus only on putting in a good performance. If the goal comes, then that’s a bonus.”

AC Milan want Julio Cesar – report
3.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Corriere della Sera is today suggesting that Milan are looking to sign former Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

The Brazilian was shown the door by Inter in the summer and subsequently moved to England with QPR.

However, the newspaper is adamant that the veteran is on the verge of a return to San Siro as the Diavolo shake-up their goalkeeping options.

The 33-year-old’s potential arrival will see Marco Amelia leave the club. While current first choice Christian Abbiati’s contract expires at the end of the season.

QPR are in the relegation zone and eight points away from safety.

Cesar, who joined Inter in 2005 from Flamengo, won 14 trophies with the Beneamata – including the historic treble in 2010.

Dede to cost AC Milan EUR 12 mil.
3.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Whispers linking Milan with a summer move for Brazilian defender Dede are getting louder.

According to QSVS, the Rossoneri have decided that they want the Vasco Da Gama centre-back to strengthen their rearguard.

The 24-year-old, who is contracted to Vasco until 2015, is valued at €15m by the South American outfit.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani is apparently ready to offer Vasco €12m for the Brazilian international.

QSVS claim that the Diavolo have already agreed personal terms with a player who would net €2.5m a season at San Siro.

Mazzola: Balotelli a bit mad, but...'
3.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter legend Sandro Mazzola believes the Nerazzurri “made a huge mistake” in selling Mario Balotelli to Manchester City, even if “he is a bit mad.”

The striker was handed to Roberto Mancini’s City in the summer of 2010 after a series of headline-grabbing incidents at San Siro.

He has now returned to Italy with Inter’s arch-rivals Milan and seems to have finally matured.

“Balotelli is a complete player,” Mazzola told Odeon TV.

“Of course everyone knows he’s a bit mad, but Inter still made a huge mistake in selling him.”

SuperMario has scored seven goals for Milan since arriving in January.

Chelsea challenge AC Milan for Dede
3.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Milan face competition from Chelsea in their bid for Vasco da Gama defender Dede.

According to SportMediaset, the Rossoneri have been in negotiations for the past three weeks.

However, Chelsea are intercepting these talks with an offer of their own thought to be worth €10m.

Milan reacted to this by raising their own proposal to €12m, but Vasco’s price-tag is even higher and they are eager to keep the bidding war going.

“Keeping hold of Dede is really very difficult,” Vasco da Gama director Cristiano Koehler confessed.

“We would all like to have him here with us next year, but he wants to take steps forward in his career and also find better deals in economic terms.

“We will deal with the situation, but without taking our fans for a ride. It’s true, Dede could leave.”

Dede is a 24-year-old full international centre-back and sweeper who in Brazil has been compared with Franz Beckenbauer.

His contract with Vasco runs until December 2014.

Niang: Season beyond expectations
1.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

M'Baye Niang has admitted that his first season at Milan has gone 'beyond expectations'.

The French youngster joined the Rossoneri from Caen last summer, making 14 League appearances for Massimiliano Allegri's team this term.

And the 18-year-old has conceded that he did not expect to play so often, whilst also commenting on which players have impressed during his debut campaign.

“It has gone beyond all my expectations,” he told Forza Milan. “I'm still young. I thought I would acclimatise and try to understand calcio.

“Instead the Coach has given me confidence immediately. I am very happy about that.

“El Shaarawy has impressed me so much. The same goes for Boateng and Balotelli.”

'Fiorentina fans will jeer Montolivo'
1.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo has been told by Giancarlo Antognoni to expect jeers when he returns to Fiorentina as a Milan player next weekend.

The 28-year-old moved to the Diavolo in the summer on a free transfer after his contract with the Viola, whom he joined in 2005, expired.

“Montolivo will be whistled, that is obvious,” Antognoni, who spent 15 years in Tuscany, told Firenze Viola.

“But the fans will not only jeer him because of the past, but because he now plays for Milan and they are a side to be feared.”

Fiorentina and Milan are fighting for a place in next season’s Champions League, but the Viola fell six points behind the San Siro giants this weekend following a defeat at Cagliari.

“The Champions League dream is not over,” the 1982 World Cup winner added. “Fiorentina must believe until the very end.

“There are still eight games left and Milan will arrive in Florence on Sunday. It’ll be an open game, a spectacular one.”

Jovetic to miss Fiorentina - AC Milan
1.4 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina will be without star man Stevan Jovetic in their crucial clash against Milan next weekend.

The Viola need a win against the Diavolo if they are to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League alive.

However, they will have to do that without the forward who has netted 12 goals in 25 games this term.

The Montenegro international picked up a left thigh strain in the loss at Cagliari which will see him sidelined for two weeks. He’ll also miss the Atalanta tie.

Fiorentina are six points and one place behind Milan in the standings.





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